Thanks for Nothing
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Thanks for Nothing


Edith pulled down the drive to the house and rattled to a stop next to a late-model, blue sedan. She just sat there trying to place the owner and then finally got out and walked over and cupped her hands to the glass. The inside was spotless, glistening clean, floor mats still covered in factory plastic. On the passenger seat laid a window sales tag from Kent AutoMart. She snapped upright and stepped around to the rear of the car and when she saw the licensed dealer tags, she stammered, Oh, hell no, and stomped off toward the house.

She dropped her things on the kitchen counter where she saw the birthday invitation she had asked her father that morning to mail and she snatched it up with a snarl and stormed back out of the house. She’d not gotten far when she spotted two men walking down the path from the barn. The one, Wyatt Kent, was short and portly, and the other, his son, Harrison. A slightly taller but similar version, wearing a black hoody sweatshirt with an image of a handgun on the front along with the phrase: Guns dont kill people, It’s mostly the bullets.

Edith stopped to engage them and the older Kent smiled and nodded as if about to pass without speaking when Harrison cursed and lifted a boot, the bottom caked in fresh shit.

What the hell? He looked at Edith as if she were to blame.

That’s Zoe, she said.

What’s Zoe?

Never mind, she replied and looked at Wyatt. Can I help you?

The older man smiled. We were just visiting with the preacher, he said.

Ex-preacher, Edith corrected.

If you prefer.

I do.

Well, yes, you know how it is with some habits.

So I’ve heard. Go on, you were visiting with my father.

That’s right.

May I ask about what?

Oh, just a friendly chat about this, that and the other.

A friendly chat?

That’s right.

About this, that and…

And the other, yes ma’am, pretty much.

Harrison, who had spent this time in the grass attempting to scrape the pig shit off his boot and muttering to himself, said to his father he’d be in the car and then turned and went off down the hill.

Dont get any of that on the upholstery, his father called after him.

Edith watched him walk away when she noticed the small handgun holstered on Harrison’s hip. She looked at Wyatt. I’d appreciate it, she said, if he’d leave his gun in the car the next time you two get the urge to drop by for a chat.

I’ll be sure an mention that to him. Now if you’ll excuse me.

Wyatt pointed his self back down the hill and then paused and turned and looked back at Edith. Your father is right about one thing, he said. You are her spitting image.

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