The Biggest Gal in Lake Derry

Ralph Ames could just kill Chief Trestlehorn right about now.

He’d been as drunk as he’d ever been in his life when he stumbled into Pearl Ridgway’s cottage by the lake. The smell sobered him up. Caleb Ridgway’s first wife (and Junebug’s momma) was camped out on the couch, where she’d been for seven years. From the smell of things, her chamber pot was pretty full. That was to be expected. Junebug hadn’t been around to change it.

Ralph steeled himself to look at Pearl. He didn’t know how much she weighed, but he wouldn’t have wagered it was too much under seven hundred pounds. Her nightgown, covering her like a great cotton tarp, was soaked through with sweat. Her greasy black hair was caked to her face. Her breath rasped in and out, and was choked with sobbing.

Ralph just stood for a moment, feeling awkward.

There was a pause.

“Caleb loved me best of all his wimmin.” Pearl explained finally, between sobs. “He allus did. And now he’s gone. And Junebug too.”

Ralph sat, and the interview began.

View this story's 2 comments.