500 Word Short Story
The Almost Lynching of Toby Hill
Scott A. Gese

500 Word Short Story

It was 1933. Jimmy Towns and his guitar were heading to Chicago. It was a cool evening. Good travelin' weather in the South. Jimmy was coming up on a bridge crossing the Tombigbee River when his suddenly slammed on his brakes.

Up ahead were four men. A rope had been tossed over one of the bridges trusses and a noose was being draped over the head of one of the men. There was a lynching taking place and he had drove himself smack dab into the middle of it.

Not giving it much thought, he stepped out of the car.

“Who the hell are you?” Asked one of the men.

“My name's Jimmy Towns. I'm on my way to Chicago.”

“Well why the hell don't you just keep on goin'. This ain't none of your concern.”

“I'd like to, but you're blocking the road. Why you hangin' this man?” Asked Jimmy.

“I heard he whistled at my sister. Ain't no nigga' gonna git away with that,” replied the man with the noose.

“Did you see it or just hear about it?”

“Don't make no difference. This boy is as good as dead.”

Jimmy pulled a gun from his back pocket. “I say it does make a difference. Why don't you take the rope off his neck and let him go.”

All three men began to protest. “Who the hell do you think you are coming at us like that? Are you a damn nigga' lover?”

“I just don't like seeing a man get hung for no good reason. That's all.”

Jimmy took a shot and hit the man with the noose in the leg. “I said, let him go.”

One of the other men took the noose off the kids head. “You're both dead men. You know that don't you?”

“Get over here and get in my car kid,” ordered Jimmy.

The kid did as he was told. Two more shots rang out and two tires from the men's car went flat.

“Now git the hell out of my way or I'll run your asses over,” barked Jimmy.

The men moved over and Jimmy took off down the road.

“Thank you sir, for savin' my life,”

“What's your name kid?”

“Toby, Toby Hill.”

“You got family around here, Toby?”

“No sir, Just me and sunshine.”

“Who's sunshine?”

Toby pulled a harmonica from his pants pocket. “This here is sunshine. Used to play with my daddy while he strummed his guitar, back when he was alive.”

“Is that so? Are you any good?”

Toby started in and played a few licks. Jimmy was impressed.

“You're good kid, real good. How about you head up to Chicago with me. Maybe between the two of us we can make a few bucks. What do you think?”

“I'd like that, sir.”

“I'm no sir, Toby. Just call me Jimmy, OK?”

“Yes sir, Jimmy.”

© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.

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