|Family Ways Part Seven - Til Death Us Do Part
Note: I was enabled. This however, is not for everyone. Heed Warnings, please.
The characters and situations portrayed here are not mine, they belong to the WB. This is a fan authored work and no profit is being made. Please do not link to this story without appropriate warnings. Please do not archive this story without my permission.
She'd been right about his eyes. Angry. Green. Greener than Samuel's.
Dangerous. She's seen her brothers fight -- mostly with each other. That this feller nearly took them both down, probably would have if Pa hadn't hit him.
Jarrod didn't seem to think he was dangerous. Admired that he fought as well as he did. Jarrod just wasn't that smart sometimes.
She didn't like him. He was bitter mouthed -- insulting Pa, insulting them.
He sounded a lot like Lee. Smart mouthed, not knowing when to shut up.
She wished Pa had left her with a gun.
That first shot, she thought the brother would break something the way he struggled. Took him a minute to realize there weren't a second shot. A second bullet.
Took them all a minute to realize it.
She thought about cutting his throat, using the kitchen axe to bust open the gun cabinet. Too quiet for too long and she knew something was wrong.
She should have told Pa Samuel had a brother.
She'd been almost relieved when it was that lady cop that showed up, by herself. They'd come before, looking for missing people, missing dogs, missing kids. Asking about things that didn't have nothing to do with them. Pa was usually polite. Once he'd even helped them look for a missing girl, tracked through the woods...they thought she'd been picked up hitchhiking.
Missy saw her picture but she never saw the girl. Not on the farm. Not in any of the barns. She was real pretty. She saw Pa looking at Lee but he never asked him, far as Missy knew, and Lee never said nothing about it. They never did find her.
That school lady had some around a few times, until Pa told her he'd sent Missy off to live with her Aunt Shirl. She didn't think the lady believed him, but it didn't matter none. She stopped coming around.
The lady cop didn't scare her, but for some reason, Pa thought she was more of a threat than the others had come around. Almost like he knew her from somewhere.
She'd hid the picture of Samuel in her pocket when she went to get the boys. Wasn't until she actual saw the brother in the house that she realized the lady cop had to have gotten the picture from him.
"I'm not going to hurt you."
She'd have killed him if she could, but he was quick and her knife wasn't big enough. Even while she was screaming for Daddy, she knew this was her doing as much as Lee's or Jarrod's. Never take more'n a couple in a year, Pa always said, and the boys had taken two in less than two weeks.
No reason to tell her Pa later neither, because it was all a mess. She knew that, even while Pa tried to find a way to fix it. Fix it fast. Even if nobody else was looking for Samuel and his brother, they'd look for the cop. The boys could strip the car down...could kill all three quick and hide the bodies in the waste pit, under the barn out in the woods. They only needed time enough to do it all.
When the brother started screaming he'd kill them all, she knew how he felt.
Too much time passed between the first shot and the one that should have come after. Too much time -- she waited too long for Pa and Jarrod to come back, waiting to hear the gunshots that would tell her the cop was dead, that Samuel was dead. When she'd finally heard the shooting, she'd listened, all the while watching the brother. The longer it went on the less scared he looked, the more confident. She'd wanted to cut his eyes out...
Then it had gone quiet. She heard the steps. Heard the voice calling her. Just her name. Might be Jarrod...or Lee or...
She hadn't known Samuel could move that fast or that quiet, but she'd known he'd be strong. Strong enough to keep her from cutting him, strong enough to hold her so that her kicking and screaming and squirming and trying to bite him hadn't done nothing but get her shoved in closet in the hallway. And it had been open, everything she could have easily used as a weapon taken out.
Just the heavy winter coats and boots. He'd set something to the door and it wouldn't give no matter how hard she threw herself against it.
She heard him, talking to his brother, couldn't make out the words. Realized she didn't know if Pa or the boys were alive or dead. They could leave her here, in the closet...
"Missy." Samuel's voice on the other side of the door. "Missy...Someone will--"
"Is they dead?" she asked.
"Did you kill them? Pa, an' Jarrod an' Lee? Is they dead?"
"No! No...Missy. Your brothers are in the cages. Your father...he's hurt. But he'll... The police will be here soon. Don't...don't fight them."
His brother muttered something and Samuel spoke sharply to him. "Missy...just when they come to get you, don't fight them. You'll only get hurt," he said. "Okay? Missy?"
She didn't answer him. Wouldn't. She wanted to scream at him, wanted to ask him to let her out, take her with him, wanted to claw his eyes out. Hurt him. Make him wait with her.
She wished Pa had given her a gun.
Instead, she pulled Pa's coat off the hook and settled it around her.
She wasn't sure it was another gunshot she heard, at first. Too far, too muffled. And she waited and waited...heard voices finally; footsteps, people talking, the whir of sirens. When they pulled the door open she only looked up at the two police officers, got to her feet. They put handcuffs on her but they let her keep Pa's coat.
Wasn't 'til she got outside that she was sure. She didn't scream, didn't yell, only pulled away from the cop and went to where the ambulance fellers were loading that black bag into the back of the truck. Only barely saw Jarrod and Lee's faces from the back of a patrol car.
And she saw that lady cop staring at her.
She stared back, kept staring until they pulled her away, put her in the back of another car. Made her wait some more.
Finally that lady cop came over to her, got in the back seat with her while another cop got in the front.
Missy didn't have nothing to say to her.
Samuel had lied to her. Her daddy was dead.
She shifted and could feel the picture in her pocket still, put her hands up against her stomach.
Pa told her not to talk to anyone, so she didn't. Didn't matter what they asked her. Only time she did anything was when they tried to take Pa's coat away from her. She didn't see Jarrod or Lee, didn't ask to see them.
They finally put her in a little room with a bed and a toilet. Somebody brought her food on a paper plate and milk in a paper cup.
Next day the let her see her brothers, in a room with nothing but a table and some chairs, both of them handcuffed to the table with a cop outside watching them and another lady cop waiting inside the door, but not that one. Not that same one whose face Missy would never forget. Some feller in a suit was there too.
Jarrod couldn't shut up. He wasn't saying much that made any sense, only that he'd shot Pa, that he hadn't meant to. Lee wouldn't look at him. Wouldn't hardly look at Missy.
"Jarrod," Missy said finally; didn't raise her voice none. "Did you kill him? Did you shoot Daddy and kill him?" she asked.
"I shot him. That feller, your--"
"Did you kill Pa?" she snapped out.
Jarrod shook his head. "No. No...I shot him but he was hurt, bleeding. Not dying."
She looked at Lee, stared hard and he stared back then shook his head.
That was all Missy needed to know. That cop lady, or Samuel, or his brother had killed her Pa. Maybe all three. Didn't matter. She sat back and let the feller in the suit talk.
She didn't understand half of it, but she paid attention. Seems like Samuel and his brother were gone by the time the police showed up. Seems like the police hadn't looked very hard for them.
Seemed like maybe Samuel wasn't so nice after all.
She tried to remember all the things her Pa had told her, about her being the smart one. About her being the one to keep the family together.
She didn't know how she could do it now, but she would figure it out.
"You don't' say nothing to nobody," she said, interrupting the suit feller -- the lawyer. She looked at Lee first then Jarrod. "Nothing. Not to him, not to anybody."
She ignored him. "No matter what they ask, who it is. You don't say nothing," she said.
Lee stared hard at her, then sat back, eyes narrow. Jarrod look confused. "Nothing?"
"Nothing about our business, our family," Missy said. "Not unless I say. You understand me?"
Jarrod nodded and dropped his gaze. Lee didn't drop his gaze, but he started smiling when the lawyer kept asking things and they wouldn't answer.
When they finally made Missy leave, she figured it was a start.
It was hard though, being off by herself. They finally took her out of the little cell and moved her down to the Juvenile center. She about bit the Doctor's hand off when he checked her over.
The doctor hadn't said nothing about her carrying a child, and she was waiting still. Getting close to her time, close to her blooding. She'd know then.
They let her bathe and gave her clean clothes, and let her keep her own; but the only things she was worried about was Pa's coat and her picture. She wouldn't let either of them out of her sight. Slept on the coat, with the picture under her pillow.
She missed her Pa. Missed Jarrod and Lee too.
They fed her and the other girls...well, they learned to leave her alone after the first few days.
The boys were going to jail. Nothing she could do to stop it. There'd be a trial at some point, she knew that much. Didn't surprise her none when that lawyer feller actually stopped by to see her.
She had on new clothes -- new for her. She took to braiding her hair back. Made her look older. Made her feel older.
"Missy," he said. "Your brothers, they won't say anything. Nothing at all. Not to the police, not to me. That's going to make them difficult to defend."
"What's they charged with?"
"Well, a good many things. Murder, for one."
She shook her head. "They didn't murder nobody." Hunting wasn't murder. Jarrod hadn't killed Pa. "But somebody killed my Daddy."
"He was trying to escape, the officer said."
Her Pa wouldn't have run. One of them three, they'd killed him. When he was already hurt, wounded.
This would be hard to say, hard to make this lie sound true. "My brothers didn't kill nobody. But Daddy did. That Jenkins feller."
The lawyer leaned forward. "Why?"
"He was ugly to me. Mean. So Daddy killed him."
"And the others?"
"Weren't no others. They find any bodies?"
The lawyer had only looked at her and Missy had just smiled at him.
Wasn't that easy. They wouldn't let her talk to Jarrod and Lee alone and at first there was only so much that lawyer was willing to do. Wasn't like Missy had money to pay him.
But he got his name in the paper. Seemed like he worked a little harder after that.
The day of Lee and Jarrod's trial, Missy got her blooding again. She'd been late. She'd thought...but when it came she was almost relieved.
Wasn't sure how she'd feel about carrying the child of the man who killed her Pa. Might have made her think twice about doing what needed to be done.
They found Lee and Jarrod guilt of accessory to murder. There was other things, but that was the big one. Thirty years was a long time. Too long if she wanted their help. But the lawyer said he'd appeal. Said he might could get them reduced sentences.
They let her go back to the house to get clothes, a few personal items. There was police tape all over the place but someone had called animal control seen to the cows and pigs and chickens. That was good. They'd confiscated all the guns, the tools...evidence, they said.
The day after her brothers was moved to the state prison, Missy found herself in a foster home. She was to be home schooled, get caught up. She had a caseworker, and a place to sleep. She got to go visit her brothers once every other month.
They buried her Pa with none of his kin there, but the lawyer, he told her what lot it was in the potters field. She folded the piece of paper up and stuck it in the pocket of her father's coat along with the picture.
There was other pieces of paper in there, some she couldn't read just yet but she'd had them read to her until she knew them by heart. Copies of court records.
The lady cop's name was Kathleen Hudak, and Samuel...
Missy thought that was kind of fitting. Her Pa had always favored Winchester rifles.
He'd taught her to shoot real good.
He'd also taught her that the best hunters were patient.