The thread bound notebook under the chair. Her hand patting the floorboards for it. In the notebook, passages from books sold to her by men who stood in her doorway in suits worn thin and slack and beheld her with eyes tired and besieged with sweat. She records her favorite passages and by the window. Out there the plane of millet and wheat and sunflower interrupted by three distant figures. She closed the notebook and placed it there by the bowl of sweets. In her advancing years, Virginia has come upon the habit of chewing sweets and her life has become the story of the flavor and texture of one candy after another.
Through her telescope, a man with two women in outsized dresses in the silence of the fields seemingly walking in place. They found the road and raised a cloud of dust behind them.
In her advancing years Virginia has come upon the habit of chewing sweets and her life has become the story of the flavors and textures of one candy after another. She records her favorite passages and folds the caramel over in her mouth and looks out the window. Out there the plane of millet and wheat and sunflower interrupted by three distant figures. They find the road and raise a cloud of dust behind them.
Through her telescope, a man and two women in outsized dresses in the dust and the mirage and the silence of the field seemingly walking in place.
She drops another caramel and consides
In her advancing years Virginia has come upon the habit of chewing sweets, and her life has become the story of the flavors and textures of one candy after another as she sits by the window and reads.
Out there the plane of millet and wheat and sunflowers interrupted by three distant figures. She closed the notebook over the magnifying lens and placed it there by the bowl of sweets.
Under the chair for a thread bound notebook. In the notebook, passages from books sold to her by men who stood in her doorway in suits worn thin and slack and beheld her with eyes tired and besieged with sweat.
She places her magnifying lens there in the page and closes the book.
Next to the book a bowl of sweets. In her advancing years Richard's grandmother has come upon the habit of chewing sweets and her life has become the story of the flavors and textures of one candy after another. She records her favorite passages and folds the caramel over in her mouth and looks out the window.
Out there the plane of millet and wheat and sunflowers interrupted by three distant figures. They find the road and raise a cloud of dust behind them.
She finds her telescope and drops another caramel in her mouth.
A man and two women in outsized dresses in the dust and the mirage and the silence of the field seemingly walking in place. They stop and the man addresses the two women who follow before they start again.
The fabric of his shirt in the breeze and the women keeping up with him, their heads tilted at the ground in front of them. He wears a hat.
She drops another caramel in her mouth. She considers the situation. She fondles the sweet with her tongue and considers possibilities given to a mind uninhibited from reason by boredom and decrepitude.
The woman regards the interior if her home. Its appearance and the purpose of the parts of it they built that have become mundane characters in their lives and their value to the strangers.
She holds the loose leg and drags the table to the center of the living room. She finds three chairs and a stool and arranges them about the table. The contents of the dusty cupboard removed and returned in search of three identical glasses.
The pump well black and iron and it squawks like an agent of the revolution burrowed out the ground to announce its presence. It wakes Elson but he watches her work the pump arm from the back porch with half closed eyes. Her pale and fleshy arms in the sun and the heat. The wire handle of the water bucket in its crease in her hand.
The man with green eyes squats in the road. He draws the house and the road in the dust and makes an arch from the road around to the back of the house. He draws a line straight from the back of the house at a right angle to the road. He tells the girls not to go south down the road to get back, but to go west and when they get to tree cover and from there to go south along the river until they get to the bridge. He tells them he may be there or he may not. The girl's face streaked with tear marks and her cheeks pink where her sister slapped her. She doesn't know how to squat without showing her underwear. Her sister takes her by the hand and adjusts her hoop skirt and tucks her own breasts in. He tells them that at no point should they start to run and she says yes, mister.
The man with green eyes looking over the house and the fields beyond and the houses that populate the country into the warping embrace of the mirage that contain the generations of an animal called man that pulls a living from the fields and holds them accountable to his offspring to be born and to die under the sun rising and falling. His dark skin and and his dark mustache and his green eyes that express an affection not contained within his heart. The dark skinned people he comes from and their insistence to propagate a brood of thieves and hustlers who win what they have from the estate of man in games of deceit and live like lords of the squalor and never stop moving. When he walks there is a rhythm in his step and a musical quality in the way he moves. He liked to dance since he was a boy and he seeks adoration from his mark and his clan all the same.
She surprised him when she opened the door before the knock and he forgot the story he had prepared. She asked him where the girls who were with him are at. She held a glass in her hand. The two gazing on each other in the heat and the hushed whistling of the wind in the fields. She saw that he wore a turban.
Are you from the far East?
He drank down the water and watched her with one eye. When he finished he wiped his mouth. He got down on one knee. He presented the empty jar to her. He began.
Elson feigns sleep and watches the girls unhook the door to the chicken coop. He watches them entering slowly and the chickens running out between their legs and the younger one falling over herself after them. The older sister looked at the man to make sure he slept and then turned to the fowl. She hovered over one, kneeled down until it disappeared under the umbrella of her hoop skirt, and when she stood the chicken was gone. She adjusted herself and moved onto the next.
The two sisters taking ownership of a flock of fowl like an unclaimed product of the Earth they came upon by accident. The little one mangling the chickens into the wire hooks hanging from her hoop skirt and her sister performing feats of illusion.
Well, time to end it. Elson went inside where the cartridges stand on their ends on the shelf. The girls watched him remove the engraved shotgun from its mounting on the wall and begin to load it. The older one took the chickens away from her sister. She looked at Elson like he was robbing them. She took her sister by the hand and lead her west across the fields.
What the hell, she said. She took in the scene of dead chickens and blood and feathers. She stood in the doorway with her hand over her mouth: There was a fella with them.
The man with the green eyes had unfurled his turban on the table and lay the silver wear on it to be rolled up. His black hair pulled back tightly and rolled into a bun, his slender neck and his stately jaw line.
Elson walked to the center of the room and stood between the man and the door and leveled the shotgun at his middle.
The man with the green eyes abandoned the silverware and turned to face Elson. He looked on Elson. He looked at his wife. He leaned back against the counter. He breathed. In his gaze a calm that originates in the nucleus of every creature that forgives its own nature and in its circadian tasks of living never doubts the purpose it gave itself at its conception or deviates from the tracks laid down in its rearing.
Don't shoot, she said.
Shut up, Ginia.
The man crouched low to the floor with his elbows on his knees. He found Elson to be more alive than he had been lately. Elson's eyes bright and smiling and his jowls lifted at the corners of his face. The man with the green eyes brought his head back against the counter and a faint thud could be heard.
He thinks I won't shoot. He thinks I'm kind hearted. Elson pulled back the hammer behind the right barrel. The reflection of the gun's engraving on the wall twitched. The man looked at the wall and back at Elson.
You ain't gonna die, but you ain't gonna win.
Elson pulled the trigger and sent the lead shot into the man's shin bone and fore arm and cheek meat and eyes. The man lay on his back on the kitchen floor like a spider curled up in abandonment of life. His chest heaved with his breathing but the man neither moved or made a sound.
Bird shot, Ginia.