The Big Store (Part 8)
I know a Good Story , One of My Stories / November 26, 2015

              The size of that parking lot was the only reason Jerry got back to the drop off before they were in range.  I heard their cars coming before I saw Jerry but their headlights didn’t pick him out until he reached the bottom of the drop off.   Jerry spotted me and yelled “Viola” before he slung Hazard Pay up the slope toward me.  Then he started pulling himself up the drop off wall, grabbing tree roots and rocks for support as those two cars got closer and closer. Their first shot came when they were half way down the parking lot, and I don’t think it came anywhere near Jerry but it woke me up, even more than Jerry’s yell did.  I sighted along the barrel of Jerry’s gun and pulled the trigger, aiming for a center spot between the closest pair of head lights.  That 357 kicked back hard and the headlights swerved into a curve away from us.  I fired over the headlights of the other car but I fired too high. It was pulling around toward the other car when I hear Jerry’s voice. There was Jerry, the moon on his face. …

The Big Store (Part 7)
I know a Good Story , One of My Stories / November 24, 2015

      Jerry and I walked on, not saying anything until we were where the road sloped down to the parking lot.  I could hear men’s voices arguing at the far end of the big parking lot.       Jerry spoke extra soft.  “Viola, will you listen to me?”  I nodded.    When I realized he couldn’t see me, I whispered “Yes.”      “Okay, we’re lucky that those boys are at the far end of the parking lot and your car is near this other.” he said quietly.  “You’ve made good time keeping up with me but that road downhill is rough.   Are you sure you can get down and up that thing in a hurry if you have to?”      “No, I might fall.” I said.  There was something in his voice that made me tell the truth, even if it went against me. “And I might make a noise.”       Jerry nodded.  “Okay, I’ve got another question: Can you shoot a gun, a 357?”      “Yes, I can.” I said. “That, I’m good at.”  I wasn’t bragging.  My daddy gave me my first shooting lessons and Ponder kept them up through our married life.  “Good.” Jerry said and…

The Big Store (Part 6)
I know a Good Story , One of My Stories / November 19, 2015

       Well, the Dixons wanted to me to stay with them at their motel until morning.  I didn’t want to, couldn’t afford it and didn’t mind saying so.  But while I was arguing, Jerry was moving my plates and cups from the Mule to the back of their van and Gennine said  they wouldn’t feel right leaving me here alone in the dark.  I finally climbed in between the kids and we started up the hill leaving the Mule behind. I know we weren’t on the road long.  I’d smelled the paper mill when Casey said “Peyton stink”.  I started to say that wasn’t Peyton but trees being turned into school tablets when Peyton threw up onto the back of her mama’s seat.    “Jerry, stop the car.” I said and he pulled the van half way into a ditch.  When the car light came on, you could see the baby wasn’t well at all.   Whatever fried snacks her sister had fed her were scattered over the backseat, me, and the edges of her mama’s hair.  I felt Peyton’s forehead and that baby’s temperature was too high. Gennine was looking for wipes and baby aspirin while I…

The Big Store (Part 5)
I know a Good Story , One of My Stories / November 17, 2015

I looked up to see a child with a long pony-tails on each side of her head and her membership card hanging clear down to her shorts.  “Do you need some help?” she said. “I believe I’ll be all right once I can get on my feet.  What’s your name, child?” “I’m Casey” she said, pointing to her membership card. “Where’s your name card?” “In my wallet, Casey, which is in Hazard Pay, which is underneath me.  Sugar, can you get some help? I may need to be lifted some.” She squeaked “My Daddy can help” and bolted back into the fried sample crowd, leaving me with Hazard Pay between me and the floor.  I had enough time to call myself a few names before I heard Casey’s voice again and saw her with a man who must have been her father.  They shared the same eye shape. Casey said, “This lady’s card is in Hazard Pay.” and started to laugh like this was the funniest thing in the world.  The poor man looked confused so I decided to take matters into my own hands. “Mister, my name is Viola Sprayberry.” I said trying to sound as dignified as I…

The Big Store (Part 4)
I know a Good Story , One of My Stories / November 12, 2015

Viola’s found her way to The Big Store at last.  Is it what she hoped it would be? Washing powders were my first problem.   They was selling my brand by the bucket load for 7 cents an ounce!   Problem is, I had no place to keep that bucket.  Then I got to thinking: I can get a two pound box at the Dollar Store with a newspaper coupon which fits on my shelf and costs me (I had to do some figuring here) six and a half cents for the same ounce, and that didn’t even count the cost of the gas!   Well, I learned Helen Riley couldn’t do math  and washing powders weren’t cheaper at the Big Store.  Another thing was sheets.  I needed some new top sheets for my bed, time and toe nails having worn out the others.   The sheets they sold weren’t too expensive – if they had been willing to sell those a sheet at a time instead of in sets with two pillowcases!  I nearly bought one set until I realized I would be paying fifty dollars a set to get just one new sheet.  I’ve got too much of Ponder in my memory,…

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