Deadville, South Dakota

Submitted into Contest #8 in response to: Write a story about an adventure in a small town.... view prompt



Deadville, South Dakota

 “Wake up. It is time to hit the road again,” my mother said. 

Ginger yawned and stretched her legs and arms and tried to shake off the sleep from her stiff body. Her brothers were still sleeping like they were home tucked in their warm beds. They loved camping and seemed right at home in their sleeping bags in this small cramped tent. The expression ‘snug as a bug in a rug’ came to mind as she watched them and listened to them snore. 

She grabbed her sweatshirt and stuck her feet in her sneakers. Her dad was up already and she could smell that he was cooking bacon and it smelled r-e-a-l good. One thing about camping is that is surely brought out your appetite. She was as hungry as a grizzly bear coming out of hibernation.

She looked at her brothers sleeping and hated to wake them up, but she quickly went into big sister mode and started nudging them with her foot. 

“Get up the two of you, Ma said, we got get up.”

“Stop, leave me alone,” her brother Wesley grumbled. 

“Dad is cooking bacon this morning and I going to make sure I eat it all up”.

“Bacon?” her brother said.

That did the trick, her brother started sitting up. He pushed their baby brother Trent off of him and said you heard Ginger we have to get up. “Why do you always get in my sleeping bag, you have one of your own?” Wes snapped at Trent.

Ginger rolled her eyes and gave Wes a look. He knew Trent always wanted to sleep with him even when they were home, so nothing had really change, especially since Trent was only three and was afraid sleeping in the tent.

“Leave him alone, before I tell Ma, and he starts crying.”

“Come here Trent.”

Trent came to his sister and she put his hoodie on and looked for his socks and sneakers. She gave him a big hug and whispered in his ear that their father was cooking bacon this morning.

“Come on and let’s leave Wes, maybe he will be in a better mood after breakfast.”

When they came out of the tent, Ginger looked around her mother had already started packing things up in the car.  The sun peeping through the trees made everything have a hazy glow and you could tell even though it was a bit chilly this morning it was going to be a hot day.

“Hey sweetheart, good morning”, her Dad said smiling from ear to ear. Her dad was in his element. How he loved camping and the outdoors. It made Ginger happy to see him so happy and even though camping was really not her thing, she was glad that they were all together and that he was her dad.

“Good morning Dad, that bacon smells real good.”

“Good enough to eat, so help your Mom with the plates and stuff. I got the eggs in the pan.”

Once they have finished breakfast and washed up the tin plates they loaded up and got on the road. Her father had been in the Air Force and he said he had learned a lot about packing. Ginger wasn’t sure how her father got all that stuff in the trunk and on top of the car. People thought her parents were crazy to pack up three kids and a dog and head west to California from New York camping all the way.

Her mom was in the front seat and Trent was sitting in between her parents. Her mother had the map out and was planning their day. Her brother and Rusty, the dog, were in the backseat with Ginger.

Her mom was explaining to her Dad that by her calculations we would be in South Dakota by lunch time. There is a small town that is known for its Indian artifacts and souvenirs. I want to stop there and it isn’t too far out of way. 

Wes was all excited, “Indian stuff, wow that’s cool.”

“You and Trent act like wild Indians so you guys should be right at home, maybe if I get lucky we will find you real family.” Ginger said.

Everyone started laughing and Wes gave Ginger a playful punch on the arm.  

They rode along the next few hours pretty quietly. Ginger was reading her new Nancy Drew mystery and Wes was playing with his baseball cards. Trent had fallen asleep and was curled up next to Rusty who had his head out the window.

Ginger heard her mother tell her Dad that he needed to take the next left on Road 357 and we should be in Deadville in about 40 minutes. Ginger was glad she was ready to get out and stretch her legs and she was sure that Rusty needed to go to the bathroom as well.

After about 40 minutes, Ginger said Ma. “Are we near the town yet? I don’t see anything”. 

“I don’t understand, her mother said, we should be there”. 

Her Dad said, “I see something coming up ahead. It looks like a gas station and a small store. I will stop and ask for directions.”

When they got to the station, her father got out and went into the store. After what seem to be a long time, he came out and said,

“You are not going to believe this, but this is Deadville”

“What this little store and gas station?”, Ginger said in disbelief.

“Yep, and it gets better”.

“Where are the Indians and their stuff?, Wes wanted to know.

They have some neat stuff in the store, Wes come on and get out. The man who runs the store wants to meet you guys. As a matter of fact he is calling all of his friends and relatives and they will all be here shortly.

“What are you talking about?”, her mother asked, confused.

Well it turns out the population of Deadville, is approximately a 100 people and they have never seen or met black folks. 

“Are you kidding Dad”, Ginger said.

“Nope, turns out that they have only seen us on TV.”

“Dad they’ve got to be kidding!” Ginger said.

“No, the man wanted to know if I know the ‘Cosbys’.”

Wes started laughing uncontrollably. He said, “Tell them I’m Theo.”

“Earl, maybe they are going to hurt us. Maybe we should get out of here and quickly,” her mother said worriedly. 

Ginger thought she might be right.

Her Dad smiled and said that he didn’t think we were in any danger but just to be on the safe side, he got his rifle out of the trunk.

In a few minutes, little by little cars and pickups started pulling into the gas station and people started getting out and looking at us. The man in the gas station came out and he and Ginger’s dad started talking to everyone. People were shaking her Dad’s hand like he was the President. Eventually some of the ladies came over to the car and started talking to Ginger’s mom. 

Ginger was scared and was the last one to get out of the car and only got out after her father came and said,

“It’s okay honey, they really just want to meet us. They are curious about us. Nobody is going to hurt us.”

It turned out they did have some Indian artifacts in the store and everyone in the town were descendants from an Indian tribe. They fed us and took pictures with us and treated us like we were celebrities. When we were ready to leave the old man hugged Ginger’s Dad like they were best buddies. Her mother left with a beautiful Indian blanket and the boys had some Indian stones and toys. Ginger got a small Indian girl doll.

In the car, back on the road, we were all just a little bit bewildered; Ginger’s mother said,

“No one will ever believe me when I tell this story.”

“You are right Ma, I was there and I don’t believe it,” Ginger said and everyone started laughing.

September 24, 2019 20:20

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