State Line. III The Field

. As dusk was choked out by the horizons beam, the only sound heard through the field was young knuckles to aged mandible. Dirt flew, blood wasn’t in short supply from the jaws and nostrils of the two bulls. “Never a single thing to call my own that one of them already hasn’t” “dont I deserve that?” “You ungrateful hellion, I work three jobs so I can afford to bail you out every time the sherrif calls me at three a.m.” Swings were exchanged and cotton and denim was ripped. Red tinted spit and sweat dripped as breaths were taken out of anger, fear, and resentment. “I wont call you father anymore, I wont be under your roof you pathetic biased shepherd”. As he walked toward the barbed wire fence held by wooden post he had no contemplation of what had just occurred. He left in his pickup, leaving his father in the field to tend to the bonding of glue that held family seams together. It wouldn’t be many years till the agent would arrive. This wasn’t the first time this had happened. Weeks prior had left several results to infest the branches of the same field where dried rage lingered. Neither were sure if this handle could hold anymore straws. As the son flared off turning left out of the drive way marking the ditch with fresh gravel paint, the separation between acceleration and fire wall had been erased. Coming to the next turn left the brakes weren’t needed as the same for the ibourbons lid. Both the son and liquor seemed to be gone in a hurry. Barreling through the hills of dirt and rock headed for pavement, never to acknowledge his guilt or sense of being at fault, the only question was how far an eighth tank of gas would go.

. The father stood still pacing near the creek bed trying. to gather composer to face his wife. He asked “was this a punishment? Was being a man of God a set up for repeated tests such as this? Was the connected by my actions to get her help and to keep them safe? I did all this in your name for the betterment of this family”. Tests. Some times its hard to consider the dark times blessings. They tend to be revealed at later dates. Sadly this was yet again another that would prove the fault of that statement. The father walked up past the blackberry bushes and through the fence gate where he could see red hand prints left on the post. He sat on the back tailgate of his work truck and continued to ask for composure. These recipes heard by the flock sitting with their ears pressed to the inside wall across from the dinner table all knew the chance of the sons return to be slim. For several days at least that is. The mother pushed the wooden screen door of the back porch, illuminating her husband by the ear wrenching rusty spring expansion and motion sensor light pole just by the spruce next to the garage. “Father?, table for 6?” “No dear, table for 5.” She steadily strolled towards him wiping her hands of the preparation for dinner, calming her thoughts to be as supportive as can be fully aware of the answers to the questions she would soon ask. She sat her rag down on the tailgate and sat next to him. Her hair wrapped the bandana he had given her earlier in the fall. Floral apron down to the knee where runs in the stockings met them. She was the only beam that could hold up the barn at that moment after a storm like that. “Was it the neighbors horses again?” She asked. “Not this time” the father replied. “Shine?”, the mother whispered at the ground.””If only” the father said with the dark scent of regretful upbringing. He had considered several times as the five fingered hammers flew “I never had this site with my father”. If only the knowledge of why that mind developed as such was within his reach. It wasn’t from his pool, although evident he never grabbed on to such a conclusion. “What then?” The mother asked, by process of elimination she knew firmly of the answer now. “Ma, he grew. He grew half an acre at least.” With as much respect and pride a parent could have for their child, he was able to get that sentence out with love only found in that circle. “I knew he had gotten fired from his job, the new wheels and parts on his truck were coming from somewhere. I didn’t see this being the source of those purchases.” The father explained. As she swung her legs and inched closer to his side she ask “What are we to do? With the remainder I mean. I know he’ll be back”. She had a hint of blame in her statement. Something she regularly coated her sentences and breathy word in. It hadn’t been five years since her trip north. She would hold to that for the rest of his days. As orange as the sky was at that moment, you thought the lord had burnt the stars to rejuvenate the sky as they were beginning to appear. “I’ll burn it through the night if I can get some help. I imagine i can finish before I need to be making my rounds.” As the flock still with their ears to the wall heard the sound of their mother hopping off the tailgate, they knew they had twenty seconds to retrieve a frozen candy bar, hide it, and be seated at the table with their thankful prayers of the day ready before their father would give grace and bless their food. This was by no means a “chance” estimate of time. Their was calculated practice to this program. As the mother began her paced walk back to the house her husbanded headed for the rotary phone inside his building. He received to hands to help him with his moon light labor he would be tending to.

. Hitting the pavement he had two choices, a scenic drive west to find the bottom of the bottle, or east to drag the trees and reload his thirst, surely by arrival of the latter his drink would be dry. He chose the west knowing the law be less likely present that way. Dashes in the road become dots of blurred sun flowered yellow as did the existence of forgiveness and judgment in the sons view. There had never been a bonding allowance from him to the father. He fought every chance he took since his first words and steps. Knowing his fathers duties as a Godly man, he was raised in such way you would think some of that influence would have retained a place in his character. Again not the case. In the dominate genetic code embedded from the blood of the unstable giver, was reason for turbulence. Nothing of that source was to be consider even remotely fathomable for the lifelong plague of actions the son had delivered.

. The needle spoke of triple digits by the time he heard his rifle slide out from under the seat with the sound of shells spilling out of the box and onto the floor. The loud radio drowned out the sound of the engine topping out, alongside his slurred speech across the cb airwaves. “Breaker niner delta this is the red headed step child seeking approval for lift off.” “Hey I know you lot lizard loving truckers can hear me.” He rambled on as such for several minutes before the local sheriff chimed in. “Ya red headed step child, we just picked up a couple ounces and a pint headed towards the dam. Care to join?” “Ahh hot dang I knew there was some good time fellas out there. I’ll be there in five.” He obliviously replied to the sheriffs set up. The brakes had collected their fair share of dust at this point with the tank nearly deserted from fuel replicating the bottle he had consumed.

. If only these actions were a mask made from fear. Sadly this was his real face. Not a trace of descents in his fiber. He was only a quarter mile from the river dam when the 12 point ran onto the road. He slammed on the brakes and swerved to miss the massive creature who stood as stone in the center of what he considered “his” path. To his luck, the son swerved onto a service road for the dam coming to a stop before colliding with the tree line. He got out to see if reality was still actually happening or if the intoxicated dream was still where he lay. He could hear an engine running on the other side of the tree line. He walked towards the engine to investigate hoping to find the trucker. The non illuminated red and blue top of the patrol was spotted before anything else. Surprising as it may seem under this type of condition, he managed to get himself back to his truck in a hasty fashion. Not inside did he reach mind you, but at this the third hour of the morning, he lay passed out in the mud by his truck with the door open, and his night of revenge over.

. The flock had just sat down to the table after hiding their frozen treats in the usual places as the mother reached the back door. Before she stepped foot in the door she hollered “put the candy back its for after super.” The flock left the table and did just that. Arriving back as the last. Brown opaque pyrex bowl of scalloped potatoes was being placed on the table. They awaited the head of the table to be seated and ask them what they were thankful for. Dinner was uninterrupted and almost therapeutical to the father that evening. A full stomach and some quiet time can do wonders for a man. He sat out after dinner to the acre he saw as failure. The mother, as every evening waited for the father to procure his after dinner activities so as she could hers. She had one specific that routinely happening. Only one of the flock was aware of her after dinner activity and sadly it was the youngest. She had seen her mother several times go out back behind the building and stick her finger down her throat, all in the name of “looking your best for your man” as her grandmother had engraved into her mother. This wasn’t something known anywhere but by the youngest of the flock.

. After clean up and finishing school work the flock went to bed as did the mother. The father with his help were out with their masks on controlling the burn of the acre overgrown with the son’s “profitable crop”. He had the sweat of shame upon him as the men in the field knew what they were burning, but at this the third hour of the morning, he stands once again cleaning up the mess of his son whom he would do just as every loving parent would to hold a family together.

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