The boy Jamie brought home from California was smart—no arguing about that thought Nell, smiling—even with all those stupid tattoos. The two kids were clearly head-over-heels in love. No arguing with that either; couldn’t keep their hands off each other, point of fact. They lived together out east now, not seeing fit to get married. Nell smiled at the memory: When Jamie’d first brought her boyfriend home from college to meet her mom and dad, Cherise and Edward, the two of ‘em had stayed with Nell at the old family house. She made them sleep in different bedrooms upstairs, them not being married…and pretended not to hear Jamie sneaking down the hallway late at night. Nell knew every inch of that house, and every spot where the floorboards creaked. She never missed Jamie tip-toeing along to get to her boyfriend upstairs, and chuckled out loud thinking on it even now. Never said anything of course…and to tell the truth, the two kids reminded Grandma Nell of her and Melville when they’d first fallen in love.
After Melville died and Nell decided to stay in the old family home alone, kids and grandkids were always dropping by. She knew the neighbors all up and down the road too, the one they’d lived on for so long. Lots of other friends were spread elsewhere around Hardell for Grandma Nell, many of them members of the Southern Baptist church she and Melville had raised the kids in. Church didn’t do ’em any harm, she reflected now; none had gone bad with the law, and none’d turned out lazy, drunken or drug-addicted.
To the left off the porch, a long dirt driveway came up from the county road. There was a dust cloud being kicked up. Nell figured it was a pickup coming by for a visit. She leaned back and rocked, waiting for the vehicle to pull up in front of the porch. It was a pickup all right: Well if it ain’t my granddaughter Amy and her husband Calhoun. Truth be known, Calhoun was a bit on the blustery side, even to the likes of Melville and Nell. But the kids had to pick their own path in life, and neither Nell nor Melville had thought it right to interfere. Wouldn’t have done any good anyway. And besides, Amy was a strong-willed girl, just like her grandmother, and generally gave as good as she got. Even so, when Calhoun got likkered up he could turn into a real asshole. Once Melville’d threatened him with a shotgun, saying if he ever struck his granddaughter Amy in front of him again, Calhoun would be making the acquaintance of one or both barrels of the 12 gauge Melville was pointing at him. Truth was, Melville would have squeezed both triggers, if that’s what it took to get Calhoun’s attention and stop him from beating on Amy.
Wouldda calmed him down, all right, Nell reflected. Wouldda made him DEAD.
Algerine Onyx is the nom de plume of an alien "transitioned intelligence" that decided to become a "storyteller-for-humans." Originally of the species "Achron," Onyx is one of several hundred such entities currently loose on earth. To find out more about the author and its original species, the Achrons, read its first book "Achron Kindness" (available on Amazon).