A Day In Green River by Barbara V.

Response to a challenge ‘things my mother used to say’

Word count: 1,015

Val and Sam were sitting on the porch of Sam’s home, enjoying their morning coffee. The town of Green River was bustling with excitement. Ladies were selling their bake goods, and people were gathering at the temporary stage Mayor Higgs had had built.

Johnny Lancer, carrying a large paper sack, walked over to join Sam and Val.

“Howdy Amigo. Does your daddy know you are here in town on a weekday?”

Annoyed, Johnny remarked “Why does everybody ask that? Yes, he does, ’cause he sent me here to get the mail as soon as it came in. He is waiting on a big contract.”

Amused at the two friends, Sam spoke up. “Good morning Johnny. I see you have been visiting the ladies and their baked goods. What goodies have you bought?”

“Cookies. I couldn’t decide if I wanted the molasses or the oatmeal cookies, so I bought a dozen of each.” 

Noticing the look from his two friends Johnny decided to add to the conversation. “What?  I was starving. I needed something to keep me from passing out.”

Val hooked Johnny with a stare. “Maria forget to feed you today?”

“No, but that was hours ago. These cookies will tide me over ‘til lunch.”

“Boy, it is a good thing your daddy is rich, so’s he can afford to feed you.”

Sam in his doctor voice admonished Johnny. “Do not eat all those cookies in one sitting Son, or you will end up in my office with a bellyache. But, some castor oil will set you right again if that happens.”

Johnny pulled a face at Sam’s comment. “Very funny, Sam. Okay I will save some for later.”  Trying to steer the conversation, Johnny offered some of his treats. “Y’all want a cookie?”

Val smiled, reaching for a cookie. “Well Amigo at least you still remember your manners. Thank ya’.”

“Hey, what is old Higgs up to now? Y’all been sitting here to see what all this is about? He sure has everyone stirred up, waiting to see.”

Sam and Val went back to their previous conversation, and Johnny was becoming bored. This is never a good thing.  He hopped up on the hitching rail and decided to walk across it, balancing on the narrow wood.

Out the corner of his eye Val spotted him. “Boy, get down from there. You are gonna fall and break your neck. If you do, don’t come crying to me!”

Landing with cat like grace, Johnny once again joined his friends. “What’d you go hollering for? I was doing just fine.”

Val grabbed a third chair, and hauling Johnny by his collar, planted him in the chair.

“Here, eat your damn cookies! It is still early in the morning and you are already on my last nerve.”

Shortly Mayor Higgs made his way to the stage, preparing to divulge his big announcement.

“What a beautiful day for a celebration. My dear residents of Green River, under my leadership as your mayor, I have had my finger on the pulse of our fair city. Green River is rapidly growing and we must grow with it.”

As the mayor stopped for applause, Sam began to chuckle. Well my services may be needed after all today.”

Val and Johnny looked questionably at Sam.

“Why, Sam?”

“Our mayor is liable to break his arm patting himself on the back.” This brought laughs from the friends.

Higgs resumed his speech. “It seems our town has outgrown its accommodations. I decided to alleviate some of this, and give back to the community. I want to help our good town and the way to do this is to build a second hotel. I will be funding this venture, and we will make it the finest hotel in the San Joaquin Valley.” Applause. “I will oversee the building of the ‘Arabella Hotel’, and my future son-in-law Chester will manage it. I want the hotel to be something Green River can be proud of. I do this because I care about our community.”

Biting into another cookie, Johnny was shaking his head listening to Higgs. “That man sure likes to hear himself talk, don’t he?”

Snagging a cookie from Johnny, Val gave his thoughts on the matter. “I’d like to buy Higgs for what he is worth, and sell him for what he thinks he is worth. I could retire a rich man.” This bought loud laughs from Johnny and Sam.

“Hey, Higgs finally got someone dumb enough to take Arabella off his hands. Wonder if he is in the crowd.”

Johnny searched the crowd. “Yeah, Val. He is that wormy little feller with the glasses and tweed suit standing over there.”

Sam admonished Johnny again. “Now, be nice, John. There is someone for everyone. I am sure they will be very happy together.”

“But Sam, she is head and shoulders taller than him. Easy to see who will get carried over the threshold when they marry.” This caused the three friends laughter at the thought.

Higgs was working the crowd and eventually came to Sam’s front porch.

“I trust you three gentlemen heard my announcement. The Arabella Hotel will cater to only the finest clientele. Sheriff, I expect you to keep on top of things ensuring our guests a safe stay in our town.”

“Don’t tell me how to do my job, Higgs.”

Johnny, watching with glee raised his hand like a child in school. “Mayor Higgs, I wanna be your first guest, okay?”

Higgs started sputtering, anger growing and face turning red. While he was trying to think of a rejoinder, Sam spoke up.

“Mayor, you need to calm down. Remember your blood pressure.”  Higgs stomped off down the street. The three friends were trying not to laugh, but failed miserably.

“Well this has been fun, but I see the stage coming in. Guess I better go collect the mail.”

Turning, Johnny shot back over his shoulder “Don’t forget to tell the Widow Hargis how much you enjoyed her cookies.”

“Did he say Widow Hargis, Sam?”

“Yes, I believe he did. That boy can charm anyone.”


October 2020



Thank you for reading! The authors listed on this site spend many hours writing stories for your enjoyment, and their only reward is the feedback you leave. So please take a moment to leave a comment.  Even the simplest ‘I liked this!” can make all the difference to an author and encourage them to keep writing and posting their stories here.  You can comment in the ‘reply’ box below or email Barbara directly.


2 thoughts on “A Day In Green River by Barbara V.

    1. Charlene, Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I am glad yu enjoyed it. I sequel sound like a good idea.


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