No Crime In The Castle: Part Two
Read part one.
Down Wilson Avenue, a thirteen-year-old Belinda sat on the porch with an eleven-year-old Becky. “There won’t be cake, so don’t even think about it,” Belinda spoke in an all-knowing tone. This was her second marriage. Her first husband died by public execution last November, and his older brother, Jeb, took Belinda as his own. Neither of them able to bear the shame of Jeff’s sin of sodomy.
“Last Spring, I went to a wedding in Madison. The girl there had five cakes, all stacked on these little sticks way up high with blue icing. There were shrimp, salad, and Ranch dressing too.”
“Oh,” Becky sighed in despair. “I want cake and Ranch dressing.” She pursed her pink lips in a perfect pout. “Why can’t I if I’m the bride?” Belinda shook her head, causing her blonde hair to sway back and forth.
“Our husband doesn’t like sweets or spending money.” She got up from the porch and stood with her back straight. With her hands at her side, Belinda strutted with the air of a peacock. “All he likes is burgers and women who walk like this.” The girls laughed so hard their stomachs hurt. “Wait, one more thing.” Belinda ran back up to the porch and sat beside Becky. They leaned in close, ready to share secrets and the rest of their lives. “Don’t move your head when he kisses you. No matter how much his beard tickles and scratches, don’t move. He hates that.”
“You mean I have to kiss him,” Becky jumped to her feet.
“Shh.” Belinda pulled Becky by the arm down to her seat. “As a bride of an elite Castle citizen, you’re gonna have to do more than that.”
People say that The Castle was once a free nation. Its inhabitants could go anywhere they wanted without logging their exact location. They could aspire to be anything they wanted to be. It’s true. People from all over could follow their dreams unregulated. It was chaos. Then, Walter Cray became President and tried his best to bring order to an uncivilized world. Refusing to accept Cray’s God-given law, the people rose against him. Civil war ensued, and World War III followed. President Cray emerged victorious and crowned himself King. Fancying a simpler time, he called his newfound civilization The Castle. King Cray ushered in an era of perfect peace, but peace requires sacrifice.
Something moved from the corner of the girls’ eye. Miguel went from house to identical house delivering the mail. Becky whispered to her sister-wife, Belinda, “He’s back.”
“I know,” said Belinda.
“What if he’s back for us? We hurt him pretty bad last time. Let’s go inside!”
“Remember the creed. There’s no Crime in the Castle, only Justice. He got what he deserved.”
Miguel stopped two houses down and put three envelopes in the box. “Hey! He is delivering mail,” Becky concluded.
“No, he’s not! He’s pretending,” Belinda protested. Miguel got closer, closer.
“What do we do,” asked Becky with a bit of fear in her sweet voice.
Belinda, remembering her training, looked around for a defense weapon. “The rocks. Becky, the rocks!” Miguel remembered his training. Lowering his head, careful not to make eye contact, Miguel kept moving. The rocks made a thud as they landed on the ground around him. Conscious of his pace, he upgraded to a swift walk for running was against the law for people of his descent. Thud. Thud. Thump. The sound echoed through his head as the stone hit its target. Blood streamed from his head to his face. “You got ‘em! Yay Becky, you got him ‘em!”