Now on to this week’s Soul Cages excerpt. We’ve reached Part One. 12. of Soul Cages. Marian is about to have a confrontation with her parents. (This novel is PG-13.)
Second edition copyright © 2014 by Lynn Kilmore
Published by Osuna Publishing
This story is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, dialogue, and locales are either drawn from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, and locales is entirely coincidental.
Part One. Dreams in the Desert
The expected fight with my parents came after a late dinner of leftovers.
I’d helped clear the dining room table, then drifted amongst the boxes to the living room to stare at the street. A neighbor in jogging shorts passed by, her German Shepherd running next to her.
I need to start running again.
Then I heard Henry being shooed off to his bedroom to watch an Animal Planet DVD on his player. With headphones.
Mom came into the living room and pulled the thick curtains shut.
Dad said, “We need to have a talk.” He motioned for me to sit on the white couch.
“Okay,” I said. I made no move toward the couch (which made the room seem an even dingier brown).
“Have a seat,” Dad said.
“No thanks, I’d rather stand,” I said.
“I’m going to sit,” Mom said. “My feet are killing me.”
Dad said, “You owe Mom an apology for your behavior today.”
I stood mute.
Dad added, “You almost broke Pastor Andervender’s pinky. And then you didn’t even bother to apologize during prayer circle.”
“I had to stop him, he was—”
“No excuses. You hurt everyone’s feelings with what you said about the church school.”
I sighed. “I’m sorry if anyone took offense by my wanting to go to Juan Tabo.”
“What is this?” Dad threw up his hands. “You like the thought of going to a school filled with gangs and druggies?”
Mom bobbed her head in agreement.
They were exaggerating, I was sure of it. “I’m going to Juan Tabo!” My own voice spooked me; I’d used the same tone Grannie had when Dad unsuccessfully tried to talk Grannie out of going to New York City for the poetry slam.
Mom and Dad looked at each other as if unsure what to do next.
I said, “We’re all exhausted. Let’s drop this.”
“This isn’t over,” Mom said, “but we’ll stop for tonight. You will be going to First Beginnings for school.”
Let her take the parting shot, I told myself. Otherwise I’ll have to stand here all night arguing. I want to rest.
I made my way down the darkening bedroom halls. When I flipped on the ceiling light in my bedroom, I felt like I was staring at a jail dorm room. The bars. The stark walls. My bare mattress.
I shut my door and locked it.
Then I searched the labels until I found a box with sheets, pillows, and bedspreads, and ripped it open to make my bed.
I crawled underneath the covers to pull them over my head. They smelled of my old bedroom. I could almost pretend I was back in Alexandria, but the underlying swamp stink gave it away.
I ought to get back up and start unpacking, or at least call Nicole, but it felt good to lie quietly.
I want it all to go away. God, if you’re out there, just make it all go away.
************** End of Part One. 12. *****************
See you on the last day of September, L.M.