STORIES: Bottle of Beer

Down the road, out towards the west where sunsets simmered like a ball of butter melting into an oatmeal desert, a shadow of a man jogged closer and closer in little flicks of black.  Yolanda dropped her arm back into her widespread lap.  He was far away and it would be too long for her to block the sun without the weight of her arm becoming painful. Every few minutes she’d glance up from the basket of jalapenos in which her fingers fiddled and picked. She’d select one and stab it with a threaded needle, drawing it up into a clustered ristra that she’d hang out in the sun to dry.  She held her fat fingers in a salute above her eyes again and leaned forward in her seat. The black specter bobbled in the distance. He’d made about a yard of progress.  In Yolanda terms, he’d grown from just a speck to maybe eighth an inch in height.  Wind whistled out of her in a long low moan, and she resettled herself into the wicker rocking chair.  She reached over and picked up the bottle of beer that stood on the small table beside her, brought it to her mouth and sucked it dry. She rubbed at the wet rings left on the table with her hand, then wiped it on her neck.  The wetness felt good.  She rolled the still cool bottle against the tops of breasts that billowed above a tight cotton blouse.

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