Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 4: Amy and Billy

This one is like an Appalachian ballad, full of loss and beauty, love and betrayal. Here, Billy has discovered his wife is pregnant by another man.

from Ron Rash's One Foot in Eden:

"What are you going to do, Billy?" she asked.

At that moment I truly did not know. I knew what many another man might do. He'd raise his hand and slap Amy stout enough to lay her flat on the floor. Some would do worse. Then they'd walk out the door and never come back.

"Do you love me?" I finally said, my eyes steady on hers. That was my last question, the one that most mattered.

Amy's blue eyes looked tired, the way they'd been a lot the last couple of months, but she looked pretty, prettier than she'd ever looked, her bosoms and hips fuller, her skin bright and glowing like she'd bathed in a tub of sunshine.

"Yes," she said.

"You swear you'll never be with him again," I said.

"I've done told you that," Amy said.

"Swear it then," I said.

"I swear it," Amy said.

1 comment:

Kathy Waller said...

Twenty-year-olds Henry and Marleen on their honeymoon, from Clyde Edgerton's The Bible Salesman:

They headed to their tent as the bright low sun slowly dropped toward the long line of trees far across the Pamlico Sound.

"Look," said Henry. "Look how far my hand shadow goes down the beach. In a minute it'll go on across the sand and then onto the water and then on out into outer space."

"I never thought about that," said Marleen. "Let's do it. Let's both do it."

They each held up a hand, standing there near the southern tip of the island, their backs to the sun setting over McGarren Sound, their shadows lengthening across the sand, then out onto the ocean.

"It'll be our whole bodies," said Marleen. "Our whole bodies blocking a speck of sunlight from outer space, and...and if you could travel as fast as light, then you could get right out there in space a little ways and then you could see us standing here together for...how many light-years is it across the whole universe?"

"Two hundred billion. I have no idea."

"Let's look it up. Maybe nobody knows. But that's how long our shadows will be out there--together."

"That's a long time."

"Almost forever," said Marleen.

"'And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.' I wonder if the Twenty-third Psalm is any different in the Chicago Bible."

...After dark, and more talking, they settled in the tent. With a flashlight, Henry looked for the "house of the Lord for ever" at the end of the Twenty-third Psalm, the way he'd always seen it.

...
Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord to an old age.

"Marleen, listen." He read the entire psalm to her. "That last sentence has got some meat on it."