The loose, rattling knock sounded through the entire three-story farmhouse. For Pete’s sake, thought Betty drying her hands on the dishtowel as she came out of the kitchen to answer it, they’re going to knock that poor screen door right off its hinges! It wouldn’t take much though, she mused: repairing that old rickety screen door had been on Joe’s honey-do list for as long as she could remember. They would likely repair it in time for Little Curtis’ wedding at this rate.
She looked down the hallway at the front door, and tried to make out the figure through the yellowing lace of the window covering. The figure outside was tall and lanky, and bore the slightly stooped silhouette of a life hard-worked, of money hard-earned. She realized with a start that it was her neighbor, Jasper Proctor! She almost didn’t recognize him without the beard he used to sport. Why, he hadn’t come around in…Betty counted the years on her fingers, and when she realized she would need a third hand to properly count the years since old Jasper had trundled over from his cattle farm next door, she gave up. It must have been right after the mill fire that he had last come over. His driveway had been a makeshift fire line for the blaze that had swept the plain, and it still bore the soot deeply: she could always tell which of their long driveways a car was coming down, from the color of the dust it raised. Continue reading Little Curtis, Part 3→
Another “Little Curtis” entry, written out of genial frustration at my friend Julie. I have a blast writing these.
Little Curtis ran up the back stoop, covered in cornsilk and trouble. “Momma! Momma!” He practically tore the screen door off its rickety hinges when he ran into the kitchen, where Betty was stooped over the sink, snapping beans for that night’s casserole.
“Little Curtis! Feet!” she shot back at him, which shut his caterwauling up but good. He stood there in his dirty Buster Brown boots, which he would probably never, ever remember to wipe clean on the boot brush outside the door as long as he was her son. His upper lip trembled, and he looked about to burst into tears. “But Momma…” he trailed off. Continue reading Little Curtis, Part 2→
This was a snarky comment I wrote on a social network in response to my friend Jessie. It turned into a favorite serial of mine.
“What is it, hon?”
“Come quick, momma! Somethin’ on the Facebooks!”
She entered the room, wiping her hard hands on her threadbare apron, weary and bedraggled. What was Curtis up to now, when he should be shucking corn for supper. She looked around. He was nowhere near his shucking tub, instead, she found him in front of the computer, staring gape-mouthed at the thing. Continue reading Little Curtis, Part 1→