The Wandering of Desire

The Wandering of Desire

The Wandering of Desire

The Wandering of Desire

Excerpt

Elic Mullis heard the car before he saw it, heard it away off to the right coming down State 39, a state road now, but one that had been a trail when his papa built this house. It was still a dirt road. But the car was going at least fifty, so he knew who it was and wondered, lying in the thin grass under the live oak, whether the car would stop at the tenant house again or come on up to where he was lying. His papa sat in a highback rocker on the front porch, flipping the homemade swatter at random flies. Obie lay asleep on the edge of the porch with his legs hanging off and his bare feet flat on the bluish sand that had been washed by rain from the eaves longer than either he or the boy had been in the world, for forty or fifty or maybe even more years. Obie's heavy shoes lay beside him, one tilted awkwardly against the wooden porch support where it had fallen from his hand, both gapping wide and heavy and obscene.

When he saw that Obie didn't stir and that his papa just sat there listening to the car without commitment, he turned back on his stomach and looked toward the road. He saw the gray plume of dust rising and the sun flashed on the car's windshield. Then he could make out the green car itself, watching it over the stem of wild onion in front of his nose. The car looked so small it could have been an ant crawling along the leaf except for its color and the flash of sunlight . . .

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