Whiskey Voices

In response to photo-fiction 56. This honestly isn’t what I set our to write, but this is what came first, maybe I’ll do another after catching some ZZZ


Her whiskey voice was strained now. Sounding like the rustle of dry leaves and pain. But she had summoned me here and as much as it pained me to listen, I would. She handed me an envelope and held my hand before I could open it.

“My mamma told me one lie in my life.”her voice rasping from her chest around the tubes that gave her breath. “She told me I would be fine, when she sent me off to live with the Hawthorns. But she knew what was to come of me there. She knew that even though Mrs Hawthorn said it wouldn’t hurt when her husband came, that she was lying. Because the mister liked the hurting and the bleeding and the swelling and the tears. My mamma knew, that when me belly started rounding and my chest, not yet breasts started to ache, they would call the doctor. If you could call him a doctor. He was a dirty old man, with a rusty knife and a folding table.”

Couching quaked her body and blood spattered her pillow but she struggled on. “When it happened the second time, I ran. 13 years old and half dead, I ran, to keep you baby.” she cupped my face, and her watery eyes leaked. “I ran for you baby, and until now we been running and he ain’t never found us.” She coughed, and laughed and cried her way into the hear after, still cupping my cheek.

I opened the envelope 6 days after her funeral, I remember it was raining. A letter and a picture of my mother at 14. I read the letter, my daddy Mr. R. Hawthorn was dead, and to his daughter, his only remaining kin, his estate and his plea for forgiveness.


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