DeadMule Ain't Dead No Mo'
Last week, DeadMule.com, a literary e-zine that focused on southern literature, announced it would no longer be accepting submissions. It was the first literary magazine to accept one of my stories, Waiting for Lisa. The site will remain up and is well worth checking out. (see links)
There are a lot of us, both writers and readers, who will miss the old Mule.
Waiting for Lisa
by Bill Fullerton
The rain told a familiar story in a soft voice, and I was listening.
I’m a good listener; always have been. Especially at Christmas.Especially here inside the cemetery-just sitting and listening to therain, hearing the story, and waiting for Lisa.
We don’t have white Christmases in north Louisiana-just wet ones.Seems like every Christmas it’s rainy, cold, dreary. Good weather fordeer hunting but not fit for much else. And I don’t hunt, notanymore.
But Christmas, not the whole holiday thing, but the day itself,became my favorite day because of Lisa. She lived a couple hours awayand was here with her mother visiting relatives. I was driving homeafter wasting my morning down in the bottoms trying to get that bigbuck just about everybody, including me, has seen at one time oranother.
A car, an old Plymouth Fury, was pulled over on the shoulder ofAswell road just about in the middle of nowhere. Two women were outin the rain trying to change a flat. I stopped to help.
That's when I met Lisa. She and her mother were going somewhere tosee somebody, but I don't remember where or who. What I do rememberis that even in an old raincoat, Lisa, she said her name was LisaCollins, was about the prettiest girl I'd ever seen.
Mrs. Collins had a cold and got back inside the car while I changedthe flat. Lisa stayed out in the rain, holding an umbrella over me,and we talked. She was a junior in college. I told her I'd justgraduated and was teaching English at the high school. That night, Itook her to a movie.
After that, one thing seemed to just naturally lead to another andthe next Christmas, I asked her to marry me.
We didn't wait another year to get married, but Christmas alwaysmeant something extra special to us. And now, it's just the day Ikilled her.
I'd been hunting and she came to pick me up but I was late and shewalked into the bottoms heading for my deer stand and for just asecond I thought I saw that big buck and then, and then, that's whenI killed her.
Each Christmas since then I come out here to listen to the rain andthe voice that tells the story and wait for Lisa. I keep the motorrunning so the cab will be warm when she comes. And she always comes.We sit together, here inside the cab, and talk and listen and cry,and then she has to go.
But she's late this year. Or maybe I got here early. I'm not sure.Time doesn't mean much anymore.
The thing is, I'm getting a little sleepy. So maybe I'll close myeyes, but just for a minute. 'Cause Lisa and I will be together soon,like we always should be, only it'll just be here in the cemetery,inside my truck, in the rain, on Christmas day.