Monday, July 31, 2006

Evangeline (Part Seventeen)

As Mrs. Goodman approached her seventh month of pregnancy, her doctor put her on bed rest. Evangeline began to do even more around the house to help out, including cooking the entire Thanksgiving Dinner.

The closer she got to her due date, the more anxious Mrs. Goodman became about the baby. Evangeline could sense her mother’s anxiety and began to sing to her as often as possible. Mrs. Goodman said that when Evangeline sang, she could feel the baby turn, as if to position its head closer to the sound of Evangeline’s voice.

The baby was due December 28th, right between Christmas and New Year’s, so Pastor Goodman and Evangeline planned to do all the decorating and cooking for the holidays. They were also very involved with the Christmas Pageant, so things were a little crazy around the Goodman household.

It was about a month before Christmas, when Evangeline noticed that Prissy Montgomery had suddenly become very interested in her. Prissy actually spoke to Evangeline when she passed her in the hall at school, and she made it a point to personally invite Evangeline to her private Christmas party at the country club. All this seemed a little odd to Evangeline, but being the kind of person she was, she assumed that Prissy had matured, buried the hatchet, and realized that life was too short to harbor old feuds.

Evangeline could not have been more wrong.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Evangeline (Part Sixteen)

The plan was simple. Kidnap the creepy girl with the cash-generating vocal cords and demand a million dollar ransom. Tucker believed that there were just enough “Jesus Freaks” around Sommerville who would be more than willing to pony-up the money. He got the idea from Prissy, who claimed that Evangeline’s voice had brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars in offerings to the Tabernacle Church.

With the holidays approaching, Evangeline would be performing in the Christmas Pageant. The whole town would suffer if she wasn’t around to add her angelic voice to the traditional production. After all, people drove from neighboring states just to hear her sing “O Holy Night.” This brought in a great deal of extra revenue to Sommerville. The gas stations did better. The restaurants did better. The shops along Market Street did better. Sommerville’s Christmas Pageant had become a tourist attraction.

Tucker knew he had to act fast and grab the girl in time to paralyze the town’s holiday plans. He believed it would be motivation enough to force them to pay quickly. The sooner they paid, the sooner they got their song bird back, and Christmas could go on as usual.

Meanwhile, he would be soaking up the sun in Cabo with some sexy senorita. Tucker needed Prissy’s help to implement the plan, but he had no intention of taking that spoiled Daddy’s Girl to Mexico. It would be “adios” Miss Montgomery as soon as he had his hands on the cash.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Evangeline (Part Fifteen)

The phone call came the same day we had our first snow of the winter. Grandma Shaw hung up the phone with a puzzled look on her face. She then informed Tucker that someone named Sal Vannelli had called from Chicago asking if Tucker lived there. The minute she said “Sal Vannelli,” all of the blood drained from Tucker’s face and he dropped his spoon into the gigantic bowl of Captain Crunch he was devouring.

Yes, the father of Tucker’s former (pregnant) girlfriend Sandy back in Chicago, had tracked him down. Tucker knew this could only mean one thing. He did not have long to get out of town. If Sal Vannelli knew where he was, that meant the whole Vannelli clan did too, and if the Vannelli clan knew, Tucker was as good as dead.

Tucker needed money, lots of it, and he needed it fast. He called Prissy and asked her to meet him at their rendezvous spot. Two hours later, they had devised the scheme. With enough cash, they could head for Mexico and disappear. Tucker always wanted to go south of the border, and he certainly was a big fan of tequila.