Gerald Baker


“Where were you last night?” She asked him. He had walked in with muddy boots in hand. Scratches and dried blood covered his face where the wrinkles of his sun beaten flesh would have laid. The nights were cold if there wasn’t a man around to harvest dead wood from the forest. The cottage in which they lived was near the river they had been tricked into buying three quarters mile of.

“Gold, is in this river,” the man lied to them. A small Pennsylvania river would be plentiful of quartz and coal, but nothing rating as high in value as gold. The man supplied two ounces of his own genuine gold which he had traded the year prior on the trails halfway to California. “I’ve made my wealth,” the man continued sensing the obvious question Gerald was about to ask. “Hell, I’ll even give it to ya’ for a shillings less.”

Gerald Baker was a kind man. One of pure innocence and hard work. Brought up on his family’s farm he learned that you work for every dime you earn and yearn for every dime you don’t. He had worked hard to manage the sum of $100. The land, once said and done would cost him a heft $140 with the $10 the kind man had knocked off. Gerald struggled to do the math but knew he would end up well off.

Greeted by her question he quickly put his muddy boots back outside of the door and walked in with his bare feet showing more blood drying among his toes.

“Good lord. What’s happened to you?” She asked now seeing the site of her pitiful husband walking through the door.

“I made gold.”

She looked at him. She took him in as if he were mad. He had to be mad. You can’t make gold. “What do you mean you made gold?” She asked.

“I captured the man that did this to us, and made him pay. I made him pay. I made him pay.” He repeated to her while he held the cloth over her mouth and nostrils. She continued to struggle, but the blame he had placed on her for the sourness of the deal urged him to continue the smothering. She finally fell still, but he continued his hold, and continued to tell her how the man had paid.

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Posted on April 23, 2011, in Names, short prose and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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