The Father, The Son, And Me

Jan 17
2016

I stand on my parents’ back lawn, dead brown grass crunching under my feet, early morning light slithering through the trees and watch through the kitchen window as my father finally chokes my mother to death. Workman’s hands stained brown from years of carpentry clutch my mother’s neck like a child clutches a favorite toy. After all these years, he’s found his strength and it shows in the white half-moons that appear on Momma’s neck underneath the tips of his fingers.

I stand still, an inanimate object. A chair. A glass. My fingers frozen on the old jagged burn scar on my right cheekbone. I don’t know if he can see me through the kitchen window; I don’t think so, his eyes are bullets, his face a stranger’s deformed mask. My mother used to be a big woman; a locomotive of rage. One of her eyes has always been bigger than the other and it stood out like a creature on a face that seemed mushy to me as a kid. Like dough that hadn’t been baked.

But now, as Daddy chokes her, I can see the meat has leaked off her bones somehow. Her arms reach back, trying to find him and she gets a couple of good scratches on his temples, but no real damage. That one eye bulges out and her mouth is a gaping hole. It’s pretty hideous, really. And maybe she sees me, standing in the yard outside the kitchen window, but it doesn’t matter because then she just stops moving. Her greasy gray hair, upswept into a loose bun slips free and whips around like a pinwheel until her neck gives out and it all lolls to the side. Daddy releases her like he’s been burned and stumbles backwards into the counter sinking to the floor.

I breathe.

I manage to take a few steps forward into the house.

“Daddy?” I stand at the door breathing in both splayed bodies on the cracked linoleum, one alive, one dead.

“Debra?” He wasn’t expecting me. I was just going to drop off a quart of paint for the porch he’s been meaning to get to. Maybe have a cold cup of coffee. Leave before she woke up. But instead, I watch my father as he absentmindedly crosses himself, hoping someone or something that he’s ignored all his life will recognize him.

“Oh God, oh God, Debra, help me.” I’m the strong one. I can help. If my brother Clive were here he’d just shatter. Crack like a kid’s plaster of Paris sculpture on the kitchen floor. I notice the fresh bruise on Daddy’s forehead swelling into a first grade bump and nod.

Miles from the nearest neighbor, we roll my mother up in a paint-stained drop cloth and secure her in the flatbed of my truck. She’s lighter than I imagine, the anger squeezed out of her by Daddy’s hands. We rattle down the paved road, the cough of my truck’s busted heater the only sound hovering around us. Daddy holds ice to his forehead trying to shrink the signature love tap from my mother.

“It was for you and Clive. You know that, right?” Daddy’s voice has moved from edgy and shaky to deadly monotone.

“I know, Daddy.” It’s simple: Daddy killed my mother because she was crazy. That’s the jist of it, the creamy center of the Oreo cookie. No other explanation for the beatings and other nightmares she used to heap upon Clive and me when Daddy wasn’t around. She’d give him easy lies to explain our wounds and the funny way we’d hug ourselves to the corner of a room. Blamed it all on us. They get at each other, she’d say, and Daddy would look at us with scolding eyes blinded by Jim Beam.

Two days ago, 15 years after the fact, I told him the truth. I didn’t plan to. We were sitting on the splintering porch, rot gnawing away at the wood in every two by four. Daddy’s eyes were wet as he tried to tell me something and I tried to be patient. My instinct was to shake it out of him, whatever it was, because waiting was torture. Don’t know that I’d ever call Daddy strong, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t ever want him to be. He was sitting there, bent over his knees, rubbing the top of his balding head back and forth, back and forth until the few straggles of gray hair left up there were in a wild tangle. He took another shot from the flask his Daddy gave to him and tried to look me in the eye. I waited, gripping my hands to each other.

“Your mother is a monster,” he said. I inadvertently laughed, a quick snort of air, not because it was funny, but because he was telling me as if I didn’t already know. As if the memory of a dislocated shoulder at three years old didn’t linger behind me, the first in a long line of memories that make me who I am. No shit, I wanted to say, but I let him go on.

“She can’t control herself…she…” He didn’t seem to have the words, so he rolled up a pant leg to reveal an awful spreading bruise on his shin, the colors weaving around like bad art made by a small child. He rolled the pants up more, and his knee was the size of a baseball. “She pushed me. I came down on the edge of the coffee table.”

“When?”

He rolled his pants back down. “This morning. Then she…” he swallowed dryly. “She kicked me in the back and left.”

I told him to wait and went into the kitchen to get some ice. Goddamn crazy bitch. This couldn’t be the first time, and sure enough when I asked Daddy if it was, he held the ice on his knee and studied it, avoiding my eyes. Clive and I used to do the same thing to him. Not that he ever asked any questions, but we couldn’t look him in the eye anyway. My mother said we got punished ‘cause we were bad kids and if we ever told Daddy then we’d get a punishment we couldn’t even imagine. We couldn’t have imagined what she had done to us already, so we kept our mouths shut.

“She’ll be back, you know,” I told him. “She didn’t just leave. She’ll show up again in a couple of days.”

He nodded. “She’ll bring me a generous refill.” Wiggled his flask. With me and Clive, she’d always come back with grape soda and vanilla wafers. To this day, sugar makes me gag. Daddy swiped at a couple of tears that had escaped down his cheeks and mumbled something about being ashamed. Being weak. About how horrible it was that he had to tell his grown daughter.

I leaned back a little and looked at him, this man, my father, and wondered how long he’d stick around. How long would it take for him to leave her? Took me eighteen years. As soon as I was a legal adult, I grabbed Clive one night and we hitchhiked to the next town over.   I had a little money saved up from the house-painting jobs I had been working with Daddy and found a motel where I could do odd jobs and we could stay for cheap. Clive was fifteen and stayed with me until he turned seventeen when a God-fearing neighbor persuaded him to go to church with her. Then he pretty much stayed there. But Daddy, he’s entrenched. Been in that marriage for almost forty years. I’ve been out. I’m safe. I looked at him and thought maybe he just needs to know he can survive.

So I lifted up the back of my flannel shirt and the t-shirt underneath and showed Daddy the burn scar over my kidney in the shape of a fork. He balked. I shifted over a couple of inches and showed him how the compressed disk in my spine juts out. I parted my hair in the back on the left side and put his fingers to the scar from the thirteen stitches I got when I was eleven. His fingers were still cold from the ice and they lingered there just long enough to make me feel like he cared. Then he dropped his hand. I tugged my shirt back into place and looked at him. He looked at me differently then, like some part of me just materialized there in front of him. Like he just noticed the burn scar on my face for the first time even though it had been there for fifteen years. The last memento she gave me. His face flushed and he covered it, maybe hoping he could just disappear. A familiar sight. I’ve seen it in the mirror through my fingers.

“Clive too?” He spoke from behind his hand.

“Yeah.”

He gulped some air and asked a dumb question. “Where was I?”

Damn, Daddy, I thought, don’t make me say it. “Working. Drunk.” Pretending you didn’t know. “I don’t know.”

The ice slid off his knee as he leaned forward, clutching my hands. His skin was cold and the wrinkles slipped on his bones. “Debra, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.” He was kneeling on his good knee and I wanted to put my cheek to the top of his head, feel the fuzzy hair there. But instead I told him it was okay, helped him back into his chair and put the ice back on his knee. Why the fuck did you let it happen, Daddy?

But I didn’t say anything. He seemed pretty upset. And after all, I knew since Clive and I left, my mother only had one person left to shit on. And Daddy let her. He took it because he was too weak to walk away. Like Clive. Like father, like son. And I, like Daddy, pretended for years that I didn’t know.

 

The sun crawls higher as I start digging way back in the woods, surrounded by bare trees and dry overgrown grass. Used to be, folks would come up here deer hunting until the county made it illegal. Some women had made a stink about their husbands getting inadvertently shot and the effect it had on their kids. Wasn’t much deer anyway. Wasn’t much of anything back here. Clive and I went exploring once as kids but it was boring and so far away that we never came back. From the looks of it, no one’s really ever been back here. The ground is hard when I hit it with the shovel, and I take my jacket off after about 10 minutes, sweat forming down my spine. My breath is visible in little puffs. Daddy sits in my truck, holding ice to his head like it’s glued there, watching me.

“We should get some coffee. I could use a good cup of coffee,” he says.

“We’ll get you some coffee, Daddy. Warm you right up.”

He nods. Shumpf goes the shovel, as I slide it into the ground. Light brown dirt showers as I throw it over my shoulder.

“You used to make great coffee, remember, Debra? What was it that you put in it?”

Shumpf. “Cinnamon.” My mother hated it. “Sometimes nutmeg, around the holidays.” My right shoulder’s on fire, so I switch hands and push with the left, lift with the right. It’s not as efficient, but it gives my right arm a rest.

“Right.” Daddy says. “That was good stuff.”

“Yup. Good stuff.” Shumpf. The hole gets deeper and the dirt pile next to it taller. Sweat stings my eye. I wipe it on my shoulder. The further I go, the darker and moister the earth gets, and occasionally an earthworm wiggles around trying to find another way out. I shovel them up and throw them over my shoulder with the soil. I remember learning in school how the Nazis made the prisoners dig their own graves. Knee deep, I try to gauge how much further I need to go. Don’t want any lost dogs finding anything.

“Clive make coffee much?” He asks.

“Don’t know. Probably doesn’t like the caffeine.” Clive’s only vice seems to be religion. Shumpf. Someone’s always protected him, so he’s always been weak. Or he’s always been weak, so he’s always needed protection. I grew up trying to raise him above me, away from swinging fists, lit cigarettes and kitchen utensils glowing red from a gas stove. And being the boy, Clive was Daddy’s favorite, so he held him up too. With both Daddy and I holding him aloft, Clive couldn’t get much closer to “God.” And now he barely leaves the church at all. As if anyone up there was listening.

Shumpf. I’m big, like my mother. Five foot eleven, thick boned, prone to muscle. For once, getting her genes are coming in handy. No bulging eye, though. Not that I’ve noticed, anyway. Just an odd strength for a woman. I slide a little further into the hole, my boots making a heavy track down the side.

“Almost done there?” His eyes are glassy again.

“Almost done, Daddy.”

Shumpf. We never knew what might set her off. Her nails were always bitten down to the nub, but she still managed to scratch us when she wanted to. She only wore browning sneakers with no laces, even with her natty dresses. Just the sound of those sneakers shuffling down the hall would make us stiffen. Sometimes I’d fantasize about sneaking away with other people from town to live with their families where we’d have doughnuts for breakfast and bedtime stories every night. But those dreams didn’t ever last long. We hardly ever went to town. And who in their right mind would take me?

Shumpf. My mother tosses me down the stairs because I overslept. I’m five.

Shumpf. She cracks my head with a hot frying pan because I used too many eggs. I’m eight.

Shumpf. She ties Clive and me up in a closet for four hours as a lesson in patience and Clive pisses himself. I clean him up with my favorite pink coat. I’m eleven. Clive’s eight.

Shumpf. My mother hates me for no damn good reason.

I stop and look up beyond the edges of the hole. By the position of the sun, it looks to be about noon. I’ve been here for four hours and my arms have dulled themselves to a numb throbbing. Blisters bulge across the knuckles on my palm. Looks like the hole is about six and a half feet now. Seems a good place to stop. If I could, I’d dig all the way to hell and drop her off. The dead branches of the trees claw up and out to each other, closing in on me. Looking back down to my boots, the motion of my head makes me dizzy. I drop to my knees and retch. It heaves out of me; I can’t stop it and I squeeze the brown earth through my fingers in little squishy piles. Finally, I cough and spit and cover it with dirt. Wipe my mouth, climb out of the hole.

“Done, Daddy.”

“Good girl, Debra.” He’s talking to me like I’m five. He stays in the truck while I grab the body. Some greasy hair sticks out over the end of the drop cloth and I push it back into the folds of the fabric so I can’t see any part of her at all.

My mother may have been crazy, but at least she had some strength in her. Like mother, like daughter, I think as I drop her body still wrapped up into the hole, pushing the unearthed dirt over her with my hands and spreading it smooth like frosting.

Daddy slumps in my truck, encased in a cocoon of shock that I fear he will never emerge from. He begs me to never tell Clive because he’s afraid it will kill him. Funny thing is, Clive made the same request years ago, don’t ever tell Daddy what Momma did to us. It’ll kill him.

I have to be strong. I always have to be strong. I drive my truck and my father away from the cemetery of the woods, and somehow, just like my mother did up until today, we get away with it.

*                   *                     *

I scrape at the old loose paint on the side of the Miller’s house, the chips exploding into puke green spittles and listen to the conversation Mrs. Miller thinks I can’t hear, even though I’m only 17 feet above her kitchen window. She’s on the phone with some girlfriend, still enough of a newlywed that she makes lemonade every day. It’s almost five o’clock and she clatters about the kitchen as she talks.

“She’s a big one, quiet too, but she came highly recommended. I just hope the ladder can hold her!” She giggles, a stupid sound. I scrape some more, wishing the paint contained lead so it could fly in her open window where she could inhale it and get lead poisoning. When I first got this job, Mr. Miller stood with his wife in their cutesy kitchen with wicker baskets on the walls, explaining what they wanted, keeping a safe distance from me. A distance greater than most people keep from strangers. When I asked a question, Mrs. Miller flinched, as if her refrigerator opened up and gave an opinion about paint color. Mr. Miller secured his arm around her tiny shoulder and answered my question, staring at the scar on my cheek, but keeping cool. If it wasn’t for the men, I probably wouldn’t keep working. They’re the ones who hire me and the women are the ones who shrink away. Yeah, I’m big, I wear plaid shirts and my hair close to my scalp, but I’ve never done anything to anyone except paint what they want me to paint and take their money. I don’t steal and I do a decent job.

I’ve gotten most of the old paint off and the wood underneath looks good. No rotting or termites. Priming should be easy, if the weather holds. I climb down the ladder, and it vibrates against the house, scaring Mrs. Skittish Miller off the phone. I’ve brought my own thermos this time, learning quickly in the first few days that that fresh squeezed lemonade was not for me. Don’t know why I thought it would be. I take a slug of my cold Irish coffee – more Irish than coffee – and check my watch. I have to leave now if I’m going to get to Daddy by six o’clock. I rap on the Miller’s kitchen window, knowing it will startle her and not caring. She grabs her chest and stomach, not knowing which one needs more protection and glares out the window at me.

“See you Monday,” I say.

 

I try to bring Daddy some good food when I visit since I’ve seen the crap the halfway house serves up. Unidentified glop with unidentified odors. I brought him here soon after we buried my mother so I could keep an eye on him. He was drinking too much and the house was too far away from my apartment. And he sure as shit shouldn’t have been driving. I feel bad because I know he likes having a back yard, but I needed him out of that damn house. I had half a mind to burn the fucker, but sold it instead. It didn’t sell for much, but the money helped me pay for his rent at this place. He can walk from here to the store or the movies and I can visit him when he needs me to. Clive even helped with the move, the first time I’ve ever seen him lift something heavy besides his own fear. I almost busted a gut watching him stagger under a box of dishes. Little spindly legs shaking. I thought if he dropped the dishes he’d break just as easily and no one would be able to tell the broken dishes from pieces of my brother.

It’s been three years since I told Clive that our mother disappeared and he believed me. It was easy for him to believe that after years of disappearing for days at a time she would eventually stay gone. He couldn’t hide the relief in his face, not even behind the silver cross around his neck. And he agreed that Daddy needed looking after, though I noticed he didn’t offer to keep him near the church.

Clive hasn’t seen Daddy but once since we brought him here, mistaking Daddy’s shame for grief. The place gave him the creeps and he practically held my hand the whole time. The assertive smells, the shrill unearthly announcements for medication, the druggies aimlessly floating back and forth to the gate. It was too much reality for my holy brother; he never returned, even though his own father eventually called this place home. I come just about every day.

When I get to Daddy’s room, I hold the KFC box out in front of me like it’s a platter of fancy cheese. He loves the biscuits especially, slathering them with butter and eating them slowly, his jaw moving up and down in a meticulous rhythm. A musty smell of dust and urine and old person hangs in the room like a low desert cloud. They didn’t even change the bedspreads when they converted this place from motel into halfway house. “Converted” is a generous word, considering the only difference is that the neon “Motel” lights are no longer lit. The sign is a ghost of itself, mirroring its patrons. It’s still a motel. Just a motel for drug addicts that can’t afford a real substance abuse program or a place to live.

I walk in announcing the KFC and catch him with the needle and the rubber tube that he likes to pretend I don’t know about. Everything’s laid out on the bed and there are two extra needles this time. He sits with his legs curled under him, staring at the junk like it may move before he does. I shut the door, lock it and sit on the bed across from him.

“Brought you dinner.” I open the box and the aroma makes saliva build up in my mouth.

Daddy smiles, just a bit and then his face collapses. “I can’t do it anymore.”

“Do what?” He didn’t even know about heroin until I moved him in here and some “friend” shot him up one night. That’s the closest he’s gotten to treatment. Otherwise, the nurses just smoke, announce med time and watch TV.

“I just can’t do it anymore.” He starts to cry right there in front of me, and reaches for the needles and the tube, pushing them towards me across the bed. “Please help me.” One of the needles gets caught on the stitching in the bedspread and Daddy pulls it out as tenderly as he can with his shaking hands.

Something in me goes cold. He wants help using the needles, not getting rid of them.

“You’re just upset.” I shove the KFC box towards him. It slides easily on the bed. He pushes it away and covers his face. I run my hands through my hair. “You want a drink?” I reach in my bag for my thermos and hand it to him. He drinks and coughs, not able to swallow as fast as he’s pouring it down his throat. Some of it spills on his shirt like spackle. He always did like my coffee.

“God help me, Debra. Please.” And again he pushes the stuff towards me. He’s shaking his head, trying to let loose the memory that haunts him.

I know how he feels. I see that bulging eye every day; right before I see the burn scar on my cheek. Then I don’t feel so bad.

I pull out a biscuit and butter it. Try to give it to him. He refuses. “C’mon, Daddy, you gotta eat.” I hold it out again.

“No.” It’s a whimper.

I move closer, put my hand on his knee and the biscuit close to his face. He slams it out of my hand, suddenly powerful. “I don’t want the fucking biscuit!” The bread hits the wall and lands somewhere across the room. I flinch and surprise myself. Daddy’s eyes are bloodshot, red spider veins in his eyes. Whiskers poke out of his cheeks and chin and every wrinkle gouges deeper into his skin. His breath is rotten. He grabs my wrist, clawing at my shirt. “Debra. You are the only one who can help me. I don’t know where else to go.” His head falls into my lap and this time I brush the fuzzy hair there, feeling the contours of his head, the age spots under my fingers.

“You can come live with me. I can make it work.”

“No, no, no,” his voice is muffled until he looks up. He’s clear-headed. He holds my hands in his and tells me I have to do this, using the same voice he used to tell me I had to do my homework. His eyes are direct. Sincere. Unwavering. “I need your help.”

I get up so he won’t see my chin quivering. I’m the strong one. Always have been. He lies back on the bed carefully smoothing his coffee stained flannel shirt and ratty pants. I pull the chair from the desk over to the bed and sit down. The legs creak. The tube makes a squeaky sound that makes me think of the circus as I tie it around his arm. Daddy’s vein bulges, thirsty. He gives me an encouraging look that I mistake for love. His eyes get watery with a thick mucus as he watches me put the needle in his arm, the poison pushing into his vein like the rats we used to find in our house pipes. Eager, evil, determined. Get in their way and they’d lash out all teeth and spit. This is the same thing. He holds my hand, maybe trying to take me with him wherever he’s going. Maybe afraid I’ll crumble and give him up. He looks to the ceiling and recedes, running inside himself; fold upon fold, sin upon sin. A spot of blood appears on his arm.

After a few minutes he’s still there, so I do it again with the second needle and he’s gone.

*                   *                     *

“Daddy’s dead.” I say it as non-chalantly as I can, knowing Clive might really lose his shit. I hear a wet sigh from the other end of the phone. Clive cries before he even gets a chance to figure out why. When we were kids, if he accidentally got hit in the head with a ball, his eyes would sprout spitty streams before the damn ball even hit the ground. Even over the static of the rotary phone I can hear him whimpering and I know he’s trying hard not to rub his nose on his crisp black cloak.

“How?” Clive’s asking me for the truth, which I really can’t give. Well, not the full truth anyway. So, instead I only tell him the truth he can handle.

“Drugs.”

“I wouldn’t expect anything else.” I know this is said with a solemn nod. He’s trying to console himself before he’s ready to be consoled, even I can see that. It’s easy to judge somebody’s life after they’re already dead. And when you don’t know the whole truth.

I look at my dead dad on the bed, his hand still out from where it had been holding mine. The buttered roll is still on the floor and KFC makes the room smell like an uneaten drumstick.

“Are you okay, Debra? Do you need me to come over?” I tell him no, mostly because he thinks I’m at home, not in the room where Daddy’s been living and dying and where Clive is too scared to return. He mumbles something about peace and suffering and heaven, a load of horseshit to make himself feel better. I let him talk because he needs to and because I can’t really say much else. But when he tells me we should pray, I can’t play along.

“I don’t pray.”

“Your – our father has just died. You could at least pray for his soul.”

“He doesn’t have one.” The overhead light catches me like a bug in a dirty bar glass.

“You’re being selfish.” Clive doesn’t really know shit.

“I don’t pray. You do what you want. Light a candle, light a million candles, burn the church down, I’m not doing it.” The phone cord twists and twists around my fingers. A little green curly snake. He’s quiet now and I know I’ve hurt his feelings. I feel bad about that, but the last thing I’m going to do is genuflect for his benefit. It’s about time he grew the fuck up.

Juggling the secrets that they’ve each begged me to keep from the other – Clive pretending our mother wasn’t a beast, and Daddy pretending he didn’t kill her for being one – has left me standing underneath both of them, one on each shoulder, like a frigging circus balancing act, making sure neither one of them ever really got to know the other.

Now Daddy’s dead, so I’m lopsided.

Clive says, “What are we supposed to do? I mean, who do we call to, ya know…”

“Get rid of the body?”

“Do you have to be so crass?” Yes, yes I do. I itch to say this, but he’s sad, I get it, and as usual he doesn’t know how to deal with it all.

“I’ll take care of it. Don’t worry. You don’t have to do a thing.” I can hear the corners of his mouth shift slightly.

“I have to do something. I have to prepare a sermon for him.” Clive swaggers holy authority. But underneath, he’s tiny and bent. By being a priest, Clive invites exactly the kind of clientele he can’t bear to be in contact with. The kind that scares him. The kind that reminds him that he can’t save anybody, including himself.

“You know Daddy didn’t believe in any of that stuff.” Daddy invoked the name of Clive’s precious Lord only twice in his life and both times he was asking for my help.

“You do your part, and I’ll do mine.”   But I’ve already done my part. I’ve always done my part. I watched Daddy do it, but I didn’t stop him. He asked for my help, so I helped him. And the balancing act began.

I balanced the whiskey shakes and the choking sweats and the difficulty in ever being truthful with anyone, especially men. I couldn’t put my father away, and I couldn’t look my brother in the eye and tell him that his both his sister and his father were the very types of people who made a lump of nausea lodge behind his white collar.

Instead, I silence myself while I paint rich people’s houses even though I want to smash quarts of paint through their windows. I pass out on the couch with the TV on to avoid the nightmares that lurk in my bed. I dated only a few times and quit once a guy started talking kids.

“Okay, Clive. You got yourself a deal. I gotta go so I can…do my part.”

Just before we hang up, a couple of words we’ve never really said to one another escape through our teeth, tripping on their consonants. One of them “love”, the other “you”. I’m not sure who said it first, but it leaves a chilling buzz ringing in my jaw.

Daddy’s lying there on the dirty patterned bedspread, the one that’s in all the rest of the rooms, the one you can see from the parking lot when the curtains are open, and I wonder if he feels any better than he did.

Help me, Debra. For God’s sake, help me. I can’t do it anymore.   So I did. Again. And maybe he loved me for it. Maybe in that last gray mucousy look, he loved me for holding his tired hand and inserting his needle of salvation.

There’s this thing that tugs at me, though. It hunches under my rib and nibbles away at my lung. Daddy blindfolded himself for all those years and I was the one to tear the thing from his eyes. If I hadn’t told Daddy about the beatings, the burnings, the dark locked closets, maybe he wouldn’t have killed my mother. Maybe he would’ve just left her.

I watch the junkies outside the cruddy window now. Back and forth to the gate, back and forth, creating just enough energy to save themselves. I only have a little left myself. I entered room 112 to bring Daddy dinner.

He asked me to help him today, and I did. But I can’t help but think it’s the same as what he did to Momma. Retribution. Eye for an eye. He just couldn’t do it himself, never had the courage. I finger the extra needle. It’s smooth edge. The strength of the pump. And I cross myself.

.

4 Responses to “The Father, The Son, And Me”

  1. Alfi says:

    Powerful stuff. Are you submitting it anywhere?

  2. Christine White says:

    Well, that's a different tone for you….

  3. Bookclub Chris says:

    WHOA!!!!

  4. Hayden says:

    Powerful Effort.

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