Sunday, June 14, 2009


By Tom Fillion

Part 2

Wilbur set up the shit brindle brown frame in a short time. He had become an adept at it this part of the job. It was the god-awfullest, ass-wipe, looking frame that had passed through Dave's store in a while. As he looked at its god-awfullness he was overcome with the revelation that the shit brindle brown waterbed was in the only place it could be, where the God Margo Hamilton said didn't exist anymore would want it, with Gary Hopkins, owner of A-1 Septic Tank Service.

The waterbed filled with rusty well water and Wilbur sat in their family room and became part of the Hopkins' family, became part of the hurt and scars on Gary Hopkins face, if only for the short time he would know them. His new family had guns stored on the bedroom and family room walls. Shotguns and 22's mounted in one rack, antique flint lock rifles and pistols in the other. Musket balls, the size of the holes in the bedroom wall, and powder were nearby. On another wall hung an expensive-looking bow. Several arrows were below it, lying horizontal, the remainder in a nearby quiver. The tips of the arrows were made with razor blades and sharp as lightning strikes.

"Them's for deer hunting. You hide in the woods and wait for the deer. When they show up you have to be quiet or you’ll spook ‘em. They can’t smell you neither. You have to be upwind of them. I only use bow and arrow with deer. They don't hear the arrow coming. It hits them out of nowhere. That kind of wound will never heal up," Gary Hopkins explained like a father to a son.

Hopkins’ brutality and primitiveness stuck in Wilbur's mind later as he drove the van on Highway 41 to Dave and Margo's house. There was beauty and terror in his method. He imagined Hopkins somewhere in the woods, his thick frame and scarred face, scentless and invisible as he waited to shoot the razor-tipped arrow at an unsuspecting Florida deer that didn't know death, scentless and invisible, was in the air screaming towards it.

"Gary Hopkins paid me in cash for the waterbed," Wilbur said turning to Dave.
He grabbed three hundred dollars of Hopkins' hard earned sludge money.
"Fix me another ginny, " Margo requested. "And turn off that jazz. How many times do I have to tell you that. Put on my Tchaikovsky. The one I got from Reader's Digest. No, put on Ravel's Bolero."

Dave ignored her and walked to the back porch where the bar was located in the Japanese garden. Margo smacked her lips, and a pout came over her face.
"I love Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" too. It's simply gorgeous. Wilbur, have you ever heard Carmina Burana?"


"It's divine. You must really take the time and listen to it. Now's as good a time as ever," she said, while stopping Dave's record and replacing it with hers.
This was part of the job too, Wilbur thought, putting up with Dave and Margo. Instead of listening to the music, Wilbur kept thinking about Gary Hopkins in the woods somewhere, his arrow racing out of nowhere leaving a wound that would never heal up on a deer, or on his daughter, who would probably love and hate him and her ex-husbands and not know why she was getting on the Greyhound bus again bound for anywhere but there.


I'm a graduate of the University of South Florida. I teach mathematics and coach golf and tennis at a Tampa public high school. My short stories have appeared in many online publications. For a complete list please visit:

I have stories forthcoming at Danse Macabre, SubtleTea, Frostwriting, Read This (Montana State University), Cantaraville, and Rose & Thorn.


Tom Fillion