Short Stories Image

    A Short, True Story



REVOLUTION. We are going to win. We have the power on our side.

So, we meet in secret places, out in public’s plain sight. We’ve nothing to hide from the ignorant any way. Our favorite place is the local coffee shop, right off the highway it invites the Farmer John’s and Trucker Joe’s…aren’t we a scary bunch? If looks could kill, well we “knock ‘em dead” every time that’s for sure. There’s just so many fun ways to infiltrate their lairs, leaving them asking questions and shaking their heads, oh yes, we definitely leave a lasting impression.

My friends, and their clothes. Me, well I try to keep up with the things my parents purchase at the local discount mart, but even I know you can only do so much with plaid, stripes, and large gaudy floral prints.

I think the best time ever, was the country dirt road. Here we are in the middle of nowhere, following our instincts to seek out those places so like us, abandoned, shadowed, broken in so many ways, yet somehow, some way, still standing. A spooky edifice made into legend by rumors of insanity, hauntings, and just plain danger of falling in on itself (or us). Armed with sunglasses so small as to be nearly useless, our best clothes (etiquette dictates you must be dressed in your most superior fashion items for visiting derelict buildings, wooded lots, and cemeteries) and cameras we descended up on this particular location with views of the magazine quality photographs we were going to take, like it or not we were going to show the world our perfection.

So here’s the locale, a dirt road leading to nowhere (don’t they always?), an abandoned house all broken down crumbling and covered in vines and cobwebs, and us. It is the middle of summer, and the heat is a separate entity unto itself. Unbearable, but down ask us to remove our perfectly layered ensembles, it would just ruin the look you know. Oh, and did I mention the cows? Oh hilarity, “Here’s a perfect pose, now take the picture please, I’m positively melting, Hello?” Slack jawed shock, they just come traipsing out of the bushes, a whole danged herd of cows! Me a little further back watching the scene unfold, Dennis with the camera ready to take Matt’s picture, “Oh my Gawd!” Matt had no idea, he was posed in the middle of this dirt road, the sun slanting down through the trees creating perfect angles of dust and light, thinking, “Why is he just standing there not taking my picture???” Because there were COWS! There were cows, walking like it was something they did every day down the middle of this dirt road, no Farmer John or Farmer John’s son guiding their path, just walking down the road before veering off to a particularly luscious looking field of alfalfa nearby.

There’s a house down the road, maybe the cows belong to them, nevertheless we are nothing else if not good citizens; perhaps these people are not aware that their cows are roaming the neighborhood. “Let’s go tell these good folk what’s going on!” We hop into the car and drive about 500 yards down the road (we didn’t walk, didn’t I mention it was HOT outside? Walk, are you kidding?), now we sit here in the driveway debating, who’s going inside? “Not me” repeat urgently several times. Finally, “Ok, we’ll all do it together.” When the door opens, I’m sure we’re viewed as something akin to aliens come to abduct them, well either that or some of those door-to-door religion peddlers (same difference, well ok maybe we were too well dressed for the peddler option…at least Matt & Dennis were, I’ll stick with the alien theory thank you.)

“So, your cows left their field down there and are wandering down the road.” What? (Remember the slack jawed shock?) “Cows,” we said a little more slowly, “Your cows have gotten loose.” What? We don’t have no cows, what are you talking about?

After communicating with the primitives of the household through pointing vigorously and simple words and sign language we seem to get the message across, the word “boys” is bellowed throughout the house and a jumble of arms, legs and overall suspenders are last seen throwing themselves into the resident pickup truck to chase those renegade cows out of their briar patch…Mission accomplished.

We drive off, our good dead filling us with a feeling of hysteria, we are laughing so hard we have to pull over, tears flowing over tiny sunglasses we do not stop laughing for a long, long time, in fact we’re still laughing today.

Like I said, we will win. Why? Why not? Do you know any one more qualified? Or better dressed? (not counting myself of course)

The End

Copyright © 2006- Teresa Rothman