Love and Lament Buy from other retailers

Publication Date: Aug 6, 2013

208 pp


List Price US: $9.99

ISBN: 978-1-59051-588-4

Love and Lament

A Novel

“You horse’s ass,” her grandfather was saying, “you surely don’t expect me to fall for that.” He was holding some cards, as were the other five men, and there was money in the middle of the table. They were drinking whiskey from glasses that sparkled like gold in the lantern light, and sometimes they’d pour more from a brown bottle. “The Devil’s own medicine,” her grandmother called it, though Mary Bet did not know why. She watched with fascination, not paying much attention to the talk. Then Captain Granddaddy roared, “Goddamn if I ain’t the luckiest son of a bitch since Jesus met General Lee,” and drew all the money toward himself with two big hands.
Mary Bet sat there feeling her face flame, waiting for the Devil to come take her grandfather away. Surely he would hear the cussing and come for his medicine—how foolish her grandfather had been. She thought it possible she herself would be turned to stone for hearing such a thing. She wanted to leave, but now she was afraid to move and sat there like a block of ice, hoping that no one, not even the Devil, would know where she was. Her head burned so, it must be close to the furnace of hell already. “God,” she prayed, a tear rolling down her cheek, “I promise never to leave my room at night.”
The card dealing and wagering went on, with the piles of money growing in front of some of the men and disappearing in front of others with an unseen logic. They kept drinking and getting louder and cussing more freely, and Mary Bet grew so used to the words that they no longer bothered her. She thought the men were like big goats with their beards and something always in their mouths, whether it was cigars or chewing tobacco or whiskey, their heads up and bleating when they wanted something they didn’t get. She almost laughed. Suddenly the room got very quiet.

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