Why I post thisruntogethermuckitymuck and anyone reads it. I ain' got a clue, but here it is. lol
PC&CG Nano chapter one or somewhere in between
The PT boat cut through the waves riding the growing swells. Sea water pushed aside in folding waves like pigeon wings. All hands were outfitted in foul weather gear.
“Wha’s yore name?”
Hank looked up at the black youngster. He seemed to be about the same age as himself.
“Hank, wha’s yore’s?”
“Bielly Raaay”. The young boy kept at a distance but he kept his eye on Hank and what he was doing. “Wha’s that you got there?” He pointed at the object the young boy Hank was holding against the ground as if it might levitate upwards.
“It’s a PT boat. It’s chasing the Japs out of the Philippine Islands. I had an uncle that was over there somewhere, during the war.” Hank made a wide arc pushing his “PT” boat at top speed chasing a Jap battleship or maybe it was a sub. The sand parted as if saltwater and a loud explosion signaled that another Jap tin can was scrap metal headed to meet old man Poseidon.
“Looks like a sardine can to me.” Billy Ray spoke with a degree of authority that he could see it was a sardine can. “My Daddy buys ‘em all the time down at Frank’s. Everbody know whut a can of sardines look like.” “Ain’t you eva ett sardines?” A scowl had worked its way onto Billy Ray’s forehead. Sardines were a staple for pulp wood hauler. He had assumed Hank’s daddy was a pulp wood hauler seeing that Hank had no business being there if he wasn’t. Billy Ray was sure this Hank fellow didn’t get around much.
Hank picked up the sardine can and inspected it closely and put it back onto the roaring sea and made another swift arc.
“Well, it’s my PT boat. There are a bunch of them under that tree over by the check-in shack.” He turned his head and nodded in the direction of the old post office building that had long since been closed for its initial purpose. He never took his eyes of the sleek PT boat, ever in its quest for more Jap raiders. “Go get you one and help me fight off these Japs.”
Billy Ray hesitated for a moment then he spun around and took off toward the old post office. Dirt flew up each time he took a step with the legs of his tattered overall pant legs flapping like a pair of flags. His selection for his warship only took a few seconds and with a twirl he headed back to the battle in a full run.
“I got me one.” Billy Ray was beaming. He had shed a portion of his shyness during his quest for just the right can for his “boat”. He squatted on his knees and his PT boat roared to life. Between the two of them, those Japs didn’t stand a chance. A sudden duo of explosions erupting from each youngster simultaneously confirms this to be a fact.
“Billy Ray, ya ever eat any sardines?” Hank had been thinking about the first time he remembered seeing Billy Ray.
“Why, ya needin’ a new PT boat?” Both let go of a polite chuckle. “How come you think about that? I was thinking about that when we stopped for gas back yonder, aways. I used to kinda like ‘em. They stop a growl but I don’t much care for the smell.”
A quiet pause, then they cut their eyes at each other at the same time and gave each other another polite chuckle. “That was a while back wadn’t it? We might have to stop and get a couple of cans. I’ll stop and run into some roadside store along the way and get us a snack. It’s a long way before we get to NaOwlens.”
Neither spoke of it but both had been wondering how it would be once they got there. Around home everyone knew each other and even though a lot of changes had been taking place, it was still unspoken that there were “places” and each should keep in mind where those places were. Seldom did you hear anyone say specifically, “You better know you place”, it still was pretty much on the forefront of everyone’s mind. A stroke of the pen doesn’t blot out centuries of lifestyles and habits. The civil rights act had changed a lot of signs and removed just as many, but habits die slowly and hatred seems to simmer forever. Hank and Billy Ray had gone to separate schools during the early years but going into high school the school system had integrated all the county schools and the high school in their area was total consolidation instead of using a government quota arrangement. Other areas of the country had not enjoyed the success as they had with their school. There had been no situations of conflict other than what you would expect from a segregated school. To say there was nothing to adjust to would not be honest, but during their three years of high school together, there had been no conflicts between either of them or any of the other students.
“We get those seeds loaded, we’ll get us sumthin’ to eat and we’ll come back and bunk down at the feed house. There ain’t no need in us spending money on a motel tonight. Hell, the rats will probably be bigger than the motel rats but at least they won’t be hungry, being they will be fattened up on the spilt feed.” Billy Ray knew the “rat” part was for comic relief and he anted up with an honest laugh.
“Ye’uh that’l be Ok wit me.” Hank knew Billy Ray knew the real reason for the plan. As long as they had known each other, they both had tried to walk the line of “place” without talking about it. He knew someday it would have to be an issue to settle but today didn’t seem like the time to tackle it. They rode in silence for several miles. Louisiana roads seemed lonelier than the ones back home. The rear mud grip tires sang a dirge as the old pickup kept a steady pace south.
“Well fellers, that’s all he ordered.” The fourth and last hundred pound sack of seed threw up a cloud of dust as it bounced on to the oak boards of the Chevy truck.
“Ya’ll bout messed around rummaging through those old junk shops and got here too late. There ain’t nothin but shit that oughta be thowed away in them places any how. I wouldn’t trade a twenty five pound sack of hen scratch fer all you could tote off in that there pickup of your’n. I ain’t figgered out where they git that shit from, no how. Anyways that room in there where I keep that horse tack can be ye room for tonight if’n ye still wanna stay here. Theres enough saddle blankets in there to make ye a pallet, maybe even for cover. I’m gonna lock up but I’ll hide this key over the third window above the lintel. Anything comes up missing, it’ll be ya’ll’s asses. If ye mess around down in the French Quarter and ye mess with the wrong people and ye don’t get ye ass cut up, then the poo-leece will put ye up fer the night. Either way, it ain’t no skin off my ass, so ya’ll be keerful. They’s plenty to do without actin like some shit-for-brains, doing sumthin stupid. Hit ain’t none of my business but a feller like him can still git in a heap of trouble over pretty much of nuttin.” With a quick nod toward Billy Ray, the message was sent. Wil’Like I said, ain’t none of my bid-ness, I’m just sayin’.” Mr. Mann’s head was nodding in a’yes’ motion while at the same time shaking from side to side in a ‘no’ fashion. Hank and Billy Ray knew that he was being as honest as the day was long but was a little uneasy in saying it.
“I’ll send a bill fer the seed. Now ya’ll git, I gotta git home in time fer Rawhide, plus supper’s a waitin. Git.” A big glob of spit, resembling creosote, hit the ground, it’s splatter barely missing three pairs of scuffed brogans.
“Thanks ye, Mr Mann.” Hank extend his hand and Billy Ray followed up with his hand shake. “It was good a’meetin ye. We’ll be awright. We ain’t much interested in stirring up no trouble. We thought we would go down close to the River and French Quarter and eat supper and get back here early and try to be gone ‘bout time you open up in the morning, b’fore it gets too hot. Thanks again.” A simple nod from each signaled for them to start their hunt for a good place for supper...