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A.B. The pothole man….
By Rev. Sleestaxx ….
A.B. The pothole man walked about with a
stilted jerky gait. Dunno why he just did. Old A.B. Been round for ages. “Since I was a kid ‘tleast” would
be pappy’s reply when asked how long A.B.’s been fixing potholes…..
He was called the pothole man cuz he could be
found fixin’ potholes wet’er he was axe’d to or not. Be it a ….county.. ..FM….
road, people drive ways or just old pig trails…..
But A.B. Was always fix’n potholes. Sumtimes
he gets a dollar or two from some farmer or cattleman but oftener not he was
not getting a dime for the hole you saw him fillin’ and tampin’…..
I dunno what makes him fix one and not
anutter. I know my pappy is always muttering sumtin’ and wave when sees A.B. working
a hole. And curse the devil and A.B. When the ol’ ford would jerk hard and buck
after hitting a big hole in the road. My ol’ pappy be raisin’ cane and flood
waters screamin’ that weren’t there yesterday when we went into town, and where’d
that damn hole come from and Ma would hush him up ‘bout his language saying ….
“There weren’t no
need of wakin’ the devil up over a hole in the road.”….
An’ ‘den you’d see my pap just grip the wheel tight,
like he was drivin’ more careful but he was just mad and me and ma would share
One day me and the two Jenkin’s boys were
hunting squirrels. Jacob and me with our 22s and Jessup with his four ten, down
by the old river bend cemetery. Jacob wasthe youngest, while I was two months
older then him, but I never let ‘em forget who was older. Jacob had stole a
square of his pap’s chewin’ ‘baccy and we was under the shade of a red oak just
hidin’ from the sun fer’abit and spitting…..
Jessup the oldest leaned in abit like he seen
sometin’ in the woods and then he waved at us to git low. So we did. We knew
better then to make noise when one of us said to git low…..
Why one time we was swimming at a river bend
and Jacob told us to git low in the water, we did and we got real deep into the
cypress knees on one side and waited. There came Marie the preacher’s daughter
to the bank on the other side, now she was abit older than Jessup by like three
years which made her a high school graduate but she was still in town to help
her daddy preach. She was real purrty and all the young men in the county were
always trying to impress her dad so they could get a date with her. Always
every Sunday there was a five or eight young men in the front pews of the
church. You never see that unless the preacher has a beautiful daughter…..
Why she just walked up to the water and pulled
her dress over her head and jumped into the water. That was the first time I
seen a naked girl. Well aside from my sisters in the tub washing but doin’
count ‘fer ‘nuttin as they was my sisters and all, not real girls. Well We
three boys looked at each other, just our eyes over the water like crocodiles
and we watched Marie swim on her back and dive and she swam like that for like
a half hour. Then she got out of the water and put her dress on and turn to
But just then she hollered. “Bye boys. And
next time you should come out of hiding and swim with a girl. Not polite to let
me swim alone and you three hide like gators in the knees of the trees like
But there was no way I was gonna swim with
Marie like that. It was a might embarrassing to be in that condition tat all, let
alone let a girl see that too. ….
Well like I said we knew when one of us said
to git low it was ‘fer a reason…..
So there was the three of us lying in the wild
hay at the edge of the cemetery trying to see what we was hiding from. And
there was A.B. walking out of the trees and into the cemetery. His stumble
shuffle keeping him slow but he seemed to know where was goin’ ‘cuz he did not
look around, he just walked straight to the back of the plots to a single
marker. He stood there for a bit, and then he knelt like he was saying a prayer
no more’n 100 feet from our spot, and then a smell of rotten eggs came in on a
breeze. Man, I tell you it was so strong my eyes watered up so bad I could
hardly see, but there in the shade of an old pine, by the headstone in broad
daylight a big ol’ plume of smoke rose up and a man in a white sears suit was
standing next to A.B…..
The pothole man did not look up and he did not
even budge when the man placed his hand on the roadman’s shoulder, A.B. just
We heard the suit guy say “Why you always
come to the same stone?”….
“You forgotten already?” asked A.B…..
With a chuckle the
guy in the white suit said, “aAlready? It’s been decades my old friend. And
I am a busy man, I can not remember all the mortals I come in contact with. How
is it that you do?”….
“This is Eleanor’s place.”….
And the suited man got real still for a moment
as if listening to a whisper or a memory had come over him…..
You know Baraqiel it is unfair that he let you
come down here and fall in love like you all did. It was unfair for him to turn
away from you all when you got lost…..
A.B. Stood so fast it was a blur and pushed
the suited man…..
The suited man just flew back, but he did not
fall, he just came walking back to A.B. Smiling…..
A.B. Shouted and it sounded as loud as a
summer thunder storm. “You know nothing my love and devotion. You know
nothing of his purpose for me and why I am here.”….
“Look Baraqiel” said the suited man.
“I have some matters I want to discuss with you”….
“I want nothing to do with your deals Thammuz.”….
“Oh, but I think you may Grigori you just
might find it interesting.”….
“What would you say if I arranged for the
return of your Eleanor and I get him to take you both back?”….
“You can not arrange that! Why even try to lie/”
“I am not a liar dear archangel. I can bring
your precious Eleanor back to you so that you may dance with her again.” And,
at that the ground at A.B.’s feet exploded, grave dirt flying every which way and
there in front of A.B. was a corpse dressed in a wedding gown kinda hanging limp
like a puppet…..
A.B. just wailed so loud that the ground shook
and Jacob wet his pants. I weren’t ever going to hold it against Jacob wettin’
his pants at that moment, because I did too. But Jessup looked mean and mad. But
we stayed low and quiet…..
The dead woman just hung there in the air and
A.B. Just screamed and screamed, then he began to cry as the corpse put out her
arms stiffly. She looked like when a girl is asked to dance…..
And weeping A.B. grabbed her in his arms and began
to box step like my parents at family weddings. There weren’t no music only the mean laugh of
the suited man. ….
A.B. danced like he had no limp and no stutter
step. He cried something awful and begged the suited man to “Put her
back”, “Put her back”, but the suited man just laughed at A.B.’s
pleas and begging tears…..
And A.B. just lovingly danced with “Eleanor”
and wept, stroking the thin scraggly hair. He looked deep into her eye sockets
muttering something with tears wetting his cheeks and lips…..
I dunno what got into Jessup but he got plumb
fire’d up and began crawling away from us. I knew was goin’ to do somethin’ but
did not want nothing to give our hiding spot away so’s to protect his little
brother Jacob. Jacob tried to follow but I held Jacob back with a look and a
Jessup got 200 feet around the side of the cemetery
behind the man in a suit. Me and Jacob was scared for Jessup, but we did not
want to tip our hand either…..
Jessup got in a low crouch and sprang like a cougar
at the suited man. Just as the man spun around Jessup brought his gun stock
down on the man’s face. ….
It was a thunk so loud and hallow. It would
have killed any other normal man, but the man just stumbled back and Eleanor
fell limp in A.B.’s hands…..
“NO!!” Yelled A.B. but Jessup was already
bringing the gun muzzle down and aiming at the man. Then the shot rang out point
blank and we saw something fly off the back of the man’s head. The shot must’ve
blown a hole in his face clean to the back of his head and the man took another
step backwards. Jessup pulled another time on the trigger, but nothing happened,
the gun must’ve jammed. So Jessup dropped the gun and pulled out his ….bowie…. and leaped at the
man like a crazed injun…..
The knife was driven to the hilt in his chest
and he laughed. The suited man laughed like it was the funniest thing ever. Jessup
just hung there on the knife staring into the man’s face…..
A.B. Dropped “Eleanor” into a heap of
bones and wedding dress and moved to the man in the suit…..
Jessup let go and dropped to his feet and
began backing up…..
“Oh no son you do not get to leave with
allowing my turn.” And Jessup stopped you could tell he did not mean to stop
but he was like froze or something. The suited man looked Jessup up and down…..
He reached his hand out…..
A.B. Screamed NO! Like a thunder clap so loud
and strong my ears rang…..
The suited man hesitated and then put his hand
in Jessup’s chest, in his chest, and pull out his heart. I had seen many hearts,
deer hearts, cow hearts, rabbit ….
Hearts, and most assuredly
squirrel hearts, so I know’d that was Jessup’s heart quivering and red in that
strangers hand. Jessup fell to the ground…..
Jacob jumped up “leave my brother alone!”
and I popped up right after him and took aim at the suited man. Jacob he fired
his 22 at the suited man taking no real time to aim, but the shot rang true for
there was a twist to the man’s head…..
He just smiled and raised his hands and Jacob
flew straight up into the sky, so high I could not see him…..
I waited for the man to look at me cuz I was
gonna put a shell right in his eye…..
Just then A.B. ran up “Hold, Thammuz do
not damage another innocent mortal here again. Put Eleanor back, restore these
boys, and I shall do all that you ask.”….
“You would give up your place as one of the
leaders, you will be no longer a watcher, but a mortal? Cause you know you make
a free will chose like that and he will cast you down.”….
“He has already, as I have already made this
“You can not trap the others, so this loss is
no greater than when I fell in love with Eleanor. He has turned his back on me,
even now I no longer feel the warmth of his love. I now know the coldness you
and the mortals feel.”….
“Alright so be it, you will finish your days
here as a pothole man and the boys will live.” And at that he flung the heart
back into Jessup and Jacob feel from the sky…..
He landed with such crash that there was a
hole in the ground a foot deep…..
Jacob got up like nothing had happened; Jessup
got up and looked at us. ….
I looked at A.B. but he was gone and so was
the stranger in the white suit. Eleanor’s grave looked like nothing had
I tried to tell them what happened but they
insist that we all fell asleep and I dreamed it ‘cause they do not remember any
of it. They say it must’ve been the ‘baccy that made me sick…..
Now when I see A.B., he looks older, slower,
and sadder. But he smiles when he sees me and I am sad ‘fer him, but I am glad
he saved us that day…..
Like A Monkey With A Handgun
By Rev. J. Sleestaxx
Release date: By 3 December, 2007..
With A Mouthful Of Razorblades
By Rev. J. Sleestaxx
Release date: By 6 February, 2008..