“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

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Short fiction, Tom Mooney

3 responses to ““Helpin’ Out Daddy,” a short, short story

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s