Thursday, April 1, 2010


A response to Heather Hansen's "Quote" in Flashy Fiction.

Pings echoed from the jug as it filled drop by drop. "Why is it taking so long?" Bubba asked.

"Shh," said uncle Joe. "Don't distract me. I need to keep an eye on the temperature."

The domed spotlight hung from a rain gutter on the house and blinded Bubba when he looked at uncle Joe. He peered into the darkness of the woods to let his eyes readjust. A tube ran from the boiler up into the top of the cylindrical cooler that acted as a condenser. The copper spigot, cut into the side of the cooler, dripped clear liquid.

His uncle pulled out the jug, handed it to Bubba, and slipped a new one into its place. Bubba grabbed a thermos out of his pack and filled it with the moonshine.

"Hey, you don't want that. That's the heads, it'll make you go blind."

Bubba didn't plan on drinking the moonshine himself, but he didn't want uncle Joe to know that. He poured half the thermos out until uncle Joe bent over the thermostat again. He waited for the other jug to fill. There was enough liquid in it to top off his thermos, but uncle Joe was touchy and he daren't annoy him before the moonshine finished.

Uncle Joe handed him the other jug, nearly full. "This is the good stuff." Uncle Joe returned to the distiller as it continued to drip and fill up another jug. Bubba filled his thermos and stoppered it. "Don't drink that all in one go, it's strong stuff."


The bell rang and Bubba slid his history book into his pack and hurried out the door with the other kids. Maybe Karl wasn't going to find him after all. Outside, he hurried towards the buses. Someone grabbed him from behind and twisted him against the stone side of the staircase in the shadows of everyone racing to leave school. Karl stood over him one hand stretching the collar of Bubba's shirt.

"Where's the moonshine?" Behind Karl, Chad and Rick hovered like a couple of raccoons waiting to eat the crumbs.

"I... i... in my pack," said Bubba.

Karl twisted his head at the pack and Chad pushed Bubba and then pulled the pack off his shoulders.

"It's in my thermos."

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