Baileys Besieged Part II: Book One: (Ruth)
…..But your thoughts will soon be wandering
The way they always do……...
When you’re ridin’ sixteen hours…. and there’s nothin’ much to do
And you don’t feel much like ridin’, You just wish the trip was through
Here I am.... On the road again
There I am... Up on the stage
Here I am... Playin’ star again
There I go... Turn the page!
Cledus Beaumont lived to give Tawny away and help create a media circus out of a simple family gathering. He could not help but writhe at his granddaughter’s choice in Best Man; a semi-man with a Nancy Boy voice, who was proud to display humongous earrings exaggerating the enlarged earlobes drooping from one large, freakish head. Ruth helped Cledus find go-to-meeting clothes—thus consisting of a boiled shirt, a coatee, pantaloons, and a batswing about the neck.
Bruno IV stood slightly off to the side, dawning an ear communicator similar to the one’s used by those guarding the latest Clinton. Georgia recalled a vibrant Tawny standing in front of a full-length mirror in the fitting room, and she could not help but feel a little jealous. She totted the Beaumont Bible to the event, fully prepared to witness a visitation. The slick surface of the bible only helped remind the middle-aged woman of all of those she left behind. (Of course) It could have been her imagination?
Both women partially filled the standing tilt-able mirror. Jeremiah’s young head formed in a lower corner, much as a marquee often branded a large work of collectible art. Tawny, now full-busted and possessing smooth skin above the lace, projected a Victorian like trance to all who observed. Tawny’s bosom rose and retracted above the scoop-necked lace, as if she had been startled. She looked at Georgia, trying to track one of her mother’s errant tears.
“Mom, your time is coming.”
“I hope he realizes what a gift you are.”
Both women gazed back into the reflective glass.
“Am I good enough for the tabloids, mother?”
Georgia wiped at her eyes; then blew her nose.
“Is your mind right with God?”
Tawny shook her head to the affirmative.
A crack suddenly formed in the mirror, neither woman noticed before. A mental fissure in time.
“Are you sure—that…he’s the one?”
“I have prayed hard. Bible Defender answered my prayer. He thinks even daddy would have approved!”
Georgia found Lucky, again, inside the tome. It was as he indicated it would be. His message was as be-settling and flighty as usual. The prophetess could not tell her daughter of the hardship to come. God only knew she was given her own burden to carry. Georgia made do. She found greater love. Over time, she shelved the anger and forgave her fate. In embracing Cledus Beaumont, she released any blame.
The bible warmed again.
“It is time to meet your groom.” Georgia’s voice infiltrated her head.
Tawny looked into the prophetess’s eyes.
“I love you, mother.”
Georgia hugged her daughter. She thought to herself. If only that were enough.
Cledus Beaumont began to craft a living will. He could not help but feel he’d turned the cat; in his time, this was often said of a horse which tripped in a prairie dog hole. Both Ruth and he agreed to an experimental treatment for their health afflictions. Ruth gave him hope. She never blamed him for contracting HIV. She never pressed him; although it was (completely) obvious she set her cup for him. But what really entranced the once gruff hombre was the flirty and mischievous smile she reserved—just for him. Their fate also created a bond.
He had not told her where he was truly from for fear she may think he was crazy. In her world, she would not find it very settling to find he had killed several men. Margaret would have taken it within the context of self-preservation and considered the act of savagery none of her funeral.
So many secrets were kept. Georgia had never felt it necessary to complicate however many days Cledus had left. They made a deal.
“Before you pass on, Cledus…. You must tell me everything. Otherwise, I cannot see the point in making Ruth miserable. I cannot see the point in tearing my daughter’s heart out.”
The woman proudly straightens in posture.
“Myself…I do not question the role I’ve been given.”
“If you ever need anything, Hun…I am willing to pony up your kindness.”
Georgia had grown and matured over the years. Yet…monitory value in exchange for Jeremiah’s life still dug at the leftover scar.
“It’s your conscience.”
The man had played Sammy Moore for close to two decades. Any other living relative would have asked, “Just what do you mean by that?” Instead, Cledus fired up a Camel and staid his tongue. No matter what his net worth, the gunslinger/rocker owed the woman his life, and truly thought the world of Tawny.
Larry and Tina Quintana introduced Georgia to an acquaintance named Brett. He was a few years younger than her and divorced.
Upon meeting with Brett, she found she was not attracted to him. Besides, she had her daughter’s wedding to plan. She could not understand why the man was so respectful and persistent.
“I’m no longer a Spring Chicken.” She often remarked, to no one in particular.
It wasn’t until her dreaming mind took over that Georgia began to second guess woman’s intuition.
Georgia found herself wearing a Princess Dress, and a cabriolet bonnet sat on her small head. In an instant, it was as if she were a third party noticing a robust woman in a concord stagecoach. Many hooves resounded through her brain as they pounded and pummeled the dugway.
Once she found herself back inside the rig, Georgia was terrified not knowing where she was going or who happened to be the reigns man. Jerica easily came to mind, but Georgia knew this wasn’t the serpent’s road to travel. The woman looked down and noticed dainty gloves on her unadorned hands.
Upon looking up, a friendly face occupied the seat—directly across from her. His mask went unnoticed.
“Georgia. God wants you to be happy. You must free your heart for another.”
“Who is manning the box?”
“He is all you ask for.”
“Who is…Bible Defender?”
“Look at you…”
Bible Defender whistles his approval.
Georgia feels her face heat up in a blush.
Bible Defender takes one of her gloved hands into his own.
“You must give up some of this free-will that is like a great weight hanging about your neck. Trust the shotgun rider he has brought to lead and fulfill you.”
Bible Defender holds an index finger up to the woman’s pouty red lips.
“No. Stop thinking and follow your heart…for once.”
Bible Defender appears startled when Georgia says, “I’m sorry I never had a chance to tell you goodbye!”
“You must remember…Anything you say to Cledus, upon his death bed, will also be said to all of us.”
Georgia realized, for the first time, how all the contributors formed a trinity of sorts. She squeezed Bible Defender’s hand, and the elaborate carved Concord rocked on its leather straps to a gradual stop.
Georgia’s breath sucked back when the door jerked open. Brett with a shotgun about his back, offered a strong grip about her well-adorned waist as he lowered her gently to the ground. The seer turned her head and watched the stagecoach roll swiftly down the hill. The woman was confused by its sudden movement. Her eyes followed the six-horse Concord as it shrunk away. A young Jeremiah removed a brimmed hat and gave it a wave from the wooden box at the helm. Georgia’s heart pounded as it had that day at Baileys, although she now felt like his aging mother. Within the thoughts, Georgia reminded herself she was dreaming. She waved at the young knight of the ribbons anyway.
Lucifer is toying with my mind again. Georgia thought. She bet Tawny would even think the man was a hottie.
The hoof pummeling sound faded long before the coach left her eyesight.
Georgia turned back to the sharp dressed man who had plucked her from her roost. She wished to thank him for his attentiveness and grace; but she regretted to find that he already walked another into an eating station.