Learning his ABCs

Here is my latest story based on the photo prompt from The Angry Hourglass. Note the first letter of each line of dialogue.

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“Are they at it again daddy?”

“Boy, come here.” He finished the afternoon’s fifth beer, set the twelve pack on the floor, and patted the chair beside him.

“Charlie, please—”

“Don’t you tell me how to raise my own son woman! Come here Duke.”

“Every day. Right daddy?” He bobbed upon the chair next to his father, his legs not long enough for his feet to touch the floor. “They do it every day.”

“Forget about it Karl, just let it go.”

“God damn it Mary, the boy needs to learn!”

“Here Duke. See ‘em all out there? Scramblin’ around like cockroaches.”

“I do daddy, I do.”

“Just loafin’ around. The whole damn lot of ‘em. Beggin.’”

“Karl—”

“Look there daddy see?” He pointed to the one near the car. “Probably asking for change right?”

“Motherfuckers.” Karl shook his head.

“Niggers.” He looked to his father and smiled upon receiving approval.

“Oh for God’s sake. I can’t take this anymore.” She buried her face in her hands and ran to her room.

“Probably pushing drugs too right daddy?”

“Quick as a whip son, quick as a whip.”

“Reggies.”

“Son, you’re gonna grow up just right.” He threw his arm around Duke’s shoulders and pulled him close.

“Thanks to you daddy.”

“Understand this Duke,” he began, cracking open his next beer. “We ain’t the same as them. None of us are the same as them. We don’t do that kind of shit, nor do we act like they do, like they’re trying to get everyone to look at them.”

“Vanity, that’s what you said right daddy? Vanity?”

“Well, some of them son are full of it. Mostly the younger ones wantin’ to look right, spendin’ all their money on their shoes, their gold. Not those ones down there. They just walk around beein’ loud, never thinkin’ to get a job. They’re all a bunch of—”

“Ex-cons!”

“You got it. Damn you’re smart.” He ruffled his son’s hair. “But they’ll go back soon enough, believe you me, and if they haven’t been to jail yet, it’s only a matter of time. You remember—”

“Zoo ape.”


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