Farmstead II

I had some down time from my major projects this afternoon so I wrote the next installment of Farmstead; I hope you enjoy it! If you have questions about what it is I do here, check out this page, or contact me here.

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Act I Scene II

They were entangled, tucked in the corner of the hay loft, like folded hands; this knee grinding into the other’s rib, that hand grasping soft flesh; every part slapped and rubbed. I watched, I couldn’t help it either, I just stared on, as sharp and stunning as a great cat; as pink and boiling as a naked crab; pumping out thick human smells mixed with the earth’s offering. I looked! Then came a sudden seize—separation—the beast split and its slender half grew a face that was altogether familiar and paralyzing. Mrs. Tiller. Johnny boy?

“Geeet oowwt!” Her lips warped.

I yelled something, then Johnny boy’s hand was on my collar and the ladder shook. I pounded his forearm with one arm, with the other pulling myself down the rungs with all my strength. When I closed my eyes, hanging twelve feet up with farm air in my lungs and nose, I left the barn and spun, groping through a battering silence; when I opened them again, the floor struck me in the chest. I felt like my skull was being drawn tight with a leather strap. I couldn’t breathe. I rolled to my right side and saw gold and brown tufts of hair dancing at the head of the ladder. I filled my lungs and pushed to my feet before Johnny boy was halfway down. I swung my arms into a pounding sprint and out across the farmyard and into the little glass house where Mr. Tiller kept his honeybees.

The glass garden was a cold green that made me realize I was shaking. I crouched in the corner behind the table of geraniums. I felt Johnny boy’s shadow float by my face, but he didn’t stop. I rubbed my hands together and over my face. I bit my fist and tried to weep silently. Years passed before the tears left and when my sight came I saw the swooping swarm of soft golden-brown honey bees; each entering the wooden hive through the same bottom opening; serving their queen, waxing the cells, tending comb; exiting the same cone-shaped tube just under the sloped roof. What do I do?

Johnny slipped down to a crouch in front of me and swatted the workers away. “Waru,” he mouthed. “Waru, I’m sooory,” he nodded and made eye contact. Then he leaned away from me with his hands held, palms facing me, out to each side. Johnny boy’s slick side comb froze exploded and wet. His adult face was still young and shaved. His brows were down and mouth open stupidly. I smiled. Johnny smiled and his face relaxed—then it all hung slack and his color washed from his face. He was looking over my shoulder. I didn’t have to turn around to know. I felt the dirt vibrate under me. Mr. Tiller was back.

Stay tuned for Act I Scene III, coming soon …






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