English

You ain’t from around here

The only steakhouse in this minuscule west Texas town does steak night on Saturdays. We get there at about 7.

The door opens with a loud creak. Diners look up from their ribeye steaks and dinner rolls. Conversation fades. They gaze at us from under the brims of their hats. Even the deer mounted on the wall fix their dead stare on us. A feeling of uneasiness creeps up our spine.

We sit down at the nearest available table. Everybody gets stuck in again. The noise level goes up a fraction. It feels like we are the new faces in town in an old Western film.

The door opens again with a loud creak. Patrons look up. Some smile and greet the newcomers.

Then it hits me. These people aren’t hostile. They are simply curious.

mural cowboy

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6 thoughts on “You ain’t from around here”

  1. Great choice of title, it works well to introduce your story. The description of the volume of conversation works well to explain the focus of the patrons and discomfort of the new guests. I love the imagery of the deer on the wall to convey how the guests feel uncomfortably examined.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The first line is so good. It feels like the opening of a Western and does all the heavy lifting of hooking the reader in right away. You raise some interesting points about small town life in this short piece, and I’m curious about why you thought the locals didn’t have malicious intent/weren’t hostile. There wasn’t a point in the essay that allowed me to gain that reading of the situation, so I relied on my own experiences in small towns in Texas, and… they weren’t as benign.

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    1. Hi Asha. I wrote a scene rather an essay. We started talking to some of them afterwards, but I wanted to write this scene in particular. I’m sorry you’ve had bad experiences in small towns.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Ana. I see. What were you hoping the reader would get from this? As for bad experiences in Texas small towns 🤷🏾‍♀️ it goes with the territory when you’ve got brown skin.

        Liked by 1 person

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