Here’s a short story based off Indian Country by Kurt Schlichter.
BTW, this is a Derivative Work.
Dale Chalmers kept his shower short for two reasons. First, long showers were an unnecessary waste of money. Only cucks living in the blue wasted money on that kind of bullshit. He wasn’t some metrosexual, getting his nails done and his hair highlighted and whatnot.
The second–and more valid– reason was that the hot water heater was broken and the water was cold as shit. Shivering, he rinsed off the last of his knockoff Old Spice bodywash Liz had found down at the Dollar Store and hopped out of the shower, splatting water on the electric space heater sitting on the toilet. Setting the thermostat at 60 degrees kept the Duke bills down, but damn, he was cold.
He put on his long johns under his suit trousers and dress shirt, happy to see Liz had mended the tear along the hem. It was the third or fourth repair she had made to his suit, but what could he do? Suits were expensive, and this one had to last. Even the suits at the outlet mall up by Columbus were over $500 a set. Dale shoved his feet into a darned pair of socks and a worn pair of Johnston & Murphy’s he’d gotten for his graduation from Southern Indiana University nearly fifteen years ago. Looking at the shoes made him frown. One more year, shoes. Just make it one more year.
Money, money, money. There was never enough money. “If money is all you love, you’ll never have enough,” he said to himself as he straightened his tie. The Proverb had become his mantra. Between his mortgage, his children, the cost of living, and his student loans, he had no savings or retirement. It made his stomach twist in rage. Here he had done everything right, and his family was a month away from losing everything.
It wasn’t right. It wasn’t fair.
Hands shaking, he fastened his company seniority pin to the center of his tie. If he could only make it through this month without having to ask his parents for money. Again. “God has a plan,” he said out loud. “He takes care of the birds of the field. He’ll take care of us, too.”
Downstairs, Liz and the kids were already around the table, eating breakfast. Dale pulled out the chair next to her and found her study bible, along with Beth Moore’s newest workbook Just Jump! Swimming in God’s Deep End. He shot Liz a look. The workbook alone was $30; the entire study course $150. They didn’t have the money. She knew they didn’t have the money. “I thought we talked about this, Liz,” he said, sitting down.
She got up and made his breakfast plate. Scrambled eggs, bacon, fresh biscuits. She may have lost he figure after Jimmy was born, but at least she could cook and keep a clean house. “I know, I know, but my women’s group is using it for our Bible study. It was pricey, but it’s worth it. I’ve learned so much. Beth Moore is an angel from God.” She set the plate down in front of him and poured him a cup of coffee. “It’s crowns in heaven.”
Crowns in heaven won’t pay the bills here. He sighed. “Let us pray,” he said. “Lord, bless this food to our use and us to thy keeping. Amen.”
His family resumed eating. “Mom, could we try some Count Chocula?” his son, Jimmy, asked. “We had it when we stayed over at DeWayne’s house.”
Liz frowned. “Jenny served you Count Chocula?”
Jimmy nodded, his cheeks flushing a deep red. “It was good.”
“That woman… I told her. We’re boycotting Count… that because it’s a gateway influence. Vampires aren’t funny and cute. Vampires are evil.” Liz shivered. “I wonder if the other mothers know?”
“I’m sure it was unintentional, dear,” Dale murmured. “What’s done is done.” DeWayne’s father was his supervisor. If DeWayne’s mother wanted to serve Count Chocula and carve 666 into everyone’s forehead, she damn well could. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
Liz’s chins quivered, but she knew he was right. Instead, she settled back in her chair. “The answer is no, Jimmy. There won’t be any of that devil cereal in this house.”
Disappointment crossed his face, but Jimmy knew better than to whine about it. Instead, he cast his eyes down and nibbled on a piece of bacon.
His daughter, Lisa, cleared her throat. “Mom… Dad… have you thought about me visiting I.U.? I need you to sign the permission slip.”
This again? Lisa had been the picture of obedience until Liz talked him into letting her go to high school instead of finishing up with home schooling. “Absolutely not,” Dale snapped. “There’s no need for you to visit campus. No child of mine is going to that den of iniquity.”
“But it has an excellent nursing school,” Lisa persisted, her voice cracking a little. “I would really like to see it.”
“I said, no.” Dale dropped his fork and stared at her. “The subject is closed.”
Lisa fixed her eyes on Liz, who gave a brief shake of her head. So the two were conspiring. Figures. Unsupervised women get themselves into all kinds of trouble. He picked up his fork and resumed eating. “How’s Josh, by the way? We haven’t seen him in a while.”
Josh was Lisa’s long term boyfriend, and a good catch, to boot. He made excellent money as a heating and air specialist, more than enough to take care of Lisa and any children they might have. Not to mention he was active in their church. A true man after God’s own heart. Plus, he was strong enough to curb Lisa’s rebellious streak.
Sure, some raised an eyebrow a few years back when twenty-year-old Josh first asked him permission to court his thirteen-year-old daughter, but Dale knew good character when he saw it. Turned out he was right, too. Josh was 25, a homeowner, and completely settled down. All Lisa had to do was get married. The wedding would be pricey, but he’d already figured out how to do it cheap. Something small, and during Christmas, so they wouldn’t have to buy flowers for the church.
Marriage also meant one less mouth to feed. Dale finished his coffee and motioned for Liz to pour him another. Besides, education was wasted on a woman. He smiled at his wife as she poured his second cup. Liz had a degree in education, but it’s not like she used it.
“J-josh… and I got in a fight,” Lisa said, wiping her eyes. “He… he hit me.”
Dale stopped eating. “He… what?”
“He hit me.” Lisa’s voice grew stronger. “He hit me, so I broke up with him.”
“Oh, Lisa, why didn’t you tell me–” Liz began.
“What did you do?” Dale roared. “What did you do to make him hit you?”
Lisa’s mouth dropped open. “W-what?”
“You got smart with him, didn’t you? You’ve always acted like you’re smarter… better than he is. It’s not respectful. You aren’t respectful.” Dale slammed his napkin down on the table. “Whatever it was, you need to apologize.”
Lisa jumped at the sound of his hand crashing down on the table. “Daddy! He hit me!”
“He probably had a reason!” Dale’s voice echoed throughout the room. A deep hurt crossed Lisa’s face, but she had to learn. “Remember what the apostle Paul said? Man is the glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. It’s your duty to apologize and make it right.”
“Dale, um, maybe we should hear Lisa’s side,” Liz ventured. “I know you like Josh, but Lisa is your daughter–”
“Who is nearly a grown woman.” Dale stood up and buttoned his suit jacket. “It’s time to put away your childish things, Lisa.” The angry eyes of his family remained glued to him, but Dale didn’t care. Being the spiritual head of a family meant making unpopular decisions. Pastor Tom’s voice rang in his head. Are you a follower of man, or a follower of God?
Dale pointed a finger at his daughter. “I want you to stay home this week–”
“Daddy!” Lisa cried.
“I’m serious. Stay home and pray about this. Fast about it, too. Fasting and prayer will help you hear the voice of God. It will help you see that Josh’s actions were a result of your behavior.” Anger raged so hot in him he could feel his eye twitching. “Change your behavior, and you’ll change Josh.”
His phone buzzed a text. It was from his boss. The notice came from home office. The total number is 483 permanent layoffs. Better call law enforcement. We’re going to need security down here.
Could this day get any worse? Dale stormed out the door, phone in hand. “Siri, call the sheriff. ”