“Never Trust The Weatherman” by Shane Hinton


This short story begins a new genre in Southern Literature: Reality Fiction. Yup, it’s too real to be just a story.



I pulled the disc through the middle of summer while everyone else was across town buying parts and poisons. I needed to finish before it rained, but secretly hoped for a thunderstorm. There were no clouds in the sky.

Climbing down from the tractor, I kicked a rock free from the disc. A construction company dumped a few hundred loads of concrete, tires, and tree trunks into the field. I was scared to break the equipment, but the weeds had almost gone to seed. If I waited any longer I’d be plowing them up for years.

Hog burrows marked the field. The tractor bounced over a hole and I fell off the side. It ran over me before stalling with the tire just above my pelvis.

My organs felt compressed. I breathed from different parts of my chest as my ears adjusted to the silence. After a few minutes I couldn’t remember what the engine sounded like. The sun was directly above me.

I pulled my cell phone from my shirt pocket and wiped the dust off the screen. The sweat on my fingers left mud smears as I dialed 911.

“What’s your emergency?” a woman answered.

“I ran myself over with the tractor.”

“Where are you located?”

“The old Simmons place.”

“Can you feel your legs?”


“We’ll send somebody out. Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“I think that’s it,” I said.

It felt like rain. I dialed my dad.

“Ran over myself with the tractor,” I said.

“Can you feel your legs?”


“That’s not good.”

“Did you get the parts for the disc?”

“Should be in next week,” he said.

The dust started to settle and I heard birds from the tree line. I tilted my head back and saw the neighbor walking toward me. He set a bottle of water on my chest.

“Hot as hell out here,” he said.

“Yes, sir,” I said, trying to drink. I couldn’t sit up enough and poured the water into my nostrils.

“You okay?” he asked.

“Waiting to find out,” I said.

“Can you feel your legs?”


“Might rain later,” he said, turning around.

My dad’s white truck, followed by the ambulance, made its way through a cloud of loose dirt. The ambulance sank into the ground and Dad had to pull it out.

“We got lost,” the paramedic said.

“No trouble,” I said.

The paramedic slid his hand down my side to the point where it went under the wheel. “Does this hurt?” he asked.

“A little,” I said.

“Can you feel your legs?”


“It’s keeping you from bleeding out.”

“That’s lucky,” I said.

“It looks pretty bad,” he said.

I heard an engine and Mom pulled up on the four-wheeler with a cooler strapped to the back. “Dad called,” she said. “How are you?”

“Can’t feel my legs,” I said.

“I brought food.”

Mom spread out an old sheet on the dirt next to me and unpacked a picnic, serving fried chicken and potato salad onto paper plates. Dad and the paramedic stirred up dust with their feet as they talked about the tractor wheel.

I took a bite of chicken and looked up at the sun. The grease slid into my throat but I couldn’t swallow. Choking, I spit it onto the ground.

“Might rain,” Mom said, chewing.

“It might,” I said, even though there were still no clouds in the sky.