Lonnie Returns — doesn’t that just send shivers of dread down your spine? If it doesn’t, you don’t know Lonnie.
Lonnie Carter is a character in two of my short stories. The first one, “Lonnie, Me and the Hound of Hell,” is the title story in one of my 99-cent collections. The second one, “Lonnie, Me and the Battle of St. Crispin’s Day,” is in the Southern Indiana Writers’ anthology, HOLIDAY BIZARRE.
Here’s a sample from the second Lonnie story.
Lonnie Returns To The Scenes Of His Youth
excerpt from “Lonnie, Me and the Battle of St. Crispin’s Day” by Marian Allen
Leona opened the back door before I knocked. When I asked her where Lonnie was, she grinned like a polecat and pointed toward the living room.
And there he sat, holding some kind of little something in his long skinny knobby hand and poking at it with one finger, looking as serious as if he was working.
“Hey, buddy,” I said.
He jumped so hard, the thing flew up out of his hands and tumbled through the air. He snatched at it but missed and the thing landed plump on the couch cushion beside him.
“Dang it, Tiny!” He grabbed the thing and rubbernecked between inspecting it for damage and glaring up at me. “I coulda broke my smart phone!”
I would have thought giving Lonnie Carter a smart phone was about like giving a banana to a cat, but he sat me down and showed it off and seemed to know how to work it.
“And you know,” he said, “you and me has had some laughs about this Facebook thing, but Leona got me onto it and who do you think friended me?”
Leona came in with a cup of coffee for each of us, said, “Lady Goo-ga?” and went back into the kitchen.
I gave up. “Well, who was it?”
“Daniel…. Daniel….” The name was ringing a bell, somewhere in there. “Danny Halloran? Dime-Store Danny? King of the Five-Finger Discount?”
“That’s the one! And guess what he’s doing?”
“Ten to twenty for grand larceny?”
“No, he’s a priest! Father Dan is what they call him. And guess where he’s priesting?”
Lonnie r’ared back on the couch and bobbed his head in encouragement, but I was all done guessing for the day. “I don’t know, Lonnie. Tell me.”
“Saints Crispin and Crispinian. And guess what day it’s getting to be.”
It was a day I hadn’t thought of for over twenty years, but Lonnie had harked me back, and I knew right away what he meant.
“St. Crispin’s Day,” I said.
If you have a Catholic church in your neighborhood–at least, if you had one when Lonnie and me were growing up–and if it was named after a saint, you had a festival on or around that saint’s day every year. Saints Crispin and Crispinian, being twins, had the same feast day, but everybody just called it St. Crispin’s Day for short.
“And Danny invited us back.”
“St. Crispin’s Day, Tiny. October 25. The festival’s this Saturday.”
Psst! Wanna have a good time? Sometimes special days are a little TOO special. Spend a year with Southern Indiana Writers in their Holiday Bizarre.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write about a character returning to a childhood place and celebration.