Jacob sat on an old crate, scribbling endlessly into a battered Big Chief tablet with a stub of pencil that had seen its better days awhile ago.
The gang in the general store had long-since become accustomed to Jacob’s odd ways and mostly indulged him. His folks had passed from the influenza and so he’d not had much guidance.
He cleared his throat, “Ya’ll feel up to listenin’ ta my latest story? I reckon as it might be good enough for one of them New York City fancy magazines this time.”
There was a low groan before old Amos Teague spoke up, “Another of yer damned spook stories? Ya may as well, boy. Otherwise, yer jest gonna sit and sulk all day.”
Jacob grinned. Teague might seem a rough sort, but he’d been the one encouraged the young man to reach for his dreams. If he meant to be a writer then write. Jacob did just that.
He’d barely started to read when Teague’s bark of laughter halted him mid-sentence.
“What was that last line, boy?”
“Uhh…let’s see….here it is…’ The air from the thing’s maw is hot and sour.’”
“Okay, boy. Even if this IS about some made-up critter, I gotta ask ya sumthin’. Do ya truly think it’s proper to go insultin’ this thing’s mama and discussin’ her bodily functions? That ain’t right, boy…ain’t right at all.”
As others joined Amos’ protest, Jacob realized he really needed to find a better-educated class of folks to judge his work.