Incident In A Small Town (a short story)

by Keith B. Darrell

Summer, 1956. A small Alabama town. A roadside diner run by a WWII vet left with a limp from a Karabiner 98k shell that tore into him on the beach at Normandy and the subsequent purple heart, tucked away in a little velvet box in his sock drawer. The ceiling fan humming as its blades swooshed and fapped in a rhythmic cadence, straining to alleviate the sweltering heat.

The characters:
James Michael Brown. Recent college grad. Negro. Twenty-three years of repressed rage, nurtured by the stifling Alabama heat. He doesn't want any trouble. Unfortunately, Negroes in the South seldom get what they want.

Jake. High school dropout. Redneck. A James Dean wannabe whose leather jacket, white t-shirt with a pack of cigarettes rolled up one sleeve, and slicked back pompadour can't hide his Southern roots, as his manure-tipped boots still give him away as a scion of the Confederacy. He's looking for trouble; what he doesn't realize is, trouble is also looking for him.

The plot:
Jake and James Michael Brown find themselves trapped in a strange new world, each one's sole companion a man who hates him. Products of their society, they are forced together in an alien environment where survival may depend on cooperation... and not killing each other.

A short story for mature readers by Keith B. Darrell. Contains characters using offensive language. 8,312 words.

WARNING: This story is set in rural Alabama in 1956 and deals with racism and prejudice. It contains characters using racial epithets and profanity typical of the period, which some readers may find offensive. It was an offensive time in American history and culture and this story reflects that.

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