“…ah, Telluric is a thief! He fucking stole it! I know. I can just see him pulling my shit across the yard, rubbing it in the dirt. Hildegarde was probably with him. Snooping in our trash. She probably stuck her nose on our windows trying to catch a glimpse of how good other people live. She’s a dumbass for fucking him. She’s no good; and he’s a fucking thief.”

Barnard wrote on the side of the stable using good crayons from the art store. His stories were handmade and covered the building like old advertisements in an out west town. Mistletoe had goaded him into telling her one more story. Barnard was just getting into it now, something of a sibbling rival theme. “Father is blind. I will go to Parson!” That type of thing.

He dropped his shoulders and crayons by his side. There was Mistletoe, about one full day away from a flight upstate. For a moment the story was tacit as the missing was already developing. Barnard knelt down into the mud like he knew he shouldn’t and grabbed a handful and slung it high into the sky so that it came down and got all smeared on their skin and truck. This was a mess of a situation he had no way of changing. He continued, while crawling on all fours then popping up as if he had a gun and pointing it to aim at far off trespassers. The breeze pushed back at his tired squint as his voice cracked accordingly. 

“…ah Telluric, my boy” said Parson, “come along and lets get you all ready to get yourself married now. Parson Klingschtall got Telluric just passed the whipping post when the old man came down as a Vesuvian pyroclast from a burning pit of righteousness, with rope and black hood in hand, pulled from beneath his vestments in the fashion of the darkest inquisition. Parson had Telluric bound and scared like a mischievous child about to be beaten right.”

Mistletoe curled over with that feeling like she gets during a thunder storm when the loud crack of thunder rattles the windows. Every story Barnard told had a beating scene. Mistletoe curled up as the Parson burned the rope into Telluric’s skin to get him tied to the post. Barnard snuggled up to Mistletoe knowing this was his last chance to tell her his best beating scene, better than Jesus, better than Auschwitz, better than Jim Crow.


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