#44 To Make a Man

by Maggie Libby Davis

His momma’s in the kitchen crying now. Best leave her be. My boy biked off after putting the shovel away. Suppose he’s mad at me. But how else’ll he learn? And not like I didn’t tell him. But the way his momma coddles him, no wonder he didn’t listen.

And she spoils him – like he’s some prince. Well I ain’t no king in no castle. Boy’s already nine and no chores to speak of. He needs responsibility, not a momma always caving. That’s how this started – him wanting that dog, her rolling like a cat under a car tire.

And this morning, I’ll be damned if that dog didn’t chew up my boots. I’d said, one more thing got chewed, that dog was gone. So true to my word, I got my boy up, took him and that dog out past the woodpile, handed him my pistol and said, “Reckon you know how to use this.”

Boy looked about ready to cry, face all twisted. Well I ain’t raising no sissy-boy, but I’m no monster, so I said I’d hold it steady, but he’d have to pull the trigger. Not my dog to shoot. What good would it do him if I did?

His momma run out after, hollering about her baby and that dog not knowing better. Way I see it she’s part to blame. But I only got so much fight in me – my focus is my boy.

So let him be mad now. One day he’ll understand.


Deb said...

Great voice here. This is one of my favorites - I've read it numerous times although I hated this guy from the get go. The statement "I'm no monster" while everything he says and does proves he is...You really nailed this character. Great work.

L said...

This is excellent, the only piece so far that's moved me in some way.

C. Sonberg Larson said...

Intense. Emotionally riveting. The disturbing imagery of what took place stays with me. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Definitely written by a person with anger issues. Very disturbing piece.