Early Excerpt from "The Mother, Lover, Wife" (working title)

The Mission was full. Stuffy hall throbbing with distinct and Scottish fervour – unseemly to put on too great a display – but the bible surely said God deserved our worshipful respect. And it was respect indeed to come with a fine hat and buttoned gloves and patent heels. A coat that you really needed – just then, before the Preacher visited. A little lipstick. Rouge. Foundation. The powdered curious scentlessness of middle-aged women who had turned their faces against their marital beds. And the desiccated men.


And then the teenagers. Eyes shining. Filled with the vision of entangled Saltire and Stars and Stripes. Eating up the drum-kit and cymbals and tambourine and that mirrored sheen of red and blue and white guitar. They were glazy for the Preacher.


Old Mrs Wilson, helped to her seat by the Pastors smooth-tongued son, mouth pursed in a cats-arse “o”. This was no good day. Before her were the instruments of the strumpet. The temple was to be defiled. She was drafting the letter to the brethren in her mind. Hot with anger. There – she could feel that feeble heartbeat quicken, strong with a sudden imagined righteous and bloody vengeance.  


This is what happened, Molly thought, when you were too weak to say “no” to your best pal. Your only pal. A pal who was newly born-again. Following daily praying-over by that plain faced lassie in the 5th year. A pal who masturbated to thoughts of the Pastors blonde son and who knew, knew mind, that he wanted to take her to the loch, out in the car, out in the dark, to sample her flesh…


Molly was here out of duty, she told herself. She was watching over Fi-the-flirt. She was also tired from a night spent worrying that she would be struck down by God and then stagger to her feet from the hall floor, testifying she had heard the word and was born again… 


She had been here before. That night plain-face had talked gibberish and been joined by swaying gibbering adults who had plainly lost their minds. That was the night Fi had slumped in her seat and slithered to the floor and arose, crucified between a brethren-watcher and the blonde son, crying and shaking and praising the lord in a voice Molly thought was high on Carlsberg.  Had Fi winked at her before she had succumbed to the pressure of the lords voice? Molly had been certain she had. But Fi said “I did not. God spoke” in that final petulant way of hers and Molly had decided it wasn’t worth pursuing.


So, she sat in the hall. Clutching her offering in one hand and a bag of bonbons in the other. Fi was sticky with excitement and stinking of YSL Opium. Her bright blue eyelids fluttered and twitched every time blonde boy came near. As far as Molly could see, he was unaware of the trembling Fi. No sign of life there. He hadn’t looked Fis way. At all. Not once. Molly had been studying him and there had been no sign of reciprocalove (lust as Molly well knew).


Molly found his smooth bland beige appearance unpleasant. He had put his hand on hers as they had left that night of Fis conversion. It was oily. He was oily. He was two years older than her and he had patted her hand. Uncle George did that – and he was repulsive. Not only had bland boy patted her hand, he had held her shoulder as he said “and I will be praying that it is you the night the Preacher arrives to spread the lords word”.


Ugh. There it was again. That same creeping tingle of repulsion. She shivered and looked up, just at the moment bland was looking over. He winked. Deliberately. A loaded, conspiratorial wink, heavy with presumption.




(this is from the beginning of Wife, Mother, lover. Molly, the central character, is she of the love affair below)





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