Birchwood.

A short work of true fiction.

He was drunk when he swung up onto the curb in front of our house, lurching to a stop.  The right front tire rested on the grass.

Bitch. Whore. Slut.  Words slurred and poorly aimed, falling short of their target.

She stood washing her truck in the driveway next door.

Dark curly hair falling to her shoulders.  Blue eyes.  Thick legs in cutoffs.  Breasts heavy, braless in a low-cut tank top.  Hot pink-lacquered nails tapered to a point at the end of wide, strong hands that drove a semi-truck on short haul routes into Indiana.

Height and pale skin that must have come from her mother.  No trace in her appearance of the slight, brown-skinned Maltese father with whom she lived, along with her three daughters, when not making a run.

Bitch. Whore.  Clearer now as he steadied himself on the sidewalk.

I saw him approach and eased open the screen door.

She looked at me only briefly and then turned and swung on him as he crossed the lawn.

Cold-cocked in the side of the head, he crumpled.  She stood over him for a brief second and then turned back to washing her truck.  Ignored his moans as he crawled through the grass back to his car.

Sorry, she called after him, turning just enough so the water from the hose soaked his pant legs.  I didn’t realize it was National Feel Sorry for Donald Day.

He drove away.

I stepped out onto the front step.

I ain’t anyone’s bitch, she said, flicking her cigarette ash in my direction, then turned back to her truck.

A statement and a reproach.

FamilyJamison1

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