Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C7.11

Later that night, Brielle and the girls returned home. Paul brought Raina over.

“Okay, girls, get showered and ready for bed, it’s late.” Brielle said softly.

After the girls went to their bedrooms to grab clean pajamas, Raina looked at Paul.

“Do you mind if I stay and talk to Brielle for a moment?” she asked her husband.

“Sure. What time do you want me to come back to pick you up?” Paul asked.

“You don’t have to do that. We only live a few houses down. I can walk,” Raina said, “Besides, I need a good walk and to breath some good night air.”

“It’s awful late, Raina.”

“It’s only a quarter ‘til nine.”

“Alright, be careful. I’ll see you when you get home.” Paul said before kissing his wife and leaving.

Brielle fixed two glasses of iced tea, then took the glasses into the living room. She and Raina sat down, and Raina took her glass and sipped.

“Mmm! Thank you,” Raina said before setting her glass down on the coffee table.

“You know? Dinner at Grandma Bennett’s was delicious. And I feel so much better after that powerful prayer tonight!” she went on.

“I do too, Raina. I feel…lighter! Like a heavy burden has been lifted! I can’t explain it any different,” Brielle replied, “I needed that prayer because I was feeling so afraid. But I’m not afraid anymore.”

“Same here.”

“You know? Lately, I’ve often wondered how evil, demonic people manage to find us, Raina- people like Bobby, Rita, and Misty. How do they find people like you and me, who believe in fairness, kindness, and humanity? How do they find those of us, who don’t bother anyone, who don’t want anything from anyone, but only want to live and be left in peace?” Brielle asked.

“I don’t know, Brielle. I do know that evil can always sense when there’s good people around. Evil is always hungry for prey, and it usually finds it. It’s like a pack of vicious hounds that sniffs it out and hunts it until it attacks and devours it. Remember what the Good Book says, ‘The devil roams to and fro, seeking who he can devour. He seeks to steal, and to kill, and to destroy,’” Raina answered.

“That’s exactly right, Raina. I don’t know if it’s The Lord trying to warn me. But I sense that old scratch is hungry right now. I just sense an evil in this town. I can feel it in my bones. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the prayer did help me feel so much lighter. But, at the same time, I know something’s out there and it’s gunning for us,” Brielle continued.

“The Devil.” Raina answered.

“Yep. In the forms of Bobby, Ashton, Aaron, Sarah, Misty, Rita, and the rest of those demons.”

“But why do some of us still fight the urge to give in to such people?” Raina asked.

Brielle thought for a moment.

“I think it’s because, as children, we were often forced to say yes and go against our own rights and feelings, or risk being punished by adults, especially at school. We were taught to obey, to comply, or to acquiesce, ‘or else.’ Many of us were taught that as children while we were growing up. We were trained to believe that we automatically owed anyone over the age of eighteen respect and it didn’t matter if the adult in question was being fair or not. It didn’t matter if they were self-serving and out to harm us. Just by virtue of being adults, we ‘owed’ them respect simply because they’d lived on this good earth longer than us. We were made to believe we were obligated to give respect to any adult no matter how lowdown and creepy that adult may have been. Sadly, we get conditioned this way and grow into spineless, submissive adults who get used and abused by our partners, family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers because all our lives, we’ve been duped into believing that saying yes to everything everyone asks or demands of us means that we’re ‘good people’- that being agreeable one hundred percent of the time shows that we’re being ‘respectful’ and that we have ‘a good attitude.’ But back then, nobody knew where that ended. Nobody knew where to draw the line- where authority crossed over into abuse of power. So, we ended up learning the hard way that it’s the exact opposite- what it really means is that we become suck-ups, kiss-butts, and wusses. As a result, we get bullied all our lives, Raina. But the bright side is that we don’t have to keep being bullied. We don’t have to tolerate abuse. And I’m in that place, where I don’t have to put up with other people’s bullshit.” Brielle explained.

“I’m proud of you, Brielle. I just want you to know that. I’m so proud of the strong, independent lady you’ve become,” Raina said as they both rose from their seats and embraced each other in a hug.

Raina then started toward the door.

“It’s getting late and Paul’s waiting at home.”

“I understand. You be careful walking home, Raina. In fact, let me take you home in the Escalade. You don’t have to walk, sweetie. I don’t feel good about you walking home this late,” Brielle said, grabbing her purse and keys.

“You don’t have to, Brielle. I’d really rather walk. I just need a peaceful walk home.”

Brielle sat down her keys and purse.

“Please be careful. Text me when you get home.”

Phindela’s Muses Blog post, “Reality Check”

A fellow blogger recommended me to read one of his posts about the song, “Coward of the County” and he makes such a great point in his writings! So, I’m reposting it with his permission.

You can find the original post here (and it’s dated February 5, 2012 if you go to the archives. For some reason, the direct post link doesn’t work):


“I happen to have been hearing Kenny Rodgers’ song ‘Coward of the county ’so many times of late such that it rings in my mind even when it’s no longer playing. In the song, Rodgers sings about a man (boy?) called Yellow whose dad died in prison and he (Rodgers) had to take care of the boy (the dad was his brother). He sings of what the dad told the boy before dying:

Promise me son not to do the things I have done

Walk away from trouble if you can

It won’t mean you weak if you turn the other cheek

I hope you old enough to understand

Sometimes you don’t have to fight to prove that you are a man

The boy lived under this adage, labeled a county coward by all, he never sought to dispute this as long as he had the love and heart of a girl called Becky. In her, according to Rodgers, he did not have to prove that he was a man. All was sublime and bliss until the county bullies came. The song says the Gatling boys came to his girl when Tommy (Yellow’s real name) was at work and had a violent go at her and defiled her.

When Tommy came and found his love bruised by the hood bullies, he took his old man’s portrait, remembered his father’s words:

Promise me son not to do the things I have done

Walk away from trouble if you can

It won’t mean you weak if you turn the other cheek

I hope you old enough to understand

Sometimes you don’t have to fight to prove that you are a man

After this he walked into the bar wherein he found the bullies who had just ravished his girl, midway into the bar he was taunted and called yellow, he turned and walked toward the door and the laughter increased, but he did not leave, he locked the door, summoned all the strength (holy anger?) and never stopped until all the members of the famous gang were leveled and he made it clear as he floored the last one that he was doing all this for his Becky. Then he turned his dad’s words and did his own refrain.

I promised you dad not to do the things you’ve done

I’ll walk away from trouble if I can

Now please don’t think I am weak I didn’t turn the other cheek

And papa I sure hope you’ll understand

Sometimes you have to fight to prove you’re a man.

The words left a dimensional thrust me. It made me understand that we are comfortable with the pain society gives us until it touches a raw nerve. We are content with being misunderstood as long as it does not cause us to be removed from the feeding trough. We are happy to walk with hunched shoulders against a world that thumbs its nose at us and we deign from taking a stand.

Our  failure to take a stand against the libels , wrongs etc. might look uncostly as they happen across the road but the problem is that the more unchallenged the wrongs go, the more braver and louder the bullies become, soon they will snoop and walk into your territory also and defile your perimeter.

Our false comfort in running away from confronting ills under the pretext that they do not directly affect us is actually blatant COWARDICE that would cause pain to our close kin. How many of us have observed a taxi man pick under- age children with his taxi with the lure of sweet nothings to sexually abuse them? What has been our response? Have we not shrugged our shoulders and muttered that it is not our concern? Has it ever occurred to us that the pedophile will seek more scalps and might eventually pounce closer home?

The soccer aces say the best method of defence is attack. We cannot sit in the comfort of our perimeters and say as long as the ills are not in our circle we are safe because such safety is but false like a single reed against a swollen river.

Reality check. What did you overlook today? A child mouthing a wrong word and left un-cautioned will be the street gang leader who will take your watch at knife point tomorrow. A misguided adult who believes in their wrong being right might be the one to spread that libelous unfounded story about you. A subordinate who smells beer during working hours who goes unsanctioned might drive that company car carrying your children into oncoming traffic tomorrow.

We can’t afford to be yellow. We can’t afford to only fight when the bullies are at our doorstep because then it will be too late.

As the sun rises tomorrow, take a reality check. Stem the abuse, stop the bad mouthing, and stop the run-away ignorance. Then we will all be safe.”

Excerpt from My Future Novel “A Mile in Charlotte’s Shoes”

Off and on during the past year, I’ve been working on several novels, one of which is, “A Mile in Charlotte’s Shoes”, which should be available in 2021 or 2022.

It’s about a young girl who is different and often abused. She suffers from ACE (Adverse Child Experiences), which often looks like autism. She goes through many changes, over many years, reads books on human psychology and behavior, and attempts to learn how to better her situation. In the span of a few decades, Charlotte goes through many changes. As she tries to navigate this thing called Life, She becomes worse before eventually getting better.


Chapter 1: Predestination

The trips back and forth to Beulah from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina or Camp Pendleton, California were always full of excitement. Perhaps the most exciting trip home was the Christmas before Charlotte’s second birthday.

Frank and Christie were driving to Beulah from Camp Pendleton, travelling through the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico and the song, “Merry Christmas Darling” by the Carpenters’ was being played on the radio. Thinking Charlotte was asleep in her child restraint seat in the back, they talked about last minute shopping and the last minute presents they would need. Suddenly, Christie heard a tiny hum coming from the back seat.

“Shhh-shhh!” Christie told Frank, “Did you hear that?”
“No. What was it?” Frank responded.

The humming sounded again and then Charlotte began to sing the words the best she could to the song in perfect time and tune. Christie spun around and looked back at her, then looked back at Frank.

“Is this child singing? Listen to that! She’s a natural, Frank!” Christie said excitedly, “She’s in perfect time and keeping perfect tune!”

Frank smiled.

“She gets it from my side of the family.” He quipped as he smiled at his wife.


Christie playfully slapped her husband on the arm. Being a shy baby, Charlotte suddenly stopped singing.

“Don’t stop, babygirl!” Frank called back as he drove the station wagon, “Sing, baby! Sing!”

Charlotte began singing again and Frank and Christie would constantly give each other puzzled but excited glances. Christie would then look back at her baby daughter and smile.

There were also the games at home that Christie would play with Charlotte. The games of Marco Polo in the kiddie pool in the back yard and singing of ABC’s, “This Little Piggy”, “Itsy-Bitsy Spider” and “This Old Man”.

The games of chase through the house were her favorite. Charlotte loved for people to chase her. She also loved hiding from people and having them to search for her.

All the good times, the love and laughter, the play…they seemed to provide an even balance to life and make the bad times not seem so bad.

But the babysitter! How could Charlotte tell her parents what the babysitter was doing to her while they were gone?