Storyglossia Issue 34, July 2009.


by Ryan B. Richey





Jolt from sleep. Rambo must fumble on glasses to be outdoors before the sunrises. Hedges are uneven. Bus 20 will be by soon.


Legs dangle off bench seats stuck to Sneaky Snake. Counts 20 Fords and 13 Chevys. That's 7 points. Traces outline of Mario with pointer finger. Spots JONES in the cemetary. That's 27 points.


Bus20.jpg - Ryan B. Richey


Milli pries open the flaps on a case of Boone's. Fire's fourth smoke.


Earl removes arm from underneath two children elbowing Freddy Krueger. Her grunts are the last straw for Sugar whose been stutter sleeping. Kept awake by Holly rolling all over tarnation.


Well, I fixed breakfast, the crossword, and the kids are off. Holly rolled past. I suppose I'll retire to the gold couch where I'lll watch them drag old Brownie to and fro all day.


Shorty runs the Knightstown Hotel with wife Arbutus. She's named after a tree and IU's yearbook. Checkout's whenever. Besides the few honeymoons and affairs a year no one stays here anymore. They did before they built 70. Shorty lets Knightstown's Homeless spend the night on occasion. Their only payment is to clean up after themselves and give Shorty the latest word on the street.



The Jones Times



Calls for a cloudy day. Tomorrow they'll be sunshine.



The Don Games



Today Don has scheduled: cold hose endurance and wheelchair disassemble/reassemble following dish wash sing-along.


Meemie brews one cup of coffee in her one cup of coffee maker.



B. R.'s First Lesson



Lifts off without instructor. His crash landing makes the paper.


Chun slips candy hearts into Beth's inside pocket. The only way he knows how to communicate with her.



Knightstown's Homeless



Next generation Cusser crew should be at school or living with their parents. They wear the same clothes in search of the latest high or financial opportunity. Keck's pool hall's home base. Mama Keck doesn't mind them contributing a quarter every hour or so to the pool table, P-47 or Magic Carpet Ride. Every now and then One Eye and KC will go in on some nachos with cheese. Today's budget comes from a blank checkbook One Eye found. Future paychecks from burned down Friend's? I heard they still have the juke box in there. If we can only pry it open. Cash register at L&W? They don't have cameras. Snotty splits off to Pic 'N' Save for smokes. Asks Dirty Diana to check for Overboard in the back. Swipes Camel Wide Lights before she comes back. Rony Keck wanted Reds. Too bad, beggars can't be choosers. Quickfingers outrolls your Grandma.


Trek towards the metal shed past the Garden of Eden to check on the chickens. A possum scurries from behind the bottom row. Whiplash look at Crumb lunging a pitchfork.


It's been three days since her last movement. Leona phones Olae Mae. She hasn't had one. Ruby hasn't had one either.


Faded Larry Bird looks down from the sidewall. Patrons wish to have every accessory for their sport, but can only afford a wristband. The fools gold trophies desired by Little Leaguers sit on shelves Gorman made by hand. He made this place. He does your shirts and taxes too. A line out the door in April.


Lee chops blocks. Stacks logs on the porch for privacy.



North Street



The slum row of Knightstown. Elzie chains Chad up to a tree. Rides the mower down to the ball fields bearing his name.



Four Sharp Corners



Gilliam lounges by two display cases junked with baseball cards nobody wants. Even little kids notice bent corners and the cards are from Wonderbread. Doors kept open by the thriving racket in the back.


B.R. glides by James's window. The Lord's come back for you Joe.


BR.jpg - Ryan B. Richey


They're staying in on Star Boulevard. Can't get around the blockade on Knightstown Lake.



Making the Banner



Cusser looks to see if his letter to the editor made the Banner. It did not. He wants a bike lane on 40, but most prefer the sidewalk. One Eye's in there for bad checks. Richey's in there for a tackle he made on Friday. Honor roll kids cut it out for the fridge. Pic 'N' Save advertises meat on a quarter of the page next to Ernie's Superette's full page. None appears appetizing and the prices are similar. The decade long war between K-town's largest grocers remains a draw. L & W vies for action by offering to slice your government cheese.


Sullivan's rearrange their furniture only to put it back where Mom left it.


Hosey and friends decide they're the goonies by the waterfountains. Flip a lowercase g.


On their way back home on the train from New York. Fruitis and Tootis only have enough change left to call Crumb. She asks if they're hungry. Arrives a hour later with dried beef gravy and biscuits.


By the lockers Chun twists a coke tab back n forth. If it breaks on M not close to B. If it ever breaks off on B, he'll keep it forever.






Chelseah's in the garage being groomed for the pet show. Swan sends Chun to gather lukewarm water. He has problems distinguishing between luke and warm. Brings back a bucket of scalding. Dumps it on her. She rockets out of the garage.


Swan makes a pink dress for Hee. The leftover fabric's tied around Chelseah's ankles and bowtied around her neck. Load up the Lynx and unravel by Marty's Tire.


The show's officiated by Knightstown's finest. Prizes made up on the spot. Trilby, who brought a goldfish, wins for smallest pet. Peetey receives the largest animal certificate. Mei Ling for exotic. Smokie takes home the furriest prize. Sheena for fastest. Nic's Nic for slowest. There's one contestant left. It's Hee with Chelseah. What should we award them? Well, their fabric matches. How about look-alikes?


The parade of pets and pet owners down main street does not conform to main street. Dogs are hard to keep a hold of when they outweigh their owners. Upon reaching the third block everyone has chased their pets home except for Hee and Chelseah. They're photographed by default and published in next week's Banner under the headline Look-Alikes!


Judge finds Pat Voris with his wife.






Home sirens blare sending dogs for the hills.


The showcase features a new car. 1,292 of the 2,000 odd resident's pulses pump.


Arbutus has the hotel lobby television tuned to Guiding Light. Monte's steady streaming smokes while watching the Price is Right and listening to the police scanner. Cusser notices a commercial through the window of the Corner bakery about ITT. Considers a career, house, wife and kids. No, I can't ride my goddamn bike all the way to fucking Naptown! That's fucking ate up! Ad for personal injury claims. Shit, I can hurt myself and get paid? Fat Buddy was hurt by a post office truck and got $20,000, but he blew his wad in six months. Dick changes the channel to sports. Crumb's front yard hasn't changed for the last half-hour. Cusser cycles past reminding her to look at the time. It will be three hours until Bus 20 comes by.



Swimming Holes



Above ground pools in rural backyards are all the rage. Gorman's built their own. Doesn't last long. After mowing Crumb's yard uneven, Chris rests his barrels on the pool's wall and ends up on his back. Gorman's backyard swims in chlorinated pond water.


Hutson's tarp comes off midst much fuss. Seasons of leaves and bird droppings are strewn across the lawn. The ladder's installed. Kids are in their trunks. The sky rumbles. Chun runs over the extension cord powering the filter. Everybody back inside. Let's try to finish the Monopoly game that's been going on for weeks.


Lines angle the cafeteria. Roxy steady slopping. Teens scuffle, place peanut butter patties atop stools so Pat can sit on one and be ridiculed. Underneath the student art ceiling tiles chaos is controlled only when there's a fist exchange.


Back from lunch Booboo sits down in a chair full of upturned tacks. Stands at attention. Usuals sent to Mr. Allen.



Taking Ms. McGarver



Robin doesn't know how to quit Ms. McGarver. After he gets good there's no more challenge. Meemie tells him to fix the handrail before she comes over for his piano lesson. Ms. McGarver uses it and she might slip. Robin does nothing. He wants to get rid of her. Finally does when she finds out about him double timing her with an organist in Straughn.


Dick doesn't realize Bubby came over for lunch. Continues blowing through all the channels. Ah, that's I Love Lucy. Click like a metronome. Bubby leaves, returns to find Dick still clicking. Begins clicking himself in the dayroom. The channels keep cycling. No one is in control of either wheel.


The fight in the church parking lot's scheduled for three. So far we have no participants. Football players won't let this slide. They'll get a rise out of somebody. Perhaps that new kid all the girls fawn over without knowledge of his inability to speak.



Gravel Pit



Grubby handfuls of Mr. T cereal. Parachute out there. Hee's supposed to break the worms in half. Instead she pulls them into tiny segments. Places one in her mouth. Legs slip through the moss layers never touching water. Rusty takes a handful of fern and slops it at Hawn. Swipes Hee and Chun's suits telling them they're Adam and Eve.


Binocular dial goes from focus to unfocused to back to focus. Camouflaged by gear he stole from the Marine's. Rick tells parents he's duck hunting. There's only three ducks on Gravel Pit Isle. Always the same three ducks.


While parents romp the pasture with four wheelers. Kids spread over hay bails waiting for a push.


Crumb buys her first National Enquirer at Ernie's Superette. Amelia Earhart's discovered on an uninhabited island. Crumb's waited fifty years for this moment.


Bubby needs a haircut. Three choices to choose from. Frank downtown with car seats and sports, Mike with the same haircuts and comics, or drive an extra mile for Voris, who no one knows that well. His son builds houses backwards without a license. If the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, how can we trust him with our hair? Frank's closed. Go with Mike's high and tight for six including tip. Bubby loves the way the back of neck feels.



Don't Mind the Mess



DontMind.jpg - Ryan B. Richey.


Cruddy dishes piled to the sky. Soiled laundry's waist high creating a fortress around the bed. Doesn't bother Cusser one bit. Mary returns home from a eight hour shift. All she wants to do is relax. Upon completion of his three hour paper route Cusser relaxed all day. He's reclined nude beneath a throw too small. It's your turn! No, it's your turn! I worked all day! I'm sick! I'm sick of you! Why can't you pick up after yourself? Oh, and you do? Most of that shit's yours. Those dishes are yours too. I eat off paper plates. Besides, I have to take care of your fucking kid! What kid? You know, Putnell, or whatever the fuck it's name is this week. Why don't you get out of here? I've been trying to kick you out for two months now! How do you plan on living by yourself, Cusser? I pay all the bills! Fine, I'm going to my mother's!


A little cough here and there. Uncle Robin's mass increases over decades unnoticed.


UncleRobinsMass.jpg - Ryan B. Richey.


Meemie brews one cup of coffee in her one cup of coffee maker.


Chelseah, Jimi and Jagger drag a goat out of the Sale Barn. After rolling over it they leave a tagged skull in the Hutson's frontyard.


SaleBarn.jpg - Ryan B. Richey.




Bubby's Boot camp



Bubby slides beneath the brush entering reconnaissance. The miniscule grass, kindling and dirt are at the macro. Ants are the men he's to observe. He falls asleep after ten minutes.


Uncle Rick grabs his ankles from behind and drags him back into the real world. The fatigues, shell casings and rations Uncle Rick pilfered from the Marines before his discharge are issued to Bubby. This gives him the confidence to go after Predator.


G-2 menu rotates. Aren't those boys big? They must've ate their Wheaties. Lisa give the service they don't give anymore. Yep. Weather?


Chun calls Crumb for crossword clues.



Hissy's Homecoming



Hissy.jpg - Ryan B. Richey.


Hissy's back from Israel. She never tells anyone why she goes or why she doesn't make paintings from their postcards like the she does with the ones from Indiana. Hangs up her wobbly hat with all the rest. Passes paint by number covered bridges, vegetation and the four seasons. Pulls up a chair next to Dick. His mouth's like a typewriter popping corn of the cob. Hissy bends over and digs in. Leans back creating a racket from eating too fast. No on else seems to notice, because she repeats this process after she's finished gagging. Crumb's investigating the paw print on her pie as Meemie sticks a drumstick in and pulls a bone out. "How can they allow cats in the house?" Crumb wanders. Hissy's done. She shoots up asking Tootis why's she so big. Tootis mumbles, "I'm pregnant." Hissy doesn't hear her. She's halfway to Jolly's for more postcards.



American's American History



History.jpg - Ryan B. Richey.


Yellow parchments need to be laminated again. Yogi places them atop turbine projector. Tells class to copy. Retires to desk nodding off. Sporadically comments about crickets that are actually spit wads flying across the room. Everyone's parents copied these notes as well as their parents and their children.


Each fingertip of Baldoff's separated to the extent. Eagles roomful of rowdies pretending to read. Butch uses books as a spittoon. Maynard, the floor. Springman's excited about finding Pam Anderson on the Internet.


Peek-a-boo by the most prominent tree. Chun takes one to the head from Don's latest game.


Peekaboo.jpg - Ryan B. Richey.



Fast Food



Surfboard goes in the backseat over laps. Unlatch the foot pedals, fold the seat and heave it up and in the trunk. The Happy Hutsons are going to McDonald's! It's a thirty minute speechless ride. Seems like forever. Chun tries to understand Bob and Tom. It's something about Amish men remaking rock classics. Number One with a Coke for Chun and Don. That's what men get. Number Two, no onions and a Diet Coke for Swan and Hee. That's what women get. No one can eat in the car, but Don can smoke. So they smell cigarettes, grease and Brut all the way home.


All the rulings go against the defendants. Sent to community service receiving none. The director retired last month.


Rotary phone rings at least eight times before Crumb picks up the receiver with her left hand missing a fingernail. A mower got a hold of it. Uncle Paul bellows on the other line He can't hear. Crumb increases in volume until reaching a holler. Paul says, "Why you yelling at me?"


Out in Crumb's front Chun picks daisies. Beth loves me she loves me not.


Crumb needs a fence. Phones Willet Crap. This is Willet Crap. I'll be over in the morning.


Crumb waits all morning. She phones Willet. Forget your fence. Don't do me like that, Madge. Fence up before she wakes up.



Taking Ms. McGarver



MsMcGarver.jpg - Ryan B. Richey.


Fruitis is old enough to take Ms. McGarver. Meemie dresses him up with a red suit and a bowtie. At recital he pulls the bench out a little and sits on the edge staring at the music for a couple minutes then turns around. That's all folks!


Cusser flies by Mary on Warrick. She asks, "Do I know you?"


Snoop twists Booboo's nipples. His cars on blocks. Classroom's cleared out. Favorite coffee mug he won for Marlboro points cemented to desk.


Room in the Plymouth backseat's safe with Dick driving. Face on the glass. Telephone lines appear every half a second. Floaty in his eye rides atop the lines. Sometimes he pictures Dick out there with a chainsaw cutting them down.



Ameriana Drive-Thru



Ameriana.jpg - Ryan B. Richey.


Pappy thinks Kyra might be interested in him cause she'll see the size of his paycheck. Stick the paycheck in the tube, zoom. Can I see some ID? ID in the tube, zoom. Thank you, have a good day. Cash in the tube along with a Dum Dum.


Flory dozes off inside stained glass windows. On her lap a magnifying glass rests atop an erroneously filled in crossword puzzle. Smoke quivers eventually engulfing her. Rosy's out tending to the yard.


Off bus 20 pops Violet quickly changing from a skirt to a dress. Puts her hair up.


Footballers rob Gas America.






Guitar lessons in the afternoon. Hello lady with the pincurls always in your hair. Do you take them out when you go on a date? Two hippies teach Tootis and Fruitis how to slowly strum major chords week after week. Lesson stalls during phone calls and visitors.



The End of the World



One will be taken and the other left. Susie can't get a hold of Crumb.


The two story sign protruding from spare tires reads Marty's Tire. Marty decided years ago to be covered from head to toe in grease. Too much work for him or his wife to scrub soot off face and in between nails. Underneath skin is beautiful. Sees daylight when it's his turn to let out the dog. Accentuated wild eyes and grin leads one to believe he's up to something. Mrs. Marty's next. She's relatively spotless. She works in the office.



The Hollywood



Hollywood.jpg - Ryan B. Richey.


Bucktooth encroaches on lip. It's time for another Hollywood. Dr. Pritchett's beauties hold Chun down. Wee circular saw will straighten that line.


Fourth lap around the square. The clean kids are one lap away from going home. They spray car freshener and chew mouthfuls of gum to get rid of the evidence. If mom finds out her offspring's been smoking, she's not going to give $1.50 for lunch tomorrow.






Hoosiers.jpg - Ryan B. Richey.


"Barbara Hershey's a bitch," breathes Meemie to Dick in line dressed up as Andy Griffith. Two thousand odd residents made to look like the bygone era. Wheelchairs traded for wooden ones. When the gym fills the 1954 state championship game begins. This time filmed for a movie. They pick this locale because it's untouched since the time of the first game. The name's chosen because no one knows. Passed down story is an ear was found on the floor after a bloody barroom brawl. "Whose ear?" After years of asking we become Hoosiers with goals in each drive or bottomless crates nailed to trees serving as goals. Meatboy's been practicing on his all morning. It's time to show them. Out of all the youngsters, sports stars and the most beautiful he's selected to shoot the free throws at the end.


Fruitis ashes in the holy water. Drops his cigarette. Bangs his head on the way up. Cries out, "Holy Shit!" Tootis tells him he won't make a very good catholic.


Cases of Canadian Mist left from Friend's piled in Dale's living room supplies One Eye and friends for months.


Footballers inject their ass before jacking 30 reps to Henry Rollins. Congregate out front of Quiz's on Main. Toss gang signs to Easy E by Skoal's Impala. A game's coming soon. Better watch Braveheart a few more times.


Cusser asks for a pack of the cheapest smokes Dale has today. A dollar? Shit, I remember when they were fifty cents. I said I'd quit fucking smoking when they were 75 cents. Here I am paying a dollar like a dumbass. If they go to a $1.25 Dale I swear to god I'm quitting this shit.


B.R. tells Cusser he doesn't have anything good to say.


Hahn steals another tree from Crumb's forest.


Louis Riddle stumbles in to fix the shower. Curly gets off from delivering mail. Whips curtain free. Louis in the fetal.






Mary passes Robin on Adams. She asks, "Do I know you?"



The Rapture



Reverend Jim heads towards Mom's on 70. Back from the New Life Conference. Decides to turn his life around. Be more like Jesus. Nothing to eat for four days. Starting to tire. Stop off at Dunreith's truck stop. Downs a Dew. There's a wreck by the interstate. This must be the Rapture. Parks where there's no road. Takes off his clothes in the pouring rain. Lies in the ditch where Susan finds him unresponsive. When the police show up they can't identify him. No clothes and a bunch of fake ID's in his truck. Lifelined downtown.



Paradise by Elzie Field



Ball field clears out after the Ameriana Cubs defeat the American Legion Yankees in six. Chitchat by popcorn vendor surrounds Chuck hitting a homer onto 40 and Russ from the home eating dandelions in right. As the boys finish their sodas Susie layers meeting clothes on top of worldly ones. Milli idles his Charger parked on South County Line Road. Meatloaf on a loop. Chunky door creaks open then rattles shut. The tunes, rolled down windows and moonlight makes anything possible. She ogles him as the Charger slopes down into the gravel lot. He picks a spot behind the visitor's dugout. Heavy necking ensues. Her hand gets stuck between his belly and pant waist.



Becoming a Rail



Have to be in shape for the summer. Mount the stationary bike by the Gran Prix sound system. Muffs on head contain the Blizzard of Oz spinning round. The Crazy Train intro cues pedaling. Needle's buried on the opposite side of the gauge. Continues until the heart pounding and horse breath becomes too much. Wet Chun coasts, wipes hands off on zoo spandex and cools down to Suicide Solution.



Frosty Boy



FrostyBoy.jpg - Ryan B. Richey.


Husky mass exits Plymouth covered only in skin. Romps by library picking up speed. Arms chug as balls dance. Little ones lick ice cream silos before hands are covered. Glances out window turn to jaw drops. Ain't that boy on the football team? That's Strader's son. Maynard's mom dials KFC. Big toe sticks in grass between sidewalks. Arms sprawl ready for skin slide. Pebbles bed raw knees and sensitive areas.



Bible Study



Chun's been looking at this book for years. The maps in the back are the only pages that hold his attention. Trace Paul's journey. A thumbnail is hundred miles. He must have walked a hundred miles. From here to Chicago. Wonders how long that would take?


Time to talk. Turn to Psalms. Pick one. Say you appreciate it.


Couples flock to Johnny's dance class. He readies them for weddings. Next door Shirley stretches out the remaining females.






The four cousins rarely seeing each other crave adventure. The two from Cincinnati relish in country living. The rolling in mud and hanging out in underwear are a far cry from their structured existence. Tam places an evening call for a large pizza from RJ's. The other three quiver on the bed close to him. It's decided two will go and two will stay. Tam's going because he has a Swiss army pocket knife. Hee will be by his side. A teensy blade pokes from Tam's right hand. They're gone forever.


The two left behind do everything they can think of to keep Crumb distracted. Her stories are eventually told one at a time between frantic pleads for another.


If you are underage you have to knock at the backdoor for your pizza. Tight-permed Ms. Slack answers wearing high slacks and a loose sauce splattered t-shirt. What do you kids want? Pizza for Jones? Tam turns over his two week allowance wad. Ms. Slack pecks the cash, slides the pie with her other arm and whams the backdoor with her foot. It takes both of Tam's arms to hold the box with his blade out. Hee plays garbage soccer behind him all the way back to Crumb's.


The feast is short lived. Crumb made dried beef gravy and biscuits. They are far better. The evidence is shoved under the bed no one sleeps on. A few days later when Crumb's not looking a hard as a rock pie flies into the side field.



Goodbye Fro



The rottenest boy, but everybody loves him. Lures you in with those sky blue contacts and rambunctiousness. By the time he goes to maow his Jethro bowl of ice-cold milk and Frosted Flakes, you've tied one on, committed a handful of illegal acts and learned at least one salty phrase. Easy hand through women sports and school. Insatiable appetite for intoxicants. A case consumed back road Sally. Seal's on the scene calling all to come take a look. Fro's leaking booze, not blood.


Cusser and Red shuttle back and forth between the South End and Friend's. Depends on who's at which location. South End's winning. A female came in. Peggy from across the street. Ideal, because she has been known to house a few after boozing.



The End of the World



One Eye takes the tracks back from Keck's Pool Hall, because Pat's making his round. Susie sees him from Crumb's garden. She thinks he's Jesus.






Kicks it at the Snack Shack. He has a grilled cheese and a coke. Tired of no love from the girls. Acne will be gone in a couple years. Pulls a can out his poncho and tags the brick wall on Main I LOVE PETTY.


He's going to take Mom's car out tonight on the K-town strip in the hopes a girl will see him with a car and get in. If this doesn't work he'll sit up on Broad. Except Mom's car doesn't compare to all the muscle cars, low riders and limo tinted caddies. Takes a shower first with no rag then shaves off every body hair by checking his reflection with the bathroom mirror and a CD back in left hand. Pumps baby powder all over, sprays, deodorizes, and squirts the cool water five times on wrists, neck, chest and crotch. Drops the Visine and sticks Q-tips in each ear. Clips fingernails and toe nails. Brushes tongue and roof for two minutes, up and down on teeth for one and a half minutes. Ends with a circular for one and half minutes. Irons Beefy T and jeans. Scrubs shoes with a toothbrush. Takes the rubber band off Back's hat and winds it around wrist. Considers beating it, but is out of time. Armor All's the car. Roots out crumbs with a toothpick. R Kelly's in the slot. Heart throbs deep in stomach upon sight of the historic Knightstown sign.


It takes Trilby an hour and a half to ready for K-town cruising. It takes another half hour to walk into town.


Petty drives by and looks, turns around, stops and looks. Turns up track 4 on 12 Play. Parks car at Frosty Boy. Loiters until Trilby laps back by on foot. Thinks of something funny to say. Says, "How you doing?" Her eyes roll so hard she appears possessed.


Laverne creeps with Hosey ripping Mother to the nines. Bobs his curly head up and down. Trilby thinks he's blowing Hosey. Laverne flashes Canadian Mist and she's in. Laverne does all the talking. Hosey says nothing. He's constantly putting in CD after CD playing one minute of each hit song then exchanging. Covers the latter half of popular 20th century music in a half hour. Drops off Laverne and Trilby. Picks up Petty. Hits Goose Road sharing the bottom of pipe resin and letting the radio do what it will.



Unrest at the Keck Ranch



Tape of Shawn who thought he knew karate being pummeled in a shrub on replay. Sloppy chants of various derogatories. Too many men in the trailor. Say the wrong thing and it's on. One eye scraps like there's no tomorrow. KFC shows too late sending all to the woods. They'll come back when the heats off. Some unknowingly contract poison ivy from humping in the bush.


Fruitis & Tootis slap ketchup dipped tampons on affluent windshields.






Arcade covering Chun's Commando poster has held his attention up until he beat it. It doesn't need quarters. Rigged to accept jostling the trip wire. The compartment now holds pot at Keck's pool hall where it's still quarterless.



Sky Vue



Sky-Vue.jpg - Ryan B. Richey.


Hide people in the trunk. Snake by the ticket counter. Pay for two. Brews under backseat quilt. Pull in, let 4 out the back. Get high as hell. Wander into the snack shack gazing at the photos of attractive foods from the 70s. Nachos piled high with fake cheese glob. Lukewarm popcorn in cracks and floorboards.


Cusser and Red shuttle back and forth between the South End and Friend's. Depends on who's at which location. South End's winning. Peggy from across the street came in. Ideal, because she's been known to house a few after attention and boozing.



Silence at the Happy Hutson's



Chun goes to bed without water. He might wet himself. After the stuffed animal football game he crosses his fingers to pray. God, thank you for another day. Thank you for the food. I pray for others. Pray for those outside the fold. Will you draw them near? Help me to be strong. Forgive me for my weakness. Help me to be talkative tomorrow, amen.


Bedsheets hold Cusser in place til the cough syrup wears off. He fell in the fireplace. Poker leaves a red dot.



Knightstown's Toughest



Lady at Frosty Boy's salty with Nic and T. Nic tempers. He hauls off calling her a bitch. Little does he know her son was a Seal and Ultimate fights at Naptown on the weekends.


On poker night the topic is usually what it would be like if we all lived in the Wild West. Tonight it switches to beef. Everybody who has wronged us will be strategically beaten. It's about time Ty's lifelong warrior training can be put to use. The raid at Squabby's no sweat. Fro's beaten drunk asleep in the crack of the couch, but Jackson in Carthage does pose a challenge. He's just too damn big. This is meaningless. Let's get that Nic fucker at Hosey's. He dissed my mom.


Morgan's on the other line. Hosey has always had a soft spot for her. She wants to come over? Of course she can. I can't believe she would want to.


Open up at the knock of the door. It's not her. It's a row of Knightstown's toughest. They bum rush in holding down Hosey and T. We don't know where Nic is.


Nic's in my sister's room putting to Nicole good tonight. She's taking all of him. He jerks out hearing the commotion, breaks the bathroom mirror for a shard and does the best he can.


T takes one to the nose from Nic. Why didn't you help me motherfucker? He chases Hosey round and round the front yard after tipping over the bookshelf.



The Alhambra



Plenty of seats available for the final movie on a big screen in Knightstown. John Travolta's starring in Urban Cowboy. Shorty and Arbutus are in the front row with their necks craned. Fruitis and Tootis leave Chun with Meemie. Tootis is big with Hee. They enter cold and smelling a dank basement. Make out to keep warm. Between projector breaks they have a breather. Afterwards stealing a room next door at the Knightstown Hotel.



No more for you tonight Red.



Dale leans white thicket arms right in beer sweat on the barn wood counter. Red jibber jabbers and shoves off. He hangs along the door rest for a few minutes. Presses onward towards 40. Bottom half motors as his mind idles for ten minutes. From Blue River Bridge he sees the Sale Barn/halfway marker. Ruckus through the barely red boards ain't animals being harmed. It's just Rhonda and Mike fucking. He works there. Fortunately Officer Pat's not around at this time of night. He's patrolling a buddy's place at Lincoln Apartments. This trips a breeze. Old 40 is all mine. When I get home I'm going to heat up that ravioli, lie down and beat it.


Meemie brews one cup of coffee in her one cup of coffee maker.


K-car drives over white outlines in front of Mr. Meat. What's that, Mommy? O, bunch of kids ran over Red on his way back home from Vi's last night. Then they washed him off at the car wash.

Images and text Copyright©2009 Ryan B. Richey

Ryan B. Richey received his MFA in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He stayed in Chicago to unleash text, paintings and songs with Hannis Pannis.

Interview with Ryan B. Richey