Deke 'n da Debble's Yarn, Part 3

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    Deke 'n da Debble's Yarn, Part 3

    Trust is a wunderful thing between two men. All da while I wuz absent, 

    I trusted Deke to take up jess where he left off. An’ he didn’t let me down.

    If’n anythin’, lettin’ Deke have a break lent to him a new, 

    an’ hellaciously commandin’, sotto voice, 

    devastatingly effective for da transmission of humor. 

    His deadpan jess matched perfeckly da extremity of da moment 

    fo’ our two preechur frien’s. Deke now spoke wid a ‘hole new ‘thority:

     

    “Somehow, Bing foun’ words. “Hey man, ah, sir? 

    If you ken jess lower dat gun, we can work this all out.” 

    “Where have you taken my wife?” da blonde’s husband growled. 

    Isn’t it amazin’ how a non sequetor makes da perfect sense when da cold barrel o’da shotgun impress you directly in da ribs? Bing Gilley, ever the thoughtful one, reflected absently. But den agin, two of ‘em, happenin’ in a row, might jess prove deadly.

     

    “I haven’t taken her anywhere,” a foreign voice answered. At least

    Bing didn’t recognize hisself, as he dissembled as artfully as a man in his condition could. “She just got here, an’ went inside da house.”

    Da still-running Cadillac attested to at least a grain of truth to wut Bing jess say.

    Da man from da pick-up reached into da Caddy, wid’ out openin’ da dough, 

    cussed for effect, an’ shut it off, pocketing da keys as he did.

     

    “Take me to her,” he growled a bit softer, but just as menacing, 

    cuz after he waved his gun n the direction of da front door, 

    he stuck it back smack onto Bing’s chest.

     

    As the two men entered, the screen door slammed shut wid another loud “Bang.” 

    Bing flinched, in spite of hisself. Da woman in question, 

    wuz nowhere in sight, but den, neither was Laz. 

    Bing looked hopefully at his suit pants draped over the end of the sofa. 

    But his gesture in that direction, was nonchalant, “Uh sir, can I put on ma pants?” 

    “Jess as soon as I find ma wife!” His abductor insisted. He pointed his gun 

    toward a door midway along da wall. “Issat a closet or a room?” he demanded.

    Bing tried to hide his rising anxiety. “Oh, that’s jess our empty guestroom.” 

     

    “Open da door,” An once agin’ dat barrel swung ‘gainst Bing’s chest. 

     

    Right then, the stairway light flicked on, an dear sweet Gracie called out, 

    in her sugery soprano, “What’s goin’ on down there? Who’s shouting?”  

    She started down the stairs, then stopped halfway once she saw 

    that a man had a gun pointed at her husban’. 

    A warm body suddenly bumped against hers. Seems Lucy had woke up curious, too. 

    Together, they stumbled down a few more steps.

     

    “Who are you two?” the man softened his voice just a bit, a very little bit, 

     -if increments of volume had any discernable social context  to 'em.

    Gracie spoke with the Southren grace an’ da grit of da storied Scarlettt O’Hara,

    “My name is Grace Gilley, an’ your gun is pointed at my husband, Bing. 

    So, unless you come to murder us, you be very careful with that!"  

    “An this woman,” Gracie pointed a delicate finger toward her friend, “is mah guest, Lucy Leach. She an’ her husban’ are both our guests.

     

    “Shotgun Sam” seemed unimpressed. When she finished, he spoke agin’, 

    makin' it a point to look right at Lucy.  

    “Where’s your husban’? Is he wid ma wife? An what’s he doin’ wid her?”

     

    Lucy set her jaw, “Ifn he’s wid your wife at this hour, (she knowin’ full well it be pas’  da midnite,) I’d like to know as much as you what he’s adoin’ wid her! (An’ da way she stressed da pronoun “I’d” , ya knew it was personal, an’ urgent wid’ her, too.) 

    Only she didn’t hold da gun ta anyone’s ribs.

     

    “Open da door!” da man repeated. An dis time Bing opened da guestroom, 

    an’ flicked on da light. The faint sound of sirens could be heard in the distance. 

    Dear sleepy-head Gracie, woke up ‘nuff ta dial 911 when dat shotgun wen’ off 

    underneath her bedroom window! But, da man seemed not to hear 

    as waved the gun’s barrel toward the closet door next. 

    “Now, open IT!”  he demanded, his rage seeming to mount up agin.

     

    With a loud squeak, the door swung upon. The closet was too shallow for

    hiding anything, an’ all that wuz inside, wuz some winter coats an’ boots.

    Unaware of jess what he might be a gettin’ into, Laz wuz used ta bein’ a man of ackshun. Motionin’ wi’ a finger fo’ da woman ta keep quiet, Laz 

    chanced ta make a diversionary exit from da blonde’s hiding place. 

    As he crawled out from under da bed, Lucy greeted him sternlike, an’ loud, 

    “How come neither you, nor Bing got pants on, an whatta you doin’ under da bed?”

     

    It’s hard to say how much further peace woulda lasted, inta dat night, ‘cause 

    things were gettin’ real tense like. But afor Laz could answer, 

    two events happened at zackly da same moment. 

    Dere wuz a loud knock at da door, while an offical voice boomed out,

     “Police, open up!  Come out wid your hands up.” An’-- at dat very instant, da husban’ dun spot his wife’s turquoise pumps showin’ out from under da comforter ruffles!

     

    As da man stooped for a better look, dere was a tap on da window glass, 

    metallic an’ ominous. All eyes turned to see a policeman,

     his handgun drawn, pointed at the man wid da shotgun. 

    “Drop it.” he demanded.  And jess like dat, da shotgun clattered to da floor. 

    Da blonde crawled out, an over it ever so carefully, so’s not to touch it,

    den she stood up, lookin' small-eyed at her husband, 

    an' not quite so frightened as one might suppose. 

    She didn’t say a word, cause by den, der were three cops inside da guestroom, 

    guns drawn, ta match da one still out on da porch.

     

    Angels on record in hebbin’ above!, dem preechurs sure had sum ‘splainin’ ta do.

    Along wid da casino owner, an' his wife. As fer da good brethren, 

    dey wuz allowed to go around da hall corner an pull on dere pants

    to ease dere embarassment. 

     

    Remarkably, at da hour’s end, no charges wuz filed. None! 

    Dat man mus had frien’s in high places. And da blonde? She wuz babtized 

    by Pastor Bing  not four weeks later. But by this time, Laz an’ Lucy were long gone, 

    gettin’ ready to preach in another city. An’, believe it if ya ken, da blonde’s husban’ 

    even came to her babtism! This time without his shotgun. And, he wuz wearin’ a suit!

    Though he did have an uncommon bulge under his left arm that Pastor Bing 

    decided to jess ignore. 

    An’ so life returned to normal at da Shrieveport Salvation Temple, 

    where normal always meant somethin’ else 'dan most took it ta mean. 

    Deke sighed, once again, at that realization. 

    An' I saw it was one of resignation, but peaceful, too.

     

    Den it was dat Deke surprized me.

    His voice fell ‘most to a whisper, talkin real low, 

    as den Deke built it louder an’ louder once agin. 

    “Pastor Laz, wuz suddenly aware, the utter last detail lay revealed. 

    Da yarn was all unravelled! Done! Complete! 

    He'd done brought hisself to da very time for da spiritual application to be made! 

    Vainly, he rumminated back to one of da several possible ones 

    he’d contrived gettin’ ready for dat evenin’s sermon. 

    But, da Debble had dun swep’ his storehouse bare!” Deke’ shouted triumphantly! 

     

    He jammed his fists together, and twisted dem back an’ forth real quick, 

    as ifn he wuz usin’ an ol’ fashun corn broom. But his dramatic, final stroke 

    look’d more like a sand wedge golf shot, hand’s tagetha, arms, straight out. 

    Deke’s eyes followed da invisible sweepage off toward da far horizon, 

    or mebbe it wuz jess to da mailbox at da edge of his fron’ yard- 

    Hard ta tell frum where I sat. Anyhow- - it was a few seconds 

    before Deke lowered his arms, and came back ta his story; 

    long enough fer me ta think on what had jess happened.

    An’ I felt a twinge of chagrin catchin’ hold of me, feelin’ for Laz, as I did.

     

    “There was a long pause ‘den,” said Deke, “an’ it seemed almighty God Himself 

    walked through dat silence! Like a time on Sinai when He come outta

     da fire an' smoke to talk wid His serbent, Moses. Dat kind of aweful. 

    An all da while, da listening college crowd, dat ha' been putty 

    in dat preechur's hands all night long, seemed to be slippin’ away from him

    like rat snakes outta a cut feed bag. An' moah wuz agoin' 

    wid each silent tick ob da clock high on da back wall.”

     

    “Laz reached into his hip pocket for his kerchief, took it out an’

    with a slow, dramatic flourish, began to wipe true perspiration off his brow. 

    Dis all waz a bran' new feelin' foah him. Though nexta frantic, he solumnly intoned,

     “And the moral of this true story I’ve just told you is......” An ' den

     his mouth went as dry a week old baguette in a paper sack.”

     

    “Help me Lawd,” he pled, his prayer jess a screaming thru da silence. . . . but nothin’, 

    absolutely nothin’ came to mind, nothin’ at all!  For da fust time in his adult life, 

    he simply had no moah words ta say! Da seconds, dey seemed like hours.

     

    Den he regrouped, desperate to salvage the situation, 

    “My young frien's, I jess tole ‘dis story on a dare, dat I could use it 

    ta bring someone here ta repentance an’ confession, but-  I cannot 'memer jess whut 

    I intended it to illustrate, nor even give ya a single moral to ‘dis story, . . . 

    ‘cept . . .  beware of da Debble’s yarn, even ifn it is da gospel truth!”

     

    Den all da students laughed ‘till tears flowed. Bishop Gilley laugh’ until he cried. 

    It wuz like no other church service any had ever been to. 

    When one would stop long enough to breath normal like, 

    someone else would lose it. Listenin’ to dat person catch a new guffaw wuz 

    like throwing gas on a pile o’ dry cyprus shavin’s. The rabid minutes flew by, 

    as laughter rose and fell, rose and fell agin’, like some speedin’ 

    roller coaster train, an’ no one dere could stop it, not even Laz hisself.

     

    Presently, da Spirit o’ de Lawd came over Laz once agin’. 

    “Listen ta me, listen!” he commanded over the noise, an’ da hall grew quieter, 

    as all da young people tried ta rein demselves in. His tan face 

    was all ruddy now, as he confessed: “I stand before you 

    as da fust among sinners, jess like da Apostle Paul, in needa grace. 

    Yes, frien’s, I didna listen ta wizdom, 

    anna it's ma own soul dat needs a revival, ta-night. 

    Who will come up front, an’ pray fo’ me, pray wid me, 

    fo’ da revival dat we ALL need?” 

     

    An’ den he stood dere, lookin’ suddenly like a dark sinna, dat's lost an ashamed.

    But he wouldn’t look down, instead, he look’d every one o’dem right in da eye, 

    slow like an’ ever so in earnest. An' his eyes became da eye's o' da Lawd Hisself.

     

    Den all da laughter stopped. An' one by one, wid hearts under conviction, 

    in dat heavy, heavy silence, dey left their seats, 

    until verily, hundreds began to pray wid Laz, an’ for da brutha, 

    an’ fo’ one anudda, with fresh, holy tears. Amen! an’ Hallelujah! 

    Fo’ da ‘vangelist Lazarus Leach got his revival, after all! 

     

    Den it wuz, dat ol’ Deke began his own yarn, past all Laz’s story, 

    an’ past Derek’s amazin’ phone call, to where he was da’ sole master 

    in charge of all da details. 

    Fo’ so far, Deke had only hinted at da Debble’s part in all o’ dis.

     

    As if checkin’ fo some unseen interlopin’ear, Deke looked both ways 

    off da porch as he continued, “But somewhere back in the bayou, 

    where da bats dive bomb them a giggin’ bull frogs, ’where 

    da cyprus knees kneel reverent-like into da hell-black water, an where 

    runnin’ into da gray beard of low hangin’ Spanish moss can smack 

    a grin offin’ a fool’s face faster den a gator can chomp on a hog’s hine leg, 

    I ‘magine da ol’ Debble is still a sniggerin unda his sulfur breath, all da while

    wiff sparks o’ fire cummin’ outta his nose. ‘Cuz he full well knows- -

    embarrassin’s not near da the same- as winnin wid’ a true kill shot!”

     

    Deke’s eyes read mine one las’ time, seein' ifn I had da soul ta unnerstan'. 

    I knew he was lookin’ for an affirmation of his yarn. 

    Dere it lay between us, bare, yet somehow, glorious.

    In places, fillled indeed wid' da cunnin' o' da Debble hisself, but afor da end,

    trump'd like da appearance o' da high Rook, by da redempshun from de Lawd!

     

    I kept his face in view as I got up outta Dahia’s caneback.

    Dere we wuz, man ta man, eye ta eye. An’, purified by shared laughter, 

    as close as ever we’d been afor now, heart ta heart. 

     

    As I handed him back his empty quart jar, I said wut I could muster 

    on da spur o’da moment,-  ‘cause I wuzn’t so good at dis heart ta heart stuff:

    “Amen, an’ Hallelujah! Deke, Amen an’ Hallelujah!”

     

    Mebbe it wuz jess me, but I don’ think I seen him happier 

    since before he loss da misses, 

    until dat bery instant.


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    wheelsal commented on Deke 'n da Debble's Yarn, Part 3

    02-05-2010

    Ok. I read all three. Hallelujah and Amen. The prayer meeting is over and I want more. Where do you go with this now? Do you have more in your pocket of yarns?

    ginga commented on Deke 'n da Debble's Yarn, Part 3

    01-30-2010

    Haver, The clever phrases you have intricately entwined throughout this raucous tale of preachers, casino owners, and parishoners is utterly fantastic. I like reading it aloud if I do say so myself! You should publish this one! You and Hampton are consummate story tellers! ginga

    HarverTomsson

    01/30/2010

    Thanks, mam. That kinda made my day, so far...

    Stryx commented on Deke 'n da Debble's Yarn, Part 3

    01-27-2010

    A truly delightful tale, told like a master story teller. You have a talent my friend, a delightful talent.

    HarverTomsson

    01/27/2010

    Everyone has at least one story in them. Hopefully I have more than that. LOL

    koolmom0 commented on Deke 'n da Debble's Yarn, Part 3

    01-26-2010

    Well now this is very different. what a cool story. I enjoyed the read. :) Kool

    HarverTomsson

    01/26/2010

    Thank you Koolmom0. I hope you'll check on from time to time to exchange pleasantries over the craft. HT

    SavVySam commented on Deke 'n da Debble's Yarn, Part 3

    01-26-2010

    "Trust is a wonderful thing" and so is this tale. You captivate an audience like you are holding court or perhaps a prayer meeting! You do just fine with this "heart to heart stuff"! Excellent!

    HarverTomsson

    01/26/2010

    I'm not bowing deeply, it's just that I over-did it shovelling snow, and that's as straight as I can stand, for now! LOL Thaks for your vist and high praise, it tickles all over, 'xcept for my achin' back!

    The true philosopher and the true poet are one, and a beauty, which is truth, and a truth, which is beauty, is the aim of both.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Poet (1803-1882)

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