Katherine arose from the legendary horror fields of the American South, sowing its misery like manure in braided cornrows of sadistically wordless harm bred in the alarm of its damnation at nativity and the ineluctable ruthlessness of its curse for crimes unatonable in the unquenched stench off coins from a realm that would not be cleansed and that she shuffled daily into her register of passthrough clients cheated of charm. Harry limped to the window to wave off a ragged bum slobbering onto the glass over lifesize cornhusk angels with halos and brooms prettily priced for pitiless profit. "Ask About Our Lay-Away!" the garrish sign nearby boomed. Kathy slammed the drawer shut and secured it with the key on her padlock neck-chain. "What's the take?" Harold growled. Katherine gazed down at the running total of receipts boxed for cigars to feed the baby. "Better let the bum in," she advised. "He might have a good watch to trade in for the dolls."
"Naw," Harry assured her. "Gretchen has another day's sweeping of the barn."
"She'll probably wait till little Timothy is back home from Minville," Kathy warned.
"What's he doin?"
"Helpin at the morgue." Kathy sniffled. "You know."
"He don't need it. Lila's got cleanin regular at Gordy's Snafu Bar and Board."
Kathy and Harold snatched Posey from his crib on their confounded waffle toward the back gate and again into the deadened air that crept along the alleyway stairs tumbling askew to Lornadoon Stream bounding the town with croaking toads at the roots of nightshade run wild.
Harry pulled an old syringe out of her skirt pocket and tossed it overhand into the weeds. Stepping backward before her murmuring lullaby, he juggled gray pills before Kate's drowsing eyes.
(~ 296 words 1777 characters)