(Adaptation of Thomas King’s “Magpies” in One Good Story, That One)
Everybody knows this story.
Mary Jane knows this story. Joe Ray knows this story. Little Johnny knows this story. Ladale knows this story. Uncle Jack knows the story. My friend, Kathy, knows it too. Victoria hears this story in Bakersville. Rufus knows the story, front to back. Heard it twelve, maybe fourteen, maybe eighteen times before he had his eleventh birthday party. Here comes that story again, he said.
There’s some dying in this story, to which Granny connects. Granny talks a lot about dying. She looks at her leg and thinks about dying. So she talks about falling over dead. She says, I’m gonna die one day. When that Granny starts talking about being dead, people in the room say, no, no, no. That is just a bruise. Yellow bruise. Those ones are okay.
Granny talks to everyone she see about dying. I’m going to die, she says to me and I say yes, that’s right. Old people know these things. It happens.
Granny knows Jesus died. Jesus die like everybody else. Granny knows this story. She says Jesus talked about dying a lot before his death. Nobody believed him either. Granny likes to make points.
I’m counting on you, says Granny.
You can count on me.
Granny says Peter said that too.
I say, you can count on me Granny.
That leg get better. Granny’s leg. But Granny dies anyway. Later. Not right now. Two, maybe four years. She falls over dead then. Like that. It is finished.
Everybody knows the story. Jesus says, It is finished. Jesus and Granny, finished.
Danny is not there when Jesus dies. Someone says he is in meeting in Los Angeles. Someone says, no, he is in New York. Someone says he should have been there. Wilma, who was there, sniff her nose this way and another sniff her nose another way. A lot of sniffing.
That’s the end of the story.
No, I was just fooling.