The following passage is from A Spent Bullet. The setting is a barn in Bundick, LA. in September 1941. Our character, named XXXXXX, is a high school senior, country boy, wants to join the Army Air Corp and fly, and is fighting with his daddy over this. I’m looking for just the right first name as well as a good country nickname.
Send me your ideas.
* This story was related to me by Beauregard Parish Kirby Dickens who said it happened to him.
The soldier just appeared out of the mist at the barn where Ben and XXXXXX were milking . It wasn’t unusual to see them anywhere and no one seemed too worried about their presence. As soon as the soldier said, “Hello Now ” XXXXXX knew this was a city boy.
This was confirmed by the soldier’s astonished question, “What in the world are you doing?”
Swinging his body around on the small three-legged milking stool, XXXXXX said, “What’s it look like I’m doing? I’m milking our cow.”
The soldier, scrunching his nose up like something was dead, said, “You mean that’s where milk comes from?”
“Sure.” It suddenly occurred to XXXXXX that this guy wasn’t kidding; he was serious. “Where are you from?”
“New York City—the Bronx. It’s where the Yankees play.”
“Oh, that explains it. Y’all don’t get your milk from cows up there?”
“Sure, we do, but it comes from a dairy.”
“Well, this is where it starts.” In one motion, XXXXXX expertly aimed a teat at Jasper, their barn cat, and directed a stream of warm milk in its mouth. He followed this with his left forearm shielding his face from the cow’s manure-encrusted tail.
Nominations so far: Silas/Si, Jacob, Billy, James (James was most popular name in ’41.) Maybe Kirby?
Also, good input on the city boy’s ignorance being a little “stereotypical” maybe soften the passage. Your input?