Fantasy Fiction posted November 17, 2017 Chapters: -1- 2... 


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Mindy faces her family with unwelcome news.

A chapter in the book Moonlight Mysteries

Alone

by davisr (Rhonda)

The author has placed a warning on this post for language.



Background
Two young ladies make a fateful exchange in the summer moonlight that will effect many lives forever.
Tall cornstalks stirred in the North Texas night air, weaving back and forth like aging sentinels. Beneath them, a young lady knelt on warm sandy loam, spreading a red checkered tablecloth beneath her.

The diminutive teen looked up for a moment at the moonlight, her young face framed by the gentle glow of the yellow orb. She placed a thin hand on her swollen belly and grimaced.

The cornstalks seemed to bend down and caress her face with long green leaves tinged in brown. She looked up at them and stroked an ear of corn bulging with yellow seed. She stroked the silky tendrils spilling out its top, and, for a moment, smiled.

"It's almost harvest time," the girl said. She let the aroma of soil and corn mix together to lend her what comfort it could.

A moment later, her tender face contorted as she was hit with another spasm of pain. She would have to hurry. The pains were growing stronger and more frequent. She spilled the contents of the burlap feeding bag onto her tablecloth.

As they fell tinkling to the ground, she remembered her father's cold harsh voice.

"Who's the father, Mindy?" he had demanded. They were sitting at the dinner table eating chicken fried steak, buttery mashed potatoes, and fried okra from the garden.

"It doesn't matter," Mindy replied. She gazed around the dinner table at the faces of her family. This wasn't where, or when, she had wanted to have this conversation.

"I'll tell you what matters and what doesn't," her dad said. He slapped her so hard across her face her head snapped back. "Now answer the question. Who is the father?"

"I don't know. I was raped."

"Raped?" Her father bellowed, his eyes opened wide with anger.

Mindy nodded and dropped her eyes to her plate.

"That's what they all say," her father said. He looked around the table for confirmation.

Mindy's mother's eyes flickered down to her hands. She wouldn't speak for or against her youngest child.

Mindy's sister, Becky, met their father's gaze and nodded in assent. She dropped a hand to her own bulging belly and stuck out a petulant lip.

Chuck, Becky's husband, tilted a hairy lip in disdain. He not only nodded approval to the father's accusation, but actually glared directly at Mindy.

"Girl, you had better come up with a more believable story," her father said.

"But, it's true." Mindy looked up and now met her father's eyes.

"Really, okay, then where did it happen? At school? At that dance we let you go to last month?"

"No, Sir. It was on my way home from school. You know, over by the creek." That part was true, Mindy thought. It continued to happen almost every day.

"Well, I don't believe you. You're a slut just like your mother."

"What's Mama got to do with it?" Becky asked. Her hand still resting on her belly.

"How do you think you got here? Your mama was about six months pregnant with you when we got hitched. You turned out okay, but this slut sister of yours is just like her."

Mindy's mother flinched at the barb shot her direction, but still didn't look up. She had heard that word used against her many times before.

"So, what's the little bastard's name that got you knocked up?"

"You will not call the baby a curse word, Henry," Mindy's mother said. The warning in her voice expressed more meaning than any words she might have spoken. Unfair insults were one thing, profanity against an unborn child was another.

"Sorry, Susanne, but this is a situation that calls for strong words. Your daughter has gone and gotten herself into trouble, and I mean to find out who did it."

"He's a married man," Mindy said, then leaned back as her father swung at her again. This time the blow landed on her jaw, freezing it with pain.

"Well, we're not keeping it here," Henry stated. Dark brown hair, spiced with white, bounced around a grizzled face. A streak of brown gravy stained the one corner of his mouth. "And we're not keeping you here either, Miss Loose Morals. Susanne, send her to your sister in Arkansas."

"Can't. She's gone to New York to visit family."

"Then send her to one of those homes for unwed mothers."

"We can't afford it."

Henry's face swelled up with indignation, and a large red vessel throbbed in his temple. Mindy began to wonder if his face was going to pop like a balloon with just a little too much air.

For a moment, no one said a word... no one even flinched. Finally, Chuck spoke up. His voice sounded magnanimous, a feeling Mindy was quite sure he didn't really feel.

"If it's a boy, we'll take it to raise with our child. It can't be much younger than the kid Becky and I are having."

"Are you crazy?" Becky said. "I'm not raising my sister's bastard. It's not my job to make up for anyone's mistakes. We've planned this baby for a year now, and I intend on raising it alone." She sat up abruptly. The red kerchief she had tied around dark blonde hair, slipped to one side.

"You'll do what you're told," Chuck said, "and so will your slutty sister. This is a big farm, and we can use the help of a boy around here. Who knows what you're having?"

"I told you it's a boy," Becky said. "I just know it is."

"Good, then we'll have two boys."

Chuck raised a black eyebrow and looked at Mindy's sister with disdain. He was a tall man with broad shoulders and handsome features. He could have had any woman in town, but had settled on a farm girl... or two.

Henry seemed oblivious to his daughter's discomfort. "Mindy, thank Chuck. He's offered to raise your child as his own, which is more than you deserve."

Mindy shook her head. She wouldn't thank her attacker for offering to raise his own son. How she hated even the sight of the man who waited for her daily by the creek on her way home from school. She hated the way he touched her and the way he was always watching.

"What if it's a girl?" Susanne asked. The awkward silence was making her even more angry.

"If it's a girl, we take it to the Sisters at Saint Agnes," Henry said. He looked around the table as though defying anyone to disagree. No one but Mindy spoke up.

"If it's a girl, I keep it." She stared down her father as he raised his hand to strike her again. "I'll work twice as hard around here to support her."

"And let people know you have an illegitimate child," Susanne said. "Everyone in town will know what kind of girl you are."

"They already do," Henry said. "How do you think I found out?"

"I don't know," Mindy said.

"Well you don't know much at all, do you, except how to spread those legs? I'll tell you what. I'll let you keep your baby. Maybe it'll teach you a lesson, and you'd better get really good at picking cotton and corn for me, because no man will ever want you now. You're nothing but stained fabric."

"That's fine, because I don't need a husband," Mindy said. "It's 1968, and women are free to be their own person."

Mindy gasped as she realized she had gone too far.

"Oh, are you one of those liberated women?" Henry roared. "Liberate this."

Another swing from an arm hardened by years of working soil, knocked Mindy backwards from her chair. Her plate clattered over her head and spilled to the floor.

Mindy's mind wandered back to her task at hand. She laid out a soft cloth her mother had given her to wrap the baby. Beside it, went strips of an old sheet to tie the umbilical cord and a pair of garden shears to cut it.

Everything she had was clean. She had boiled them herself in water several times. She had even washed her hands after digging a hole in the woods to bury the afterbirth. She was as ready as any fourteen-year old could get.


Recognized


Special thanks for the artwork, "The sun and the skirt" by tacanoviano


Mindy: Young lady whose pregnancy causes a stir in her conservative small Texas farm.

Susanne: Mindy's mother

Henry: Mindy's angry father

Becky: Mindy's pregnant sister who is resentful of her sister's sudden revelation that she is also pregnant.

Chuck: Mindy's brother-in-law who molested her and fathered her unborn child.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by tacanoviano at FanArtReview.com

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