Long night on the farm

Long night …

long night
Long night on the farm

The old man slammed the door and staggered across the driveway, opened the door of his old truck and stepped up onto the running board. I heard the starter grinding as he pulled out the hand choke and bounced a couple of times on the gas pedal.    My mother in the background of the kitchen behind me spoke softly, ” Well there he goes again ………”, The old truck coughed to life like a choking dinosaur  and as the transmission ground into first  he rolled the window down and hollered to me, staring at me  through dark glasses ”  Well…………are you coming or not ?” ………….. And I knew two things immediately, One, before the night was over I would be driving this beast of a truck and two, there was no telling where the night would take us all.

Little more, I remember  now , did my mother know the Dad had already begun drinking long before she had come home from work ,  I had found the empty Black Velvet whiskey bottle behind the horse stall  in the barn but  if there is one thing I do know from experience, you don’t question anything about my fathers drinking habits and  you don’t let on what you DO  know to your mother  ,  I always say ”  Why start a third world war if you don’t have to . ”     I looked over as my father yanked the tranny into fourth gear on the long road to town, fifty miles per hour was about all this truck is safely good for and we were doing sixty-two MPH. yet as he held another fifth of whiskey between his legs with his right hand and draped his left over the wheel  I knew, right at this moment my father was in full control ………………and the night itself is young.

Ten miles down the road  I felt the cool evening air coming through the vent window and thought, ” Please God, just let us get through this one night unscathed, while deep down inside  I knew exactly what was going to happen. My father had been talking in the last few months about the failures of justice in the local cops and the courts and how easy it would be to exact revenge on someone,”…. if one had a mind to,  that is “.    Not two years before our family had buried my little brother, just eight years old and struck down by a ‘hit and run ‘ drunk driver.   Since that time the investigation, the court proceedings and the final outcome of a trial had all but torn our family to shreds.   My father had begun a long slide downhill, as they say.

Later that evening, after dark, I looked out of the windshield following his gaze as my father now pretty drunk from sitting at the old diner in town drinking beer, continually arriving brown bottles that were free drinks from friends and co-workers. In my father’s right hand was a loaded handgun, a colt 45 auto he had brought home from the WWII war.  I glanced at him and then out through the windshield at a house in the dark, the windows lit up with the yellow glow of lights within.    At first I did not know whose house this was until after an hour and a half  the porch light snapped on and as the door of the house opened  a man stepped out onto the sagging porch ,  I saw him bend his head, cupping his hands in front of his face a light a cigarette, the glow of the match lighting his face as he shook the match out with one hand and blew a cloud of smoke I knew two things .

One, his night vision was wrecked by the porch light and the lit match and two, he would not be able to see us just a few yards from the front porch of his own house.   Being careful not to seem obvious, I looked slowly over at my father, at his hand with the gun in it, at his gaze seemingly growing more and more intent.  For the following half hour, my father just sat staring, staring and drinking from his open fifth of Black Velvet whiskey in his lap.   I kept half expecting my Father to move, to reach for the door handle, to pick up the handgun or do something, anything, but he just sat watching, waiting but for what I cannot say.   In a few moments, the man standing the porch just yards from the front of the truck turned at a small voice, in the screen door behind him stood a small girl asking “Daddy, daddy,………..will you come back in a read me a good night story?  ”

After the man ground out his cigarette beneath his shoe, turned to his daughter and said,” Yes Amy, come on now, let’s go in and get you ready for bedtime.   The door to the dark house closed slowly behind them, the porch light went out and a curtain dropped. My Father finally stirred.    He reached up and lifted the driver’s door inside handle, opened the door and quietly got out. Standing there at the front of the truck looking at the house  I began to wonder half in a panic, What is he going to do now ……………..?  Yet as my father began to walk towards the house, he stopped, turning slowly he walked around to my door of the truck and through the open window he spoke softly ………..” Slide over will you and drive us on home “.

EdF

Sometime in my life, I started to write about my life journey, in poetry, in story perhaps to sort them out and enter them into a place of safekeeping. The soul of the writer is perhaps best described in their words, emotions and thoughts. If these poems or stories touch something inside you then maybe I have succeeded in sharing. I will not write about my self in profile, because self isn't so important in writing. Only the journey in words and the sharing are important. Why would weever say " Now about me !"........I'd rather write about life, nature, serenity ........

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EdF

Sometime in my life, I started to write about my life journey, in poetry, in story perhaps to sort them out and enter them into a place of safekeeping. The soul of the writer is perhaps best described in their words, emotions and thoughts. If these poems or stories touch something inside you then maybe I have succeeded in sharing. I will not write about my self in profile, because self isn't so important in writing. Only the journey in words and the sharing are important. Why would we ever say " Now about me !"........I'd rather write about life, nature, serenity ........

8 thoughts on “Long night on the farm

  • September 22, 2018 at 1:44 AM
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    Ed, this is a sad story and you expressed some strong emotions that come through clearly to the reader. I shed tears for what the father is suffering within. Very well-written story my friend.

    Reply
    • September 22, 2018 at 5:34 AM
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      Thank you once again Phyllis for all you have done here and for this ! This “story ” is carefully based on a real life story , without outing the guilty and hurting the victims I have changed some details . Perhaps the hard realities of similar and shared stories make us all stronger people or at least more introspective to the human frailties of the hardness within people we cannot understand ? Either way , Thank you my friend !

      Reply
  • September 22, 2018 at 4:06 AM
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    Did you somehow reach inside of me Ed and pull this vision of my past? I wonder. Loved it and hoping for more.

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  • September 22, 2018 at 5:43 AM
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    Hello Kurt , my god I hope these ” visions of my past ” aren’t too close to reality for you . If they are all I can offer being just a simple man is the hope that through it all we can become better people ? I have even learned in life that as a victim , We must learn some way of healing ourselves for our own good.
    Thank you my friend !

    Reply
  • September 22, 2018 at 5:49 AM
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    Kurt , Forgive me but for some reason I did not know or more likely remember that you have such a wide range of books and writings , after viewing your profile , I will definitely be buying some of those !
    Thank you again.

    Reply
  • September 23, 2018 at 10:21 AM
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    Well Ed you reached into my past a tad. I lived with a demon boyfriend of my mothers, a drunk, a fighter and absolute menace to society. It wasn’t until my brother and I beat him so bad within an inch of his life that we finally got him away from my mother and all the pain he put her through as well as me and my siblings. I’m not suggesting here in any way that your father was such a man, but it’s a devils working when alcohol is placed in the wrong persons soul. Some can handle it better than the next, others just go right out of their minds and turn into a monster. I felt sad for not only you but the man on the porch, not knowing at all what reasons your dad had on his mind that night and what his intent may have been, but fortunately by the grace of God his mind was changed at the last moment or quite possibly that little girl would have lost a daddy that dark night. I emphasize with your past my friend, many of us lived through such scenarios and unfortunately some of us didn’t make it. Well penned my friend.

    Reply
  • September 23, 2018 at 3:13 PM
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    Vincent , yes these experiences chase us throughout our lives , rattle their chains in our nights , play with our emotions and memories . There is much to this story untold and untellable in the sense of justice . Justice is as fleeting a thing as a raven on the wing fighting his own demon – the high winds .
    I am glad for you and your brother if for nothing more than just the immediate need for real justice . I believe wholeheartedly in universal justice when all else fails, and all else fails so often . Be well my friend and remember , we are never alone in our nights . My thoughts with you , your brother and God rest your mother !

    THank you as always !

    Reply
  • November 29, 2018 at 2:03 AM
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    A touching story Ed. You always have a way of reaching into a reader’s heart or mind and pulling at the emotions. Good job once again.

    Reply

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