Wednesday, July 4, 2012
In her third floor bedroom, Elizabeth McKreedy dressed in darkened silence. The bulb from the small lamp gave her just enough light to avoid bumping into things, but she didn't dare turn it brighter. Peeking out from behind the pulled shade, she could see the street was quiet and deserted. If she hurried, she could get to Holy Family before anyone else.
How could she have been so careless with the rosary? She had meant to slide it back into her purse, rather than her pocket, but with all that had happened that morning, regular routine went off track. She was absolutely sure she had it when she left the chapel, but after that, it was a blur. She shuddered at the memory, and finished dressing in earnest.
Grabbing only her pocketbook, she crept down the stairs, stopping to listen at Cassie's bedroom door. Hearing nothing, she assumed her cousin was still fast asleep, and headed toward the front door. Cassie had never been a morning person, preferring to greet the new day somewhere around 10:00 AM. With any luck, she'd remain virtually comatose until Elizabeth had safely returned from the church.
As she was about to unlock the front door, a voice hissed behind, causing her to jump several inches. " And just where in the hell do you think you're going?"
Elizabeth turned to see Cassie standing behind her, a cup of coffee steaming in her hand. "I...um...thought I'd go to 6:00 AM Mass...at um..Holy Family. It's Sunday, and all that."
"I realize it's Sunday, Liz. Apparently that means you're invisible, or something?"
"I don't get what you mean, Cassie?"
"Damn it Elizabeth! We went through this all last night! You can't be seen in town...anywhere! What if someone recognizes you? Do you want us to get arrested? Honestly, Liz, sometimes your a complete frickn' idiot! This is not a game we're playing here! This is serious shit!"
"I just figured that if I wasn't wearing the disguise, it'd be okay. And honestly, Cassie, how crowded can that Mass be? It's so early in the morning. I'll walk over there. No one will even notice me."
"In a church the size of a postage stamp? The place has like 8 pews. Its not like you can hide in the back, especially here in Dollyville. Everybody knows everyone's business. Do you know how hard it's been to keep anyone from poking around this house. I'm pretty sure the idiots here think my agoraphobia is contagious or something, so they leave me pretty much alone. But a new face in church? Shit, you'd be the talk over every one's breakfast by 8:00 AM. Forget it Elizabeth! Mass is out of the question!"
"But Cassie, I really feel I need to go to today. It's been...you know...a stressful week." Elizabeth desperately tried not to come across like a begging five year old, but even to her own ear, she sounded like a whining child. Straightening her back, she explained, "Mass is important to me Cassie. I really want to go."
"That's a no-go, chickie. You'll have to settle for Mass on the T.V. I'm pretty sure one of the cable channels has Mass for the Home Bound. And for the time being, that's what you are...
home bound. Live with it."
Thinking about the missing rosary, and gathering all her strength, Elizabeth put her hand on the door knob, "You're family Cassie, and I love you, but sometimes I have..." Before she could get all the words out of her mouth, she found herself pushed up against the door, Cassie pinning her with her entire body weight against the frame.
"Listen up, girlie...and listen good! You are not screwing this up for me! Do you understand what I'm saying here? This is too important...too much money involved to have it all turn to shit because of you! You will stay put and keep your mouth shut, even if I have to lock you in that damn room for the next thirty days! Are we clear on that?
With eyes wide and lip trembling, Elizabeth McKreedy could only nod in agreement. She knew her cousin well enough to know that she meant what she said. There was little doubt that Cassie would keep her under lock and key, with little remorse. Picking up her pocketbook from where it had fallen, she shuffled her way back up to the tiny room on the third floor.