Picture it & Write/ Debt /Drown

by David Talley

This week I have combined the Picture&Write challenge with my blog serial Debt. If you would like to catch up check it out!

Debt /Drown

I’s was watchin’ de men folk wurk, throwin’ water on de fire. It sounded like it de howled every time dat water hit it.  I’s seen de heat was’a gettin’ de better of Ole Pete. He’d took off his shirt and de sweat roll down his’n broad back like he’d gone a swimmin‘ as his thick muscles strained against de heavy buckets. Ole Pete was a good lookin’ man and I’s heard some of de women talkin’ but my eyes kept goin’ to Billy.

All dat water, I couldn’t help but rememberin’ what he’d told me in de kitchen. How Ole Pete found him on de river bed chained with a thick rope round his neck. He’d said dat , ” Ole Pete said I’s been beat bad and near drown when he found me.”

“You known who done it?” I’s wanted to ask but Billy hung his head, sayin’. “I don’t rightly know what happen.” He shook his head. “Alls I know dat I had to get dat there rope from my neck.” He was silent for so long I’s thought he was gon‘ never say nothinagan, but then he looked up at me, his brown eyes drowning in tears. ” I’s remember saying, I rather drown than hung.”

I’s had seen the scares around his neck and wrist, but I’s ain’t said nothin’. Moma always told me that ain’t no reason to talk about a bird singin’ in the tree we all hears it.

He looked like he was about to say some more but suddenly stood to leave. ” I’s best get back.”

I stared at him now, wurkin‘ hard to keep up with them there men, thinking about those scares. I wondered if they still hurt.

Copyright © 2013 Glynis Rankin


  1. I too loved this line “Moma always told me that ain’t no reason to talk about a bird singing in the tree we all hear it.” Very powerful. Great story. Thanks for contributing this week, Glynis!

    – Ermisenda

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