New week, another Wednesday and more words. The #1lineWed THEME this week is **FOR ALL**. I’m not sure if I’ve posted this scene here before. It started life as a flash fiction challenge the was added to while it was on my mind. The flash challenge had a 250 word maximum so there was a lot that needed expanding. Another flash challenge worked itself into another expansion of that scene and finally today’s prompt was the cheery on top. While this scene still needs edits, it’s mostly complete. Kathleen Gallagher is the main focus and the scene is pretty much self-explanatory as to timing and characters. Hope you enjoy!
Kathleen had no clue why her so-called friends would drag her along on this fiasco. Even Mary Pat, whom she’d known since first grade at St. Vincent’s Catholic School and whom she considered to be her very best friend, had insisted. One year ago, they’d put Tommy in the ground, closed casket. The looks of pity from everyone, including Mary Pat, hadn’t gone unnoticed. She’d also recognized the arch looks of superiority from the others. They all thought she hadn’t known that Tommy was screwing around on her.
From her seat in the corner, she watched Nora and Rosie play their games. She wondered if they knew Tommy had been bumping uglies with both of them. Oh, they’d looked all pious and concerned at the bastard’s wake, but she’d heard them gloating to others, not to each other. Everyone felt so sorry for her—the young widow of the hero cop. Ha. Some hero. Tommy had been taking payoffs and screwing everything with the right plumbing. She counted herself lucky the six years they’d been married that he’d rather use her as a punching bag. Tommy used that to work out his frustrations. The fucking? That was sheer punishment and he dished out the marital rapes with ruthless intensity. She’d gotten pregnant once, but then he beat the kid right out of her. Oh, he’d gotten a lot of sympathy over that one. Poor Tommy Gallagher who’s clumsy wife had fallen down the stairs and miscarried.
Then on a hot August night, some Southie gangster did her the biggest favor of her life. He walked up and shot Tommy in the head. She figured it happened while some whore was sucking him off. That little tidbit stayed out of the papers because the department made him out to be a hero. The magnificent Tommy Gallagher, dying in the line of duty protecting some helpless woman. The department, or Danny Boy Moore, paid off some working girl, so the story she gave was that a john was beating her up and Tommy intervened. As if. She wasn’t stupid. Or clueless. Tommy had played a dangerous game and paid full price for the ride.
Noise in the strip club ramped up and strobe lights went into hyper drive. The grinding bass beat was a perfect counterpoint to the gyrating male bodies prancing around on the stage. The women in the audience screamed and cat-called. For Kathleen, the volume triggered a headache.
Mary Pat leaned over and all but shouted in her ear. “They’re pretty good, aren’t they?”
She wanted nothing more than to be home in her own bed, the one that she shared with the new love of her life—Puck, her Newfoundland dog. Resisting the urge to stick her ear, Kathleen shrugged the shoulder closest to Mary Pat. Luckily, the other woman took the hint and sat back. Her gaze remained focused on Kathleen, though.
The smug looks from Nora and Rosie didn’t help. She was so done with all this. Once upon a time, she’d believed in that whole musketeer thing. All for one and one for all. She’d been one alone too long now. She didn’t need friends like Nora and Rose and as much as she loved Mary Pat, even her bestie was currently stomping on her very last nerve.
“I’m done,” she said, reaching into her bag for her wallet.
Mary Pat was probably yelling but Kathleen could hear nothing over the thunderous music. She fished out a twenty and placed it under the glass containing the drink she’d never touched. “Going home.” She exaggerated the words as she attempted to be heard over the sound system.
“No!” Mary Pat jumped off her stool. “You can’t leave yet!”
“Can and am.” She stood and topped the other woman by almost a foot. As she brushed past, she caught a glimpse of a face across the room. She froze. It was him. The man who haunted her dreams. And he was walking toward her.
All I can say is, Devlin has certainly taken his time, but given the circumstances? Anyway, there it is. Don’t ask what happens next. I haven’t gotten that far. 🤣 Writers, do you have any “for all” of us words? Readers, have you read “The Three Muskateers?”