A while ago, a fellow blogger of mine, Eric Keys and I started a weekly prompt writing session. A simple, fun, shared exercise. One week, he gives me a prompt and I write on it, and the next week, we revise. Last week my story appeared on his blog, this week, I’m happy to share his. I look forward to sharing the fruits of our labors with you all.
The Worst is Yet to Come
Slogging through paperwork was not what I signed-on for, she thought as she worked her way through the in-box. If Joe is Pastor Jack’s “Armor Bearer” then I’m his piss girl. It was the typical story. Joe was overwhelmed trying to balance his job as a youth pastor and being assistant manager at the auto parts store and all his little projects designed to keep him in touch with the youth or get him ahead in his career. But Pastor Jack – Joe’s boss – was overwhelmed, too. He fired most of his staff over the years – not an easy man to work for, thought Danni – and so a lot of clerical work slipped through the cracks. Till Jack found Joe. And Joe passed it all along to Danni. In fact, pretty much every job that Joe didn’t like got passed along to her.
“The work of a pastor’s wife is never finished,” she said aloud to no one. At least, she hoped it was to no one. “Maybe tonight it will end, though.”
She heard the sound of Joe letting himself into the house. She looked him over in his store uniform. He still had quite the physique despite the stress and lack of time to exercise. She would miss him.
“Honey,” she said, “we need to talk.”
Joe plopped down on the couch. “You didn’t finish those HR forms? Is that it? Jack’s going to be pissed, but I think it won’t be so bad,” Joe said.
“No Honey,” she turned toward him and gave him her “it’s serious” look. “I’ve been having sex with someone else.” And not just sex, she thought. Mind-blowing stuff that I never imagined was even possible, that is beyond any definition or idea I’ve ever had about sex.
Joe stared at her for a moment, jaw slack. “What?”
“Yes, I think you heard me. Don’t make me say it again.”
Joe walked behind her and put his hands on her shoulders. “Oh, Sweetie,” he said and paused before continuing. “I have a confession, too. I’ve slept around a bit.”
Danni resisted the urge to say: well, duh! Joe so often smelled or tasted of other women that Danni had offend wondered if he wanted to get caught.
He continued, “But this is good. We’ll clear the air and we’ll go see Pastor Jack for counseling.” He kissed her on the head and gave her a big smile. “We’ll work through this and be better for having done it. The worst really is over,” he said.
You have no idea, thought Danni. “There’s one other thing you should know, Joe. The person I’ve been sleeping with, I don’t think he’s human.”
Joe blinked at her a couple of times and then his cell phone began to ring. Danni recognized it as the ring tone Joe had set to go off when Pastor Jack called. It was some pop song that Danni was vaguely familiar with. She was pretty sure that Joe had spent hours meditating on the lyrics of various pop songs until he found one with several suitably ironic layers of meaning to associate with Pastor Jack.
“I’m sorry Honey, it’s Pastor Jack. He wouldn’t call this late unless someone was dying or something,” said Joe as he put the phone to his ear. “Joe here. Right. Yes. OK.”
Well, at least the worst is over, thought Danni.
Joe pushed the office chair Danni was sitting in aside and started logging into his email. “I’m in now, I’m opening your email,” said Joe into the phone.
The attachment preview started churning away and Joe and Danni watched as one by one pictures of Danni having sex with someone other than her husband manifested on the screen.
That’s when Danni heard David’s voice. It boomed in her ears but she knew Joe could not hear it. “No, sweet Danni. The worst is yet to come.” Now she knew he was here, doing some trick to keep from being seen. She could sense him – her body reacting to that voice that had teased her and toyed with her since she was a girl. The voice that her parents, teachers and pastors had all told her to ignore or repress or repent of having imagined. The voice that she had tried to squelch but always came back. She could smell him now, too, all his lust and hate and it took her breath away, like it always did.
You can find the next installment in the series here