Let’s see how you choose to open and decode this message 🙂
Marj was in a dark dilemma. She’d done so much crying that her eyes were nearly swollen shut. What would she tell her parents when they returned from their overseas trip in ten days?! He was 7 years older than she at 24, and her “first”, but he’d romanced her in a way that made her feel completely safe and valued. What a naive child she was! Now, that was all a tortuous month ago and he had since vanished. The early pregnancy test had come back positive this morning and she now found herself rummaging in the attic for luggage to run away… or something else. Another rush of panic made her fall to her knees praying to God for direction and it was then she spied the envelope between the rafters. It was stiff-almost crispy- and it was sealed with wax like was done in the ‘olden days’. When she turned it over, the three bold words on the other side made her audibly gasp.
FOR MARJORIE ONLY
The letter must have belonged to her great-grandmother whose name she had always worn proudly. Marj had heard that she had raised her grandmother all on her own after a “tragic accident” of some kind had claimed her first husband. Later on, when Grandma was 10, she’d married Grandma’s stepdad -the man she knew as Grandpa-and had twin sons.
Marj waivered a bit then opened the note:
My Dear Marjorie, It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I did love you! Never forget that. We were impulsive kids full of lust and got carried off in a few passionate moments. Now I hear you’re “in trouble”. I know a doctor in Memphis who deals with unmarried girls who are “in the family way” and sets things right. I’ll help you pay for travel, if you wish. Do what’s right.
As Ever, Roger
“Great-grandmother Marjorie had never opened this letter. She probably knew what it was going to ask her to do. And I’m here because she chose not to do it. I hear you, God!.”
Marj placed the letter back, a little more carefully hidden, between the floorboards. Straightened her posture and went back to her room to look online for a job, and possibly later on, research ‘baby names’.
The alter that the new family in the complex served at was one calledvictimhood.
The big switch was that they were white folks. I watched and listened to their loud arguments like a fly on the wall in the Eastern apartment strip. Right away their ‘need to be livin’ here’ situation shattered the myth of white privilege for me, and when their complaints carried no extra weight, I was certain that it was a made-up thing.
It wasn’t long before every one of them took a turn at playing the martyr and, because of that, all of our lives were made miserable. The drunken father went so far as to hit himself in the head with an empty whiskey bottle then claimed that his skull bones had got cracked in a battle with the ‘racist’ Jewish superintendent. It’s a good thing that I saw him do it and spoke up.
The daughter crawled onto the fire escape after dark one night and claimed to have been raped by my own big brother! Her story did not falter until she found out he’d been in the hospital with appendicitis for two days. Then she claimed to have sumthin’ called a multiple personality disorder to explain away her confusion.
As for the mother, she kept knocking on doors and gasping that she had been robbed every time she couldn’t pay the rent.
I learned a lot before they was all thrown out 7 months later. The biggest thing was that color has nothin’ to do with troublemakin’.
An old Texan was sitting on the porch of his rest home listening to a group of nurses griping about the Truckers for Freedom protest. When he’d heard enough, he called the ladies over and told them this story:
Harley, the old blacksmith, was the last of his kind in our area. He still used an anvil, hammer, and hand-driven bellows to heat the coals. His workmanship was in demand because he formed every knife by hand. Each piece was a masterpiece. He was a humble man, jus’ ta same. Ole Harley had stood outside his workshop watchin’ his town gradually change, for the worse, some 30 years. Sometimes ‘locals’ would stop by n’ ask Harley ta join their griping sessions at the Cafe’. Most all folks were irritated by them same changes. “Not today, t’ain’t hot enough for me ta care.” was his response every time. Soon, the locals just left him be. Many thought he’d ‘lost his marbles’ and some even secretly callt him a coward. But they all decided that his silence was a sign he was ‘soft’, “what’s the word?”, yeah, malleable, to the unpleasant changes and just didn’t care. Well, then a protest -that turned into a riot- came through our area. Harley stood in the doorway of his workshop chewing on a straw as a lot a smashin’ and burnin’ came down the street. When them punks cum shoutin’ at Harley ’bout their BLT an Q, sumthin or t’other, he pulled out his double-barrel shotgun from behind the door. When he fired it over their heads, they scattered like roaches in the mornin’. They never came back neither. But ole Harley was arrested jus’ the same. The charge was assault with a deadly weapon. Let me tell ya now, if Harley wanted ta kill ’em, they’d been dead! When good ole Harley made his case, he pulled out a gorgeous knife and toll the judge this…
“See this here knife, your honor? She’s a beauty, ain’t she? Ya know I ain’t never hurt no one. I never talked crossways ta anyone neither. I don’t like what’s been goin’ on but it weren’t hot enough yet. Ya see, in order to git steel to turn into anythin’ worth havin’, ya gotta heat it up. If you try to bend it too soon, it snaps and makes a mess. But… when it gets real hot, then a man has ta strike. En that’s what I did. It was time to shape things up for sure! “ That judge let Harley go right then and there. Last I hear, our town ain’t had a lick of trouble since.
“So, those truckers you’re complaining about, ladies, ain’t no different ‘en Harley. They wouldn’t be makin’ trouble otherwise, it’s jus got too hot and sumthin’ real good is shapin’ up now. You can count on it.”
Since so many other online writers have blogs dedicated to their writings, I’ve decided to jump onto the bandwagon. All posts published here will be either fiction or poetry, some new, and some previously published on various places on the Internet. Some of my works are conventional, and some are quirky. All fiction posted here, except for fan fiction, will include the letters "rose" somewhere, as a tribute to my Baba.