by JD Mitchell
24 hour story entry
"Jim Jackson!" Bucky slammed his grimy fingers onto the card table, sending an ace into the grass near his feet.
He scooped the card up, scrutinizing the players around the table and placed the card back into his hand with a satisfied nod. Everyone saw the card, but no one acknowledged it.
"Bucky, no one wants to hear yer bullshit story." Art laid a straight on the table and grinned.
"Will's never heard the legend." Bucky said.
Will ripped the tail off a crawfish, then picked at the shell, dropping the pieces to the ground. The juices dripped out of the side of his mouth as he raised the head and slurped the innards into his fat cheeks.
"Ain't heard of him." Will wiped at his face with his sleeve.
"Well Ole Jim was a bootlegger." Bucky said.
"Moonshiner." Art corrected.
"Who's tellin' the story? Me or you?" Bucky narrowed his eyes at Art, then laid two aces and a king high.
"You." Art scooped up the cards and his winnings.
"Right, so Jim was running his moonshine over to them miners in Galloway, and he saw a strange creature in the middle of the road. Done scared the horses."
Will sucked at another crawfish head. "Bigfoot."
"No the Downey Booger." Bucky grinned. "A monster. Half human - half animal."
"What kind of animal?" Art asked as he shuffled the deck.
Bucky's grin fell into a frown. "Why'd you ask questions when you'd know the answer?"
Art shrugged. "It ain't never been clear to me what kind of animal is hairy."
"All kinds Art. Could be a bear, or an ape-"
Art cut Bucky off. "Ain't no ape in Alabama."
"I recon big foot is an ape." Will offered.
Bucky gestured towards Will. "That's right."
Art rolled his eyes and began dealing the next round.
Bucky continued on. "So Jim saw this creature waltzing on two feet all proper like. Without two thoughts he took that revolver, aimed, and fired. Done shot the thing twice. It screamed like a woman and ran off. Jim swore it scurried off on three feet."
A chortle escaped from Art's lips that he quickly covered with a cough.
"This ain't no joke." Bucky fired back.
"What happened to the Boogy Man?" Will asked.
"Downy Booger." Bucky corrected. "Well, they formed a posse. Except they found nothin' but traces of blood. They got some blood hounds and followed that trail to a cliff. The creature swan dove right off." Bucky arched his arm overhead and send his fist into the table, shaking it.
"How do you know it dove off the cliff?" Art asked. He picked up his cards and studied his hand.
Bucky turned back to Will, his eyes wide. "That's where the blood trail went! Right off the cliff."
"Yeah, but they ain't never found no body in the rocks." Art countered.
"Coulda washed away with the water." Bucky shrugged.
"How'd they know it wasn't no woman?" Will asked looking thoughtful.
"No one knows." Bucky picked up his cards.
From inside the house Ain't that A Shame came across the radio. Art began tapping the table with his fingers following along.
Will cracked another crawfish in half. "Couldn't have been a woman."
"Why not?" Bucky asked.
"Ain't never heard of no woman boogy man." Will said.
Art sighed. "Stop encouragin' him."
Bucky bristled. "You listen to your Boggie-Woggie and keep quiet. I'm gonna tell Ole' Will here about Huggin Molly. That's there's a bona fide female boogy man."