That's What We're Chewin'
Posted by Jamocha, Jul 26, 2011. 859 views. ID = 4747
This post was written in 3 minutes.
|This is based off a true story my dad told me. (He's Chris who was mentioned for a moment in the passage), and he's the second-youngest of his six siblings. Ever character in this story is a real person, except for Russell, and I chat with my dad about his childhood all the time to make sure I got everybody's personality down. I found this story so hilarious, I had to put it into my own words.|
The sun glared above the clouds, illuminating the sky to nearly grey, as well as the ground where it was shown mercilessly over dehydrated grass, drying the earth, and discoloring the plants that reside in it, as well. The heat was accentuated, blandly baking the atmosphere and the people in it, leading them to perspire and instinctively wipe their brows, the collars of men droopy and disheveled, and the women and girls keeping themselves within the constraints of their home with lack of desire for the humidity to negatively affect their pampered hair or dampen their clothes.
Young boys seemed to disregard it, removing themselves from their homes with bare feet and poorly tucked in shirts that were met with the suspenders on their pants, for it was too hot for leather jackets, to participate in their normal leisure activities, footballs thrown across the streets, and baseballs slapped unforivingly at the same rate, bringing them to soar dangerously close to the windows of the houses that resided nearby. They skidded across the neighborhood stone streets; bumping into displeased pedestrians, and prompting passing vehicles to slowly maneuver themselves around such activity. The shouts of young men could be heard, the stomping of running feet, and beeping horns of vehicles, and the reprimands of mothers from inside the frames of their windows for their sons to be careful, and all of which activity safely represented the normality of the approaching summer season.
Peanut recruited his younger brother, Dave, to go outside with him and walk a mile to the G-Lodge that was in the more urban areas which was out of range of their isolated dairy farm. He mowed lawns and washed cars to gather enough money for another pack of Black Jack gum, and he promised Dave that if he assured him to take the walk by his side, he would buy a pack for him, too. The chickens bobbing their heads outside and the nasty scent of cigarette smoke was a well enough prompt for the boys to exit the house under any aversion, but the rising temperatures that seemed to conspire with the painfully bright sun was the only element that caused hesitation. If the farm was less suburban and closer to other residents, they would have been more than glad to disregard the heat and join the other children in their athletic activities, but within their isolation, their parents and five siblings were the only people they were well acquainted with. School might have contributed, if only the family hadn’t moved around from farm to farm so often.
Peanut awaited his younger brother outside on the porch, and peered ahead over the horizon that fell below the steep of his own front yard. He could barely make out the civilization below, the bustling traffic, and running kids, and yet his desire to join that was somewhat scarce by his lack of acquaintance with the rarity of permanent residence. Sometimes they would stick around one place for a decent time, even a few years, but the chances of perpetual lodges were slim, and Peanut knew better than to allow his desires to form into disappointment when an announcement was made that another move was scheduled. The farms were nice, anyway, shady old cow stalls for hiding from the sun, and tons of dead corn stalks to shave and play Bonsai! with. The game was the older boys’ preference. Peanut was the biggest, so he usually won. Him, Dave, and Chris would sometimes let the girls play, the older girls, Jan, and Jeanie, but Candy was the youngest and far too the littlest to chuck corn stalks, and have corn stalks chucked at her, for that matter, and Pinky was already married and out of the house. Chris was little, too, but he was a boy, and it seemed he had the athletic inborn skill of one to join in games without the cowering of getting hurt.
The impatience Peanut inherited from his mother began to escalate somewhat, and he leaned into the cracked open door in front of the stoop to ejaculate such feeling. “Dave, hurry up, will ya’?!”
“I can’t find my sneaker, Peanut!”
“Then go bare foot!”
“Nome, I don’t want to step in them chicken droppins’!”
Peanut knew better than to attempt in arguing with his brother; all of his siblings shared an equality of immense stubbornness, though Peanut didn’t see such a trait in himself.
Dave sprang out of the house, hopping over the stoop and missing Peanut by inches, both feet clothed in his worn sneakers. Upon turning around to his rising brother, he observed the narrow in his brow. “You want me to go or not, Mister Priss?” he said, his own eyes reflecting his brother’s. “Keep yer pants on, it only took me a few minutes.”
“That’s a few less minutes of my day,” Dave argued in a grunt as a result of his stiffened limbs attempting to straighten out from his hunched over position. He strategically propelled himself in a sprint as he leaped off the front step, so that Peanut could not reply, his confidence assuring him his brother would follow behind in spite of the momentary malice. As soon as he stepped out from other the front door’s awning, he felt the heat suddenly exaggerated, and shifted his collar to allow the breeze of his increasing momentum from running down the hill to pervade his light clothing. The grass that was being pounded by his feet was dead and brown, the green patches that survived lightened and on their way to joining the other dehydrated blades, and the sky was hazy and a faded hue matching the rest of the atmosphere’s vibe. As Dave continued to run, he could feel his breath fall shorter, but was motivated to continue by the continuously more visible civilization below. The only thing that separated it from the farm was a quarter mile of grassy land, and when that was conquered, a brick street horizontally parallel to the farm that sat in between two rows of urban stores and cafes, the town expanding into different routes as the avenue stretched further down. Ordinarily, boys would be wandering around with their hair slicked back and shoulders accentuated under their black jackets going into cafes with their girls or intentions of picking one up, but with the heat of the season the streets were instead littered with the younger boys engaging in their sports, and the older ones without cars stayed in their houses. Mustangs and other vehicles that drove up the avenue were scarce, but upon their infrequent arrival their horns would honk wildly to get rid of the athletes that ran in their way. All of this was made visually clear when Peanut and Dave were merely feet away.
Peanut hobbled to a stop upon his arrival, twisting backwards to ensure his younger brother was in tow, and merrily hopped on the sidewalk to avoid confrontation of getting in the middle of kickball and baseball games in session in the center of the street. Other pedestrians like elder women with their sun hats on or men carrying grocery bags on either of their sides occasionally wandered passed as well, but not nearly as often as they would on a cooler day. Peanut observed the heat himself and wiped the light perspiration off his brow. The candy shop was further down the street, and he kept in mind the one good thing about the weather was that it would keep long lines at the desk from forming and straining his time.
Dave moved into a jog to stand himself beside his brother while they continued to walk. “How much money you got withch’ ya?
“Right now, a dollar.”
“Don’t forget yer supposed to be buyin’ me that pack of gum.”
“I know, I know. At least wait ‘till we get there to start naggin’ me.”
Dave silenced himself without lacking knowledge that Peanut could easily decline on his deal, and peered around his surroundings to distract himself from the immense temperature. The shops and their awnings made good shade, but the humidity took no breaks in engulfing the atmosphere, not to mention the recovery of the buildings’ shading lasted for all of a second until they pass under another one. Upon wavering his vision from left to right, he observed a mustang slowing down to halt at a nearby traffic light that was on the corner they were destined to approaching, and had he not looked at the car, he would have heard it, provided the blaring music that vibrated the ground it sat on top of. The man inside has dark-skinned with his jeweled wrist drumming the door outside his window, and the air conditioning gently blowing his medium afro’s stray hairs backward. The evaluation lasted only a second until the car retired from its momentary stop, but even once it departed Dave had the uncontrollable yearn to have been relieved by its air conditioning. He had been so used to walking everywhere with his older brother that weather endurance was customary, but this summer had been especially brutal and dry, and the enjoyment of joining his sibling for a walk was starting to grate on such circumstances.
“You ever gonna’ get a car, Peanut?” he inquired, tugging obliviously at his own collar.
“Well yeah, maybe when I’m out of the house an’ married. Cars are a lot of money, Dave. They ain’t easy to get, an’ I don’t even have a job.”
“Well when you gonna’ job? Yer old enough.”
Peanut snorted as if finding his younger brother’s response humorous. “When Mom and Dad decide where they wanna’ stay.”
“Movin’ doesn’t bother ya does it?”
“Nome, it don’t bother me, does it bother you?”
In the midst of the conversation, Peanut and Dave had rounded the corner of the T-shaped intersection, and made their way into the G-Lodge further down the sidewalk. The burst of cool air was delightfully refreshing upon their entrance, and the small copper bell that sounded once the door had opened was so familiar, Peanut nearly hadn’t heard it. The walls lined with shelves of magazines and refrigerators had been an interesting sight at first, but it too had grown so customary it seemed almost as if it were the regular appearance of his home.
Peanut approached the counter with his younger brother by his side, and propped his elbows on its surface, waiting for service whilst the clerk was bent over in the other direction stuffing a box in a shelf attached to the desk at floor-level.
“Oh, hey Peanut, haven’t seen you for a while,” he said once he stood himself upright, and turned around to face his customers. The employee in particular was one that Peanut had become acquainted with on his regular visitations, a young fellow with blonde hair that contradicted his smooth caramel skin, and nearly black eyes. He was years older than Peanut, but could hardly show that in his appearance, looking especially young with his baseball cap twisted backwards and his sneakers peaking out of his bell bottom denim jeans.
“Hey, Russell. Two Blackjacks.”
He obediently hunched over beyond sight and remerged with the two packs of requested liquorish gum in hand, slapping them down on the desk, and tapping his fingers wildly on its surface. “Ten cents.”
Peanut yanked the change out of his pocket, and placed it on the surface, Russell taking it in his hand at the same time Peanut removed the gum. “Thanks, man.”
“Sure thing. Come back whenever.”
Peanut nodded on his way out, smiling at himself at the casualty the clerk exhibited with him; ordinarily the closing line would surely be “Please come back soon,” but it contented him to know Russell was in comfortably acquaintance enough with him to say otherwise.
Dave wasted no time in confronting his brother. “Let me have my pack now.”
Without argument, visibly or verbally, Peanut removed one of the packs from his pocket and handed it down to his brother, bringing out his as well and popping a piece into his mouth. The taste of the black liquorish never wore off its enjoyableness, too bad it only lasted about a minute before the gum turned into the taste of wax.
The walk home hadn’t changed in any element from the walk there, but the difficult ones, like the hotness and the length to endure the hotness was somewhat hindered by the satisfaction of the black liquorish gum. Peanut was more careful to conserve his than Dave, who put two in his mouth at a time and then another two when the taste wore off. Peanut knew Dave was young and naive, and he also knew that soon that inexperience would grate for the better and be as sensible as him…after all, ten cents was hard to make.
Once they reappeared in the backyard, Peanut headed over to the chicken wire fence that kept predators from eating the stock and leaned up against it with his fingers entwined in the square shaped pours. It didn’t occur to him whether or not Dave would follow him or got in the house, but once they were safely back home and virtually surrounded by kin again, the notation didn’t bother him either way. He wasn’t sure why he preferred to go over to the cage rather than cool off inside underneath the worn ceiling fans, but without the smell of cigarette smoke invading the atmosphere from his parents and the knowledge of how little the fans actually worked, it didn’t seem to make much a difference. Besides how noisy and mean the chickens were, it was entertaining to watch them bob their head with every step and peck at invisible objects on the ground. Some of them were outside the open gate of the cage, heretofore it was usually opened during the day, but some also decided they would rather reside in the confides of it and did so accordingly. Peanut wondered if they were actually smart enough to go into the hen house for shade to avoid the heat.
His thoughts were interrupted by the sounds of running little footsteps and when he looking down to see it wasn’t Dave who was standing at his side oblivious to him until that moment, he turned around instinctively along with his brothers to see who was causing the acoustic phenomenon.
Candy. Peanut huffed an indignant sigh under his breath at the unwelcoming realization. His little yappy three-year-old sister that seemed to have no other joy in the world than to get in his business and tell on him for blinking improperly was the last thing he would like to deal with right after his mood was lightened by buying his gum.
“Hey! Hey! Whatch’ ya chewin’?” she barked, looking up at her two older brothers, observing their swollen cheeks and shifting jaws. Peanut caught Dave out of the corner of his eye pulling the pack of gum out of his pocket to show his sister, but elbowed at him to stop. An evil plan had brewed, one that was perfect to chase his sister—who was once again making an attempt at butting into their own business—away and get back at her for being the annoying little pest she was the three long years she was alive.
“You see that?” Peanut said, gesturing to a small black chicken dropping on the ground.
Peanut smirked. “That’s what we’re chewin’.”
Peanut couldn’t suppress the huge defiant smile that spread across his face, the only thing that kept him from bursting out in an evil crackle, and upon looking down at his side, saw that Dave had the face that reflected his… just when Candy bent down and popped the chicken dropping into her mouth.
The face she made was only beaten by the hilarious sound that came after it. A long drawn out “Eeeewwww!” that turned into a sputtering and a wale as she started to scream for Mommy, running back into the house.
Peanut was in trouble. He knew he was in trouble. But it was worth it. It was definitely worth it. He was bent over on top of his knees, laughing hysterically along with the equally as loud and hard gasps from his brother, who was also doubled over and supporting himself on Peanut’s hunched back. Tears threatened to fall.
Shoot. She used my real name.
Peanut straightened and subsided his laughter with extreme difficulty with Dave following suit. But he was still smiling. To do otherwise was asking far too much of himself, and the only thing he could do to even attempt to hide it was bite his bottom lip so hard he thought he might rip it off and swallow it. Dave puckered his lips tightly to help the giggles relinquish themselves, but his form was still shaking as they attempted to vocally present themselves in spite of him.
They hadn’t needed to go inside, because their mother already stomped out, her apron and ankle-length dress flowing left and right in sync with her fists that were swaying wildly as she walked. Looking out of the corner of his eye, Peanut noticed her lips pulled up tight and her brow narrowed menacingly, and he also noticed Candy, Chris, and Jan poking their heads out the side door.
“Why you two—what am I gonna—all the time—“ her grunts of anger came out in sputters like a static-y radio as she marched in front of them. Peanut was still biting his lip, but the laughing was easier to subside with the notation she might slap him and Dave. He didn’t mind it so much, but Dave hated it, and the way he screamed when the hit came shook Peanut every time. Barbra Jean didn’t slap them very often, but the charge she had against them seemed good enough reason to him. Dave was knowledgeable of this as well, and his lips were un-puckered entirely, replaced with a cowardly look as he waited for the blow, verbally or physically.
To their anxiety, she just stood there with her hands on her hips, her lips still pulled up, her head shaking shortly back and forth as if in shame. If she were to hit us, Peanut thought, then she woulda’ done it, already. Perhaps the thought was more in reassurance to himself than actual common sense, but he hoped it rang true as he witnessed his mother looking almost as if she was at a loss of things to say.
“Well I’ll poop on a plate and serve it to you two!”
With that, she marched in the same manner she had approached back towards the house, and Dave and Peanut both looked at each other, not entirely sure what response would be appropriate. She didn’t hit them, she didn’t completely lecture or yell at them…the use of her tone had been somewhat unnerving, but even still it was a surprise to the boys the punishment hadn’t carried on further. On top of that, Candy was Barbara Jean’s favorite next to Chris and everybody knew that.
Maybe she just knew how annoying Candy could be sometimes. Maybe she just didn’t feel like rightly punishing them at the moment. Maybe she kept in mind how often they do get punished, and wanted to cut them a break. Maybe she was cold-hearted, but maybe that’s what she does sometimes.
When her form reclosed the door to the house and she was no longer in sight, Peanut and Dave exchange ambiguously blank expressions and started laughing all over again.Copyright 2011 Jamocha. All rights reserved. FifteenMinutesOfFiction.com has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.
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