A/N I wrote this for a US Lut class and wanted to post it here. This story is an extra chapter for "As I Lay Dying" by Faulkner. It is from Vardaman's perspective and takes place a month or two after the Bundren's return home. I hope you enjoy it!
Dewey Dell says Darl tried to drown my mother. Darl tried to burn my mother.
My mother is a fish. She was gone before Darl burned it, she left when it went under. It went under and my mother swam out through the holes I put in it when my mother was not a fish. When my mother needed to breathe because she was still my mother.
Dewey Dell is in the kitchen with Mrs. Bundren cooking fish. She dont like it when I call her that. I dont like it when she cooks fish. I wont eat no fish. Mrs. Bundren tells me I need to mind her but I aint going to eat that fish. I am by the They are cooking it and it smells powerful. It smells like flesh cooking. I go sit on the porch. The trees look like roosters when they been fighting. Feathers loose and red.
Dewey Dell comes out and tells me to get Cash, dinner is ready. I dont move. I am staring at the trees.
Dewey Dell wants to know if I aim to tell Cash that supper is ready.
Dewey Dell scrunches her mouth. "Dont you start talking about Darl."
"Cash went to visit Darl." I say.
"Cash is a damn fool." She says. Her face is angry.
"I didn't tell nobody."
"What?" She says.
"They took him and I didn't tell nobody."
Dewey Dell whirls on me. "Darl belongs in Jackson. He's crazy. He tried to burn up our mother! Your mother Vardaman. Now you just stop talking 'bout him because I dont want to hear none of hit." Dewey Dell stomps back inside.
Jewel doesn't talk about Darl. Jewel's eyes get hard and stony when he doesn't talk about Darl. Jewel's mad at my brother. Jewel is my brother but he's not mad at Jewel. Darl is my brother too. Jewel is madder than Dewey Dell. Jewel hates Darl. He says that Darl tried to burn our mother. Darl tried to drown our mother. But that was not my mother. My mother is a fish. Jewel, his mother is horse. Darl didn't burn Jewel's mother.
Darl doesn't have a mother. His mother is was he says. Darl is too many to have one mother. Darl didn't burn his mother either.
Jewel is angry. Darl didn't kill his mother, but he is angry at Darl. Darl is my brother. Jewel is my brother too. Jewel hates Darl. I dont hate Darl. Jewel doesn't hate me.
They put it in the ground and then they took him. They put it in the ground, but it want my mother so I didn't care. Then they came and took him.
Darl didn't want to go to Jackson. Darl fought them. My brother fought them and Dewey Dell, she jumped on Darl. She jumped on him and made him go with them. Darl burned Dewey Dell's mother. Dewey Dell's mother was in it. And they put it in the ground and they took my brother Darl.
I slide off the porch, it scraping my legs through my pants, and I go to tell Cash. Cash saws by the barn now, not by the window now. I walk down to the barn.
Cash doesn't talk about Darl none. But he lets me talk about Darl. He looks sad. My brother Cash is sad. He is not sad that Darl burned it and Darl drowned it. It was not Cash's mother. I dont know what Cash's mother is. I dont know why Cash is sad.
Darl went crazy. I did not go crazy. Jackson is further than crazy.
Cash went to Jackson. Cash didn't go crazy. He went to see Darl. He didn't tell no one but he left one night. He came back and said he been to visit Darl.
Jewel was angry and Dewey Dell was angry and Pa was angry. I want angry. Cash didn't say no more 'cept to me.
Cash is sawing the planks. Cutting them up into pieces of was. Our family is was. Darl is was.
Cash is not making a coffin now. I dont know what he is going to make yet, because he doesn't know what he is going to make. The saw wheezes in and out. Wheeze wheeze like the wood is trying to breathe.
I tell him dinner is ready. "A minute." He says.
I squeeze the sawdust between my toes. "I aim to visit Darl." I say.
Cash keeps sawing. "Darl's not in Jackson." He says.
"Where did he go?"
"I dont know. That's not him there though."
I watch him saw. Wheeze wheeze, the wood gasps at the air.
My brother Darl is crazy.
"Darl didn't go to Jackson." I say.
Cash keeps sawing wheeze wheeze. The plank is in two pieces now. Now it is two planks. Cash picks up another plank and puts it on the horses.
"Darl didn't go to Jackson crazy. Darl he went crazy on the wagon."
Cash looks at me. He doesn't stop sawing but he looks at me. Wheeze wheeze.
"They put hit in the ground and then they took him. They took Darl, only he was laughing and he was shouting. He was not Darl. Not-Darl. And then they took not-Darl and they put him on a train to Jackson. He didn't go on the train to go crazy. He went crazy on the wagon."
Cash nods. He saws and nods and looks like he looks when I talk about Darl. Cash lets me talk about Darl.
Cash is my brother and he doesn't hate Darl. Jewel hates Darl. Cash doesn't hate Jewel.
I dont hate Darl and I dont hate Jewel. Cash is my brother.
They took him to Jackson, but he want my brother. My brother Darl already was. Darl went crazy. Crazy is further than Jackson.
Cash stacks the wood and picks up his saw and his tools and we walk to the house. He limping where his leg is broke twice. Cash slows on the way up, where the hill gets steep. I wait for him every other step.
Cash tells me to go ahead. "It dont bother me none." I say. Cash smiles and we keep walking, me waiting every other step.
A/N I hope this was worthy of Vardaman. Whether you liked it or not, a review would greatly be appreciated.