Monday, May 21, 2012

Tuesday Tales: Just Watch Me, Part One

I have to say a quick thank you for those who take the time out of their busy schedule to stop by and be amused by my scribbling.  Please make sure you stop back here to read the rest of contributors.  This week's prompt was the word "PIE".  With that being said, it's time to introduce you to my sexy but over-protective hero, Ezekiel and his sassy but lovable heroine, Theadora. (sorry about the lengh...I got carried away. :) )

Just Watch Me: Part One (the prologue)

Ezekiel “Zeke” St. John jerked out of deep sleep at the muffled shout of pain and the sound of flesh hitting flesh. At first he thought it was nothing more than a vivid flashback from his last mission. After that royal mess, he’d been more than ready to get out of the Army after his four year commitment was up.  A quick glance at the alarm clock assured him it was only five in the evening but his long flight home had his schedule screwed up, so he’d laid down for a short nap. 
Pushing down the afghan his mother had made him, he swung his legs over the edge of the bed to shove his feet into his worn sneakers.  When the sound of shattering glass drifted in his window, he frowned. Perhaps it hadn’t been a dream.  Walking over to the window, he frowned as he heard another crash and the sound of a feminine cry coming from the Lewis’s house next door.  The sound of it made the pie he’d eaten earlier churn in his stomach. He knew what was going on – his mother had mentioned it in one of her letters.
It was Nathaniel Lewis. After the recent death of his wife, Ruth Ann, his righteous behavior had gone from fanatical to extreme. And with Ruth Ann Lewis gone, it meant one thing. Nathaniel Lewis had turned to abusing his daughter. While alive, Ruth Ann had sheltered her daughter until the cancer had finally taken her last year.  Now little Thea, a mere slip of woman at seventeen, had nobody to protect her against the elder Lewis’s fists or whatever imagined wrongs Nathaniel thought she’d committed.
  Rushing out of his room, he met his mother on the stairs.
“Son, be careful.” The fear in her eyes had him pausing.  
Wrapping an arm around her, he nodded. "I will be." 
She swallowed. “He’s worse than Henry…”
He managed not to flinch at his dad’s name, but instead  gave her a reassuring squeeze. “I will, Mom. Call the Sheriff. This has gone on long enough.”  Releasing her, he jogged down the rest of the stairs and out the door into the late fall evening.
  Approaching the Lewis house, he wasn’t surprised when the handle on the front door turned easily under his hand. Walking into the dim hall, he swore under his breath as a feminine cry rang from a room to his right.  Entering what was obviously the living room, his heart stopped.
Cowering in the corner, a not-so-little Thea was covering her head with her arms as Nathaniel Lewis raged over her curled-up body.
 “Jezabel. That’s what you are, Theodora Lewis. God shall have no pity on your soul if you continue your whoring ways.”
“No, Daddy, I swear I’m chaste. I was just supposed to tutor Tommy in algebra – nothing more.” 
“Lies, nothing but filthy untruths ever passes your lips, daughter.” Nathaniel reached for his belt. “I shall beat them out of your tarnished soul.”  As he turned, Ezekiel caught a glimpse of his bloodshot eyes and rumpled dress shirt. He looked nothing like the respected minister he’d been before Zeke had left for the service.  From the reek of alcohol, he could only assume the man had been drinking while his daughter was at school, but that wasn’t what held Zeke’s attention - it was the smear of blood dripping from the corner of Thea’s mouth. 
“Please, Daddy….” She cowered in the corner as the whistling sound of leather clearing belt loops reached Zeke’s ears – he knew that sound too well, from his own experiences with his father.
 “Silence, Jezabel!”
Nathaniel was raising his fist with the belt doubled to strike, when Zeke grabbed him from behind, jerking the man away from Thea.  Placing his body between her and Nathaniel, he didn’t even flinch as the leather struck the side of his face.  The familiar sting did nothing but increase his determination to protect.  If he had his way, Thea would never be at the mercies of her father again. 
“You’re done. Only a coward beats on women and children, Nathaniel.” His words triggered a violence he’d rarely seen since his first tour in Afghanistan.  Nathanial turned red and started spewing scripture about how sparing the rod was spoiling his daughter, and now that his wife was gone, he was going to correct their daughter as he saw fit.  Even as he worked to subdue the man, he didn’t go untouched. The belt had a long reach and the resulting blows along his arms, side and back stung.
“Stop it, Daddy! Stop!”   Suddenly Thea was there, trying to wrestle the belt from Nathaniel’s grasp.  Her father roared and knocked his daughter away. Falling back against the coffee table, Thea cried out in pain as she hit her head on its corner. She sat up holding her hand over the back of her head. Knowing she was okay for the moment, Zeke dealt with her dad.
 “That is enough! I’m tired of fooling around with you, Nathaniel.” Grabbing a hold of the man’s wrist as he started towards Thea, Zeke pulled up hard on his arm, twisting it up and behind Nathaniel’s back.  Using his point of leverage, Zeke marched the man out of the living room and into the hall. That’s when he was met by the Sheriff and his raised weapon. He froze. Darrell Thomas, now sporting a full head of silver hair, had been the Sheriff for nearly twenty years. He was also the same man who was responsible for straightening out Zeke after his father had died.  He didn’t think the man would shoot him, but he wasn’t going to take the chance.
“Whoa there, Ezekiel – I heard you were back from the service, but I didn’t expect to you to find trouble already. Why don’t you go ahead release Reverend Lewis while we get to the bottom of this?”
Zeke thought quickly. As long as the Sherriff was here, Thea would be safe. Maybe he could convince the girl to come home with him, and stay with his mother until he graduated. Because there is no way in Hell I’m letting her stay with this man. 
“Alright Sheriff, I’m letting him go.”  He dropped his hands and backed away from Nathaniel, making sure to keep the entrance to living room and Thea blocked. He glanced behind him. Thea was sitting on the couch holding her head.
“I want this man arrested for breakin’ and enterin’, Sheriff!”  Nathaniel rubbed his wrist. “He came into my home uninvited and…”
Darrell slowly holstered his gun before looking at Zeke. “Did you?”
“I heard Thea screaming from my room, Sheriff, and the front door was unlocked. I thought she was being hurt.” He glared at Nathaniel. “And she was. The good reverend here was beating the hell out of his daughter.”
“That’s a mighty strong allegation, Zeke.” 
“It’s the truth.”  Zeke stood his ground.
The sheriff sighed. “Where is Thea at, Reverend?”
“At a friend’s house, Sheriff, tutoring the Williams’ oldest boy in algebra.” 
Nathaniel swayed on his feet, before sinking down on the bench next to the door.
 Zeke gave an exaggerated look over his shoulder, hoping the Sheriff would pick up on it. He also moved enough to one side, so the wreckage of the living room would be visible.”
“Well, I’d still like to do a walk through, Reverend.”  Darrell joined Zeke. Stepping aside, he allowed the sheriff through the doorway.
“I’ll keep an eye on him.”  Zeke said softly. “Make sure she’s okay.”
After the Sheriff checked Thea for wounds, he returned the hallway. “I’m taking you in, Reverend. You’re under arrest.”
“On what charges!”
“For child abuse. Please stand.”  Darrell looked up at him as he cuffed Nathaniel “Can Thea stay with you and your ma?”
“Of course.”
After Darrell escorted his prisoner outside, Zeke re-joined Thea.  When she saw him, she began to sob. Awkwardly, he pulled her into his arms. “It’ll be alright, Sprite. Everything will be fine, I promise.” He ran his hand over her back and only prayed that it would be. 


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  1. great start... can't wait for next week!

  2. I'm so glad to have read this. This is going to be really good, I can feel it.

  3. Another great story begins, Dakota. I'm loving it and would like to kick Nathanial on his way tot he pokey. Well done. I can see the scene because you paint it so well. Hope you'll be subbing this with SCP.

  4. This is such a power story you have started here.