Saturday, July 9, 2011

Murphy: The Early Years (Part III)

            “You been thinking those bad thoughts again.”
            “Better tell ‘em to me Murphy.”
            “Better tell me or I whip you good.”
            “Yes’m.  Reckon you’ll whup me either way.”
            (The keen and screwed-up eye.)  Was that a smart remark?!  -- Why I’ll--“ (reaching for the switch.)
            “No’m -- not smart.  A really dumb remark -- I see that now.”  (Trembling as he spies once more, the instrument of his sharp distress.)  “But a true one, ma’am. -- Can’t help it, ma’am.”  (Wincing, wincing;  shriveling beneath the blows.)  “Can’t half help it.”  (Wincing deeper now -- wincing even beneath the wincing skin.)  “Gotta find some’n, someth’n, help me help it….”
            (Furious)  I’m helping you!”
            (More in sorrow)  “No’m.  All respect, ma’am, but -- no, you’re not helping, not helping at all.”
            (The blows fall thick and fast -- herself almost at liquefaction, as in a dream -- while young Murphy shrivels, dwindles, to but a tiny remnant of his former self.)

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