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Date Posted: 14:08:12 11/27/09 Fri
Subject: What a crappy way to start the day! >>>>
In reply to:
's message, "You ever have one of those days that just starts out bad?" on 08:53:21 11/21/09 Sat
>Excerpt from Downtown Babylon, copyright 2009,
>Debi Matlack, all rights reserved. Posted for sharing
>and critique purposes only, dopes not constitute
>Declan barking roused her from a deep sleep, the sound
>echoing off the walls. Groggy, she checked the time.
>“Seven o’clock?! Seriously?” She struggled into a pair
>of jeans and a t-shirt that were discarded on the
>floor. Between the booming barks, she was able to hear
>someone knocking on the front door at the foot of the
>stairs. In a brief flash of panic, she sniffed for
>smoke, afraid some disaster had befallen her or one of
>her neighbors. Nothing. The knocking came again,
>setting Declan into another freshet of barking.
I like that you included that brief moment of panic. That would have been my first thought upon being awakened like that -- "What's wrong?"
>“I know, buddy, you’re an excellent alarm, now shut
>the hell up.”
>Stumbling down the last few steps, she thumped against
>the front door and pulled the shade up. A male face
>peered at her from the other side and in her befuddled
>state, it took her a moment to recognize him.
>“Jesus Christ on a fucking pony,” she muttered under
>her breath, and opened the door. “And what can I do
>for you on this fine, early morning, Reverend Farley?”
>Her unwanted visitor started to push past her into the
>bar, glancing over his shoulder as if worried someone
>might see him entering such a den of iniquity under
>his own power. Declan stood in his way, between Molly
>and the opening, immovable as a boulder. Molly let him
>block the door long enough to make her point, then
>tugged at his collar and swept out a wide gesture of
Good for her. I hate it when people try to invade my space like that. Just because someone comes knocking doesn't give them the divine right to be let in, and I'm glad Molly made her point to this rude man.
>“Please do come in, make yourself at home.” Sarcasm
>tinged her words in her semi-conscious state. Ignoring
>him further, she padded around the bar, ducked under
>the flap and started making coffee.
If it were me, I'd lose the word "futher." She hasn't really been ignoring him up to this point.
>Farley stopped once he was clear of the door. The
>pastor of the Broad Street Baptist Church was dressed
>for work, grey suit pressed to perfection, a red and
>blue paisley tie knotted with a textbook dimple, gold
>cufflinks, an understated but expensive watch tucked
>beneath the starched white cuff, probably a gift from
>his devoted wife. His appearance screamed
>respectability. Molly gave him a significant look,
>staring first at him, then at the door.
Oh, don't forget the hair! Most guys like this have perfectly swirled hair, hairsprayed to within an inch of its slightly pompadoured life. *G*
>“Raised in a barn, were you? Really, as worried as you
>were about being seen coming in here, I’d think you’d
>be eager to close the door.” He showed no sign of
>moving, so she shoved a coffee cup across the bar to
>him, pouring it as soon as the pot had enough in it to
>fill one, then went back around to close the door,
>wondering where the dog had gotten to. She checked
>outside before shutting the door and going back to her
>den behind the bar.
>Hesitant, Farley stepped forward, looking at her with
>Last night had been busy and Molly was tired. Patience
>was one thing she didn’t have much of right now. “What
>is it Doug? I’m sure I owe the honor of this visit to
>some transgression I’m not even aware I’ve made, so
>how about you just cut to the chase and tell me what
>the hell’s going on?”
>Caught in the act of reaching for the cup, he stopped
>again. For a man who shouted about sin and salvation
>with absolute conviction from his pulpit across the
>street, he was as nervous as nervous could be in her
>bar. He started as Declan pushed past him Though there
>was all the room in the world to maneuver, the dog
>bumped him again, making him take a step back, then
>flopped into a small patch of light on the floor that
>was conveniently located in the path the preacher
>would have to take to get around the bar and closer to
>Molly. Farley tore his gaze away from the upstart
>canine, then straightened and assumed an air of
>authority, though he didn’t advance that one step
>toward her again. “I want you to stop talking to
Heh heh. Good dog. I also like the way you said he assumed an air of authority. We all know he doesn't have any in Molly's bar, and writing it like that reinforces the fact he's just giving a good show of having any there.
>“Are you his father?”
>He recoiled, giving her an odd look. “No, I’m not.”
>She shrugged, filling her own cup and customizing the
>contents with a splash of cream and a ton of sugar.
>She resisted the strong urge to pour some Jameson’s
>in, just to scandalize Mr. High and Mighty Preacher
>Man. “I ask because it’s entirely possible, given your
>predilection in the past for tomcatting. That is all
>in the past, right?”
>A scarlet blush crept from his collar upward. “I don’t
>know what you’re talking about.”
>“I’m sure you don’t.” She watched him, letting the
>silence draw out between them, enjoying how he started
>to fidget like a little boy the longer nothing further
>was said. She almost hated to break the silence and
>end his discomfiture, but her bed was calling her back
>to resume her interrupted slumber.
>There was a step behind her and she saw Farley’s gaze
>shift past her and his eyes widen. Walter’s voice was
>soft but concerned.
>“Everything okay here, Miss Molly?”
>She didn’t look back, her eyes still pinning the
>pastor to his little patch of floor. “Everything’s
>fine, Walter, thank you.”
>A sigh rose. “If you need anything, you just call me.
>I won’t be far.” She turned her head to nod at Walter
>with a smile grateful smile.
Only need one smile here.
He turned and went back
>into her office, but the door didn’t close completely.
>It did her heart good to know that Walter was
>concerned with her welfare. The reverend’s interest
>was still on the man behind her; as Walter retreated,
>Farley’s eyes turned back to Molly, but his eyes
>shifted to the bar between them when she looked at
>him. It was a measure of how deep his guilt ran, she
>thought. That he could pin one of his flock to their
>pew with a steely gaze but couldn’t look her in the
>eye when they were alone in a room spoke volumes to
>her. Guilt & Shame, Chapter One, Verse One: And lo,
>though thou shalt attempt to ignore the Past, the Past
>will always be there; it lurks in the dark; it
>awaiteth its hour in the sun, jaws slavering, where it
>prefereth to strike the soft tissue of thy ass.
Bwahahahahahahaha!!!! Lovely bit of writing!!
>“It’s up to Luke whether he talks to me or not. I
>believe you are just his employer, not any sort of
>parental figure. He is of legal age, is he not?”
>“Then there better be a damn fine reason you’re
>banging on my door at sunup, when you know perfectly
>well I’ve only been in bed for a couple of hours.” She
>took a step closer to him; even though the bar
>separated them, he leaned back. Molly was sure he
>wasn’t aware of doing it. “Am I such a poor influence
>Farley gave her a long look. She could see the wheels
>turning as he thought about what to say. “This
>establishment isn’t the sort of place I want our young
>people to frequent.”
>“Take it up with the city. In accordance with the
>state’s antiquated Blue Laws, I am closed on Sundays.
>I keep things quiet during the week when you have
>functions going on over there. I’ve refrained from
>performing black rituals and blood sacrifices on the
>patio in plain sight of your establishment; we’ve
>moved those to the alley—“
>“Molly, don’t be silly—“
>“I’ve been a good neighbor. I’ve even offered the use
>of my place when you’ve had events, offered parking,
>use of the kitchen, all of which were
>less-than-politely refused by yourself or that
>pit-bull of a secretary you have. So why is it now
>you’re so concerned about one little handyman office
>His face darkened again and he tugged at his collar,
>as if feeling a noose tighten around his throat. “He
>asked me… about you. Why I was so adamant about not
>visiting this place. Why I asked him not to come here.”
>The boy’s got balls, I’ll give him that. “You
>might as well wear a scarlet letter, idiot. What did
>you tell him?” Her voice was pitched low, barely
>audible even in the sepulchral quiet of the empty bar.
>“I said it was sinful to drink, to carouse, to
>“With women of low character?” Molly snorted. “Bet you
>quoted him Leviticus too. ‘Do not drink wine nor
>strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go
>into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die:
>it shall be a statute for ever throughout your
>He looked startled and she smiled, though anger was
>bubbling with increasing power, deep in her gut. It
>was eager, straining upward toward the light. “You
>forget I’m an educated woman. That makes me more than
>just a woman of low character. I know lots of things.
>What does your Bible say about married men fooling
>around with vulnerable women? Oh yeah! That’s a huge
>one. That’s one of the Big Ten, isn’t it?”
>Now he was starting to sweat. Molly sighed, the game
>wearing thin for her. Why couldn’t she just be left
>alone? “I’ve never told anyone, and I certainly didn’t
>tell young Skywalker. LOL!! That burden is yours to bear.
>Your Bible says a lot of things about guilt too,
>doesn’t it? Like ‘For if our heart condemn us, God is
>greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.’”
>His face went red and he shook his head, now looking
>angry. “Don’t you quote Scripture to me.”
>“Why not?” she snapped. She was ready for him to be
>gone. “Am I getting it wrong? Will I burst into flame
>for the words leaving my unclean mouth? I bet you’d
>dance a jig of joy if that happened.”
Oh, I like Molly! Why is it that preachers of the holier-than-thou vein always think Scripture is for their own personal use? I avoid discussing two things with people -- politics and religion. But I have been dragged into religious debate with people who told me I was going straight to hell because my church has a *gasp!* kitchen and gym, and I haven't hesitated to use my knowledge of Scripture to shut them up. It's quite satisfying, and I think that's why I like this bit so much! *G*
>His lips set in a thin, hard line, he shook his head.
>“I would not.”
>“Whatever. I hope Jesus forgives you. I doubt your
>wife would. Me, I’ve long since stopped caring about
>what happened. I carry no guilt about it. So I would
>appreciate you leaving me alone, just as you have
Holy cow. Did Molly boff the preacher???
>His eyes went wide. “Is that a threat?”
>“No.” The idiot thought she was extorting him and it
>drew an exasperated sigh from her. “It’s a plea for
>peace. I have never had any intention of ever telling
>anyone. I’d think you’d have figured that out by now,
>after all these years. I don’t like being reminded of
>my own weakness and stupidity. I’ve long since moved
>past it.” She pointed at him, her finger stabbing at
>his chest, making him flinch. “You’re the one who
>keeps dredging it up. If it bothers you so much, I
>suggest you seek counseling.”
>“I can’t,” he whispered.
>“Then that’s your problem, not mine. Stop making it my
>His eyes met hers for the first time since he’d come
>through the door that morning. The expression was
>naked and pleading. “I never meant to mislead—“
>“Save it,” she snapped, the anger surfacing and
>yawning, eager to stretch its sinewy legs. “You knew
>what you were doing. Nobody twisted your arm. What
>makes me angry was that I was stupid enough to fall
>His eyes were cautious again. She pointed to the door.
>“Go to your church, Reverend Fallwell, go point at my
>bar across the street when you preach and tell your
>flock how twisted and sinful I am, in my quiet little
>neighborhood pub. Point your finger and preach against
>my ways. But if you really want to be fair, you should
>tell them why you have such a grudge against me.
>Because it was all your doing, every second of it.”
>Farley backed away to the door. He paused, silhouetted
>in the bright sunlight for a moment, then he stepped
>out and was gone.
Well, well, well. Now this is an interesting development! And not only is it interesting, it's beautifully written. Excellent job, Debi!
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I love your comments, Page... -- Debi, 17:45:53 11/27/09 Fri
>I like that you included that brief moment of
>panic. That would have been my first thought upon
>being awakened like that -- "What's wrong?"
Thanks. I tried to keep in mind that Molly's hours aren't the same as everyone else's and she's sused to that, but there's always that moment of "Oh shit!" when awakened before your usual time.
Molly let him
>>block the door long enough to make her point, then
>>tugged at his collar and swept out a wide gesture of
>Good for her. I hate it when people try to invade
>my space like that. Just because someone comes
>knocking doesn't give them the divine right to be let
>in, and I'm glad Molly made her point to this rude
She's not afraid to make her feelings known in whatever manner is convenient.Declan was handy, and since he's about sixty pounds heavier than her, it's even more conveninet.;-) I love big dogs...
>>“Please do come in, make yourself at home.” Sarcasm
>>tinged her words in her semi-conscious state. Ignoring
>>him further, she padded around the bar, ducked under
>>the flap and started making coffee.
>If it were me, I'd lose the word "futher." She
>hasn't really been ignoring him up to this point.
Good catch. Some of this stuff you can tell I've been writing late at night or while heavilty distracted.
>Oh, don't forget the hair! Most guys like this
>have perfectly swirled hair, hairsprayed to within an
>inch of its slightly pompadoured life. *G*
Oh! Excellent suggestion! I'll have to make sure to include that in my revision. He would undoubtedly have perfectly groomed hair too.
>Heh heh. Good dog. I also like the way you said
>he assumed an air of authority. We all know he
>doesn't have any in Molly's bar, and writing it like
>that reinforces the fact he's just giving a good show
>of having any there.
>>“Are you his father?”
>>He recoiled, giving her an odd look. “No, I’m not.”
“I ask because it’s entirely possible, given your
>>predilection in the past for tomcatting. That is all
>>in the past, right?”
A preacher with a past. Gotta love it
>>I won’t be far.” She turned her head to nod at Walter
>>with a smile grateful smile.
>Only need one smile here.
Guilt & Shame, Chapter One, Verse One: And lo,
>>though thou shalt attempt to ignore the Past, the Past
>>will always be there; it lurks in the dark; it
>>awaiteth its hour in the sun, jaws slavering, where it
>>prefereth to strike the soft tissue of thy ass.
>Bwahahahahahahaha!!!! Lovely bit of writing!!
I couldn't resist. Something about that King James archaic language that just calls to me to bend it to my will...
“I’ve never told anyone, and I certainly didn’t
>>tell young Skywalker. LOL!! ANother 'resistance is futile' moment >>“Why not?” she snapped. She was ready for him to be
>>gone. “Am I getting it wrong? Will I burst into flame
>>for the words leaving my unclean mouth? I bet you’d
>>dance a jig of joy if that happened.”
>Oh, I like Molly! Why is it that preachers of the
>holier-than-thou vein always think Scripture is for
>their own personal use? I avoid discussing two things
>with people -- politics and religion. But I have been
>dragged into religious debate with people who told me
>I was going straight to hell because my church has a
>*gasp!* kitchen and gym, and I haven't hesitated to
>use my knowledge of Scripture to shut them up. It's
>quite satisfying, and I think that's why I like this
>bit so much! *G*
I'm about as heathen as they come, being pretty close to Molly in attitude toward and observance of religion. I beleive your actions are what count, not where you spend your Sundays. But it's always nice to have a little knowledge so that when some chest-beating jerk tries to be all high and mighty so you can knock them down a peg or two. Molly's way better at it than I am though ;-)
>>“Whatever. I hope Jesus forgives you. I doubt your
>>wife would. Me, I’ve long since stopped caring about
>>what happened. I carry no guilt about it. So I would
>>appreciate you leaving me alone, just as you have
>Holy cow. Did Molly boff the preacher???
OMG!!!! I laughed so hard when I read your comment here!!! A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...;-)
>Well, well, well. Now this is an interesting
>development! And not only is it interesting, it's
>beautifully written. Excellent job, Debi!
Thanks again Page! I was surprised as anyone when this little scenario popped up. I have no idea why or where, but there needed to be soem anumosity between the bar and the church and Molly took matters into her own hands and made it personal. VERY personal.
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