The trouble with springtime is that everything grows. The temperature rises, the snow melts, the birds start their incessant chirping and there are more bugs than you got Raid. The sun begins baking the ground, melting the snow in the mountains, waking everything up that’s been sleeping all winter. Flowers and plants blossom and tree seedlings pop their heads out of the thawing ground. If you’re lucky with a wife and been snowbound all winter you might even have a baby being born soon. But that’s not my story, never could’ve been. In my case, springtime’s a time when folks find things you never wanted them to find. They find things you wanted to keep hidden, forever, and they would’ve been if'n it weren’t for my own shortcomings.
But generally, springtime’s a mess. Before you have a chance of slipping on your hip waders you’re drowin’ in those tall weeds with the long sharp thorns that stick in your skin drawin’ blood. And God forbid you get that devil grass. You ever have that? There’s only one cure for it…Roundup. If’n it’s not too late, you might think about using some of it on me today. I’d consider it, apropos…considering. And I’d prefer it over this sponge and electrodes you have me hooked up to.
Where was I?
You were confessing. Lease ways that’s what you told us.
Ahh, right…ahem, in winter nature puts most things to sleep. Some things do die; the unfortunate ones. But I come alive. The cold…the quiet…it settles my mind, stops it from spinning, where springtime does just the opposite. Come the first thaw and I start hearing that sound, that constant drip-drip-drip. I feel like my head’s gonna explode. I feel like I’m being tortured, ya know what I mean?
Could you towel off my face? That water trickling down is stinging my eyes. Why does it have to sting?
It’s salt water. It has to be. That’s part of the procedure.
Yeah, if you say so. I still think Roundup would do the trick just fine.
Stop stallin’ and get on with it!
Like I said, what I like most about winter is the snow. It covers up all your mistakes; all your faux pas and misunderstandings, especially if you’ve had a little brain fart of a moment with your dumbass neighbor like I did. The snow covers up all the sins you’ve made during the summer. It kinda acts like Botox; you know that crap old women pump into their faces to hide all them crows feet wrinkles around their eyes.
Winter to me is like a warm blanket.
I admit I make a doozy of a mistake. I hear some folks say it was an honest mistake and I appreciate that. I hear other folks say I made an error in judgment, and that the same thing could've happened to them too if'n they were in my shoes. But they're not sittin' where I'm sittin', sportin’ a metal baseball cap. Maybe it wasn’t the best decision I ever made—piss poor one as it turns out.
So here I am, asking for forgiveness and confessing my sins to all of you and the good Lord above, by telling my story and owning up to it.
My public defender, who can't be here today on account he had somethin' more important to tend to, said I was convicted by a jury of my peers—that and the fact I'm as guilty as sin. And I should know because I am a sinner. But let's be clear, this whole mess was a complete misunderstanding. I mean, I did shoot the guy, but just like folks say it was an honest mistake; it was an accident, pure and simple. C'mon, everyone knows what it's like livin’ in these mountains when huntin' season first starts. Hunters get all excited, decked out in camouflage gear, carrying lots of rifles with lots of ammo, and sneaking around in the woods, blendin' in with their surroundings. Then, through no fault of nobody, one of 'em ends up shootin' the other one thinkin' they're shootin' at a real animal. I’m surprised it don’t happen more often. Now, in my particular case the animal I was shootin' at turned out to be a nosey neighbor. He was a mean spiteful old man anyway, ain't nobody I know who was sorry to see him leave this earth. But, since deer huntin' season just opened up, and from where I was standin’ he sure looked like one, I shot and split his scalp. Right down the middle it went.
I want you all to know, and as God as my witness, I simply had a momentary lapse of reason; you know…a brain fart. My mind got tied up in knots, again. It gets that way some times during the melt. I made a mistake and I know now I never should've dug a hole and thrown him in, especially with the top of his head sticking out.
Anyways, afterward the deed was done; I go back to my cabin to heat up some of my tasty squirrel stew for dinner. So I’m sittin’ there eatin’, minding my own business, when two deputies come poundin’ on my door. It ‘bout scared me to death, knockin’ in the middle of the night like that. They said they had reports of shots fired and came to have a look see. After a time lookin’ around, that’s when they saw somethin’ stickin’ out of the snow. At first they weren’t sure what it was. From where they stood it coulda been anything: a tree stump, bald tire, even a rock. It was the dark red color running through the top like it was split in two that lit a fire under ‘em. When they got closer that’s when they realized what it really was. They were a might shook up never havin’ seen a dead body before. I tried to tell ‘em it was no different than seein’ a dead critter, just with two legs.
It turns out that springtime will only mean an earlier than expected death for me. Like I said, I like the quietness of winter.
You finished? You’ve been yackin’ a mighty long time.
Yes, Sir, them’s my last words. I think I’ve said everything I got to say. Yeah, I’m sure of it. I guess I should be, huh? You can flip the switch now; I’m ready to meet my Maker. Oh, one more thing, can you do me a favor? Can you take all those flowers and potted plants outta here? They’re blooming and startin’ to smell. Like I was saying, I hate springtime. You understand.
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I enjoyed it a great deal, I enjoyed the way you used the dialect of a person who is trying to make himself feel humbled. The ending was very well done. The whole story really was well done.
I appreciate your comments so much, Suzanne! Thanks!
A very nice story and I enjoy reading it
I like the way the protagonist is trying to make a case for himself. You lure the reader into a certain direction, but still the end came pretty unexpected! Thanks for this lovely blood chilller!
Thanks, Myriam. I'm glad you enjoyed the twist at the end.
I really enjoyed your character's tone and manner of speaking. I was laughing a bit when he describes shooting his neighbor as just being a brain fart. Great story!
Thanks, Kharl, I appreciate your kind words. It took the story on how it was intended. :)
Wow! I really loved this story, I like the way you wrote it! I was wondering if you have any tips for a middle grade writer like me?
Thanks, Aida. No Likes? :( I know you've heard it before, but read a lot and write a lot. You take away so much from good authors which helps you write better and better. For this story I had a basic idea and tried to write it from a certain POV. The dialog was as "natural" as I could make it.
Thanks so much!