The Arrest

The Arrest

Word of the arrest spread quickly. Word of any news spread like wildfire, faster than an airborne virus in a town the size of Monticello, Marjorie mused. Just leave, she thought, follow your intuition. Get the hell outta Dodge. It would be easy enough.

Or would it? She paced in the kitchen, up and down the black and white tiled floor. Back and forth. She wondered if they’d tapped her telephone. Decided to use her cell to phone her sister in Montana. She took three deep breaths before dialing.

“I’m coming for a visit,” Marjorie told Madge. She peeked through a corner of the kitchen curtains. The police were still parked there. And some news van with its insignia labeled on the side.

“You’re what?” Madge asked, her nasal tone grating on Marjorie through the telephone.

“Driving out, leaving tonight.” Marjorie looked in the hall mirror, noticed the two dark circles under her eyes. She walked toward the bedroom, intending to lay down.

Instead she stood in the doorway, stared at the bed. How could she be so stupid, she thought.

“Oh.” Madge paused. “Are you sure you can leave, so…so-”

“I’m sure, “ Marjorie nodded. “Yes, I have to get away.” She sat on the living room sofa, counted the bills from a tan envelope in her purse.

“But, why so sudden?” Madge asked. “Are you in trouble again?”

It was the way she said again that grated on Marjorie. “No, it’s not me,” she said. Two hundred dollars. That ought to be enough. She tucked the envelope back into her purse.

“Is it Mitch?” Madge asked.

Marjorie wrestled with an answer. Wanted to lie, didn’t want to admit the truth, even to herself.

“He didn’t hit you again, did he?” Madge’s voice sounded angry.

“No.” Marjorie fell silent. Should I tell her? Maybe I shouldn’t. Oh what the hell. The rest of the town of Monticello knew. And it was better coming from her twin sister than some tacky news story. “He was arrested, Madge.”

“Arrested?” Madge nearly shouted. “Arrested?” she repeated. “Oh, heavens to Betsy.”

“Yeah,” Marjorie said. “It sucks.”

“What was it this time? DWI?” Marge guessed. “Or did he beat somebody up at Barbers?”

Here we go, Marjorie thought. She closed her eyes. “It’s porn.”

There was a pause.

“Marge? Are you there?”

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About Robert Vaughan

Originally from NY, writer, editor, and workshop leader, his poems and fiction are widely published in print and online magazines, such as Necessary Fiction, BlazeVOX, Connotation Press, Metazen, Thrice, Literary Orphans and Housefire. He is Senior Flash editor at JMWW and Lost in Thought magazines and leads round- tables for Redoak Writing. He is a six times Pushcart Prize Nominee and his fiction and poetry have won awards, including a Micro-Fiction runner-up (2012) and twice a finalist in the Gertrude Stein Fiction Award (2013-14). His collections are: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps): Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms) and RIFT, co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press).
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9 Responses to The Arrest

  1. Don says:

    Nothing like taking on the heavyweight issues for a Monday morning! Yee haw! This is great and I like how it ends on such a questionable note. What will happen? Is it the beginning of a road trip story? Or do we learn that “the truth” is multiple sided? Stay tuned. It’s riveting.

  2. Andrea says:

    Wow! Heavy and anxiety ridden. Good one. Porn! I’d love to know what that means. LOL!

  3. Shari says:

    This was filled with tension, in a great way. I like all of the alliteration used also: Monticello, Marjorie, Montana, Madge, and good ol Mitch. Was that your intention? You are so skilled at leading us down this path right through the surprising twists and turns that come near the end. It’s akin to pulling back a rubber band, further, and further, then letting it spring with as simple a word as ‘porn.’ Loaded with all sorts of implications. Fantastic.

  4. david says:

    OMG.. Monticello was the “big town” from my summer home.. my Aunt up there was from Montana… and of course Barber’s, where Lisa Lamb bing-bong threw the cigarette machine at someone while on peyote buttons… so after I “got over” those references… I loved the story… well done!

  5. Dez says:

    I live in one of these kind of towns, so I know how word spreads! Great job, Robert. I like the twist at the end too. And what will happen to these characters? You leave us wanting more, a great thing.

  6. Theo says:

    This has all the makings of either a Stanley Kubrick or a Quentin Tarentino film. Right up there with Twin Peaks 2010: Marjorie ends up in Manchester, Idaho (they love filming in those kind of places)…re-claims her life, until one day, truck-driving Mitch shows up.

  7. Beverly says:

    Wow, heavy hitting and full of tension. I like how the shocker comes right at the end of this. Full punch in the gut!

  8. Tom Froehlich says:

    Loved this! The suspense was great. You establishing them as white trash without saying that they are! Hard to do yet you pull it off with finesse. The “porn” ending was excellent! What do you need to do with porn to get arrested? Do I need to be concerned?

  9. I usually don’t usually post on many Blogs, but I love your blog. I often read here, still, I just have to say thank you… keep up the amazing work.

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