My Other Mother Ch. 11byAmeaner©
They both loved my gift, all the more so for the taboo nature of who it was from. They were quite turned on by it and I had to admit that the two were a good pair. Mum acted like our conversation on the way home never happened, her buzz having rapidly deteriorated to the point where I wondered if that happened.
But it was when she went to take a shower that I got hit with yet something else.
"Steven?" Roxanne asked from my usual spot at the table.
"Yeah?" I asked.
I was sitting on the bed and trying to get my mind off of things until they left by navigating the ever tricky Nurburgring at high speed with an overpowered GTO.
"Well... I don't want to sound like I'm prying, but I'm a little bit... concerned... about something."
"What's that?" I asked, feeling myself tense up, this having nothing to do with noticing how I'd already burnt the rear tires off.
"Well... does your mother have a lot of bad dreams?"
The unforgettable image of my own, dear grammie Marie clawing her way up my body with the aid of paring knives seemed to force the throttle the rest of the way, putting the Pontiac sideways and just out of control. I slid that way until a black Charger plowed through my rear end, sending me spinning as it raced unperturbed along its way, followed by a white Mustang, then a red Corvette. The digital disaster seemed so darkly appropriate somehow as I drifted across the narrow grassy shoulder and smashed the guard rail hard enough to kill me, my heart in my throat and a drafty, cold fear whipping through me. Putting the game on pause, I turned to her, hanging on to the controller as though it might allow me to turn off anything I wouldn't like.
"Like what kind of dreams, Roxy?"
"She wouldn't tell me about them, but she woke up screaming... It was awful, she was so scared. It was hard to bring her down and I was actually pretty scared myself."
" ... When was this?"
"Last night and the last time she slept with me before that."
"What was she screaming?"
"Something about her mother."
My heart seemed to shrivel in my chest. Yes, it was only a dream, but I no longer had the complete luxury of dismissing such things out of hand, especially after speaking with Audrey. I stared at her, feeling that cold draft of fear again while my mind tripped over itself.
"Does that mean something?" she asked.
" ... I... I don't know, I'll... I'll ask her about it."
This seemed to relax her to a degree and I couldn't help but envy her that.
"Okay, thanks." she conveyed. "I know it sounds stupid, I just never saw anybody wake up like that. Twice."
"I understand. Uhh... look, Roxy, thanks for telling me that and if... if it happens again, you know..."
"I'll tell you."
"Good, thanks. She's probably under a lot of pressure right now. She's working hard for us in her own way and... well..."
"Yeah. She probably just needs a break from her stresses."
"Are you sure about this?" asked Marci, a doubtful note in her tone as we looked at the large two storey townhouse.
It was dark, almost ten-thirty and I wondered if it was only this and the clients inside Shoreline Adult Residential Facility, the one in particular, that made the place seem so foreboding.
"Yeah, it's not that late, they shouldn't have a problem with it," I distractedly answered.
"And what exactly is it that you want me to do?"
"Marci, I'm sorry I can't tell you the whole thing. It's just something I'd never feel comfortable discussing and I'm really not even at liberty to, but if you really do want to help... just... check this person out for me. I want to know your impression is all. Come on."
We began walking up the narrow driveway, the distance lit by an overhead floodlight. I had no idea who would be working, it being Saturday evening, but I had a feeling it wouldn't matter once they found out who I was.
So, am I visiting as a Pastor, or...?"
"That's more or less what I'll tell the staff to get you in, but beyond that... I guess it's in your capacity as a Pastor that I want your impression, yeah."
"And you're not coming in with me?"
"No, that would throw the test off."
"Yeah, your impression. Don't even mention me or that I'm here, and don't look her in the eyes."
"Why shouldn't I look her in the eyes?"
"Why do I not like this?"
A strange woman answered the door. She looked at me questioningly, a little warily until she spotted Marci with the collar of office to my side and slightly back where I had her stand before I knocked. I figured it'd be better that way in case I had to use the Jedi spell to make this little test happen.
"Hi, I'm Steven Burchell."
Immediate recognition at that name set into her features. The thirty something, tall gawky woman with black hair and glasses took another look at Marci before speaking.
"I'm Kim Cogan. Look, I don't want to sound put-offish, but... if you could just come back when Maureen or Audrey's working-"
"I'm not going in for a visit. This is Pastor Marx," I introduced, turning slightly and gesturing to my nervous friend in black with the bible. "I've asked her to bless Marie."
"(ahem) Good evening, Ms. Cogan," Marci greeted.
The caregiver stood in the doorway, the sound of a television running somewhere behind her creating a false welcoming feel. She was still unsure about this, but I didn't want to nudge her, as Mum had put it, unless I had to.
"It's a lot better than me going in there. And we both know she wants to see me again. She'd be pretty upset if she found out you refused that. Don't you think?"
It was a ballsy move, but Donald Rumsfeld taught me at an early age that fear mongering is a great way to nudge people in itself.
Her brows sharpened and I thought for a second that I'd have to write a letter of complaint to Donald, but an underlying fear that was present since I mentioned my name came to the surface along with her ire, overwhelming it and prompting her to stand aside.
"Thanks, Kim, I really appreciate this."
Kim declined reply as we walked inside. The place looked somehow different than I remembered and I had to chalk it up to the lighting. Two residents sat in the open dining area playing cards, one of them looking Marci up and down as though she were a piece of meat while the other casually leaned forward and checked out her cards with a demented grin.
"Uh, if you could just show the Pastor to Marie's room... I don't think there's any need to mention I'm here."
Obviously, this was preferential for Kim and she quickly complied, looking at Marci and then walking off down the hall without a word.
Marci followed, more unsure and nervous than ever as she shot me another questioning look over her shoulder. I smiled, a nervous gesture meant to reassure her that failed utterly.
Almost ten minutes later, a door down the hall burst open and out came Marci, half walking, half running, my grandmother's disturbingly youthful cackle following her all the way down the hall and raising the hairs on the back of my neck. When she was close enough, I saw fear and humiliation in her eyes as she barely looked at me, only grabbing my arm on the way by. Kim was nowhere to be seen. She jerked the back door open, bounced it off the wall and hurriedly dragged me outside, not even bothering to close it behind us in favour of a silent, rushed trip through the backyard, down the driveway and out to the street.
"Marci, what happened?" I asked with a strange sinking feeling. Maybe this was a mistake.
She didn't answer, only kept speed walking with a grip on my forearm that was becoming painful.
She stopped up suddenly, breathing hard and wild eyed. After looking back the way we'd come as though somebody could be following us, she fixed her frightened expression on me.
"What in God-damned hell was that!?
"She- What happened?"
Her answer was to grab my arm and start walking quickly again, looking over her shoulder. I decided to let her go like this, to distance herself if it would calm her down some while I once again questioned my wisdom in setting up this meeting.
Finally, we neared the city's party zone, the corner stores, brighter lights, people on the sidewalks and the sounds of nearby revelry a comfort to us both, I think. She stopped in front of an ancient stone church with a high steeple and wrought Iron gate to sit on a bench with her back to the old building, dragging me down to a seat beside her. She was still winded but more from the power walking than whatever happened with Marie.
After her breathing slowed, she turned to me and said, "She knew."
" ... What? What did she know?"
"I did something when I lived in Toronto. Something I shouldn't have and she knew... I don't know how in hell, but she... Steven, who is that?"
There was no reason not to tell her now. She wouldn't be very quick to assume I was crazy at this point. Besides, that part supposedly came later in life.
"She's my grandmother."
" ... That thing... That's not anybody's grandmother. That's not anybody's anything. H- how's that for my impression, huh?"
"Marci, I'm sorry... I didn't realize... I had to know for sure if she was just crazy, or what. I'm sorry, but it was really important and... You're the only person... I'm sorry."
She only looked at me at first, then nodded her head once, appearing to gather herself somewhat before facing the street and taking a deep, shaky breath, letting it out as she leaned against the back of the bench.
"She was... very friendly. When I first walked in I was struck by her beauty, despite her age. I said hello, introduced myself... She has this voice... like a little girl, but so... not. She was friendly, like I said and we got to talking about little things like the weather, even though I was kind of disturbed by her almost from the beginning. I just chalked it up to the circumstances, but I soon found that she and I... We made eye contact at some point and I can't remember... She just came out and told me. Like an accusation. She told me all about my... transgression. Why I moved back here."
She took another deep breath, let it out and went on with, "When- when I was in Toronto, I had this church, you see. I, um... got caught stealing from the... uhhh... collection plate. They didn't turn me in, but they saw to it I'd never preach in an accredited church again and that's why I moved back home to... do what it is that I do. She knew all of it, even though I never told anyone since I moved back. She has no way of knowing, but took great pleasure in telling me anyway. Then she started laughing and... I realized she'd come forward in her wheelchair and... touched me."
"Yes. She grabbed my... Between my legs."
" ... Oh, shhhh-"
"I jumped back, away from her. It was like... I knew her for what she is, but in a deep, deep part of me, the part where God speaks from. I had to reorient who I was for a second and then I just got out of there."
"Marci, holy shit, I'm so sorry. I never should've had you... Oh, shit!"
We sat in silence for a minute as she continued to calm down and I continued to feel like a careless idiot for exposing poor Marci to my fucked up grandmother, but I really had no idea Marie would do anything like that. She had no reason to do anything at all.
"I feel horrible," I told her.
" ... Don't," she answered without looking at me. "I assume you've met her?"
"I'd probably want a second opinion, too. I wish I never met her, but I do understand and I know you couldn't have known. This is what's been bothering you so much, isn't it?"
"You're afraid you're like her, or that you'll end up that way."
" ... Yes."
"I once told you that when I look you in the eyes, I get a sense that you'll either have your way with the world or it will have its way with you. Well, I saw in her eyes... something similar. If I were you, I'd be afraid, too."
This felt almost like a death sentence, a doctor telling me that I would eventually fall to Alzheimer's disease. I didn't reply, only stared out to the street, nodding and feeling that cold draft of fear again.
"I'm sorry," she said. "I shouldn't have said that."
"It's okay. I know it's a possibility. I have to deal with that."
"She's not just crazy, you know."
"I know. She's wrong."
"Yes. I can't describe it, but she's... just wrong."
We sat in silence for another ten minutes or so, me slowly sinking into a pit of depression and despair, she thinking who knows what.
"You won't tell anybody, will you?" she finally asked. "About what I did in Toronto?"
"I won't tell anyone about... you."
I nodded to this.
"Well," she sighed, "we can't stay here all night. Let's go."
I stood up and walked beside her, not even thinking to ask where we were going until we were walking down another dark driveway, then down a short set of cement stairs to a low basement door with a wooden, A shaped awning above it.
"Where's this?" I asked as she tucked her bible into an inside pocket of her blazer.
I couldn't see her expression in the dark when she turned and said, "I don't think I'm in any frame of mind for my usual rounds. Not tonight."
She used a doorbell and we waited, me wondering if this was the home of a friend of hers or something. Momentarily, the door was opened by a woman of sorts. Almost as tall as me, she was the very picture of 'bull dyke' with brush cut, jeans, work shirt, boots and a beer gut.
"Pastor Marx," she husked, looking her up and down in the light from inside with a surprised grin.
"Hello, Arlene. I thought I'd drop in for a drink or two with my friend here, if that's okay."
Arlene looked me over in much the same way she did Marci before smiling wider and standing aside so we could enter.
It was a darkened basement that someone had converted to a bar with beer posters on the walls, tables, a counter where they sold booze and a lot of black lighting. There were about ten or twelve people, a few of them women, all of them pretty rough looking, sitting around at their tables drinking and shouting over the loud gangster rap that was being played. Overall, it wasn't the type of establishment I'd expect Marci to even know about, let alone prefer as a hangout spot.
From one of these tables came shouted invitations for Marci to join them as I took her upper arm, saying, "I don't think this is a very good place for us."
"No, it's fine," she replied before moving off to the table to accept the proffered invitation, one of the guys grabbing a nearby chair for her while they made just enough room.
I went to follow her for want of any other move when Arlene suddenly blocked my path with her bulk and smile.
"Hey, lamb chop, what's your name?"
"Uh, Steven," I politely replied.
She put her palm to her ear and I repeated my name louder.
"Well, come on over and sit with me and my friend, why doncha?"
I didn't have time to accept or decline before I found myself being guided by her hand on my back to a table in a corner, Arlene shouting something at the female bartender.
Her friend was actually kind of attractive in that slutty, skanky way with long black hair and a chubby body that pushed her hips and large boobs out in a way that her jeans and long pullover took advantage of. She looked the same age as Arlene, probably in her late forties, and was introduced as Sue.
Arlene sat and I was about to get another chair for myself when she grabbed my forearm and dragged me to a seat in her lap with a strength I wouldn't have expected. It happened so quick that my arm ended up behind her head and across her shoulders just so I could avoid falling.
I smiled nervously at hers and Sue's laughter, not knowing how to take this and not wanting to offend. These people didn't seem the type who'd respond well to offense, not even the women.
"Comfy, lamb chop?"
I could only nod as my anxiety level hopped up a notch.
"I think he's shy," Sue noted, looking me up and down like Arlene had.
"We can fix that," the bull dyke asserted as the bartender, a thirty something blonde with no bra under her orange tank top set three bottles of beer on the table.
"I like 'em shy," Sue sleazed.
"Um, are you sure you wouldn't rather I just used a chair? Because-"
"Nope. Here, put this to ya," Arlene half insisted, putting the bottle to my lips and tipping it.
I tried to move away, but a strong hand at the back of my neck held me and I ended up chugging the disgusting stuff to avoid having it dumped down my shirt. By the time I got the bottle tipped down with my own hands, it was gone and I was practically gagging, my head almost spinning.
"Pretty potent stuff, eh?" Arlene laughed. "It's our own brew."
I believed it, wondering if it was spiked with antifreeze.
"Um, I have a girlfriend and I really shouldn't-"
"I got a girlfriend too," Arlene interrupted, nodding to sue. "Maybe next time you can bring yours, eh?"
"Wooo-wooo-wooo!" somebody yelled, again interrupting my protests.
I looked to see Marci good naturedly rolling her eyes as she removed her blazer, putting it over the back of her chair while all the men at the table checked her out.
"Don't worry about the Pastor," Arlene advised, "and any friend of hers is a friend of ours."
"But, I'm only eighteen and I probably shouldn't-"
"Only eighteen," Sue enthused. "A nice, fresh little piece of meat you are, huh?"
"Heh, but I-"
This time I was interrupted by another bottle being forced to my mouth and another large amount went down in the same manner as the first.
I sputtered and choked a bit, wiping my mouth as I felt Arlene's hand on my thigh and heard her laughter. I suddenly realized I was in a situation. One where I had little or no control and my senses and rationale were beginning to be corrupted by the mystery booze and Sue's big tits. If I didn't do something to get out of Arlene's lap without causing offense soon, who knew what would happen?
Without me realizing, Sue had dragged her chair closer and was now touching me, rubbing my back and sides. It felt good and it somehow lulled me to the point where I had trouble thinking about getting my shit together around the horrid beer that now coursed through my body.
Meanwhile, Marci was undergoing the same type treatment except willingly. The men on either side of her held her arms straight out while a third held an upended bottle to the mouth of her upturned face. Her eyes were closed and the only struggle was to not smile any wider while she pleased the cheering crowd. She did just before she finished off the bottle and the rest dumped all over her mouth, running down her cheeks and over her chin. She finished swallowing and laughed as the third man dumped the rest down the front of her black blouse.
They held on to her arms while another guy upped the ante by pulling out on her white collar to dump another bottle straight down the inside of her blouse while she screamed and laughed about it.
"Oh my fuck, she's having a good time," Arlene leered.
"She's hot, I've always wanted her."
"I know, I love the sweet little bitch's ass," Arlene agreed. "What do you think, Lamb chop? You like the Pastor's ass?"
"This isn't... right."
I loved her ass and watching this happening with her was turning me on. It was an unwelcome aspect to the situation that tried to mollify my concern, my knowledge that this wasn't the Pastor Marci Marx that I knew.
"You like tits, Steven?" Sue asked.
My eyes automatically dropped to her cleavage while Arlene's hand moved further up my thigh. I struggled a lot less when Sue got up and held the back of my head against her cushy chest while she fed me more of the so-called beer they served there and a shot of rye after.