Here's a piece I began working on about a three months ago which got placed on the back-burner due to since I wrote myself into a corner and subsequently returned to work on my novel. It's the beginning of a redneck zombie story which, if I can write myself out of said corner, will also serve as a not-so-subtle metaphor for capitalism. The bullet points are actually supposed to by hyphens (a la Gaddis) which unfortunately I was unable to convert from Microsoft Word into the blogging format and I just don't have the time to fiddle with right now. Anyway, here's the beginning and no, there aren't any zombies in it yet. But yes, there are rednecks. Working title is . . .
- Somethin's come over the boy.
- Ask me an' I'd say somethin's been over him.
- Pa, now, you know damn well what I mean.
- I do. Forgive me, Ma. Yup, I do. An affliction, I'd say. Somethin' awful serious.
Ma an' Pa is dangling horny feet in the creekbed, letting them toes get all sorts o' tangled up in the algae an' the muckety-muck. I almost didn' pull up beside 'em, but Pa said that it weren't no matter, see, an' what else we got the spigot back home for? Well, argument 'nough for me, an' so I sat on down right there, ass in the mud an' ev'rythin' an' the topic what they been discussin' ain't no other 'n Simon, my older brother all growed up who Ma an' Pa named after Simon o' Cyrene, the man what carried Jesus' cross up Calvary.
- Fixin' to tell us something, Laney?
- Get on with it, girl, no need to be shy all suddenly.
That's Ma an' Pa t'me an' they can see right away something vicious rippin' my insides but good. Me with my habits, what Pa calls my “tells,” some term or other he done adopted off a card game with Uncle Chewy an' Rupert Lasso not more 'n two, three months 'fore. Well, my biggest “tell” what Pa'd told me about is my fingers get all fidgety-like. See, right now I been busy tying all manner o' knots with the onion grass, just pluckin' blades an' wrappin' the ends all 'round into figure-eights an' sheepshanks. 'Nother habit o' mine is I like to smell my fingers after I've been messing with the onion grass. That one, though, it don't matter if I'm hidin' nothin' or not, I just like the way it smells all sharp an' rude.
- Don't rightly know that I'm comfortable talking on Simon like this, Pa.
- Family don't keep secrets, girl. You hear me good now.
Ma pulls her legs up out o' the creek. She brings her feet, bunions, algae, an' all, back up on the bank, then tucks 'em underneath her, Indian-style. Usually Ma's a graceful woman, but seein' her now all dirty an' swattin' mosquitoes from behind her neck, it's a sight what'd make anyone smirk real crooked.
- Nothin' funny here, girl. You better be out with it, else I'm liable to yank it outta you.
- Now, Pa. Give her a moment.
- Only one what'd test my patience this much, Ma, the Good Lord Hisself.
When Pa starts bringin' in the Good Lord or our Savior Jesus Christ or 'specially the Lamb o' God, these are the times you can tell he's gettin' awful serious.
- Simon'd do my arm a rope-burn worse 'n I ever seen if I say anythin' to you. Made him a promise, I did.
- Your brother ain't hardly more grown up than you yourself, Laney. No authority figure in my house aside from me here in front o' you an' our Savior Jesus Christ. Now out with it.
Well, with two o' the three Holiest o' Holies already brung, I know Pa's fixin' to get righteous angry any second now an' Simon can go ahead, rope-burn my arm all he wants, but ain't nothing worse 'n when Pa loses his temper. Old Testament kind o' wrath. Kind you don't wanna be 'round.