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Scratch Fiction: Frank

Issue Date: Friday, May. 12, 2006

Scratch fiction gauntlet thrown down by monkey0. Several others have had a go as well. Links on Monkey0’s page. Also, ya’ll go ahead and click on “the monkey is always watching”… awesome photos housed within.

Sarah pulled the pictures from their safe-keeping spot within the yellowed pages of the cookbook her mother had handed down to her. The pictures were safe within its confines as no one ever ventured into the kitchen, much less the cookbook. She had been cooking and cleaning for the man of this house for almost fifteen years. Maybe more, definitely since she was old enough to remember the recipe for cats head biscuits. She made sure that the bacon was on the table wrapped in a few layers of cheese cloth to soak up any extra grease and then she flipped to the cookbook’s hidden pictures again.
Frank. A strong name. A man’s name. This man was to be her salvation.
A yell came from the living room where the man of the house was listening to the morning weather report on the radio. “Where’s my breakfast, girl?” “It will be ready in five minutes, Mr. Jackson.” She replied as she turned to the wood burning stove to check on the gravy. Her biscuits were slowly browning from the heat. When she opened the heavy cast iron door to damper the coals the heat struck her full in the face and beads of perspiration popped out on her forehead just below her hair line.
She removed the biscuits from the heat and stirred her gravy one last time before taking a rag mitt and placing them both on the heavy table against the window where Mr. Jackson preferred to have his meals.
“Your breakfast is ready sir,” she called to Mr. Jackson softly.
Mr. Jackson stomped into the room and began to eat as though she hadn’t served him a meal in weeks. He shoveled down two gravy soaked biscuits and took a handful of bacon in his large hand, grunted and walked out the front door. His large workman’s boots echoing loudly on the wooden porch beyond the door. She heard him call up his dogs and then start up his old truck. A moment later he pulled out of the dirt yard heading to the cotton fields.
Sarah only had a few hours before Mr. Jackson returned to his modest homestead for the required afternoon meal. She quickly extinguished the flames in the stove, cleaned out the skillet and wrapped up the remaining biscuits and bacon in a rag that she knew Mr. Jackson wouldn’t miss. She went to the wash basin to wash her face and slick her hair back from her head. In the morning humidity her hair had become an unruly mess. Sarah packed up her meager belongings and left Mr. Jackson a note:

“Dear Mr. Jackson,
I have worked for you for fifteen years. My father’s debt has been paid to you three times over. Although you have never been a mean man, you have never spoken a kind word to me or to my sister, may she rest in peace.
Thank you for the roof over my head and the clothes on my back.
May God bless you and keep you.
Wishing you well,
Sarah”

She wrapped the note around Mr. Jackson’s favorite pipe so she was sure he would find it when he came home for lunch, she gingerly put the biscuits and bacon parcel into her bag and stepped out the front door.
Sarah couldn’t believe she was going to be married. “Missus Frank Abernathy,” she said aloud just to see how it sounded to her ears. “Missus Sarah Abernathy pleased to make your acquaintance.” She curtsied to a willow tree imagining that it was a very important person, maybe the local parson or the mayor. She had never been out of Mr. Jackson’s house except to attend church on Sundays. When her father handed her and her sister over to Mr. Jackson to pay his debt as a share cropper he insisted that Sarah was a hard worker and did not speak unless spoken to… but it was a must that she attend church every Sunday. Mr. Jackson agreed only to punish Sarah in small ways when she did go into town to attend church. He would let the dogs in and they would ravage the tidy little kitchen that was her life. He would accidentally let the mules loose in her garden and they would stomp on her lettuce and eat all the corn. He would walk directly through her freshly hung laundry after being covered in red dust from the cotton fields all day. She would never miss Mr. Jackson acting worse than a child and making awkward advances at her even though he had never said one kind thing to her since she started working for him.
It was these things she was happy to be rid of.
She was going to meet Frank at the end of the fence over near the church. She walked happily along swinging her little basket of belongings and introducing herself to cows and crows and trees along the fence as she went, “Well hello there Missus Brown Cow. Why yes, I did make that Apple Brown Betty for the church function… My name is Missus Sarah Abernathy, I am Frank’s wife. I am so pleased to meet you.” “And you, Mr. Crow… how do you do? Yes, yes, I am the new bride of Frank Abernathy. Yes, he is the most handsome and intelligent accountant in town. Oh, don’t be silly Mr. Crow. I know he is the only accountant in town and my, isn’t his business booming?”
Shortly after 9 am Sarah spotted the church up ahead and picked up her pace. Frank was waiting. Frank was going to make her his bride. Frank was going to make everything new.

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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

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