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Spittoon 1. 1

The Contract Wayne Lee Thomas

Man by the name of Peabody told Daddy he had a will to sell. He’d been knocking on doors like typewriter salesfolk used to, had gamboge sweat lining his pits. Daddy weren’t one to turn away a working man, even one retailing in shirttails. And when Daddy explained he didn’t have a pot to will someone to piss in Peabody explained how he had a sure-fire bargain, said he’d supply the inheritance if Daddy just bought the contract. Daddy inquired about what kind of inheritance exactly but, as Momma later fussed, not the contract. Peabody told him a farmhouse in the sticks and a horse named Honey, or a money-making pig shack called Juicy Butts just outside town, or the deed to the very trailer we were living in. Daddy figured he’d have the trailer paid off in a decade and, being young as he was, he weren’t about to sign a fool’s deal. He was hung up about us kids pissing on his grave for having to slop pigs. So he signed for the farm and horse in the sticks. Momma got past Daddy indebting the family $15 a month for the rest of his natural life when she realized the sheer joy his newfound legacy gave him. After a few years, she even stopped pointing out how he wouldn’t be around to brush Honey once they retired to their country estate. Everyone allowed him his fantasy of planting a small garden, enough peas and okra to store for the winter, and ambling along on Honey’s back on land he rightfully called his own. We liked Daddy big-eyed and happy. He got the trailer deed sure enough, but he never owned much else to brag on. We all thought it the end of Daddy when Peabody called about Honey. Said horses weren’t made to live the 30 years that’d come and gone since the contract. Daddy, a grown-damn man, cried a week holed up in his room over a horse he’d never seen. When he re-emerged, he started in preaching to us kids how lucky we’d find ourselves with a rural manor, how it’d be wise to start saving up for a horse. My sisters bickered over who’d get to move in that farmhouse. I said I’d supply the pony. Daddy passed in his eightieth year. Peabody drove out with the contract in hand looking about half-dead himself. Asked who’d sign for the estate. My sisters signed, every last one. Seeing as none had ever been married, they said they wouldn’t mind living communally. Fortuitous. Someone else’s daddy passed a month later, and they were joined by a son. And another son a few weeks following, then a daughter. Turns out lots of daddies had signed the contract. But after periods of adjustment, no one seemed to mind. It was a big farmhouse set on a few acres of land, roomy enough for sons and daughters to hand feed oats to a half dozen ponies named Honey.

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Profile for Spittoon Press

Spittoon Issue 1  

Issue 1 of Spittoon

Spittoon Issue 1  

Issue 1 of Spittoon

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