a mob surrounding a flame they're coming for you

They’re Coming For You – A Novelette (Part 10)

The green grass that once filled my front yard was now brown with a hint of yellow like a large dog peed all over. In the middle a message made of mud and dirt scrawled out the words: Oppressor.

My adrenaline skyrocketed, pulsing inside my veins, causing me to perspire. Without hesitation, I ran inside the house to check on my wife and kids. I called out for them, yelling their names multiple times, fearing maybe they left me. Maybe they believed the lies and wanted no more to do with the attention. I would not have blamed them. I wanted nothing to do with the attention either, wanted nothing to do with the false accusations. 

I found them under the blankets in our bed with a flashlight and a few children’s books. When I peeked inside, my wife smiled and put her finger to her lips. The children were fast asleep. She slipped out of the blankets and hugged me tight. 

“Jonathan, it was awful,” she said. “We couldn’t make it to church because this large crowd of people dressed in black blocked our driveway and our doors. They kept chanting disgusting words about you and me and the children.”

“Did you call the police?” I asked. 

“I did. Sheriff Reynolds said he would come but he never did. No one came.”

“What were they saying?” 

“I don’t want to repeat it.” She shook her head, distressed. 

“Please, it might be helpful to figure all this out.”

“They were cussing and spewing so many lies. They said awful things about you, Jonathan. They told me to join them and leave you. They kept saying, ‘leave him, leave him’ but I couldn’t. So when I refused, their demeanor changed. They kept calling me a…slut and a whore and kept saying, ‘protector.’ I didn’t want the kids to hear any of it so I took them to the bedroom and sang to them under the blankets.”

“Good. Good,” I said, sounding frantic. “You and the kids need to leave immediately. Go to Aunt Kathy’s house in Minneapolis. You’ll be safe there.”

“Why aren’t you coming?” she asked. 

“This is our home. I can’t just abandon it without trying to do something. I think I can help. There can be healing. I know it.”

“Jonathan, they’ll kill you. Just like they did Tom.”

I pursed my lips. “It’s a risk I need to take,” I said. “I know it’s not fair for you and the kids but if I don’t fight for our home, for the people I’m called to serve, what am I? I think God wants me to stay. I think he wants me to see this through.”

I hadn’t seen her so sad in her entire life. She looked at me like I was a cadaver and nothing more, a former husband she once knew decades ago but couldn’t remember my face or my voice. 

“I’ll get the kids,” she said softly.

End of Part 10

 

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