Yellow Mama Archives II

Anthony Lukas

Acuff, Gale
Ahern, Edward
Allen, R. A.
Alleyne, Chris
Andes, Tom
Arnold, Sandra
Aronoff, Mikki
Ayers, Tony
Baber, Bill
Baird, Meg
Baker, J. D.
Balaz, Joe
Barker, Adelaide
Barker, Tom
Barnett, Brian
Barry, Tina
Bartlett, Daniel C.
Bates, Greta T.
Bayly, Karen
Beckman, Paul
Bellani, Arnaav
Berriozabal, Luis Cuauhtemoc
Beveridge, Robert
Blakey, James
Booth, Brenton
Bracken, Michael
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Campbell, J. J.
Cancel, Charlie
Capshaw, Ron
Carr, Steve
Carrabis, Joseph
Cartwright, Steve
Centorbi, David Calogero
Cherches, Peter
Christensen, Jan
Clifton, Gary
Cody, Bethany
Costello, Bruce
Coverly, Harris
Crist, Kenneth James
Cumming, Scott
Davie, Andrew
Davis, Michael D.
Degani, Gay
De Neve, M. A.
Dillon, John J.
Dinsmoor, Robert
Dominguez, Diana
Dorman, Roy
Doughty, Brandon
Doyle, John
Dunham, T. Fox
Ebel, Pamela
Fagan, Brian Peter
Fillion, Tom
Fortier, M. L.
Fowler, Michael
Galef, David
Garnet, George
Garrett, Jack
Graysol, Jacob
Grech, Amy
Greenberg, KJ Hannah
Grey, John
Hagerty, David
Hardin, Scott
Held, Shari
Hicks, Darryl
Hivner, Christopher
Hoerner, Keith
Hohmann, Kurt
Holt, M. J.
Holtzman, Bernard
Holtzman, Bernice
Holtzman, Rebecca
Hopson, Kevin
Hubbs, Damon
Irwin, Daniel S.
Jabaut, Mark
Jermin, Wayne
Jeschonek, Robert
Johns. Roger
Kanner, Mike
Karl, Frank S.
Kempe, Lucinda
Kennedy, Cecilia
Keshigian, Michael
Kirchner, Craig
Kitcher, William
Kompany, James
Kondek, Charlie
Koperwas, Tom
Kreuiter, Victor
Larsen, Ted R.
Le Due, Richard
Leotta, Joan
Lester, Louella
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Luer, Ken
Lukas, Anthony
Lyon, Hillary
Mannone, John C.
Margel, Abe
Martinez, Richard
McConnell, Logan
McQuiston, Rick
Middleton, Bradford
Milam, Chris
Miller, Dawn L. C.
Mladinic, Peter
Mobili, Juan
Mullins, Ian
Myers, Beverle Graves
Myers, Jen
Newell, Ben
Nielsen, Ayaz Daryl
Nielsen, Judith
Onken, Bernard
Owen, Deidre J.
Park, Jon
Parker, Becky
Pettus, Robert
Plath, Rob
Potter, John R. C.
Prusky, Steve
Radcliffe, Paul
Reddick, Niles M.
Reedman, Maree
Reutter, G. Emil
Riekki, Ron
Robson, Merrilee
Rockwood, KM
Rollins, Janna
Rose, Brad
Rosmus, Cindy
Ross, Gary Earl
Rowland, C. A.
Saier, Monique
Sarkar, Partha
Scharhag, Lauren
Schauber, Karen
Schildgen, Bob
Schmitt, Di
Sesling, Zvi E.
Short, John
Simpson, Henry
Slota, Richelle Lee
Smith, Elena E.
Snell, Cheryl
Snethen, Daniel G.
Steven, Michael
Stoler, Cathi
Stoll, Don
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swartz, Justin
Taylor, J. M.
Temples. Phillip
Tobin, Tim
Traverso Jr., Dionisio "Don"
Turner, Lamont A.
Tustin, John
Tyrer, DJ
Varghese, Davis
Verlaine, Rp
Viola, Saira
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Al Wassif, Amirah
Weibezahl, Robert
Weil, Lester L.
Weisfeld, Victoria
Weld, Charles
White, Robb
Wilhide, Zachary
Williams, E. E.
Williams, K. A.
Wilsky, Jim
Wiseman-Rose, Sophia
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Zackel, Fred
Zelvin, Elizabeth
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas
Zumpe, Lee Clark

Encounter on the Lane


Anthony Lukas



The sheriff sat high in his saddle, a little uncomfortable in the white sheet covering his body and white hood covering his head.  It was Midwest humid, light starting to dim, but no matter, the Catlickes would be along shortly.  Their papist ceremony at their church had ended a bit ago and they would be driving down this lane to their home.

The sheriff glanced around at the half-dozen other men on their horses and in their robes, good Christen men like himself, he thought.  Dedicated men, who recognized the necessity of keeping the Catlikers in their place, to remind them who held the power in this county and would continue to hold that power.  He looked  across the corn field next to the lane where they waited and to the fields beyond that to him were the symbol of a way of life, a way of life he would protect against these people and their pope.

Down at the curve of the lane, lights flashed quickly on and off.  “They're comin',” said the sheriff, “Light em up.” Matches scratched, flared and set torches alight.

Patrick McLynn ground the gears on the old Ford as he drove up the slight rise on the lane heading home. “Got to get that adjusted,” he said.

“You sure it's the car?” Agnes smiled.

“Are you implying fault of the driver, wife?”  and glanced at his children in the back seat, “Don't you kids think your Dad is a fine driver?”

“The best!” said James, while his older sister, dressed in her white first communion dress and veil, just smiled.

It had been a fine day. Little Maureen, standing proudly with the rest of her communion class, then walking to the altar rail, kneeling to receive her first communion from Father O'Toole. And the good father was mercifully short with his sermon.  A nice dinner in Parish Hall and heading home.

We are doing well, thought Patrick. Moving from Pennsylvania to Indiana four years ago had been the right move.  His business growing every month, even having to hire another employee, adding to the four he had already. And the growing respect of the community, on the Parish Board at St. Michael's and president-elect of the county Irish Businessman's Council.  Youngest ever, he smiled.

“What are you grinning at?” asked Agnes.

“Oh, just thinking how lucky we are, how well things....” and he stopped talking and slowly brought the Ford to a stop, staring out the windshield. Agnes turned her head to look too and drew in a sharp breath.

Men on horseback had emerged from the field beside the road and were blocking the lane.  The light from the torches they held causing their white sheets and hoods to glow orange.

“Come out here McLynn,” shouted one of men. 

Patrick stared, then looked back at James and Mary who were leaning on the back of the front seat looking wide-eyed at the Klansman.  Mary clutched her white rosary beads so tightly her fingers were white.

“Come out here, McLynn,” shouted another voice, “and stand before us.”

“Are they ghosts?” whispered James.

Patrick took a deep breath. “No, James, they are not ghosts. They are just men.”  He pulled the handle on his car door and started to open it.  Agnes put her hand on his shoulder. “Patrick...”

“McLynn!” came another shout.

“It'll be all right,” he said. Then, “but slide over behind the wheel, just in case.”

He got out of the car, taking his time shutting the door behind him.  Agnes slid behind the steering wheel, her eyes both frightened and angry.

Patrick walked slowly forward to stand just beside the front of the Ford., leaning on it a bit to keep himself upright. He looked up at the men on their horses a few yards in front of him, knowing that they undoubtedly had guns under those sheets.  He took a breath and steeled himself,  “Well?” he said.

Silence. A shuffling of horses’ feet and a feeling of confusion.

Finally, “McLynn,” shouted a voice, “It has been decided ….”

“No need to shout, I can hear you just fine,” said Patrick. “As can the children,” motioning back to the Ford, thinking of Mary and her rosary beads and now feeling anger rising at these men and their silly costumes.

Silence.  Then the man in the front spoke... in a normal voice.  “McLynn,” he said, “it has been decided that ...”

“By who?” shouted Patrick. “You, Sheriff? Or was it you Mr. Mayor?”  pointing at another of the klansmen.

“I know who you are,” said Patrick, “well, most of you.  I recognized your voice Adams, and you with your fancy boots, Todd Barker.”  There was a stiffening under the sheets, a slight turning of heads to glance at the others.

“Don't know you there in the back. You want to say something to help me out?” Silence. “Well, no matter.”

“What did you think you were going to accomplish here?  Scare us out of town?” Patrick shook his head and stared at them. “Never!” he spat. “We have built our lives here and we are going nowhere.  That okay with you Adams, okay if we come to your business and spend our money?” Silence.

“I am going to get back in my old car, with my family, and we are going to drive down this lane to our home.” He paused and, looking at the figures he knew to be the sheriff and the mayor, said, “And nothing will be said about this.”

Then he turned slowly, walked to the driver’s door, pulled it open and got in. He grabbed the steering wheel hard to keep his hands from shaking.  

He breathed deeply, started the car and moved the shift lever to first, grinding the gear. “Shit,” he whispered.

The horsemen hadn't moved but then three of them pulled their horses aside, leaving the lane clear. Patrick eased the Ford past them and went on down the lane.

Anthony Lukas is a former attorney, former chocolate store owner for 20 years, and now works in a national park in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Several of his short stories have been published by Yellow Mama,, Bewildering Stories, and Mysterical-E.

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