The Night of the World


The Duel

The Old House creaked, the shadows in the corner moved as the sun moved, and the boy huddled in the den behind the big plush green chair listening to the war going on outside. It had been like that all morning. Nothing happening but the dark premonitions of a catastrophe or apocalypse hovering around the edges of things; two brothers pummeling and raging at each other just beyond the open window sill. He could hear them hollering, yelling, cussing like the dammed;  thumping and wailing on each other like two old pit bulls set loose on a Friday night under a dark moon; prodding, elbowing, and jabbing at each other like two colossus fiercely contesting over some ancient dispute or blood rite. He heard his old man say: “I’m goin’ kill you, Jubal!” Then he heard something sounded like bone against bone crushing, a snapping sound like a tree falling under an axe; like the sound when his dog Jasper had been laying out in the sun on the gravel drive on a warm morning, lazing and comfortable, and his daddy had backed up over him in his pick up and everything seemed to stop: the sound, the pick up, and the world.

©S.C. Hickman, 2016

2 thoughts on “The Night of the World

  1. It just crossed my mind to wonder if you’ve heard of Nick Cave and the bad seeds his band started in the early 80s Australian band.

    But he’s also an artist in general and he’s been a couple novels the first novel which I have read, i’m wondering if it would be interesting to you also. It is dark as Nick Cave is an explorer is that strange row that intersects the dark and demonic with the insane and carnivalistic:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yea, I have both… that one and The Death of Bunny Monro. Yep, most of my writing explores that vein in Southern Gothic grotesque and carnivalesque from Faulkner, O’Conner, Percy, McCullers, Larry Brown, Joe R. Lansdale, and a ton of new ones…

      It’s in my blood… I lived it. I think it was Hemingway gave that advice to writers to write about what you are… most of the South is a deformed, grotesque, and macabre world of haunted creatures; at once morbid, tormented, and for the most part a half-way house or wasteland for beings that living between two worlds, the one for the dammed, and the purgatory of the Living Dead (Our World!)… at least the one’s I knew and grew up around. The others, the plastic people don’t count… all those pretty people who fake it, living artificial lies and lives. The rest of us live in this hellish paradise like lost souls in search of an exit point, and as much as we hate to admit it the world we grew up in is haunted as well by the Ghost of Jesus – a sort of insane prophet of the Apocalypse and Nightmare. I grew up around German-Irish people, clannish and fierce believers in that old protestant God of War; brawlers, drinkers, and lovers with women who were stronger of spirit than the men and ruled the homeworld with an iron fist. Growing up in the Wildcat days of the Oil Boom left its stamp on me forever… writing becomes a form of exorcism.

      Liked by 1 person

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