Biographical Non-Fiction posted November 3, 2017 Chapters:  ...15 16 -17- 18... 


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Stan gets what he deserves.

A chapter in the book Demons in My Head

Southern Justice

by Mistydawn


Madeline has sold five additional pieces to her friends at the art gallery since Katelyn was released from the hospital. Arellia loved her paintings so much, she begged her for more. She even offered to double her payment if she finishes by the end of the month.

~~~

"You want four pictures in fifteen days?" Madeline anxiously asks, not sure she can meet their deadline.

"I know I'm asking a lot, but one of our prominent clients wants to exhibit your work at his gallery in France."

"My pictures are going to France?" Madeline excitedly questions.

Arellia laughs. "Yes, honey, your pictures are traveling to France."

~~~

Smiling, Madeline glances at her finished piece. You didn't think I have what it takes, did you, Stan? Always telling me my art is a waste of time and your precious money. Well, I just proved you wrong. Chuckling, she puts her third picture on the table to dry.

She's set up a miniature studio in her kitchen since it's the only room in the apartment that provided her enough space. Madeline misses her large workshop, but she figures giving up her fancy area is a small price to pay for happiness.

What should I paint next? Grabbing a new canvas she places it on her easel.

"I'm going to work, Mom," Katelyn replies, walking toward their entryway. Madeline helped her get a job in the cosmetic department at the mall.

Madeline suddenly recalls all the makeup catastrophes Katelyn had growing up. Who knew that all those disasters would turn my troublesome daughter into a makeup artist? She chuckles.

"Will you be home for dinner?"

"No, I'm going to hang out with a few of my friends, since tomorrow is my only day off."

Madeline's stomach tightens into a hard knot, she doubles over in pain. Not wanting Katelyn to become concerned, she plasters a fake smile on her face. "Stay safe, honey." She slowly straightens back up as her pain subsides.

"Don't worry, Mom, I will."

Everything is going really well for her oldest child, but Madeline still worries about her wellbeing. She's afraid that she'll stop taking her medicine; she'll get in with her old crowd, that she'll be raped or worse.

Not being able to stand her inner turmoil any longer, Madeline talks to Katelyn's therapist about her constant apprehensions. Her doctor said that Katelyn is making a lot of progress and deserves a little freedom.

Madeline disagrees with her doctor. She's seen Katelyn do well for months, and then something will happen and she'll slip up again.

Madeline tries to explain this to him. He said that Katelyn is older now and that she understands her consequences if she chooses the wrong path. No matter what anyone says, Madeline's anxiety never goes away.

"I love you, honey."

"Love you too, Mom," she replies, stepping outside.

Madeline tries to imagine her next painting, but no matter how hard she tries, a sinking feeling keeps gnawing away at her.

****

Peeling himself off the couch, Stan glances towards the bright morning sun beaming from the large picture window. I need to close the drapes. Holding his aching head, he stumbles off to the adjoining bathroom, hoping to find relief. Stan sees his haggard image in the mirror. Moving a little closer, he takes a better look. His face is pale and houses more wrinkles than what you'd see on a ninety-year-old man.  Stan then notices bags the size of saucers have taken up residence underneath his eyes. I got to stop this nightly drinking. He stares at the old man looking back at him. 

At sixty-four, he knows he isn't a spring chicken. His thinning hair and achy bones often remind him of that. He sure doesn't want to look like some withered up old prune before his time.

This is all your fault, Madeline. You and that damn daughter of yours. If it wasn't for all the hell you two give me, I wouldn't have to drink every night. Stripping off his clothes, he tosses them on top of the large pile in the corner.

"I'm glad Marie is coming in today," he says, inspecting the mess around him.

He hired Marie to cook and clean three days a week. He first thought her services were a luxury, but soon realized he desperately needs her help.

In our thirty years of marriage housekeeping is the only thing Madeline ever did right, he concludes, adjusting the water.

 Hearing a loud commotion at the front of his house, he glances at the clock. Marie shouldn't be here yet. Throwing his robe around his cold body, he runs towards the noise.

Discovering that nothing has been disturbed, he runs to the front door. It's still locked. Puzzled, he looks around. I bet those damn cats are getting into my garbage, he concludes, walking down the hall. He sees a familiar face standing at the bar when he steps into his den.

"What the hell are you doing here?" he asks, stomping towards his intruder.

****

Madeline is choosing colors for her new creation when she hears someone knocking on her door.

"Just a minute," she yells, busily emptying her hands. Madeline looks up to see Katie walking through the apartment.

"I thought I'd stop by and see how things are going, Mom."

"Everything is great, honey. Yesterday Arellia told me they have a buyer who wants to display my art in Paris. Can you believe it, Katie? My paintings are traveling all the way to France."

"Congratulations, Mother."

"I'd love to rub my news in your dad's face just for spite." Picturing the shock on Stan's face, Madeline chuckles. "How is the old geezer anyhow?"

"He wants you to come home."

"Did he say that?"

"Dad will never admit it, but I can tell by the way he acts that he misses you."

"I sure don't miss him and his constant abuse."

"I understand, Mom, I really do. It's just hard to see you guys split up."

"I know it is, honey." Seeing the grave look on Katie's face, Madeline quickly changes the subject. "Your sister is doing well. She's still working at the department store, taking her medicine."

"Maybe she'll be able to get her own place soon, give you a little extra room." She gestures across the crowded apartment.

The girls haven't spoken since that dreadful night at the hospital. Madeline tries to get them to talk, but they refuse to be in the same room for more than a few seconds.

Katie, being as stubborn as her father, won't allow her two daughters near her apartment if Katelyn is home. When they do visit, Katie's daughters seem cold, distant, always wanting to leave soon after they arrive. This hurts Madeline deeply because those girls were her little angels, her pride, and joy before this new battle began.

"How are the girls?"

"They're doing great."

"Tell Ashley and Abby grandma loves and misses them."

"I will, well, I better go, I have a lot of errands to run. Pay bills, grocery shopping all the fun stuff, you know how it is."

"I remember what it's like." Madeline laughs. "Love you, honey."

"You too, Mother," she replies, closing the door behind her.

Madeline plops down on her worn out sofa feeling emotionally drained. "It's like I don't even know her anymore," she cries.

****

Katelyn walks to the picnic table in the far corner of the park. She'd lost her job at the cosmetic department after her third day. Her boss said he wouldn't tolerate her being rude to his customers and fired her on the spot. She wasn't being rude she was just explaining to the lady the makeup she chose wouldn't look good on an older person. The old hag became offended and reported her to the manager. I should have told that old bat what I was really thinking, that nothing will help her ugly mug. She laughs.

Katelyn met Mario, Carlos's older brother at a coffee shop later that day. After Katelyn explained what had happened, he offered her a job.

~~~

"Carlos asked me to oversee his investments while he's away. So I could really use your help," Mario explains.

"That's what got me into trouble the last time."

"Carlos shouldn't have brought you in when he did, knowing that he's being watched."

"You're not being investigated, are you?" Katelyn asks, nervously glancing around.

The coffee shop is a quaint little restaurant in the center of town. Its mismatched furnishings and strange decor give it a homey yet peculiar flair. Looking around, Katelyn realizes the business is completely empty.

"I don't give the cops a reason to suspect me." Seeing her hesitate, Marcus continues. "I've been in this business a lot longer than Carlos and I've never been pinched."

Katelyn mulls his idea over. After a few minutes, she hesitantly asks, "So what do I have to do?"

"Sit at the park and look pretty."

"Like I did before?"

"Exactly."

~~~

"You're late," Lucas says, tapping the face of his watch. He's Marcus's tyrannical partner, often referred to as the evil twin.

"I had something I needed to take care of, some unfinished business," Katelyn explains.

"You have five minutes to get cleaned up and get your ass back out here."

Confused by his statement, Katelyn glances down to where he's pointing. She sees small red drops randomly splattered across her shirt.

"There's some on your forehead too."

"I'll be right back." Katelyn runs towards the bathroom.

"Five Minutes," Lucas yells after her.

Good thing he saw my mess before anyone else did. She pulls paper towels out of the dispenser.

****

"Mr. Stan, are you home?" Marie yells. Plopping her purse and keys on the counter, she surveys his huge mess. She's offered to come in five days a week for an additional $25. He said he only wants her to come in three days and that he'll replace her if she can't handle the load. She informs him she can handle the work but thought he'd want her to clean more frequently, so he didn't have to live in such a mess. Thinking she's trying to swindle him out of money, Stan mumbles something about deportation as he storms out of the room. Worried he'd make good on his threat, she decides to never broach the topic again.

She notices a pot of freshly brewed coffee as she glances around. I bet he's overslept again. Stepping across a huge pile of rubbish she heads towards his den. She sees his feet sticking out of his study when she gets down the hall.

"Mr. Stan, are you alright, Sir?" she asks, running towards the room. She sees his half-naked body lying motionless on the floor, a large puddle of blood circling around him. Terrified, Marie runs screaming through the house.
 

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