We’re burying Mom’s ashes today (Oh, my hasn’t this week been fun?), so I’m posting an excerpt from LONNIE, ME, AND…., my collection of Lonnie and Tiny stories. Lonnie was her favorite character ever.
The Loaded Lady
excerpt from “Lonnie, Me, and the Loaded Lady”
by Marian Allen
Anyway, Leona was working with the shepherds, wise men, and central characters, so the heavenly host was kind of at loose ends. Most of them had come over to pet Homer and make over him, which he ate up with a spoon. Truth be told, he’s a fairly ugly dog, but the kids didn’t seem to notice or care.
One little kid grabbed ahold of my finger and said, “That loaded lady is back.”
“Heads up, Lon,” I said. “Target spotted.”
“What? A spotted what?”
“This little kid says he saw You Know Who.”
“Elvis?” He finally caught up. “Oh!” He squatted down beside the little boy. “Where, honey? Where is the lady?”
The boy went mute, probably freaked out by two big men and an ugly dog all staring at him. “Outside,” he whispered. “Outside.”
Outside was a big place.
I extracted Homer from his fan base, and Lonnie and me took him into the hall. The restrooms were across from the Fellowship Hall, where the play practice was, and they didn’t have any windows, so the only way the boy could have seen outside was from the glass double doors at the end of the corridor.
They were locked, of course, for security, but Leona had given me the key, so I let us out and locked up behind us. Right away, I felt like we maybe should have called the cops. It was late November, and cold, and black as Dick’s hatband, as my grandpa used to say, although the grounds were lit up with security lights.
“He’s prob’ly just making it up to get attention,” Lonnie said. “He prob’ly just wants people to pay attention to him.”
“Have you been watching daytime television again?” Lonnie worked first shift, but he’d got some kind of machine he could program to record shows without commercials, and I’d walked in on him watching People’s Court a couple of times, and that bald-headed guy who’s on practically every show on TV. Steve Harvey. “You been watching Steve Harvey?”
“I know a little psychology. I read this article on Facebook that talked about it.”
We rounded the corner of the church building and almost plowed into her.
She was tall and meaty, built good but kind of on the overgenerous side, which I like, but which I don’t exactly tell Mary Lee, her being sensitive about her own wonderful well-builtedness. This woman had dark hair that didn’t shine in the artificial light, so, according to what I hear from Mary Lee, that meant it was probably a bad dye job. She just had a flimsy coat on, and a dress and the kind of shoes you wear when you have to stand up for a long time.
“Hey, there,” Lonnie said. “Can we help you?”
“No,” the woman said, in a hollow kind of voice. “Can’t anybody help me.”
Lonnie surprised me by saying, “The Lord can help you, Sister. Come on into church, where my wife is. She can lead you to the Lord.” Mary Lee had read me from a magazine about how husbands and wives can start to be more like each other, but this proved it so hard I thought I might have to write to the magazine and tell them about it.
“All I want to be led to is Matt Brenner.”
“Matt Brenner? Little bald-headed squirt, wears bow ties?”
That’s when we found out that Batey both did and did not know what loaded means.
The woman pushed back her coat and pulled out a revolver.
Buy LONNIE, ME, AND ….
Or you can buy LONNIE, ME AND THE HOUND OF HELL, which contains the first Lonnie and Tiny story plus about nine other of my odd animal stories, for 99 cents.
Oh — and today is the first of the month, so check out the new Hot Flash.
A WRITING PROMPT BASED ON MY POST: Write about somebody doing something just to get attention.