The weather was hot but this was hotter.

        Their 15-year old daughter Cilicia taunted me, “Bad milk makes bad cheese.”

        Cilicia had always taunted me with that in my foster-home bedroom.  I was eleven.  This time I had just fucked her.

        My real Dad was in the Sticks County Salvation Army rehab.  He went crazy on crack.  I had seen Dad stealing money from Mom’s purse and I ratted on him.  He yelled and threatened me.  I fell down to the floor crying like a pussy.  Mom stood over me and Dad hit her.

        Dad couldn’t see me anymore and then they took me away from Mom because she let this shit happen.  They called her a co-dependent enabler.

        They put me in this foster home.  Mr. and Mrs. Giveashit (Gavochette) were religious but OK.  Mr. Giveashit was always exhausted and he always said, “We will get through this, somehow.  With God,” and Mrs. Giveashit would always add, “Milk and Honey,” like for good luck or something.  Mrs. Giveashit had wide eyes like a doll.  The Giveashits needed the money they got for taking me in.

        Cilicia started calling me Incubus after we fucked and it upset her mom and dad.

        One night I heard then all yelling in the kitchen.  Mr. and Mrs. Giveashit were saying that Cilicia was the wage of their sin.

        Cilicia said, “I won’t give it up!”

        Cilicia was pregnant.

        Mr. Giveashit yelled, “We will get through this somehow.  With God,” but I didn’t hear Mrs. Giveashit say “Milk and Honey” this time.

        A few days later when Mr. Giveashit was at work, Mrs. Giveashit told Cilicia, “Let’s go.  You have an appointment.”

        Cilicia’s face curdled and she said, “I don’t remember any doctor appointment.”

        Mrs. Giveashit said to me, “You will have to come, too.  I can’t leave you here alone.”

        I protested, “I’m eleven!”

        Mrs. Giveashit said to me weirdly, “And you have never been baptized.”

        We drove away with Cilicia in the front passenger seat and me in the back seat.  Mrs. Giveashit stared ahead with those big doll eyes.

        The weather was hot but this was hotter.  Cilicia started to roll down the window and then so did I.

        I spoke up from the back seat and asked, “Why do I have to come?”

        Mrs. Giveashit spun her head around and snapped at me, “You know very well why you have to come,” and then she snapped her head back and hunched and clutched the steering wheel tighter.

        Cilicia said, “Cheese-us, Mom.”

        Mrs. Giveashit flashed at Cilicia, saying, “Don’t you dare use our Lord’s name in vain!”

        We were speeding up.  When we came to the wooden bridge over the Sticks River we were going too fast, jouncing and swaying, Mrs. Giveashit was leaning forward wrenching the steering wheel fiercely.

        Mrs.Giveashit suddenly shouted, “Glory!” and turned the car sharply and we crashed through the wooden railing.  I screamed as we plunged into the Sticks River.



        The Sticks River was low.  We hit the water flat with a big splash but we only sank to the car door handles as we drifted slowly and then wedged into a sandbar.

        We were all stunned.

        Something had been erased from our lives.

        Cilicia and Mrs. Giveashit crawled out the passenger window that Cilicia had opened.  I crawled out my window.  We waded to the sandbank and sat glancing at each other and at the half-submerged car.

        Then, as we numbly waited for help, Mrs. Giveashit opened her handbag and we calmly had a picnic of milk with cheese-sticks that we dipped into a jar of honey.






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