Bobby B – Gator Bait

I said something about way back story. Got asked about it. Here’s a Double Trouble Bobby B and Carrie Louise freebie, out of timeline original draft of the first chapter. 

Carrie Louise screamed for all she was worth. That, along with the first round from the shotgun, cleared the birds from the surrounding trees. Bobby saw the look in Carrie Louise’s eyes, couldn’t look down at where he hoped his feet still were, and waited for the explosion from the second barrel. CL was shaking so hard she couldn’t pull the hammer back. Bobby took a second, glanced down in time to see the snake that had dropped from the Spanish Moss canopy into their space slither through the new hole in the bottom of his dad’s old flat bottom swamp skiff. He heard CL scream bloody murder again when she couldn’t make the sawed-off shotgun work. He grabbed it away from her just before she launched it into the swamp after the snake.

Bobby had no idea how deep the water was, but he pulled on his dad’s waders, tied a knot in the shoulder straps while the boat slowly settled toward the water line. Carrie cussed non-stop between screams. He stepped out into water waist deep on his average, almost twelve-year old frame. His dad’s waders were up to his chin, so unless a snake slopped over the top they were good. He sloshed a few steps toward Carrie Louise.

“When I turn around, climb on my shoulders, baby style.” He gave her the most serious look he could find, handed the shotgun back. “You see a gator, holler. Let me shoot. Got it?”

“Okay. But you can’t drop me. You can’t.” She shook her head, looked over her shoulder in the direction the snake had taken off. “How far is it?”

“As far as it is.”

He knew his dad would raise hell about the trolling motor, took his bearings so he’d remember where they were. Once dad knew the water wasn’t very deep they’d be back to get the motor, take it home, dry it out and rebuild it in the garage. His dad would drink beer and direct, Bobby would wrench, Momma would put some vodka in her coffee and read the latest and greatest from the library where she worked and pretend to watch them like she cared. While whatever was in the oven turned black.

***

Carrie Louise climbed off his shoulders onto dry ground and started screaming again when Bobby waded out. Another snake, its fangs embedded in the thick rubber heel of the waders, had taken a ride with them. Bobby saw CL point the shotgun at his foot, and screamed with her. She dropped the shotgun and took off down the finger of two lane ruts that cut through the swamp. Bobby picked up the shotgun, put the barrel against the snake’s head and pushed until the snake lost its grip and recoiled away. He had one shell in the sawed-off swamp boat gun, and he might need it for more than a snake dumb enough to hit waders.

***

Sheridan Wylie peered over the side of the Terrebone Parish swamp patrol boat at the two stragglers walking up one of the bayou’s land fingers.

“I do declare. Carrie Louise Roche and Bobby Buisson.” Sheriff Wylie was a little overweight in a uniform and life vest that fit a couple of years ago, giant aviator shades and a smile that took a dip on the right side from a long-ago knife fight scar. If he was smiling. If he wasn’t, he was scary as all hell.

“When I got the call about two kids with a shotgun wandering the Mauvais Bois, I thought maybe I had me some lost poachers or the next Bonnie and Clyde. What do I find out here but Houma’s own double trouble.” He lifted his cap, wiped his forehead. “Howsome-ever, you might crack that shotgun open and hand it to me, young Mister Bobby. Go a looooong ways toward keepin’ my blood pressure under control. Case one of you is Bonnie or Clyde.”

“Yes sir.” Bobby broke the sawed-off open, offered it butt first to the Sheriff. “Sorry.”

“Think nothin’ of it.” The Sheriff unloaded the unused shell, dropped it in his pocket, set the shotgun on the dash. “You can give that gun I don’t know is the wrong side of legal back to your daddy after I’ve carried you two home.”

He helped Carrie, and then Bobby, step off into the boat. Handed them both a life vest and idled the boat around.

“I’m gonna troll slow now, ‘cause I need y’all to tell me one a hell of a stow-ree. Better have a gator and a witch and a toothless coon-ass pervert or two in it, ‘cause bein’ as we’re out here and all, I’m stoppin’ at the marina for a ring-of-fire hot link and some of Louella’s fried shrimp bites. On the Parish dime. And I’ll need to write me up a nice report when I get back to justify rescuing two kids who should know better than to blow a damn hole in the bottom of a boat.”

***

Sheriff Wylie dropped them at a makeshift dock on Bayou Black across the street from Bobby’s house, Bobby went home, Carrie Louise huffed off to her house next door. She came back fifteen minutes later and banged on the screen door to Bobby’s kitchen. She’d been crying, most likely from a Momma Roche ass chewing. He toed the door open and she shoved a plate at him. He eyed the huge slice of peach pie and rapidly losing form in the heat whipped cream.

“Momma says she guesses thanks for saving me from being gator bait. I told her it was snakes, but she said thanks anyway, even though a Houma girl dumb enough to blow a hole in a boat mighta been justifiably left behind. And to say I’m sorry about your dad’s boat and scaring you shitless with the shotgun and almost blowing your foot off.” She heaved a big sigh. “She’ll see that we make it right, when we can.”

Bobby could feel the sadness coming off her, along with some leftover steam from how mad she’d gotten when he and the Sheriff laughed about her blowing a hole in the boat and not killing the snake.

“I’ll tell Daddy I did it, you tell Momma R not to worry.” He shrugged, took the pie plate. “Dad’ll drop a couple M-80s to run the snakes off so I can fish the motor out pretty easy. And it won’t be as bad a dumb-ass sermon as telling him I let a girl beat me to the snake-and-gator gun.” He grinned, held the door open for her. “Come on, CL. Pie this size needs two forks.” He saw her frown start back in the right direction.

“You sure? About the boat and all?”

“Yep.”

Sure sure?”

“Yep.”

“Like certain sure?”

“CL, do I look like I’m standin’ here changin’ my mind?”

“No…” She stepped past him into the kitchen, opened his fridge. “So I guess that means you have a couple of new shots of Cool Whip or maybe some ice cream in here to go with that extra fork and this big ol’ piece of my momma’s pie?”

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Published by

Phil Huston

https://philh52.wordpress.com/

5 thoughts on “Bobby B – Gator Bait”

      1. I realized something while reading this, well, after a bit, which is: there’s an expectation by readers to read perfectly formed English words as story telling Lego blocks. And when alter-speech dialects and colloquialisms interrupt the reading experience, the mind halts, stumbles a bit before it can grasp the non-standard spelling and pronunciation of the word.
        I too am experimenting with alternate, countrified speech and realize that too much is just plain hard to read. Our minds are used to a specific flow of words. When we have to slow down to understand what we read, our minds undergo a grinding of gears, which is not pleasant, if taken it too large a dose.
        This pieces had just the right portion.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Dialect in small doses, character specific. Drop a lot of it, as you say, and you end up with a page that’s a struggle. Try to write “authentic” dialect, and even people who speak that way will be scratching their heads. You should meet Alixandrie.

        Liked by 1 person

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