Monday, July 30, 2007

Entry #42

Who Knew?
by Elizabeth Dearborn

Reynaldo was my bud from day one. He wasn't Indian like the rest of us in Special Ed. He was Mexican, and his folks followed the apple harvest. He got to ninth grade and never learned to read. So they put him in with us.

He went to the woods out back of the truck stop after his grandmother kicked him out.

"Dude. You gonna be okay?"

"Oh, yeah. They got food 24/7. Phones. Washing machines."

I was sick of all the crap at home, so I moved in with him. We huddled at night to keep warm. Ate nachos at the truck stop. We went to school once in a while just to sell the stuff we ripped off.

One day I saw Reynaldo picking burrs off his bare legs. A minute later I saw fat Cheryl from the rez pulling her jeans on. I waited till she was gone.

"I hear Cheryl's got a disease."

"Yeah, whatever, man." He knew I was jealous. He just didn't know who I was jealous of.

"You going home in the fall?"

"Might stay here. Gonna need a coat and blankets and stuff."

I heard a crunching sound, like breaking twigs. "Shut up. Play dead."

Reynaldo started running, but the black bear was faster. Grabbed him from behind and threw him down. Later, I showed the tribal cop where the bear was, guarding Reynaldo's dead body. Blood and guts everywhere. Who knew he had so much brains?


Jaye Wells said...

Okay that did not end like I expected at all. Still, a wonderful little piece.

Jude said...

Yes- a surprise ending, but I liked the voice which was convincing for me.

Anonymous said...

Nice hints of things not spelled out. More story than it reads.

Anonymous said...

I love to be surprised! This is great!

SzélsőFa said...

I liked the natural flow of conversation. The end was surprising and to me, it revealed a careless and ignorant protagonist. Again, perhaps the writer disliked the character...?

Unknown said...

I tried to make the unnamed narrator a little more thoughtful than Reynaldo was. The advice he gave him, to play dead when he saw the bear, was correct. Both characters came from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Thanks for your comments!


Unknown said...

Compelling use of dialogue and strong voice. Nicely done.

Anonymous said...

I liked this one Elizabeth, your characters are genuine and you told a good story in the space of 250.

mr. schprock said...

One of the best. Excellent.

Anonymous said...

I like the character's voice. The matter-of-fact homeless life.