"A Pleasant Sunday Drive" - Your Story #42 Finalist

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TiffanyLuckey
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"A Pleasant Sunday Drive" - Your Story #42 Finalist

Postby TiffanyLuckey » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:08 pm

A Pleasant Sunday Drive

“I’ve got to get out of these clothes–fast,” Eckerd mumbled under his breath, smiling as we approached Pastor Reed and Sister Marla. Every week my penance went to Sunday service—and listening to my husband whine about his clothes. Even our two girls handled four hours in church clothes without fussing.

“Lu, I ain’t kiddin’. I’ve got comfortable clothes in the trunk. I’m changing right quick.” I shook Brother Ray’s hand as he walked past.

“Eck, I have an idea,” I said, ignoring his groan. “Let’s stop at Lady Jay’s Bakery and pick up some cream horns, coffee, and milk for the girls.” I knew suggesting coffee would redirect his grievance. I saw the girls standing by the car. They looked so delicate in their matching sundresses. I finished braiding their hair last night and loved each perfect row. It was so nice to have girls.

“Well, alright. While we’re out, I can pick up that combination wrench at Rocky’s Hardware.” I nodded approvingly. We were on our way and my family was still nicely coordinated in proper Sunday attire.

We parked outside Rocky’s and he ran in while the girls and I walked to Lady Jay’s. As we headed back to the car, I watched Eckerd loosen his bow tie with one hand and throw it into the trunk.

“Here’s your coffee. You know, we could head out to Hickory Ridge. Should be some beautiful foliage with spring coming on.” I had been thinking about going there all winter.

Eckerd started the car. “I’ve got a taste for Sergeant Willie’s today,” he said. “A nice low country boil sounds good!”

“Watch your speed, honey. What’s wrong with a drive to Hickory Ridge? Are you crossing over the double lines?”

“No, I’m not.”

“Well, it looked like you were from where I’m sitting. Careful.”

“I am.” He readjusted his grip on the steering wheel.

“Is your seatbelt on?” His jaw clenched, popping out his cheekbone.

“How’s your coffee? How about I hold it instead of you resting it between your legs?”

“Lu, turn on the radio, would you?”

“Baby, you know how the radio distracts you while you’re driving. Another bite of cream horn?”

I held the pastry to his lips so he could take a bite. I don’t know what happened next. My best guess is he inhaled some of the confectioner’s sugar dusted on the cream horn, because he started to sneeze and cough something awful. During this fit, I saw a woodchuck waddle into the road. “Watch out!” I screamed to Eckerd. He slammed on the brakes and swerved. His thighs crushed the coffee cup between his legs, splashing his crotch. A dollop of cream rolled down the front of his royal blue shirt.

He stopped alongside the road and jumped out of the car, muttering vulgarities better suited for a social club. I sipped my coffee and watched him in my visor mirror as he stomped to the back of the car and popped open the trunk, rifling for his comfortable attire. He charged toward the woods. I turned on the radio and started searching for gospel music.

My first bite of the cream horn was delicious and I savored it. I looked out the window again and saw Eckerd returning quickly, still wearing his soiled clothes. He reached into the trunk and marched back with his new wrench, stopping just where the trees met the grass. He then began to beat the ground with the wrench. I saw sweat shining on his freshly shaved head. I took another nip from my cream horn and eyed the body of a snake twisting in the air as Eckerd continued his attack.

I should’ve gotten out of the car to see if he needed help, but that might’ve upset the girls. They were reading, oblivious to their father’s activities. Plus, today’s cream horn was delightful. My eyes returned to my savage husband, who was standing up straight clenching the battered corpse of a copperhead in his hand. His Sunday pants were speckled with blood and his right sleeve ripped at the shoulder seam. I could see he was saying something, so I rolled down my window.

“Louise, today we are going to Sergeant Willie’s. Then we’re going home and I’m going to drink beer and listen to the baseball game on the porch. Eckerd Corliss has spoken!”

I stared at Eckerd and sipped my coffee. This was a mighty fine cream horn.

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