Saturday, June 5, 2010

Driscol

Here's my short story Driscol, as it will be appearing in the Decameraon Literary Journal

Officer Driscol wished it would snow. There was too much quiet in the above places. Last week it had slushed. The snow came in the night, he’d slept through Sunday morning, and by the time he’d woken up, Driscol had found nothing but dirty gums of brown muck shoved up against the curbs outside.
He rolled over in bed and pulled down a finger full of venetian blinds. He searched the world outside for snow. There were clumps of power lines, Virgin Mary statues in the yards, but nothing coming down. Winter had told a joke, and now it was holding back the punch line.
“Come on,” Driscol growled, “Snow. Snow.”
He rolled onto his other side. Through the open door of the bedroom, he saw into the bedroom and through the glass of the gun case in the living room. He imagined crawling his way towards his Sub Compact Baretta. Imagined himself standing in the back yard, firing into the sky, demanding snow, from anyway, snow. But he wasn’t on the ranch anymore. Boulder was over.
Now it was all city on and on forever, and the mountain snows were gone. Now it was just suburban gray. Winter here was the color of a stainless steel sink. All the fences here were chain linked. All the yards rubbed up against each other.
He wondered how long the house would take to fall down if he were to abandon it at that very moment and never return.
Texas hobbled towards the doorway. He lurked there every morning, waiting for Driscol to show signs of life. He whimpered, tried to look pitiful. He didn’t have to try. Arthritis racked the old dog’s legs. How old was he by now, forty, fifty? Driscol was waiting for Texas to die.
That was all he was waiting for. But the dog just lived and lived.
“I’ll be up in a minute,” Driscol muttered, with another furtive look towards the window, one more hope for snow. The dog made some guttural sound from inside of itself. Driscol hoped it was a death rattle. He didn’t even have to read the words of the will in his mind anymore. They had ingrained themselves into his brain.
“And to my youngest and only surviving son, I leave Texas. I trust him to keep my beloved Texas in good health, and keep him comfortable through the end of his days, whenever they may be.”
“Move back to Evansville,” Driscol muttered to himself. “Sure. Great idea. The force is hiring there. Just until the dog dies, and they you can make it back to Boulder.”
He pulled himself out of bed. The dog’s stomach rumbled. Ugly old thing, Driscol thought. Looks just like mom.

Eminence, MO

Here is my poem, Eminence, MO, as it appears in the upcoming issue of The Lamplighter Review:

Eminence MO, October
Outside the ranch, it's raining on the herd.
Forest noises crack and break and no one knows the hooves that form them.
In the morning we’ll find tracks approaching the trailer.
Then turning back the way they came.
As if bored with us.
As if saying, “You remain here because we let you.”
Outside the ranch, a blue school bus with Kansas plates dies rusty in a gravel lot.
The final mosquitoes of the year try to suck blood out of a discarded leather couch.
Outside the ranch there are ruins of old cabins.
The cigarette butt leftovers of broken meth labs.
The exoskeletons of falling swing sets, pushed forgotten to the back of the yard.
Goats stand alert in the pastures.Waiting for something.
A horse sticks its head between the fence rails.
Aware of that same signal.
There’s a Missouri winter coming and there’s no stopping it.