The Smell of Freedom, 1965

SHE had never seen a sky so blue.

Well, aqua really.  Like in those old National Geographic magazines in the nuns’ library where the African savages bathed in the unmolested island lagoon.

And the sun, a glaucoma orangish hue, was hiding behind a cloud shaped like a wounded elephant with only a splash of pink trailing behind it, just to let her know it was there.

Merry swallowed hard and inhaled, the Kentucky dirt filling her wide nostrils.  It burned.  The smell of freedom.

“Where the bus?”

Merry eyed the blistered face guard eyeballing her ass from the other side of the barbed wired fence.

“One left ’bout 10 minutes ago.  ‘Notha one should be makin’ it’s way ’round here ’bout noon.”

Merry bit her lip.  That motherfucker.  Still screwing her and trying to keep her on her back.  She wondered the exact time, but wasn’t about to give him the satisfaction of asking.

Besides, the look of her old sharecropping friend, the sun, where it halfway hung in the sky and the growl of her empty stomach told her the time for breakfast had been come and gone.  Even with her bad legs, she could make it into town to hustle up something to eat before the next bus came.

“Where you goin’, gal?  Town’s duh other way.”

Angry, Merry picked up her pace, fire slowly creeping into the bones of her legs and the hole in her left shoe, exposing her flat foot to the hot country road with each step.  If only his fat, cracker ass would just leave the gate, then she could turn around and go the right way.  But Merry knew better.  She knew that stinking piece of white trash would just stand there out of spite.

And watch her go nowhere fast.

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