Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2318181-Yall-Come
by IE
Rated: E · Short Story · Music · #2318181
A boy and his banjo. Writer's Cramp. 868 words. Winning Entry.
“The kinfolks’re comin’/comin’ by the dozen/Eatin’ everything from soup to hay!”

My son sings enthusiastically and mostly out of tune, while at the same time strumming the small banjo his uncle gave him this past Christmas.

I roll my eyes, trying desperately not to cringe as Elliott twangs his way to the refrain. “Y’all Come! Y’ALL COME!”

Coming to the rescue, my husband Andrew raises his voice to be heard over the noise. “Son. Please. Outside. Go serenade the neighborhood cats.”

He points to the back door. With a final strum, Elliott gives his Uncle Joe a high five before running for the back door.

Thankfully he remembers to close the door behind him, but even that’s not enough to drown out the folksy sound of the banjo and Elliott’s piping voice as he starts in again. On the same song.

I roll my eyes again, this time at my brother Joe, who sits looking smug on the matching grey loveseat that rests catty-corner from the couch Andrew and I currently share.

“Really, Joe. A banjo? And what is up with that song? Elliott wouldn’t know a ‘kinfolk’ if one bit him on the butt!”

Joe laughs heartily. “Well, you know what they say, Sis. Uncles give their nephews gifts that are guaranteed to annoy their parents. Provided, of course, they don’t share the same residence.”

“Yeah, we know all about those gifts, Joe.” I’m referring to the kid drum set Joe gave Elliott when he was five.

Joe laughs again. “The kid’s nine. He needs a hobby. Something to do with those hands instead of playing video games all day.”

He has a point. Since Elliott’s taken to the banjo, Andrew and I are guaranteed he’s not burning his retinas on some bloody video game. Aurally guaranteed, since we can hear him from any room in the house. And hear him we do, pretty much every waking hour he’s not at school.

“And the song? ‘Y’all Come?’ It’s a classic country song. Everyone’s done a cover of it. It’s about…”

I interrupt my brother. “Yeah, yeah we know. Everyone shows up, eats them out of house and home. And Grandma’s still in the kitchen, waiting fruitlessly for help with the dishes.”

After Elliott got the banjo and started learning to play the song, I did some research. I thought that by understanding the lyrics and listening to every version by every country artist, I would come to like it. I don’t. The song’s been like nails on a chalkboard lately. Or maybe it’s just the incessant sounds of the banjo and my beloved little boy’s incredibly screechy voice that make me shudder.

My husband rubs my leg. At least I’m not alone in my misery. In this case though, shared misery does not ease it by half, or at all. We’ve both made jokes about getting each other earplugs for our anniversary that’s coming up in a few days.

And that’s why Joe’s here. He’s going to stay with Elliott for four days while Andrew and I head off for some much-needed alone time. The new baby is due in six weeks. It’ll be the last chance we have to get away by ourselves for quite some time to come.


Joe and Elliott stand on the front porch to wave us off. Elliott raises his banjo high in the air, perhaps as a threat, or perhaps just to remind us what we have to look forward to when we return.

“Think any of that got through to Joe? Maybe he’ll teach the kid some new song while we’re gone?”

I shake my head, finger to my lips. “Please. For a while?”

He smiles. We drive on for a few hours with nothing but blessed silence as our companion.

After a rest break, we head down the highway again. Andrew fiddles with the tuner on the radio as he drives us toward our destination.

“Here, let me do that.” I push his fingers away from the knob. After all that hayseed country drummed in repeat in my head, I search for something different. Classical, perhaps. I’ll even take some yacht rock at this point.

Way out here, the radio stations are few and far between. The ones that do come in are static-filled.

“We really need to subscribe to a streaming service,” Andrew mutters, not for the first time.

“I know. But it’s last on the list. The baby needs everything.” There are nine years between these two pregnancies. We got rid of all of our baby-related items, thinking Elliott would be our only child.

I fiddle with the knob some more. A station comes in. Success!

There’s a commercial break playing while I fine tune my selection to make sure there’s no static, then sit back to enjoy the drive.

“And now, folks, here’s an oldie but goodie.”

The too-familiar tune plays through the speakers. “When you live in the country/Everybo--”

Andrew pushes the tuner knob, turning the radio off. He glances at me, his expression wry. “Silence it is.”

Rubbing the top of my belly, I reach over the console to rest my other hand on his leg. “Let’s enjoy it while we can.”

868 words

Note: The song “Ya’ll Come” was written by Arlie Duff in 1953.


New Prompt: From a country song, written by Arly Duff, and sung by famous country artists like Porter Wagoner, Bobby Bare and the Hillsiders, and Dolly Parton to name a few: Use the following line as the starter for your poem or story:The kinfolks're comin', comin' by the dozen Eatin' everything from soup to hay
Choose Music as your genre.
© Copyright 2024 IE (elatedie at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2318181-Yall-Come