Three Minute Fiction

In 1952 or ’54, or somewhere in there, USDA Price Supports caused Milk Wars in south Mississippi, and maybe across the south and even the entire US. … Miscreants would block lonely stenches of road with pulp wood  trucks, or some such, pull the driver out of the truck and dump the contents of a hundred or more ten-gallon milk cans into the road side ditch.

I’m not sure what they hoped to accomplish. I’ll get back to  you on that.

The following is a little piece I jotted down in fifteen minutes as part of a writer’s group exercise: The Day They Took Daddy To Jail.

 Milk Wars

or:  Sending Daddy to Jail …

 

He wasn’t really suppose to go to jail.

They had told him: “Just do it, Eli. We’ll be sure don’t nothin’ happen. … Won’t nobody ever know who done it.”

Well, it didn’t work out that way. The sheriff was there before the sun went down.

“You shouldn’t ‘a done it,” he told daddy.

Mama wouldn’t come out of the house, talk to them. She sent me out, me being the oldest and all.

“Can he come home tomorrow?” I asked. “Mama said can he come home tomorrow?”

“I wouldn’t count on it,” the sheriff said. “Wouldn’t count on it a bit.”

Mama sent my brother Lester out with a clean shirt about then. They had daddy in the back seat already and Lester trying to hand daddy the shirt and daddy trying not to take it and mama standing in the kitchen window yelling out, “Eli, you’ll need a clean shirt, you see the judge tomorrow.”

Finally the sheriff cleared his throat real loud like and slammed the car door and shouted up toward the house, “We’ll send a car out for you tomorrow,  Miss Lucy, if  you want ‘a come in to town.”

She ducked back behind the curtain and we didn’t see her no more. They drove off, making dust in the driveway and it got really quiet. The dogs didn’t even bark.

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About Tom Honea

the south mississippi i grew up in did not yet have paved roads or telephones or televisions. it did have great story tellers, on front porches in the summer or around the fire place in the winter. we were poverty stricken, financially but not culturally. we didn't know it. everybody up and down the road was in the same boat. . after forty years of day jobs i am approaching my "fishing years." i plan to spend them writing. i have a finished and edited deep south novel in the "marketing" stages. currently i'm deep into a WW II home front piece set in the Hampton Roads, VA area. notes and character sketches are already underway for "From Hiroshima to Elvis" ( the ten years after the war ) on the coastal areas of South Carolina. . visit asheville ... come and see me.
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