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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)

TITLE: The Gin Stockpile
By Sally Hanan
05/14/08


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Momma’s got the shakes tonight. She got drunk too. She said she weren’t drunk on nothin’ but the Holy Spirit, but I know better. I seen her sneak out, sneaked out she did, right after dinner. She said she were goin’ to the store, but I seen her, I seen her go to the Chapel of the Holy Ghost. I think they be drinkin’ in there. They must be to have Marla’s Momma be so far gone now.

Now she be sittin’ across from me at the table, gigglin’ and shakin’ and acting all stupid. I don’t know where she gone got the money from. Maybe she has some old boy down at the chapel givin’ her gin for some lovin’ from her bony frame. Dirty old man—wait ‘til I get my hands on him. I asked Marla where her Momma be getting’ all the shakes from. She says it be from the chapel. I never seen anyone shakin’ from chapel. Marla says there’s a revival goin’ on down there these nights, and that I should go; it might go and do me some good.

Good, huh? Like I could get it any better than this? I got Momma cookin’ my dinner and Marla in my bed and between them they look after the little brats, all five of them. I ain’t got nothin’ to complain about.

But this has me thinkin’. What if she has got some gin party goin’ on? I could get me some from that dirty old man, and then beat him up good after I find his stock.
***

I followed Momma tonight. Now I know why she gets those shakes, or…I think I do. That old lady sorta ran down to the chapel. The room was packed. They had some sort of visiting preacher woman. Her name was Katherine somethin’ or other; I don’t remember now; but it was like she had a halo around her, sort of light and floatin'. There were people in wheelchairs there. I stood in the dark in the back row, but that lady pointed her bony finger into the darkness and called me out, yes she did. She said I had a problem with my heart. How did she know my heart skipped and danced like a striped bumble bee? I felt a tinglin’ and then a heat crawl through my chest and then it stopped. Momma slapped her hands onto her mouth when she saw me, and then she smiled. I don’t know why she smiled.

That’s when that lady asked me if I knew Jesus. I said, “Well no Ma’am, I can’t say I do.” She stared me down, and then she told me that it was Jesus who had fixed my heart, and that he could fix my life too. Like I said, I had it good, and I was about to tell her that too when I started to cry like a big baby. Somethin’ got a hold of me and wouldn’t let go. She told me that was Jesus too, and that he would let me go if I told him I was sorry for my sin. Sin? That’s when I felt real bad and wanted to feel clean like the light around that lady. I didn’t know what to do but she told me to copy what she said and I said, “I’m sorry for my sin, Jesus. I’ll do whatever you want from now on.” That’s when it happened. I started to feel washed out, like nothin' heavy was left there anymore. Momma walked up to me in her crooked way and put her hand on my shoulder. She was shaking, and then I started to shake. We shook our way home, laughin’ together like two coyotes.

Marla thinks I’m fakin’ it, but Momma says that time will tell. I wouldn’t fake somethin’ that looks so stupid.

So much for that gin stockpile. Now I guess I got me some Jesus.


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This article has been read 810 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie Wistrom05/15/08
This whole story came alive in my head. I love the dialect and how you showed his salvation.

Will Marla's story be next? She won't last many days as odd man out;)

Masterful indeed!
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/15/08
I love the voice of your mc and the story of how he found his own "shakes."
Gregory Kane05/17/08
I wish that I could write so powerfully in regional dialect. I guess that you just have to have the ear for it. This was an intoxicatingly delightful story. My only reservation would be that I’m not so sure that it’s bang on topic. But sometimes we all write just for the sheer pleasure of getting something down on paper!
Joanne Sher 05/17/08
Love the voice of this piece. Great job with dialect and the story itself. A great read!
Jan Ackerson 05/18/08
Oooh, good one! I love the irony in the title, and the wonderful atmosphere. Super!
Laury Hubrich 05/18/08
This is a great piece of writing, as all your pieces are. Always out-of-the-box and edgy. Keeping us on our toes, my dear:)
Laury
LaNaye Perkins05/18/08
I love the voice of your MC and the way you painted this picture of words. Well done my friend.
Betty Castleberry05/18/08
Great voice. We must have the same neighbors. ;0)
This is well written and an entertaining read.
Sharlyn Guthrie05/20/08
Love the voice. I felt transported into a whole different place. Great writing.
Joshua Janoski05/20/08
Loved the voice and dialogue in this. I was a bit confused if it was a male or female speaking at first, but then I figured out that it was the woman's son-in-law. This was a creative and fun read. Thank you for sharing! :)
Sara Harricharan 05/21/08
This was a great read, I was still chuckling at the end. Loved how it turned out, great job. ^_^
Joanne Sher 05/23/08
Congratulations, Sally, on placing t10h in your level and 13th overall. Great job!