Does everyone have their dark side, like the backside of a lover’s moon? Do we cry out for justice, at sunrise, to be cleansed by confession at noon? Stephen Stills
It was bound to happen: a contest entry far from the land of warm and fuzzy. Russ Shor took the prompt about a pair of boots, not exclusively made for walking, as his fictional entry. Entries into our contest can be fiction, non-fiction or poetry. Simply write about a piece of clothing from the list of prompts, or choose one of your own. Enter here, apparently at your own risk: https://awordwithyoupress.com/2018/11/24/our-new-contest-high-heeled-sneakers/
Louisa’s Jump Boots
By Russell Shor
Louisa had no choice but to start down that empty road home. The pink of sunset had faded into the slate sky of twilight. The night breeze had stopped and wrapped this corner of Louisiana in a dense cloak of humidity. This was the kind of night he waited for her on that road. She could feel it.
She’d first encountered him five years ago when she was 9, walking that same road to town from the bungalow her family had occupied for a couple of generations; at least those who stuck around. Usually the women. He’d bolted from a copse of high bushes and blocked her way. Louisa tried to run, but he grabbed her, tore off her pants and forced himself inside her.
Finished, the boy pulled her pants back up and shoved her into the road with a warning. “Don’t you tell nobody or I’m gonna come after you.”
Louisa’s mama seemed to sense something had happened the moment she came through the ill-fitting door of their home and finally learned what later that evening after she refused to touch her dinner.
“We’re just trash to them, you’ll have to get used to it,” Mama told her.
Louisa never could get used to it. That boy seemed to know when she would be walking alone on that mile stretch of road. And, this evening, like so many times before, he appeared just in front of her, wet and sweaty from hiding in the rain-soaked brush.
He noticed her boots, the ones her daddy had given her just before he left for good. “They ain’t gonna save you from your duty to me.” She tried to run but the boots weighed on her feet. She flailed at him. He grabbed her wrists, taunting her how he loves a good fight as he pulled her into the brush. On top of her, he continued to taunt her. “My daddy used to do this to your momma all the time. Hell, you may even be my sister.” After he rolled off, she smacked the side of his face and bolted toward the road. She could feel him chasing her down.
She reached the road and stumbled on a branch just as a small pickup slammed the brakes. A second later, she felt the boy stumbling over her and watched as he fell into the path of the swerving pickup, his scream amplified by the humid night. The pickup halted, then sped away, blue oil smoke jetting from the exhaust.
The boy moaned, looked up and pleaded for her to get help. She could see his ankle was crushed and his left arm was bent at a crazy angle. He reached out to her with his other hand. She bent down to get a good look at his face now unobscured by her fear. He pleaded again. She looked down at her boots and jumped on his windpipe. She heard him gurgle. Again she jumped, and again.
Her mother wrapped Louisa in her arms as she told her that boy was going to bother her no more because he got hit by a car.
“I know he was evil,” Momma told her, still stroking her hair. “But we should ask Reverend Kelsey to pray for him.”
“Momma,” Louisa replied softly, “his boy was the one doing this to me.”