FORSAKEN AND BETAKEN
by Catherine C. Straub
“The Lord is the one who chose
Moses and Aaron and who brought your ancestors out of Egypt.”
— 1 Samuel 12:6
Court gossip and thievery ruined many rulers reign accosted by
Sly Mitchell Senior blabbed… slandering his son to many people or
that Gilda’s depression never daunted her faith in God. Those that knew
him best…were aware of his atheist views. His wife attended church; he
just did it for a front.
Emmy was secretly four months pregnant by Eugene and feeling it. She
had to make believe she and Mitchell junior were having a baby or Thomas
that fell asleep once in her room — and she convinced him they copulated
They discussed where she could stay the last months of her pregnancy.
Thomas had taken her to shop (to her pleasure) for maternity clothes. “Do
you recall your mother fixing a different dish at Thanksgiving?”
“I was so young, but I recall searching outdoors for chestnuts to
add cut up in the extra stuffing because it was tasty? Are the relatives getting
together for those holidays?”
“They are snobs — feeling they are better than anyone. Will you leave
for your pregnancy tenure?”
“How can ‘I manage’ my four year study? I’m completing this year
without a teacher — and due in April? What can I do about the problem of my
studies? It is Mitchell’s child? Who cares what they say, do you really
mind Aunt Flo?”
Flo went along with the flow giving her a comfortable peer.
“Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, ‘who is coming’ — anyone different?”
“I did invite Mitchell, the wife, Chief of Police, and Chad ‘is
Marcy came over at nine in the morning. “Let’s go to church at
ten o’clock. We need a break before we get involved with more baking?”
At home, Emmy basted the turkey. She let Thomas go home to
rest for two hours; he caught a fever? He seemed a bit warm, and she
remembered when she last gave him pills? As she worked, Beth appeared at
“What desserts did you labor on yesterday? The grown ups are still
out. I thought I better check this big bird.”
“We fixed a pineapple upside down cake, pecan, mince meat pie,
pumpkin and apple pies. Beth beamed proud of herself. Kieran half awake
and late strolled into the kitchen — for the first meal of the day. Did Mom
leave any breakfast for me?”
“Here’s something.” She handed the dried out plate to him. He didn’t
mind, as he chowed down dried out food. Beth drank coffee feeling
uncomfortable around him? She expected; she could talk to Emmy alone.
Kieran gobbled his breakfast and left the kitchen. She turned to watch
him? “He sure acts different!”
“Who do different if one brother and neighbor got back at me? I
suppose he will go to college — finishing in the spring. He probably thinks; he’s
lucky to be alive!” In less than an hour, the two women came home. Flo was
thankful Emmy basted the turkey. She’s her little homemaker; she smiled
“I gave Thomas a dose of two aspirin, three hours ago, and if he is
still a bit warm, he should have more,” she told his mother. Flo eyed them
always something, “no rest for the wicked.”
“Marcy idled, when did this bug come on?”
“I’d say during the night, he seemed okay last night.”
She moved to the side door. “I’ll go check on him.” She waved; she’d
be back. Flo fixed a sweet potato dish — adding extra brown sugar with
marshmallows on top. She hoped to bring the pies over with Beth’s help.
Emmy — happy with the first big dinner with the neighbors, she knew
for years. Thanksgiving was becoming a blur — more all the time back home
and not missing? The growing up years passed by (the hurt of the matter) a
gaze of memories venturing into that faze years ago?
Marcy tiptoed into Thomas’s room and felt his head…? He felt cooler,
and she was relieved — he’s on the mend. He just needed rest. She took her
own shoes off in her room and lay down. She’d rest for an hour, and that’s
all? Her mind spun to the present day with all the flurry of the meal, and
when they’d dine…?
Percy escaped to his car rather than stays around — speaking to the
rest of his siblings on Thanksgiving. He’s leaving the city area on his way
to Flo’s, when he noticed; he’s being followed. Low and behold it was that
dark blue Chevrolet the girls talked about after Chief of Police Mitchell was killed. His
interest peaked, he wanted to find out the license plate and get behind
him. He came to a spot where off the highway where he could go off and
back on the road quick as a split. He scribbled the number down and passed
him innocent like.
Arriving at the office, he ran the plate. He’d lost the stranger — and
soon he was outside — driving to Flo’s. The car was registered to a Sam
Wilson. Later he’d visit him. He had a funny feeling this man worked
somewhere. Someone could take his car — and did numerous times.
Crime matters never worked out in a day or so. He parked outside Flo’s. He
peeked in the kitchen window. She saw him while basting the turkey, and
opened it wide. “The others are in the parlor!” At the door, she took his
arm feeling comfortable with his suave exterior.
“You need helps with anything?” She nodded, No? She wished she
did — to work with him, but unless men stuffed the turkey there’s not much
Chad, the doctor entertained them with a tale when he was young. All
the participants took up a story they thought of? Flo could hear the
laughter and peeked in — taking turns telling a Thanksgiving story. She
heard Chad relates his many times, “Chad that story is getting old as a
“Dinner time is at five in the afternoon,” she spoke, when there was
a lull. Percy went to the kitchen. “The dark blue car followed me. I found
out the owner?” She nodded silently. The time arrived to recline and dine.
“Emmy will say grace, and then we can dig into our meal.” Emmy read
a four line verse on “caring for your neighbor.” The food dishes began to
be passed around by Percy sitting next to the hostess. As they were
exchanging food, the
Morrison’s came in and found their seats.
“How is everybody doing here” they chortled, with their mouths, but
not reaching their eyes, Percy noticed. You had to get them in the
right mood to be sincere. Mitchell (careless) constantly smeared the
faults of their dead son. The ladies plied him with coffee and donuts.
She reclined like a solid sheet of ice. She was a pole apart from the
sympathy days when the people came to give commiseration. He was unaware
when she took on this cold exterior?
He whispered to Flo, “did you notice ‘the different composure’ of
Gilda from the days, she met people for condolences?”
Flo stared her way. She seemed so stoical might it be the
investigation, he was doing reminded her of her lost son. During the meal,
she glanced at them different times. She grasped, he was jovial (out of
place) making fun of Mitchell junior. At times, she faintly smiled.
“Bring on the desserts!” Flo bought a connoisseur’s cart to present
the desserts. Mitchell and Gilda embraced her. Flo peered at her close,
and took Mitchell aside prior to their leave? “Is it me or is Gilda too
sad, should she see a counselor, he was her only son?” Mitchell listened
to her and patted her arm. “I’ll take her to see someone for her
depression. Thank you for mentioning it; you are a special friend? He
embraced her again, which made her feel uncomfortable?
The next day Flo heard Gilda was placed in the same facility as
Joyce. And to beat it all off her daughter Nell called in a tiff.
The daughters “up in the air” (about their mother’s confinement) be over
this morning? She sat down with a coffee, before she started breakfast
thinking of Gilda. She mumbled a few prayers. Emmy had met them dating
Mitchell Junior. How elated she was seeing her, assisting her with
the wedding… She even bought a wedding dress.
Rats she’d wait to find out what he arranged. Flo and Marcy
sat down and invited the three staid former Morrison sisters to sit. She gawked
at the outlandish outfits Noel and Olive donned. Their strait laced sister
Nell presented herself like a normal sister. She took the lead… “We are
saddened… you suggested Mother be admitted to an institution. Really, who
do you think you are?”
“Now — wait… just a minute! She reddened, irate. I care for your sweet
mother… she seemed so depressed here yesterday. Since your brother died,
she doesn’t seem right. — I couldn’t help think of her seeing a
Olive patted Flo’s shoulder… “I told you Nell, our dad has messed
around with other woman. It doesn’t look good — she should have first spoken
to a physiatrist rather than him pushing her inside an institution
with his lies?”
Flo gave them a sympatric glance. “My daughter is in the same
facility.” They left soon after — all embracing.
Marcy gabbed with Flo. “We miss seeing Joyce every day? If we
did, would she improve — and do us stick up for her. Thomas’s words were too
“Has she been alive all these years thinking, she eventually
have him, what a nut, I say again? She makes out men there — like her — that
Mitchell sat drinking alone. He’d upset Gilda last night to the
point; she required immediate help. The doctors had glared at him like they
loathed him. Afterward he had gone to a bar and got drunk. He should have
taken her to a shrink before yesterday. He was thinking; she’d
come out of her depression. The more he demanded of her; she slipped
into her own world. Why did he ever take her brood of kids on? He
had a peaceful single life before he met her — a recent widow? She wanted a
father for her toddlers? He filled the coffee pot, and decided to call
Flo opened the door to the institution, and walked to the desk.
“Could you tell us ‘what room’ Gilda Morrison is in?” The nurses
turned to one another concerned.
“Who would you be? We had to put her into a straight jacket; she was
so out of control last night, and through the night.” The ladies were
“My daughter Joyce Stuart is here. We heard from Gilda’s daughters
that she was stuck here — without prior treatment.”
“She is roomed two doors down from Joyce — who shows a great
improvement with home work to work on.” The nurse primly shut her mouth.
Janice and Grace were enough to try a saint’s patience. She
laughed why imagine nutty matters. She might need help if they were pushed
on her. They walked back the hall?
Joyce had finished her homework — and ready to talk some.
“I’m all caught up with the class, and soon I’ll go home?”
Marcy sat on the bed. “What do you want to do in life?”
Joyce thought for a minute. “I’d like to be a nurse. I have two more
years of school. I’ve thought about this many times?”
“Did you ‘sleep well’ last night?”
“I heard a racket not far away… Do you know what happened?”
“Mitchell’s wife was suddenly brought in after he left the house on
Thanksgiving.” How cruel, she thought, not for the hundred time.
“You mean that kind lady we saw that sympathy day, I had
trouble. She seemed okay then, what happened, did I cause it? Are Kieran and Beth
an item?” She blandly peered at them for answers not caring anyway.
“No, croaked Flo (exhausted with these matters). She is not together
with him, and it’s not your fault. Sometime after… something went wrong
with her mind? We should stop down and see her. Emmy will get your work.
Someone will drop it off?” Flo took her finished homework. She left
anxious, before anything went wrong. Gilda was sleeping when they
looking in? They decided lunch duty was on.
Marcy sat down in the passenger side. Flo slid in the driver’s side
reflecting about the visit to the mental home. She wished that Gilda had
been unrestrained, and able to converse. “Let’s say our prayers here….”
“Now we can converse…. I wonder what loathsome words were spoken
last night, said Marcy. Gilda should have considered herself, if she
needed help? Maybe, she drove herself nuts, by not seeking health? I just
know if a partner says anything like you need help, it doesn’t go over
good. Why wouldn’t she go, was it a sign of weakness. Marcy hesitated, Flo
I never told anyone — but when I was a teen, I got into a teen marriage and
two of the kids are Earl’s.
“WHAT — ARE — YOU — GOING — TO — TELL — THE — TEENS?”
She ignited the car? “I wonder who the owner of the dark blue car
is. Percy told me yesterday, he was followed?” Marcy stared at her alert!
She did have to tell Thomas or mention to Beth that she was the only child
“When did he confide this tidbit? We were followed for two days,
after Mitchell died, as you well recall?” She pointedly glared at Flo. Why
omit telling her long before this point in time.
“So? Did the owner follow us or someone else? He must have taken the
license plate down?”
“I’ll find out soon,” Flo moved to the phone to call Percy?
“West Side Police Station, Sergeant Percy speaking: We are leaving
to see the man who works across from a parking lot. I have no idea, why
the follower would use the car the keys let in; this is a summation. He’s
not out of the woods?”
“Is — there any other news other than Gilda being in a mental home?”
“He called me distressed, he was alone? His girls are angry with
him. He needed to talk to someone?”
“The reason I’ll never call is: I noticed her condition, and somehow
to help herself. I mentioned it to him last night; she looked more
depressed. He held me closer than normal. I never expected Gilda be shoved
into a mental home.”
“He officially sounded like he felt bad. Did he actually think
since you talked to him concerning his wife (for her betterment) you
wanted him to take up with you? Oh! He admitted those kids were
toddlers — when he married her, and took in her kids, all born within
“What a tidbit of information? So — the kids aren’t his, huh, said
Flo? I really don’t think you should say anything to him; he would
lie about it anyway?”
“You’re — better ‘not talking’ to him. Did you see her inside
“She’s sleeping and her girls came over this morning mad at me until
I explained. I certainly had no notion; she wouldn’t see a doctor first?
They are supposed to visit again. Now that I think about it, I
don’t want to be a substitute for their father unless we speak of
“I’m really sorry your calls would involve more to him, but it is
callus to commit her? She may have gone nuts or her mental health receded
living with him. She did look as hard rocked as him.”
“Who’d ‘conjure up’ that he’d institute the wife that way? He
actually called me a friend, but are woman only friends to men like him?”
“I have to go, you know what you feel.” He hung up — staring at the
wall. He didn’t need a connection to him, for his interest in Flo; they
were going to get married before Christmas? He was aware Marcy would be
the Maid of Honor.
Marcy came back after she checked her house. She noticed Flo seemed
distracted. “Chad called and asked if I wanted to go to dinner. What
should I do?”
“Sounds good, what do you mean, did you accept? I never went to
dinner, maybe he is thinking different.” “Oh the kids of Gilda’s
are not Mitchell’s, but a Judge husband dying young from a heart attack.
The toddlers took his name. It reminds me — Marcy why you’d keep private a
young marriage involving two children.”
“I never wanted to think of my mistake rather than speak…
“That Mitchell either feels…. they’re ‘his or not.’ It depends how caring
he is? It seems he lacks compassion. He probably managed well with the
little ones — looking on him as dad. I’m ignorant if the girls know that
fact of their parentage, he told Percy, probably because they’re mad at
“When are you going to tell Thomas?”
“Don’t worry over me — but are you keeping a secret from me? Did you
tell Percy you’d wed, and is he’s afraid it’ll hurt our
“Do you really… want to know — it would be a fast deal?” Flo said.
“You really ‘beat around the bush,’ Flo. I’ll be your attendant.”
“Great! They embraced. We just talked about a Christmas wedding.”
“Go for it and we can try them on, peering in the mirror?” Flo took
her dress out of the bag and donned it? In a few minutes, Marcy walked in with
hers? They both stood in front of the mirror — swiveling around.
“I feel the two tone shade difference will do, so now we have our
dress and accessories. You will wear a corsage anyway on one side? Our
shoes or purses are not the same tone either?”
Later Emmy cried when she arrived home, hearing the news about
Gilda. She had counted on her for money support with her baby. Eugene
didn’t care who she filched. She had never thought something like this
could happen. Wait she told herself? She would be out soon. A new
senior had made himself known to Emmy when school was over for the day.
She sat in study hall until her extra learning class commenced? His name
was Landry Burns. He noticed her lush endowed shape and startling beauty
and made contact. He heard she was pregnant with a dead man’s child; she’s
going to wed.
Standing by Landry Burns when school was out for the day,
Emmy gave Thomas, Joyce’s homework, and he glared like she’s a
stranger. He flung a rude remark her way... That dork, Thomas, was so
immature living with Mommy.
“I think Emmy wants to break with Thomas — Joyce is coming
home. Moreover varied males say they’ll help with the baby. Maybe,
she is better off than with a junior in school and a neighbor? I feel as
though she is my responsibility. She had a tough time here with Job
teaching the kids to treat her rotten. She took it hard that Gilda was in
a mental home. I bet she’s counting on financial support from her. She’s
pregnant and donning maternity clothes?”
“That freak is still awaiting trial, said he, what a cad and
rotten apple to do that plus wreck your place. I can’t see where boarding with another
senior solves anything. Maybe, I’ll stop to see them and inform who, she
is with, said Percy, she is a minor? Do you mind, Flo?” She nodded to do it.
Percy entered the high school right before the bell rang. He saw
Emmy hand a grouchy looking Thomas — Joyce’s homework. He hurried over to
watch where she’d go. He did not have long to wait… whom she was friendly
with. He strolled in the study hall and introduced himself. He saw the kid
stand to meet him.
“Glad to meet you officer, my name is Landry Burns?” She saw Percy
look her over. Emmy wondered what this was about. She didn’t
have a guardian?
“Just where — ‘do you’ hail from?” Percy inquired leaning on a desk.
“My family lives along ‘The Loop’ on Clark Street in
an apartment, in downtown Chicago. The apartment is owned by my family,
and the family name is used on the building?” Personally, he wondered
how this cop found out about them.
He stood. “This ‘whole matter’ better be ‘on the up and up.’
You two are minors. A minor is not supposed to leave an adult they’re
residing with, without consent? Good day!” Emmy sat down to concentrate on
her homework, feeling nervous. Not long, she was moving to the solitary
room for her upper class studies.
After school, she hurried home and it looked like she’d be
staying. When she attended school the next day, Landry wasn’t with another
girl. What would she do if everyone deserted her?
The weather around Chicago and the Great Lakes turned cold and
windy. Emmy shivered in school, she needed sweaters and more clothes. She’d
stay with her aunt.
She didn’t like “the rough and ready way” that Percy looked at
Percy’s sister ribbed him about his purity when she stopped into
Trudy liked to jest with a family member. She pulled a chair over in
front of his desk — sipping a cola… with a question on her shapely lips?
“So you’re ‘leaving your single life’ for conjugal life the rest of
“Trudy you are an open book? Go see Flo. Here is the address and
introduce your self go on; she’d love to meet you?” She hurried to her
Gold tan Le Sabre Custom Buick. She knew about the young pure marriage
(her brother was wed) that the wife’s parents broke up. Her brother must
be busy shoving her out the door.
Flo first studied the car stumped, in minutes, she recognized