Monsters and Dust

Table of ContentsBlogArchiveAboutLinks

The younger one goaded her on, and she couldn’t help it. The kid’s eyes maybe that did it to her, that made her muscles tense, like hearing a song you want to sing so bad and then you can’t help yourself and you sing it. Too loud. “You have no idea. You don’t know.” A laugh stuck in her throat. “You hate the white man? Please. You have no idea. You don’t know what it’s like. I hate the white man. I know. The white man wrecked my mother and my father. My grandmother was wrecked. We lived on this land 10,000 years before the white man came. They took everything from us. White man is mean and ugly and cruel. He is cruel. He is filthy. He has no care. The white man has taken everything from us, from this land; he rapes and pillages and murders. He says he owns it. How can anyone own anything?”

 “Ask the Chief. Just ask the Chief. Chief knows and he’s had enough. I’ve had enough.” Loretta smacked the counter closest to the cook and passed him the top piece of paper on her pad. “We’ve had enough.” The cook was white with purple pimples. “I don’t take shit from the white man—I’ve had enough too. We’re getting ourselves together and we’re getting stronger but you look out, best look out—stand clear of our vengeance because we will have ours.” Here she leaned into the boys, her voice hardly a whisper, she hissed, pupils tiny dots of energy, “We are headed on a war path.”

Meantime, a man in a trucker hat stood up from a booth in back. He adjusted the waist of his trousers, tucking them into the cinch of his gut. There was a permanent dimple in his shirt, marking the recess of his belly button. He disappeared down the corridor toward bathroom.

“So if I got a job here, could I come and see the Chief?”

Turning to get the fresh plates behind her, Loretta put the eggs down in front of the boys. “Why’d you care so much about the Chief?”

The younger shrugged like an old man. “I don’t know, he’s important. The Chief’s an important man. I might learn something. Chiefs are cool.”

Having returned from the back of the restaurant, the man in the trucker hat coughed, poised in the middle of the room. He pulled his trousers up, tucking his tummy into the waist. “Excuse me?” he coughed again. He was chewing on a toothpick. “Excuse me, Miss?” His teeth were bare and brown but it wasn’t a smile. Loretta, Josh and Elijah turned to look at him. The man wrung his hands, chuckling. “Yes, eh. Hem. Yes. I just wanted to let you know. I just shit on your floor. I just thought I’d tell you. I shit on your floor back there, on your bathroom floor. Yeah. It’s there.” The trucker pointed to the unisex bathroom. He took the toothpick out of his mouth and pinched it in his fingers. “Yeah,” he added. He snickered and scratched his head, before walking out, jingling the bells on the door.

The cook had not looked up. The cook was reading comics.


+   +   +