William Doonan

I write books and stories.

MedicineLand: Preface

with 3 comments

MedicineLand: Preface

“No telling when,” Prosper began.  He was cradling his Christmas shotgun like a baby and staring staring out the trailer’s kitchen window.  “No telling when, but they’re coming for me.  They got a file on me thicker than the Modesto phonebook.”

Adele tore the wrappers off two ice cream sandwiches and leaned back into the couch.  “There ain’t nobody coming for you,” she said.  “Why on earth would they come for you anyhow.  You ain’t done nothing.  Nothing at all, matter of fact.  You ain’t even worked in more’n a year.”

“My back, mama.  It’s my back.  I told you I’m disabled.  I can’t work, like Freddy.  Freddy gets a check for $967 each and every month.  That’s what I’m aiming for, and I’d have it by now except for that Jew doctor.”

“You are a stupid ass, Prosper,” she said, licking chocolate from her fingers.  “There ain’t no Jews at all in the entire Central Valley.  What’s more, your cousin Freddy got blown up, which is why he don’t have any ears or a arm.  You, on the other hand, are just lazy.  And by the way, who is it you think sends that $967 disability check each month?”

He tested the lock on the trailer door just to be sure.  “What do you mean who sends it?  The disability people send it.”

“Sweet Jesus, you don’t have the sense that God gave a slice of ham.  There are no disability people, Prosper.  It’s the government what sends the check.”

Prosper spun around and stared at her, clutching the shotgun even closer.  He shook his head.

“That’s right, the government, the one what supposedly has that file on you.”  She pushed the ice cream deep into her mouth and chewed.  “No wonder they ain’t giving you no disability.  On top of the fact you ain’t disabled, you’re also an idiot.  What is it you think is in this secret government file anyhow?”

“I hate when you make fun of me, mama,” he said.  “I told you, I’m a patriot.  The government got no use for patriots now days.  They gonna hunt us.  That’s why we started the militia, because the government hates real Americans.  And now they hate us more cause we’re a threat.”

Adele took another large bite and shook her head, thinking this through.  “You ain’t a threat, Prosper, cause you didn’t start no militia.  You and Ovid and Freddy sitting out in the shed getting drunk is not a militia.  It is three drunk assholes whining about the constitution, which you ain’t none of you even read.  Ovid Farley is dumber than a pine cone, and Freddy don’t even have any ears to listen to your ranting or a arm to hold a gun, cause he got blown up.  So he is unlikely to be considered much of a threat by the federal government.  Now bring me my pipe.”

“Please, mama,” he said, resting the shotgun by the door.  He took the shoe box from the top of the TV and set it on her lap next to the ice cream box.  “You said you’d share if I cleaned up the trailer and I did.”

“Did you now?”  Adele asked.  She unscrewed the little vial and tapped three small crystal rocks into the bowl of the pipe.  “If it’s so clean how come there’s still that slick there on the carpet from last week when Maddie’s boy shit through his diaper?  Did you miss that in your inspection?  That boy is six years old and still walking around wearing a Pamper, shitting up my trailer.”  She lit the rocks and inhaled.

“Please, mama.”  Propser wet a dish towel and began wiping the stain.  “I cleaned the dishes and I made my bed.”

“You made your bed,” she repeated as she exhaled.  “You make me so proud, Prosper.  Why it seems like just yesterday you was only twenty-nine years old, and already you’re making your bed.  I should maybe call up the folks at the University and see if they’re hiring.”

“Please, mama.”

“I tell you what, Prosper, when that first disability check comes in, you can go down to the public library and purchase your own rocks like everyone else does.  But until then, you got to live in accordance with a budget, and you done already spent your allowance on your own rocks, so you leave your poor mother be.  Besides, this particular blend is for women only.  It has vitamins in it, Calcium and such to aid with my menstriation.”

Prosper kicked the wall.  “It’s not fair,” he said angrily.  “I shared mine with you just the other day when you didn’t have any.”

“You talking about Halloween?  That wasn’t just the other day, that was months ago.  Halloween, when you was wearing the cape and the vampire teeth, right?”

“It wasn’t Halloween.  It was only about two weeks ago.”

“Prosper, the only time I recall you ever sharing with me was at the Halloween party, so it was not two weeks ago.”

“It was too,” he whined.

“You don’t remember you was wearing a cape and vampire teeth?”

“Yeah,” he said weakly.

“Well what is it you think you was dressed like a vampire for, President’s Day?  You really don’t have the brains that the good lord gave a crayon on a hot summer day.”  She held up the pipe.  “You may as well take some of this, Prosper.  It can only help.”

He smiled, took the pipe from her and inhaled.  The pipe fell from his hand and rolled under the coffee table.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Adele demanded, reaching for the pipe.

Prosper stared.  “They’re coming for me, mama,” he said as his eyes rolled back.

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Written by williamdoonan

September 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Posted in MedicineLand

3 Responses

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  1. Wait – is this going to have Schwarzenegger-action sequences with the former governer just as himself? Because…awesome.

    Piscis

    September 30, 2012 at 2:06 am

  2. You had me at Prosper “cradling his Christmas shotgun like a baby.” And I love Adele: “You really don’t have the brains that the good lord gave a crayon on a hot summer day.” Bravo!

    janishaag

    February 3, 2013 at 6:41 pm


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