#70 Faulkner Country Legacy

by Gwen Dandridge

It was a sweltering day in July when the screams came. First from my father as his sleeve caught in the chute of the hay baler, then from my seven-year-old brother who my father sent to get help as first his fingers, then his arm, then his body was pulled into the maw of the machine. The old baler sat outside the dairy barn, a long run to the house for a small boy.

My mother was preparing lunch to take up to him. White bread with baloney, nothing fancy, mayonnaise slathering the side, oozing out along the edges.

I crawled along the floor getting into cupboards and banging pans together, my baby butt scooting along the just mopped floor. The noise outside, the initial chaos, was muted by the fan’s spinning and chunking along. The screen doors were shut to keep the bugs out. Yellow fly paper hung over the sink with trapped bugs stuck on it dying as he was.

My grandparents were there also, screaming and praying for their son, entwined within the machine.

My mother sank into a heap, fainting. They carried her into the front parlor, dialed up the doctor, the brothers, the undertaker.

The small boy was overlooked—amongst the chaos of the blood, the praying and the weeping. Only later did the men look for him and found him wandering amongst the round-bellied brood mares and Charolais cattle. Looking for another path, a different ending on this summer’s day.


Dino Parenti said...

Thouroughly enjoyed this. I found the sandwich description getting under my skin in that wonderfully great faulknerian way. Nice job!

Sam Knight said...

I love the sharp focus of the accident, followed by the horrible normality of the descriptions of everything else. It creates a special kind of horror.

Sarah Laurenson said...

The accident made my heart beat faster. The sandwich made me salivate. Great job eliciting responses. Your imagery and description are spot on.

Gwen_Dandridge said...

Thanks so much for all your comments. Sadly, it is a true story.