T E N - Of History and Future

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This chapter is dedicated to AnneLutz. When I heard about the Harlequin 'so you think you can write' contest, I thought, no way I'd ever enter. I can't write. But she saw my talent and encouraged me to join so I did. She believed in me when I didn't even believe in myself. So thank you Anne. If you haven't checked out her work, do so. She is a WP Featured Author and is represented by Nadeen Gayle of Serendipity Literary. Very talented, indeed.

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Chapter Ten

"I told you to keep your daughter's filthy mouth shut, George!" The disheveled looking neighbor's spit sprays across George's face.

"I told Josslyn, she's not to play with your girls." Her father tries not to slur his sentence into one long word. She can easily tell he's propping up against the front door, trying very hard to maintain a balancing act.

"We don't want her poisoning our daughters with talks of this ghost, this demon - Edwin!" Another neighbor chimes in. "We don't want her dragging our children into the woods, chasing each other in the middle of the fog!"

"Yeah!" The crowd agrees in unison. Like a pack of wolves, the neighborhood huddled outside the Stevenson's front yard, scowling and ready to bite.

Josslyn hides behind her father's legs, afraid to face everyone's dirty looks - and threats. She glances up at her father's angry pursed lips. She knows he's reminded her time and time again to stay away from every girl living in this rural countryside. She knows he's well aware the girls bullied her; dub her as: Crazy Jo is the Devil's Ho. But she was just so lonely and they were willing to play with her today, so she chose Truth over Dare.

"Do you really want the community to continue to shun you, to corner you off?" The grungy neighbor threatens George.

"No - no."

"Yeah, my daughter tells me she can't sleep!" Another neighbor steps out from the crowd and points an accusatory finger at Josslyn. "Your daughter's spooked my Mary and now she's telling me this Edwin hides underneath her bed, in her closet, and she's seen him - the eight-legged creature!"

"Hey!" Josslyn yells beside her father's legs. "Edwin doesn't have eight legs. Mary's lying!" She points at Mary. "Only I can see Edwin!" She points at herself.

The crowd gasps in shock, their eyes widen with fear. "Is this what you allow your daughter to do? You allow her to exemplify disobedience and poison the minds of all the children in this town?" They all yell in a cacophony of disoriented sounds. "You keep your daughter's mouth shut, you keep her away from our daughters!"

"You know Josslyn is sick!" George throws both hands into the air, his face becomes blood hot red. "W-we've tried her on so many medication, we can't afford anymore doctor visits, we can't - "

"Then get the hell out of this town! Get the hell out of this state!" The crowd yells in agreement. "We're not going to lock our daughters up, when rightfully, you should be locking yours – in a psychiatric ward!"

George yanks Josslyn away from the door and slams it shut, a nonverbal sign of sticking up his middle finger to the masses.  

"Go to room!" He points a finger down the hallway. Josslyn scurries to her closet size bedroom, slamming the door shut. Flushing her back against it, she sinks down to the floor with both hands pressed against her ears as the yelling begins to explode from the kitchen.

"We'll switch her back to the atypical antipsychotics! Perhenazine!" Her mother yells in desperation. "We both know she hasn't been responding well at all to Chlorpromazine."

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