Posts Tagged ‘Billy’
Friday, June 10th, 2011
This post is a work of fiction based on the prompt, “Find a happy ending” for The Red Dress Club. Willa and Billy are Skye’s grandparents. This takes place when Willa and Billy are in their early teens. For more on these characters, read here, here, here, and here, although Skye’s name in this last link is Emma.
We got a lot of snow that winter. It was 10 feet deep in some places and school was cancelled because it wasn’t safe to walk and the school room was too cold for anyone’s brain to work anyway.
That was right before Christmas. I wanted to give something to Billy so Mama helped me knit him a hat. I picked a green wool to match his eyes and it was soft, too, so his head wouldn’t itch.
It came out real good but Billy didn’t come by Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, either. I ate my ham and potatoes and green bean casserole and flipped through the new books I got. But mostly I watched the road and the snow gently float down until it got too dark to see anything at all.
When I got up the next morning I decided I would go find Billy. I had never been to his house but I knew just about where it was, by the factory.
I pulled on my boots and coat and the mittens, hat and scarf Mama made me. I tucked Billy’s hat in my pocket. Mama watched me get ready, tucking a piece of flame-red hair behind each ear.
She quickly grabbed a basket from the cabinet next to the stove and put in some biscuits and left-over ham and a big hunk of her honey bread. She covered it with a red cloth and handed it to me.
“Be careful,” she said.
“I will, Mama,” I told her. But I couldn’t much figure out what she was worried about.
I set out for Billy’s. The sun against the snow was almost blinding so I kept my head down.
I turned down Jeter Street toward the factory. I could see the three mud-brown houses in a row right before the entrance. The front door of the first house hung open and I could see clear inside. It was empty.
The second house had “O’Keefe” on a sign hanging by their front door.
I knew the last one had to be Billy’s. No one had shoveled the walk. The paint was peeling and faded and the porch sagged under the weight of the snow.
Then I heard yelling. At first I thought it was the radio turned up real loud but then I realized it was a man and he was very angry.
“Goddammit you stupid piece of garbage! Get the hell out of here! Don’t never come back!”
The door flew open and out came Billy as if he’d been thrown. He landed on his back in the pile of snow. I saw a big figure in the shadows just inside.
The door slammed shut as Billy got up and jumped over the railing. He had blood dripping from his lip and he was crying. I didn’t think Billy ever cried.
And that’s when he saw me.
He ran to me and grabbed my arm and shook it and hissed, “What the hell are you doing here? NEVER come here again. Ever!”
He dragged me away and I stumbled and fell, the ham and biscuits and honey bread spilling onto the snow.
Billy watched as I scrambled up and started stuffing the food back into the basket.
Then he ran. He ran and disappeared into the woods. I felt the cold seeping through my mittens and my face was burning from tears.
I was halfway home when I realized his gift had fallen out of my pocket.
I thought about him freezing and alone and bleeding in the woods and I hoped somehow he’d find some warmth.
And he had. Billy crept back home at dusk and picked the knitted cap off a pile of snow where it had landed. He gently dusted off the flakes and buried his face in its softness, inhaling her scent of summer sun.
Friday, December 10th, 2010
Another excerpt from my NaNoWriMo work. Willa is remembering meeting Billy for the first time. This post is inspired by the prompt “write about your character’s first love” for The Red Dress Club.
I was 13. We had just moved to Amberville and Pa was a supervisor down at the factory where Billy’s Pa worked. Billy came right up to our front door and asked if there were any kids. I told him it was just me. I didn’t count my brother. He was just a baby.
We looked each other over. I wondered if he’d taken a bath in mud. The dirt on his face made his teeth glaringly white when he gave me a big smile and his eyes? Well, they were something special. Green as the pond behind the house where we used to live. I liked trying to catch tadpoles in there but my mother wasn’t so keen on her little girl getting too dirty.
Which is what made this boy so appealing. (more…)
Friday, October 29th, 2010
His breath was always sour, like something bad was boiling deep inside. But it was probably just the beer.
He tucked his belly into his blue jeans and toasted the morning with an ice-cold Schlitz before heading to his job at the factory where he cranked the heavy machinery. He drank his lunch and washed it down with another.
At least, that’s how it seemed to the guys with whom he worked. They were scared of him. (more…)