Write Now! Prompt for January 29, 2013: Jonathan’s Prayer

Okay, okay…don’t rush me. The Write Now! Prompt was for yesterday, I know. I actually wrote down the prompt yesterday and had a pinch of inspiration, but it needed to marinate over night. So here it is:

Jonathan wiped his forehead with the back of his wrist; one was as filthy as the other, but at least the dirt smear replaced the dripping sweat. He looked up at the sun, disgusted. Martha had nagged him all night, through supper, through evening and morning chores, until he hitched up and left in a cloud of dust. He examined the lines in his palms and realized all he had right now was the soil that crusted every whorl of his worn fingertips. Yes, he understood that Martha was hungry, and for more than just viddles and pretty dresses. Aw, hell, he thought, she knowed I had my heart set on prospectin’ when she married me. He moved to a slightly deeper place in the stream; he had a good feeling about today. God, if’n you care the leastways about me…or even if y’don’t, give a care for that woman a’mine. I know this ain’t no proper prayer, but she’s been a’naggin’ and talkin’ me down to her woman friends. She don’t think I knowed it but talk gits around. I ain’t a greedy man, Lord, but I surely’d love to come up on just enough to git us through winter and buy the woman a nice dress and maybe somma them pretty petticoats, he grinned to himself at the thought of Martha’s nethers, of which he’d not seen much of in a while, and a new hat for me. Now, I wouldn’t mind a real strike neither, y’understand, but I want yuh t’know I ain’t greedy. Naw, sir. With that, the desperate forty-niner took one last scoop of gravel into the pan and slowly started to shake it.