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FORSAKEN AND BETAKEN

by Catherine C. Straub

Chapter 3


FORSAKEN AND BETAKEN

by Catherine C. Straub

Chapter 3

The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
— 2 Corinthians 3:6

Two chariots flying faster than the wind collide and overturn. Two disheveled occupants are scraped and shocked. The two others die and great sorrow for two friends lost, but given new life.

In the dark of night — strife hit the earthly women — their marriages turned to widowhood with the death of Job and Hilly out drinking and carousing never at home... Their car hit another head on. Their faces were marred, and it took time to identify them.

The next day — early in the morning, they were informed by the cops what occurred. The kids had left for school. Both women were stunned (to say the least) when they accidentally heard the report on the radio. Flo heard it first and shocked walked over to Marcy’s. How could she feel sad, the criminal like matter, he pulled, collecting the kids into thoughtless teens.

“We must search the yellow pages for a funeral home, like they told us.” Marcy was sitting at the table her eyes red, her hankie active.

“If — anyone comes to give sympathy, who could say a good word, the way they acted at home.” Marcy asked the wall? She poured two coffees and pushed the cream near. They pored over the phone book deciding a funeral house.

“We’ve time to compose ourselves before the teens come home, said Flo. Most likely they won’t hear a thing in school.”

“This whole matter ‘is stunning’ — not that they loved us more than themselves.”

“I’ll call the funeral home for both the men, are you agreed, Flo asked. I hate to call that one brother, Farth, so close; you can’t trust him at all. I abhor seeing his family, unless we have showers for the girls or such an event. Do you still feel our house locks are shoddy and need replaced? We’ll pray later in the day.”

“After we finish this coffee, said Marcy, let’s ‘select coffins’ at Blake Lamb Funeral Parlor. We might as well get it over. Their funeral insurance should come through, and that’s another matter, we have to take care of.”

“How about we hire locksmiths, who knows what we could meet up with?”

*****

Solemnly they arrived at the funeral parlor and were taken down stairs. They listened to the rattling auctioneer type undertaker list his finest coffins. They made a choice and hurried out of there….

The locksmiths were ready to work on the first floor by then. They had offered the guys extra, if today they completed both houses? They felt like flying to Florida instead of lining up a wake and a funeral Mass for the two.

“Should we see our lawyers since they died?” Flo dialed their lawyers on her cell phone. Marcy eyed her smiling, as they spoke.

...“I called Beth last night and said, of course, not what tragically happened.

She was right about the boys, and today they will be home. The goofs of mine missed one day of school, they have to make up?”

In an hour, the obvious locks on the windows and doors facing the street view were altered? A varied crew worked over at Marcy’s and Flo’s. They had to confide their sorrow to their teens noticing the new locks with death.” Kieran stunned, he lost his old man — entered his room… surprised he was alone, and his younger brother arrested. It changed his revenge plans to settle a score? Heck now they had to stand around at a wake the next day, and the preceding funeral Mass…

The women (in their grief) imagined the two trying to take them back when they couldn’t get in the house. Emmy was literally floored hearing the news — her dangerous captor and his neighbor cohort died in a car wreck the prior night. She slowly sat down on the bed, feeling weak, but no sorrow for the young girl tortured by him, dropped here during the night years ago. She recalled his twin brother, Farth so much like him in looks and temper. They’d all see the crew and their wives at the double wake planned. She had to forgive sometime when she could. How did the Lord forgive so many tricking or torturing him?

“I feel you should attend school today, the Wake isn’t until tomorrow afternoon. Flo instructed the shocked crew in the morning while fixing breakfast.

The Chief hearing the death news called Emmy that morning. Emmy took the phone chewing on bacon. “Th thank you, said Emmy, for thinking of me Chief Mitchell. He’s disgust on earth, but I must forgive him… like Jesus taught.”

“You hang in there? I’ll see you soon.” He’d started out fresh trying to find the last lead. He questioned the motel workers…They so irate that blubbering detective or the cops ignored — questioning the people and the staff back then. He even checked into the lax cops, and one or more could be involved? He’d yet question them, and scan what information, the detective had in his file? He liked Emmy only going on eleven. He was twenty three, Emmy and he could get in trouble.

Flo listened to Emmy on the phone with half an ear. She was aware Mitchell took Emmy on the case, or he filled her in. He must think special of her. She was elated they went to the police station that day. She also knew her husband’s twin Farth would now take over instructing the older girls heeling to his command about men that use you. What choice did she have, Job was gone, and somehow his brother knew, she needed aid. He called as she prepared for bed last evening. She swore; he never heard the tragic accident at the time….

“Flo is Job around? How have you been?”

“ — ah…it’s hectic around here. He is not here like always.”

“Hey…? Say you need any aid with the teens — give me a call. Job and I always worked well together, so have a good night.”

Now after the teens left for school, she reflected about his call, and the embarrassment of the way Job lived. He must know the works of his relative. She never heard from his family…The call seemed strange with the accident that ominously transpired…. Marcy crossed the street ready for their prayers and sympathy conversation.

Emmy felt terrible for Beth. She most likely hears about the double accident. Beth made life bearable (at first) when she realized, she was living with her Aunt Flo. Beth never had a sister. She played with her at the pond or tree house looking over the world below the neighborhood? They were younger then — surely enjoying life. Now she lived away. She’d have a hard time finding her at Aunt Gens? John must have moved on to other classmates. Beth always liked her… she was a caring person (given a trial) by Flo’s husband, Kieran, and girls, but not Joyce. Now they grew older, but what kind of people were they?

Emmy matured quickly, she seemed fourteen or sixteen and she’s just eleven. That estimation had to be wrong, she was older. Beth’s misguided brothers were now home. They “hindered the investigation” and had to stay a night in jail.

“Is the coffee hot, asked Marcy (her red eye lids swollen) our life is sure different in the next three days. I had to make mine attend school too. Nobody seems too sad. Yours will have to put up with brother, Farth, not much kinder, in the long run.

“I’m going to need his aid this weekend after the funeral.”

“Call him now, he must be busy the way they are.”

Flo found Farth at work. She had trouble defining his sorrow on the phone after giving her felicitations. “Janice and Grace are going to be left here this weekend. Kieran and I don’t want them — getting caught pregnant too young?”

“Okay. Maybe I’ll take them to a movie. We need it and Kieran can go along? Pint size is hunting for her parents?” She ignored him; his brother never cared a fig for her. His brother gained kids, and then changed — living a life with hussies.

Marcy sipped hot coffee. “I must inform Aunt Gen of the tragedy.” The two parted for the time. Flo folded her hands, holding her head.

Marcy dialed her aunt. “Marcy? This is a pleasant surprise. What’s new?”

“Brace yourself? Two of our husbands are dead in an accident… last evening. We are still shocked… and the wake is tomorrow.”

“I’m stunned! How are you and Flo? I take it; she lost her wandering husband the same time as you. We will see you early tomorrow or yet tonight.”

Marcy hung up, idling if Flo had a wish to go anywhere… A day ago, her boys arrived home from jail, and returned to school? They complained being treated like a criminal by the kids. “What kind of kids are they, asked Marcy? Do we have to move you to a different school?” She glanced at Thomas; he was the sensible one.

Thomas considered… “I think it will wear off in a day or two. They’ll have other things to amuse them? We better gets to our homework?”

Today they heard the tragedy and stunned for a few minutes, they still went to school. She thought how grand to be a resilient kid.

Marcy strolled across the road, to see Flo with millions on her mind.

“Flo are you still alive!” She yelled in the screen door. Flo motioned her in with a coffee. My kids went to school ‘forgetting pretty fast’ “That” died. Their bad treatment in school should pass.”

“I’d say with ‘two deaths’ now, the teens would have a heart.”

“Are we prepared for relatives tonight? Food was donated to the two houses from ‘well meaning people’.”

*****

Relatives stopped that evening at both houses except Job’s family seemed to ignore the house except for Farth and wife, Sue. The two communicated with most of her brothers. Mitchell junior sat with Emmy most of the night, the elders too far out for him to converse.

Marcy found her aunt and Beth arriving that evening with family and his making a rare appearance. Food appeared like the loaves and the fishes. Beth helped her mother out. In minutes, she walked over to see Emmy….

Emmy welcomed her at the kitchen table anxious for their weekend out after the few mourning days were over. ..They planned this outing prior to the fatal accident. The following morning the houses let the kids attend school a half day.

“What and why are the ‘sorry faces’ kids?”

“He’s our dad even if he was a rat,” Grace muttered…

“Who would ever miss him,” Joyce said. Emmy held so much anger in for years…. She found a way to see Eugene through Mitchell, her two allies.

*****

The hesitating — skeptical families (especially the teens) approached the door to the funeral home. Marcy and Flo led the pack inside — standing in the back of the rooms. Slowly she moves forward to the open coffins. It seemed Job’s face was unmarred. Tears came to her eyes, thinking of the younger years, even if she never knew the monster inside his handsomeness. He had it on Hilly with his looks.

Marcy barely budged — seemed the same. Hilly seemed so angelic, and instead he always followed Job’s lead to go out partying. First the relatives came and other neighbors arrived to give their condolences. At the beginning of the wake the women viewed the other expired man. Neither woman could leave to the other man’s layout — when the mourners arrived.

Farth stood near his dead brother’s coffin all the afternoon, dribbling to a close. They returned to their respective homes to nibble on delivered food.

Flo numb — sat around talking to her brother Jack like an ordinary day. He could tell she wasn’t affected by the accident, not caring if she saw Job. It seemed the other brother of Job would help out, he lived nearer than him.

Flo and Marcy suffered — when the clergy prayed for their souls. They were informed to return: early that morning, prior to shutting the caskets to transform them to the church. The procession lined up to follow, each an hour after the other Job’s service at 9 o’clock.

They’re informed: “You go to school for an hour, and attend your dad’s funeral at nine. Then you return to school for the rest of the day. No need for you teens to attend the other funeral. It looks like Marcy’s will stay in school an extra hour.”

Marcy came over to visit (clad for the funeral) after the kids left. “One more step with this farce, and start a new life. This time ‘we look’ before we leap.”

“Amen. I pray if we ever indulge in marriage — the men truly love us.” They joined hands and bowed their heads.

*****

The priest blessed the body inside the coffin, and the undertaker closed it. Outdoors the group of cars followed in procession. In minutes, they arrived at the church. The families of the deceased conversed with the wives offering their kin be buried in a family plot; the grandparents bought. This excused the women pushed to buy a cemetery plot, as if the men loved them.

The hour church service seemed a day with the trauma of the event. It still seemed the men were alive, somehow. They stood in a line shaking hands until the last person dribbled out. No parties they opted after the service — the women went home to rest and the teens returned to school. They still had dinner food.

Two days passed the women’s mind needing an outing that evening.

“What are you wearing tonight?” Emmy asked, following her aunt to Marcy’s house. “What is it Emmy?”

“Could I goes to the dance to be with Beth, still home after the funeral?” She intended asking Mitchell out; he rarely had time to indulge in any entertainment. He might turn her down, around constantly the last few days.

“W — what…distracted by what she heard. I don’t mind. Mitchell called, and you are sixteen not eleven why didn’t you enter school? I can’t imagine my brother, keeping you out? Something does not sound right about that either, he was in the Korean War.”

“I had tutoring at times? I better go get clad. You are dressing early?”




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