Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C6.11

Later that afternoon, Brielle arrived at Grandma Bennett’s house with Jane. When Grandma Bennett opened the door, holding Baby Kennedy on her hip, and let her granddaughter and great-granddaughter into the house, she immediately noticed the shiner Jane was wearing and the bruises and scratches about the face.

“My Lord! What the heck happened to Jane, Brielle? Jesse said that he saw you in town at about noon today and that Jane was in the car with you!” Grandma Bennett asked, concerned. She handed the crying baby to Brielle.

“She got into a fight. She’s been suspended for three days.” Brielle answered.

Grandma Bennett’s eyes grew big.

“What!” She asked, flabbergasted.

“Two girls tried to jump her and Jane used her self-defense training. When she took down the two girls, five more girls jumped in and beat Jane up pretty badly,” Brielle explained, “They knocked her unconscious. After we left the school, I took her by the hospital to get checked.  Luckily, all she got was a sprained wrist, few scrapes, scratches, bruises, and a bump on the head.” Brielle told Grandma, “In the meantime, I have to go to work. I called Olivia’s school and took them to tell her to get off the bus here. I hope that’s okay, Grandma.”

Grandma Bennett Gets a Shocker

“My God!” Grandma Bennett gasped, “And they suspended Jane for defending herself? That’s insane!”

“They’ve always been like that, Grandma. Remember? They did the same to me.” Brielle reminded.

“Oh, I know it!” Grandma said in frustration, “These people are back-asswards, I tell ya!”

Brielle looked outside to see Olivia getting off the bus. Grandma took the baby back.

“Brielle don’t mess around, honey! You gotta go on to work before you wind up being late.”

Brielle waited long enough for Olivia to come in before kissing the baby and each of the girls. She then grabbed her purse.

“You girls behave for Grandma!” She called back as she rushed out the door.

Later that night, Brielle was on her way back home from work. The radio was playing, and a long string of ads was airing. She leaned forward, reached out and turned the dial, searching the stations for a good song. She finally found one of her favorites, “Dani California,” by Red Hot Chili Peppers and turn the music up loud.

“…Looking down the barrel of a hot metal forty-five, just another way to survive…California, rest in peace, Simultaneous release…”

Brielle continued bobbing her head to the beat of the music and singing along when suddenly, she noticed the glow of flickering of blue lights dancing all over the inside of her SUV. She looked through her rear-view mirror to see the blue lights of a squad car on her tail.

Stopped

“What the- “Brielle said as she turned the music back down.

Slowing the vehicle, she eased the vehicle over to the side of the road and pulled to a stop. Brielle then shifted into park and continued watching through her rear-view mirror as the lawman emerged from the squad car behind her.

The cop, silhouetted by the glow of the squad car’s headlights approached the driver’s side window of the SUV. Brielle hit the power-window button and lowered the driver’s side front window. It was none other than Sheriff Bobby Crabtree.

“Why, hello, Bobby. How Can I help you?” Brielle said in a suspicious tone of voice.

“Step out of the vehicle, please.” Bobby suggested.

“Pardon me?” Brielle asked.

“You heard me! Out of the car!” The sheriff growled.

Without saying another word, Brielle reluctantly opened the door and exited her vehicle.

Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C6.10

When Brielle arrived at the school an hour later, she walked into the office to see none other than Misty Lindsay, sitting beside Breanna, who held a wet, bloody rag to her nose and another one to the side of her head.

Seeing Brielle come through the door, Misty paused, shocked! Her eyes then turned into slits and her lips thinned as her face turned beet red.

“Awww! Hell no!” Misty yelled as she jumped out of her seat and got nose to nose with Brielle.

“So, it was your bitch daughter that did that to my daughter! Why you little bitch! I guess you never gave that little slut any home training, did you!” She continued.

“Hey! You watch how you talk about my little girl!” Brielle shot back.

“Oh, you wanna say something, bitch? Say something! Open your bear-trap, bitch! Say it! You’ll be sucking on my fist!” Misty screamed before charging at Brielle and provoking her to put her dominant leg back, put her hands up and take a karate stance.

When Brielle’s hands went up, Misty’s eyes widened with fear and she stopped dead.

“Mom!” Jane shouted.

Misty turned and glared at Jane.

“Shut up, you little bitch!” She demanded loudly.

Misty Acts Like a Complete Idiot in the Principal’s Office

Brielle was appalled at the gutter language that was coming out of Misty’s mouth. And how dare she call Jane a bitch! The angry mama bear shoved Misty backwards as hard as she could.

“Nobody tells my daughter to shut up but me! And you call her a bitch again and it’s going to be me and you, Misty! You think I’m afraid of you? Keep talking! Just keep talking and I’ll show you how scared I am!” Brielle warned, raising her voice.

Misty charged at Brielle once more and the principal and security officer came running in and pulled her back.

“You’re banging my husband and your daughter’s beating up on mine! You better watch your fuckin’ back, bitch!” Misty threatened.

“You’re supposed to be a nurse, Misty! And this is how you act? God! You’re a disgusting person!” Brielle bit back

“Shut the fuck up!” Misty screamed again.

“Now, Misty! You have to calm down now.” The principal pleaded, “Throwing one of your temper tantrums isn’t doing Breanna or Jane any good here. And it’s not going to solve anything.”

The security officer gave Misty a stern look and put one hand up.

“We’re not gonna have this, Misty. Now you and Mrs. Markowitz need to cool it. Alright? Don’t make us call the police because you’ll both go to jail if we do.”

Jane shook her head, looking at her mother.

“Mom, no! Please!” She grunted. Brielle stepped back.

Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C6.8

The weeks went by, and Brielle continued to work at the boot Factory. Things at work were going well for her and she was promoted to lead person in the Quality Control Department. Her new job duties under her new title were to train all the new QC inspectors. Brielle managed to make a small group of friends at work, but the rest of the women there despised her because of her virtues. Also, the fact that Brielle’s superiors promoted her quickly, sparing her from having to do her time was yet, another perceived mark against her.

However, they never bothered Brielle but only talked behind her back. Brielle could not have cared less. She had grown a thick skin from her experiences with bullying in school. That, along with age and maturity, was a blessing.

Brielle simply ignored her workplace bullies and focused on her job. She also enjoyed the three friends she did have at work, which included Alvin.

Jane and Olivia Aren’t Doing as Well in the Social Arena

Sadly, school wasn’t going as well for Jane and Olivia. In school, Breanna and Audrey made it their mission and life goal to bully and ridicule Jane every day. Additionally, she still had Janessa and her friends April and Samantha to deal with.

Olivia and her new friend Carmen also suffered their share of bullying in their school. However, the harassment they endured was not nearly as bad as the abuse Jane was taking at hers.

Breanna and Audrey took Jane’s unwillingness to fight as being a coward. Therefore, as time went by, they grew more and more brazen until one cool, sunny day in early October. That day, they finally caught Jane alone in the girl’s bathroom and words were exchanged.

Suddenly, Breanna took a swing at Jane and what happened next was a reaction she never expected. Jane delivered two quick jabs to Breanna’s face, busting her nose and mouth and blacking her right eye. She then swept Breanna’s feet and caused her to fall to the marble floor and hit her head.

After Breanna went down, Audrey tried to strike at Jane, only for Jane to deliver a cluster of jabs to her face, then a kick to her torso that sent her flying into one of the empty bathroom stalls. The blow slammed Audrey backwards into the toilet and she fell over it.

Jane Finally Reaches Her Limit

Seeing Jane getting the best of Breanna and Audrey, a group of five more girls immediately joined in the fight, taking the side of the two girls who had provoked Jane. Although Sensei Delgado had trained Jane well in martial arts, there was no way she could fight off five assailants. No one, no matter how skilled, could fight off that many opponents at once.

A hail of vicious blows from five different pairs of fists and feet landed into Jane and they seemed to come from every direction. However, her anger at being bullied only blunted and dulled any physical pain she would otherwise have felt.

The blows that landed into Jane seemed to feel like painless taps and pelts. Though she was getting hammered, and warm blood ran down the side of her face, Jane continued to fight until one of the girls shoved her from behind so hard that she hit the floor with a fierce thud. Then came a hail of kicks and stomps to her stomach, back, and sides. Finally came a vicious kick to her head and everything went blank.

When Jane awoke, she found herself on a bed in the sick room. She looked up and the principal and vice principal were standing over her.

Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C6.7

“Girl, you’re like a daughter to me! And that’s how I see you! I how much respect for you because you ain’t petty like a lot of these trifling women around here. Maybe that’s the reason a lot of people in Thomasville talk so ugly about you. Because they’re jealous of you and your virtues. Don’t listen to them, Brielle. Continue to be yourself and you got it made. ‘Hear me?”

“Oh, you betcha! I don’t have time to be fake. It’s too much work and I’m lazy as hell.” Brielle said.

Alvin threw his head back and laughed. Brielle smiled.

“Girl, ya crazy!”

Just after dinner, Alvin and Brielle had returned to their workstations. Brielle sat her purse in the cubby hole under her seat. She looked up and saw something or someone that made her gasp with shock and terror. Alvin noticed her reaction and spoke up.

A Dreadful Presence at Work

“Hey, Brielle. What’s up? What’s wrong?”

Alvin looked in the direction that Brielle was looking.

Lo and behold, there stood Sheriff Bobby, about fifty feet away, looking dead at Brielle. Then looking at Alvin. Beside Bobby Crabtree stood Brielle’s supervisor, Ross. The two men seemed to be having a deep conversation while looking in Brielle’s direction. The Sheriff then shook Ross’ hand and walked toward the front exit. As he walked past Brielle, he smirked at her.

Alvin stared at Bobby as he continued to walk, getting smaller and smaller in his field of vision. He then looked at Brielle.

“Is the Sheriff giving you problems, Brielle?” He asked.

“Nothing I can’t handle.” Brielle answered as she began to sweep around the line.

Alvin Gives Brielle the Lowdown

“That sheriff is a very bad man- an evil man. You get mixed up with any of the Crabtree’s, you’re likely to end up dead. That’s what happened to our last sheriff- Crawford. And the sin Crawford committed was being in the position that Bobby Crabtree coveted. That’s why he’s no longer alive.” Alvin said begrudgingly, “Now, Crawford? That was a good sheriff! The best!”

“Yeah, I heard. Grandma and a few others in my family filled me in on it.” Brielle said.

Alvin’s brow furrowed and his eyes turned into slits. He continued glaring at the sheriff and watched as he made his way toward the front door of the factory.

“Murderin’ bastard! Just like yo damn brother!” Alvin mumbled in a low voice before turning to his machine and going back to work.

The next day at school, just before first period, Jane sat at her desk and opened her notebook to reveal her completed homework assignment that Mrs. Dumas had assigned the day before. She then opened her textbook and began reading.

Suddenly, a hand reached out and snatched the book right out from under Jane’s nose.

Jane is Confronted by Bullies

“Well, well! Whatcha readin’, babes?” A girl’s taunting voice rang out.

Both shocked and annoyed, Jane looked up to see two girls, one short, curvy blonde and a tall thin brunette, standing over her. The short blonde, Breanna Lindsay, flipped through the pages of Jane’s textbook. The tall brunette, Audrey Crabtree leaned over Breanna’s shoulder to take a look at what Jane had been reading.

The other students looked up. They then looked at each other and snickered, a few covered their mouths and chortled.

“Oooh, ‘quite the studious little bookworm, aren’t we?” Audrey derided.

Jane just sat there, glaring contemptuously at the girls.

“Do you mind giving my book back?” Jane asked.

“’Do you mind giving my book back?’” Breanna mocked, “Awww! What’s the matter, babes? You mad? You mad, sis?”

Suddenly, Breanna’s tone turned from mocking to aggressive.

Jane Stands Up to the Bullies at School

“’You want your book back that bad? Here, take it!” She shouted as she gave the book back by aggressively shoving it in Jane’s face so hard it hurt.

Scattered cackles and laughter sounded behind Jane as she jumped to her feet and got nose to nose with the two girls. Breanna and Audrey jumped back and throw up their fists, each taking a defensive position.

“Yeah, come on, bitch! Bring it!” She yelled.

“You’re real tough when it’s two on one, aren’t you! Neither one of you are about shit! You’re all talk!” Jane growled.

“Oh, really!” Breanna bit back, “We’ve got a message for you to take home and give to your white-trash mom! You’d best tell her that we know all about what she did in Cali and that we know where she lives. If she talks to my dad again, posts any more videos, or runs her mouth about anybody we care about, she’s going to rue the day she ever came back here! Got it, bitch!”

“Yeah! And if my dad loses his position because of you, we’re personally going to pay you and your mom a visit and it’s not going to be pretty!” Audrey added.

A Threat of Retaliation

“How’s this! You tell her your damned self! I won’t be your carrier pigeon just because you or your parents don’t have the sack to confront my mom!” Jane fired off in a sassy tone.

“Alright, Jane! Sit down and shut up! Breanna, Audrey, get out of here and go to your classes! Now!” The shouting voice of Mrs. Dumas sounded, startling the sparring girls and causing them to flinch.

Mrs. Dumas made her way to her desk, carrying her purse and an arm load of books. Breanna and Audrey looked at Jane before leaving.

“You best watch your back, sweetheart!” Breanna growled.

“I said, out!” Mrs. Dumas shouted louder.

Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C6.5

Twenty minutes later, Kim arrived with two kids. The two friends sat in Brielle’s living room and talked for over an hour while Kennedy slept in her play pin. Jane, Olivia, and Kim’s children Jacob and Caleb played Jacks on the kitchen floor.

“So, you got the extreme displeasure of meeting Grant Lindsay’s crazy wife, Misty. Huh, Brielle?” Kim said, snickering.

“I knew her in school, Kim. She was crazy then and she’s even crazier now. Idiots like her get more unhinged with age,” Brielle answered.

“You know, Brielle? You’re not the first woman she’s done that to. Misty’s gone after a lot of women because of Grant,” Kim informed her.

“Really? So, Grant is a cheater?”

“Bigtime, girl! He’s practically a living legend around here. Some years back, he was sneaking out with a real young girl named Michelle and Misty threatened to beat her ass if she ever ran into her,” Kim continued.

Kim Serves the Thomasville Tea

“Wow! Sounds like Misty’s got her hands full with Grant, huh?” Brielle reckoned.

“You got that right. I’m surprised Grant hasn’t ended up with Herpes or some shit!”

“But why would anyone think I’d ever even consider going out with a married man? I just don’t do that nonsense, Kim. I’m not going to be anyone’s side-chick. If I get into a relationship, I want to be the only one! Because, as I see it, if a man will cheat on his wife, he’ll cheat on you too. And I have more respect for myself than that. If I’m going to date a man, I want one who’s available- one of my own! If Misty’s smart, she’ll leave that piece of scum and get tested for STDs.”

“I hear you, girl. But listen. It’s going around that you were a dancer back in
California and people are starting to watch you. I know you’re a great person and how you lived your life in the past doesn’t bother me. I would never judge you. But there are a lot of scumbags and busybodies in this town who will. I just want to warn you. People around here aren’t very forgiving,” Kim warned.

“Yeah, I know. I went to school with a lot of them. Remember?” Brielle said with a smile.

An Angry Husband

Kim smiled back.

Suddenly, Brielle and Kim heard a knock at the door. Brielle rose from her seat and answered the door. It was Kim’s husband Hank.

“Is my wife in there?” He asked in an annoyed tone.

“Sure.” Brielle answered, “Kim, it’s Hank.

When Kim came to the door, Hank grew angry.

“What the hell are you doing over here! I come home from a hard day’s work and you’re over here yapping with Brielle when you should be home getting dinner ready! You and these kids bring your asses back to the house, now!”

“I was just talking to Brielle, and I lost track of time,” Kim replied as she scrambled to gather her sons.

“You were just! You were just being a little gossip! You’re always running your mouth when you should tend to your own business and your own family! Now get these kids and get home!” Hank snapped.

Brielle saw the look of shock and pain on Kim’s face.

“I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Okay?” Kim whispered as she and Brielle hugged each other, “Come by the salon sometime and we’ll drink some more tea.”

“I’ll sure will,” Brielle whispered back.

And Kim and the kids left.

Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C6.4

At Thomasville Middle School, Olivia was eating her lunch alone and the kids around her were snickering and pointing fingers. A girl approached Olivia’s table, holding her tray.

“Mind if I sit down?” the girl asked.

“Sure, go ahead,” Olivia answered.

“Never mind these jerks, I’m Carmen,” the girl said as she sat down across from Olivia, set down her tray, and stretched out her hand.

“Olivia,” Olivia said as she shook Carmen’s hand.

“Are you the girl whose mom videotaped the sheriff?” Carmen asked.

Olivia paused, giving Carmen a suspicious glare.

“No, relax. I think your mom did a brave thing. It’s about time somebody stood up to that creep. He’s been harassing my family for years. And he still does. He gives my mom a hard time,” Carmen said in a serious tone, “And it’s going around that he had something to do with the death of our last sheriff, Sheriff Crawford. He was my dad.”

“Oh, my goodness, Carmen. I’m so sorry. Honestly, I don’t know anything about that. I don’t know anything about this place, period,” Olivia said.

A girl’s voice sounded behind Olivia and Carmen.

“Well, looky-here, y’all! Carmen the Varmint is sitting with the new girl!”

Another girl’s voice sounded.

“Well, that new girl’s mom had the nerve to try and get our sheriff in a heap of trouble by posting some stupid video! Birds of a feather always flock together!”

This was followed by a chorus of cruel laughter.

Later that afternoon, at the Markowitz house, Brielle and Popeye sat in the living room across from each other, sipping coffee and talking. Popeye finished his cup and rose from the lounge chair. Kennedy sat in her play pin, frantically shaking her rattle, then picked up a small teddy bear and seemed to study it, turning it every which way and looking carefully at it. The play pin sat beside the sofa Brielle was sitting on, not far from the big picture window.

The sound of a school bus and the squeal of breaks sounded, followed by the sound of running footsteps and giggling girls. The front door then flew open, and Jane and Olivia came into the house, carrying their backpacks. The baby flinched from the sudden arrival, then looked up and smiled.

“Hey, Mom! Hey Popeye!” the girls as they hurried past, on the way to their bedrooms.

“Hi, girls,” Brielle said cheerily.

“Howdy, girls!” Popeye said, glad to see them.

Popeye smiled and finished his cup of coffee before he and Brielle then rose to their feet.

“Welp. I would sit and talk more, Brielle. But I got a field to tend to. Can’t neglect the crops, you know. Harvest time is just around the corner,” Popeye said, “Thank you for the coffee. You make some good coffee.”

“You’re very welcome, Popeye. Stop by anytime,” Brielle said with a smile.

“I sure will,” Popeye said with a nod and a handshake before walking out the door.

“How was your first day of school, girls?” Brielle called back.

“Don’t ask,” Olivia called back.

“Boring,” Jane answered from her bedroom.

Brielle shook her head as she bent down and took the empty mugs off the coffee table in front of the sofa. She took them into the kitchen, then came back into the living room. She sat down on the sofa, picked up her smartphone from the coffee table, and touched the screen before placing it to her ear.

Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C6.3

When Brielle heard a second knock at the door, she became frustrated.

“Oh, Lord! Who is it now!” she sighed as she got up again.

When Brielle answered the door, she found Popeye on her doorstep.

“How can I help you, Popeye?” She asked kindly but still visibly shaken.

“I just wanted to see if you were alright. I was across the field tending to my crops when I heard shouting and saw a vehicle peel away.” He told her in a voice of concern.

“Oh, that was Misty Allen Lindsay, Grant Lindsay’s wife- accusing me of having an affair with the creep just because he was over here the other morning investigating that burglary.” Brielle told him, “She still uses such horrible language, just like she did in school. Come in. I was just feeding the baby.”

She let Popeye in the house.

“Misty Lindsay? Aw, that woman is crazier than a bitsy bug! You ain’t the only woman she’s accused of banging Grant, you know! She’s always accusing other women of doing her husband! Like his privates are made of solid gold!” Popeye said before giving a loud chuckle.

“Yuck! The guy is nothing to look at! In fact, he’s uglier than the bottom of my shoe! Even worse, Grant Lindsay’s so stupid, he couldn’t pour piss out of a boot even if the instructions were on the heel!” Brielle told him, “How she thinks anyone would want his useless butt is beyond my comprehension!”

Popeye gave another chuckle. The baby began crying in the kitchen.

“I’m headed to the kitchen to finish feeding the baby. You want some coffee? Some breakfast, maybe?” Brielle asked politely.

“I’ll take some coffee.” Popeye answered.

Brielle smiled as she went into the kitchen.

“You got it!” she assured.

Meanwhile, at Thomasville High School, the students there were changing classes, going from their third period class to lunch. Carrying a backpack full of books, Jane made a stop by the girl’s restroom. She walked into the crowded, well-lit school bathroom and walked past the long vanity and long mirror.

A crowd of girls were busy gossiping, primping, applying lip gloss, brushing their hair, and touching up on their mascara. Jane eased her way through the crowd of clamoring girls and walked into the first empty stall she came to. Cigarette smoke wafted through the bathroom, coming from the last stall, which was furthest from the door.

After Jane finished, she rose from the toilet, zipped, and buttoned her jeans, and opened the stall door to leave when she was startled to see Janessa, April, and one more waiting girl leaning on each side of the stall with their arms folded and smirks on their faces.

“Welcome to Thomasville High…Jane.” Janessa said in a half-threatening, half-sarcastic voice.

“Thanks.” Jane said as she started to walk past the girls.

The girls only moved to block her path. Jane gave Janessa and the rest of the girls a look of contempt.

“What’s your problem?” She asked, annoyed, and continued to move past them, but Janessa shoved her back.

“Hey! What are you? Psycho?” Jane chided.

The three girl-bullies came into the stall and crowded Jane, making sure to pin her in. The maybe twenty other bystanders suddenly stopped and stared. The clamoring sounds turned to sounds of gasps, oh-my-gods, and uh-ohs, then silence.

“Looks like you’re the one with the problems.” Janessa bit.

“I don’t think so.” Jane countered, “Excuse me please.”

And she forcefully shoved her way past the girls, knocking Janessa against the inside of the stall and walked out. Janessa and her friends stood there and sneered at Jane as she made her way toward the bathroom door.

“Whooooaaa!” The bystanders shouted as they jumped back.

“What the fuck! Oh, you want to push past somebody? Who do you think you are, bitch!” Janessa shouted.

Jane only walked out the door without responding, hearing derisive giggles and whispers behind her. Janessa and her friends looked at each other in indignance.

“Oh, no! She did not just shove past us! She did not!” April shouted.

“Oooh, she’s gonna pay dearly for that!” Janessa vowed resentfully.

“Damn right she is!” Samantha, the third girl added.

Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C6.2

At Thomasville Middle School, Olivia sat in Mrs. Fisher’s homeroom as the teacher made her way down the rows of desks, handing each child she came to a math book and science book.

Olivia took her books and opened them, scanning them and reading the table of contents. Suddenly, she sensed that she was being watched. She looked up to see the kids around her staring at her. A few of them turned to each other and whispered in the other’s ear. Then she heard giggles.

After Mrs. Fisher was through handing out textbooks, she walked over to Olivia’s desk and stood beside her.

“Class, we have a new student. Meet Olivia Markowitz from California. Please make her feel welcome and help her anyway you can.” She announced before returning to her desk.

Awkward Stares

Loud whispers rose from the class and many of the other kids cut their eyes at Olivia. Olivia returned the stares.

“Her mom’s the one who posted that video. My mom pointed her out to us during registration.” One girl whispered.

Another girl gasped, “Noooo!”

“You know her mom’s Brielle Bennett! My mom went to school with her mom and she say’s that Brielle was trash and that nobody liked her! So, nobody’s going to like her daughter sitting over there either!”

Hearing this, Olivia sighed as she tried to distract herself by reading the textbook in front of her.

Meanwhile, Brielle was at home, in the kitchen. She placed the baby in her highchair and was about to sit down and feed little Kennedy when she heard a knock at the door. Bandit began the usual long cluster of suspicious barks and Brielle rose from the table.

An Unexpected and Unpleasant Visit

“Bandit, be quiet!” She ordered.

Bandit kept barking.

“Hold on, sweetie, Mommy will be right back.” Brielle gently assured the baby before headed for the front door.

When she answered it, a blonde woman in scrubs, obviously a nurse, was standing on her doorstep. She looked at the woman’s nametag and it read, “Misty Lindsay, RN.” Brielle didn’t have to read the name tag, she instantly recognized Misty from the reunion and her guard immediately went up.

“How may I help you?” She asked suspiciously.

“’Word’s going around that my husband, Grant Lindsay, was at your house the other night. So, you’re the bitch who’s been sleeping with my husband!” Misty shouted in a jealous rage.

A Jealous and Angry Wife

“What!” Brielle shouted back.

The baby’s cries sounded off, coming from the kitchen. Bandit continued barking louder behind Brielle. She looked back toward the kitchen, wanting to go see about her crying baby.

“Look, I’m busy, Misty!” she said in a cold tone.

But Misty continued, ignoring the baby’s cries.

“I want you to stop sleeping with my fucking husband!”

“Lady, you’ve lost your ever-loving mind! He was here investigating a damn burglary, for God’s sake!”

“Really? Well, I heard he was investigating a hell of a lot more than a goddam burglary! He was investigating the inside of your panties is what I was told!”

A Ridiculous Accusation

Suddenly, Bandit appeared, viciously snarling and barking as he tried to rush past Brielle to charge the threatening presence that stood on the doorstep.

Misty jumped back in horror!

“So, help me Jesus! If that dog bites me, I’ll sue your ass in the ground and have that mangy mutt taken and put down!” she threatened viciously.

Brielle grabbed Bandit by the collar and held him back before returning her glare to Misty.

“You get the hell off my property, lady! You’re nuts!” Brielle shot back, yelling over the barking dog, before slamming the door in Misty’s face.

“This ain’t over yet, bitch!” Brielle heard Misty scream on the other side of the door. She then heard the cranking of an automobile engine. The engine revved loudly, then she heard the squeal of tires as Misty peeled away in a rage.

Just across the road, was the field that Popeye happened to own. He was tending to it when he heard the shouts coming from Brielle’s place, heard the door slam. He stopped and watched as a short blonde woman stormed her way to a black SUV, got in, and peeled away.

Popeye set his garden hoe down and walked across the street. He then knocked at Brielle’s door.

Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C5.5

Minutes later, the distant sound of a siren faded in. The wail of the siren grew louder and louder until a sheriff’s car, complete with flashing blue lights, pulled into the driveway. An unmarked squad car with a flashing blue emergency light on its dash pulled in behind the sheriff’s car.

Brielle, the girls, and baby sat, all huddled together in the living room on the sofa as the deputies and sheriff’s investigator worked, searching for fingerprints. Grant Lindsay, the investigator, inspected Brielle’s gun, turning it over in his hands.

“Nice piece you got here.” He said, “Glock 9-millimeter pistol. That’ll sure do the job. Where’d you get it?”

“My brother bought it for me for my 20th birthday years ago and even taught me how to shoot it.” Brielle answered.

Grant looked at Brielle and gave her back her firearm, “He must not have taught you very well because you fired three shots at the guy and…you missed.”

“Well, I’m surprised because I aimed right at him. And my brother taught me just fine. The guy just got really lucky- probably had a grandmother out there somewhere praying for his sorry ass.” Brielle said in a voice dripping with disdain.

Aftermath

“You just moved here from California, right?” Grant asked.

“That’s right.” Brielle answered.

“California’s a Liberal state. ‘Got some tough gun laws out there. How is it that you were allowed to keep it?”

“You could keep a gun in your home you just couldn’t carry it anywhere.”

“Well, you’re lucky the break-in happened here instead of in Cali. Because, if it happened there and you shot at the intruder, they might be locking you up right about now. But the good thing about Tennessee is that we have The Castle Doctrine. And you can fire at a criminal as long as he’s in your house.” Grant informed.

“I’m fully aware of that.”

“I see you have three children there. So, you had to move to California to find a husband, huh?” Grant asked.

“Excuse me?” Brielle scoffed, feeling that the cop was beginning to get personal (and insulting) with the game of twenty questions.

The Police Mock Brielle

“Where’s your husband?”

“What does any of this have to do with what just happened tonight?”

“It has everything to do with it. If you took the children and left him, regardless of the reason, he may be here looking for you or he may have sent someone to look for you.” Grant explained.

Brielle was an intelligent woman. She knew that this was a reasonable and legitimate explanation. After all, she’d heard of the millions of cases where abusive husbands did, in fact, travel to other states, even across the country, to hunt down their wives and kids and take revenge. What she didn’t understand, however, was the insulting question before the last, which was clearly a dig at her and so uncalled for. Nevertheless, she felt she had no choice but to answer, as much as she hated it.

“He’s still in California as far as I know.” Brielle told him.

“How do you know that?” Grant asked her.

“I don’t.” Brielle answered.

Brielle is Questioned About Her Estranged Husband

“Can you tell me about your husband? And why you left?”

“He was an abusive man. Abused me and the girls. I got tired of being a prisoner in my own home. So, I took the girls and left while he was at work. I wanted to be free of him and to teach my girls that they don’t have to take abuse from a man. That if they’re ever in a relationship that harms them, they’re always free to walk away and create a better life for themselves.” Brielle said.

“Uh-huh.” Grant grunted as he continued scribbling on his clipboard, “So you leave Thomasville and run into trouble again in California. Thats pretty hilarious. Trouble seems to be waiting for you everywhere you run, don’t it?”

He then handed it to Brielle and gave her the pen. Brielle paused, glaring at Grant

“Read over this report and then sign to verify that everything you say here this morning is true to the best of your knowledge.” He instructed.

Brielle took a minute to read over the report, then signed the document before handing it back to Grant. Suddenly, she heard a familiar voice coming from her front porch.

“My granddaughter lives here, and I want to see if she’s alright.” The voice of Grandma Bennett could be heard telling one of the deputies outside.

Grandma Bennett Arrives

Grandma Bennett came through the door and Brielle stood up as Grandma Bennett walked over to her and hugged her.

“What happened?” She asked in a concerned tone.

“Somebody broke in, Grandma.” Brielle informed her.

Grandma Bennett gasped.

“Oh, Lord, Jesus! Did he take anything? Did he hurt any of you?” Grandma Bennett asked in horror.

“No, Grandma. I fired three shots at him, and he ran.”

I’m in bed sleeping so sound, then I get jolted out of my sleep by a bunch of sirens. I looked out the window to see them headed your way. That’s when I jumped in my clothes and headed right over!”

Grandma Bennett took Brielle in her arms and hugged her tight. Suddenly, Brielle heard another voice. It was Raina coming through the door to check on her. Her sister Kim was with her.

Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C5.4

After dinner, Brielle and Marcelle helped Grandma Bennett clean the kitchen and load the dishes in the dishwasher. Once they were done cleaning the kitchen, Grandma looked at Brielle and noticed something was wrong.

“Brielle, come sit at the table with Grandma,” she gently suggested.

Brielle did as she was told, and Marcelle joined them while the rest of the family gathered in the living room to watch TV.

“Now, what’s bothering you, honey?” Grandma Bennett asked.

“I don’t know about this, Grandma. I just don’t feel right sending my girls to Thomasville schools. I have a real bad feeling about it,” Brielle replied, “The teachers really weren’t very welcoming to us today. And all I heard was gossip and anger about the video coming from some of them and the other parents. But I don’t have any other options. The girls need their education and if there were any private schools or home schools nearby, I’d gladly enroll them there instead.”

Brielle’s Concern

“Wait a minute. There is a home school here. They opened it while you were in California. It’s called Pathway Christian School and they’ve been headquartered here in Thomasville for about a year now. The kids go to school one day a week, which is every Friday for testing. After they test, they get their assignments for the following week to do at home. Also, they allow the kids to go at their own pace and there have been kids who sailed through and graduated a few years earlier than they would have if they’d stayed at Thomasville and Glover County Public Schools,” Marcelle mentioned.

“That’s right,” Grandma Bennett confirmed, “I didn’t think of that. Otherwise, I’d have told you. However, I need to warn you that the parents who have taken their kids out of public school here and enrolled them in Pathway have gotten a lot of heat from the local establishment and so has the home school itself.”

“Why am I not surprised?” Brielle replied.

“That’s true, Brielle,” Marcelle, her mother warned.

Another Option

“Believe me, if I take the girls to Pathways, I’ll do it no matter the pushback I get. And if I find out that my girls are bullied there, that’s exactly what I’ll do, I don’t care who likes it or doesn’t!” Brielle said firmly, “However, since they’re already registered, I’ll see how it goes before I transfer them. Maybe Jane and Olivia will be accepted there.”

Later that night, after a good family visit, Brielle and the girls returned home.

“It’s after ten o’clock, girls. It’s time to get ready for bed.” Brielle told them as she carried the sleeping baby on her shoulder and headed for the baby’s room to put her down for the night. Jane and Olivia both sleepily trudged to their bedrooms to change into their pajamas.

After Brielle placed the sleeping baby in her crib and turned on the nightlight, she then visited each of the older girls’ rooms to kiss them goodnight before retiring to her own bed for the night.

It seemed as if Brielle had just gotten to sleep when suddenly, in the dead of night, a loud noise sounded, startling her awake. Bandit, who’s been curled up asleep at the foot of Brielle’s bed, began barking frantically. He jumped off the bed and ran down the hallway as he continued to sound off a cluster of loud barks.

B & E

Brielle, now wide awake, noticed her bedside clock which sat on her nightstand. It was three thirty a.m. Hearing the baby screaming in terror down the hall, Brielle quickly and quietly pulled open one of the drawers of her nightstand and pulled a gun out.

Sensing a presence in the house and hearing faint, clinging and clattering noises, along with dog barks, Brielle sprang from her bed and crept out of the master bedroom to check on her kids and see what was going on. As soon as she got into the hallway, her eyes adjusted to the darkness, and she could see into living room. What looked like a dark silhouette of a man, ran across the living room with Bandit yapping at his heels.

With a ferocious bite, Bandit lunged and grabbed the back of the ankle part of the criminal’s pant leg. The dog growled viciously as his teeth clamped down on the pant leg and began pulling at it. This slowed the burglar down and caused him to stumble. But he managed to keep from falling. Kicking his leg violently, trying to shake the dog off, he kicked Bandit hard. The dog yelped loudly from the pain of the blow.

Modern Day Annie Oakley

Brielle took aim and fired the gun three times. A high-pitched screaming, “Oh my God!” echoed from Jane’s bedroom. Olivia’s blood-curdling screams could also be heard along with the baby’s screams of terror and barking of the dog. The dark figure managed to pull himself free and take off.

“Stay in your rooms and don’t come out!” Brielle shouted.

The sound of the door swinging and slamming against the wall, followed back the sound of fast-paced footsteps across the front yard prompted Brielle to run to the door, gun in hand, but aimed toward the ceiling. She ran out on the porch to see the dark figure run across the yard, then across the road, and disappear into the huge cornfield across the road.

Brielle turned and ran back into the house. She ran back into her bedroom and grabbed her smartphone, being sure to take it off the charger, and shoved it in the front pocket of her pajama pants. She then tucked the gun, nose down into the waist, burst into the baby’s room and lifted little Kennedy out of the crib.

Protecting Her Nearest and Dearest

“You can come out now!” She shakily called.

Jane and Olivia came running out of their bedrooms and into the baby’s room where their mother was. They both ran to her, frantically wrapping their arms tight around her and crying.

“It’s alright now, girls! It’s alright! Everything is alright!” Brielle assured them, trying to remain calm and her voice still a bit shaky. Holding the baby in one arm and wrapping the other arm around both frightened girls, she held them tighter than she thought she’d ever held them their entire lives.

Brielle then let go of the girls, set the baby back in the crib, took her smartphone, and dialed.

“9-1-1, what’s your emergency?” The Dispatcher answered on the other end, after only two rings.

9-1-1

“I’ve had a break-in and just shot at an intruder in my home.” Brielle told her, “I’m at 2301 Hobbs Rd, just west of Thomasville.

“Someone broke into your house, ma’am?”

“Yes.

“And you say you shot at him, was he still in the house when you fired the shots?”

“Yes. I fired three times and he got away.”

“Was the intruder hit by any of the bullets?”

“I don’t know.”

“Okay. Hang tight. I’m sending a deputy.”