Saturday, February 17, 2007
New Beginning 219
When he was a kid he'd never known any different, but now that he was eight, it was hard going home. He checked to make sure nobody was watching, and took a swig from the bottle he'd hidden in his school bag. One more glance around - nobody looking his way - and he ran down the alley to sneak in through the back. With luck, nobody would be up yet.
No such luck. Missus Swindell was sitting in the kitchen in her massive pink robe and curlers, smoking a cigarette and drinking coffee. She grinned when he burst in. "Hey, Fox. Yer ma ain't up yet. You want some breakfast?"
He tried his most impish little-boy grin, hoping she wouldn't smell his breath. "Missus Swindell, it's noon. I already et, anyway."
"Suit yerself, boy. There's some toast on the counter, anyway."
"Thank you, ma'am. I gotta go see ma."
"All right. You see that Addie Mae, tell her she needs to settle up."
"Yes'm, I sure will." Fox ran up the stairs. He paused outside the closed door of their apartment. Through the thin wooden panels he could hear the television blaring. He opened his school bag and pulled out the bottle, eyed the level of the amber liquid. Only noon, and the bottle was half gone. He shouldn't drink any more today, but on the other side of the door was his mother, that wretched alcoholic slattern with her impossible expectations.
Fox shrugged. It's beyond my strength. If I do not drink, I cannot keep up this churlish, lowbred, straight-out-of-Faulkner dialect. He raised the bottle.
A moment later, the whiskey still burning in his throat, Fox burst through the door and called out, "Howdy, ma! Y'still feelin' poorly?"
Opening: kt.....Continuation: Theo Katz