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Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Contest · #1765702
Man wanting family willing to move any perceived obstacle to have one.
by D.S. Ferguson 1-22-11

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In the remote fertile farmlands west of Morton Texas lies a house with a family of three two men and a women, along an old county road where lands, in the Fall bare tall corn, and yield endless fields of Broccoli. That year had been plentiful for the Adams as it had always been. It was an old farm. Visited by few. Hand carved Victorian ornaments hung from the eaves and the dry wind over many years scoured siding and told its age.

That Summer was hot.

At Sunrise, Barnabas, the brother-in law and the oldest, in field clothes stained in dust and soil, sat at the breakfast table in the kitchen with newspaper open in his callused hands as water on an old porcelain stove came to a boil. The wife of his brother with little more than a tattered sleeping gown made her way from her bedroom to the kitchen where, grabbing a rag to handle the hot water, filled a cup prepared with a teabag, for her, on the table, by Barnabas. They didn't speak. Cain, her husband, angry, made his way into the small room maneuvering around her angry as he was ugly on his way out to begin the day, spit on the floor and commanded her,

“Have my supper ready when I get back, ya hear.” and let the door slam behind him. The women sat down without reaction quiet before her tea, coughed then lifted the cup to sip as, Barnabas, still sitting spoke.

“A little joke to lift your spirits Abby.”

Her eyes rolled up toward him with a squint of mistrust. He ignored the look and began,

“A new teacher upon stepping into her classroom saw Chickens, Pigs and Goats all running around the room. She immediately gets a broom and begins to shoo the chickens and pigs from the room. Why does she let the goats stay?”

Abby corrected her posture, paused, coughed again then answered,

“ I don't know Barnabus. Why did she?

He laughed, “They were Kids. She was there for the kids.” Her squint grew tighter, her eyes followed him as he left the table and went out the door.

“Gotta go Abby.” As the door slammed behind him she half chuckled over the sick joke then leaned over and began filling her cup with tears. She thought, how cruel of him. Glancing into her bedroom from across the
kitchen, she could see the crushed, discarded and rejected doctor's report stating, 'Abby Adams, was fine, healthy woman'.lying beside her bed.

Outside Cain and his brother had finished loading their tools to begin the day's work when he turned to his brother. “What did GOD want from me? The land bears fruit and in return for my efforts I'm given a barren woman.” “You'll soon have another”, said the brother. Smiling, Cain then turned, eyes glazed over and comforted by the words, back to his work.

Meanwhile, Abby lament was stilled by the phone. Wiping her eyes quickly, she answered it.

"Doc. Lazarus?"

"Abby, Don't drink any more tea!”

“Why, What's wrong with the tea?”

"Listen to me. I don't know whats going on there, but one of my cat's is dead and Atlas my dog is sick and at the Vet's. All after they lapped up the tea which fell from the thermos you left here a couple of days ago. And I just got the report back from the Vet. he said,"The tea was poisoned Abby."

There was silence.

The Doc hearing no reply asked,"Did you hear me Abby?"

She didn't answer. She just hung up the phone and looked out the door across the field at the two men in her life and said with conviction.

“I need to have supper ready before they gets back.”she says in a whisper to herself.

That evening the men after their long day ate to their fill. And when full they sat on the porch as the sun drew down and listened to the ceaseless screech of crickets well into the night.

The next morning, at sunrise, Abby called a cab. When it arrived, she left Cain and his brother sitting on the porch. She smiled and had the thought that they had never looked better. And as the cab pulled off, Abby never looked back.

Unaccepted was written for the NPR Three minute fiction competion round 6. It had to have a joke, a character had to cry, and the story had to be under 600 words. It lost.
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