First published in Deep South Magazine
On Saturdays, Opal Pratt went to the Piggly Wiggly in nearby Vicksburg, Mississippi to buy groceries. On Sunday mornings, she went to church and sat alone on the back row. On Mondays, she did her small batch of laundry. On a daily basis, Opal did her chores, listened to the radio and hummed her favorite popular songs. In the afternoon, she took a creamy, sugary mug of coffee to the front porch and sat in her momma’s rocker. The table next to it still needed folded paper stuck under one leg to keep it steady. When she considered the table’s repair, though, she remembered the coin purse that held her savings for a television set. Most people had them.
The dirt road to her house was short making it easy to observe the goings and comings on the highway – delivery trucks, the school bus, the Trailways bus taking folks who knew where.
Opal’s life was small, circumscribed by routine and loneliness.
On this afternoon, …