Ain't Got Nothin'

“Whazzat?” Eli stumbles over a loose floor panel, kicking crushed, empty beer cans. Another can is in his hand, little drops slipping down the side onto his old calloused hands. “Issat ’ou, Mar?”

“It’s me, Daddy. It’s Noelle.” She stands no taller than the armchair, her greasy brown hair pulled back and tied with a ribbon. “Mommy’s gone, Daddy.”


“She’s gone, Daddy.” she bats away a spider dangling from its web. “I’m hungry, daddy.”

“Ain’t no food!” he hallows. “Ain’t no money!” The half empty beer can slips out of his hand, spilling in between the girls bare feet. Eli’s hand swoops down and clutches her arm, and not even her high pitched shriek can wake him of his drunken trance. “Daddy ain’t go no job, ain’t got no wife. Jus’ got you,” he sneers. His foot kicks open the half-cracked door of the closet. “Dun want you,” he shouts. Noelle falls backwards into the dark closet, the door slamming right after. Eli picks up another beer. “Ain’t got no job,” he mumbles. “Ain’t got shit.”

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