Annie once said that
babies grew on trees. Told me I sprouted
from a pink blossom in the apple orchard over yonder hill. Told me she watched me grow fat and red
before plucking me from the branch to bring me home.
Jonathan once told
me that babies came from potatoes. “Cut
one into pieces and you got babies. Just
be sure an’ plant ‘em with their eyes looking towards the sky. The life is in their eyes, Ellie.”
Bitsy said that Annie and Jonathan were full
of shit; said a girl oughta’ know her birds from her bees. But I took their meaning: Life surrounds me on the farm.
Besides, I’d known
early enough where babies came from: Seems every day my mother told me babies
came from mistakes.
“Ellie, hurry up,
we’re gonna’ be late.”
I opened the door,
stepped into the kitchen and stopped: A man I didn’t recognize stood and extended
his hand. “You must be Ellie.”
“I am.” I didn’t return the gesture: I’d shaken the
hands of too many of Neala’s boyfriends.
“Ellie, be nice to
“Don’t need to be nice. He’ll be gone within the week.”
Duane raised his
eyebrows at my mother. “Wild little
beast you’ve got here, Neala.” He poured
a cup of coffee and leaned against the counter eyeing me. “What grade you in?”
I lifted my
“You look older.”
“Figure out your
plans for after graduation?”
right here with me after she finishes high school,” Neala said.
thinks I could get a scholarship.”
doesn’t know what she’s talking about.” My
mother smiled. “Ellie’s going to stay
here and take care of her old mother.”
I knew then that I would never get out of Medford, because my mother—the real monster of this story—would do everything in her power to prevent it, in the same
way that I, by virtue of having been conceived, had prevented her from doing
Labels: Fiction, Trifecta Writing Challenge