Chapter 8

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Stan slammed the door leaving his trailer in Ferron’s Park and got behind the wheel of the brown station wagon that still had Just Married lipsticked on the back window. If Becky wanted to stay in Tamarin, she could stay in Tamarin. She wasn’t there when the Mayor stared him down eyeball to eyeball, exuding some sort of charisma or charm or brainwashing x-rays and proceeded to lay down the law. Marry another wife or leave town tonight. 

There wasn’t an explicit threat. No crazy gestures like a thumb dragged across his throat or an index finger gun pointed at Stan. But there was menace in the Mayor’s eyes. Hard to believe after seeing all those goofy portraits of him hanging around town everywhere. Since when does a Jesus robe and hippie facial hair make someone scary? Okay, maybe always. But looking at the Mayor, Stan expected him to talk about vegetarianism or herbal colon flushing techniques. This whole implied threat business was too freaky in a small town out in the middle of nowhere. In Utah, no less. 

Marry another wife or leave town tonight. 

As if Stan was supposed to go out, propose to the Mayor’s mousey secretary and drag her down the aisle. 

Stan was positive all he would have to do is tell everything to Becky and she would arm herself with every gun in sight in order to protect him as they sped out of town. What he wasn’t expecting was for her to laugh. Laugh at a threat made in a small town by a powerful man in a robe. 

After her sarcastic little chuckle, Stan noticed she rubbed her eyes like she had a migraine. 

“The town is full of bigamists,” Stan said. 

“Not bigamists,” Becky clarified. “They’re too smart to legally register their marriages with the state. Or to illegally register more than one marriage at a time.” 

“He said marry another wife or leave town tonight.” 

“Polygamists is what they are,” she said. “One husband, multiple wives. Nothing gets officially recorded. It’s all… spiritual or something.” 

Stan said, “I’m glad you’re so comfortable with all this.” 

“You think he’s serious with that threat?” 

“He looked serious.” 

“What’s he going to do, send his wives after you?” 

“I imagine the husbands get awfully protective and jealous.” 

“He’s trying to scare you,” said Becky. “Apparently it’s working.” 

“You think there’s nothing to be scared of?” 

Becky shrugged. “If you’re so scared, find a girl and marry her.” 

“Be serious.” 

“It’s not like you’d be legally married.” 

“Where else can we go?” Stan asked. “What’s nearby? Nevada? Arizona?” 

“We’re stuck here,” Becky said. “So just find a little wife, we’ll have a little polygamist family and you can stop wetting your pants.” 

“Marriage isn’t high on my list,” said Stan. “Just because I’ve been in Utah for a little over twenty-four hours doesn’t mean it has to rocket up to number one on my to-do list.” 

Becky sneered, “Come on, this is every guy’s wet dream. I’d bet monogamy never really works out for you anyway.” 

“Why can’t we go somewhere where we’ll be invisible? Blend in.” 

Becky had that migraine look again. 

“We can’t,” she said. “Just trust me, we can’t.” 

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