• Jerrole Hosler

Small Town Woes

Updated: Sep 14

By Jerrole Hosler


The Seashore Trailer Park wasn’t near any sea and was four miles to the nearest lake shore, but that didn’t stop the manager from plastering gaudy shells all over the wooden welcome sign that proclaimed, “Come and sea your new home! You’re shore to love it!” 

Four rows of trailers were split by one circle track, each row allowing for roughly ten of the rectangular boxes on wheels. The forty, or so, trailers weren’t considered the worst, or best, part of town; they were actually mostly new and well-maintained. 

If you were looking for drugs, all of the serious action took place in the boonies outside of town. Some hillbillies that were land rich and cash poor would put a couple of trailers in the back woods and start cooking meth out of it; or setting up dog fights. 

By comparison the Seashore Park was an upstanding pillar of the community; pills and pot were tolerated as a matter of course, but the locals tried their best to keep out anything harder. This made Bill’s job that much more difficult. Bill was a drug dealer. Most of the drug dealers in this rural American region had to diversify their portfolio in order to get by, so Bill also worked at the only fast food place in town. 

Now, there he is washing greasy hamburger trays and condiment guns, his drive-thru headset set to mute. 

“Don’t you ever feel creepy…all them young girls workin’ here?” Todd asks him. Todd was one of the fry cooks and at 48 was more than double the age of the next oldest worker, the store manager. 

“You know man, not really. If they’re 18, then they’re good to go.” Bill, being 23, is still locally considered a dirt-bag for dating high school girls. But with his tall skinny shape, mini-van (that he bought for $1000 from a family friend), and all the free weed they could smoke, Bill was never long without a willing girl. 

“It’s just they come in here for the summer on that….work permit and they walk around here wagging their asses, it’s enough to damn drive a man mad.” Todd was also known locally as a dirt-bag, but the high school girls knew to stay away from him.

“Look Todd, ain’t you married?” 

“Yeah, so? She can’t divorce me for looking at some young ass.” His laugh sounds like a high-pitched hiccup on repeat. Bill’s headset clicks on as a car approaches the drive thru window. 

“Welcome to ***, what can I get you?” Bill dries his hands while waiting for an answer.

“Yeah can I get a whopper?” A giggly voice asks.

“This ain’t Burger King.” 

“Give me a breakfast sandwich then.” 

“It’s 5pm dude.” fuck these dicks.

“The T.V said you was serving breakfast all day now.”

“We’re franchised, that doesn’t take effect until September.” Tires screech into the headset before Bill sees the beat-up pick-up leave the drive thru lane and get back onto the road. 

“The fuck was that about?” Todd yells.

“Homeboy really wanted some brinner.” It’s not a good joke, but work jokes don’t have to be and they both laugh. The lunch rush comes and goes, it’s always the same time every day. Anyone that’s worked in food service knows that the 5pm-7pm slot is always the busiest. Bill thinks that it’s fucking unfair as shit that the lifers get to stay on opening shifts, all they get is the lunch rush and some prep. The closers have all the hard work (according to themselves). 

He leaves at 11pm and gets a text from a number he doesn’t know:

u holdin

wht u need

a eighth

20$ meet at save-a-lot

when

30 mins

Being the determined young entrepreneur that he is, Bill does some quick shopping at the Save-a-lot store. He stocks up on discount venom energy drinks and gummy bears. By the time he gets through the checkout line and back to his van there is a new car in the parking lot. 

Bill walks over and raps on the driver’s side window.

“What’s up man, do I know you?” He asks. The window slowly rolls down and the person behind the wheel, a young guy in his late teens-early twenties (who can tell with all the GMO in the fucking milk these days?) answers.

“I’m Frank’s little brother.” He sounds nervous; that’s good. Bill doesn’t like cocky clients. 

“Frank Castor or Frank Telly?” 

“Frank Castor.”

“Frank Castor is a dick and a sonofabitch.” Bill can’t help but try and spook this kid (he calls him kid in his head, even though they are probably only 2 or 3 years apart).

“If you say so…” The kid answers awkwardly. Bill sees that his insult didn’t bring the anger or fear that he wanted to see. Instead what he sees in the kid’s eyes and body language is confusion, and a little bit of loathing. This kid thinks he’s a fucking weirdo…a dirt-bag!

“You think you’re better than me?” Bill yells. “You think just cause you and that asshole Frankie live up in that beach house and have a daddy that’s a doctor, you think you’re better than me!” Bill can feel the vein on the left side of his neck pulse and knows he’s about to lose it.

“Naw, Bill. No, I don’t man. I just want some weed.” Now he’s scared, yeah now he’ll fucking respect me. Bill calms down a little and reaches into his pocket for a small baggie of pot. He throws it into the car and it lands on the passenger seat.

“That’ll be 30 bucks.” He says calmly.

“But you said $20 before.”

“That’s before I knew you were a fucking disrespectful little punk.” The kid looks like he’s about to say something but apparently thinks better of it and gives Bill the money. Without a word Bill takes it and starts to walk away.

The kid puts the car into drive but stops before pulling out of the parking lot to yell back at Bill, “Hey, man people are right. You are a fucking asshole!” 

Bill tries to run after the car but it pulls onto the road and quickly heads out of sight. He swears he could hear the punk laughing. His mood sufficiently soured he gets back to his van and drives back home to the trailer park.

Home was a 1970’s model single wide metal trailer. It had two bedrooms and one bathroom (not even a shitter in the master bedroom). His roommate was an older pill-head named Kerry, who also full-timed as an alcoholic. After parking the van behind Kerry’s Jeep Cherokee he jumps out and makes his way to the front door. 

The front door was locked. The front door was never locked. Bill didn’t even keep his house keys on him.

“Kerry open the fucking door, you dumb bitch!” He yells. Pound. Pound. Pound. He slams on the metal siding of the door, it was hollow and the two sides of the door were almost hitting each other. 

“Kerry! Kerry! Kerry! Kerry!” He shouts. Eventually a 40 year old disheveled woman shambles her way to the door.

“Sorry dude, I thought it was unlocked.” She says as a means of apology. 

“God damnit Kerry, what the fuck were you thinking?” 

“...You know if the fire department breaks down your door, you’re the one has to pay to fix it?” She says absentmindedly, “ain’t that just the damnedest thing?” 

“What the hell does that have to do with anything?”

“..oh, because you were at the door and…” Her brain tries to make the connection audible, but the drugs and the booze had forced her into her habitual stupor and Bill walks away as she tries to finish her sentence.

On the way to his room he stops in the bathroom and grabs a bottle of ADHD meds. Some pink pills that he knows will get you wired right the fuck up. He crushes them into a powder with his debit card and then takes two fat lines to his dome. 

Four hours later and Bill is still awake and playing video games online while Kerry sleeps in the other room. Energy drink and gummy bears in his lap. He can hear her snoring and that’s pissing him off.

He thinks about ending it tonight. He has the guns. He has the bullets. Just do it. Just walk up and down the trailer park, he could probably get 20-30 kills in about 10 minutes (the average police response time for the town, he’s researched it). Adam Lanza got 26 in 2 minutes and 41 seconds, and Bill knows he’s miles better than that piece of shit. 

A smile creeps over Bill’s face as he thinks about showing those fuckheads. He’s not a dirt-bag. They’re the dirt-bags, and they’ll learn. He fantasizes about which trailer he’ll start at and which gun he’ll use. The SKS has a semi-automatic clip attachment and he can put a bump stock on it, but that’s a good way to waste bullets. Best to just use the single trigger rapid fire with an extended clip. Or he could use his sawed off shotgun with bird shot, but that could get messy and what if they were just clipped and didn’t die? He happily sits and walks through his entire plan in his head, just like he does most nights, until he passes out holding the video game controller. 

He wakes up at 2pm and gets ready for the closing shift. He throws on his red work shirt (the same one he wore yesterday) and walks out to his van. Today he swears, today I’ll do it. But he says that every day. Personally, I think he’s just a dirt-bag.



More on the Author:

Jerrole Hosler was born and raised in Northern Michigan (USA). He graduated from Northern Michigan University in 2013 with and English Writing Degree. He has spent his time since then working numerous jobs. Under his resume you will find restaurant work, warehouse labor, nursing home care, and secretary work at a University. 

Through all of this he has kept his love of words. He currently works as an English teacher to adult students in Shanghai and is writing his first book. 

In his free time he enjoys complaining about the US Government and making gross oversimplifications of America to people of other cultures. 



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