FORSAKEN AND BETAKEN
by Catherine C. Straub
His words were softer than oil, yet
they were drawn swords.
— Psalms 55:21
The crowd cheered — clapping their hands loudly as the
Matador battled the bull ready to kill.
At the hospital tension reigned — Flo and Marcy sat near the
nurse’s station, praying, making stops to ask the nurse information on
Joyce’s condition? They realized they caught her, barely by a hair, by
pumping her stomach, the physician stated. Flo frantic, a neighbor for
a husband, was she nuts. She needed to say a rosary soon with this mess.
“Why did Thomas have to be so harsh?” Flo stared at her… Did she get
caught up with the moment? Matters of fact, the kids are lousy we’re
“How would you like it, if a neighbor you weren’t attracted to…
“Joyce was out of control — doing her own thing. I completely forgot
my two girls in jail? Here we are with a crooked prescient.” How did
Beth become like Janice adds Grace?”
“Okay I knows how you feel. It’s odd — and what can you do with
her? The other two are still in jail?”
They watched the doctor approach? “She is out of the woods, but she
will need follow up treatment? You can see her, but just listen to her and
that is all.”
“Thank You! Doctor Wren. We will be careful.” They picked up their
bags and slowly strolled to her room, and peeked in? Flo stood in front of
her bed, because she could not hold her hand.
“Hi Mom, I’m sorry. I didn’t want to live?” She appeared pitiful,
Flo thought… She should be sunning herself in Miami… instead she said
Marcy held her hand. “Any one can feel like that, at times?” She
made light over a suicide try. Why was, she saying idle words, she needed
“I attempted it — and if nobody would have checked, I would be gone
like I sought after?” Personally, she didn’t care at the time.
“You need professional help — ‘getting so attached,’ and not letting
up when a man or woman shows no interest?”
“That is not true, ‘yesterday,’ he winked at me. Why did he do that?
I know he is a danger to me now. I really have — no feelings for him.”
“We have to go — you need rest and for heavens sake, be good.” Flo
grabbed Marcy’s hand. They hurried away — like the hounds were after
“She is not telling the truth, how long, she harbored feelings
there? I don’t believe her; he never reciprocated during the years even if
once, he acted kind.”
“Let’s go back to the Morrison’s house?” Flo slid into the drivers
seat and moved out on the highway? She was ready for anything, but a
“Don’t tell me that blue car is following us again? Can you
see who it is?”
“No. It must be someone spying on us, where we go? That seems
obvious and maybe this car was following us yesterday.” Both wondered, one
suicide attempt, and what next. His dad actually never seemed upset his
son was gone. Nobody came around to visit in there dire time. They
pulled in and noticed three other cars parked in the driveway, and off the
“More commotion than before,” Marcy muttered, as they went inside
the kitchen door. Flo rushed to Mitchell, and whispered about the same
car? What was it? She’s on guard; he’s more interested in her
close presence? What a jerk a married man!
His wife introduced their shocked saddened daughters, Nell, the
eldest with red hair done in a coiffure style — her figure so
picture perfect — stared curiously? Noel came next with long black
curly hair, a bit chubbier than her older sister. If nothing else, she
smiled brightly. Olive was lanky slim with short brown hair and a
sassy grin and handshake. “We are so sorry for your loss. The two of us
like to kid one another and why me, she sniffled. I’m still in shock about
Olive hesitated for only a minute… stunned. “He might as well be
alive the three car accident didn’t even make the front page.” She still
was staggered, he was such an alive man… not killed in an accident, she
wept, their only brother.
“It makes you consider — it weren’t an accident, but that car could
have done what? Something was not right it sounded like his life was
Gilda listened to them, “I’ll kill anyone that murdered my boy.”
Emmy and the two others stayed in the background. “How is your
daughter, Aunt Flo?” Both Thomas and she were concerned why she
would go to such an extreme over a neighbor.
“She requires psychiatric help. Maybe she will receive aid
today? Her mind is off?” Thomas felt relieved; they didn’t mention him. Why would she…
other than a stupid wink? Beth sighed — wishing someone cared for her. Hank was
not her kind, and her type just walked in the door (in the form of)
Kieran. His eyes found hers — edging through the crowd toward her, Flo
watched, oh, no!
Marcy followed her eyes… and hated what she saw. “What are parents
for, I’d like to know,” she murmured to Flo. Flo sensed her meaning,
to leave and forget this day. His father sat around — no mourning attitude,
he sure was an odd bird?
“I would like the answer too? Let’s eat some food, we need
Carl entered the kitchen, peering around the room. He viewed Beth
talking to Kieran, and they moved out of sight. What was up there now, she
sure knew how to act insolent? “How have you been, Carl,” Emmy portioned
out different food? The more he thought; he didn’t want a neighbor.
In not long, Emmy sat “If you want to get back at Kieran, I’ll
help. She said ignorantly… not knowing Carl well?
He went out the door, backtracked, took the steps by two, pulled a
gun out of his pocket, fit a silencer on the end, and opened the door. His
cunning eyes, viewed Kieran and Beth in a promiscuous position. He fired
toward his back. Quickly, he wiped the gun, placed it on the floor, and
shoved it over.
Beth screamed with the blood, and his inert form falling on her.
She noticed the gun lying a few inches away, picking it up — dropped it like
a hot iron… and hurried down the steps to get aid.
At Beth’s urgent motioning — the women took the steps, “Now
what?” They hurried upstairs. In seconds they, heard knocking on their door, and
the police burst inside, taking the steps by two, and arrested Beth. A cop
bagged the gun, and called an ambulance for the man on the bed? Stunned,
Marcy watched the police arrest her, “reading the rights.”
Beth shrieked… “I did not do it! Please help me!”
“Kieran, ‘Hold on darling.’ Don’t die on me!” Flo begged as the
ambulance men came in the room. Flo and Marcy raced after them
grabbing their bags? Why did they ever come to this horror place? Gilda
seemed upset loosing her son. It must hold more secrets, to make your
hair stand up, she bet.
They hurried down the stairway. Thomas and Emmy walked over to the
stairwell? “What happened,” they caught Flo’s arm?” They could tell Kieran
appeared white or near dead and they, certainly hoped not just
“Beth was arrested for shooting Kieran. The cops have taken her
away — and we are going to the hospital with Kieran. Are you coming along or
not?” Thomas and Emmy were skeptical about the crime. They bet Carl
backtracked and did the thing. Emmy blamed herself for her foolish talk
to his kin.
“Okay. We’ll get a cab at the hospital?”
They’d said good bye and the parent chuckled, “such an active day.”
Flo and Marcy sobbing hastened out the door.
“I don’t believe… she shot him — what can we do?” Marcy asserted. The
women turned to each other thinking? Emmy and Thomas neared them.
“You can believe the prosecutor will dig up anything to convict her,
said Flo I’ve a good idea, he will win, unless Kieran awakes, and tells
what happened. How could she shoot him in the back? Somebody framed her
good and solid.”
“Yes? How could she reach around far enough to shoot him?” Marcy
“I’d bet, he never felt a gun, and we didn’t hear a shot, said Flo.
Too much clamor in that house?”
Marcy was stunned. “Carl was never close to Beth — what a hilarious
That house must be haunted.”
“These kids are all nonsense. In a minute, I’m ‘going to the
Caribbean,’ and staying there? You hear me Marcy!”
“I second it Flo. We’re just ‘not cut out’ for all their faults.
We’re aware who taught horrible ideas… it wasn’t us.” Their mind revolved
around the unsympathetic men, they wed. “Let’s dream of an area to pray
and sit — near by, where he’s being operated on?” “Think of Mitchell’s, the
second crime incident in that house today, said Flo. He sure never showed
“What’s that supposed to mean another house — would be more
sacred, said Marcy?” “I wish — Aunt Gen stayed around, but she said she must
leave. Later send her back, if it was safe. It looks like; she
escaped? Remember, she had a bad feeling about her, and high tailed it out
“Here we again are ‘on our way’ to the hospital. Why did that
dork daughter try to do herself in? The next thing: she’ll take you and
Thomas to court.”
“There is ‘no court case’ with Thomas. He did not owe her
anything?” Marcy stuck up for her son, sick of the whole business. He had to be
jealous of Kieran’s popularity with women for years, to actually shoot
“I might departs this neighborhood? Who’d want to stay?” Thomas
Marcy heard — unaware they’re in the backseat. They were upset
with four family incidents in two weeks other than Mitchell’s death.
Inside the hospital, “Let’s catch up, they are ‘nearing’ to enter
“Let us in? I hope they can save him. Something has to work for us?
The kids inched inside… “Here is the floor, said Flo, let’s check
where he is?”
“Could you tells us… where they took Kieran Steward.” They stared at
the white clad nurses — feeling low. Flo and Marcy desperately needed a
vacation? No kidding! Neither woman could count on the late men for any
At the desk they heard: “He is in surgery, and should be out
in ten minutes?
Take a seat. We will soon let you know the results?” They went back
to the seats filled with tension, and concern for Kieran. Two men from
that vicinity got back. What was Carl’s and Eugene’s Beef? Did
Kieran steal their woman?
“Hey teens… go get us a drink at the cafeteria? Here’s a five, get a
At the hospital a familiar handsome surgeon approached Flo. She
was stunned; he’s her old acquaintance. “Your boy is ‘out of the
woods’ by ‘the skin of his teeth.’ The bullet just missed his vital
vertebrae.” He took Flo’s arm and walked a short distance, relaxing her.
“This has been a day out of a book of fables, and you need respite.
Tomorrow will be time to see him. Your daughter is resting, and she saw
the mind doctor, as kids say?” He gazed at her — it had been years — the last
time they saw the other. She more beautiful then he recalled,
“I will ‘talk later’ Flo.” He helped her up, and Marcy wondered; if
he’d embrace her. He knew the family for years, before he became a doctor.
He always had a cute smile.
“Chad, you are a wonder from heaven,” she embraced him.