January 31, 2012 Fiction


February short stories is a bit different and not so linear.  Writer Gale Acuff gives us a stream of consciousness narrative from the point of view of a ten year old boy…

I’m home sick from Sunday School today. Miss Hooker is my teacher and I love her and want to marry her someday although she’s already pretty old, twenty five to my ten, which is too old for very much. But it won’t be long before I’m shaving and driving and using Mum under my arms like Father does to smell happy. I’ll quit school when I’m sixteen and propose to Miss Hooker before it’s too late and she’s dead. She’ll be thirty one then so we won’t have much time together, just enough to make a baby or two, though I’m not sure how yet but if I still don’t know by then Miss Hooker can teach me and I’m a good student. That’s why I hate school. I was all ready for bible study this morning and about to leave the house and walk to church, and home again, of course when I got dizzy and threw up my cream of wheat on our gravel driveway. Stones. Then Caesar tried to lick it up, he’s my dog, but I stalled him long enough until it seeped away into the ground. God made man from dirt, I think, if I’ve got the story right. Clay, maybe. I should go back and read that part again. I’d ask Miss Hooker but I won’t be seeing her today except when I dream, if I ever fall asleep. My head aches like Goliath’s when David beaned it with a rock. If he shoes up here, Goliath I mean, there are plenty of stones in the driveway. The problem is how to sling them because I haven’t got one, a sling I mean. I’ll have to improvise. That means I’ll have to think fast before he stomps me into the ground, where I came from anyway but I’m not ready to go back. I don’t have a slingshot either but I could heave a rock but I’ve got lousy aim. So I lie here like Goliath but I’m thinking how to kill him if he shows. I wonder if that means I want to kill myself. I hate the flu, it his what it is. A virus maybe. An attack by the devil. Maybe a sign from God.I don’t know but I’ll bet Miss Hooker does. I’d ask my mother but I don’t have one anymore, unless you count Father, who’s left over. He’s downstairs watching TV, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. I just heard the lions roar on the screen, or maybe Father’s snoring. He doesn’t like to talk about love. Mother’s portrait sits on my dresser. She’s looking at me but of course not really; the camera is what she is looking at, or looked at. Then Father pushed a button and capture her. Anyway, that was before I was born. I wonder if she knew she’d have me and die when I was seven? When I go I’ll ask her, if I rate heaven like I’m sure she does. I wish Miss Hooker could stop by after Sunday School class and check on me. Climb the stairs to my attic bedroom. Ask me if I need anything That would be a miracle. I’d ask for mother. “Yes,” I’d say, “Can you bring her back to life?” Maybe she would say “Yes, your father and I are getting married.”  That would be pretty close and she’s too old for me anyway and I don’t care much whether she’s my wife or mother as long as she’s one of the family. Here comes Father to peek into the room. He’s shy. “Can I get you anything?” he says. “No.” I say. “I”ve got too much already.”


  1. Selma February 05, at 23:49

    Emma! Such a powerful story. I was really moved. You write exceptionally well!

  2. Selma February 05, at 23:44

    Very well done, Gale. I think you've really nailed the point of view of a ten year old boy. Spot on!


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