Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Harrowers, Part Three

My relatives stumbled out of the house in groups of twos and threes, all of them gorged on wine and turkey. By the time the last few were leaving, Ernie was already piling up dishes and taking them back to wash, while his wife chucked her throwing knife into a moose head on the far wall. Each time it struck, the antlers rattled against the wooden paneling, and fur and giblets fell from ruined flesh. She went over and dislodged the knife. Bullwinkle was looking like a Lizzy Borden victim.

“Marylou,” I said. “About your story tonight--”

“You mean the Harrowers?” She cleaned the knife with her dress.

“Yes, that one. Where did these sightings take place, anyways?”

Chuckling, she walked back to her throwing spot. “Everyone says you take after me. There can be no doubt about that if we're talking pure curiosity. You and I always ask the dangerous questions.” As she leveled her aim, I took my own knife from the table and went to join her. “On three,” she said. “One, two--”

I flung mine hard and early, and it hit the moose head with a jelly-squirt sound. “Got it's eye,” I said.

“Just for that, I'll tell you.” She thunked her knife into the pate and looked down at me with a grim smile. “But you've got to promise me you won't go looking for any answers like I think you will.”

“I won't lie to you,” I told her. “That's exactly what will happen.”

She straightened out the table cloth, then sat in a chair and looked me over, as if reckoning just how many volumes of trouble I could author. Then she merely sighed and gave in. “The Harrowers have been visiting Mr. Spinster's cornfield lately, according to the grapes on this vine. He lives in a white one-story house about a mile south of here; you can tell it's his 'cause his weather vane’s leaning at forty-five degrees and his hose is always rolled out. Weird coot; he washes his truck every day.”

“Cornfield, mile south, hose and weather-vane--got it.”

“Are you really gonna go there tonight like I think you are?” For once, she creased her forehead in consternation. The look didn't suit her. Was I going too far with this? I wondered. Did I really need to know? Oh, for fuck's sake, you're Tornado Fucking Jackson; of course you need to know.

“Just promise me this,” she said. “If you do go, go armed.”

Those were the last words she imparted to me before I went to “sleep."

Now before I continue, we must come to an understanding, you and I. You must give me the benefit of the doubt that my experiences on the 25th of November, 1965, are conveyed to you with as much accuracy as I can muster. Not the Thanksgiving feast, mind you, but the events to come. I must also let you know that this evening was among the most important evenings in my young development—it was certainly the most disillusioning. You'll find out why soon enough.

46 comments:

  1. Interesting story and good cliff hanger at the end. =)

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  4. Haven't really followed the entire story so I'm a bit lost. Would enjoy a summary or brief explanation of plot.

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