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Across the Tracks

Posted on September 7, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Mother said they lived on the other side of the tracks because that's where the poor people lived, and besides, they was colored. I used to go down near the tracks and look at the shanties and lean-to's.


 But, then later, I noticed that over in the center of town all the rich, white folks had huge, fancy houses. I knew we weren't rich, and the colored's were definately poor, so we must be kind of in-between. When I ask mom about it she said we were getting by, and not to worry about it. I asked dad too, and he said we were keeping our heads above water.


Then one night I had this dream that the coloreds came over the tracks and snuck into my bedroom. They held me down and cut my buttocks off, and ran back across the tracks to fry up some fresh white buttocks. I had that dream for years, and every time I would wake up in the morning and the first thing I'd do is reach for my butt, and then let out a big sigh of relief that I had made it another night.


Years later, I had a baseball game down by the tracks, and I noticed a bunch of the coloreds were watching us real close. They had a barrel with a wire grill on top of it, and they were warming their hands over it. Towards the end of that game I saw some of them cooking something on that grill, turning it over and over. The smell of that cooked meat was wafting over the outfield, and I was getting a real strong whiff of it. It smelled really good, but I couldn't wait for that game to end so I could high-tail it home.


I still have that dream now and then, but now when I wake up I reach for my butt, and then laugh out loud. Also, when I go near railroad tracks I often smell meat cooking.

Categories: Short Story, Jip Morgan, Horror

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Reply George Spelvin
5:37 PM on September 7, 2010 
Yuk! yuk! Pretty funny stuff Jip. You've gotta write something longer. You can do it!
The "coloreds"? Must be in the distant past. Mystery meat?
Reply Brandywine McArthur
8:43 PM on September 7, 2010 
This read more like a blog entry than a short story. Very funny indeed. Thanks for sharing...
Reply C.M. Marcum
9:23 AM on September 8, 2010 
Geeze Jip. I thought my dream about a thirty foot wad of bubblegum with tiny people stuck in it and chasing me to the edge of a cliff was weird. And hey, who wants your honky-butt anyway?

McArthur's right, it's not a story. Prose maybe.
Reply jipper
3:47 PM on September 8, 2010 
McArthur's wrong, this is not only a story, but a true one.

and... I'll have you know my butt is very much in demand. I don't go anywhere without video coverage because I figure if they can sneak in the middle of the night and steal my butt, what's to keep em from snatching it in broad daylight.

and...My shrink says she thinks it's because I watched too many of those cartoons where the white folks is rounded up by the jungle tribe and boiled in a big kettle. Cartoons were pretty heavy-duty back in the day. That Felix the Cat became a nasty [email protected]&% in later years, but I'm sure that didn't affect me as much as those early toons.

Reply Brandywine McArthur
4:09 PM on September 8, 2010 
Woops....but I didn't say it was a blog dear. I said it read like a blog and not a short story. Either way I enjoyed it..
Those early toons made us strong, like ox! All that violence?? Where would we be without them?Why we'd never know perseverance like Wily E. Coyote, or how to overcome any disability to do what we want, like Daffy Duck's speech impediment. The List of qualities we've all grown up watching and ingraining into our beings from those old cartoons is endless.... In the end they prepared us pretty good for the real world.
Shrinks shouldn't be knocking whats good for us.. ;).
Reply C.M. Marcum
10:23 AM on September 9, 2010 
Okay, I'm funnin' with you. I'm sure lots of folks want you, especially with this new avatar you have. (snicker-snicker.) But I feel I must I must back-up my other statement, about it not being a story, with an outside source.

I quote now from David Ebenbach in 'Gotham Writers' Workshop': Plot versus Real Live. Live may be interesting. Life is often moving and eventful. But rarely does life actually contain plot. I eat a sandwich because I'm vaguely hungry; I go to work and come home again, feeling pretty much the same as I did the day before; all sorts of people enter and exit the stage around me as I go through my day--but a lot of it seems more random and anticlimactic than what happens in good short stories and novels. Even death, probably the only true ending we have available to us as human beings, often happens right in the middle of things, leaving many things unfinished.
Reply o
5:47 PM on September 21, 2010 
'...and besides, they was colored.' With this little piece of poor grammar I thought you were setting the stage for further miss-use of English to show the social status of the boy's family. But that's the only place you used poor English. The rest of the language of the story seems correct. Might as well bring the first sentence around and say '...they were colored.'

I feel gyped, Jip. (pardon) I was just getting into the story, and it ended! I was getting to like the boy and his family, and was looking forward to maybe meeting some of the kids from the baseball team, and perhaps finding out how the boy and his friends were going to interact with the 'coloreds'. This story cries out for expansion and character developement. Good read, just not enough of it.