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It is a whirlwind in here

Month

August 2022

This Is A TEST

This is a Test  

But not “the” Test

If it were a real Test

It would need

An answer
Or two

Or multiple choice

But It isn’t.  

It is a test

To announce Something,

Or,

To warn about Something,

Or,

To warn about a Warning.  

A test basically to say,

*IF* this was a test.

Then get your shit together,

Or bend over

And kiss your ass good-bye.  

That is all.

DE BA UEL

 It is that type of test.

Six Ex-Wives Meet At A Dead Husband’s Funeral

EXCERPT FROM “There Was A Time When The Stones Were Not So Smooth”

#1-and-only husband has – in truth – not fared well under the ministrations of the Undertaker. Yes, she would recognize him, but she would wonder if he had died of some wasting disease. Perhaps the effects of the gas poisoning produced changes, though Alison Alexandra assumes the whole dying-in-your-sleep thing would make you look at peace. Perhaps he had not been found for quite a while. These are not questions she is going to ask, but he would have been annoyed about the way he looks. He was not a vain man – his standard comment about his own appearance was that ‘he wouldn’t cause a cow to have a miscarriage’. However, he was certainly showing his death.

“Should I introduce you?” asks the lawyer.

“Time consuming,” says Alison Alexandra.

Time consuming or not, it is quickly evident the other ex-wives are interested. They are happy to leave the corpse and settle around her.

“Which one are you?” The youngest woman touches her arm.

“Yes, what group do you fall into?” A heavily made-up woman leans closer. “Are you an Alison, or an Alexandra?” She laughs nervously. “I hope you’re an Alexandra like me, because we’re outnumbered.”

‘I both help and hinder your cause. I’m Alison Alexandra.”

“Well, fuck me gentle.” A woman, more sternly-tailored than the lawyer, holds out her hand. “We’ve hit the mother lode.”

“The Dayspring From On High Doth Visit Us.” A broad woman puts a chummy hand on Alison Alexandra’s shoulder and pats her. “Our Sisterhood is complete.”

“We hope so.” A woman with riveting eyes and uniform grey hair taps her teeth as she speaks. “Is Alison Alexandra the end of our merry – or, is it married – troupe?”

“Lawyer Croft?” The heavily made-up Ex points with lacquered finger. “Is she?”

“Of those who will attend – yes.” Iris Croft hesitates. “There is one deceased.”

“Oh – who was she?” The youngest Ex is excited. “An Alison, or an Alexandra?”

“There’s a story there, I’m sure.” The lawyer looks directly at the youngest Ex. “But I do not know it.”

“What do you mean?”

“She was neither an Alison nor an Alexandra.”

“Well – that’s a devilish turn.” The broad and friendly Ex now pats the lawyer on the shoulder. “What was her name?”

“Amanda.”

“He couldn’t get enough of ‘A’s”” The severe and grey haired Ex forces a smile.

“Where did she fit in?” asks the youngest Ex.

“Just before you.”

‘Well, I guess that didn’t last.”

funeral,widow,widower.ex-wife,death,history,life,Alison Alexandre,novel,marriage,“What happened to her?” asks Alison Alexandra.

“She died of heart failure.”

“Jeez Louise.” The youngest Ex is startled. “How old was she?”

“It had nothing to do with age.” Iris Croft wonders if there is any confidentiality to break. However, the Ex was not her client, and both principals are deceased. “She had a genetic heart defect, discovered at autopsy.”

“What was she like?”

“I never met her.” Iris Croft spreads her hands. “Just as I have never met any of you until today.”

“But you asked to see Alison Alexandra.” The severe, grey haired Ex speaks quickly. “What was that about?”

“It’s not for me to discuss.”

“Well…” The severe Ex turns to Alison Alexandra. “What’s it about, then.”

“She doesn’t have to tell us anything.” The heavily-made up Ex steps forward. “I have no plans of getting personal.”

“But it is kinda personal.” The youngest Ex smirks. “We all fucked him.”

“And he – us,” says the severe grey haired Ex.

Alison Alexandra would like to avoid squabbling among the members of this odd club. She doesn’t mind telling them her beneficiary status as regards the houses. They each had received the financial rewards of the houses they lived in. It’s no skin off their noses. Or hers.

“I get the house in the will.”

“What?” The severe grey haired Ex looks at all the others. “Did you marry him again?”

“First in/last out?” Alison Alexandra laughs. “Nothing like that. I was his default beneficiary for each new house – until he married again.” She decides not to tell them that she got to inspect each new house first.

“So you kept in touch with him?”

“He kept in touch with me.”

“Just about the house?” asks the youngest Ex.

“Yes.” Alison Alexandra will allow one truth to cover much territory. “Not even a Christmas card.”

“They can’t kill us all,” I said, but I knew she heard the doubt in my voice.

08 June 1917

A Gypsy confronted me today, and I was in the mood for a bit of sport. Her age was difficult to tell – certainly a decade older than me. In her swirl of shawls and dangling jewellery, heavy make-up on her face, she could almost have been in disguise. She peered at me with an intense sigh, attempting – I am sure – to penetrate my own disguise.

“You are a Jew,” she said.

“And you a Gypsy,” I replied.

She seemed pleased with my response, for her professional smile became real.

“You state the obvious,” she said. “As becomes a Doktor of Laws,”

I replied. “But to your eyes, do you not state the obvious?” 

“Are you going to banter with a poor old Gypsy woman, instead of barter? That would make you suspiciously like one of us.” She said this with a growl in her throat.

“The Gypsy and the Jew,” I said, feeling the challenge which I so miss. “Perhaps an opera – but I think it’s been done to death.” 

“They will try to do us all unto death,” she said harshly, and turned away.

I had the fear she was going to leave me without another word, but what she did was to spit fulsomely onto the street.

“They can’t kill us all,” I said, but I knew she heard the doubt in my voice.

She slowly faced me again.

“So. Even a Doktor of Laws can have hope. That is refreshing – but foolish.” She took my hand and felt my palm roughly with her thumb, although all the while her eyes never left my face. “You are going to travel.” 

“Travel is a vague word. One can go on many types of voyage.” 

“And reach many destinations,” she added, still holding my hand. “If you take away my vagueness, you take away my trade.” 

“Then let me pay you for your services right now.”

 This transaction would make her loose my hand, which is what I wanted most of all. She had frightened me, for her eyes and face were full of truth. I know the truth. I know it when it presents itself, stark and unobscured. I search out truth endlessly, yet still can flee at its approach. As in her eyes. But she gripped me more fiercely, and pulled my hand up.

“The coin, Herr Doktor.” Her voice was now soft. “The coin can wait.”

She at last lowered her eyes and looked closely at my palm. She rubbed the lines and whorls of my skin. She touched her finger to her lips, and spread the moisture along my hand.

“Your lifeline, Herr Doktor,” she took a quick look in my eyes, “of Laws. You deceive with the youth upon your face. Is that not so?” 

“If your eyes stop at the mask, then no, the years have not etched themselves deeply.” 

“Not on your face, Herr Doktor of Laws.” Her grip was intense. “But on your palm…” She hissed. “You will soon embark upon that final voyage.”

She released my hand, rubbed her fingers across her sleeve.

“But you will not go in haste. There will be many stops along the way.”

Suddenly her face was full of the most beautiful smile, and her laughter was genuine.

“I see you do not complain of vagueness now.” She held out her hand. “The coin, Herr Doktor of Laws. This time I have truly earned it.”

I dug deeply into my pocket, and feared that I may have overpaid her. But, perhaps, that is not possible.

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