“Eden’s bin trapping again.” Billy Burth stormed into the cabin, breathing heavily, his left hand grasping the latch.

Dink continued chopping tomatoes. He knew there’d be trouble as soon as he saw Billy stamping up the mountain path, fists clenched, face red. “Beer?”

Billy nodded and closed the cabin door. “You make this latch?”

“Suffolk latch. Made the hinges, too.” Dink grabbed two beers and a bottle opener. “Let me show you the back porch.” He slid open the glass door and stepped outside. The sun angled onto the porch, highlighting the grains of the wood Dink had reclaimed and restored. Billy ran a finger along a railing. “I never figgered you as a man to work with wood and iron.”

Dink shrugged. “Learning as I go.”

“Got a good view of the mountain,” Billy observed. “You know how it got its name?”

“Blood Mountain? I’ve heard theories.”

Billy narrowed his eyes. “Ah, that’s right. An educated man. Scientist, ain’t that right? Theories and ideas.”

“Nothing wrong with ideas.”

“Professor, I heard. You come up here to educate the masses?”

“No.” Dink caught sight of Eden walking up the path.

“Why you here?”

“Changed careers.” Dink pointed to his son.

Billy scowled. “Trapping again.”

“Eden knows he’s not allowed to trap here.

“Eden ain’t allowed to trap anywhere.”

“I am well aware of that.”

“You better make sure Eden is aware of it, too.”

Dink whirled, imagining his hands wrapped around Billy’s neck. “What is your problem?”

“My what?”

“Why are you constantly after my son?”

“He’s a menace.”

“He’s the kindest person I know.”

“He relocates what he traps, did you know that? Moves ’em right down the mountain.”

“He doesn’t like to see animals in pain.”

“Sure do like to inflict it though. You ever see him in town? The way he shouts out at the women. The way he acts like a kid all the time. Jesus, Dink, your boy is like a eight-year-old in men’s clothing.”

Dink set his bottle on the railing. “Precisely, Billy. That’s exactly what he is.”

“What do you mean?” Billy said.

“What do you think I mean?” Dink rubbed his forehead. “Why do you think Eden’s mother left us right after Billy’s birth? Why do you think my own parents have never met their grandchild? Why do you think I quit my job and climbed up this damned mountain to make the best home I could make for my child?” Man-child. “I thought the people here would be a little kinder. A little gentler. A little more accepting. Turns out you’re all like the rest of them. Can’t stand someone a little different.”

“I’m sorry, Dink.”

“God, how I loathe small-mindedness.” Dink returned to the kitchen, picked up his knife and resumed chopping tomatoes. Eden would be home soon.

The boy would be hungry.

This was written for this week’s Studio30+ prompt. We could use the word loathe, earth, or both.

12 thoughts on “Eden

  1. So what IS up with his son? I loved this. This is the kind of story that sticks with you, nice pacing in the dialog too… So loaded with judgement throughout.

    p.s. glad you didn’t go with “earth”, because the prompts was actually “planet” 😉

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