November 5, 2012

The Legend of Danny Foula

I used to not care much for fiction. Somehow, though, I've taken a strange liking to it. I haven't written much of it, and I'm not sure how much I like it when I have. But, here's a go.

Danny was the kind of man that drew attention, one way or another. He was handsome and strong, and charming to boot. He had more than enough money to care for himself, and he was not afraid to show the evidence. He never drove the same car longer than six or eight months, and it was always an fancy  sports car with some kind of custom trim or paint job. He usually had a woman or two in trail, and wherever he showed up there were always rich or famous people. Folks fell over themselves to be seen around him. The funny thing about Danny was that he was a rascal and everyone knew it. While he was charming at first, anyone who had dealt with Danny Foula very long knew to play their cards close, or Danny would take them.

I knew Danny because my uncle was his groundskeeper for several years, until the infamous swimming pool incident. Uncle Gage never would talk much about the swimming pool incident, but I knew it was the end of his groundskeeping career at the Foula mansion. In fact, it was the end of Uncle Gage in a lot of ways. It seems like his old age began to catch up with him after that, and it drug him down so much that he’s just been nothing but old ever since. 

What I didn’t understand about Danny was how he managed to keep a straight face when he told the whole town over the TV about his deep care for the citizens and how he was investing millions of dollars into our town and how deeply he was indebted to us for his success. Or why he kept doing it, year after year. We knew he was lying through his teeth, and he knew we knew. He hadn’t earned one dime of his money. Danny and his mother had moved to our town in the Brinks truck right after his dear daddy died in New York. I don’t know why they came here, but I guess that is just one of the things we’ll never know about Danny Foula. And we’ll probably never know why he  answered the door the way he did that day Reverend Combes went calling. That’s really what this story is about. 

Lots of times, I have wished I could go over to the Rev. Combes’ house and sit on his front porch like we used to, and he would bring me a cold bottle of sarsaparilla like he always did and I would ask him questions like I always did. I would like to ask him about the day he visited Danny Foula. But Reverend Combes isn’t around to answer that kind of questioning. If he was, he would surely have to lock himself in his house, because the whole town would be trying to sit on his porch and ask him my questions. And I know he wouldn’t have enough sarsaparilla for all of them, because he always gave me the last one he had.

Danny knows, but he won’t tell. And so, I guess we’ll have to do a little speculation.