THESE DAMP STONES, a novel-in-progress by Sheryl Monks
The waitress cleared the table and wiped it down with a wet rag. Sudie lifted her arms from the table and shook the lighter. Tried again with the same results. The waitress dug around in her apron again and tossed a book of matches on the table.
“I’m beholden to you,” Sudie said.
The waitress nodded and went to leave.
“I’ll take a pack of them Rolaids over near the register when you get a chance. I got the heartburn real bad.”
In a few minutes, the waitress returned with the Rolaids and placed Sudie’s check upside down on the table. “How far along are you?” she asked.
Sudie’s face blanched. “What?” she said, raking her long bangs behind her ears and staring at blister on the table. She reached for the Rolaids and fumbled opening the package. Then she chewed one up and took a swig of pop, her mind racing. She would need shoes if she was going to walk that far, she thought.
They sent for John Lewis, John Lewis came by
When confronted with her body, he broke down and cried
“The baby,” the waitress said. She looked at Sudie through the odd eyeglasses. “When you expecting?”
You can shoot me, you can hang me, for I am the man
I drowned Little Omie in yonders old mill dam
My name is John Lewis, my name I’ll never deny
I drowned Little Omie, I’ll never reach the sky
Sudie peered back at the woman, right through the lens to the concave and puckered socket winking back at her.