Friday, May 28, 2010

Fiction Friday: Mabel

He was shooting birds for sport. A cruel, heartless activity in Mabel’s mind. She was just taking a walk through the prairie behind her house, savoring the warm sun emerging after months of cold. It was meant to be a relaxing walk. A walk where she could forget what had just happened. And for a moment, it was. Her canvas shoes flattening the smooth grass as she walked. Her fingtertips brushing through the breeze and sliding against the cool fabric of her dress. It gave her peace, walking amongst the greatness of the earth. Then she heard the gunshots.

The first one had flattened her. She had thrown herself on the ground, ducking in fear. The crack was loud, but as she pressed her body against the grass, she realized that it was in the distance. How far she could not tell. With the second shot, she looked up to see birds scattering in the sky in the direction of the Cutter’s farm. As the third shot rang out, Mabel could see the birds were fleeing from a cluster of trees on the edge of their property. It was the oldest boy Hank, no doubt, shooting into the trees with his father’s shotgun. Amusing himself by terrorizing others. Just like he’d always done at school when they were younger.

Mabel stood, anger and indignance filling the empty void in her being. She began to stride purposefully across the field, heading for a fight. A few more shots rang out, a few more birds scattered. As she got closer, she had to put her fingers in her ears to shield her fragile soul from the booming sounds.

Finally, she could see him. Standing with his back to her, aiming up at the trees. Wearing a pair of overalls and a cap, he cocked the gun and fired.

“Hey!” Mabel shouted. But her words were drowned out by the cacophony of frightened bird cries. She could see Hank setting up for another shot, so she took a deep breath and tried again.

“Hank Cutter!” she screamed. Hank swung his body around at the sound of his name, gun still raised. Mabel dropped down to the ground to get out of his line of fire. Hank, upon realizing who was standing there, or rather now lying there, lowered his gun to his side.

“Mabel Weatherly? What are you doing sneaking around like that?”

Mabel jumped to her feet, head dizzy with rage. “What do you think you’re doin’ shooting birds for target practice? You think those birds don’t have feelings, you stupid piece of shit? Why don’t you go back to shooting cans off the fence, for Christ sake?”

Hank’s expression was odd. He wasn’t sheepish or guilt-ridden like she’d hoped he’d be after her tirade. Instead, he stared at her curiously, his eyes filled with worry and compassion. Her feet started to give beneath her and she swayed.

“Well what the hell’s the matter with you?” she asked. “Never been yelled at by a woman before?”

Hank shook his head slightly and simply said, “Mabel. You’re bleeding.”

Click here to read Mabel, Part 2

1 comment:

  1. I wasn't sure wether to post on the first part or the 2nd. But great work Teresa!