Echoing Silence

Brenda Hutcheson Fickey

The Reluctant Reader's Friend

It was the quietest Sunday dinner Hank had remembered eating in a while. The tension in the air was as thick as Ma's freshly churned butter. The fried chicken was a golden brown, just like Hank liked it; but he couldn't taste any of his food. The anticipation of the family meeting after dinner left a bitter taste in his mouth that wouldn't go away.
"Hank, are you going to eat or just push your food around on your plate?" Ma said.
He shoved a large bite of mashed potatoes and gravy into his mouth. It may as well have been a boll of cotton. There was no flavor to it at all.
"Jimmy Jack, aren't you hungry, son?" Pete said.
"Just thinking."
"About what?" the deputy said. He tried to sound lighthearted, but his voice still had an edge to it.
"I was just wondering why Pinky McLeod likes bullying people around."
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