The Southern Indiana Writers Group has just published our twentieth anthology. There should be excerpts from all the stories at the SIW website, but our lazy rotten webmaster (me) hasn’t put them up yet.
Meanwhile, here’s an excerpt from my story in the anthology, “Still Life With Peanut Butter.”
Oh, the anthology is XX: SIW GOES PLATINUM.
Mamie is catering her own wedding reception, and is shopping for locally sourced ham.
Mamie is Intrigued
excerpt from “Still Life With Peanut Butter”
by Marian Allen
Mamie parked between the farmhouse and the locker plant just as Jackson Avery putt-putted up on a tractor. He was a big man, built like a Budweiser horse in overalls and a ratty straw hat, face creased with age and sun, fingers gnarled by work.
“Hi, there! You must be the bride.” He stuck a hand out to Florence, then grinned at Mamie and said, “And you must be the proud mamma.”
Both women laughed. Mamie took his hand and said, in a tone meant to convey her gracious forgiveness for his blunder, “Everybody makes that mistake. I’m the bride. Florence is my baby sister-in-law-to-be.”
“Oh! Oh, sorry,” Avery said. “Ripe peaches are the best, am I right?”
They all laughed again.
Avery kept up a line of cheerful patter as he showed them around the farm. He deferred to Mamie, which would have been flattering if she hadn’t felt patronized, as well. Florence was being patronized but not deferred to, but that was because Florence was young, which made the respect he showed Mamie due to Mamie’s being . . . not young.
“So that’s the operation,” Avery said. “Let’s go back to the office and talk some turkey. I mean ham.”
Florence and Mamie giggled as if they didn’t realize he said the same thing every time he negotiated price with a customer.
They followed him along the dirt path to the barn-shaped building that held the smokehouse, industrial freezer, Country Store and office. As she followed Florence inside, Mamie caught a glimpse of a green car pulling up and a flash of blue and red hopping out. She paused, inspecting and smelling the white clematis climbing the lattice by the office door, and watched the red and blue figure.
It was the man they’d seen at Jumbo the night before‑‑Pete, the night watchman.
What’s he doing here? Moonlighting? Or is it sunlighting, if you take a second job besides night work?
He glanced her way, then closed his car door soundlessly and glided through an entrance farther along the building. If she remembered correctly from Avery’s tour, it was the holding room for the deliveries from Jumbo.
Hmmmm. Sneakiness is always intriguing.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: What intrigues your main character?