Sheree Shatsky: Fiction : February 2020


Southern Legitimacy Statement: I’m so Southern, my Ancestry profile predicted my relationship with my stepmother to be a 5th-8th cousin. Does the shared DNA make me uncomfortable? Nope. It makes me an Alabamian.


We’re up with the birds, the ladies and I, ready to caravan on down the road. The trip’s been sweet thus far, sweet as the candy we stop to sell from time to time, small dollops of white nougat the ladies call divinity. The sticky syrup scent cloys to every nook and cranny of the rig and it smells like Christmas all year. It costs two pennies for two pieces, enough to make our travels top dog for a dog like me. I guard the ladies, that’s my job, and stand close by when money changes hands in the off chance I catch a crumble of the divinity when over enthusiastic grubby hands reach out for the grab.

Maude and Mercy stir the divinity in a large pot over the campfire, twirling and swirling and dropping the dollops to cool on the waxed paper covering their best serving dish. The Wedgewood had been the only item saved when the family money went south during the market crash, the blue bone china tucked up snug beneath their mother’s hoop skirt the entire while creditors auctioned off the estate. But you’d never know these two ever had a dime the way they scrimp and squirrel away the pennies, the way both sneak poor children a yank of candy from the broken batch, a piece in fine shape moments prior. That’s why I guard my ladies with pleasure from the shade beneath the caravan, my dog days complete with nibbles of divinity as the sweet Lord so deems.