Underneath Pauline’s rough exterior is a layer of 30 grit sandpaper, rubbing her from the inside out. She’s not a bitch; she’s the bitch, and she doesn’t care who knows it. Everyone knows it. Children and grown men alike cross the street to pass her house. Her temper is the topic of conversation anywhere civilized people meet. Her story, part legend, part rumor, part public record is one she’d prefer to forget. If only the idiots would let her. Small towns have a special way of preserving and perverting history. No one remembers the sordid details quite correctly, but no one is allowed to forget.
“Let me alone goddamnit,” Pauline bellowed on her way out of the Winn Dixie.
The venomous teenager’s taunting lit her fire. Pauline set her grocery bags on the ground. She reached into one of them and pulled out a can of pork-n-beans. The next thing she heard was “Oh my god, the bitch has hauled off and knocked out Jean Marie!”
Pauline was just getting started. Canned goods hurled toward Jean Marie’s confederates. She’d emptied an entire bag before the store manager lurched into the parking lot.
“Git outta here, Pauline! Go on, git!”
“Go to hell! All ya’ll can go to hell!”
Cans rolled toward her. She scooped them up, cursing each time she dropped one back into her bag. This is a typical day in the life of Pauline Morton, the woman most hated and most misunderstood. She has not a friend to her name. Deep down this doesn’t bother her one bit, but on the surface, where the light shines too brightly on her, it hurts like hell. The dark places where Pauline takes refuge from the idiots is undisturbed by their twisted lies. It is on the surface where she continuously gets rubbed the wrong way.
How it goes around town, this town that thinks it is the center of the universe, is that Pauline killed a man. Some say she killed a bunch of men, even a few women and children. They say she wiped out an entire community and then moved to Jessup…
Seriously? Am I going to write this? Has it been long enough? Do I even have the right to tell this story? I want to, but it seems wrong somehow. It kind of is my story to tell. Then again, it really isn’t. Technically, I mean, the story belongs to the fiction that is the historical record of the made-up small town of Jessup, Idaho where taters are big business and the men who grow them can snuff out the life of anyone who tries to expose…
Okay, as you can see I am testing the waters here for just one more chapter of my book. I’ve only been to Idaho once in my life. It is farm country. As far as I know there is no town named Jessup in Idaho. I just like the way it rolls off the tongue. Jessup, Idaho. Jessup, Idaho. Yeah, it has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? The Winn Dixie grocery store chain may not even be in Idaho. So, there’s some research to be done for sure, but this is how an idea develops. It starts with something much like that sandpaper rubbing from the inside out.
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15 thoughts on “Live From The Back Porch It’s Tuesday Afternoon”
I have the biggest smile on my face. Huge. Praying hard she isn’t based on me.
No way. Pauline is her own woman. She would never be based on anyone but herself! So glad you like it.
I live in a small town …. in South Africa. It’s exactly like Jessup. If understanding Pauline is loving her, I’m going to love Pauline.
I think you will find there is much to love about Pauline.
I will make it short and to the point……Oh Hell Yes you will continue to write.
Short enough? We need characters and stories like this Honie. You are just the writer to bring this to the pages for us.
Oh hell yes. Thanks for the vote of confidence. I endeavor to be worthy of it.
I’m with inkspiller. More please!
Your wish is my command.
I like the pork n beans and cans flying visual. Kick ass character
Who knew canned corn was a deadly weapon?
This is a wonderful character study—I want to meet her just so I can leave her. Thanks for the link above, I am going to follow it.
Don’t be surprised if you end up sympathizing with Pauline. There is definitely more to her story.
Aaaahhh, the hook.
“Underneath Pauline’s rough exterior is a layer of 30 grit sandpaper, rubbing her from the inside out.”
This is one of the best sentences I’ve read. Ever. Love, love, love it. I want to know more about Pauline. No, I NEED to know more. NEED!
And if Winn Dixie isn’t in Idaho, even better. Jessup sounds like the kind of town that would name the store anything it wanted, and let the intellectual property lawyers even try to shut it down.
Please… keep writing…
I love your awesome comment. For that alone I will write until my fingers bleed. This second go round is giving me a run for my money. Much of it is finished, but something keeps pressing its way to the surface. There’s more to tell than I have written or possibly even thought of. If you haven’t read the earlier excerpts, you can check them out here: https://honiebriggs.com/2014/01/06/character-building-plot-thickening/