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It's Comedy Month on Flash Fiction Fridays. Up first is L.C. Evans.

The Toughest Kid in Town
By L.C. Evans

Harold Weaver was a fifth grader and the toughest kid in town. Harold wasn’t a big kid, but something about the ice blue of his eyes and the squareness of his jaw made the scrawniness of his body seem unimportant.

He lived with his mother in a big, shabby house, and no one knew who his father was. Lillian Weaver had just shown up one day with her son. She took in boarders and gave piano lessons. Everybody in town knew that Harold held only one person in high regard, and that person was his mother.

When Mr. Reilly moved to town and went to work for the bank, he didn’t know about Harold, but just like the rest of us, he learned soon enough. What happened was that Mrs. Weaver fell behind on her house payments. Mr. Reilly took time out of his busy schedule to go tell Mrs. Weaver to pay or he'd foreclose.

My uncle was a boarder with Mrs. Weaver, and he witnessed the whole thing. It was him who told Mama and me. He said Mrs. Weaver had money troubles, and Reilly had been right mean in his demands.

“It wasn’t so much what he said, but the way he said it,” Uncle Bubba said. “But the smirk was wiped off his face soon enough when her son put in an appearance.”

I’d been about to go outside and play, but at mention of Harold, I pricked up my ears and sat quiet. 

“Mrs. Weaver, she had tears in her eyes, said she couldn’t pay until next month. Then that devil Reilly said he had no choice, but to take her house. She begged him to wait and he said he had a bank to run, not a charity organization.”

The way my uncle described it next, Mr. Reilly started to leave and almost stepped on a palmetto bug. The biggest, deadest palmetto bug you ever saw was belly up on the top of the porch steps.

About that time Harold sidled up from out of the shadows. He’d heard the whole thing from where he was hiding.

Harold put his hands on his hips and blocked Reilly’s way. “My mama asked you real polite to wait a few days for the money.” Harold had a man’s voice and a man’s expression on a skinny kid’s body is what my uncle said. And eyes straight from the depths of hell.

“I don’t see why I should pay any mind to you, boy.” Reilly raised his hand like he was going to swat the boy out of the way.

Harold didn’t flinch. “I’ll tell you why. ‘Cause I’m tough. You want to see how tough I am?” Harold snatched up that palmetto bug, popped it in his mouth, and swallowed before Reilly could even blink.

Reilly turned the color of biscuit dough and worked his jaw for a couple of minutes like he was about to lose his lunch. Then he scurried down the stairs and back to his car.

The bank never did bother Mrs. Weaver about her mortgage again.

L.C. Evans currently lives in North Carolina with her husband Bob, their three or four Chihuahuas, and grandson, the Boy. Taking on the care and feeding of the Boy has made her a born-again soccer mom, who suffers from occasional bewilderment over what kids like these days. When not wrangling the Chihuahuas and the Boy, she writes novels. She also contributes to a comedy blog, A Moose Walked into a Bar. To learn more about L.C., visit her website or her blog.

On Another Note
It is National Grammar Day. Use those apostrophes well, my friends. And thanks to the Ultra-Gross: Your Source for Gross News blog for today's great photo.



L.C. Evans said…
Thanks for featuring my story, Karen. It looks terrific and I love the picture.
Karen Cantwell said…
Yes - great story (very funny!) and great picture to go along with it too. :-)
Glad you like it. Thanks for contributing.
I love L.C. Evans humor because it comes out of the characters she writes about.
Linda, That was really cute. Makes you want to hug that little guy.

Excellent picture! I wish my eyes were that clear. :)

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