For NANOWRIMISTS Dec. contest
I woke at six AM so I could dress for church. Services did not begin until ten o’clock but I had plans. I put on my ankle-length white best church dress, the one with the shoulder wings and the dusky rose sash tying under my bosoms. I wore my wide-brimmed white summer hat (with no flowers since it was Sunday) and my pale grey ballet slippers over my white stockings. Then I walked the long way round beyond town and out to the Old Trestle. Today was Mother’s Day, so I knew our preacher would have the Altar Guild President passing poesies to all the mothers and grandmothers present in the church, and he would save a Posey to take to Granny Winston who was ninety-eight and had been bedridden since 1909. As I walked to the trestle the sun glinting on the wide river nearly blinded me, but when I reached the trestle and began to climb, I watched the new trestle bridge over the New Massaqua River, built in 1909 a half mile north of the collapsed Trestle. No trains were passing when I looked up at the bridge. My name is Mary, and I am fourteen years old. I live with my mother, Lucinda Maye, in a small house on the edge of town-the northern edge, which is the good side of town-except not so far out as we are. There are corn fields next to my bedroom window, behind our back yard, and across the road, which is just a dirt track out where we live. My Aunt Grace lives two lots down, but the big plantation house that once sat between ours and hers burnt over thirty years ago (that was before I was born) so really she lives in the next house to us, though it takes me twenty minutes to walk over there. Aunt Grace does not walk much herself; she is my daddy’s aunt, and she is heavy: I think she probably weighs about two hundred pounds. Her stockings roll up to just above her fat knees, and sometimes when she sits down she spreads her knees apart and raises up her dress hem some and I can see her stocking tops. And I do not like that. Aunt Grace is nothing like her name. My name is Mary, and I am the Old Trestle Bridge Princess.