Summer of the Bell

Friday Fictioneers 02-21

Copyright – David Stewart

Ma always rang the supper bell at sundown. We sprang from the woods, eager grasshoppers half-starved for peaches-n’-cream corn and buttermilk biscuits. Junie and me woofed it down, bickered over dibs on the last piece of cobbler, and then bellyached about sick tummies.

The sultry summer days stretched out like a lazy porch hound. We jam-packed in a childhood of explorin’ the boonies, catchin’ crawdads, and laughin’ ‘til we darn near peed our pants.

Last day of summer, the bell clanged early. Roundin’ the corner of the house, Reverend waited on the porch.

“Where’s Ma?” I asked.

Reverend’s wet eyes shed the answer that forever changed our summers.

Written for Friday Fictioneers 100-word photo prompt. Let’s pretend that I didn’t go over the word limit by eight words.

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49 thoughts on “Summer of the Bell

  1. Here I am, smiling and bobbing my head as I read your story. Then BOOM, I’ve got tears in my eyes! A wonderful piece, very poetic my dear Friend!

    • You know me Karen, always the surprise at the end. As I wrote it, I felt like I wanted to be right there with them, just being a child again, until I ended it. I surprise myself sometimes. I don’t always have an ending in mind when I start a story. I truly appreciate your kind words and support, my friend. 😀

  2. Wow Lisa! You drew me into the place and the time, the scent and senses of innocence and youth. I loved summers like these. Which drove it home all the more when the sweetness dissolved to the reality of endings. As we all come to learn all good things must come to an end. I always wished that weren’t true.Very well written.

  3. The imagery here is beautiful. The ending is picturesque. Personally, I stumbled a little on the choice to use “Junie and me” instead of the more colloquial “me and Junie” or the correct “Junie and I.” But I’m reading as a Kansan who grew up with a couple of proper, New Englander grandparents. 🙂

    Marie Gail

    • Thanks for the suggestion and the compliments. I found it hard to write so informally and with a southern dialect, but I was trying to create the right feeling. I’m from a semi-rural Midwestern town (but haven’t lived there in 25 years) where many people use “Junie and me” instead of “me and Junie.” I suppose it depends on where you grew up or have lived the longest. I don’t feel that formal English (Junie and I) wouldn’t have worked at all in this story. Thanks for reading.

  4. Dear Lisa,

    I echo all the comments here. As for country song writer…I agree with Dawn. For some reason I started hearing “Ode to Billy Joe”…although not the same scenario, definitely the same feel. Nicely done.



    • I haven’t thought of “Ode to Billy Joe” in many years. I had to listen to it again as a reminder. You’re right, it has a similar feel. I like the comparison. Thanks so much, Rochelle! Now, I’m off to write the next Country music smash hit! 😉

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