Sure Enough (short fiction)

Sure Enough

After the cows had been pailed and the barn chores done the man and the boy walked in the twilight down the dusty lane toward a corn field on the other side of the meadow.

The man balanced his elbows on the top strand of fence and scanned endless rows of stalks that had sickened and jaundiced under the scorch of rainless weeks.  Sensing the man’s anxiety, the boy minded his place and stayed silent.

“She should’ve been knee-high by the Fourth of July, and look at her,” the man finally worried aloud.  From his mouth he pulled a stem of timothy and waved it in the general direction of the runty corn.  “We just got to have rain soon,” the man continued, more to himself than the boy, “or we aint gonna have fodder worth a tinker.”

Corn, as the boy well knew, was a mighty important crop to the family.  There had to be the yellow ears that’d feed the Berkshires into sow belly and hams for the winter; and from fodder came the ensilage for Holsteins that gave milk to fetch in what cash money there was.

The boy, still quiet, wondered why God never seemed to make the weather right for crops.  It was always too wet or too dry—too wet or too cold.  No, never exactly right, it seemed.  It rained when you needed to plow; and it didn’t rain when you wanted to grow corn.

Dusk blotted the parched field from view as the two tramped back up the lane.  Reaching the weather-blackened barn, the man and the boy, each in overalls of scrubbed-out blue, sprawled on the side of a grassy bank that formed a driveway up to the barn floor and its haymows.

Sitting in the quiet the boy felt a sudden closeness to this stern man who was his father.  It was nice, the boy allowed, just being there together—not talking words.

The feel of the moment was broken for the boy when the man exclaimed:  “Hey–smells like rain in the air right now!”

They got up and walked beyond the locusts near the watering trough for a better look at the sky.  Sure enough.  It was blacking up, and a breeze started freshing the evening’s stickiness.  In a few minutes a rumbling and a flashing let loose.

The man and the boy stood for a spell in the barn’s open doorway and peered silently at the rain as it spattered into the thirsty earth.  Even in the darkness the two could see the downpour give new green to grass and leaves.   The air smelled good in their noses.

“It’ll save the corn sure as shootin’,” said the man to the boy.  They grinned at each other, and, looking up, they let the rain pepper their faces as they walked side-by-side down the path toward a light in the kitchen window.

10 Responses to “Sure Enough (short fiction)”

  1. Love love LOVE this.

    • sethdellinger Says:

      Thankee sir. This was going to be part of a bigger, three part (but mostly plotless) beast of a thing, but even this little blurb took me a freakin week to write, so I stopped here. It’s not much but I like it.

  2. So simple but also very profound. I love when you write stories like this. It’s like theres meaning in the smallest things.

  3. Its good even though missing a central theme or plot. I like how the boy and the man are distant but come together in the end.

  4. This kind of writing doesn’t need a plot, it stands on it’s own. Reading this is like eating s’mores. It’s delightful and it’s “just because”.

  5. Mebbe ya had to hit the books for this’un. That week was very well spent.

    • sethdellinger Says:

      Haha indeed I did Momma, you knwo I did not know half that shit off the top of my head! I didn’t even know what timothy was!

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