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Monday, July 1, 2013

The Last Stand

All idle conversation and chit chat had come to an abrupt halt; partly due to the intervention of Bennett Lowery, Sr. with the uninvited entourage. The other part was due to the curiosity from the invited guests as they gathered closer to the group in focus, and waited to see how the scene would play out. Bonnie and her daughter and son-in-law stood together off to the side of the group, but close enough to see what was going on. Her son Bennett Jr., was by his father's side, who was standing almost toe-to-toe with Honor McCoy. None of the women in this foursome had shown the slightest inclination that they had weapons of any kind in their possession, but they were a pack of crazies, and one could never tell what a single crazy might do...much less four of them put together.

Honor was not to be intimidated. She appeared unaffected by the two big and tall men standing in front of her, and actually seemed to relish the attention and the thrill of this sick game she was playing. The sardonic smile on her beautiful face was tinged with an ever so slight bit of evil, and her body language was relaxed. She looked Bennett square in the face without flinching. When she spoke to him, she never looked away, and she leaned forward into him, took hold of his tie and her voice was sultry as she said, "Now, Bennett; it would be ever so rude of me to leave without completing my task. After all, I'm obliged to another...acquaintance to do that. My reason for being here is to pass along this special delivery gift". She held up the small box wrapped in gold paper and tied with a white ribbon. "And just as soon as I take care of that obligation my friends (she looked over her shoulder at Goddess and the other two women behind her) shall gladly take our leave. So, if you would please be a dear and step aside, I'd like to speak with Helena. " She lowered her eyes and in a flirtatious and pouty manner, she added, "Pretty please?"

It wasn't clear to Bennett if she was boosted by the false courage because she was half drunk, or if she was really as brazen as she seemed to be. Either way, he was determined to oust her and the three unwelcome hussies with her. The longer he looked at her, and considered what emotional upheaval this ridiculousness was causing Bonnie and his daughter, the more he wanted to feel his hands around her throat. But...he maintained his composure and settled for strangling the life out of her in his imagination.

Bennett Jr., placed his hand on his father's arm, and said to him, "Dad...let her do what she came here to do, and let them leave. What harm can it do? Just let her get on with it and get out of here". Bennett took a deep breath, slowly nodded agreement with his son and got up in Honor's face for a last stand. " You give that box to Helena, then I want all four of you bitches to get the hell off of this property. And don't any of you EVER set a foot back here again. Or you'll answer to me and it won't be pretty...I can promise you that. Do you understand...you trashy ignorant bitch?" To this, Honor responded with a nod and a surprising display of dignity with an 'of course'. 

She turned and walked the few steps to where Stanford stood with a protective arm around Helena's shoulder. When Honor moved, so did her posse. They were standing close behind her. Honor stretched out her hand and offered the box to Helena. "This is for you. And I want to add that I believe people get what they deserve in this life; and you certainly deserve this small token of...well...you'll see and whether you want to or not; you'll understand". She waved her posse forward with a slender and elegant hand, and looked around at the entire assembly of guests and said aloud for them all to hear, "My friends and I will be true to my word and take our leave now. Goodbye all...please resume your partying! Smooches!" And just like that, with finger waves and air kisses, they trailed off, leaving behind them a cloud of suspicion.

Stanford turned his wife toward him and tilted her chin up so that he could look into her face. He told her that she didn't have to open the box. She could just toss it away in the trash, and forget that those women had even been there. Bonnie and Alexis walked over to them and Alexis agreed with Stanford. Both Alexis and Bonnie stood on either side of their friend and expressed their concern for her. Once again, Claudette's absence was noticed. Kaycee took hold of her Mom's hand and asked about her friend. "Mom, what happened to Claudette? Where did she go?". "I...I...don't know honey. She was here...I'm not sure where she went. I kind of lost track of her when the commotion started." Bonnie was craning her neck trying to see over heads in front of her, and scanning the crowd looking for a sign of Claudette. " I'm just not sure!" She sighed and placed a hand to her head.

"Come on Mom, you need a good stiff brandy and then you need to take a seat in the house and calm down. Come on Mom...let me take you inside." Her handsome son Bennett was taking charge. And she didn't protest, but allowed him to lead her across the lawn toward the house. It felt good to lean on him and have him take charge of her. She smiled up at him, and told him how much she loved him. In return, he kissed the top of her gorgeous silver spiky hair,  and told her he loved her back. Just as they had gotten halfway across the expanse of meticulously manicured lawn, a scream split the air. Both Bonnie and Bennett Jr., turned and started to run back to where the crowd was gathering again for the second time that day.

They reached the small group of friends just in time to see Helena fall to the ground in a dead faint, and Alexis bent to pick up the contents from the small box spilled on the ground. Stanford was yelling for people to move back and give his wife some room and Alexis was staring wide-eyed and open-mouthed at what she held in her hand. The item she held, as well as those still lying on the ground were  marked with tags that identified what they were. Alexis was stunned as she held a filmy undergarment in her hand. Bonnie asked her even as she looked at it for herself what it was she was holding, but the tag stood out with the name of the person to whom they belonged written in bold marker, and these tags had a very familiar name written on each one of them.

Bonnie dropped to her knees sobbing "Oh, dear God...no!" The minute Helena had hit the ground, Devan's Mom; a retired nurse rushed forward to help Stanford. They were trying to revive Helena. Alexis simply stood staring out at nothing in particular. Kaycee, her husband Devan and Bennett Jr., were trying as cordially and as quickly as they could to get the guests to leave since clearly the party was over now. Bennett Sr., squatted down on his haunches and was picking up the items one by one from the ground and cursing up a storm as he inspected each one in turn.

And for the third time in less than two hours, Claudette's absence was noticed, but now it was understood why. 





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