Saturdays were Bourré games; they alternated between the houses of friends of my grandparents. This meant a feast of barbeque, boudin, gumbo, stew, and countless desserts. Paw-paw would summon me to grab him a Schlitz from the fridge. On my way to the card table, I would pull the triangular tab back and take a sip off the top. If it was a winning night, he’d put a kitty aside for me with a couple of quarters. The men and women usually sat at separate card tables, and the men drank and smoked while the women bitched and ate. The kids watched TV.
One Saturday we were at Mrs. Robideaux’s. I particularly liked going to her house because she’d make the tiniest meatballs in a sweet, spicy sauce. Food like this was an event for me. Although my paw-paw worked, we never had a stocked pantry. Snacks and junk food were not kept in our house. More often than not during the week, we ate things like eggs and rice. Money was not something we had. This often led to tension between Maw-maw and Paw-paw. He worked, but it was just never enough.
This night was like any other night; the men were getting loud as the smoke began to crawl across the ceiling. We arrived during the day; now it was pitch black out. My eyes were heavy when I heard a commotion coming from the women’s card table. This was not unusual until I heard men entering the room. Everyone began talking really loud, although truthfully, I can’t tell you what anyone was actually saying. I just knew it was bad because never had I seen every adult leave their money on the tables unattended. Everyone crowded around Mrs. Robideaux who was on the floor.
The next scene in my head jumps to the strangers coming through the storm door with what looked like a white board. Then I heard someone say, “Take off her brassiere.” One of the men dressed in white did just that, and put something on her chest that made Mrs. Robideaux flop like a fish. Mrs. Robideaux was dead; and that Boureé game was over.
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