Book Two: (Kings)
[Sept. 5, 2025]
Georgia stands in front of a display case full of clowns. Tall ones, thin ones, fat ones. There are sad Bobos leaking tears. Happy clowns. Clowns wearing wide-brimmed hats. And decadent clowns with ball caps. Hatless clowns with pointy hair jutting out to the side. All of them wear clown shoes and dawn large rubber noses, although some are more colorful and hold compassionate window-like eyes. Some sit while others stand. Each begs a gawker to take him or her out and enjoy their individual natures, outside of the colorful collage espoused within a collectible whole.
The clowns are an incredible contrast to the antique, polished gun, now positioned in its own small case atop the large clown enclosure; a firing piece holding yarns in every visible scratch, reflection of light, and in the deep wood grain of an ornately carved handle.
Sometimes, Georgia worries about Tawny thinking the gun an attractive play piece. Finding adequate ammunition is not very feasible, though. A student can no longer take such a historical item for show and tell without risking a swift suspension. Instead, the Beaumont Colt finds its calling as a symbolic defender of posing clowns.
How ironic! Georgia thinks.
Tawny repeatedly tests positive for Asthma. The little girl’s breathing becomes heavy labored, at times. Soon, the child requires a Mayo Inhibitor to get through a school day.
It took Georgia five years to gain enough courage to hold the weapon in her hands. Even so…It represents an oxymoron. Cold steel molded by hot forged fire.
And the gun does not take long to beg a chant to flow from her lips:
Come dance beside me and feel the heat…
Dance in the moonlight.
Raise your voice to match the din…
Never give up!
All things balance—in time.
And wait to open the curtain…
Until the last
Dance is completely consummated.
The firearm shifts in Georgia’s hands, and she loses hold of it, causing her eyes to squint in fear of discharge when it lands.
Could the family heirloom take its own control—again?
Only a sharp THUD! reaches the woman’s ears, although her mind brings back the sound of a faraway gunshot. A clown with poor balance falls inside the display case and its porcelain surface chips away; it is as if the gun, without a lick of ammunition, found it.
The fragile nature of the woman’s world is exposed in one metaphorical moment, because the clown that fell also is the one crying.
Georgia feels pure terror grip her when Tawny’s school calls her work.
“This is Thelma at Cranford Academy. I’m afraid Tawny had a major Asthma Attack. She is pretty shook up.”
“You want me to pick her up?”
“We think it would be best.”
“No problem…Poor child.”
“I’m on my way.”
Georgia finds a supervisor.
“I have to go. My daughter is sick, and I do not have a babysitter!”
“You know you’re going to leave us short,” the supervisor chides, like she is punishing a child with parental guilt.
“I’m sorry,” Georgia returns.
A few of her co-workers, especially the ones without children, act like they totally despise the decision to give the woman extra time off.
“Are you coming back?”
“I’ll make every effort to return to my post; I need every hour I can get!”
The young mother’s supervisor seems content with the answer. She watches Georgia grab her things, and never look back. Georgia knows she will have to ignore the leering hatred forming in fellow workers’ eyes.
Tawny’s eyes are red and attempt to hold back tears, as she sits outside the school office clutching her flat chest. She sniffles.
Her mother approaches. “Honey, you ok?”
Tawny looks up at her mother and loses all emotional composure.
“I…it was s…o embarrassing!”
Georgia’s heart sinks into her throat.
“Let’s go home.”
“I’m sorry…What about work, mommy?”
“You can’t help it…You can’t control your Asthma.”
The young child blubbers as she walks towards their car. Georgia wants to pick up Tawny and tell her she loves her.
“Everything will be ok,” she says—instead.
Out of necessity, Tawny takes the inhaler her mother hands over from a side pocket of her purse. Neither of them can speak. Tears well up in both their eyes, eyes which stare down at the confines of the car. Georgia feels some relief, upon grabbing a tissue and blowing her nose.
At first…Larry doesn’t know how to take the news. He finds out, through the grapevine, that Marla took another job across town; a new job that has the possibility of turning into full time. Larry decides he will not pursue her. Instead… he will call her like a friend and talk, once she gets settled. His heart tells him he has never wanted anyone more in his life, but he also knows Marla deserves to be treated like a lady.
If she finds someone else, in the meantime, then perhaps we aren’t meant to be. Larry Quintana inherited a phrase from his mother. ‘Larry, if it’s meant to be…It’s meant to be.’
Meanwhile…Marla wonders if she has met what may evolve into the one. She knows Larry’s playing hard to get will capture her interest—short term. Instead of sitting by the phone, Marla goes out and has fun and sews a few feminine wild oats. Somehow, the flirting glances of other men make her feel better. Heaven knows, she had a history of falling for a few hot men that could gyro around her lithe body on a dance floor. Almost foretelling the woman’s propensity to be oversexed and superficial, Larry waits to see if their karma cracks; the cop waits to see if Marla truly wants him for the ultra-special love he possesses inside.