Yellow Mama Archives

David Hagerty
Home
Adair, Jay
Adhikari, Sudeep
Ahern, Edward
Aldrich, Janet M.
Allan, T. N.
Allen, M. G.
Ammonds, Phillip J.
Anderson, Fred
Anderson, Peter
Andreopoulos, Elliott
Arab, Bint
Armstrong, Dini
Augustyn, P. K.
Aymar, E. A.
Babbs, James
Baber, Bill
Bagwell, Dennis
Bailey, Ashley
Bailey, Thomas
Baird, Meg
Bakala, Brendan
Baker, Nathan
Balaz, Joe
BAM
Barber, Shannon
Barker, Tom
Barlow, Tom
Bates, Jack
Bayly, Karen
Baugh, Darlene
Bauman, Michael
Baumgartner, Jessica Marie
Beale, Jonathan
Beck, George
Beckman, Paul
Benet, Esme
Bennett, Brett
Bennett, Charlie
Bennett, D. V.
Benton, Ralph
Berg, Carly
Berman, Daniel
Bernardara, Will Jr.
Berriozabal, Luis
Beveridge, Robert
Bickerstaff, Russ
Bigney, Tyler
Blackwell, C. W.
Bladon, Henry
Blake, Steven
Blakey, James
Bohem, Charlie Keys and Les
Bonner, Kim
Booth, Brenton
Boski, David
Bougger, Jason
Boyd, A. V.
Boyd, Morgan
Boyle, James
Bracey, DG
Brewka-Clark, Nancy
Britt, Alan
Broccoli, Jimmy
Brooke, j
Brown, R. Thomas
Brown, Sam
Bruce, K. Marvin
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Burton, Michael
Bushtalov, Denis
Butcher, Jonathan
Butkowski, Jason
Butler, Simon Hardy
Butler, Terence
Cameron, W. B.
Campbell, J. J.
Campbell, Jack Jr.
Cano, Valentina
Cardinale, Samuel
Cardoza, Dan A.
Carlton, Bob
Carr, Jennifer
Cartwright, Steve
Carver, Marc
Castle, Chris
Catlin, Alan
Centorbi, David
Chesler, Adam
Christensen, Jan
Clausen, Daniel
Clevenger, Victor
Clifton, Gary
Cmileski, Sue
Cody, Bethany
Coey, Jack
Coffey, James
Colasuonno, Alfonso
Condora, Maddisyn
Conley, Jen
Connor, Tod
Cooper, Malcolm Graham
Copes, Matthew
Coral, Jay
Corrigan, Mickey J.
Cosby, S. A.
Costello, Bruce
Cotton, Mark
Coverley, Harris
Crandall, Rob
Criscuolo, Carla
Crist, Kenneth
Cross, Thomas X.
D., Jack
Dallett, Cassandra
Danoski, Joseph V.
Daly, Sean
Davies, J. C.
Davis, Christopher
Davis, Michael D.
Day, Holly
de Bruler, Connor
Degani, Gay
De France, Steve
De La Garza, Lela Marie
Deming, Ruth Z.
Demmer, Calvin
De Neve, M. A.
Dennehy, John W.
DeVeau, Spencer
Di Chellis, Peter
Dillon, John J.
DiLorenzo, Ciro
Dilworth, Marcy
Dioguardi, Michael Anthony
Dionne, Ron
Dobson, Melissa
Domenichini, John
Dominelli, Rob
Doran, Phil
Doreski, William
Dority, Michael
Dorman, Roy
Doherty, Rachel
Dosser, Jeff
Doyle, Jacqueline
Doyle, John
Draime, Doug
Drake, Lena Judith
Dromey, John H.
Dubal, Paul Michael
Duke, Jason
Duncan, Gary
Dunham, T. Fox
Duschesneau, Pauline
Dunn, Robin Wyatt
Duxbury, Karen
Duy, Michelle
Eade, Kevin
Elliott, Garnett
Ellman, Neil
England, Kristina
Erianne, John
Espinosa, Maria
Esterholm, Jeff
Fabian, R. Gerry
Fallow, Jeff
Farren, Jim
Fedolfi, Leon
Fenster, Timothy
Ferraro, Diana
Filas, Cameron
Fillion, Tom
Fishbane, Craig
Fisher, Miles Ryan
Flanagan, Daniel N.
Flanagan, Ryan Quinn
Flynn, Jay
Fortunato, Chris
Francisco, Edward
Frank, Tim
Fugett, Brian
Funk, Matthew C.
Gann, Alan
Gardner, Cheryl Ann
Garvey, Kevin Z.
Gay, Sharon Frame
Gentile, Angelo
Genz, Brian
Giersbach, Walter
Gladeview, Lawrence
Glass, Donald
Goddard, L. B.
Godwin, Richard
Goff, Christopher
Golds, Stephen J.
Goss, Christopher
Gradowski, Janel
Graham, Sam
Grant, Christopher
Grant, Stewart
Greenberg, K.J. Hannah
Greenberg, Paul
Grey, John
Guirand, Leyla
Gunn, Johnny
Gurney, Kenneth P.
Hagerty, David
Haglund, Tobias
Halleck, Robert
Hamlin, Mason
Hanson, Christopher Kenneth
Hanson, Kip
Harrington, Jim
Harris, Bruce
Hart, GJ
Hartman, Michelle
Hartwell, Janet
Haskins, Chad
Hawley, Doug
Haycock, Brian
Hayes, A. J.
Hayes, John
Hayes, Peter W. J.
Heatley, Paul
Heimler, Heidi
Helmsley, Fiona
Hendry, Mark
Heslop, Karen
Heyns, Heather
Hilary, Sarah
Hill, Richard
Hivner, Christopher
Hockey, Matthew J.
Hogan, Andrew J.
Holderfield, Culley
Holton, Dave
Houlahan, Jeff
Howells, Ann
Hoy, J. L.
Huchu, Tendai
Hudson, Rick
Huffman, A. J.
Huguenin, Timothy G.
Huskey, Jason L.
Ippolito, Curtis
Irascible, Dr. I. M.
Jaggers, J. David
James, Christopher
Jarrett, Nigel
Jayne, Serena
Johnson, Beau
Johnson, Moctezuma
Johnson, Zakariah
Jones, D. S.
Jones, Erin J.
Jones, Mark
Kabel, Dana
Kanach, A.
Kaplan, Barry Jay
Kay, S.
Keaton, David James
Kempka, Hal
Kerins, Mike
Keshigian, Michael
Kevlock, Mark Joseph
King, Michelle Ann
Kirk, D.
Kitcher, William
Knott, Anthony
Koenig, Michael
Kokan, Bob
Kolarik, Andrew J.
Korpon, Nik
Kovacs, Norbert
Kovacs, Sandor
Kowalcyzk, Alec
Krafft, E. K.
Kunz, Dave
Lacks, Lee Todd
Lang, Preston
Larkham, Jack
La Rosa, F. Michael
Leasure, Colt
Leatherwood, Roger
Lees, Arlette
Lees, Lonni
Leins, Tom
Lemieux, Michael
Lemming, Jennifer
Lerner, Steven M
Leverone, Allan
Levine, Phyllis Peterson
Lewis, Cynthia Ruth
Lewis, LuAnn
Licht, Matthew
Lifshin, Lyn
Lilley, James
Liskey, Tom Darin
Lodge, Oliver
Lopez, Aurelio Rico III
Lorca, Aurelia
Lovisi, Gary
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Lukas, Anthony
Lynch, Nulty
Lyon, Hillary
Lyons, Matthew
Mac, David
MacArthur, Jodi
Malone, Joe
Mann, Aiki
Manthorne, Julian
Manzolillo, Nicholas
Marcius, Cal
Marrotti, Michael
Mason, Wayne
Mathews, Bobby
Mattila, Matt
Matulich, Joel
McAdams, Liz
McCaffrey, Stanton
McCartney, Chris
McDaris, Catfish
McFarlane, Adam Beau
McGinley, Chris
McGinley, Jerry
McElhiney, Sean
McJunkin, Ambrose
McKim, Marci
McMannus, Jack
McQuiston, Rick
Mellon, Mark
Memi, Samantha
Middleton, Bradford
Miles, Marietta
Miller, Max
Minihan, Jeremiah
Montagna, Mitchel
Monson, Mike
Mooney, Christopher P.
Moran, Jacqueline M.
Morgan, Bill W.
Moss, David Harry
Mullins, Ian
Mulvihill, Michael
Muslim, Kristine Ong
Nardolilli, Ben
Nelson, Trevor
Nessly, Ray
Nester, Steven
Neuda, M. C.
Newell, Ben
Newman, Paul
Nielsen, Ayaz
Nobody, Ed
Nore, Abe
Numann, Randy
Ogurek, Douglas J.
O'Keefe, Sean
Orrico, Connor
Ortiz, Sergio
Pagel, Briane
Park, Jon
Parks, Garr
Parr, Rodger
Parrish, Rhonda
Partin-Nielsen, Judith
Peralez, R.
Perez, Juan M.
Perez, Robert Aguon
Peterson, Ross
Petroziello, Brian
Petska, Darrell
Pettie, Jack
Petyo, Robert
Phillips, Matt
Picher, Gabrielle
Pierce, Curtis
Pierce, Rob
Pietrzykowski, Marc
Plath, Rob
Pointer, David
Post, John
Powell, David
Power, Jed
Powers, M. P.
Praseth, Ram
Prazych, Richard
Priest, Ryan
Prusky, Steve
Pruitt, Eryk
Purfield, M. E.
Purkis, Gordon
Quinlan, Joseph R.
Quinn, Frank
Rabas, Kevin
Ragan, Robert
Ram, Sri
Rapth, Sam
Ravindra, Rudy
Reich, Betty
Renney, Mark
reutter, g emil
Rhatigan, Chris
Rhiel, Ann Marie
Ribshman, Kevin
Ricchiuti, Andrew
Richardson, Travis
Richey, John Lunar
Ridgeway, Kevin
Rihlmann, Brian
Ritchie, Bob
Ritchie, Salvadore
Robinson, John D.
Robinson, Kent
Rodgers, K. M.
Roger, Frank
Rose, Mandi
Rose, Mick
Rosenberger, Brian
Rosenblum, Mark
Rosmus, Cindy
Ruhlman, Walter
Rutherford, Scotch
Sahms, Diane
Saier, Monique
Salinas, Alex
Sanders, Isabelle
Sanders, Sebnem
Santo, Heather
Savage, Jack
Sayles, Betty J.
Schauber, Karen
Schneeweiss, Jonathan
Schraeder, E. F.
Schumejda, Rebecca
See, Tom
Sethi, Sanjeev
Sexton, Rex
Seymour, J. E.
Shaikh, Aftab Yusuf
Sheagren, Gerald E.
Shepherd, Robert
Shirey, D. L.
Shore, Donald D.
Short, John
Sim, Anton
Simmler, T. Maxim
Simpson, Henry
Sinisi, J. J.
Sixsmith, JD
Slagle, Cutter
Slaviero, Susan
Sloan, Frank
Small, Alan Edward
Smith, Brian J.
Smith, Ben
Smith, C.R.J.
Smith, Copper
Smith, Greg
Smith, Ian C.
Smith, Paul
Smith, Stephanie
Smith, Willie
Smuts, Carolyn
Snethen, Daniel G.
Snoody, Elmore
Sojka, Carol
Solender, Michael J.
Sortwell, Pete
Sparling, George
Spicer, David
Squirrell, William
Stanton, Henry G.
Steven, Michael
Stevens, J. B.
Stewart, Michael S.
Stickel, Anne
Stoler, Cathi
Stolec, Trina
Stoll, Don
Stryker, Joseph H.
Stucchio, Chris
Succre, Ray
Sullivan, Thomas
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swanson, Peter
Swartz, Justin A.
Sweet, John
Tarbard, Grant
Tait, Alyson
Taylor, J. M.
Thompson, John L.
Thompson, Phillip
Ticktin, Ruth
Tillman, Stephen
Titus, Lori
Tivey, Lauren
Tobin, Tim
Torrence, Ron
Tu, Andy
Turner, Lamont A.
Tustin, John
Ullerich, Eric
Valent, Raymond A.
Valvis, James
Vilhotti, Jerry
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Walker, Dustin
Walsh, Patricia
Walters, Luke
Ward, Emma
Washburn, Joseph
Watt, Max
Weber, R.O.
Weil, Lester L.
White, Judy Friedman
White, Robb
White, Terry
Wickham, Alice
Wilhide, Zach
Williams, K. A.
Wilsky, Jim
Wilson, Robley
Wilson, Tabitha
Woodland, Francis
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Yuan, Changming
Zackel, Fred
Zafiro, Frank
Zapata, Angel
Zee, Carly
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas

Charity Begins at Home

 

by David Hagerty

 

Traffic moved smoothly for Berkeley as Andy cruised down I-80, one hand on the steering wheel, the other out the window riding the salty wind, when a battered pickup cut in front of him. It jerked left and slowed, forcing him to stomp his brakes. Instinct guided him to flip off the driver. Instead, he let space open between them and evil eyed the driver.

Recognition came a moment later. The truck looked just like one he once owned: oxidized grey with a short cab, an ‘88 F-150. Different license, plus a broken right parking light, but the tailgate had the scratch where he’d dropped a couch while moving in his girlfriend. Had to be his. Eighteen months ago, he’d donated it to charity, and now an idiot driver had thanked him with discourtesy.

He’d saved two years for the down payment and taken four to pay it off. Just the base model—the only add on a radio—but it never broke down. For a dozen years he’d changed the oil and tuned the engine himself. He’d used it to haul lumber, compost, bricks, and concrete to job sites. It witnessed his first date with his girl and would have witnessed the consummation if her roommates hadn’t interrupted.

Eventually, the old pickup lost power, so he’d bought a new, loaded model, yet letting go of the old Ford proved hard, and for several weeks it collected parking tickets. He tried selling it, but buyers seemed indifferent, lowballing him after noting its age and milage. That’s when he heard a radio add asking for donations to Goodmen’s Mercy. Someone without a vehicle would cherish it as he had, and he felt good watching it be towed away.

Now his old truck wobbled in front of him until the driver swerved across two lanes, ushered by the horns of other drivers. The words of his girlfriend came to him: People don’t appreciate free.”

He followed it.

The driver led him to a block of tenements in the flatlands of Oakland, parked—one wheel on the curb, the back bumper two feet from it—and exited without a look back. Not what he expected: a woman, with a slim build and jaunty pony tail, smoking a cigarette casually.

He waffled what to do. A man he’d confront, but a woman.... Still, an ingrate was an ingrate, no matter the gender. Instead, he decided: that night, he’d take back the truck.

#

Just after sunset, before the streetlights had flickered to life, Andy biked across town to her complex, a 1950s box with peeling stucco and single-pane windows disgorging three different backbeats. Luckily, the apartments curved in a U, so few residents could view the street.

He was checking over his shoulder not for witnesses but robbers—always a risk in that part of town—then threw his bike in the bed and opened the driver’s door with a spare key he’d neglected to donate. Inside the cab smelled of stale cigarettes and perfume. Still, he felt a nostalgia stronger than for any ex-girlfriend. It still bore his old union sticker, although in place of the stereo loomed a gaping hole like a missing tooth. On startup, the engine faltered and coughed until he gave it some gas. She hadn’t done much maintenance, either, as it smelled of burning oil. Still, warmed up, it ran smoothly. Without a look back, he pulled away.

Ten minutes later he noticed whirling lights in his rearview. He’d been careful not to speed or roll stop signs, so why would the police bother him, especially in a high-crime area like that? He sat silent as the cop mugged him from tortoise shell glasses. Your taillight is out,” he explained.

After surrendering his documents, Andy watched the cop in his rearview as he walked back to his cruiser and entered the data into a computer. Surely it would reveal he didn’t own the truck anymore. How to explain? That he’d borrowed it? From a friend who’d bought it off him? Unless that reckless driver had already reported it stolen. Then what? He was still debating when the cop returned. Your registration is expired.”

Really?” Andy said, to hide his relief. “The ride’s my girl’s. She’s spacey. Probably forgot to pay. I’ll take care of it.”

The cop wrote in his ticket book. “I’ll just cite you for the taillight.”

Hit and run,” Andy explained. Somebody backed into it on the street. Didn’t leave a note or nothing. Can you believe it? I’ve tried to have it fixed, but the parts aren’t made anymore.” He heard himself talking too much and stopped.

You’ve got an oil leak,” the cop said, handing him the ticket. “Fix it before you smog it.”

Course, yeah, right. Thanks, officer, appreciate the leeway.”

Back on the road, Andy realized the cop had recorded his name, so he headed back to the apartment complex. The only open space sat across the street. She probably wouldn’t even notice the truck had moved. He was checking the cab for remnants when a knock startled him.

A woman stared through the passenger window. Her dark hair fell low over her eyes, making them hard to read, but she smoked a cigarette calmly. Radio’s already gone,” she said. Some other thief got it, and you don’t want the rest. Thing runs like it looks.”

He watched her and nodded, unwilling to reveal even his voice.

What, you afraid of me?”

He shook his head.

Then come on out.”

Up close she looked small and frail, reaching only his shoulder. Still, his emotions idled as rough as the truck’s engine.

You’re wondering if I called the cops. Don’t. Been hooked up myself. Wouldn’t wish that on anybody.”

Relief spread through him like warm oil. Still, her green eyes studied him.

But you got to get over honestly. That’s what I did. Go down to the Goodmen’s Mercy, they’ll help you out. They did me. I was homeless before this. Lived in that truck six months until I could afford a place.”

He nodded, shamed.

Well, go on. And don’t mess with other people’s stuff. You don’t know how possessive some are. They’d sooner hurt you as help you.”

 

END




David Hagerty has published four novels with an indie press and about two dozen short stories online and in print, including half a dozen with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. To see more of his stuff or read more about him, have a look at his website: https://davidhagerty.net

In Association with Fossil Publications