A Parable

24 10 2007

by Sarah Wright

They were quick, silent, and efficient. Before she realized what was happening, they had stuffed a rag in her mouth, pinned her arms to her sides, and pulled her into the alley. They stopped behind a pile of garbage bags. Her purse was the first thing to go, followed quickly by her jeans and panties. She struggled and they hit her with practiced ease. Finally, one of them hit her head with enough force to knock her unconscious. They were soon finished. They walked out onto the street and away into the approaching dawn.

Some time later, the sound of purposeful footsteps drew near. The pastor’s wife happened to be running a few errands nearby. She reached into her purse and pulled out a stick of chewing gum. After popping the gum into her mouth, she crumpled the wrapper and tried to drop it in her purse. At that moment, however, a slight breeze caught the wrapper and bounced it to the mouth of the alley. The pastor’s wife paused.

~ ~ ~

Great, now I have to chase after that blasted little piece of paper. Couldn’t I just leave it? It’s really small, that alley’s really dark, and there’s already so much trash in it, you’d hardly notice one little gum wrapper.

No. With my luck, another one of Mrs. Harrison’s granddaughters is walking right behind me and is going to go running back to her grandma to report my latest misdemeanor, littering on a public street. How was I supposed to know that girl at the register was the
granddaughter of the biggest gossip in the congregation? It wouldn’t be so bad if she wasn’t also married to The Head Elder. I can just see her now, looking all prim and proper in the front pew. I wonder if she ever unbends around any of the fifty zillion grandchildren.

Maybe I shouldn’t have gotten upset with the girl in the store. But couldn’t she see I was in a hurry? The stupid register was clearly ringing the wrong price. But she couldn’t just take my word for it, no, I’m only the pastor’s wife. She had to go and call somebody else who had to go and take their sweet time getting to the register, then take their sweet time finding the right price, and finally take their sweet time getting back to the register. I should have just walked out. But what did that girl have to be so emotional for, anyway? All I did was keep telling her I was in a hurry. You know, places to go, people to
see. But no, she had to go and start crying. Stupid teenagers and their stupid hormones.

What’s that? Are those a woman’s feet sticking out from behind that pile of garbage? Is she ok? This isn’t exactly the type of place you lie down for a nap. Oh my gosh, I hope she isn’t dead. I don’t think I could handle that. Is she dead is she dead is she dead…

Oh, wait. Yup, that’s definitely a beer can right next to her. Some drunk passed out from a night of partying. Still, this probably isn’t the best place for her to sleep it off. Somebody might come and do something to her. I wonder if I should help her find
a taxi or something.

Yeah, and then we all know what’s going to happen next. Mrs. Harrison’s granddaughter is going to see the pastor’s wife walking down the street and supporting an obviously intoxicated woman. There goes the pastor’s wife, hanging out with her alcoholic
friends again. You know that pastor’s wife, a model of decorum she is. She was looking a little tired last Sunday morning, and now we all know why. Out livin’ it up Saturday night! I can just see the rumors fly.

Thank you, no. Someone with less of a reputation at stake is going to have to help this lost lamb home.

~ ~ ~

The pastor’s wife snatched up the crumpled wrapper and thrust it into her purse. Her angry footsteps quickly receded.

The next sound to come near the alley was the happy yapping of a small terrier. It trotted into the alley, dragging its leash behind it. Spying the woman, the terrier walked over and curiously sniffed at one leg.

“Jack!” The terrier looked up and wagged its tail as the small group leader hurried into the alley.

~ ~ ~

That silly dog, running off every chance he gets. Why did Tom have to choose a little ankle biter instead of a nice, big, sedate dog that I spend half the time walking and the other half running after? At least with him around to keep me running, I won’t have to
worry about that gym membership. But I won’t be able to chase after him much longer, not with this baby growing inside of me. I wonder if it will be a boy or a girl. I hope it’s a girl.

If it’s a girl, her name will be Elizabeth Ann. I’ll be able to dress her in that adorable pink dress that was in the store window. And all of those cute little booties and socks. Then, when she gets older, I can do her hair every morning before school. We’ll be best friends and she’ll tell me about all of her little girl crushes. She’ll love me forever and ever
and we’ll never fight. At least, not like Mom and I. Of course, I won’t have to spend all of my time taking care of a “mentally challenged” baby brother, either.

What did she see in him, anyway? It wasn’t like he was anything special. He didn’t get the best grades in the class, like I did. He didn’t become sixth grade class president, like I did. He was never captain of the cheer leading squad, like I was. He never even graduated high school, let alone get a full-ride scholarship to one of the best Christian
universities on the West Coast, like I did. No, she was more proud of him when he remembered to say, “Please” and “Thank you.” We went out to dinner to celebrate when he learned how to color inside of the lines, but I had to get engaged before my parents took me out anywhere to celebrate.

And then when he went and died, Mom cried for days. You’d think she’d have been happy that she didn’t have to take care of him anymore, but no, she missed him. I was happy. I thought we’d finally be able to have a normal mother-daughter relationship. But all she ever wanted to do was talk about him, the brother who still wet his bed when he was fifteen.

Oh, great, what’s the dog found this time? I hope it’s not another rat. That was disgusting when he found the last one and dragged it inside the house.

Oh my goodness, what’s that thing sticking out there? Jack, get away from that! It’s some filthy, dirty, homeless woman! She has to be sick, only a sick person would fall asleep next to some stinking trash bags. Healthy people have nice normal beds and nice
normal lives. She doesn’t even have a cardboard box or a bridge to go hide under. Thank God that I’m not like her.

If she’s sick, maybe that means I can get whatever she has. What would that do to my baby? Would my baby get sick, too? Would I have some sort of defected baby?

No, God couldn’t do that to me, not after making me grow up with one.

~ ~ ~

The small group leader quickly grabbed for the terrier’s leash and dragged the dog out of the alley without glancing backwards. The terrier’s yipping faded away into the distance.

A little while later, a Mormon woman walked into the alley, carrying a bag of trash. As she headed toward the garbage pile, she looked down and gasped, horrified. The trash bag dropped from her hand and she rushed up to the prostrate woman. With one hand,
she gently reached out to touch the woman’s face, while the other fumbled in her pocket for a cell phone.

The woman on the ground stirred at the Mormon woman’s touch and, with a sharp intake of breath, opened her eyes. She saw the anxious face of the Mormon woman above her own and burst into uncontrollable sobbing, hugging her arms close to her body.

~ ~ ~

I’m so sorry, honey. It will be ok, I promise. You’re safe, I’m here to help you. You’re in good hands, now.




One response

25 10 2007
www.cellulitediary.info » A Parable

[…] grannygrump42 added an interesting post today on A Parable.Here’s a small reading:You’d think she’d have been happy that she didn’t have to take care of him anymore, but no, she missed him. I was happy. I thought we’d finally be able to have a normal mother-daughter relationship. But all she ever wanted to do was … […]

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