Sundays With Ingrid
Grampy popped another blackened marshmallow into his mouth. “Thing with bullies,” he said, “you got to punch ’em right in the nose.”
“Won’t just filing the appeal be enough?” Ingrid said.
The flames flickered in Grampy’s eyes. “I learned about bullies when I was—how old are you again?”
“When I was even younger than you. Just a little guy back then, didn’t get my strength till I was eighteen, went to Wyoming and worked on a ranch.”
“You worked on a ranch?”
“But this was before, right here. Those days there were still lots of farms around, including a small one the Prescotts had right across 392.”
“There were still Prescotts then?”
“How long was this before the accident at the falls?”
“You know about that?” said Grampy. “Four or five years, maybe. But that’s not the point. The Prescotts didn’t live on the farm—they had tenant farmers, the Krakens, a rotten family from way back, and the Krakens had a boy a few years older than me. Liked to play cowboys and Indians. I was the Indian.” He stared at the fire for a long time. “Always ended up in their barn, somehow,” said Grampy, “me with my hands tied, noose around my neck.”
“He was good with ropes. Noose around my neck, strung over the rafters, standing on a box. He’d threaten to kick the box out from under me ’less I spilled the beans.”
“Where the gold was hidden, whatever it was, the game we were playing. Didn’t matter what I said, he wouldn’t believe it. After an hour or so, he’d get bored and untie me.”
“Oh my God, Grampy. Did you tell your parents?”
Grampy shook his head. “No one can protect you,” he said. “Got to protect yourself. So one time, when he untied me, it finally dawned—here I am up on the box at eye level. And I popped him a good one on the nose.”
“And he ran away?”
“Ever had your nose broken?”
“God, no,” said Ingrid.
“Stings,” said Grampy. “Plus there was lots of blood. Naturally he put his hand right up to his face, feeling around. That’s when I kicked him in the . . . in the place where sometimes you got to kick a guy. Ol’ Carl never came near me after that.”
“Carl?” said Ingrid.
“Still alive,” said Grampy. “I keep checking the obituaries.”
Tags: Echo Falls Series
This entry was posted on Sunday, December 5th, 2010 at 8:03 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.