A Short Story: Ina May's Spreading

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“Lucius!” Ina May’s voice took on a tone of a mother scolding her child. Despite her scolding tone, she was silently wishing that Mr. Hobbs, her boss, were present. Conversely, she was thankful that Mr. Ball, the new salesman, hadn’t returned from his early morning appointment yet. Lucius cracked a slight smile, he had rattled Ina May already, and he was going to revel. “Well, damnit, “ he snapped, “it’s Martin Luther King Day, that’s nigger’s day to me!” “Lucius, you shouldn’t be talking like that…ever.” Ina May said firmly. And just as firmly, she said, “Besides, Martin Luther did a lot of good for this country.” As an afterthought, she weakly added, “And I’m not black.” “Don’t matter none what your skin color is, honey. Mr. Hobbs has…show more content…
What the hell does he think he’s doing dressed in a fine suit like that? He try’n to be white?” The acidity of his words struck Ina May’s ears like someone had placed a nail in her eardrum and then slammed a hammer onto the nail’s head. Unbeknownst to Lucius, that young black male, who was indeed, dressed in a fine gray tweed suit, and black polished shoes, black belt, and black tie, who strode along the pavement as though he hadn’t had a single bad day in his life was the insurance shop’s new salesman, Mr. Ball, returning from his early morning appointment. Ina May, sensing a chance to shut Lucius up, seized on his naiveté. “You better be careful with how loud you speak Lucius, you don’t know how thin this window is,” she said, jerking a thumb at it, “that young man may have heard you.” Looking directly at Mr. Ball, Lucius spewed hatred from his cracked lips again, “I don’t give a damn! Let that young Negro confront me. I’ll put him in his place, right back in shackles, by god.” As he finished spitting his venom, Mr. Ball turned up the walk and headed for the front…show more content…
Lucius paid her no mind. He was focused on the heavy glass door and getting out of the shop. As Lucius reached the glass door, Mr. Ball grabbed the handle from the outside and easily swung the door open, stepped inside and into the retreating Lucius Jones’s path. Lucius stopped dead in his escape route and marveled up at Mr. Ball. He was a fine specimen of a human. His skin was the color of polished onyx, smooth and flawless. His eyes sparkled like two magnificent pieces of coal had been encrusted in white diamonds, while the white of his teeth looked like so many twinkling stars set against the wonderful darkness of space. Even in his fine gray tweed suit, his musculature was evident. Lucius hated every bit of him. “Good morning, let me get the door for you.” Mr. Ball said in a baritone voice, which projected importance and acceptance. Lucius could only mutter a scared, pathetic, “Good morning, sir,” as he pushed his way past Mr.
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