Fiction Saturday – “Fortune’s Kiss – A Fable” Part Two
Fiction Saturday – Fortune’s Kiss”
They met in the Mayor’s office at the Town Hall, and as the Mayor sat at the old piano he’d gotten as a wedding gift from his Mother, idly playing a song from his youth, they hatched a plan to solve their problem and solidify their power.
Late the next Sunday night, when the moon was new, a man in an ill-fitting policeman’s uniform walked silently up the hill toward the large, well-lit home. When he reached the front yard he stopped and took a bottle out of the canvas bag that was slung over his shoulder. He unscrewed the cap from the bottle, sniffed the gasoline that filled the bottle and tossed the cap into the rose bushes that lined the walk. Then he took a red handkerchief from his back pocket, twisted the end and stuck it down into the neck of the bottle. He struck a match on his badge and held the flame to the drooping end of the handkerchief. When it caught fire and began to burn up toward the mouth of the bottle the policeman called out.
“Old Woman! Old Woman! I’ve got a gift for you from your neighbors. You should have used your head and moved out when they asked you nice. It’s too late now. Bye-bye, Old Woman.”
He laughed as he leaned back and extended his arm to throw the bottle through the front window of the home.
“Bye-bye, Old Woman.”
The blast was felt throughout the town and the fireball lit up the entire top of the hill. Down by the river the willows shook and the cottonwoods echoed the sound with an explosion of white tufts that rode the shock wave off across the water.
When the sound rocked through the town the Haters, who had been waiting for their order to be executed, poured into the streets and marched up the hill toward the thick, dark smoke.
As they got close to the home a strong breeze from the ocean blew across the hilltop pushing the smoke to the East and revealed the large home standing intact. On the porch the woman and her girls could be seen pouring pails of water over the railing onto the blazing rose bushes. On the walkway in front of the home was a hole where flames were busy consuming what was left of a dark blue uniform and a brown leather holster. A twisted metal star was lying in the burning grass thirty feet from the home. What used to be a hand was nearby, being picked at by a blue jay.
When she saw the townspeople coming up to her home the woman put down her pail and called her girls around her. She stared down at the approaching crowd, and then she spoke,
“The next time you hire an assassin get one that’s not so long-winded.”
The leader of the Haters stepped forward, spread his arms and said,
“What are you talking about? What a tragedy. Can we help?”
The woman stood silently for a moment looking down at her neighbors and then turned and looked at her girls who were huddled around her both to protect and be protected.
“Well, my little angels, it appears that although their hired killer ended up killing only himself and our beautiful roses I think that they have won this war.”
Turning back to face the crowd the woman leaned forward, picking at the blistered paint on the wooden railing.
“Yes, my good neighbors, you have won. Your attempts to drive me away with your silly laws were, if anything, pathetic and somewhat amusing. This, however, is something else.
I don’t care when you try to hurt me but, when you try to murder these young girls who have never done anything harmful to any of you, in fact I can see the faces here of a number of people for whom I have poured a late night sherry, I cannot allow this to continue. So, you win. I will close my business and I will leave this place. Then you can make this town into whatever it is that you think you want it to be. I hope it will make you happy.”
— To be Continued —