This is a flash fiction I wrote after having a weird dream. I blame it on the jalapenos. :-)
My second cousin JC is a real pain in the backside. He’s a swaggering, beer guzzling, snuff chewing jerk whose real name is Earl or LeRoy or Duke — who can remember anymore? It is some strange poke at the idiots who indentured the family back in merry old England, and sent them packing to the colonies. He’s called JC because when he hit his toddler years his Momma would yell “Jesus Christ almighty what are you in to now?” and it got shortened to JC and sort of stuck there like a badge of honor.
Anyway, I was telling you what a fool he is, because I’m sort of stuck with him now. And if I roll my eyes anymore, they’ll be spinning in to orbit at this rate.
We, my Mom and I, came to visit her people in the Raleigh area last summer. I’d never been before, since Mom had married out of the South and into the Navy life by getting hitched to a seaman in Norfolk. It was her way of “seeing the world” and avoiding marrying one of her second or third cousins. I liked the countryside, and the mountains we passed on the way — it was much nicer than the inner city where I grew up.
It was the first time meeting Mom’s relatives. Which was an adventure all by itself. Once we got there, Mom had a lot of catching up to do, what with her seven other siblings scattered around the country and her Aunt and Uncle, who we were staying with, dealing with their own brood, and some of their offspring, too.
I was shocked to find that one of my second cousins, Lainey, who was only a year older than me, had a baby at 14. And even more shocked that no one else seemed to think it was odd or unusual. But that wasn’t the half of the things that were a sort of “culture shock” to me .
JC was 15, and as I mentioned at the beginning, he chewed tobacco and drank beer. And everyone thought this was just the way things were. He also drove.
And that is how I came to be stuck with JC — you see I got sent with him to the liquor store to get more beer for the menfolk and he drove the big tank of a pickup truck with me in the passenger side. He was showing off, driving fast and whipping along the rutted dirt roads and as fate would have it, he hit a cow that had wandered off a field. I flew through the windshield and broke my neck — apparently I died pretty much instantly; the poor cow died a slower and probably more painful death; and JC, the jackass, flew out the windshield and landed in the field with only some cuts and bruises. By the time we were found, he was just coming to and asking what happened. Idiot!
And now I am stuck with him. He can’t see me, but he can hear me sometimes, and I can mess up his sleep. Seems like the angrier I get, the stronger I get, too. So one of these days, I will find a way to make him really pay.