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June 2013

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I Spy...

These are the I Spy Drabbles that I posted for the August 2008 Challenge on the then-brand-new LJ community Brokeback Drabbles, Shorts, and Challenges. http://community.livejournal.com/bmm_drabbles. The drabbles are identical, even to the illustrations, but If you are interested in reading the original comments, the entire series is linked Here. Or go to BrokebackSlash and select "I Spy" from the tags list.

I Spy…
Letters A, P, and H

Author’s Note: All three of these drabbles (and almost all of the rest of them) take place in the Twist family car: Jack driving, Lureen shotgun, and Bobby in the backseat.

Bobby, from the backseat: “I spy, with my little eye, somethin that starts with A.”

“Airplane?” A random shot–Jack hadn’t really been paying much attention.

“Where?” Bobby demanded, looking around eagerly.

“I dunno. Just thought you might a seen one.”

“Nooo.” Scornful.

“Umm. Arco station?”


What started with A? What started with A? Sigh. “Gimme a hint?”

“There’s lots of it.”

“Lots of it, huh? Asphalt?”


“Good one, though, honey,” from Lureen.

Jack looked around, baffled. “I guess I got a give up. Nothin much around here cept empty land.”

“Right!” came the triumphant backseat voice. “Acreage!”

* * * * * * * * * *

Bobby, from the backseat: “I spy, with my little eye, somethin that starts with P.”

“Pavement,” Jack offered.


Lureen: “Too obvious.” Then, “We passed a palomino pony a little way back.”

“You gotta say which,” Bobby said. “Palomino or pony.”

“Pony, then.”


“Okay, palomino.”


“Jack, can he do that? Make you say both, even if it isn’t either of em?”

“Fraid so, honey.”

“P. P!” prompted Bobby.

“Should a gone before we left,” Jack told him.


“Okay, okay then, next gas station.”


“Well, if it’s your peepee you’re spyin, I don’t want a know about it.”


* * * * * * * * * *

Bobby, from the backseat: “I spy, with my little eye, somethin that starts with H.”

“Horses,” Jack answered. Had to be. Wasn’t much else around to see.

“How come I gotta sit in the back all the time?”

“Grownups in the front; kids in the back,” Lureen told him, possibly for the hundredth time.

“Not in Daddy’s pickup,” Bobby whined.

“Pickup don’t have a backseat. If it did, you’d be in it.”

“Now? All by myself?”

“You know what I meant,” giving Jack a he-learned-that-from-you look.

“Horses, right?” Jack repeated.


“Thought so. Had to be.”

“Could a been hay.”
Original Post Date: 8/19/2008

I Spy…
Letter B

Bobby, from the backseat: “I spy, with my little eye, somethin that starts with B.”

“Billboard,” Jack hazarded.


“Bakery,” suggested Lureen.


…several minutes, many guesses…

“Brahmas?” from Jack.


“Bull?” Jack again.


“Bluebonnets!” Lureen.


…several more minutes, several more guesses…

“Buick?” said Jack doggedly, Lureen having dropped out.


“VW Bug?”


Big fuckin truck?”

Lureen: “Jack! Language!”

“Sorry. I meant big rig.”

Bobby: “No. Either way.”

…several more frustrating minutes, a few increasingly desperate guesses…

Muttered, “Bastard!”

Triumphant, “Nope!”

Jack finally capitulated. “Okay, I give. What is it?”

“It’s the back of the front seat!”
Original Post Date: 8/20/2008

I Spy…
Letter M

A Drabble-within-a-Drabble

Author’s Note: For the frame drabble, the Twist family car: Jack driving, Lureen shotgun, and Bobby in the backseat. For the embedded drabble, Bobby is in a car seat in the front. Don’t get the idea that this is anything like the sturdy and safe infant seats of today!

Bobby, from the backseat: “I spy, with my little eye, somethin that starts with M.”

Suspicious, Jack asked, “It ain’t your Momma here, is it?”


“Or a moo-cow?”

“Or a mostly-yella house?” Lureen put in.

“Or some other kind a smart-alec trick answer?” Jack went on.

“No! This is a real one. A good one!”

“Okay, then. Let’s see…”

Jack remembered…

* * * * * * * * * *

Almost-two-year-old Bobby: “Mountain!”

Lureen: “That’s right, sweetie. Those’re mountains.”

“Mountain! Mountain!”

Jack: “You got it, slugger. That’s what they are, all right.”

“Mountain, mountain, mountain!”

Each hilltop opened up a new panorama, and Bobby’s ecstatic commentary continued. Jack and Lureen nodded approvingly, smiling through gritted teeth.

Later, Jack sighed: “Got my old man in me sure enough. Thirty miles of ‘Mountain! Mountain!’ and I wanted a clip him one.”

“Oh, Jack!” Lureen said ruefully, “you’re a saint! Ten minutes and I wanted to strangle him!”

Feeling a little better, Jack said, “Well, we didn’t. I guess that’ll have to do.”

* * * * * * * * * *

“Mountain?” Jack suggested.

“Yeah.” Bobby was disappointed. “I didn’t think you’d guess it so quick.”

“Well, you’ve always liked mountains. Even when you was just a baby.”


“That’s right,” Lureen confirmed. She and Jack exchanged smiling glances.
Original Post Date: 8/21/2008

I Spy…
Letter K

Author’s Note: This drabble takes place in Jack’s pickup. Jack is driving Bobby and Bobby’s friend Kevin to see a game. Lureen stayed home. (Don’t ask me if it’s baseball, football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, or what, because they didn’t tell me.)

Jack: “Told you two, quit punchin!”

Bobby: “We’re not punching.”

Kevin: “Really, we’re not. Ouch!”

“Well, quit kickin, then. And shovin. Just sit quiet. Why don’t you play I Spy?”

“What’s that?”

“You see somethin and you try to guess what it is,” Bobby explained.


“So I say, like, ‘I spy, somethin that starts with K.’ And you guess, maybe ‘kitten.’ And if it is, you won, and if it ain’t you guess again.”

Suspiciously, “How do I know you’ll tell me if I guess right?”

“Well, of course I would!”

“Bet you wouldn’t!”

“Would too! Ouch!”

Jack sighed.
Original Post Date: 8/23/2008

I Spy…
Letter S

Author’s Note: This time, we’re in the Newsome’s car: L.D. drives, of course, and Bobby gets to sit in the front seat between him and Fayette.

Bobby: “I spy, with my little eye, somethin that starts with S.”

“Sign,” grunted L.D.


“Sun,” suggested Fayette.

“Nope. But I like that one, Gramma. Gonna try it on Daddy next time.”



“Isn’t it a diner, L.D.?”

“Serves beer. It’s a saloon. Service station?”


Silence, Fayette pondering quietly, L.D. fuming.

“You can ask for a hint if you want, Gramma.”

“Oh, that’d be nice, Bobby.”

“There’s a lot of it.”

“Sand,” snapped L.D.


“Well, what then?”


Fayette: “Well, ain’t you a clever boy, Bobby Twist!”

L.D.: “You learn this sissy game from your dad?”
Original Post Date: 8/24/2008

I Spy…
Letter S (yes, again)

Author’s Note: Back in the Twist family car: Jack driving, Lureen shotgun, and Bobby in the backseat. ohiomyown will know why I think of her when I write.

“Are we nearly there yet?”

“Sorry. Nother sixty miles. Plenty of time for a couple rounds of I Spy.”

“Grampa says it’s a sissy game,” Bobby said disconsolately.

“Well, I learned it from my daddy–that’s your other grandfather–you never met him. And he’s tough as they come. Mean son-of-a-b-gun, too.”

Lureen, surprised: “You played I Spy with your daddy?”

“Uh-huh. One a the few good memories I got of him.” And to Bobby, “So Grampa didn’t like playing, huh? Was he any good at it?”


“Not really. But Gramma’s sharp! Oh, I got a good one! S!”
Original Post Date: 8/24/2008

I Spy…
Letter G

Bobby: “I spy, somethin that starts with G.”

“Gas station,” suggests Jack.


“Gas pump?”


“German Shepherd?”

“Where? Oh, cool! Why can’t we have a dog?”

Lureen: “Cause I don’t wanna hafta take care of it.”

“I’d take care of it!”

Jack: “Gravel?”

“I would!

Lureen: “No.”

“Grampa says every boy should have a dog.”

“Ford Galaxie?”

Lureen: “Okay, then let Grampa get you a dog…”


“…and keep it at his house, and you can go visit it there.”

“Awww, Momma!”

“No. Dog.”

“Awww, Momma!”

Jack: “I give. What?”


“What starts with G?”

“Ummm… I forget.”

Here is the car that Jack spotted, a 1964 Ford Galaxie:

Original Post Date: 8/26/2008

I Spy…
Letter W

Bobby: “I spy, with my little eye, somethin that starts with W.”

“Uhhh. Wagon? Station wagon?”


“Washtub,” Lureen suggested.


“Planter at the end a that driveway.”

“Oh. No.”

Jack: “Damn. Got no idea. You’ll have to tell me.”



“Wait a minute… Wait a minute… There!” pointing ahead.

“That’s a mirage. It ain’t really water, Bobby; you know that.”

“I didn’t say it was water. I just said I saw water!”


“Yes! If there’s, like, cigarettes on a billboard, I can say cigarettes, because I saw cigarettes!”
“There’s somethin wrong with that line a reasonin somewhere…”

Original Post Date: 8/27/2008

I Spy…
Letter O

Bobby: “I spy, somethin that starts with O.”


“Darn! You guessed!”

“I notice stuff like that.”

“Yeah, I should a known.”

Lureen, confused: “You mean like an opal ring or something? How could you even see it? And since when do either of you know anythin about jewelry?”

Jack laughed. “No, not opal, O-P-A-L. An Opel car, O-P-E-L. Think it’s a ’71 GT.”

“The orange one, with the black stripe,” Bobby pointed out.

“Oh, that car. Yes, you guys’d notice that.”

Bobby, hopefully: “It’s a really cool car. We could get somethin like that.”

“Sorry, son. Twists drive Fords.”
And here’s the car:

Original Post Date: 8/27/2008

I Spy…
Letter N

Author’s Note: …special thanks to stars go blue (Cullen forum) for her happy suggestions when I was at my wits’ end for N-words!

Bobby, from the backseat: “I spy, with my little eye, somethin that starts with N.”

“Not now, Bobby, this is a real tricky stretch a road, and your Momma’s got a headache.”

Lureen added, “Sorry, honey. You just play quietly for a little while. Maybe sing a song?”

Jack: “But quietly.”

“Okay,” subdued. Then, quietly:
Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall!
Ninety-nine bottles of beer!
Take one down;
Pass it around;
Ninety-eight bottles of beer on the wall!

Ninety-eight bottles of beer on the wall!
Ninety-eight bottles of beer…
From the frontseat, simultaneously:

Jack: “Neon sign!”

Lureen: “Bird’s nest!”

Original Post Date: 8/28/2008

I Spy…
Letter F

Author’s Notes: A darker mood.

The unfortunate incident began when a bump in the road coincided with the act of drawing a race car. The frustrated artist had expressed himself in language which he had certainly (according to Lureen) not learned from his mother. Firmly reprimanded, he had then repeated and compounded his offence.

Jack had pulled onto the shoulder, and he and Lureen–ignoring the plea of mitigating circumstances–had proceeded rapidly through arraignment, trial, verdict, and sentencing.

Bobby, though having paid his debt to society, remained unrepentant, and occupied himself with imaginary rounds of I Spy in which every clue started with F.

Original Post Date: 8/29/2008

I Spy…
Letter L

Author’s Note: It’s been a long day, it’s late at night, and we’re still a long way from home. In the last exchange, Jack and Lureen were both speaking so softly that I can’t tell you which of them said what.

“Don’t wanna! I wanna be home! When will we be there, Momma?”

“Not for a long time yet, baby…”

“And I’m not a baby!”

“Course not. Why don’t you just lie down and close your eyes for a little while?”

“Don’t wanna.”

Jack, firmly: “Bobby, you heard your Momma.”

A few sniffles, then silence. After a minute, Lureen turns and checks the backseat.

Jack asks: “He out?”

“Like a light.”

Twin sighs.

A pause.



A longer pause.

“Maybe even a little too quiet?”


Another pause.

Tentatively, “I spy, with my little eye, somethin that starts with L.”

Original Post Date: 8/30/2008

I Spy…
Letter D

Bobby, from the backseat: “I spy, with my little eye, somethin that starts with D.”


“Nope.” Bouncing.




“Guess again. Guess again quick!”


“No. Quick, we’re gonna pass it!”

“Dairy Queen. And no.”

“Oh, please!”

Jack and Lureen in chorus: “Spoil your dinner.”

“Please? Please, please, please?

“Tell you what…” Glance at Lureen who nods. “After dinner, we’ll go to Braum’s. How’s that?”

“But it’s not the same,” Bobby pleads.

“Sorry sport, that’s the offer…”

Addendum from Lureen: “If you finish your dinner.”

“…Take it or leave it.”


“Butter pecan?” Jack suggests.

“Yeah! Oh boy!”
Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Store is a long-established chain in Texas, Oklahoma, and other states. Unfortunately, there isn’t one in Childress. The two nearest are in Altus, Oklahoma and Vernon, Texas–both about 50 miles away–but artistic license… I believe this one is in Oklahoma City, on historical Route 66:

Original Post Date: 9/1/2008

I Spy…
Letter Y

“I spy, somethin that starts with Y.”



“You might a known I’d get it right off.”

“Oh, yeah. But I wanted to do some of the other letters, and there’s not much that starts with Y.”

Lureen: “Yawn. Somebody yawnin.”

“That’d be a tough one,” Bobby agreed.

“And you,” Jack suggested. “Y-O-U.”

“I thought I wasn’t supposed to pick stuff that’s inside the car.” Pondering. “And anyway, if it was you, you’d have to say ‘me’ and that’d be wrong; but if you said ‘you’ that would mean me, so you’d still be wrong.”

“Uh. Yeah. I think.”
Sorry. This Yancy’s is actually in Smithville Missouri.

Original Post Date: 9/2/2008

I Spy…
Letter C

Author’s Note: Driving down Avenue F in Childress, Texas.

Bobby, from the backseat: “I spy, with my little eye, somethin that starts with C.”

“Well, we’re in the middle a town, so it cain’t be a cow.” Suspicious, “Is it Childress?”


“Or anythin that starts with Childress, like Childress Inn, or Childress Lumber Company, or Childress Auto Supply?”


“Just checkin.”

“Want a hint?”

“I think I better.”

“It’s not animal, vegetable, or mineral.”

Jack puzzles over this. “But what’s left? Air? Nah, cause that’d be A, and you can’t see it anyway.”

“Cept in L.A. sometimes,” Lureen contributes.

“Got it!” Jack exclaims. “Clouds!”

“Right! Good catch, Dad!”
Here’s another C for Bobby–the Chateau Inn. There’s still a Best Western at 1600 Avenue F, and also a Rodeway Inn/Econo Lodge at 1612 Avenue F which has a Chateau Inn Sea Food Gallery on site. One or the other is probably the successor to this one.

Original Post Date: 9/3/2008

I Spy…
Letter I

Bobby, from the backseat: “I spy, with my little eye, somethin that starts with I.”

“I!? Now what the h-heck starts with I?”

“Give up already?”

“No! Ain’t the Interstate…”

Lureen asks: “You ain’t gonna make us guess for a half hour, then tell us we didn’t see it cause it’s invisible?”

“Naw. Cool!”

“Was there a car with an Illinois license plate?”


“I,” Jack mutters. “I.”

Lureen: “Ay-yi-yi!”

Bobby giggles.



Lureen: “Impala?”

Bobby: “Car or antelope?”

Jack: “Neither. I’d a noticed.” Then, “O-kay. I give.”

“It was an Indiana license plate!”

Jack and Lureen contemplate infanticide.
…in case you were wondering how dyslexic Bobby could tell the difference between Indiana and Illinois license plates:

Original Post Date: 9/4/2008

I Spy…
Letter Q

word count: 400
WARNING: Dead!Jack – this one is not funny

Author’s Note: It’s 1985, and it’s just Bobby and Lureen in the car, both in the front seat. I think they’re in Austin.

“Hey, Momma! I spy, with my little eye, somethin that starts with Q,” Bobby said mischievously.

“I thought you was too grown-up to play kids’ games,” Lureen teased.

“I miss it sometimes, you know?” Bobby said wistfully.

“Yeah, I do, too. Okay, so, Q. Umm. Not a quail or quicksand, not on city streets!”

“And it’s not a trick one, either, like quiet neighborhood–which this sure ain’t.”

“Was there a Quik-Stop or somethin like that?”


“Well, I’m stumped. Tell me.”


Lureen said nothing.


“That’s not a nice word, honey.”

“They’re not nice people, Momma.”

Uneasy silence.

“Uhhh, you don’t know any, do you, Momma?”

“I’ve known a few.”

“But nobody I know anythin about, right?”

“A few.”

Bobby shook his head. “But who?”

“Well, there’s your daddy’s fishin buddy up in Wyomin that he used to go visit.”

“Daddy’s best friend!?

“I believe so, yeah. And Randall Malone–that’s why they had to leave town. When it got known.”

“Momma, I ain’t sure I can believe this! Mr. Malone! A fag!”

“Not a nice word, Bobby,” she repeated. “I knew I’d have to have this talk with you some day. I sure wasn’t lookin forward to it, but here it is. Randall’s… boyfriend… died. They said it was in an accident. I don’t know if it was or wasn’t. If it wasn’t, your Grampa might a known about it. I don’t think he’d a done it, or had it done, but I can’t even say that for sure.”

“But, Momma, this is awful!”

“Yes, it was,” she said quietly. “But there wasn’t a thing I could do–or Randall, or LaShawn. If it was… an attack–and it might a been the accident they said it was–but if it was a killin, the police would just about have to a been in on it–the cover-up part at least. So you see, there wasn’t anythin could be done.”

Bobby sat in stunned silence, afraid to ask any more questions. Afraid even to consider where this might be leading.

“Back when I was barrel-racin, there was always rumors floatin around the rodeos. I didn’t believe em–didn’t want ta believe em. So handsome, such a sweet-talker…”

“Momma, please, no…”

“But the day came when I had to face it.”


“Queer. Fag. Ugly words. Don’t you use them, son, not if you ever loved your daddy.”

Original Post Date: 9/5/2008

I Spy…
Letters U and R

Author’s Note: Back in the mid-1970s with the Twists in the family car: Jack driving, Lureen shotgun, and Bobby in the backseat. Oh, yes, and we’re back to cute. Certified angst-free zone.

They’d been followin it for fifteen miles, so Jack was prepared.

Bobby, from the backseat: “I spy, with my little eye, somethin that starts with U.”





“Underwear,” from Lureen.

Bobby and Jack in chorus: “Underwear!?

“Hangin on that clothesline there.”

“Oh, yeah. I mean no.”

Jack: “Underpass?”

“Nope. Good one, though.”

Lureen: “Seven-Up sign?”

Chorus: “Huh?”

She sang: “Seven-Up, Seven-Up, Seven-Up, the Uncola!”

“Nope. Besides, I don’t think the sign should count if it doesn’t say Uncola.”

“Right,” Jack agreed. “So, what is it then?”

“See the cow in that field? Udder.”

Frontseat: Groans.

Backseat: Giggles.

Jack, from the frontseat, “I spy, with my little eye, somethin that starts with R.”


“It’s your turn in the hotseat, pal. R.”

“Uh, rabbit?”

“Not a jackrabbit.”

“Some other kind a rabbit?”

Lureen: “Or a rattlesnake?”

“Not even alive.”

Lureen, “Range? Ranch?”


Bobby, suspiciously, “Ranch house? Or a red house or a red somethin else?”

“You’re on the wrong track completely.”

“Well, what is it then?”

“Why, son, it’s that VW Rabbit right in front of us!”

“Daddy! No fair!” Indignantly.

Jack laughed. “What’s the matter, Bobby? You can dish it out, but you can’t take it!”

Original Post Date: 9/8/2008

I Spy…
Letter J

Author’s Note: In the Twist family car: Jack driving, Lureen shotgun, and Bobby in the backseat. But they've decided to play a different game today…

“Had a Thanksgivin dinner that couldn’t be beat,” Lureen said. “Had apples, baked ham, Cracker-Jacks, doughnuts, eggplant, fried shrimp, garlic mash-potatoes, and huevos rancheros.”

Bobby successfully repeated the menu-in-progress, appending ice cream.

Jack faltered slightly over eggplant–which he detested (which is why Lureen chose it)–but made it through, only to choke up when it came to adding his J item.

“Jujubes?” offered Lureen.

“Jello!” from Bobby.


“Georgia peaches!”

“Sorry, son, that one’s a G. Now quiet down, I’m tryin a think here… Got it! Jalapeños!”

“Is that a J, Daddy?”

“Um. Yeah. But let’s make it Jello.”
And here are Lureen's Jujubes.

Original Post Date: 9/9/2008

I Spy…
Letter X



“X,” Bobby confirmed.

“Really X, not E-X like excavation or A-X like axe?”

“Really X.”

Well, I’d a noticed if somebody’d left a xylophone by the road, and what else is there?”

Lureen said, “Maybe a sorority–or a fraternity–Xi somethin.”

“Uh-huh. If there was a college within 50 miles.” Pause. “Okay, I’m stumped.”

Bobby, triumphantly: “Back there, that billboard said ‘Mark of Excellence’!”

“Uhhh… that’s E-X, and you didn’t exactly see excellence.”

“Not excellence. The letter X in the word! I spied the letter X!

“Well, damn.”

“That counts, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah… I guess it does.”

Original Post Date: 10/10/2008

I Spy…
Letter T

Bobby, from the backseat: “I spy, with my little eye, somethin that starts with T.”






“Nope. Good guess, though.”

“Not really. Traffic’s actually pretty light. Okay, how bout trash? Like litter.”


Lureen: “Table. Picnic table over there.”


Jack, musing: “Don’t see a Ford Torino. Wouldn’t see a toad–too small… Okay, give us a hint?”

“There’s a lot of it.”

It’s April, so Jack and Lureen simultaneously say, “Taxes.”

Bobby giggles. “No-o-o-o.”

Lureen, accusatory: “I know what it is. It’s Texas, right?”

Bobby giggles some more. “Right!”

Jack, trying to sound severe: “Smart-alec.”

Original Post Date: 11/17/2008

I Spy…
Letter V

Author’s Note: As usual, in the Twist family car: Jack driving, Lureen shotgun, and Bobby in the backseat. They’re on a lonely stretch of road, and they’ve been playing I Spy for quite some time.


Lureen, sotto voce: “I need a Valium.”

Jack, ditto: “Better’n are-we-nearly-there-yet.”

“I s’pose. Okay. Volvo? Valiant? Volkswagen?”

Bobby and Jack: “Huh?”

“You do cars a lot…”

“It better not be a very big field, or a very anythin else.”

“Nope.” Bobby snickers. “That’s a very bad guess.”


Jack protests. “Ain’t nothin out here but grass.”

Bobby: “Grass is a vegetable.”

“If you’re a cow.”

“Like animal, vegetable, mineral.”

Jack sighs. “Okay. But the word ain’t vegetable.”

“No. I mean, yes. I mean, right.”

Lureen, musing, “Varnish, velvet, village…”

“Give up?”



“Uh… Son, that’s a red-tailed hawk.”

Valium was approved for use 1963. Between 1969 and 1982 it was the top selling pharmaceutical in the U.S., with sales peaking in 1978.

Original Post Date: 11/17/2008

I Spy…
Letters Z and E

Author’s Note: And here are the final two letters! It’s been a great ride! We’re en route to visit some of Lureen’s relatives that Jack doesn’t much like.

“Jack, you’ve missed the turnoff.”

“No I didn’t. We ain’t takin 94; we’re takin US-62.”

“94 goes straight there. 62 wanders all over the place.”

Jack, irritated, “94 might be straighter, but 62 is still quicker. Traffic on 94 is always miserable. Plus there’s roadwork.”

“It’s Sunday, Jack.”

“Cones are still up. Road’s still tore up. There’s still only one lane open.”

“They’re my aunt an uncle, and I been visitin them for over 30 years. I think I oughta know how to get there.”

“I didn’t wanna go, but I’m goin. I’m the one drivin. I’ll pick the route.”

The Letter Z:
“I spy, somethin that starts with Z.”

“Z, huh? Tough one. Let’s see… Zebra, nope; zoo, nope; uh… zucchini?”


Lureen: “Don’t be silly, zucchini don’t grow around here. Zag-Nut?”



“The candy bar.”

Jack: “Never heard of it.”

Bobby: “Me neither. So, no.”

“Anyway, why would a candy bar be on the road?”

“Well, the wrapper, I thought,” Lureen snaps.

Jack, contentiously: “Candy bar wrapper’s too small for anybody to see.”

“It’s bright red, white, and blue. You could probably see it from space.”

“Then how come I ain’t ever seen one?”

Bobby, quietly, “Mt. Zion Baptist Church.”

The letter E:
Author’s Note: Now we’re on the way back from the visit to Lureen’s aunt and uncle, which Jack has enjoyed exactly as much as he expected to. (In other words, he hated every minute of it.)

Bobby, from the backseat: “I spy, with my little eye, somethin that starts with E.”

Jack mutters, “Oh, God!”

Lureen reminds him, “Are-we-almost-there. Eighty-eight-bottles-of-beer.”

A groan. “I got a headache.” Then, “E. E. What starts with E?”

Lureen, gloomily, “Everything.”

From the backseat: “Nope.”

Jack: “Evergreen? Earth? Eagle? Engine?”

Bobby, impressed: “Nope, none of them. Couldn’t see an engine, anyway, cause it’s under the hood.”

“Okay, exhaust then,” Jack persists.


Lureen: “Ear? Envelope? Egg?”

“No. No. No. Ear?”

“Like on a cow or a rabbit or somethin.”

Jack grunts. “Okay, I’ll tell you what E stands for.”



Original Post Date: 1/22/2009

Afterword: I don’t suppose that life in Texas was particularly idyllic for Bobby, Jack, or Lureen. But just as even the best of times aren’t all good, even the worst aren’t all bad. I like to think that the shared bond of a child that they both loved, however imperfectly, could bring Lureen and Jack a little closer together, when so much else was pulling them apart. And perhaps all three of them could look back on these silly games with wistful affection, as “moments of artless, charmed happiness.”

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I've always planned to re-post all my scattered bits and pieces to my personal journal. But like a lot of things, I just hadn't gotten around to it. This was the biggest project, so maybe I'll actually manage to deal with the rest of the little bits before long.

Thanks for your kind comment. I always love hearing which drabbles people especially noticed, and why.

And also thanks for the heads-up on the bad link, which is now fixed, with manual instructions added, in case it decides to go wonky again!


LOL, these are priceless

Hey Sid, this is my first visit to your journal and I'm glad you reposted this! Substitute 3 girls and you could have been describing a lot of my family's vacations.

Especially liked the point in the Afterword: plenty of families have problems that create huge fissures eventually but they can still have their moments.