Page 4

Inheriting the Dream

white paint still clinging to the siding. Most of the other homes had long ago lost any hint of Short Fiction by Gregory J. Cahanin paint and instead stood sagging and gray in the afternoon sun. Two wide planks served as a walkway across the ditch to the gate. With Arthur grabbed his knapsack off the brown vinyl seat and moved down the a smooth practiced motion Arthur lifted the wire loop off of the gate, passed through the aisle of the bus as it slowed. None of opening and let the loop fall back into place. the white students on the bus looked The front porch of the house contained two up at Arthur or seemed to notice his trek to the front where he grabbed the old cypress rockers and a couple of chrome chrome pole and waited for the bus to and red vinyl kitchen chairs. Three empty cans of malt liquor stood watch along side stop. The door opened as the yellow bus jerked to a stop and Arthur swung of one of the rockers near a rusting cigarette stand filled with butts. down the steps and onto the edge of the pavement. The bus turned quickly Arthur climbed the steps and entered the house. He was an only child. His father lato the left and moved to the next corbored by day at the Louanna Cottonseed Mill ner of the subdivision. on Railroad Avenue near the city water plant. The Green Acres subdivision, its late Arthur’s mother did housework for several 50’s three bedroom homes with a single bath and carport was just across elderly white women in the Indian Hills subdivision just inside the city line. the city line. White working class “Hello Arthur how was your day?” asked his families filled the homes. Stretching mother from the overstuffed chair across eastward behind the subdivision was from the black and white TV. a gravel road bordered on the left by “Just fine Mama, just fine.” said Arthur. He a field of new growth soybeans. The placed his school bag on the floor next to the field had been used over the years to Sylvania television console. Above the televigrow cotton, sweet potatoes and run sion the wall was filled with framed photocattle, but now was filled with the promise of profit for south Louisiana’s graphs of John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, farmers. On the right side of the grav- and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In the center was a full color painting of Jesus with rays el road were small fenced yards and simple wood framed homes set off the emanating from his sacred heart. A brown ground on concrete piers. Behind each corduroy recliner, sagging davenport, and Formica coffee table completed the small livof them were several acres of scrub ing room. grass for cattle dotted here and there with a small garden. The small fenced “Anything new happening at the school yards held old cars, bicycles, chickens, today,” asked the heavyset woman as she slipped her feet into blue vinyl house slippers and dust. A deep ditch clogged with weeds ran along each side of the gravel and prepared to rise from the recliner. “Oh, you know how it always goes Mama, a road. regular Monday. With the rain this morning Arthur walked down a worn track in we stayed in the gym for PE and the white the road to the third house. It was boys played dodge ball. The coach let me sit neater than the others with chalking 3

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