FORSAKEN AND BETAKEN
by Catherine C. Straub
Christmas Day — the Christ Child’s
birth, let us all rejoice.
— Old saying
Christmas Day came in with freezing temperatures and high
winds blowing from the Great Lakes. Flo gazed at the Star of Bethlehem
glowing on top of the Blue Spruce tree for the Christ child born this day.
Donations and more Christmas gifts, Emmy mused, given to the
household. Flo gave her a lovely robe, and slippers. Chad and Flo had
opened each other’s privately. Months ago, Emmy and Joyce began knitting.
Emmy wove a hat, gloves, and vest for Percy. Flo and Percy chipped on new
maternity clothes; two hats, gloves and boots. He’d not let her walk to
school anymore. Emmy made a long multi colored vest for Flo, and Joyce
knit a plain red one. They had even thought of gloves for Kieran very
serious over Trudy intending to marry her. Flo had asked, what he planned
do to support a wife and family. That statement had made him think
if two year course would work well with jobs with full scale accountants.
He debated, heck; he should have four years of accounting school and a
master degree. He could go in business as a CPA.
Flo had the large dining table set for the group; soon everyone was
gathered around the table. The elected Percy folded his hands: He gave
thanks to the Lord ‘for this bounty, Amen!” They stood and took their food
from the side bar. Before they sat down to dine, Gilda and Mitchell
arrived followed by their daughters and husbands.
“Merry Christmas,” “To All and To All a Good night!”
Emmy stood to embrace Gilda, and lead her to a seat? “Have you
eaten, ‘we are’ just starting?” Olive and the other two women laid gifts
under the tree for Flo and Emmy with a large smile for the two?
“You ‘must dine’ with us Flo exclaimed,” Emmy took their coats to
hang in the front room closet. She noticed the husbands stared at her
pregnant stomach that was prominent for a young girl. Their wives wanted
to wait — for what — they began to think, so they had no family.
What a thing to happen to a young girl, his death, pregnant with his
child and completing school?
Flo lined the family up; sure they had plates. This event was the
culmination of the year and in another week a new year would be here. She
was happy to have her family with her at this time.
Earlier, Kieran relaxed over at Trudy’s family and with his mother
and the others later in the day, when Flo liked to dine. He found Trudy a
good companion and she was all he wanted? It surprised him, she never
kissed him, or showed any romantic feelings, but he did not mind. His
family was curious about Percy why he never brought Flo to the house or
even showed up for Christmas prior to that day. They had not seen
him since he married?
Kieran no sooner come in the door than her irate father went into a
tirade. “Where is ‘that son of ours’ not up to visiting us on Christmas
Eve or Christmas?” His father with the stout prominent stomach sopped up
the beer every chance he got, and had imbibed a few. “He never
brings her here, we will be darned if we to go there, what is his stupid
game?” Trudy and Kieran had turned to the other their minds spinning
with what could be the problem. They had no answer to give him, but a
bear hug from Trudy, the true daughter, never to desert the family.
Marcy decided to bring a guest. She’d latched on to the
single English teacher, Peter Bath that she met at a PTA meeting in the
last month. He seemed compatible for this feast — his family residing in
The New Year passed with little events — and February approached.
Landry brought Emmy a box of chocolates preempts to Valentine’s Day.
He gave them to her after class commenced. She’d her normal homework
sojourn, before class again. She escaped seeing him lately, but gave him a
fast grin, returning to her homework. He left with fondest wishes….
Flo, Marcy, and Gilda planned the baby shower for the beginning
of March since Emmy was due early April. She intended going to school
until she gave birth? “Flo, we missed our normal walk at night… prior to
the bad weather.”
The phone blasted! “Gilda good day to you! We were just talking over
the menu? The finger food is a good idea. We can plan the dessert. Each of
us fixes four Horsd’oeuvres? So we don’t bring the same item let’s name
them? Tell Marcy to write four down. I will too?” They got busy taking a
stab at a variety. The invites go out next week?”
“Yes. That is fine; I will call you in a few days.” “My past
husband, a judge, would be proud of my dead son.”
Kieran was horrified at Percy carrying on an affair in his
office with this secretary Libby, a reminder of his first wife
that marriage never consummated. He heard his mother told him to leave,
or straighten out whom he loved. Trudy gave him a drink, while they
conversed, shocked. His mother looked well with Percy’s leave.
“I’d offer they did have another love in their life — but you could
never tell by me, as ecstatic as he was?
“Job influenced us kids against Emmy in the house.”
“You must ‘try to forget it’ Kieran. Do you think I’m ‘the
same’ as him?”
“I asked for that dig?” He’d told her.
Now, he halted a few steps from the kitchen at home when he
heard the conversation, the two talking over gun protection. Marcy and Flo
stared at him…
“Kieran, did you see Carl’s ‘astonished appearance’ found guilty of
murder. He’s sentenced to life in prison with the chance of
parole. His sentence is worse than Eugene’s, incarcerated in
“He’s ‘a dangerous’ man?” He decided he ‘had better things to do’
than listen to the Wild West Annie Oakley talk, so took his coffee to his