I wanted to call this American Pastoral but Philip Roth beat me to it by about 20 years.
Good for him.
It is a good name though, grazing on the American landscape till you’re so full that all you can do is process it through 8 stomachs or rewrites till it’s perfect.
G-d bless him.
And G-d bless everyone else, especially the people that damn us that refuse to use the Word and write G-d. I’m sure you have a good reason for the hate, and I really don’t give a shit- it just feels better to write it this way,
Back to the story.
It was a pleasant September night in Chicago when Darius went to mow the grass. The machine didn’t start at first and he gave it another pull. It roared to life.
He pushed it along his acquired piece of land, smiling. He made one loop, then two, then three. He looped and bobbed until all the grass was uniform. He looked back at the lawn with the satisfaction of a job well done.
He stepped into the garage, closing the large door behind him.
He walked over to where the shotgun shells were and inspected one’s weight. He rolled it in his finger, almost hearing the pellets dancing within. He danced with the shell for 30 seconds before re-affirming that he couldn’t go through with it.
He heard his wife calling from the house.
He lit a cigarette and shouted back that he’d be back to bed soon.