As you'll recall, last week ended with Pastor Will Robinson holding Egbert in the creek, and today the plot is revealed! Enjoy! And don't forget to visit the other Briefers to see what they're up to!
Stan and Ollie #23
Everything’s starting to come together now and make sense. Well, in a twisted, convoluted sort of way. So Pastor Will Robinson is the father of the young thing that Consuelo’s father—Bodean Fairchild—is involved with in a romantic way. The same young lady about whom the rumors are circulating that she’s with child. False rumors, I might add. But stories that she’s apparently using to fan the flames of Bo’s desire and divert it into an altar-bound course.
New wife, new child... and even though she’s not pregnant now, well, that isn’t hard to do. I mean, before Bo has time to wonder why his new bride isn’t showing in all her pregnant glory, there can be the tragic miscarriage, and the promise to start over. By then there’ll be no rush, and Emmy’s young.
Only one obstacle to all this happily ever after wedded bliss ending—Bo’s already existing, inherit-everything daughter, Consuelo. What’s to be done with Consuelo?
Especially if Consuelo marries and ends up having children of her own. Can’t let that happen, now, could they? Best to nip that particular branch of the family tree in the proverbial bud. Permanently. And there is nothing more permanent than death. At least, as far as I know.
However, we’ve no proof. At this point, it’s our word against theirs. Not to mention, he’s got Egbert in a rather nasty predicament. Apparently he’s contemplating murder number two. Some man of God he is, I can’t help but think.
“You don’t have to do this,” Ollie speaks up. He takes a step toward Robinson, releasing me, but abruptly halts when the pastor tightens his hold on Egbert, who is already short of breath and growing a bit red for comfort. “I won’t hurt you. I only want Egbert.” He holds out his hands to show they are empty.
Of course, with Ollie, I know that means nothing. But I also know he abhors violence.
“I do,” the pastor exclaims. “For the sake of my daughter, I must.”
“Money isn’t everything, you know,” I interject. “She could have married him and had his babies and had a good life. Why did she feel the need to cash out to quickly? You can’t hurry love. I’m sure Bo would have taken care of her in his will. It’s what men do. Why does she need it all?”
“Never question the way of the Lord.” Robinson closes his eyes and I feel my muscles coil, ready to spring, but too quickly those eyes snap open once more, shining with an insane light.
Suddenly, a fierce cry fills the air, and all heads turn toward the sky, from the direction in which it comes. A large red bird with black-tipped wings is diving toward the water...
But not toward us. It’s downstream just a little ways, as if intent on something—or someone. A quick glance at the creek bank and I understand. Consuelo’s ghost has vanished entirely. That tells me her body has been found. And I don’t have to guess by whom. Which means that Consuelo herself will be free to join us momentarily, in a final appearance.
The pastor’s troubled gaze follows the bird’s flight path. He must realize what this means as well, though for different reasons. I’m willing to bet he hid her body there. And not very well.
“You lured her down here, didn’t you, Pastor Robinson?” I attempt to divert his attention from what is happening, focus it on our little tableau of imminent watery death. “You promised a private baptism, did you not, before the wedding? And Consuelo trusted you. She had faith in you, and you killed her.”
His brow furrows, and for a moment I think he’s going to release Egbert in order to gesticulate, but the moment passes and his hold continues. “The Lord’s mysteries,” he mutters. Beads of sweat pop out on his brow, and Egbert seems to be growing redder. Purplish even.
He looks uneasily from us to the bird. “If you had a child... you’d understand,” he mumbles. “You’d know what it means to love...”
“I do know what it means, and this isn’t it. You’re wrong, you’re so very wrong,” I argue. “And sick. You’re sick if you think this is what God intended. God’s about life and love. Not this twisted form of expression you seem to think passes for love.”
I glance at Ollie. His eyes are focused on Robinson, but I can tell he’s got a plan. Sure enough, the scarlet bird, aka Xylina, is winging toward us, screaming bloody murder. The reverend shakes at her approach.
“What is this devil bird?” he cries, instinctively throwing up his hands. In that split second, Ollie moves, faster than the eye can see. He snatches Egbert from the minister’s grasp, grabs me, and then suddenly we’re all on the shore once again.
Trans-location he calls it. Usually I refer to it as cheating, but right now it’s heaven-sent.
The minister has fallen to his knees, covering his head with his hands to protect himself from the assumed onslaught of the giant bird. But I know better. Ollie won’t allow Xylina to harm him. Whether he deserves it or not. That’s not for us to say. That’s up to the law.
But she can hold him at bay while we attend to other matters, anyway.
Egbert is breathing in short gasps, shaking like a leaf in a strong wind. Ollie puts a comforting arm about him, and he gradually gains some measure of control. Poor guy. His pain has only just begun, but at least he can start the slow road to recovery.
“He... he k-killed my Consuelo?” He looks back and forth between us. I can see tears glisten in his eyes. I feel sorry for him. It’ll get worse before it gets better.
Now comes the hard part. It’s time for them to say good-bye.
to be continued
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Until next time, take care!