“Helpin’ Out Daddy,” a short, short story

cherry-tomatoes-plant-725x544Red sun blisterin’ hot, dryin’ out morning dew.  No money till pickin’ time.  Plastic sheets coverin’ sulfury-smellin’ dirt, screechin’ underfoot.  Findin’ her place, bucket in hand.  Endless rows of plump fruit fixin’ to swamp her. Mr. C. livin’ in her head, pushin’.  “Hey, girl, you late.  No profit in dallyin’.  Finish yer row, have somethin’ special for ya tonight.” Seen Mr. C’s special before; not bitin’ today. Tomato plants first harvest full.  Hands in, hands out, two fisted, don’t never look ahead, one plant at a time.   No bruisin’, set ‘em easy in the bucket. Mr. C. blatherin’.  “You doin’ good, girl, keep to it.  Big money this week, 45 cent a bucket.  Make your daddy proud helpin’ out.” Sweat pourin’ down, back achin’, makin’ Daddy proud. No schoolin’ today, no schoolin’ tomorrow, schoolin’ a dream gone by. Break for a drink, needin’ to make water.  Kill two birds, Angel say.  Mr. C. watchin’, drillin’ holes in her.  Don’t give him a never mind. Back at work, Mr. C. fussin’.  “Yer bucket’s underweight, girl, take four more fruit, easy.” He bends close. “But shortweight don’t matter, we be meetin’ up.” Working her row, sayin’ nothin’, prayin’ he go away.  Sun drainin’, feelin’ faint, Godamighty, endless row. Mr. C. hollerin’.  “Get me a damn stretcher, boy.” Wakin’ in the row house all alone.  Row lady comin’ in.  “You better now, girl?  Back to it or home, what’s it gonna be? Sittin’ up, feelin’ better.  “Goin’ back, helpin’ out Daddy, what you think?”

Cherry tomatoes plant


Published by monkmoonman

I'm a soapbox Irishman with a fever to set things right in the world. I write stories and poems about the planned genocide of Native Americans, the troubles of youngsters trapped in Special Ed classes, and the fallacy of celibacy in the Catholic church. If you're feverish like me, tune me in.

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