Steel Brandenburg III felt the presence of a large wild animal as he stood on the back patio of the Gould house. He could hear the animal struggling to breathe. He turned to see her there with a disappointed look on her face.
“Can you please explain what that was all about?” Carrie said to him.
He called himself back to reality. “The guy is a jerk. He’s an a-hole.”
“He’s the pastor of my church, and a guest in my home.” Carrie waved her hand around in the air. “And must you smoke? It’s disgusting.”
Steel turned on her. “Must you eat five-hundred pounds of food every time you sit down at a table!?”
Carrie’s face began to sour, her bottom lip trembled. “Must you always be so cruel to me? Why can’t you just love me?”
Steel laughed. “Love? You’ve lost your marbles.” He pointed with his cigarette hand. “Everyone in there has lost their marbles.”
“Will you please just come back inside? And I want you to apologize for your abhorrent behavior.”
Steel sighed, took one last drag, and tossed the cigarette aside. Part of him wanted to just tell her to ‘fuck off.’ Part of him wanted to just walk away and be done with it all. But then there was a part of him that wanted to see things through for some curiously sick reason he didn’t fully understand. Did he really care about Carrie Gould? How could he? “All right, all right,” he relented. Maybe he just wanted her like an animal. “Just get off my back.”
She half-smiled at him and went to hug him. Her plump body felt good in his arms, Steel thought. She even smelled kind of nice. He moved to kiss her, but she turned away. “Gross. Not until you brush your teeth and use some mouthwash,” she told him.
Once back inside and with apologies made, Steel helped Mother Melba clear the table and clean the dishes. They stood side-by-side at the kitchen sink, quiet at first, with only the clinking of dinnerware and water running forth from the spout to be heard. He stared out the window as he lackadaisically ran a dish towel over a plate. He wanted to run, but at the same time he wanted to stay there forever. She nudged him with her elbow.
“Penny for your thoughts,” she said, and then she chuckled. “I guess these days I better ask for a quarter.”
Steel snarled to himself on the inside. He wanted to punch her in the face or hold her head down in the soapy dishwater. “Do you ever wonder how you get yourself into a particular situation. I mean, even with all the best intentions and planning and trying to do the right thing, you always end up in a bad situation?”
She turned to look at him with a certain degree of concern. “You think you’re in a bad situation?”
“Not this,” he assured her. “But this job I have and this town I find myself living in. How did I end up here if everything I aimed for was the exact opposite of this? How does that happen? How is it I stumble over my own feet so badly?”
“Well, Steel… I believe you were moved by the Holy Spirit, but you’ve been resistant,” Mother Melba said. “I believe the Lord has brought you here for a reason. It was out of your control. You shouldn’t fight it so much. He has plans for you.” She tapped the back of his hand with her wet one. It gave him chills for some reason, and he leaned over and kissed her cheek. She turned her mouth to him and let him kiss her there.
She suddenly pulled away. “Oh, dear,” she said.
“I’m sorry… No, I’m not,” Steel confessed, and he kissed her again.
Mother Melba put her hands on his chest and backed him away. “No, Steel. This isn’t right. You’re Carrie’s fella.”
He pulled her closer to him and put a hand between her legs. “I’m being moved by the Holy Spirit,” he whispered.
Pastor Craig Stikk stood by the large window in the front room of the Gould house. He looked out and sipped at his coffee, his eyes narrow. Carrie was sitting politely in a nearby easy chair. “You know, Carrie. When Jesus was on the cross, you could see his ribs. He was thin.” He turned from the window to look at her. “But it seems to me that you would prefer to eat ribs. I can just imagine the sloppy barbecue sauce all over your face.” He nodded toward her body. “Blubber like that was never part of Christ’s life.”
Carrie gave him a confused look. “Pastor?”
“Look, I saw how you ate at dinner. You probably don’t realize it, but you’re gluttonous… And gluttony is a sin, Carrie.”
She bowed her head in shame. “I know. I’m sorry, pastor. It’s a constant battle for me.”
“And a battle you’re losing… But I could help you with that,” he said with a sly grin and a twinkle in his perverted eyes.
She perked up just as he began to walk over to where she was sitting. He moved around to the back of her chair. He set his coffee cup down on a side table and subtly leaned an arm over her shoulder. His hand lightly landed on one of her large breasts. He kept it there as he continued, rhythmically kneading her like tender bread dough. “I could help you focus on other things. I could help you fight the temptation to stuff yourself… With food, that is.”
Her head whirled around to look up at him. “A Bible diet?”
He laughed. “No. A love diet.”
“A love diet?”
“I could be your sustenance, Carrie. Let me be your everlasting sustenance.”
“I’m afraid I don’t understand.”
“Then I’ll just come out and say it, Carrie… I’m hungry, too. But I’m hungry for you.” He came around to the front of the chair and knelt before her. He took her hands in his. “He’s not right for you. I’m right for you. We’re right for each other. You deserve to be loved better than how he loves you. I mean, you couldn’t even call it love, what he gives you. Steel’s not dedicated to you, Carrie. I could be dedicated to you.” He suddenly let his head drop down between her legs and he inhaled deeply. “My God, Carrie,” he said in a muffled tone. “I must have you. God has spoken to me, and He has told me that you are my only hope for a proper lust.”
She let her hands go to his head. She played with his hair as she pulled him in closer to her feminine depths. “Yes, pastor,” she mumbled. “Yes, yes, yes.”
TO BE CONTINUED