The book is going to be published by Equus press.
The family dragged its few meager suitcases from the dock down to the poor area, as required by law. Eventually, Father Bill discovered the old basement of an abandoned barium processing factory. It was cold, very cold, down there, with only one half-working light bulb. But it was something. A smelly old toilet sat against the east wall – no doors or nothing. Spiders and rats and several varieties of greasy worms ran for cover between the overflowing barrels of barium carbonate effluvia as the family clunked in. But yes – well, it was something.
“Don’t worry, me troops,” assured Father Bill, who was wishing he had asked Ol’ Nicklestone for another belt of smooth Kentucky Molasses. “We won’t stay here long, I reckon. This is the big city, streets made of gold and Corinthian leather. Shouldn’t be long before we’re wiping our behinds with silk and taking our baths in Jim Beam.”
“And as for this dog,” said Bill, picking up little Jeremy’s pup, “why he’s a cute lil’ feller, if I do say so. How’s about let’s put him in this little old drawer here by the ground? That way, he’ll stay out of our way as we go about our business. Also, it’ll be warm in there and the spiders and rats won’t get him.”
“O.K.,” said little Jeremy.
During the night it rained. As the family slept, water poured in through the open window slats, flooding the basement. They awoke in the morning to find that Jeremy’s little puppy, whom he had named Max, had drowned in the wooden drawer.
The little boy Jeremy held the limp, drenched pup, screaming in agony.
“Ha ha ha!” laughed Shamela. She seized the deceased dog and whirling it over her head. “Your puppy died, ha ha! That’s life, chump.”
“That’s not nice!” said Cleo, whose sense of justice was once more aroused. Rushing forward, swollen breasts swinging, she slapped Shamela.
“Horrible witch!” screamed Shamela.
The eldest daughter tossed the dead pup aside and counterattacked, driving the luscious blond Cleo to the flooded floor. The sisters thrashed around viciously in the brackish water as Father Bill squeezed his head in hands, not sure what to do but accurately feeling that a glass of 150-proof Tennessee Molasses right then would be a sure gift of goodness.
It wasn’t long before the Reverend Dirk Dinwoodie Mathers O’Tully of the Rich Men’s Beneficent Society turned up at the door.
“Well, well, there,” said the Reverend Dirk, setting upon the table a loaf of bread, three kopecks and two pennies.
Reverend Dirk’s black, menacing eyes looked the family over. He jingled the change in his pocket as he used a thumb to inspect Father Bill’s gums.
“Shave your beard, Bill,” he told him. “I’ve got work for you in a men’s prison.”
“And you,” he said, turning to Cleo with contempt. “You shall go to work beating and skinning rats.”
“And you,” he said, sizing up Shamela. “Yes you, my squat, delicious dearie. Me shall buy you the finest dresses, me lovely. . . . As for the rest of these slime-nose ankle-biters, get them in the street begging and stealing! At once! And don’t forget to worship the Lord, for it is He and He alone who hath given you your bounty of generosity. And no stealing or taking the Lord’s name. Or fornication!” he instructed before walking out the door with Shamela under his arm.
published: 6. 10. 2013