(PG-13) By Daniel Forant, Jr.
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By Daniel Forant, Jr.
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EXCERT of completed novel - CHAPTER TEN
My attorney entertained the ATF and FBI as they sifted rubble for clues. The bomb went off without a hitch.
News reporters swarmed like gnats outside Senator Summerville's D. C. home - satellite dishes, flip phones, cameras, roach-coach food truck.
The sensuous Senator whose tabloid-penis squirted me into the world said, "If I only knew how deadly a vagina could be." Blackheart sucked an erect Cuban behind his mahogany desk. To the pear-shaped woman with marble fig leaf and curls, "Vagina has caused much suffering since Eve bit the apple and created original sin."
I went soft in a tufted leather chair with wooden arms and nail trim and said to the summoner of all my fears, "You make me feel filthy."
"Unholy, you’re in bed with the D.A. to ruin my Senate career." His baggy turkey neck blew smoke at me.
"Uncle Bill, Fox News reported that you’re my dad." I slapped smoke. "Uncle-father-combo-killer."
Bill screwed his last-wish-cigar into a sterling silver ashtray, keeping his eyes on my every move. "I never had an affair with your mother, and I didn't adopt my biological son." Silver mist oozed from his mouth, like dollars. "And of course, I didn’t strangle your mother." Bill's face blossomed. The US Senator was superb at lying. He didn't blink.
I fizzled, "You were running for President when mother was strangled."
"Your mother never threatened me." Bill crossed his arms and stared over bifocals - take that.
"My mother was in this office the day before her murder." I scanned the room for traces of mother. "You were the last person to see my mother alive, three months before you lost the Presidential election."
Murder-morning had spread a salmon-pink sky over the Victorian house. I was late for St. Mary's Elementary School because the animal that gave birth to me lay in bed, naked, on her back in fishnet stockings. I met breasts and vagina for the first time that morning.
I lost my virginity at twenty-six, after months of psychological counseling - naked women were repulsive. Women I dated loved me.
I thought I was gay, once.
"Wake up." I poked Mother. "Mom, wake up." Mother was rubbery like eggplant with a pee-green stain under her hairy crotch. God had slapped a nasty expression on her face. One dead-eye was staring at me while the other eye was sealed in brown crust. A fly walked out of her mouth. Mother didn't look too happy to meet God. I squeezed my Teddy, blinked at Jesus over mother's bed, then ran out of the bedroom and dialed Aunt Hillary.
Hold on to your parents, for it's a scary world without them.
I took a brave deep breath and asked, "Is Aunt Hillary really my mother? Aunt Hillary and mother are identical twins. Aunt Hillary is your wife."
"Like I told the press, Alex, there was no swapping a live twin for a dead one." Bill swiveled in his electric chair and stared at the closed curtains behind his desk. The victim’s family (mother’s) was outside the execution window, armed with pitchforks.
Bill cracked the curtain and peeked at reporters. He saw something bad. "Bastards." He looked at me. "I won't kill myself beside the Queen like Marc Antony, Alex."
Cleopatra might've sung lullabies to babies in a Victorian house with tall ceilings, cold fireplaces, drafts and bats.
I recalled Mr. Goodtime moaning in rooms with screaming babies. Mother, Director of Inner Child Adoption Agency, hit me with a belt when I talked about babies.
Infants gave me the creeps, once.
My little sister was adopted.
The wooden crucifix on Bill's Death-House-office wall was testament that God condoned execution. I said, "God discarded me from His presence. Cast me into the world without knowing who or what He is. God was ashamed of me. Why else hide Himself and my parents?"
Bill inspected his fingernails and whistled someone's in the kitchen with Dinah. "You're ranting, Alex. Take the world by the balls and squeeze until you taste the honey."
Bill amassed wealth at the expense of working poor. Senator Summerville opposed a minimum wage increase and advocated slashing Aid to Families with Dependent Children. His first million came as US Senator when corporate America sprinkled gold dust on him.
He said, "Make the bottom feeders work for you, Alex. Let them pay the national debt, pay the taxes, drive trucks and pickup your garbage."
I imagined skinny mothers in sweats pushing baby carriages in boarded-up neighborhoods. I was ashamed of life and anxious to help Francesca in the soup kitchen.
I said, "That's why Brutus conspired to kill you, Caesar. The have-nots will stab you in the Senate House and watch you fall beneath knives. Mother threatened to ruin your Senate career."
Bill licked his lips - togas, red wine, flutes, polished grapes, naked twin sisters kissing his body. The emperor said, "Look what God and Caesar have left me to ponder."
I hated and loved Bill with every fiber in my being. Humanity wanted to flash him my beating heart, but his tongue would cut me. "Mother threatened to tell the world about your love child."
The ex-US-Attorney narrowed his focus to laser beams. "I sent you to private schools, bought you the best, set you up with movie stars, fancy cars and sports stars."
He threw catered coke parties and ate the wrong woman’s garden. I said, "Your secret biological boy turned adopted son had to be great at everything. I wanted to be a paperboy but you said a rich Senator’s kid didn’t deliver papers. Democrats delivered papers. A Republican Senator’s boy read about how you fought for a Bible in every school."
Bill froze, like the statue that would’ve honored him. Family values, big military, less government, corporate tax breaks.
"Second place in track wasn’t good enough. A single b-plus on my report card wasn’t an A."
The intercom exploded, "Mr. Goldberg on line two."
Bill fingered a greasy button on his desk. "Take a message," he barked. "No calls."
Over the speaker, "Goldberg wants to contribute to your legal defense fund. Goldberg said you can’t go down for murder."
Bill snatched the brass phone with cream cord. Million-dollar smile. "Five-thousand. Wonderful, Goldberg. I'm proud to be an American." He chuckled. "Capitalist, too. Okay. Bye."
I rolled my eyes in disbelief. "A Jew bought your vote? You’re a personal friend of Jesus Christ who hates homosexuals."
"You’re a liberal faggot sympathizer, Alex." The phone was stuck to Bill's ear. "I caught you jerking off to Hillary‘s Playgirl." He slammed the phone down.
"Male kid’s stuff." I threw my nose in the air. "You‘re a Pro-Life Senate Republican who told mother to get an abortion while the religious right poured millions into your campaign. Family values, Uncle Bill."
Bill's vote-for-me-smile hinted something was in it for the politician. "I always preached family values."
"And minorities stay minorities."
"That’s my boy."
I’m his boy only when I’m number one.
Bill pointed to an American flag on a brass stand beside his desk. "God, family and national pride." He smiled - gleaming teeth, twenty-grand mold.
I made him happy with family values. I was number one. Everyone was, until he spent their campaign contribution.
"Political families stick together, Alex. Chelsea held Clinton’s hand after he came on Monica’s dress." His eyes sparkled like diamonds. "I need you, Alex. Like you need to be in my will." He hunted me from the corners of his eyes. "What do the police know about your mother's murder?"
"That you promised God you wouldn’t cheat on your wife. Power, Senator, is the responsibility to family and country to use it responsibly." We locked eyes. I said, "I held your wife while you held another whore." I held back tears. "You took my innocence." I refused to drop a tear.
Bill said without looking at me, "You insolent bastard. Hillary is no whore."
"Then don’t treat her like one."
Bill blew his nose into a hanky. "Head cold." Wiped, looked at his snot.
I pointed at him. "I eased the emptiness in Hillary's relationship with you. I was her substitute partner. I compensated for her lack of intimacy with you. I fulfilled her Platonic need. I filled the parental partnership void. When puberty brought an attraction to girls I was in a weird way her partner. I didn’t know if I was an adult boy, child-man or your wife’s partner." I leaned over the desk and pushed my finger into Benedict Arnold's chest.
Bill reared back and rolled away in his chair and crashed into Death Window. He thrashed and became entangled in curtains that fell on his head.
Locusts descended with cameras outside the curtain-less window.
Bill jumped out of his electric chair, tripped on a curtain, stumbled and groped wildly for something to steady him, but he fell to the floor, taking the American flag with him. "Hide me, Alex. Hide me."
Reporters huddled outside the office window, watching.
Bill hustled the American flag over his head and hid beneath stars and stripes. He peeked through a crack in the flag, revealing a sliver of his face.
Bulbs flashed. Cameras rolled. Security guards rushed to the scene and beat back flesh-eating-reporters.
I scrambled to interlock curtain rods, slid on curtains, fumbled the rod onto the window - crooked, missing a nail, but foaming reporters were gone.
The Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee sat on the floor, wrapped in an American flag - Capitalist Pig in a blanket.
Tomorrow's cover of Time - Senator Summerville draped in a red, white and blue flag like an Afghan woman.
I circled the patriotic man on the floor. "Vote for Bill and fight male-button-down-culture. Remember that speech to a woman’s group?" Let him have it. "Aunt Hillary couldn't attend law school as long as you were Senator."
He poked his head out from under the flag. The toothy meat-eater smiled, one lip higher than the other. "What do you want from me, Alex?"
"Answers." I looked at the ceiling. "Answers Heaven, that's all." I sucked a breath. "The Feds think I blew up your estate, you're a flag waving murderer, and dead mother is breathing." The fly walked out of mother's mouth. "And Francesca's pregnant."
Fleshy babies in dark, Victorian rooms.
I said, "I want my life back."
Bill tried to stand but fell back on his buttocks. "What do you mean Francesca is pregnant?"
"Oh, don't worry. Your career is over, Senator."
He blurted, "If she thinks she'll see a penny of my money..." Flying spit. "Her father will kill her."
Mario was a strict two-faced-God-fearing-Roman-Catholic with Mafia ties.
I stepped over Bill's leg. "You declined a FBI interview to complete a profile of mother."
His chin hit his chest. "You’re a lawyer, Alex." Talking to the floor, "Your client keeps his mouth shut." He raised his hand. "Help me stand, Alex."
I helped him to his feet. "If you didn’t kill mother, why not help the police?"
Bill waddled away, wrestling his hands into his trouser pockets. "Never talk to the enemy." He looked at me and said, "You're in bed with the police to solve your mother's murder. You turned on your family, Alex, gave the police private family information."
I paced alongside Bill, fearful he'd kick my testicles to get me on the floor. He ran bloodbath campaigns and crushed his opposition with political treachery. Power was money, and it talked.
I said, "Maybe mother killed your wife without your knowledge, then slipped into your wife’s shoes before you noticed your wife was missing." I studied his face.
The ex-prosecutor said, "You’re going to prison for blowing up my estate. I can help you, Alex. I have bad goods on D.A. Riley." He cleared his throat. "What do the police know about Mary’s murder?"
"The police believe the coroner misidentified the body, that the body was Hillary's and not her identical twin, Mary. If Hillary was the dead body and not Mary, then you had no reason to think that your wife wasn’t your wife. You slept with both twins and had threesomes with them, Senator. You knew the twins intimately. The twins slept together. So mother knew her sister’s intimate moments. Mother could’ve acted like your wife. Even if you thought your wife was acting strange, your sister-in-law was dead. Mary was supposed to be in the ground. The strange acting woman had to be your wife, no matter what you thought, no matter how much you thought you were cracking up."
"So I’m innocent." Bill adjusted his Rolex, tugged his tie.
"You're a professional liar." I stepped toward Bill.
He rubbed his hands together, scratchy sound. "Better scenario." Fake defense-attorney-smile. "Neither I nor your mother killed my wife. Your mother found my wife’s dead body, but your mother didn‘t report her findings to the police because she wanted to spend her life with me. So your mother left her sister for dead, slipped into my estate and assumed the role of her twin sister, my wife." He smiled.
Love letters...in the box the phony police left behind when they blew up the estate.
Bill’s murder scenario was partly true. I said, "Mother would’ve known an autopsy would prove the body was her sister’s and not hers."
Bill loosened his Boa-Constrictor-tie. "The only noticeable medical difference was their teeth. Healthy women. No operations or scars. Same height, ten pound difference, and blood can’t tell identical twins apart."
I said, "Ah, but if you killed your wife, mother couldn't have slipped into your wife's shoes without you knowing it." I arched my eyebrows. "Suppose Mary didn't know that you were the killer." I paced, arm behind my back. "Mother just found her sister dead, then slipped into your wife's shoes, saw an opportunity. Mother was in love with you. You knew that Mary had conned you, but you didn’t care because Mary pretended to be your wife, who you killed, Senator. The police thought the body was Mary‘s because someone put your wife's dental records into mother's dental folder, so Hillary’s body would match Mary’s dental records."
Bill's cell phone rang. He jumped, flipped it open and pressed a button. He listened, nodded, and looked sad. He hung up then dabbed his eye with a hanky. "Elizabeth wasn’t at her friend’s house."
"Elizabeth left the estate on her bike before the blast. I saw her pedal away."
The blast boys were riding bikes - stainless antenna. Detonation device? Elizabeth wouldn’t kill me.
Bill said, "The police found...murder, Alex." He forced the American flag into my hand. "Drape this over your little sister's casket. ATF found pieces of your sister in the debris. Elizabeth died in the explosion, Alex."
I fell to my knees. "No, no, no!" I rolled on the floor. "No, please, no God, no." I kissed Elizabeth this morning.
Bill asked, "What do the police know about Mary’s murder?"
I spit on his leg. "Your daughter was just murdered and you’re worried about ..." I banged my head on the floor. Again.
Bill put his legs under my armpits and said, "D.A. Riley and Congressman Hapswell will win my Senate seat over your dead body, Alex."
My cell rang. Bill sidestepped me and I climbed to my knees. I answered my cell, "Hello."
"Alex, it’s Elizabeth. Sounds like you're crying, bro," the sweet voice said. "I was shooting squirrels with my boyfriend. I heard five-o was looking for me. What happened to the house? The news said you blew up the estate. Way to go, bro."
I climbed to my feet. I was in Heaven. "Elizabeth, is that you?" I stabbed Bill with my eyes and showed him my fist.
She said, "Ah yeah, it's me, Alex. What's up, bro?"
I smiled at Elizabeth’s voice. "Elizabeth, when’s your birthday?"
"You know it, bro."
"Answer me, Elizabeth. When is your birthday?"
"Honey, what did you get in Spanish?"
"I failed and got an F."
A tear rolled down my cheek. "Favorite color?"
"Whew. It’s really you, Elizabeth." I'll spend every moment of life with Elizabeth. "Where are you calling from, sweetie?"
"Hell." A boy was talking in the background. "I’m calling from Adam’s cell phone."
I asked, "Where are you?"
"The bread and butter shop on nine."
"Where’d you get the gun to shoot?"
I asked, "How many guns does Adam have?"
"All kinds. Pistols and rifles. Why, you need one?"
"No, Elizabeth. Get away from those guns. Guns are very dangerous."
"Hey, bro, where do I go? I can’t go home."
"Go to Francesca’s house. Take a cab. I’ll call her and tell her to pay for it. Stay there, okay? I’ll fly home first thing tomorrow morning."
"Okay. See ya, bro. I‘ll bring Adam with me." She hung up.
Strange. The cell phone Elizabeth called from didn’t register on my cell. No callback number. I wanted to tell Elizabeth that Francesca doesn’t want that redheaded creep in her house. Adam was the last man on the planet, not the first.
By three-years-old, Elizabeth was in twelve foster homes before Bill and Hillary supposedly adopted her. Elizabeth was a twelve-year-old-pigtail-cutie. Britney Spears look-a-like-wannabe. We spent a lot of time together, bonding.
Elizabeth suffered from chronic depression. Her subconscious need for love and security remained unmet. She’s sad and feels worthless. Multiple attachments to substitute mothers forced her to the trauma of repeated separations. So she doesn’t trust people, and she finds it hard to be intimate with family.
I took Elizabeth places and did things with her - ice cream cones, nature walks, talking. Someone had to love her and make her feel secure.
I told her she'd always have me, that I wasn't going anywhere, that if anything ever happened to Bill and Hillary I’d take care of her. Elizabeth was scared. Her adoptive parents were murderers and I’m a bombing suspect. She'd asked, "The police won't take you away from me will they, Alex?" She fears the people she loves most will again be taken away from her.
Bill told Elizabeth she was no good, had bad genes, straighten up and make the family proud like your brother. I admit, lovingly, Elizabeth was a bad kid. However, troubled. She needed someone to love her unconditionally, and I did, despite screaming, assaults on Hillary, burning dolls.
I’m Elizabeth’s protector - afraid of priests, terrorists, child molesters, kidnappers.
I walked toward Bill with fingers extended like claws. Imagine, after mother's murder, I campaigned door-to-door for Bill, stood beside him and Hillary at Presidential campaign stops. Last night ABC ran a clip of me waving at a Dallas Republican campaign rally, calling me the boy who blew Senator Summerville up.
I said to Bill, "You son-of-a-bitch. You said my sister was dead when she..."
My cell exploded again. "Hello," I answered angrily.
Frink said into my ear, "Alex, shut up and listen ‘cause I ain’t got time. The car that tried to kill Francesca was Bill's official Senate car, which Bill's Chief of Staff reported stolen in D.C. Bill's Chief of Staff might've covered up your mother's murder." Frink's voice was choppy and nervous.
I kept wide eyes on Bill. "Maybe someone wanted to make it look like Bill wanted to kill Franny."
Bill hurried out of the room and shut the door quietly. I sat at Bill's desk and listened to Frink talk. Greta, the live-in maid, strutted into the office. Swedish, blonde, twenty-six, swimmer’s build, broad at the temples and narrow at the chin. She walked around the desk, grabbed my head and kissed me on the lips - long, hard, wet and passionate.
My crotch tingled. I pushed the busty blonde away and warned, "Don’t ever touch me."
Greta backpedaled, smiled, hoisted her skirt and flashed purple panties then blew me a kiss. She left the room, strutting away like a runway model. I hoped Bill paid her Social Security taxes.
I said to the cell phone, "Frink, Greta just tried to seduce me. She kissed me." I adjusted my penis in my boxers. "Greta grabbed my crotch. She knows I‘m in love with Francesca."
"Someone put Greta up to it, Alex." Frink was breathing heavy. "Alex, listen. In case something happens to me...this case is international. There’s something overseas…" Silence. "I’m on to something big, Alex. Big, goddamn it. Big." Loud bang in the background.
I heard a gunshot. "Frink, you there?" Clunk in my ear. "Frink?" Lost him. I dialed Frink’s cell and got his voicemail.
Bill marched back into the office and slammed the door. "Get the fuck out of my desk. Now."
"I should kill you you son-of-a-bitch. Elizabeth...if you ever..."
Bill pounded his fist on his desk and President Shrub jumped. "What do you know about your mother's murder, maggot?"
I stood behind Bill’s desk and said, "The police know that you pressured the undertaker to finish mother's funeral proceedings by the eve of your airline departure. Your nephew was your dinner alibi at the time of the murder. You, Aunt Hillary and mother had threesomes."
Political smile. "Absurd." Sounded like abzurd.
I sucked one of Bill's cigars. "Tell me about mother and I'll tell you what the police..."
Bill made a fist beside his leg. "Mary fit into any crowd," he growled. "Educated, Masters Degree, Director of Inner Child Adoption Agency. She was nervous after taking that job. Hillary and I weren't allowed at the house anymore, that old restored Victorian." He stared into air. "Mary was intelligent. Why she hung with losers I’ll never know. She liked suits as well as guys in wife beaters and pickups. Like your father, Alex."
Bill continued, "She rode in your father's rusty pickup with a gun rack. She drank too much, smoked Marlboros, let your father smack her around. They liked that uncivilized country music, working man music. Your dad wore shirts with sayings on them. Goatee. Oil under his fingernails from the garage. Budweiser guy. Real working loser."
I found no record of that man being my father. No such man died in a DWI car crash. Mother lied to me. What else was new?
Bill said, "Your mother was like one of the guys. She'd go to a Yankee game, watch football, throw a football like a man, tomboy-ish, drank Piels beer, even smoked my fancy cigars." If Bill blinked it would rain. "Your mother wasn't comfortable in her own skin. Life wasn't fairy tales, marriage and picket fences. Her stepfather molested her, beat her, fried her goldfish in a pan, made Mary and Hillary perform sex acts on each other. Tragic. The scumbag never did a day in prison. I'd give him the needle."
He continued in a soft voice, "Your mother was vibrant, well, when she wasn't depressed. Stunning in woman's clothes. Manly in jeans and work boots, though. I miss Mary. I really do. Maybe your mother pissed someone off at the Adoption agency. Maybe a disgruntled parent with an adoption issue murdered your mother."
Frink said Bill had sexual intercourse with dead Mary six months ago.
Bill said, "Mary twisted my arm to push for adoption legislation in the Senate. She'd do anything for those kids. She loved kids, as twisted as she was. Your mother talked me into adopting Elizabeth. They need loving homes, she'd said." Bill blinked a tear. "Alex, they say we become like our mothers. Have you become like your mother?"
I was eight when mother was murdered. I asked, "What do you think? Have I become like my mother?"
Bill’s smile flickered. "You’re a lot like your mother."
I did not inherit her morals and unlawfulness.
Bill said, "So, what do the police know about your mother's murder?"
I looked him in the eye and fired, "According to the state police, Aunt Hillary’s handwriting is similar to mother’s. An expert said the handwriting is Mary’s."
"Really? You had the most to gain from the murder-switch. Mother threatened that she’d tell the world about your out-of-wedlock child and ruin your political career if you didn’t leave her sister for her."
"Bullshit!" Smoke poured from his ears.
"You would’ve been forced to drop out of the Presidential race." I pulled a folded piece of paper from my pocket, unfolded it and handed the paper to Bill.
"What the hell is this?"
"A photocopy of…womanly handwriting, faded pink rose at the top of the stationary. The state police have the originals, found in the box the phony police left at the estate. I've read the love notes so many times I know them by heart." I looked at a photo of mother and Hillary on the wall. "I love you Bill. But if you don’t leave my sister I'll end our affair and ruin your political career by telling the whole world about your out-of-wedlock child." I circled Bill's chair and dropped another love note in his lap. "Your letter to mother reads, Mary, I can’t leave Hillary. I love her terribly. And you, more than life itself. On pink parchment mother wrote, Bill, I can’t wait to feel you inside me at the park tonight."
Bill fumbled the papers. "They’re forgeries. I’ll have you arrested."
I leaned over Bill's chair and got in his face. He strained-away from me, his head back against the chair. I said, "Arrested? Me? I don’t think so, Senator. The New York State Police said the handwriting matches yours and mothers. Oh, and D.C. police secretly took your DNA sample. A hair with a root was found on mother's body. Your hair was never tested."
He licked his lips - pasty, dry sound. His skin turned execution-white. "Alex, my DNA wasn’t on that body."
"That body. That’s what she was to you?" I snapped my fingers. "Right, your DNA wasn’t on that body." My nose touched his. "How about you’re my biological father with greater than a 99.9% probability."
Bill collapsed into a pile of bones. "The police scared you, Alex," he stuttered. "Said they'd hang you for blowing up the estate if you didn’t work with them." He leaned away, but I touched his nose again. He said, "The police will tell you anything. I know. I was a prosecutor."
I kneeled before the chair and looked up at him. The Gods were laughing. "You know what I fear, Father? You know what I'm really afraid of? That there is no life after death. No God. That murderers and rapists are as free to sin as good people are to love. That creeps like you will adopt their own biological children."
"I didn't know..." Bill’s hand quaked an inch from my face. He couldn’t touch me. He didn’t know how. Affection meant buying people. He said, "I too wonder if there's a God."
A tear dripped from my eye. "The Gods are too fond of a joke. God is all good, all knowing. But look at what He created. A cesspool world." I looked at Bill. "The Gods torture me with a murderous father. My family, whoever that is, are freaks. Then someone tried to kill Francesca with your Senate car and she's pregnant." I marched over to a picture of me and yanked it off the wall. "The Gods made a circus out of this place, that’s what they did. Millions of years ago nasty looking creatures roamed the earth. Everything consumes something. Eats something. For what? Can you tell me, Senator?" I dropped the picture of me on the floor and stomped it. Breaking glass. I stomped and stomped and stomped like a madman. There. Yeah. Again. Pulverizing.
I was out of breath.
Bill grabbed my head and kissed my cheek. He made the sign of the cross then walked to his desk and pulled the drawer out. His hand fumbled inside the drawer. "Can we bond now, Alex? Like father and son?" His eyes dripped like burning candles.
His hand rose from the darkness inside the desk.
"Father, put the gun down. Don’t shoot."