"AIN'T NOBODY HOME"
BY: KELLY O'KELLY
Ben and his wife Ella soon rattled the broke
screen door on Rhemys front porch. “Hey Brother Ben, It’s The Lawd’s
Good Hand,” he held a big gray earthen jug and had a pocket full of those
cigars; Ella held the money. “How much you get? He asked. “A
hundred dollars man, a hundred dollars.” “Yea me too.” “Ella
you and Tonja enjoy a talk while me and Rhemy do the same thing.”
“Come on out chere to the barn with me Rhemy.” Rhemy followed Ben
to the barn. “Here man, take a taste of this.” He handed him
the jug. Rhemy took a swallow. “OOH - - wee,” he said; this here
peach brandy?” It hit bottom, “OOH--wee, that’s good.” “Here, have
a cigar.” “I don’t mind,” Rhemy said, taking one. “And one
for the road.” He exhaled. Ben threw back and laughed out loud.
“This sure is a good day for us, aint it Rhemy?” “It sho is Ben.”
Ben walked over to Mule, “Here you go Mule,” he gave him the butt of a cigar. Here boy this one’s for you. Mules top lip began to quiver spasmotically as he gently took it from Ben’s fingers. “HEEE---A--HAW,” Mule said, as he chewed it up and swallowed it. “Have another drink Rhemy, then I got something to show you.” Ben walked over to Rhemy and put his hand on his shoulder.
“Look--a--here! Look--a--here! Look--a--here!”
Ben opened his hand exposing two big white ivory
dice, tasted the jug, then laughed like hell. “I told you I gonna
take that fool Israel for a good one.” “What you talkin bout Ben?”
Ben rolled the dice out onto a flat barn board. “Man I can control
these bones and make’em do what I want.” “Loaded Dice?” “Yep,
they sho is Rhemy.” “Loaded for old Ben.” “They worth two hundred
dollars in cash money.” “A hundred for me and a hundred for you.”
“What you talkin bout Ben?” “Last week me and Israel had a little
game of “High Roller” and I just naturally cleaned it up.”
“You mean that you cheated the man?” “Yea Rhemy, that zactly what
I mean.” “And somethin else, “What’s that Ben?” They took another
drink of the hot peach brandy. “The two hundred was paid by...by...
“Old Man Swarejohnny.... House.” Rhemy couldn’t help laughing with
Ben, they were both getting drunk now and about everything was funny.
“Dat Mr.Swarejohnny House to you boy,”
Rhemy laughed and held on to Ben’s shoulder.
“You just remember all them hot days last August Rhemy, and have some fun with that money.” “You mean we didn’t really have the most cotton of all?”
“Zactly right,” “Ben said.
"Israel, pay that debt or I kick his ass.”
Ben laughed again and so did Rhemy.
“You want to roll some dice man?” Ben rolled them out on the board again. “I know you got money to burn.” “ "Aw-Naw man, I done give all mine to Tonja anyhow.” Rhemy turned back toward Mule, “besides, I smarter than he is.” Ben laughed til’ it hurt. “I...oont...no..., he wait in de’ shade while you work.” The brandy was working as the laughter picked up,
“I say to'em, PAY UP, or I kick yo’ ass.”