The crew sat on Harlan Wither’s porch rocking in faded white chairs, the season of a long hot day, damp in the pits of their shirts, dotted in beads on their foreheads. Cyrus McIntyre, one of Harlan’s two best friends, sunburned and plump like a Christmas pig suited in light blue seer sucker, tipped back his glass of lemonade—a libation freshly squeezed by Harlan’s new woman, not the old ball and chain who, god forgive Uncle Harlan, finally upped and died, but the cute little kitten, Jolene Johnson, thirty years Harlan’s junior. The whole bunch sat and rocked and passed the time drinking sweet cold lemonade, but Cyrus’ glass packed a particular punch that evening, having a “dribble or two” of corn squeezin’s from his flask.
“I must say,” Cyrus drew out all of his words, long and slow, as if his mouth were a pen and his audience the paper. “That sweet, little filly of yours sure knows how to make a fine lemonade.”
Harlan, arms crossed against his chest, tipped his head in a languid manner, one long low drop to acknowledge that he agreed tonight’s lemonade was particularly tasty, cool, and refreshing. Uncle Harlan was more a man of ears, than words. Usually for him there wasn’t much to say, so there wasn’t much point in sayin’ it.
Ol' Ben, Harlan's other best friend, happened to have turned ninety-nine last Sunday, an occasion he celebrated by learnin' a new word (a tradition he started when he was twelve years old and the only word he knew was sugar tittie, 'cus his Momma was still, well you know). Ol' Ben said, "Yep, not too tart," then paused ten minutes to catch his breath and added, "not too sweet."
Harlan's pupils dilated a millimeter, confirming that he agreed with Ol' Ben's assessment.
On the other side of the county, an army of space aliens were disembarking from their ship with ray guns. But the crew didn't know nothin' 'bout that, and if they did, they wouldnta cared. Cyrus said, slow like a tree growin', "Nope, not too sweet."
Opening: Angela Robbins.....Continuation: anon./EE