Night Terror – Chapter 4


Sweet Release
Luella shrugged and looked at the clock again, 9.35pm. She was going to bed. He’d do a lot of shouting to find her in bed instead of waiting to feed him and possibly demand she make up beds for his friends from town to stop over for the night. On the other hand, he may not make it home that night, he’d done that so many times when he got on the booze with his friends from town. If it were not for her Dad slipping her money secretly occasionally they’d not survive. The bank account had been closed long ago when Sam discovered Wes had threatened and raided her money. She cleaned up in the kitchen before going to bed then after washing up in the bathroom she settled into a deep sleep.
The doorbell trilled. It seemed like a dream but urgency of it sounding several times finally woke her up and she put on her dressing gown. If it was Wes, why hadn’t he let himself in? Probably drunk and someone was delivering him home. She shook her head in resignation for the drama to follow and carefully negotiated the stairs. She remembered one time him pushing her down those stairs in anger so clung to the rail strongly in the memory.
Then she approached the door slowly and peered through the observation eye built into the door. Ronny? What was he doing here this time of the night? She checked her gown to see she was decent, and her heart quickened. Every time she visited Wes parents Ronny was in the background. She could feel his gaze without even looking. Many times she’d greeted him only to see the hurt, concern and frustration in his eyes. He shouldn’t have come this evening no matter what the circumstances. But was there something wrong with his family?
Ronny stepped inside looking self-conscious. He greeted her without looking.
“What is it Ronny, has something happened to one of your family?”
“Yes!” He said softly rubbing his neck and motioning her to the lounge chair. Both sat down, and he looked around uncomfortably.
“You’re Dad’s coming over as soon as he gets back from town with my Dad.”
Luella was wide awake now. “OK Ronny, tell me what this is all about!”
“It’s about Wes.”
Luella groaned. “Drunk again and gotten into a fight?”
“Worse than that!”
Luella shook her head, nothing could shock her about Wes. He was an abusive lying excuse for a man.
Ronny finally plucked up courage. “Wes is dead!” He waited for the explosion of grief.
“Thank God, I’m free again!” There was no grief, there was no sympathy. Luella had erected a barrier into which love for this man could never enter. The promises had been broken almost from the first day of their marriage. There had been no love between them just a tolerance for the beatings physically and mentally. While he may have the edge in strength she had the staying power and moral high ground he could not understand. The realization she had that upper hand destroyed what little self-worth he possessed in his criminal career and she’d watched him sink lower and lower in the company of his rough friends from town. His escapades with the loose women of town were no longer rumours but widely discussed facts. He revolted her.
“What happened?” She asked this almost as an after-thought.
Ronny studied her face. He was surprised at her reaction though could fully understand it. He shared her revulsion about his brother. He relaxed.
Wes went off with some of the guys from town today and its not hunting season. Apparently, the rangers were waiting for them. Wes had been drinking and shot one of the rangers. He’s dead! Wes must have realized he’d be picked up so took aim at the other ranger putting bullet holes in the patrol wagon and injuring the driver. He sped off to town and bought a couple of police patrol cars out. The police hunted him down in the woods, there was a shoot out with the group and Wes was killed.” Ronny paused to see Luella’s reaction.
Luella nodded.
“Ronny could you tell your Dad and mine I’m really tired and would like to sleep on it tonight. I’m OK. In fact, I’m very happy but that’s between you and me. I know I can trust you, but suppose I have to fake it at the funeral for both family’s sake.” She smiled and patted him on the head.
“Ronny thank you for the eye communications you’ve signalled through this sorry marriage. I feel you’ve always been there for me and that’s the only thing that I’ve had to bring me comfort over the years. I’ve seen how you’ve handled little Anna whenever I’ve visited your house. That’s a comfort too. I notice you’ve never tried to have any girlfriends. Tell me something don’t you like women?”
The tension was broken, and Ronny began to chuckle, then both began to laugh. “I only like one Luella.”
Luella indicated the door. “I’ll need your support dealing with all the well-wishers and helping me show some sympathy for my departed husband when it’s really not intended Ronny, you can come back tomorrow if you’d like to do that for me? Go, tell our parents I’m OK but don’t want to have any visits tonight.”
Ronny smiled broadly. “I could be the best husband Luella!”
“I know you could, but It wouldn’t be for quite some time. We’ll talk about it tomorrow and you’ll have to promise to take me far away from this community with all its unhappy memories.”
“I promise!” Ronny left the home full of happiness. He thought of his dead brother.
“Thanks Wes, it’s the only decent thing you’ve done in your sorry life releasing Luella from her torment. I’ll look after her now and you can bet I do a better job of it.
Conclusion.

“© Copyright Ian Grice,
ianscyberspace 2018 All rights reserved”

14 Comments Add yours

  1. I am glad the ending settled things for Luella and Ronnie. You are instinctively right Ian. Those who have been hurt can be closed off. Figures of trust, like the old vicar, are trusted. It’s hard sometimes to weed out a way forward with conflicting advice. Great story. Hugs for you both xX

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Baydreamer says:

    I’m not usually happy when someone dies, but I was happy to read about Wes. She shouldn’t have been forced into marrying him to begin with, but that’s how things are at times. She does sound like a strong woman, so I hope she can allow herself to love again and be loved again, knowing her intuition is correct with Ronny.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is the issue isn’t it? How to love when you’ve been let down badly once. I would imagine that even with the trust she obviously has in Ronny in the back of her mind would always be a caution in opening herself up to love.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Eddie & Esther Norton says:

    Just finished reading the 4 chapters in one sitting. Great story! You are a great writer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. As I was a business and management major your comment is most encouraging. 🙂

      Like

  4. I’ve been in Honduras away from the internet and so I read this story in one sitting. I enjoyed your development of the different characters. Even though I understand the power of community and church in a tight rural setting I was saddened that Luella was unable to assert herself more when she always knew that Wes was a looser. I like the way that this story delves into several different and often dysfunctional parental relationships. This adds to the richness of the narrative. In t he conclusion I am left with the hope that Luella and Ronny will be ‘perfect’ parents to Anna and thereby find their own peace and happiness..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Jane, it was a planned ending. However even though Luella had ample evidence of Ronny’s love I think the experience with Wes would make it difficult for her to have a fully trusting relationship with any man after that experience.

      Like

  5. Eric Alagan says:

    That shoot out sounded like a chapter from the wild west. And Wes deserved it.

    Luella has been severely tested but she came out of it with her ability to love remaining intact. Many would have withdrawn into themselves and turned bitter. A tough gal, that Luella. And one full of decency and love too.

    Good story, Ian.

    Thank you,
    Eric

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The tragedy of this story is the old Reverend with his misinterpreting of the Good Book. There are few good options in life only the best of bad options. But we don’t have to compound that fact by jumping into something which is both destructive and sure to fail.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Mags says:

    I wan’t sure how you were going to end this story. I was hoping that somehow you would pull off a happy ending for Ronny and Louella and you did it my sweet friend. Wes was just asking for an ending like his with his choices in life. I enjoyed this story. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you were happy with the ending. However in real life unfortunately the evil Wes types seem to survive causing desperate unhappiness for their partners. There is too much abuse of women and even murders in today’s world.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. borika45Bar says:

    Luella’s reaction doesn’t surprise me. People do put up emotional barriers. That was her survival kicking in. I for one am happy with this conclusion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My guess would be that even though Luella always had feelings for Ronny and they will get married the hardness from a traumatic marriage with Wes will be something she has to fight for the rest of her life even with a good husband.

      Like

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