Retro Thursday 7-8-2021

 BY ATHLING2001

Response – JSW Prompt 6-25-2018

An apple a day keeps anyone away if you throw it hard enough.

Truth. Particularly when you core the apple and fill it with lead. Apple bombs, Jason calls’em. Biggest part of our arsenal, but then again, we was squatting on an old apple farm. You learn to use what you have until you have nothing.

Then you run like hell.

(Don’t tell no one I said that last. Don’t want my ass whipped into next Sunday.)

Guess you’ll want to know why we was squatting on the apple farm, lobbing apple bombs at them law folk. Well, they wanted us out. Wanted to arrest Jason. He’s the oldest, 17 now, though he acts more like 7 sometimes.

Can’t blame him. He shot them cows cause we was hungry. Gotta take care of family whether you like’em or not. It’s in the Bible. Least wise, I think it is. Don’t read so good myself.  Susan is the reader, reads to us most nights, just before dark.

She’s next oldest. Almost 16. Old Maid territory, but that ain’t worth mentioning either less I wanna get whipped.

I’m Teddy and I’m ten. Too big to be a baby and not big enough to do the heavy work. So, guess who gathers the apples, makes them into bombs?

Right. I’ve gotten damn good at it. Ain’t cut myself once.

Been awhile since Momma and Pa died. Got the fever both of’em and was gone just like that. Just Jason, Susan, me and the baby. Addie. She’s too young to do anything but burp and poop. Susan takes care of her mostly.

They come after supper, just when dark’s settling over the dying trees and the fallen rocks of the old wall. Weren’t different from any other night. Them lawmen sneaking up, trying to slip into the perimeter.

Perimeter. I like that word. A grown up words, one Pa might have used when he was in the army.

Course, I’m waiting for’em as always. Piles of apple bombs ready to go.

The sky’s pretty tonight. Lots of them stars. Brighter than I remember. Wondering why I’m lying here, looking at stars.

Is it raining?

I don’t feel none on my face, but I can feel the wet on my belly, hands clenched, holding in the rain.

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