Red Letter Writing Contest #46
By the first crisp days of October the river was running so high it threatened to wash over its retainer onto the tracks on the east bank. The silt stirred to the top and brown bubbled its way past the linden trees already, fifty yards from McCullough’s cornfield. That would’ve made things even worse. Not gettin’ the little crop left standing into market would have been the town’s last dyin’ breath.
At the Second Baptist they was prayin’ even harder than they had in spring for rain; singin’ their Christian guts out it would stop. Maybe too for the good Lord’s forgiveness, though it looked like we’d got the Almighty pissed. As if the hallelujah folk hadn’t caused enough trouble with the fields now layin’ like mudflats, fruit only half grown and rotted on the trees.
The orchards stinkin’ of soured wine, the fields of decayin’ vegetables and pig manure. It carried on the wind, all the way to the Strauss lands, doubled by the damp nights. It was the Strauss’s that dragooned the menfolk into leavin’ the farms; into workin’ their factories instead. I blame them—and God, not Joey Dolan. Nor the liquored-up-on-home-enterprise-whiskey cabal of kids that killed him.
Things would get better though after tonight. Me and them’s left as are real farmers—good friends of Joey Dolan, God rest his soul—found a way of makin’ everything right. One big bang, that’s all it’ll be. No more factory and a big empty hole for the rain.