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Hobo Willie, Part 7 – Afterword

I base my little tale on the actual life events of my grandfather, Wilburn Elliott. The Elliott characters in the story are all real, and I used their real names. However, the other men who appear in this tale are all fictional people I created to fill in the gaps in the story. You see,… Continue reading Hobo Willie, Part 7 – Afterword

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Hobo Willie, Part 6

Hobo Willie is also published here at Coffee House Writers. Filled with nervous anticipation, Willie scanned the station. His focus scattered as he looked from face to face, hoping one would be familiar. People bustled everywhere. The troupe glided through the crowd of pedestrians, each man searching for anything out of the ordinary. Tobias lifted… Continue reading Hobo Willie, Part 6

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Hobo Willie, Part 5

Willie walked across the desert, day and night, sticking close to his road companions. His whole body felt like mush. He couldn't remember exactly when his feet went numb, but he kept them moving. It's not so easy to start back up once you stop. It's best to dig in and keep walking until you… Continue reading Hobo Willie, Part 5

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Hobo Willie, Part 4

Tobias woke the next morning as the sun started to light the sky. The men packed up camp and hopped the first westbound train. They taught Willie the ways of the rails—the difference between a bum, a tramp, and a hobo. A bum was a no good, dirty, rotten thief that would rather steal from… Continue reading Hobo Willie, Part 4

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Hobo Willie, Part 3

“Well! Sounds like yer in a right big mess there, Wilburn,” Tobias said to him. The men looked at each other and nodded to one another, except one man. Owen Little shook his head. The men glared at him, and Little scowled back. “Dammit, Little,” Tobias said. Wilburn’s brow creased in confusion as he watched… Continue reading Hobo Willie, Part 3

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Hobo Willie, Part 2

The rain hammered on the roof of the box car, waking the brothers from their sleep. They’d reached Tucumcari and prepared to jump off a few miles before the train reached the depot. They sloshed through the muddy streets of the small New Mexico town. Wilburn noticed it wasn’t much to look at. The train… Continue reading Hobo Willie, Part 2

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Hobo Willie, Part 1

The leaves rustled in the cold January breeze just off the railroad tracks as Wilburn stood beside his bothers. The three boys lined up before their father, Nelson, and waited in silence for him to speak. Wilburn’s heart drummed in his chest, his palms grew slick, and his blood surged. Nelson stopped in front of him, looked deep into his eyes, and let out a resigned and weary sigh. He could feel the weight of his father’s strong, calloused hand as it rested heavily on his head. Nelson paused long enough for him to feel the warmth seep into his skull. He watched his father move on to his brother Woodrow, repeating the gesture. Only this time Nelson’s hand rested on his older brother’s shoulder.