Short Stories

Fiction – Night Bugs
by Thomas Hollyday
originally published in Paean

Will Jemper coming home whistling, clumping along the dirt road in the black night. Bugs and cricket chattering in the woods with their lives. Then the unmooned starlight warning with a bare glint from polished steel barrel of the double twelve shotgun, warning of Juke Terment there, his boots dead in the road, the gun muzzles pointing at Will. Neither man spoke but night rattling stopped, almost patiently to wait. There was no more whistling or moving towards as Will stood there, watching the small roundness of that steel, his eyes terrified. Then his hands up across his chest in a vaudeville of protection and the dark among the trees is wild light, roaring, the shotgun went off, both barrels, to cut his body in half.

Dust settling again with some of the dirt plastering itself into the flowing blood. The crickets rattling now and a pleasant hoot by an owl deep in the trees. Night bugs and then the sound of two brass shells ejecting into the dirt and finally the tread by a heavy man carrying a shotgun, a padding almost too soft, Juke walking back down the road, once muttering,

“That’ll teach the sonofabitch.”

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Fiction – Green Ribbon
by Thomas Hollyday
originally published in The Charles Street Review

“It’s when they stink up the cab that it’s bad, it don’t pay,” the black cabbie thought as he shifted at the light. He watched the young girl with the baby and the little boy that crawled. The baby was wrapped in a red and blue blanket. It was the baby that was causing the smell. ”Bad at the bus terminal, no choice in your fare, have to take them as they come, take what you can get.” The young mother was white and had long unkempt blonde hair. ”Long bus ride.” She reminded him of the home he left when he was a young man. Same kind of mean and little, bitter look to it. Home didn’t always stink, just some- times, sometimes. “She ain’t going to tip, sure.”

“Yes mam you see my husband, he’s supposed to be here in B – – -, and that’s why we come here.” The blonde girl stood in front of the reception desk of the small real estate company, and the secretary named Jerry watched her silently, thinking how frail this young mother is. The secretary held a key to a third floor apartment up the street. A piece of white paper was on the desk blotter in front of the secretary. The paper said that the party agrees to prepay one week’s rent and that at such time as the party would intend to change address, the extra week’s rent would be refunded.

The phone rang.

“Jerry, you want me for something?”

“Yes, Mr. Blakeson, we have a young woman here who wants to rent 2829 third floor. But she can’t give us the prepay.”

“Well, tell her we can’t accept that.”

“She has two children with her, Mr. Blakeson. Her husband is here in the city working somewhere and she has just come up from the South to join him. She says it will take a while to locate him and let him know she is here. She’s very young, Mr. Bakeson.”

“White?”

“Yes sir.”

“No reason to doubt her then, I guess. Those two kids. How old is she?”

“How old are you, honey?”

“Seventeen, mam.”

“She’s seventeen, Mr. Blakeson.”

“Rent it to her. Good. I’ll stop over and see her about it. Anything else, Jerry?”

“No sir.” The secretary laughed as she hung up the phone.

“All right, Mrs. Donlin, the boss says you can have the room, but only for a week.”

“Oh thank you mam. Hey you Charleyboy, you leave that thing alone.” The high pitched angry voice stopped the two year old child from crawling further over the typewriter. He had snarled the keys. He fell back to the floor and grinned at the secretary. The mother calmed again and pulled the child’s hand and shifted the weight of the baby in her arms. She had been holding the baby for a long time now. The secretary watched. She had never had her own children.

“How old is he?”

“Oh, Charleyboy, that’s after my husband, he’s two years now, and this one is three months.”

“Well, I guess you’ll want to get up to 2829 and wash of all that road dirt and everything.”

“Yes mam, that sure would be nice.”

“Chauncey will show you where the apartment is.”

“Thank you mam.”

“Chauncey, Mr. Blakeson was here this morning and said to have you go over and help Mrs. Donlin move an icebox. She told him last night that it was in the wrong place. You can do that after you get through cleaning the office.”

“Yes mam, you see today is my wife’s birthday and I was planning on getting home early today.”

“Well, I’m sorry about that.”

“Yes mam.”

He heard someone inside tell him to go ahead in, so he opened the door. 2829 was almost unfurnished. Two or three chairs. And there was the huge noise of rhythm and blues music. Suddenly the blonde poked her head around the bedroom doorway and yelled at him. “It’s the icebox out in the kitchen. Do I have to show you? Wait a minute.” Chauncey went out to the kitchen. He was thinking about his wife and about having to come up here and move this icebox for trash like that naked woman in the other room. The little boy come crawling across the floor, his fingers holding a smashed roach and his clothes unchanged from the day before when Chauncey had brought this woman and her kids to this apartment. He didn’t hear the baby crying in the bedroom because the radio music was too loud. He opened the door of the icebox and saw the small loaf of bread and the half empty bottle of milk. When he closed the door, many bugs scrambled in several wild directions and the little boy gave chase, making child noises.

“Like a cat, Chauncey thought. He felt sad. He smiled at the kid. Charleyboy grinned up at him and sat back on his bare feet in the middle of the worn linoleum floor where some of the once yellow flower pattern still showed. She came into the kitchen. She was wearing the dress she had worn the day before. The only change was the bright green ribbon in her hair.

“Yes mam, you want this icebox moved somewheres?”

“Listen, you black sonofabitch,” she stood there and said in that same voice she had used in the office on Charleyboy, that same sudden shift from southern slowness to quick harsh anger, “don’t you do no hurrying of no white woman.” And then she kicked of her bedroom slippers which skittered across the floor, and she flopped down in the only chair in the kitchen, putting her feet up on the kitchen table, and, looking at Chauncey, she laughed and he could hear that laugh over the sounds of Charleyboy chasing his mother’s slippers and over the noise of the rhythm blues music.

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Welcome to the online information about Solar Sipper solar heated wild bird and pet drinking water stations and birdbaths, and Happy Bird Publications, publishers of wildlife manuals.

A sip of fresh water is better than none at all, so wet their whistles.®

Solar Sippers wildlife and bird waterers are carried in a large variety of vendors both on the internet and in stores. Check out current stock and current prices  at our online store and others on Amazon, Plow and Hearth, Duncraft, WalMart, Sears, Unbeatable Sales, Goldcrest, A.M. Leonard and many others. At these places you may buy with your credit card or Paypal.

We sell here online ONLY the parts for our Solar Sipper units. We do not sell with credit cards here. You may send your check directly to Happy Bird Corporation, PO Box 86, Weston, MA 02493 with a copy of the order form for parts properly filled out.

 

All Season Deluxe Wild Bird Watering Station Model (10008)
The Model 10008 Deluxe Solar Sipper is the best product for clean, fresh drinking water for wild birds on the market today. This water station does it all. Unlike a birdbath, it covers the water to keep it clean. It insulates to keep water cooler in the summer and warmer in winter. It heats with a unique solar design against winter ice to 20 degrees F.

Solar Sipper Model 10008 Details

All Season Maxpower Wild Bird Watering Station (10007)
Maximum black surface for solar heating – The Model 10007 Maxpower Solar Sipper is the best product for clean, fresh drinking water for wild birds on the market today. This water station does it all. Unlike a birdbath, it covers the water to keep it clean. It insulates to keep water cooler in the summer and warmer in winter. It heats with a unique solar design against winter ice to 20 degrees F.

Solar Sipper Model 10007 Details

All Season Super Solar Sipper Wild Bird Watering Station (10040)
The Model 10040 Super Solar Sipper solar heated portable fresh drinking water station for wild birds is designed with birds in mind to go where they go at any time of year. Tough plastic cover keeps water clean for a day’s drinking while the patented top design keeps enough solar heat to keep water from freezing to 15 degrees F. all day in winter sun, depending on sun and wind conditions.

All Season Deluxe Pet Sipper – Pet Watering Station (10012)
The Model 10012 Pet Sipper is a safe and reliable Solar Sipper animal watering stations, engineered for providing fresh drinking water. The water surface is covered to keep water clean while the unit is insulated for year-round use. Winter use is possible due to the patented solar top. In winter, simply fill with warm water, put out in the winter sun and the unit will remain unfrozen all day to 20 deg. F.

Solar Sipper Model 10012 Details

All Season Standard Commercial – Pet Watering Station (10011)
The Model 10011 Pet Sipper is a safe and reliable Solar Sipper animal watering stations, engineered for providing fresh drinking water. The water surface is covered to keep water clean while the unit is insulated for year-round use. Winter use is possible due to the patented solar top. In winter, simply fill with warm water, put out in the winter sun and the unit will remain unfrozen all day to 20 deg.

All Season Standard Commercial – Pet Watering Station (10011) Details

Blue Solar Sipper (10003)
Non electric, All Season wild bird Garden Blue Solar Sipper with Garden blue footed base and translucent top. Top keeps water clean, safe-no electric wires, solar top uses sun to keep water clear of ice to 20 deg.F, Ambient, air space keeps water cool in summer, warm in winter.

Blue Solar Sipper (10003) Details

Blue Solar Sipper with Bracket (10014)
Garden Blue Solar Sipper (see description above item: 10003) with Bracket (10004).

Blue Solar Sipper with Bracket (10014) Details

 

When ordering Parts for Solar Sippers
Note that the tops intended for bird use have a smaller opening than the tops intended for wild animal / pet use.

Mounting Bracket (10004)
Mounting bracket for all Solar Sipper models. Mounting hardware included. is sold online at Amazon.

 

The following parts may  be ordered here with attached order form and instructions.

Solar Black Outer Cup (10023)
Price: $13.95 (plus s/h)

Berry Red outer cup (10024)
Price: $16.95 (plus s/h)

Translucent outer cup (10027)
Price: $16.95 (plus s/h)

Solar Sipper inner cup (10025)
Fits all Solar Sippers
Price: $10.95 (plus s/h)

Solar Top for Pet Sipper (white) (10022)
For small animals, 4″ hole, to convert 10007, 10008 from wild bird to animal use
Price: $13.95 (plus s/h)

Solar top for wild birds (10026)
Replaces top for 10040
Price: $9.95 (plus s/h)

Solar Top (black) for Wild Birds (10021)
1 1/2″ hole, fits 10007, 10008
Price: $9.95 (plus s/h)

Solar Sipper Order Form

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