Drinking to Dead Relatives

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Great Gatsby Franken-Farter stares at the creek. “I saw my aunt die.”

“I saw my grandpa die, too.” I remember Mama crying when she pulled the bed sheet over him and Daddy hugging her for a long time after. When they buried him, Scooter kept going back to the cemetery to see if Grandpa was sprouting from the dirt.

“Your grandpa. Was he run over by a get-away gangster, too? Like Aunt Sissy was? She didn’t Survive like your dog,” he says.

It sounds too horrible for truth. “Phonus balonus.”

“Suit yourself. You’re next?”

“Okay,” I say. But I won’t mention Miss Helen. I think for a while then decide to tell him another truth. “I’ve been Cooter Browned before,” I say, and almost taste the vomit-varnish from that night.

“Who?”

He’s not so smart after all.

“You know, I’ve been blotto before.”

His eyes crinkle when he laughs. “Let’s drink to that. Plenty of mornings I’ve had to chew my water. Tomorrow might be one of them.” He hands me the Mason jar.

I take it thinking it’s his way of making peace. I pretend to drink then hand it back.

“Where were you when you got drunk?” he says.

“At the carnival. Last weekend. The night Mama left.” I didn’t mean to say the last part. “I gotta go.”

Excerpt from The Moonshine Thicket

 

Published by

Carolyn Dennis-Willingham

Carolyn is the author of two published books – No Hill for a Stepper, 2001, and The Last Bordello, 2016. Her third novel, The Moonshine Thicket, is set in 1928 and is currently enduring a professional edit. When not on her laptop, she serves as a lap top for her grandchildren. She is a retired Early Childhood Specialist, a fitness boxer, artist, and a ball thrower for her ever-persistent mini Aussie. In addition to her blogging website, carolyndenniswillingham.com, you may find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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