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read_me.gif Southern Voice Washington Blade

A Parable Named Easter Jones

A girl in Jemsion, Alabama dresses up

by j. brotherlove

Easter Jones was a fast girl. I don’t say that because of the rumors floating around Jemison. I saw Easter with my own two eyes, flirting up on Mr. Dean in the back of the store. When she didn’t know I was watching, she kissed Mr. Dean on the lips and let her hand rub against the front of his apron. All because she wanted some candy and she had spent all her allowance — or so she said. In any case, Mr. Dean gave her about a dollar’s worth of blowpops without her paying a dime. I was surprised at first. And then I wasn’t. Boys were always falling for Easter. Mr. Dean was just an older boy.

I can’t say I understand why boys liked her though. Easter wasn’t much to look at — at least not to me. She was pretty enough, I guess. ‘Cept her nose was a little too wide for her face. And although her teeth were bright, especially against her dark skin, one of the front ones was crooked. You could see it plain as day when she smiled in your face and twisted her ponytails. I imagine she probably went to sleep with that grin on her face. The other problem with Easter is she wasn’t built even. She was flat in the front and big in the back. She always walked on her toes and sometimes I thought she would fall over. Or maybe I just wanted her to.

But her girl charms, they never worked on me. Although, she tried a few times. The last time Easter tried to get me to do her a favor was just a few weeks ago at the store. Mr. Dean had gone to the bank and she came over to me near the eggs. She got so close I could smell her Ivory soap. I looked over at her face and she grinned her crooked grin.

“Terry, can you do me a favor?” I stopped sweeping to look at her.
“My name is Terrence. You know that, Easter.”
“I know. But Terrance is so old. Why you want an old name like that?”
“‘Cause that’s my name,” I told her and started to go back to sweeping. But she touched my arm and looked in my eyes. And when she did that, a creepy feeling went through my body. She kept staring at me like she knew me from somewhere else or like she was looking for something. And then suddenly, she stopped looking at me and the smile went away.
“What?” I asked her, my throat dry.
“Um… Never mind Terrance. I see you’re busy. I’ll just come back when Mr. Dean’s here.” She said, spinning around on her dusty, brown loafers and tipping out of the store.

I had to drink a pint of milk to wet my throat again. That damn Easter had spooked me. Turns out I had spooked her too because that’s when the rumors started. When they didn’t stop I stopped going to school so I wouldn’t hear them anymore. It was no big deal ‘cause I wasn’t learning anything anyway.

I wanted to ask Easter the next time I saw her what she saw in me to spread those rumors. But I didn’t see her again until this morning at Manning’s. She had on a pretty white dress with her hair all done up like she was graduating from school or something. I never saw her dressed that good — not even at church. There was something strange about the way she looked though. Her dark brown skin looked painted on and faded. Momma said a lot of dead people look that way but I never saw a dead person before Easter. So I stared at her a long time like she had stared at me in the store that day. It was strange to look at her like she was sleeping. But more strangely, her crooked grin was gone. She didn’t sleep with it after all.

— j. brotherlove
pub: 09/15/2004 | previous entry | next entry | feedback x 2 | subscribe
1. Bballmom

I love your writing. I want more…

This is excellent. I especially love, “But her girl charms, they never worked on me.” and “I wanted to ask Easter the next time I saw her what she saw in me to spread those rumors.” Thanks for sharing this (I was wondering when you’d share more of your other type of writing.) :)