Me And My House

Me And My House

A Story by Derrick Malone
"

This story is based off of a woman I worked with at a Chuck E Cheese when I was sixteen.

"

Small singular drops of water caused ripples in the full bathtub. Joanie is led into the quaint, extra neat country decorated bathroom. She turns her curious head a little as she notices that her usual bath time toys are MIA. Her mother looks down and smiles to her. She smiles with a small giggle and a shriek of the shoulders.

            “Where’s Sissy at Mommy?” The little girl inquired.

            Sissy was Joanie’s older sister, by a year and three months, making her five years old. Joanie couldn’t wait to turn five because five year olds got to big kid stuff like go to school, read words and make their own cereal. She’d seen how easy and fun Sissy made it seem. Even though on occasion (more like daily) they fought like cats and dogs, they loved each other and oh how she longed to be just like Sissy when she got bigger. Every night before bed they took their nightly bath together, washing each others hair and playing mermaids with Sissy’s Barbie dolls.

            But not that night.

            Joanie’s mother was acting a little, as Joanie would put it, funny. Instead of telling the girl’s fifteen minutes to bath time she had Joanie watch a Veggie Tales video while she talked to Sissy alone. Nothing unusual about this except that Mommy had led Sissy to the bathroom. Usually such alone talks went down in Mommy’s bedroom, not the bathroom. The door closed behind Mommy and Sissy as Joanie sat on the edge of the sofa watching her video.

 

            Sissy knelt beside (more like at) the tub. Mommy sat on top of the closed toilet. She told Sissy to bow her head and close her eyes. Sissy obeyed cautious not to get Mommy mad. Her were eyes were closed tight.

            “We need to pray, Sissy.” Mommy said in a low whisper. Sissy felt the air shift as her mother knelt down next to her. “Dear Lord Jesus…” She began than withered down to an inaudible whisper.

            Sissy gasped a little and nearly screamed out loud when she felt her mother’s hand clasp down on the back of her neck. It took everything in her to keep it in. She didn’t want God to get mad at her for, playing during His time, Mommy would have said. Many times Sissy had received the obligatory evil-eye and three minute round with a switch, from the peach tree in the back, for laughing, sometimes coughing or opening her eyes and peeking during God’s time. And these scorns had been coming a lot more lately.

            Not tonight, she told herself. I’m gonna keep my eyes closed and my head bowed the whole time ‘cause I sure don’t want no whoopin’.

 

            To Andrea Smith those voices in her head were the voice of the Father, Son n Holy Ghost. Sometimes they talked one at a time but lately all three seemed to speak at the same time often saying the same thing in unison. Far be it from her to question what they asked of her. She’d dedicated her life to doing the Lord’s work, no matter the cost. And this request would be no different than any other.

            While she was prepared dinner that night the voices had gotten louder, even resorting to yelling.

            Do you love me? The voices asked.

            Yes, you know I do. What do I gotta do to show you?

            The voices hushed as the children came in from playing hide n seek in the back. They sat down at the customary seats at the dinner table.

            A chill shot up Andrea’s spine as the voices demanded a sacrifice, a sacrifice of the innocent for complete atonement, just as Abraham had offered Isaac.  Andrea closed her eyes as tears streamed down her cheeks. She raised a hand to the sky and nodded then cried out: “Yes, Lord! Your will be done!”

            After dinner Andrea washed the dishes as an AM gospel station played old hymnals. The girls were putting their toys away in the toy chest. Andrea dried the last plate and set it in the oak cabinet. She smiled at her reflection in the glass cabinet door. Once a fair skinned beautiful red head, she now bored bags under her eyes and weeds of silver hair mixed into the fading crimson. But none of this bothered her for her beauty and loyalty belonged to God and no one or nothing else.

            The telephone on the wall rang but she ignored by simply unplugging it causing it to go silent mid-ring. It was time to prepare her sacrifice to the Lord and she had no time for foolish phone calls of gossip and all sorts of other witchcraft.

 

            Dennis Smith dropped the receiver on the hook. He placed his face in the palms of his hands and rubbed his tired eyes. A yawn escaped him as he leaned back in his chair. His gaze became fixed on the illuminated reading lamp on the corner of his desk. These days it seemed like he went to work in order to get time off from being at home. Andrea had been going up to those revivals in Rolling Hills and it seemed her zealousness had been kicked up an extra notch or two, especially after she decided she no longer needed her mood control meds. Where does my faith lie, she asked Dennis after the first night of the revival, in science or God?!

            Dennis tried to talk her into seeing her doctor about maybe altering the dosage and possibly weaning her off the meds, but things had just been so hectic at the office and by the he got home he was too tired to eat most nights, much less fight with Andrea about going to the doctor. The stress was wearing him down. He opened the drawer of the desk and pulled out the half empty bottle of vodka. Dismissing the thought of a glass or ice, he twisted off the cap and tipped the bottle in his mouth like a dehydrated desert drifter. Now the bottle was as empty as he felt. A violent hiccup jumped in his chest followed by a fire-breathing burp. A tingly sensation accompanied by a warm buzz came over him as he grabbed his brief case, pulled the string on the reading lamp and left the office.

            Dennis pulled the old station wagon out the parking lot slowly as he stuffed nearly an entire pack of his chewing gum and some Tic Tacs in his mouth. The last thing he needed was some state troopers pulling him over and hauling his butt to jail for DWI, or worse, Andrea smelling the liquor on his breath and then calling Evangelist Lewis to pray for himm. Hell, on second thought he thought to himself, maybe I should let one of the troopers take me in. That’d be a hell-of-a lot better than having to put with those two nuts.

            Just then Dennis thought about his two girls. They were the apple of his eye. They hung the moon and stars. They were perfect. They were his angels. Here and there he contemplated sending them to his mothers, for a week or two during this summer break, while he got Andrea in to see her psyche doctor or worse, had to admit her into the state mental institution. While sitting at the red light at the intersection of Moore Street and Virginia Street he decided he would bring it up to Andrea after dinner.

 

            Sissy opened her eyes as the back of her head was forced into the cold water. She kicked and flailed her arms, splashing water everywhere. The more she fought it the firmer Mommy’s grip became. All she could see was the blurry white porcelain of the tub as she opened her mouth to take a breath.

            Water filled in mouth then painfully traveled down her throat and began to fill her lungs. Less than ten seconds later Sissy’s body went limp. Her hair and arms floated in the shallow water like drifting wood.

           

            Andrea continued to hold Sissy’s neck with one hand as the other was raised to the sky. Tears of joy ran her cheeks as she cried hallelujah, blessed be his name.

            She opened the window over the tub. With all the strength she could muster she lifted Sissy’s body, knocking bottles of shampoo and bubble bath in the water, and pushed it out the window. There was a muffled thhhuuuunkkppp as Sissy fell to the ground, some how missing the neatly trimmed rose bushes.

            Andrea retrieved a towel from the cabinet and began cleaning up the spilled water on the floor. She hummed Amazing Grace as replaced the shampoo and bubble bath bottles then drew a fresh tub of water. Only this time the water was blistering hot.

           

            Mommy looks funny Joanie thought as she saw Mommy emerge from the steamy bathroom. Her hair was wild and in her face and the front of her clothes were soaking wet. She looks like she peed her pants, Joanie giggled to herself careful not to let Mommy see her smiling. Joanie reluctantly took Mommy’s stretched out hand. Her chubby cheeks pouted as she was led to the steamy bathroom.

 

            Andrea saw the reflection of the car lights on the back gate as she had Joanie’s body halfway out the window. She let the tiny corpse crash back onto the, now empty, tub.

            That drunkard of a man of yours is home, the voice hissed. Offer him as a burnt offering.

            -Yes, I will obey thee.

           

            Dennis stood on the front porch with his hand on the doorknob. He didn’t want to go in but he had no choice. Slowly, he twisted the knob, took a deep breath and prepared himself for whatever madness waited for him inside. His mind drifted back to that first revival meeting. Slowly his gripped loosened and instead of going in, Dennis eased himself onto the porch swing.

            The revival began its run on a Monday night. People from all over the county came in droves to see the great faith-healing prophet, Evangelist Lewis. Evangelist Lewis was a King James preaching, fire and brimstone, tongue speaking, merchant for the seedier side of religion. His expensive suit, gold watch and matching designer shoes and glasses were “just a few of the many blessing the Lord had given him.” The twenty minutes of preaching about and collecting offering had nothing to do with it if you asked him (an investigative reporter had).

            Dennis stayed home that night because he didn’t want to miss Monday Night Football. The Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles were going head to head in their bitter rivalry. This game would be intense and interesting. Plus he had a small little wager with his buddy from work, Hal, that Tony Romo would get sacked at least three times before the second half. He kissed Andrea and the girls and walked them to the car before he fell back in his E-Z chair with a beer to watch the game.

            Andrea and the girls arrived home around eleven-thirty that night. Dennis was eating a ham sandwich at the table. She was beaming with excitement and it seemed as if she floated across the kitchen. Her eyes were red and puffy from crying all night and wiping them with tissue. Sissy and Joanie staggered on to their beds, without saying a word, like little zombies.  

            “Oh Dennis, you should have been there,” Andrea said with a wide smile. “The Evangelist Lewis touched me and I felt something come over my mind.” She clutched her hands over her bosom as she stared upward. “He knew about the psyche meds and the voices. When he laid his hand on my forehead he said, ‘Sae-tann! come out of this woman right now in the name of Jesus!’ And then I started shaking and talking in tongues.” Andrea touched her cheek with the tips of her fingers. “Honey, I was drunk in the Holy Ghost!”

            Dennis, more out of continual motion than hunger, chewed his sandwich with a confused look on his face. What the hell is drunk in the spirit? His mind rattled like a child that had prematurely found out where baby really came from.

            “Then I heard a voice come down from heaven.” Her hand reached to the ceiling, but really to the skies. “And they told me to stop polluting my body with those pills from the devil.” She nodded to him with a solemn look. “I don’t need them anymore, ‘cause I got my Lord to fulfill all my needs.”

            Dennis dropped his half-eaten sandwich on the plate, slowly and calmly standing to his feet. He passively reached out to his overjoyed wife. She didn’t growl or yell or push him away when he put his arm around her shoulder. Her eyes stayed fixed on whatever it was she saw in the sky.

            “Wow, that all sounds really nice, honey,” He had to choose his next words carefully. “But how’s about we talk to Dr. Fitz…” Andrea began to interrupt but he quickly took control of the situation by waving a hand for her to wait for him to finish. “…that way he can confirm this healing and then you would have a really strong testimony to report back with.” 

              Andrea’s eyes brightened at the thought of getting to share a wonderful story of God curing her of her illness. Just as she began to envision herself on the stage holding the microphone the little voice spoke to her: Act not with haughtiness and turn away from foolish pride and cling to me for I am the Lord thy God and I shall supply all your needs!

            Her lips tightened and her eyes shot daggers at Dennis. She pushed his arm away and aggressively turned to him. Dennis’ heart began to pound as he saw her hand tapping on the table near the steak knife he had used moments ago to cut his sandwich in half. A fire burned in her normally beautiful eyes that scared him.

            “Just like a man,” She spewed. “A lady can’t even come home from being healed without some man, following his flesh! trying to get in her pants.” The fist pounded down on the table causing the plate to rattle and the knife to roll closer to her. “Well let me tell you something mister. I ain’t gon’ be sharin’ my marriage bed with you until you get your life right with God!” She proclaimed like a colonial explorer discovering a new piece of earth. 

            Dennis lowered his brow and frowned a little. Like a wild woman Andrea swooped up the knife and pointed it toward Dennis. His hands popped in the air and his eyes nearly popped out of the sockets. “Whoa! Whoa! Take it easy, Andrea. Please, put the…”

            With crazed eyes and a yelling scream right out of a horror movie she slammed the knife into the wooden table. “I ain’t sayin’ no more about it,” She said behind dark eyes. Her chest rose and fell. She turned and marched to the bedroom and slammed the door behind her.

            The next day Dennis called Dr. Fitz but he was out of the office. He left a message with his assistant. Then he tried to get a hold of the Evangelist Lewis to see if he would talk to Andrea about checking with the doctor before going off her meds. A syrupy overly sweet woman answered the toll free number: “Evangel Lewis Ministries, how can we bless you, today?

            Dennis took a deep breath before beginning. “Uh, yeah I need to talk to someone about my wife…”

            “Oh,” the woman interrupted. “Has she gone on to be with the Lord?”

            “No,” he replied dryly. “She was at your tent revival last night and…”

            “Oh wonderful, I pray that she was blessed.”

            “Uh yeah, see that’s why I was calling.”

            “Let me guess…” She said like a curious child. “She wants to find out how to volunteer for the ministry.”

            “No!” He yelled. “Would you please let me finish?!” He more demanded than asked.

            “Why of course, darling, I’m listening to you.”

            Dennis gritted his jaw so tight that he thought he would crack all of his teeth. “Like I was saying,” He spat. “My wife went to your meeting last night and she says she was healed of her illness.” He beat the woman to the punch. “And before you say anything, you need to know that she is bipolar and suffers from schizophrenia. Her doctor has her on a set of meds that has really worked and kept her from having anymore bad episodes. And I need to talk to this Evangelist Lewis to see if he will convince her to stay on her meds or at least consult with her doctor first before quitting them.”

            The woman grunted into the receiver. “Yes, I see the problem here.”

            “Great, so then you will help me?”

            “Of course, Mr…uh, I didn’t quite get your name.”

            “Dennis,” he replied. “Dennis Smith.”

            “Okay Mr. Smith lets get this worked out.” She cleared her throat. “Please bow your head and close your eyes.” She began to pray: “Dear Jesus, we come to you with heavy hearts and…”

            “Hey, hey lady did you hear me? I said I wanted to talk to Lewis, not get a cheap prayer over the phone.”

            “Well,” she sound exasperated, “I’d never.” One quick breath shot her nostrils. “I’ll tell you what your problem is, Mr. Smith. You have no faith! Now, we have done everything we can to help you and your family. Instead of questioning God’s plan you need to get on board, mister, before you miss the train.”

            “Listen you crazy b***h! Put Lewis on the phone!”

            She gasped then quickly said, “Have a blessed day Mr. Smith. Goodbye!” The phone slammed down and the call was over.

            Dennis cursed himself these days for not going to Lewis’ hotel suite to punch his lights out. This fraud had come into town, made these people believe they’d been miraculously touched and then convinced them to clean out their wallets and bank accounts as well. But now it was too late. The Lewis posse now knew who Dennis was and they took every measure to keep him from getting close to the evangelist. They even went as far as having Andrea tell him that if he continued his demonic ways, they would put a restraining order on him. And, of course, she agreed with them.

           

            Andrea squeezed the bottle of lighter fluid around the door ceil with the candle lighter in one hand and the fluid in the other. She waited patiently for the door to open. Feelings of joy and sheer religious-ecstasy flooded her being.

            The door knob turned.

 

            Dennis was overwhelmed by the smell of lighter fluid instantly. Before he could look around to see where the smell was coming from, he noticed the figure in the doorway. Fluid streamed into his eyes. He screamed from the agonizing burning sensation. More fluid began to soak his clothing as well. Taking a step back, he rubbed his eyes to see, with a blurred vision, a small single flame come to life. Just as he turned to run-

            -Andrea touched the flame to Dennis’ shirt. Immediately he was engulfed in flames. He flailed about wildly screaming and swinging his hands. His flaming arms touched the door ceil, instantly spreading the fire. The voices were pleased.

            Andrea! The called to her, Andrea!

            “Yes, I’m here,” She cried out.

            Come to us. Come be at our bosom.

            “Yes, yes I’m coming, Lord!”

            Andrea turned the lighter fluid upside down and sprayed it on her hair. It soaked her scalp and began to spread on her blouse. She sang as she clicked on the lighter: “My eyes have seen the glory of the Lord! And he is merciful and just…” Tears of joy came. “Blessed be.”

            She touched the lighter to her hair.

            And just like Dennis, Andrea became a human roasted marshmallow.

           

            Two days later fire investigators walked around in the smoldering debris. Sissy had been found nearby in the woods curled up in the fetal position at the base of a large tree. Blue veins stretched across her cheeks, black shadows weighed down her eyes and her lips were a creepy mixture of blue and purple. She was still in the ICU.

Smoke continued to rise from the charred house frame. One of the fire investigators commented that Dennis’ toxicology report showed that he had been drinking that night. Open and shut case of abusive drunk husband, they automatically assumed. One the investigators noticed a small piece of paper leaning against what used to be the doorway: As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord!!!       

© 2010 Derrick Malone


Author's Note

Derrick Malone
please excuse any grammar or spelling mistakes.

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register




Reviews

good!

Posted 10 Years Ago


Excellent!

Posted 10 Years Ago



Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

127 Views
2 Reviews
Rating
Added on August 6, 2010
Last Updated on September 28, 2010

Author

Derrick Malone
Derrick Malone

Dallas, TX



About
I am happily man (9years) and father of two girls. Started out writing urban ficiton then transitioned into horror. I am searching for a way to blend urban and horror without it be corny or done t.. more..

Writing
Keeper Keeper

A Story by Derrick Malone