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IDYLLOPUS PRESS : BIG SOFA : Guest Writers : Brien Engel : Interspecies southern gothic girly novella



Interspecies southern gothic girly novella

by Brien Engel

Chapter One

Copyright © 1999 Brien Engel


I had a job to do that Marble and I had discussed and I'll tell you about that. You nervous? You'll do allright. It don't matter if your a man or a woman, it's the same thing really. Some folks are scared. You'll do allright.

Yeah, that's the grandaughter over there, that's Trish. She came during spring and that was a grand day, I'll tell you. I watched her hatch and everything went well cause when her mother hatched I screwed up even though it all came out right in the end. You have to learn by your mistakes and it's practice what makes perfect.

Back to that first day in the branch. Well I let Marble sleep and got to thinking about what I was going to do about Papa and all that took place at the market. I thought I'd go to Murphrey's and get one of his catfish so I could bring it back and nobody'd know the difference. I can think of these things. It seemed a sweet plan plus I knew I couldn't stay gone forever.

So as it was getting dark I kind of tapped Marble and she said she had been awake for awhile and that I had to get back to Papa. She looked at me that way. Oh man, I hardly could stand it. She said she was just going to make a nest on the far side with some moss and sticks there and not to worry, she'd be good and out of sight for the evening. She said it would be around a week before she could make it on dry land though, and that I had to take care of a few things.

I hated to leave her but I just took off. What she had told me to do was first of all, I had to go back to the tires in the back ten and get bitten by skeeters on purpose. But this time she was going to make it so I didn't get sick but that something else was going to happen. And I trusted her more than anyone else, so I knew that'd be ok. She could of told me to do just about anything. Murphrey was sweeping up when I got there and he hadn't heard about the market and I found a nice fish. I didn't bet on it being a talking one like my Marble and sure enough it was just a dumb bull circling around, and I didn't feel bad about it becoming battered and fried. So I bought a bucket and took him to the market stall where I found Marble.

They gave me the same looks like they do but I hung my head real pitiful and said I don't know what happened which was true. Papa'd gone home and I knew that's where I had to be more careful, cause he drinks. They look out for me there and it wasn't bad. Mrs. Kennedy was saying how if I knew anything it was about making amends and that I should stay out of the sun. Then I bought Dog chow for Marble and hid it on the way home. Papa was out cold on the big sofa Sister had given him when she came to visit. I was glad for that, let me tell you.

That night I got good and bit. It was hell but I had to do it for my catfish girlfriend. Well, I thought about the word girlfriend and it fit just fine in a way and made me proud. I hadn't had a girlfriend after Penny McCandless but I never really counted her anyway. So this was true love. But Marble was more than a girlfriend, I knew. It's just it still feels right to say it. I was so excited to have her in my life I didn't sleep much, but it didn't matter. The next day Papa said, boy what you doing with that parka on in the middle of summer, and I said going to play jungle warefare and I ran off before he thought of anything else to ask.

to chapter four



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