Thursday, September 5, 2013

Prompt: Raise Your Glass

Brita thumped her chipped mug on the table and pushed her chair back, standing a bit unsteadily. She wasn’t used to the strong Southern moonshine, but she motioned for another round and clapped her hands for attention as the room slowly quieted.

“It’s a good night for celebrating!” She spoke loud and clear, ignoring his voice in her mind. Speak up, girl. You can’t lead with a whisper. You got to be strong.

“We’ve come together for the harvest.” She nodded to Silas, the town leader. “Your fields grew well. You’ve got full silos to make it through the winter and plenty to trade.” Keep to yourself, girl. Don’t you lie with him like a your mother…

The crowd roared approval and thumped their fists and mugs on the tables. She lifted her mug and waved it for silence. Get to the point, girl.

“Thank you for your hospitality while we’ve worked side by side.” She grinned at William, arms around two of the local women. “Hard work, hard play, my Pops used to say.” We got no time for games, girl. Don’t be foolish.

“Pops saw the writing on the wall, even before the Monsanto plague took hold.” He’d slapped her mouth as he knocked the peanut butter and jelly sandwich to the floor. That crap’ll kill you, girl! Her best friend, Anna, ran out the door and all the way home and never spoke to Brita again.

“He started the Arc commune out in Idaho, and by the time the plague took out the corporate farms, the Arc was the only clean ag source in the country.” Those men are evil. They’ve rained destruction on us all in the name of the almighty dollar! Anna’s dad was one of the Monsanto execs killed in the Farmers’ Rebellion. William had been onsite, but he swore he hadn’t held a gun that day, and he never had since.

“We’re proud to share his vision of clean food with you today. Thank you for investing in Arc corn and grain for your fields.” Every trade is the highest stakes poker game of your life, girl. Play for keeps.

Tomorrow we’ll be on our way. Tonight, we celebrate. To the harvest!” The crowd roared again.

Happy birthday, Pops. Thanks for what you gave us to survive.

“To my Pops” she lifted her mug high. They all raised their mugs in a moment of silence. Brita drank the last of her moonshine and threw the mug into the harvest fire, sparks shooting out of the fireplace. Wasteful.

She marched over to Silas and kissed him firmly on the mouth. Catcalls and shouts of approval surrounded them as he slid his arms around her back and kissed her again. His was the only voice she heard for the rest of that night.

Dogs in house
Houdini, Brindle

The Lumineers, iTunes Festival convert

Time writing:
30 minutes

September word count:

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