TEASER TUESDAY! (A day early.) Red discovers pancakes, and Brian ambushes his parents, who are getting divorced. This is the reality behind Amorous [sic] Laetitia's breezy theology of "whatever." The ravages of divorce is a major moral theme in this Catholic psychological thriller, a genre so unpopulated, everyone will notice, "Look. there's a Bear!" Lightly redacted to avoid spoilers. As always, subject to change at the trusted experience of Bear's publisher.
Most teasers won't be this long, and not really once a week. Bear will probably be in trouble as it is.
From Chapter 37 "The Ringer," in which (later) George's vaunted trial experience runs into an unexpected challenge, forcing him once again to realize he's not the Ubermensch he thinks he is,
Ah, pride. How many souls go to Hell on account of pride? All of them. Pride is the ur sin. They all begin by setting oneself up as a challenger to God, whether it be lust or lies or murder. The Bear read once that "I Did It My Way" is one of the most popular songs for funerals. Does that make you cringe?
The novel is done, but still requires a little work. Your Bear is working far more diligently than a mere human can, at times 72 hours straight. (Why do you think we hibernate for months?). He has literally "gone to the mattresses." This is Operation BOtD, or Book Out the Door. The Bear must confess it is not always "book."
Ecclesiastes 12:12 - "Of making many books there is no end." Enjoy, friends!
Andy awakened George at four a.m. Alice and Red were already up, and Esther was cooking a big breakfast. The darkness outside and quiet bustle inside lent an atmosphere of purpose, even urgency that appealed to George, despite how little sleep he had gotten. (“What do you call these? Pancakes? They’re delicious!”)
Andy drove, with Brian in back, stuck in the psychologically uncomfortable zone between his mom, and Red. It was over three hours to Pontiac County in what felt to George like an emotional dynamite truck. At least three of them had matches.
“George,” Red announced, “I want a gun.”
“You are a convicted felon. You can’t have a gun. We’ve been over this. Besides, there’s a 72-hour waiting period.”
“Exigent circumstances,” Red replied confidently. “We can break the rules. I think I could probably talk somebody into letting me have a gun. Let’s find a gun store, Andy.”
Alice leaned over and looked at George in a way that said: This is your loopy girlfriend, then resumed staring out the window.
“I don’t think your probation officer would approve,” George said. Red’s probation officer was the last thing he was worried about. Especially since he was a man. Andy had seen to that. ‘Exigent circumstances.’ Legalese for an emergency search warrant exception. Where did she get this stuff? He was certain he had never used the phrase in front of her.
“I have a concealed carry permit,” said Andy. “I’m carrying a .45 if it makes anyone feel better.”
“Can I have it?” Red asked.
“’We can break the rules,’” repeated Brian. “That’s the truth. Red’s a felon, dad’s a criminal, I *****, and mom practically had Ben move in. And worst of all, you’re getting divorced. You’re terrible parents. No wonder I’m a juvenile delinquent. I want a selfie with Red, and I want to keep it.”
Nobody spoke. George heard the flutter of chickens coming home to roost. Finally, he said, “You’ve earned it, if that’s what you want.”
“So, dad, do you know about Ben’s Nazi watch?”
“No. Why would Ben have a Nazi watch?”
“Brian,” said Alice, “you’re just being mean now. I know your dad is the exciting one. But I don’t understand what you are trying to accomplish. You don’t look very good in this story.”
“Some other time, then,” Brian said, not sounding chastened at all. “But while we’re talking about Ben, no one asked me or Sandy about him. Or Red. If you’re going to drag me along on another crime spree, I’m not some kid. You've got to listen to me. You guys should get back together, and we should be ***** as a family. And Red? Sorry, I like her – of course – but as a stepmom? Seriously? And why is she practically sitting on my lap? I’m almost 16 years old. She’s only, like, five years older than me, and, well, she's Red. Do you even think?"