Hi, everyone I’m a little late with today’s sample, but I figured you would all forgive me. This is one of the short pieces in my current WIP, It Happened in Memphis and Other Stories. As always, this is an early draft and the final version may be different. Enjoy!
“Dammit, boy, I always figured you for the sensible one,” Riley stormed on the other end of the telephone.
“There’s a baby coming,” Amos replied. “I can’t just do nothing.”
“Getting married to a woman you’ve known only a little more than a year is insane, little brother. That’s all I’m saying.”
“Well, I think you’re wrong. Kelly’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I’ve met her people and they’re fine folks. She’s been out to Mommy’s, and got along just fine.”
“Mommy tells a different story, Amos.” Riley’s voice was serious. “She says that everyone made polite noises because they’ve got home training … but that after you all left there were many conversations. I don’t think she’s the right girl for you.”
“Riley, at the end of the day you don’t have to marry Kelly, sleep with Kelly, or even like Kelly. But she’s my choice, and we’re getting married this afternoon in front of a judge. I won’t abandon the woman I love … or my child.”
“Ye gods, Amos. No one said anything about abandonment either. In case you haven’t noticed, no one is required to get married in order to have a child.”
“I think you’re bitter over your divorce, Riley. And, I think maybe you’re just a little jealous.” Amos ran his fingers through his unruly black hair. He kept thinking he’d grow it out long again, but then that job offer had come from the Chicago law firm. He needed to look like a businessman, not a damn-fool musician.
“You’ve gone too far, Amos. That was uncalled for. You’re right, though; it’s your life. And your funeral. I can’t put my finger on why, but I think you’re making an enormous mistake.”
“Oh god … please don’t throw ‘the family gift’ up at me. I already had it from Tante Julie.”
“If Miss Julie couldn’t make you see sense, Amos, there’s no hope for you. You’ve always been her favorite, and I don’t begrudge you that. The gift is strongest in her, and if you don’t want to pay attention, I can’t help you.” Riley’s voice had changed from angry to resigned.
“I wish you’d give me your good wishes,” Amos said quietly. He and his brother didn’t talk very often because of Riley’s travels, which was one of Amos’ greatest regrets.
“I will wish you luck, brother. It’s the best I can do. I need to go now. I love you, couillon.”
“I’ll take that in the spirit it’s intended, Riley. Love you, too.”
Amos hung up the phone and shook his head. Maybe he was crazy … but he was in love. Plus, he’d always been taught to take responsibility for situations he created, and that was definitely the case where Kelly Carpenter’s baby was concerned.
He took his suit jacket off the back of the kitchen chair and went out into the living room where Miss Julie waited.
“Well, auntie, let’s go get me married off,” he said quietly.
Julie thought he looked more like a man heading to his own execution than a man in love, but she kept her own counsel on the matter. Amos was an adult, and it wasn’t for her to interfere in his free will choices. She’d said her piece, and that was all that anyone could do.