The Leper’s Burlesque

Part 3

 

John R. Guthrie

 

 

Chapter V

 

In the operating room at 6 A.M. the next morning, the anesthesiologist injected the Diazepam and Demerol to increase the effect of the inhalation anesthesia. Within minutes, Damien slept peacefully. Except where surgical drapes and a thermal blanket partly covered him, he was nude. The OR nurse swept his privates to the side with the sterile drape and covered them. An orderly shaved the exposed thigh the night before.  The nurse painted his left thigh with the orange-colored germ killer Betadine.

The anesthesiologist sat silently on his stool at the head of the operating table, checking his instruments. A bulky man, he listened to the beeps and studied the array of lights on the consoles of the machines that intimated the secrets of Damien’s life processes. He stood, tilted Damien’s head back, and nimble as an eel, slipped the trach tube down Damien’s throat and into his windpipe. The tube would provide the anesthetic gas Desflurane to provide a deeper anesthesia as well as gases for life support.   

Dr. Rosenblaum, gowned and gloved, moved to where the nurse had stood beside Damien’s bared thigh. An OR tech pumped up the tourniquet, an over-sized blood pressure cuff, around the upper thigh. The dermaplane Dr. Rosenblaum held had a thick black electrical cord. A bulky device, it looked somewhat like an electric sander. The surgeon switched it on. It buzzed like a giant hornet. She smoothly advanced the instrument up Damien’s thigh. Like an apple peeler, it pared off a sheet of skin that emerged, curling onto itself, from a slot in the top. The donor site was initially white, then tiny dots of red bloomed and grew in spite of the tourniquet. The delicate sheet of donor skin was picked up carefully by the gloved hands of the OR nurse who ran it through the mesher, a many pronged device, whose function and structure was disconcertingly similar to a butcher’s meat cuber. It turned the graft into a grid-like web, delicate as lace, so the nurse could stretch it, ever so carefully, over a larger area. Dr. Rosenblaum stood by, forceps and a needle driver loaded with blue nylon suture material in her gloved hands. The surgical nurse applied the graft carefully to Damien’s denuded armpit, smoothing it to insure that there were no bubbles to interfere with healing. Dr. Rosenbaum trimmed the margins with curved Metzenbaum scissors, an instrument ideally adapted to cutting delicate tissues. She trimmed carefully to obtain an exact fit with no overlap onto intact skin at the edge of the wound. Deft as a harpist, she stitched it lightly into place over Damien’s axilla. The nurse gently applied gauze soaked with sterile saline to keep the graft moist. Finally Damien’s arm was splinted away from his body to help avoid adhesions and excess scar formation during healing.

The surgeon’s attention returned to the thigh. Using a wand-like Bovey cautery powered by a console the size of a microwave oven, she zapped each of the small red bleeding points on the donor site, each time with a Z ZZZZ like a bug zapper and the unmistakable smell of singed flesh. Nodding toward the OR tech, Dr. Rosenblaum said, “lets try it without the cuff,” The tech deflated the thigh cuff. Previously invisible bleeding points emerged. Dr. Rosenblaum cauterized each red blossom.

Suddenly she paused and looked up. The subdued chiming of Damien’s heart monitor, its ping…ping…ping regular as a metronome, changed to staccato notes in rapid succession: pingpingping. Her eyes widened slightly as his heart rate climbed to 150 beats per minute. Simultaneously his blood pressure plummeted 

The anesthesiologist, half standing now, voice muffled by his mask and transparent face shield, said, as calmly as if telling the time of day, “Jackie, he’s throwing runs of  PVCs.”  PVCs, premature ventricular contractions, can cause ineffective heartbeats and can lead to cardiac arrest. With practiced efficiency, the anesthesiologist injected a syringe of Lidocaine through Damien’s IV and turned the valve to it run freely. Lidocaine usually suppresses the ineffective fluttering of the heart. But the extra beats only became more frequent. Then instead of beating spasmodically, the ventricles began to flutter; a critically dangerous occurrence known as ventricular fibrillation.

What followed was a team effort, as choreographed as a Balinchini ballet. The OR tech leaned into crash cart that waited just outside the surgical cubicle. The equipment on it rattled and rumbled against the steel cart as the tech positioned neatly near the surgical table and flipped its sterile drapes open.

The anesthesiologist was in charge now, responsible for orchestrating the team’s attempt to drag Damien back into the realm of the living. The O.R. nurse smeared conductive gel on the paddles of the defibrillator. Dr. Rosenblaum stood at Damien’s side, fist poised above his chest. She looked at the Anesthesiologist. He nodded, "Thump ‘em.”

The “smack” of the precordial thump was audible as Rosenblaum slammed her gloved fist against Damien’s slender chest in hopes of returning his heart to a normal rhythm. The aberrant rhythm continued. The anesthesiologist looked at the nurse who held the electroshock paddles at the ready. “200 Joules,” he said.

The nurse slapped the paddles firmly into place, one above the heart, one to the left. “Hands off!” The anesthesiologist barked. The OR crew, including Dr. Rosenblaum, held their hands up and away from Damien and the operating table like concert pianists preparing to hit a chord. The nurse pressed the red buttons on top of the defibrillator paddle handles. There was a BZZZZZ as the device discharged. The power of the charge made Damien’s body arch off the table, then he whumped back down. He laid there, eyes half-open. Now Jackie Rosenblaum able to see in part his dilated pupils. His face was pale, the bloodless pallor of death.

Reading his instruments still, the anesthesiologist shook his head and said, voice steady, “Going to 300 Joules. Hands off!”

The nurse twisted the saucer-sized dial on the front of the machine, then applied the paddles again;

BZZZZZ. Whump!

The tracing on the ECG monitor oscillated erratically, then after a very few seconds, the anesthesiologist announced, “We have a normal sinus rhythm again. Let’s watch and see if it holds.”

As seconds passed by, the operatory was silent except for the whirring of equipment, the whispering of air through the vents. The anesthesiologist grimaced as the oscilloscope showed Damien’s heart to be beating erratically again. Then it flat lined, the monitor singing a plaintive one-note song. .

Dr. Rosenblaum spoke to the OR nurse. Epi, please!”

The nurse locked a cardiac needle as long as the business end of an ice pick to the syringe, fitted the needle onto the syringe with practiced efficiency and drew up epinephrine from the vial on the steel cart. She slapped the syringe into Jackie Rosemblaum’s outstretched palm. Rosenblaum looked to the anesthesiologist. He nodded. Rosenblaum felt for the space between Damien’s fifth and six ribs. Holding the syringe like a dart, she prepared for that last desperate measure, injecting the solution directly into the heart in hopes of teasing it back into action.

Just before she drove the needle home, the monitor pinged, then pinged again.

”Jackie, hold on,” the anesthesiologist said.

The tracing on the monitor continued steadied, describing the peaks and valleys of a regular heart rate. The anesthesiologist, his voice still as calm and steady as an airline captain’s, said. “Jesus, we got him back” Calm voice not withstanding, his heart was beating like a drum roll. He added, “Thank you, everyone.”              

Dr. Rosenblaum, whose blood pressure was beyond all reason at that point said, “Whew.” She put the intracardial injection setup back on the tray, and looked at her patient who had so recently died. She was watchful for a moment, then slid one hand and then another into the fresh gloves the nurse gaped open for her. He anesthesiologist caught her eye and gave her a thumbs up.

She nodded, then turned and inspected the open wound on Damien’s thigh looking for bleeding points one final time.

 “Let’s wrap him up,” she finally said. “He’s going to Intensive Care for a while.”

One of the nurses bandaged the open wound on Damien’s thigh with gauze saturated with sterile saline and thrombin to assist in blood clotting and tissue regrowth, then wrapped it with enough tubular Kurlex bandaging that it was twice the size of the other thigh. Using the draw sheet beneath him, the OR team, including Dr. Rosenblaum, shifted Damien’s sleeping form to the bed now fast against  the surgical table. The OR tech clacked the rails up. Damien was wheeled briskly out to intensive care, one castor of the bed squawking as he went.

 

Dr. Payne stopped in to see Damien the next morning. He said, “Hey, Buddy. You scared the hell out of us yesterday.”

Damien said, “I know. The anesthesiologist came by and told me about it. I didn’t know anything about it until then. I just knew that I had two red marks big as saucers on my chest.”

“Are they hurting?”

 “No. They itch like crazy, though. Doctor Rosenblaum came by too. The anesthesiologist said a problem like the one I had is unusual in someone my age and that sometimes there is no obvious explanation. I was scared. I came through, though.  But I have to check my own pulse every time I think about it, just to make sure I still have a heartbeat.”

Payne smiled and nodded. “Otherwise, how’re you feeling?”

“Oh, sortta like 3-day-old poop,” Damien replied. “Thigh aches like crazy. Itches, too. Armpit’s fine, though.” He was smiling as he spoke.

Payne nodded. “Par for the course,” he replied. “But you do have some pain meds available if you need them.”

“I only had to ask for a shot once, last night,” Damien said, then added, “do you have few minutes to talk?     

“Sure,” Aaron replied as he pulled up a chair to bedside and sat, placing Damien’s chart on the bed. What’s on your mind, Damien?”

“You already know about sex at Crestview with the youth minister, Rev. Gregory Sams. That was my first time. Being gay and living in Austerity is usually sort of like being a hummingbird that can’t find another hummingbird. Then we found our moments when we were back in Austerity, sometimes in his church office, sometimes somewhere else. Please don’t tell anyone about all this. It’s really hard to talk about.” 

Sr. Payne’s brow wrinkled as he hesitated, then said, “Damien, if we could find anyone in South Carolina who hasn’t done something sexually they don’t care to talk about, I’d be surprised. You told us you were HIV positive before surgery. That was important. The entire surgical team really appreciates that.”

Damien replied, “I’m living at home now. My parents …Dad anyway, my job too, the church. I sing in the church choir and fill in on piano sometimes. But they’re gonna kick me out.”

“That’s a shame, Damien,” Payne said.

“The other day one of the deacons from Austerity’s First Church, Otis Brine, wrote to the editor of the Sentinel-Tribune. He said people who are HIV positive should be put in prison. Solitary confinement, he said, then signed it, 'No Special Rights for Sodomites!' As far as I know, just about everybody in Austerity feels the same way.”

“I know” said Aaron. “For some it’s a combination of fear, ignorance and superstition. They’re not all bad, though.”

Then as if remembering himself, Damien said emphatically, “But anyway, Doc, I wonder if I’m really gay. Maybe I just had sex with a man a few times. You know, experimental.” 

Payne nodded slightly and said, “Just had sex with a man occasionally?  But what if you are gay? You’d still be Damien, not some monster with sharp fangs and horns.”

Damien thought a moment, sighed, then said, “I wish others here saw it that way.” He paused for a moment, then said, “Shit, Doc, I know I’m gay.” 

Payne nodded and continued. “That’s probably better,” Payne said, “to be straight up about it, especially with yourself. We do need to talk further about who else could be infected, though.”

“Well, the youth minister. He’s Pastor MacLeash’s nephew, by the way. That’s how he got to be youth minister. You don’t have to tell him I told you, do you?”

“No. When the public health nurse contacts him, she won’t use any names. She’ll just tell him that it’s urgent that he be tested. He’s obviously had more than one contact. Is he married?”

“Yes.”

“He’ll get a chance to tell his wife first,” Payne said.    

 “His wife is the granddaughter of First Church’s assistant minister. They have a one-year-old little girl. Doc, you want believe this. When that baby was born, her daddy took pictures in the delivery room of his wife’s bottom while she was up in stirrups. I mean, talk about major wide-open beaver shots. Then one showed the baby’s head coming out, then there was one with him holding the baby with his wife’s bloody bottom in the background. He brought the pictures to church and showed them to everyone who was willing to look.”

“Sounds like he was trying to prove something,” Dr. Payne said. 

“Prove something? Showing photos of his wife’s shaved wazoo around church?”

Wazoo and baby, remember. What better proof is that he’s not gay than that he’s had sex with a woman and conceived a child. That he’s a red-blooded American boy like every man in First Church is supposed to be.”

 Smiling derisively, Damien snorted, then said. “Will she be positive since her husband is?”

“Not necessarily. She needs to get tested,” Payne said.

 

Chapter VI

 

So went Satan forth

from the presence of the LORD,

and smote Job with sore boils

from the sole of his foot unto his crown.

 

-- Job 2:7 

 

Damien returned after his release from the hospital to Dr. Payne’s clinic with a persistent cold. He got better, then he developed a painful strep throat. Dr. Payne increased the antibiotic dosage. Then he changed to a more powerful antibiotic. But the sore throat persisted, leaving Damien congested, coughing, and with enlarged and sore lymph nodes in his neck.  He steadily became worse instead of better. After the passage of time, the throat infection relented, but within two weeks, Damien said, “Doc, I have a swelling on the side of my face. It’s sore, too.”

Dr. Payne incised the boil on his right cheek, drained it and packed it with iodoform gauze ribbon. A succession of other boils developed over the next several days; in his right armpit, on the side of his nose, on his back.

Dr. Payne, said, “We need to go back to the hospital, Damien. To do some IV antibiotics before this gets out of hand. Some tests are called for.

Once outside the exam room, he said to Ali, “Damien’s going to be rehospitalized.”

Ali said, “Shit!”

Dr. Payne looked at her in surprise. 

Her eyes were glistening. She said, “This isn’t too professional, is it, Doc?”

“Not too professional? Ali, you’re the best nurse I know.”

“But we all know that we can’t get too emotionally involved with patients. Patients, by definition, get sick. Some of them die. We can’t get all leaky about that, can we, Doc? And still stay professional?”    

“Sometimes, Ali,” he said, “it’s O.K. to listen to your heart instead of the rule book.”

She wiped a tear away that was streaking down her nose and nodded.  

“I’ve never though of you as a weepy person,” Aaron said, “But always, some patient’s dilemmas hurt more than others. It’s the same for me.”

Dabbing at her eyes with a Kleenex, Ali said, “Yeah, that’s it.  Even though he was sort of vile at first, Damien’s so young, eight years younger than I, and that doesn’t seem like much any more. He reminds me of the younger brother I once had. And he’s going downhill.…”

Dr. Payne looked at her. “Know what, Ali? I know that underneath it all, you’re tough as well as smart.” He nearly added “and beautiful,” but stopped himself in time.

She smiled, a radiant, room warming smile, “Most of the time I am,” she said.

 

CHAPTER VII

 

 …and all the priests, looked at him, and behold,

He was leprous in his forehead!

And they thrust him out quickly,

And he himself hastened to get out,

Because the LORD has smitten him.

And King Uzz’iah was a leper to the day of his death,

And being a leper, dwelt in a separate house,

For he was excluded from the house of the LORD

 

II Chonicles 20-21

 

Deacon Otis Brine was a devout, meaty and brusque man of late middle years. His bald pate reflected the light. He was the owner of a small loan company and was also Damien’s "personal deacon.” 

Deacon arrived on Damien’s floor, 3 South, unannounced on a Saturday morning. He had three visitation cards. Each was imprinted with “First Baptist Church” and ”Jesus Saves,” then in red with Matthew 25:36; I was sick, and ye visited me…. Then it urges in black type, “Remember in Prayer” with the person and their hospital room number written in rounded script beneath. Deacon Brine intended to minister to his communicants by reading something encouraging from the well-thumbed Bible he carried. Matthew 13.41-42 was a favorite. He smiled as he thought of it.  It’s particularly powerful and so simple. Jesus says that he will send his angels to gather out all the people who do iniquities and cast them into a furnace of fire where there will be great wailing and gnashing of teeth. Yet if you follow the rules, including loving Jesus, you go too heaven. Even if you’ve had a vile, dismal, agonizing, open sewer of a life, you’re gonna hit that big jackpot in the sky-- if you don’t rock the boat and persistently love Jesus. And of course, the implied corollary, is that if you don’t love Jesus, you’re fucked, because Jesus seriously demands constant, major love. And that’s the way it oughtta be.

Deacon Brine stopped abruptly when he saw the isolation signs and the cart with sterile gowns and such outside Damien’s room. He rubbed his chin a moment, and then looked around. He saw a nurse’s aide he knew from church pushing a cart of breakfast trays toward him.

“Gladys?” he said in a voice so low that was almost a whisper.

She saw him, brightened, and stepped over. She was a woman of late middle years, her long hair graying, her lips usually pursed in permanent indignation. He put his index finger to his lips and whispered hoarsely to her, “Gladys, what’s all this stuff outside Damien Frey’s room?”

Placing her hand beside her mouth, she said “Sterile gowns and gloves, Deacon. He has the Gay Plague.”

Whaddaya mean Gay plague?”

She looked around before whispering, “The disease that ho-mo-sex-yals get from trying to commit the marital act with one another.”

Deacon’s jaw dropped open as he jerked his head back as if recoiling from a serpent. “No-o-o, Gladys. You don’t mean it!”

Gladys nodded with great certainty, then said, “Now don’t mention it to a soul. It’s highly confidential.

“Of course Gladys. God help us! The Gay Plague! Right here in Austerity. I knew his would happen when liberals started pushing the ho-mo-sex-yal agenda down our throats.”

“A-mee-yun, Deacon, she said gravely, shaking her head, “the Devil, like God, is everywhere. He never rests.” She leaned into the handle of the food cart. “Never!” she concluded and pushed it down the hall, the trays and dishes tinkling pleasantly as she went. Deacon Brine, stayed from his mission of visiting the sick by the threat of a vile and inglorious death from infectious disease, watched her departure. With his inner eye he could see perfectly what might happen if he entered the pest house that was Room 308: Unsuspecting, he entered. Damien leaped from behind the door, grinning maniacally. He was red-eyed, naked, frothing at the mouth like a rabid dog, and stroking an erection like that of a race horse. He slammed the door and blocked it with a chair against the handle. Deacon fought valiantly, but the last thing he remembered was a loud, “Bong” as the much younger man knocked him unconscious with a stainless steel bedpan, contaminating him with HIV positive waste in the process. He regained consciousness bound and gagged with filthy bandaging and bed sheets. A brutal act of ho-mo-sex-yal rape followed, his assailant cackling and laughing as he reciprocated vigorously above Deacon’s expansive and previously sacrosanct buttocks. As Deacon writhed on the tiles, he desperately but unsuccessfully tried to reach the nurse’s call button. 

As the ho-mo-sex-yal had his way with him. He knew in his heart that he would now have Gay Plague. Happens all the time in Central Prison down in Columbia. It’s part of the punishment, quite fitting for criminals who are mostly Negroes anyway, but for a Christian? A deacon? A white man?

Deacon then saw himself forced at scalpel point into a shameful and inglorious act of fellatio upon the plague-ridden patient’s massive and steely erection.

Oddly, he felt a warming in this groin, his member becoming turgid as he imagined this. He bent over slightly to conceal it as his imagined script rolled.

He hacked up bloody sputum, a thin coat clasped tight around his neck, as he wandered the winter streets of Austerity He wasted away, skin falling away in sheets like the victim of a nuclear blast. He was leprous in appearance. He saw preacher MacLeash and stretched out his hand imploringly. Pulling the collar of his wool overcoat close, MacLeash looked the other way and swept on by.

  Shunned by all, turned from the bosom of his church and his family, he would die a homeless derelict in the hobo jungle near the train yard. Would Charlie Rose’s funeral home even give him a decent embalming job and burial? More likely they would burn his toxic remains then scatter them over the unconsecrated soil of the landfill. 

He murmured a prayer, his lips moving silently as he continued to lean over in hopes of hiding his semi-turgid member. He startled as the voice of 3 South's head nurse, she who possessed the authority of a main battle tank, called him back to reality. “Sir, are you alright?”

“Oh yes, certainly, Ma’am. I’m just reviewing my future…I mean my schedule. I’d better be getting along.” He turned and walked toward the exit as the main battle tank, pushing her bifocals up on the bridge of her nose, frowned at the departing figure.

 

Armed with the knowledge that a queer was on the loose in First Church, Deacon Brine was there in slightly less than twelve minutes, parking slantwise in two parking spaces in the parking lot behind the church and leaving the driver’s door ajar as he scurried toward MacLeash’s office.

He sat, breathless and red-faced, opposite Pastor MacLeash on the other side of the minister’s European antique burled walnut desk, a furnishing with an expanse comparable to the flight deck of an aircraft carrier.

Pastor MacLeash gasped as he heard Otis Brine’s story. Finally, he took a deep breath and said sadly, “Dear God! This is a prayer emergency if there ever was one. Let us pray, Otis.”  He and Deacon Brine bowed their heads, preacher squeezing Otis’s hand as he started talking aloud to his invisible but omnipresent god. He concluded, “Dear Father God, Bring this young devil-in-Christian-clothing Damien to the understanding that thou hast afflicted him with this deadly plague. Let him understand that this is your just retribution for his wicked and ungodly lifestyle. Let him serve as an example of the wages of sin to the other young people of the church family, and of the community at large. We pray in thy Son Jesus’ holy name, A-me-yen.”  

“A-me-yen,” Otis Brine echoed.

God, as usual, wherever she was or wasn’t, was as silent as the tooth fairy.

Like the wind before the storm that ripples the woodland pines in that place, the news crackled through the congregation. Soon, every member knew except for Damien Frey’s parents, Polly and Floyd. At mid-afternoon, Pastor MacLeash’s wife, Elsie, honored Polly with a call. “Polly, I’m terribly sorry to hear the news. I just called to see how you are holding up.”

“News? Holding up?”

“I know you must be finding it hard to trust in God right now,” Elsie said.  “Sometimes people even get angry with God when they face a situation like Damien’s.”

“Damien? Elsie, he’s in the hospital. He had an infection they had to treat with IV antibiotics. He’ll be OK though. Probably he'll be home tomorrow or next day.”

“Polly? I didn’t know there was any antibiotic to treat Gay Plague.” In case Polly didn’t get the point, Elsie added, “You now, that ho-mo-sex-yal disease

“Huh??? Elsie, he got hurt at work and has a staph infection. Goodness!”

“Oh my. Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned this. I’d better go now. Bye, Polly.” Clunk! Dial tone!

 

In 20 minutes, when Damien’s mother got off of the phone with her hospitalized son, she was weeping, gasping, shrieking, “Oh, God, oh, Lord,  Oh, Sweet Savior.” God and the boys, no matter the frantic urgency of Polly’s pleas, remained silent as a tomb.

After gathering herself up a bit, she made another phone call, this time to Damien’s father, Floyd.

Shortly, Floyd wheeled into the driveway and slid his Chevrolet pick up to a stop on the loose gravel. He left the vehicle with one front tire cockeyed onto the lawn and the driver’s door agape. He entered the house and collapsed onto the twill khaki Sophia sectional sofa. He hugged one of the contrasting Cabana Crimson pillows to his chest and rocked back and forth for a moment. Then he said to Polly, “Are you sure?” Polly, still weeping, her hands partly covering her flushed face, simply nodded.

After sitting for a few minutes like a steam engine gathering steam, Floyd finally exploded. “Mother,” he said. “Get Mr. Butt Bumper on the phone.”

“Floyd, don’t call Damien names!”

“Polly? Didn’t you understand me?”

“Floyd…”

“Polly,” he said loudly, “repeat with me; Ephesians 5:22!”

Floyd began, Polly mouthing the words soundlessly, Ephesians 5:22. Wives, submit your selves unto your husbands as unto the Lord.”

“Now get Mr. Nancy on the phone!”

“No!”

“Polly, SIT!”

Slowly, she backed up to the other end of the couch and sat.

As if talking to a child, Floyd said, “Repeat with me, dear: Ephesians 5:23.”

Perplexed, Polly spoke aloud: “Ephesians 5:23:  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church.”

“Polly, you’ve just quoted God’s Holy Word. It’s very clear, isn’t it? That Word has always been supreme in this household.

“Floyd, please…” she implored, tears streaming now.

 “We’re going to have to pray over this. Still watching her slantwise, Floyd slid his knees to the carpet in front of the couch. Polly followed obediently, though mewling and sniffing audibly. 

“Father God,” he implored “Give this woman guidance in the meaning of your Holy Word. Remind her that she is loved, cherished, and protected, that all her needs are cared for due to your providence and mine. Ah-mee-yun.”

Floyd then said, “let us be attentive to God’s Holy Word. Repeat with me, Dear, Ephesians, 5:24.Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”  The emphasis was Floyd’s.

He put his arm around Polly’s shoulders and drew her to him, squeezing her buttock with one hand and her left breast with the other as he spoke.

She picked up the phone, still sniffing, and dialed. In a moment she handed the phone to her husband.

Hand over the mouthpiece smiling, Floyd said, “Polly, as your husband, I love you even as Christ loved the church.”

She nodded, dabbing at her eyes.  “Ephesians 5: 25. I love that verse, Floyd.”

Within seconds, Floyd told Damien to make “other arrangements” for residence as soon as he emerged from the hospital.

“Of course we love you,” Floyd said into the phone, “But I thank my sweet Jesus that we love the Lord even more. Think of Jephthah. He cut his own daughter’s throat and burned her body in order to keep God’s command. ” He carefully replaced the phone in the cradle and turned back to Polly.

“Well?” He said.

Seeing the anger blazing in his eyes, she said, “Floyd, please Honey, please forgive me. I’m so sorry I disobeyed. I should have done it the first time. Like in Ephesians, 5:22, I want to submit myself unto you. Please.”  She slipped her housedress over her head and unsnapped her bra. She rolled down her white cotton panties and slipped them off. She placed the panties on the pale blue dress beside the couch. She then lay recumbent, moaning, one knee propped against the back of the couch, the other hanging over the front. Reaching over to Floyd, she began to massage his groin with one hand and the dark mass at the juncture of her thighs with the other. As Floyd unzipped, she rotated onto her stomach and spread her legs.

 

To Be Continued…