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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

LIFE LESSON TWENTY


Madison came downstairs the next morning to the sound of voices elevated in quarrel. Her parents rarely argued, so this was a novelty.

“I did not sleep with that woman, Celeste.” Daddy sounded irritated.

Madison froze at the kitchen door. It was wrong to eavesdrop, but this sounded too good to ignore. Never one to get caught up in gossip, this was different…especially since it involved Momma and Daddy….

“Someone should tell that woman because she’s convinced she slept with you.” The rustle of the newspaper as if one of them shook it at the other. “It’s all in here. Including the mole on your butt. Seems pretty obvious she knows what she’s talking about. The good Lord knows you’ve had ample opportunity to screw her.”

Daddy had a mole on his butt? TMI! And ewwwww. She shuddered at the completely unwanted and creepily intimate mental image running through her head.

“I don’t know how she knows about that.” She could picture her daddy’s face turning ruddy. That’s what it did when he was agitated and he sounded very troubled.

“I can’t believe you’d embarrass our family this way, Bruce.”

Oh, Lord, Momma was laying it on thick. She had been getting it on with two deacons and yet had the nerve to chastise Daddy over one woman? Dear God, her family was screwed up! No wonder they thought she was a sinner when they both were the biggest sinners of all.

“I swear to my all-knowing, righteous Father I did not sleep with her.” Call her crazy, but she believed him.

“I don’t believe you. Not until Miranda tells me that with her own lying tongue.”

Miranda was Daddy’s secretary. Oh, this was juicy. A scandal would create an investigation from the Baptist association. Her family tended to keep their life private. If this leaked out, it would cause a small town furor. Daddy would have trouble going out in public with this hanging over his head.

“Miranda’s going through a difficult divorce. People know me and will assume her husband is responsible for the unfounded rumor.”

She quietly snorted. Keep dreaming, Daddy. This couldn’t get much worse for him and, mean as it made her feel, she enjoyed watching him squirm in her mind’s eye.

“Don’t be too high and mighty, Bruce. This small town is always looking for easy gossip and you just handed it to them. A well-known preacher cutting out on his wife is a scandal that’ll haunt your career. You better nip this in the bud now! Call a press conference and set the town straight.”

Calling a press conference was more likely to keep the scandal stirred up, but no one asked her.

Madison jerked with sharp squeal when the doorbell rang. She took off with a yell. “I got it!”

Men in blue greeted her. The one who spoke was Deacon Maxwell, one of the men she’d caught Momma with. “Morning, Madison. Is your daddy home?”

Goodness! What nerve to come calling at their door after what he did with Momma. And to look Daddy in the eye afterward? She didn’t know how he dared.

The other officer, Sims, gave a ‘this is official business’ nod. Both wore grim expressions. Something probably happened to one of Daddy’s parishioners. That was the only time officers were ever presented on their doorstep.

“Yes, sir. I’ll get him.” Madison walked quickly to the kitchen. Daddy looked at her over the rim of his cup when she entered. “Officers are here to see you.”

He sighed. “Looks like today’s going to be one of those days.”

Momma had been near the refrigerator and was out the door greeting the police before Daddy could shuffle out of his seat good. As she followed him down the hall, Momma obviously invited the men in because they’d adjourned to the den. Momma offered them coffee as she and Daddy joined them.

“It’s not one those types of visits, Celeste.” Deacon Maxwell twisted his hat in his hands. Madison guessed it wasn’t everyday he visited his lover’s house.

“What’s wrong?” Daddy swigged the remainder if his O.J. and placed the glass on the coffee table. “Is a parishioner injured? Just let me grab my bible and keys.”

Daddy started to turn away.

“You won’t be needing those, Brother Wescott.” Poised in a half-turn Daddy looked at Officer Sims. Madison held her breath waiting for more information to follow. “You’re under arrest for the rape of a minor.”

Madison gasped and threw her palm over her mouth.

“Oh, Satan’s minions!” Momma slumped into a nearby chair as the officer withdrew handcuffs. “He said....” she dropped her hands in her face and anything else she might’ve said was smothered behind her palms.

“That’s ridiculous! I haven’t raped anyone. I’m a preacher, I wouldn’t do such a horrible thing.”

“You have the right to remain silent....”

“You both know me. You know I wouldn’t do this. I have an underage daughter…I know how precious chastity is. I would—”

“Bruce,” Momma interrupted quietly, a glint in her blue eyes and her shoulders rigid. “I think you should shut up. I’ll call, Micah Dominus.” Madison’s gaze zip-lined to her mother. Micah had told her none of his clients were innocent. Momma went on as if she didn’t notice Madison’s reaction. “He will resolve this obvious slur against your good name.”

“You don’t need those handcuffs. I’m not exactly resisting arrest.” Daddy’s hands shook.

“I’m sorry, sir, it’s protocol.” Officer Sims didn’t look sorry.

Deacon Maxwell smoothed a finger around the inside his stiff shirt’s collar. Too tight or feeling guilty?

The Deacon snapped a metal cuff on a wrist and Daddy blanched as he was turned. The second manacle clicked into place, binding his hands together behind his back.

“I’ll have you out of jail in no time, sweetheart.” Momma rose to her feet regally, her hands clasped together in prayer-like fashion between her breasts. “And I’ll see that justice is served on all guilty parties.”

“Are you threatening us, Mrs. Wescott?” Officer Sims got in her face.

Madison held her breath, unsure of what would happen if both her parents went to jail.

Momma laughed and sent Sims a sassy stare. “Don’t be silly, I never make threats. They’re beneath me.”

Something in her gaze said she didn’t have to make threats when she could back up a promise.

The officer nodded, seemingly satisfied with her response. “It’ll take a couple of hours to process him. Your lawyer will know what to do.”

They walked Daddy out in cuffs and a handful of neighbors gawked, the cruiser’s red and blue lights the most likely culprit in bringing the rubberneckers out of their early morning beds.

Momma turned and slammed the door. “Bastard!” Madison’s eyes widened at the curse. Momma never cursed. “This will be all over town in an hour.”

With no idea of what to say she held her tongue.

Momma raked her gaze over her. “Your father is innocent.”

“I know.” Strangely she didn’t care either way. That couldn’t be a good sign. A good girl would definitely care.

“Did you get an earful of our conversation in the kitchen?”

Madison shook her head and swallowed hard. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Jesus, you suck at lying. Damn shame.”

That was something Momma definitely knew a lot about, and should consider herself an expert on.

“No worry, Madison. If you think the kids will bother you at school skip today. No point in us all suffering.”

The other kids would need to acknowledge her first. “I’ll be fine. I’m going to go get breakfast before I leave.”

“Madison?”

At the kitchen door she turned at the sound of her name.

“I won’t apologize for what you saw the other day. Deal with it.” Momma huffed and went on. “I wouldn’t expect you to understand a woman’s needs yet. When you’re married you’ll understand why I did the things I have.”

God, she hoped to never understand. She’d do whatever necessary to never become like Momma.

© Gracen Miller 2011 ~ No part of this site (written or artwork) may be reproduced in anyway whatsoever without express written consent by Gracen Miller. 

6 comments:

Tich said...

NICE!

Mindy fangedmom said...

OMG Gracen that freaking ROCKED! I love it!!!!!!!

Andie said...

huh now that was full of surprises...
really enjoyed it!! “You have the right to remain silent....” Daddy!!
Somehow i don't think he actually did that... Oh i loved Madison's unsaid comments! She's really sarcastic and funny and badass now!!

rhonda said...

wow, that whole house is falling apart! Momma is so different, lol turning evil! I can`t wait to read this!!!

Kelly said...

Madison's not the only one who's gotta get that 'mole' visual out of her head! double ewwww! Can't wait to see what happens next!! <3

Kristina's Books & More said...

Holy eff! Was totally not expecting that! How scandalous!!! ;) Loved this life lesson!

kristinaleigh1@hotmail.com