From Magic City Morning Star|
Vengeance is Mine
The long black automobile slowed to a crawl and the tires made a crunching sound as it wound its way along the gravel driveway. The limousine slid to a halt in front of the large brick building and the driver jumped out to open the rear door for the sole occupant.
He reached out his glove-covered hand to the woman inside who had slid forward on the leather seat. "Let me help you dear," he said as he reached out to assist her. "Get away from me," she snapped and she slapped his hand away. "I don't need your help and don't call me dear!" A wave of expensive, cloying perfume engulfed him and overwhelmed, he turned his head aside to catch a breath of fresh air.
She stepped out of the car, slipped her full-length mink coat off her shoulders and tossed it back inside onto the leather seat. She picked up her pocketbook and slid it under her arm as she jerked her blue custom-made suit into place. She eyed the driver for a second and with a curt, "Wait here!" she brushed past him and started up the steps of the old Victorian building. As she approached the frosted glass doors, the doors suddenly opened and the driver saw a flash of black before the doors were firmly closed behind her.
Embarrassed and angry by her treatment, he said to himself, "Friggin nasty bitch! I don't give a shit how much money she has or who she is. I won't ever drive for her again!" He shivered as a raw gust of wind blew around the corner of the large mansion and across his face and he hurriedly slid back into the warm interior of the Buick. He flipped the heater switch to high and turned up the radio. Suddenly, the air was filled with wild, sweet jazz and he drummed his fingers against the steering wheel to the beat. He leaned his head back against the soft leather head rest and closed his eyes.
Once inside the building, the woman followed the swiftly moving black clad figure down a long, dark paneled hallway. The mahogany floor gleamed in the dim light of the only chandelier which hung by a long chain from the center of the high ceiling and when they reached the end of the hall, the Nun stopped in front of two large pocket doors and rapped lightly. Not waiting for a response, she slid the doors open and stepped aside for the visitor to enter. The woman stepped through the open doorway into the room and the massive doors closed silently behind her.
The well-dressed woman walked over to the large, oak desk which occupied the center of the room and stopped. One by one, she tugged her black, leather gloves off her fingers and threw them down on top of her pocket book on the immaculate desk then she turned and looked about the austere room. She smiled slightly to herself as she slid her index finger along the length of the desk as she walked past.
She walked over to the large window and drew aside the old red, velvet drapes which had hung there for as long as she could remember. She looked out onto the barren courtyard and closed her eyes as the dappled winter sunlight flashed across her face. Leaning her head against the glass, the coolness felt good against her skin. Suddenly, she became aware that she was no longer alone. She turned and saw that another, older Nun had entered the room. She stayed where she was as the Nun slowly made her way across the worn carpet to where she stood.
She turned and her eyes met eyes that were the identical color of her own, dark blue. "Hello Mother," she said as the older woman got closer. "Or perhaps I should say, sister." The Nun stopped and looked at her intently. The old woman's eyes widened with recognition at the sound of the harsh voice. Her eyes slid down the woman's figure and as she saw her distended belly, the Nun inhaled sharply. "Oh, good God in heaven!" she exclaimed as she clasped her worn hands to the large gold cross that lay against her bosom. "Not again!"
The woman stepped past the Nun and sat on the corner of the desk. She adjusted her clothes and then looked at the old woman. "Mother," I don't like coming here either. But, you know how it is." "No, I don't know at all how it is!" the older woman snapped. "No, I guess you don't," the woman said. "Well, I promise you, this is the last time!" "It's not like I've never heard that one before, is it?" The old Nun replied in a flat voice.
The Nun turned away and walked past her sister over to the fireplace. "What is it that you'd be wanting this time Jeanine?" "Well, look at me for Christ's sake!" the younger woman retorted angrily. "Why else would I be here, to get religion? I want you to take care of this." And she gestured towards her distended belly.
The Nun walked over to where her sister was sitting on the desk and looked directly at her. "Who do you think you are?" She demanded. "Do you even know where you are for God's sake? Have a good look around. This is the Sacred Heart of Mary Convent and I am the Mother Superior! How dare you come here when you've gotten yourself in trouble again and demand that I take care of it."
Jeanine, picked up her pocketbook, extracted her cigarettes and lighter and then she slid off the desk and stepped past the Mother Superior. She walked over and sat down in an old wooden chair that was in front of the fire place. She withdrew a crumpled cigarette from its package and lit it. She inhaled deeply and blew the smoke across the room in the Mother Superior's direction. "Mother, I know who you are and I know exactly where I am. I could ask the same questions of you, now couldn't I?"
With that, Jeanine reached into her pocketbook and took out her checkbook. She opened it and began reading. "January, 1940, Sacred Heart of Mary, five thousand dollars, March, five thousand dollars, May, five thousand dollars," She stopped reading and looked at the Nun. "Do I have to go on?" The Mother Superior flushed, lowered her eyes and didn't reply. "I didn't think so!" Jeanine spat at her.
"Jeanine," the Mother Superior finally said, "All my life, I've lived by a certain religious code. You cannot ask me to help you again. I simply cannot do it!" Jeanine dropped her cigarette to the floor and ground the still lit butt into the faded carpet. "You can and you will!" She retorted. "I don't give a damn about your religion and I certainly don't give a damn about this thing either!" She placed her hand over her large belly. "All I know is that you helped me before and you're going to do it again! Like it or lump it!" And she looked at her sister expectantly. "I don't really think that you have any choice in the matter."
Hearing this, the Nun's face turned the color of old parchment and she stumbled as she groped blindly for the chair behind her and tried to sit down. "Jeanine, I helped you the first time because you were only a child and you said you had been raped. I don't know why I helped you the second time, I guess it was because we are sisters and somehow I still felt responsible for you. But, you can't expect me to help you again. I won't do it!" The Nun wiped a trembling hand across her sweating face. "It goes against everything I believe in? Do you realize that because of you and what I've had to do, I'll never get into Heaven! It doesn't matter if I live to be a hundred, I'll never go anywhere but Hell for what you've made me do!" The old Nun dropped her head into her hands and rocked back and forth in her chair.
"Don't you dare preach to me?" Jeanine screamed at her older sister. "If it wasn't for me and my money, you couldn't keep this place going another minute and you know it!" The old Nun covered her face with her blue veined hands and began to weep. Jeanine stared at her sister for a long moment and then she turned her back. She walked over to the old fireplace and stood there.
As the old woman wept, Jeanine continued to watch her from the corner of her eye. Then, she walked back to the desk and placed her jeweled hand on the top of her sister's black-covered head. "Look," she said softly. "I don't like coming here either, but I don't have any other choice." The old Nun lifted her head and looked at her. "For God's sake, Jeanine, haven't you ever heard of abstinence or birth control?" "Yes, I have as a matter of fact," sneered Jeanine at her sister. "But, this was one of those times that I didn't expect to get caught." "And what were the other two times, accidents?" The old Nun asked.
Jeanine's face reddened with the insult and she stepped closer to the desk. "Look, I don't have the time nor the patience to discuss this matter any further with you. I'm here and I want this taken care of today! I have a very important dinner tomorrow night and I have to be back in Washington before seven!" She slammed her hand down on the desk in front of her sister. The Nun flinched and fell back in her old leather chair. "Jeanine, surely you don't mean that you want it done today!" Her sister nodded her head and said. "You bet your ass I want it done today! My driver is waiting outside for me. Now, lets get this friggin thing over with!"
"Please Jeanine, won't you reconsider?" The Nun begged. "What will your husband say when he finds out?" "Who gives a shit what he thinks!" she retorted. "It's not his baby and he doesn't even know that I'm pregnant. He's so busy being important to everyone else in Washington and around the world that he doesn't even see what's going on with me." "What about the father?" The Nun asked. "Him!" She gave a short, harsh laugh. "He was just a good lay! Now, let's cut this bullshit and get this taken care of." Jeanine started towards the double doors and then she turned and looked at her sister. "I assume that you still have all the necessary equipment to take care of this?" The old Nun nodded her head and slowly and heavily drew herself to her feet.
Jeanine slid open the office doors and started down the dim hallway towards the back of the mansion. She didn't turn her head but, she smiled to herself as she heard the shuffling, compliant gait of her sister's feet following her hesitantly down the long, dark hall. "I send her over fifty thousand dollars a year to keep this hell hole running and she has the nerve to preach to me!" She thought angrily. She continued down the hall way until she reached a familiar door. Then, opening the door, she stepped inside. The old Nun followed her into the room and closed the door.
The small, windowless space was outfitted like a hospital room. It was only used when one of the sisters took sick and they had to have the doctor come in. It had an adjustable bed and an examination table and against the wall near the bed stood a small bureau with a lamp on it. Jeanine turned and looked at her sister. "Are you going to do it yourself or do you need some help?" The Nun looked at her, "I'll need some help, I'm not as young as I used to be and my eyes aren't so good any more." Jeanine looked at her sister and with a start, realized that what she'd said was true. She had aged a lot in the two years since they had last seen each other. "Well, lets get this done," and with that, she began undoing her clothes.
The Nun turned around and pulled a long cord that ran along the wall next to the bed. A few minutes later, the same Nun who had admitted Jeanine to the convent, opened the door and stepped inside. "You wanted to see me Mother?" She asked.
"Yes Sister Anne," the Mother Superior replied. "I'm going to need your help in taking care of this poor unfortunate women." The Mother Superior turned and looked at Jeanine who was now nearly undressed. When she saw the size of her sister's belly, she couldn't contain herself. "My God! Jeanine, how far along are you?" Jeanine looked down at her belly and said. "I'm not very far along," she lied. "Around six or six and a half months, I guess." Seeing the lie for what it was, the Mother Superior looked at her for a long moment and then she turned to the younger Nun and said. "Sister Anne, we are going to perform an abortion on this woman. I know that you helped me with her once before, and I'm hoping that you will help me once again. I know that you find this as reprehensible as I and I can only ask that God will forgive us for what we are about to do. I will understand if you choose not to do this." The younger Nun reached out her hand and touched the Mother Superior on the arm. "I don't like it any more than you do but out of respect for you Mother, I'll help."
Hearing this, the Mother Superior turned once again to her sister and said, "Jeanine, once this is over, I don't want to see you ever again. Don't think you can blackmail me with the threat that you will stop sending me money. I don't want your money. We will manage just fine without it." Hearing her sister's words, a coarse laugh erupted from Jeanine's throat and she said. "That's just fine with me but let's see how long it takes for you to come crawling."
Jeanine lay back on the clean white sheet and then she slid her body down on the table and lifted her feet into the stirrups. She placed her hands on her stomach just above her round, white belly. "Well ladies, lets get this friggin show on tha road." Sister Anne moved over to the Mother Superior and took her old hand in hers. "I'll take care of everything Mother. I know exactly what to do." The older Nun hugged the younger woman for a second and then let her go.
The two Nuns moved around the small room taking out the necessary equipment and placing it on the metal stand next to the bed. Sister Anne came closer to Jeanine and placed a stethoscope against her abdomen and listened then she moved the instrument up to listen to Jeanine's heart and lungs. Next she took her blood pressure and pulse.
Then she went to a small cupboard that was located in a corner of the room and withdrew several items. She removed a hypodermic syringe and a small glass vial from one of the shelves. She withdrew the syringe from its paper sheath and inserted the needle into the small bottle of clear liquid. Jeanine's eyes widened as she watched the cool, professionalism of the Nun. "What tha hell are you going to do with that needle?" She asked. The Nun looked at her with an expression of contempt on her face. "You're further along than you said and this is going to be very painful so I'm going to give you something to take the edge off the pain," she announced coldly to Jeanine. "Unless, you want to do this cold-turkey."
Jeanine looked at her as though she was going to challenge her for a second and then she acquiesced and closed her eyes. Sister Anne stepped over to the bed and pushed Jeanine onto her side. She quickly moistened a cotton pad with alcohol and then she swiped Jeanine's hip with the pad and swiftly inserted the needle. Jeanine gasped as she felt the sting of the medicine and then she lay back on the table.
The Nun took a bottle of white pills out of the cupboard and read the prescription then she walked over to Jeanine and handed them to her. "These are penicillin tablets, two hundred and fifty milligrams each. I think you should start taking them as soon as possible to prevent infection." The Nun twisted off the cap and dumped two tablets into Jeanine's hand. She went to the small sink and got a glass of water and handed the pills and the water to Jeanine. Then she held her up while she took a drink and swallowed the pills. "Remember," she said to Jeanine. "Two tablets every four hours and I suggest you see your own physician as soon as possible when you get back to Washington." Jeanine just looked at her, closed her eyes and she didn't reply.
The young Nun slid Jeanine down closer to the end of the table and adjusted her feet in the stirrups. A burst of profanity flew from Jeanine's lips as the Nun inserted the icy cold speculum into her vagina. "It's not so much fun now, is it?" the sister asked her. Jeanine glared at the top of the Nun's head and said, "Just get this frigging thing over with! I don't want to hear any more preaching from either one of you!"
Sister Anne placed a clean sheet over Jeanine's bent knees more for the sake of not seeing this very amoral woman's face than for the sake of modesty. She pulled on a pair of rubber gloves and inserted the fingers of her right hand into Jeanine's vagina. Then she placed her other hand on Jeanine's abdomen and pushed down ever so slightly. As she felt the size of the fetus, she felt sick to her stomach. "She's not six and a half months gone," she thought to herself, "She's more likely closer to eight months along, if she's a day."
The Nun looked up and her eyes met Mother Superiors. They exchanged a long look and then the old woman turned away. The younger Nun reached across Jeanine and picked up a long needle with a curved hook on one end. "This is going to hurt but, there isn't anything I can do about it. If you want to change your mind, now is the time."
She watched for some sign of humanity from the woman and seeing none, she began feeding the long, hook-nosed needle into Jeanine's birth canal. She slowly pushed the needle upwards until she felt it reach the mouth of the uterus and Jeanine's belly contracted as Sister Anne turned the needle and applied pressure. Feeling the resistance, the Nun turned the needle slightly and the needle slid up inside the small opening in the uterus. Jeanine screamed as she felt a sharp slash of pain roll across her belly. Sister Anne, still feeling the resistance of the uterus, applied more pressure and the needle finally slipped through the small opening. The Nun twisted the hook-nosed needle slightly and waited for a moment.
Jeanine's scarlet smeared mouth opened in protest and a loud burst of profanity flew past the Nun's head. She drew her legs up against her belly in reaction to the pain. The Nun pulled her feet back into the stirrups and said in a strong tone. "This is nothing new to you and you know what to expect. So, just lie still and don't make it any harder for me than it already is." Jeanine glared at her and mouthed the words, "Fuck you," The Nun, seeing her profaneness, applied a little more pressure to the needle and then she swiftly twisted the hook and pulled it out of the uterus. There was a sudden rush of water out onto the floor as the birthing membranes broke.
Jeanine writhed on the table as one strong contraction after another ripped across her belly and she moaned and gasped and tried to get off the table. The Nun held her feet in place and waited. It wasn't too long before it was over and the already formed fetus delivered itself. The Nun tenderly placed the sack enclosed child in a plastic, lined pail and slid it around under the foot of the exam table.
She glanced casually at Jeanine and saw that she had passed out from the pain of the delivery. "Good, I don't have to put up with her filthy mouth right now." she said softly. She applied a strong massaging pressure to Jeanine's abdomen and the afterbirth was soon expelled. She continued cleaning up Jeanine and then, hearing a soft cry, she bent down and looked at the baby lying curled up in the bottom of the pail.
The child, a girl, was fully formed and she was beautiful. The baby was slightly blue but, it was apparent that she was developed enough to breathe on her own. She wasn't crying fully, just a slight whimper every now and then as though to protest the fact that she'd been ripped from her nice warm cocoon too early.
The Nun looked up at her Mother Superior and their eyes met. "Oh, my God in heaven!" exclaimed the Mother Superior. "It's alive! Now what are we going to do?" "Well, I guess that God doesn't want it to die and I'm certainly not going to kill it!" responded the Nun. She bent down and tenderly gathered the baby from the pail.
Sister Anne placed the child on the end of the table near Jeanine's feet and quickly wiped the newborn with a rough towel. The child, feeling the first touch of tender hands, stretched its arms and legs and made a soft sound like the mewing of a kitten. Seeing this reaction, the Nun smiled at the baby and she wrapped the newborn more securely in a clean, coarse sheet. With the infant cuddled to her breast, she turned and looked at the old Nun. "She doesn't want her and I'm sure that she thinks this child is dead. I don't see that she deserves to know any of this either!" She turned and left the room.
The old Nun sank slowly to her knees and bent her head. She lifted her rosary from her bosom and began soundlessly saying her prayers. As Jeanine slowly came to, she was startled to see her older sister kneeling on the floor beside her. "What, are you praying for me?" She asked her sister in a groggy voice. "I hate to disappoint you but I ain't dead yet." "It's too late to pray for you," The Nun answered. "But, there are others in this world who are still worthy." "Did you get rid of the brat like before?" The old woman grabbed the edge of the exam table and pulled herself to her feet and she didn't answer. She gazed down at her sister for a long moment and then she turned and walked slowly across the room to the door. She slid the door open and then she turned to her sister and said, "Jeanine, we did what you wanted, it's all over! There's a box of sanitary napkins for you to take on the table. Now, get your clothes on and get out of here as soon as possible and don't ever come back!" With that, she turned, stepped out into the hallway and slid the door shut.
Upon hearing her sister's harsh words, anger was the only emotion that Jeanine really felt. A wave of dizziness washed over her and sweat broke out on her body as she tried to lift herself into a sitting position. She finally made it to an upright position and after a few more tries she slid off the table onto the floor. Her knees buckled and she felt herself falling forward. The cold linoleum felt cool to her body and she just lay there.
She lost all track of time and when she felt her strength returning, she finally pulled herself up against the exam table and began dressing. She stumbled as she tried to lift her foot to slip on her shoe. Then, finally, she staggered over to the wall and looked at her reflection in the mottled mirror. She was shocked at what she saw.
Her long, bleached blond hair had flattened out and hung limp and sweaty against her brow. She had large black circles under her eyes and there was a white cast to her skin. She slowly reached over, opened her purse and extracted her makeup bag. She wiped the sweat off her face and began renewing her makeup. Finally, she slid her lipstick across her lips and decided that that was the best she could do under the circumstances. She pressed her lips together and said to her reflection in the mirror, "You're one friggin tough bitch!" She reached into her pocket and withdrew a check. It was for the "usual" amount, five thousand dollars. "Don't say I never pay my dues!" she said to herself and she tossed the check onto the soiled sheets.
Jeanine adjusted her sanitary napkin inside her underwear and walked slowly across the room. She slid the old wooden door open and stepped out into the darkened hallway. She gasped and leaned against the cold wall as an afterbirth contraction tore through her belly. As the pain eased up, she continued slowly down the long hall until she reached the front door.
Just as she reached out a trembling, sweaty hand to pull the door open, she heard a slight mewing sound from a room at the top of the long stairs that made her heart leap. She turned and listened again but the air in the old mansion was pregnant with silence. "These stupid Nuns must have cats to keep them company in this decrepit mausoleum," she thought to herself. Again she reached out her hand to open the door but it was too heavy for her. Jeanine slumped back against the door and swore to herself. Then she took a deep breath and pulled again. Finally, the door opened and she inserted her body between the door and the door jam. She gasped as she felt the heavy door close on her belly and mustering all of her strength, she heaved the door aside, pulled herself free and staggered down the stairs towards the waiting car.
When she pounded on the door, the driver pulled himself up out of sleep and stumbled out of the hot car. He adjusted his hat and stepped forward to open the rear door for her. "Thanks for all your friggin help!" She screamed at him. Shocked by her vulgarity and anger and still half asleep, he grasped her hand and tried to help her into the rear seat. She wrenched herself free and holding her belly, she continued to berate him with every expletive known to man. Bewildered, the driver gave up trying to help and simply shoved her into the seat. She gasped and fell back against the leather and lay where she was, too tired and too weak to complain any longer.
The driver shoved the back door shut, jumped into the front seat, slammed the vehicle into drive and roared down the rock covered driveway into the main road. He couldn't wait to get back to Bangor and be rid of this crazy bitch as quickly as possible! He hoped to himself that she would leave him the hell alone for the long three hour drive back to Bangor.
There was very little traffic on the road and with a long sigh of relief; he finally pulled up at the Bangor Airport terminal. A couple of times he'd heard a few soft moans but the woman always seemed to be sleeping. He pulled the long, black Buick up in front of the Northeast Airlines Terminal and parked. Then he stepped out of the car and adjusted his uniform. "No telling, the bitch just might give me a nice tip after all." He said to himself and he stepped forward to open the door.
He quietly opened the rear door and waited for his passenger to get out. Not hearing any sound from her, he bent down to peer inside. The woman lay curled up in a fetal position on the seat. She'd thrown her fur coat over her legs and she was fast asleep. The driver hesitated for a moment and then he reached inside and touched her gently on the arm. The woman jerked awake in surprise and looked wildly about her. Her hair was plastered against her face and she appeared to be sweating. She slowly sat upright and carefully slid her legs down off the seat. She grimaced and gripped her abdomen as a wave of pain hit her. She gasped and lay back against the seat and closed her eyes. The limo driver didn't know what to do. He stood where he was and finally the woman spoke. "Are you thick or just stupid? Can't you see that I'm sick? Go inside and get me a wheel chair for Christ's sake!" The young man was dumbfounded! He'd never been spoken to with such disrespect in all his days! Angry, he turned and slammed the car door shut with such force that the windows rattled. He strode into the terminal and walked over to the Departure Desk. He glanced at the clerk and said, "I have a woman in my limo out front and she needs a wheelchair." The clerk indicated to the driver that there was a wheelchair section off to the right and the driver made his way there to get the chair. He snapped it open and locked it into place and then he pushed it rapidly across the floor and out the arrival door to the car. He wrenched the door open and saw that the woman had attempted to clean herself up a little.
Jeanine slowly slid herself off the seat and staggered into the wheelchair. She carefully sat herself down and with a jerk of her head indicated to the driver that he should push her into the terminal. He grabbed the wheelchair handles and swiftly propelled her up the ramp and through the airport doors. He pushed her over to the Northeast Airlines gate and guided the wheelchair up to the departure desk. He waited until she'd rummaged through her purse and finally handed him his check. He took the check and without a word to Jeanine, he turned on his heel and walked back outside to his waiting vehicle. That was one bitch that he was well glad to be rid of.
Jeanine pulled herself upright in the wheelchair and looked up at the clerk who was standing behind the counter in front of her. "How can I help you?" the clerk asked. "I have a round trip ticket to Washington," Jeanine said as she pulled her ticket out of her purse. The clerk quickly read the information on the ticket and then she handed the ticket back to Jeanine. "Mrs. Stanton, are you sure that you're well enough to take this flight?" "Yes! I'm fine! I want to get out of this hell-hole as quickly as possible." Jeanine told her. The clerk informed her that she had about a forty-five minute wait and then she signaled for one of the baggage men to push the wheelchair to the first class departure deck.
Once they'd arrived there, Jeanine wheeled herself over to the ladies room door and tried to push the door open with her foot. The door opened slightly but not enough to allow the wheelchair to go through, Jeanine gasped as the pain ripped through her belly and sweating profusely; she sank back into the seat. Then, she grabbed the arms of the wheelchair and pulled herself up out of the chair. She stood up and pushed the chair away from her with her foot. Then, she leaned her weight against the door and it soundlessly slid open. She staggered slowly across the room and into one of the stalls. She closed the door and sank down on the toilet. "This one's a lot worse than the other two." She thought to herself. "Oh well, it won't be long and I'll be home and then I can rest in my own bed." She changed her pad and then she left the toilet and walked slowly over to the stainless steel sink.
She ran hot water into the bowl and began bathing her face and arms. After wiping herself dry she began reapplying her makeup. "I look like death warmed over!" She said to herself as she stared at her reflection in the mirror. She combed her hair as best she could and then she reached into her purse and withdrew a small flask that she opened and took a couple of long drinks. She gasped as the liquor seared its way down her throat. After a couple of minutes, she began to feel slightly better as she felt the liquid warm up her belly. "It'll take more than an abortion to kill this old bird." She thought to herself. Jeanine checked herself once again in the mirror and then she headed slowly for the door.
As she exited the toilet, Jeanine heard the page for first class passengers being announced on the public address system. She ignored the wheelchair and began the long walk down the boarding corridor to the waiting aircraft.
She handed the stewardess her boarding pass and was immediately escorted to the first class lounge. "Is there anything I can get for you while we're waiting to take off?" the solicitous stewardess asked her. "I'm not feeling very well; could you please bring me a couple of blankets and a pillow and wake me when we've landed at Dulles?" "Yes, certainly I can do that." The stewardess assured her. Jeanine settled herself into the soft seat and immediately fell into an exhausted sleep...
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