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Rated: 13+ · Poetry · Experience · #2070876
Back in the day...
Prompt for: Jan 6, 2016 (Ren)
Subject or Theme: Something, anything, that might have happened in your area during the 1800s. (any month of the year is okay.) A place you might have gone, like the General Store, or a journey by stagecoach or covered wagon, perhaps. Maybe there was a battle specific to where you live or a discovery made. Or a simple day to day thing that might have occurred.


Word(s) to Include: beard, soul, match (or any derivatives of these words)
Forbidden Word(s): the (or any derivatives, compound or hyphenations of these words)
Additional Parameters: Let us know where you are, ie; state or province, nearby city...(for example)
At least 24 lines or a form that is 24 lines or more. Please include a link if you use a form.
Remember, do not use forbidden words ANYWHERE, including title or the brief description.

'Til Hell Freezes Over'

'Taint cold in these here parts, 'til Hell freezes over!'
Down to the Handbasket, old-fashioned general store,
old timers sit round wooden checkerboards
on boarded over pickle barrels swapping tales
of great grand-daddy's day
and yesterday and last week, though to listen,
one can never be sure what was when.
Eighty, ninety if a day, with grizzled beards,
faded camo and worn-in boots they prop up
on wrought iron rails to warm their souls,
some of 'em look old enough to 'member back that far.

'T'was a might cold during that vortex a year or so ago,' offered Red Hugh,
as he talked around his ever-present, although currently, unlit pipe.
'Yu-up, dam froze solid, it did. Them city folk down Detroit was all agog over it.'

That 'tweren't nothing,' Young Billy McBride, 102, come next week, stood warming his hands.
'Member back to when Hell Creek froze solid? Sure 'n nuff
that damn dam iced solid too. Folks came round these parts til May for chunks o' ice.'

'When 'twas that, Young Billy? Back when we was kids?'
asked Red Hugh fumbling for a match.

'Hell, no.' He chuckled good at that.
'Shoot, back when great grandpap's dad was a kid.
Doncha know that story? I heard tell yourn family's cows' milk
froze in their udders that winter. Musta been, I don't know,
1850, few years after Hell became all official-like.
Mercury froze, heck them thermo-meters shattered. We knew
'twas at least minus thirty sumtin' odd, but we never did hear tell
jest how cold it got. All as I heerd, they was choppin' ice and
tossin' them fishcubes on a griddle!

'Squeakin' from wagon wheels on ice like to break eardrums.
Trees down to Hell Crik were jest a snappin' n' crackling.
branches, hell, whole trees just a rained down. Down to your place, Red,
a big ole pine snapped, took out near half your barn.'

Red Hugh nodded his grey head. 'Yup, you can still see where
repairs was made, never did match up quite right.'

'Yer jest joshin', right, Grampa?' Tommy Swithers shook his head.
'It couldn't have been that cold. Yer just exageratin'.'

'No siree, I'm not that. You kids these days, you don't know nuthin!'

'Well, with that there global warmin' 'n all,
ain't like we'll be seein' much more o' that!'

'Oh, well, we'll be seeing cold 'n all still, I reckon. Course,
if it do be getting all warmer 'n all, guessin' we'll finally
be able to say sumptin' new.'

'What's that, Grampa?'

Young Billy grinned. 'Well, hot as Hell or hotter than!'

Red Hugh's shoulders shook as he laughed.
'So, Tommy, you gonna king me or what?'

'Like Hell...'




Hell, Michigan
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