Oliver Come Home

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Oliver is a young boy who is adopted and is raised by his adopted father and he finds it hard to tell him about being raped, so he keeps it a secret because no body ever wanted him. Is he raped by the Bohemian or a black woman? He must find out, he must find a job in order to stay with his father and finds a job at Tanner's barn, which he falls in love with Lady Tanner. But when the barn goes up in flames, Tanner loses her sight and picks up drinking. Will Oliver live to tell about this real-life night-mare? Will he get to ever marry Tanner from Tanner Barn?

Submitted: December 31, 2016

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Submitted: December 31, 2016

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Oliver Come Home

Authored By: Jenna J Richardson

It has been 5:00 for an hour now; the sheriff sees me walk to work and gives me a quick horn.  He doesn’t offer me a ride, but I planned on give him a dollar or two for the grievance of many crimes ‘round here—I feel guilty, I tell you—but I would never let him be a wares of this. The honk shook me because I was walking alone and even unaware of this car; the cop car—no, the sheriff’s vehicle—he is a pleasant, little friend: I can’t wait ‘till he pulls me over, but he never does; he is busy this time of the year.  The walk took me longer than anticipated; it began to rain, I had to run for shelter, I tell you.  I made my way across the valleys, the dips of the ground, across the pebbled shoulders of the high way; please leave me be, oh—the cop saw me, I wink and smile—he does not see me.  When I finally reach work, although I never thought I would ‘a made it; my way through the weather—as severe as it was; blotchy and sultry, and pebbly, and all.  I can see a very tall man in the distance; this is Mr. Gladstone—he always walks to work too, only not with me.  Every time I see him, he has a puzzled expression, as if he never wants to take up a conversation with me; always he avoid or not talk to me.  He gives me a weary expression when he crosses my path; I don’t know what to think of Gladstone, but he is OK.

He is riding on water—walking, briskly—Mr. Gladstone is a prophet at best.  He knows and he can recite the entire Bible and all the verses of Mark and Peter—he is a disciple, at best—Gladstone is a pretty neat guy when you get to know him.  Me and him read the good book on Sunday evenings (and since I only work with him three days of the week: he is the store owner and he is OK).  To Christians, Sunday is the Sabbath, so I shall keep this day Holy and observe—Mr. Gladstone is OK.  The cop follows me until he knows where I am going, I never know where I am going though…Is today Sunday; is it not for observance and silence and prayer? I am not headed towards the general store today, I am walking to church and this time with Gladstone.  He has a Bible with him and we meet at the corner of 8th Ave and 2nd street; he is humming a Bible verse indeed.  I raise my hand and give him a quick handshake, he is trembling—for he is an older gentleman, maybe around 60; he sure likes to work and make a dollar and I admire that—ain’t no shame in that!

The convenient store job o’ mine keeps me busy and stuff.  The corner store has everything a man need: razors, shave cream, swabs of cotton, and everything.  Me and Mr. Gladstone seem to arrive 3 minutes early from each other—not just today, but a lot lately; I have a ball cap on that he tells me to get rid of—he’s always smiling, but today he is not.  I check the heaters, (it was ratha’ a chilly morn’) I turn the sign around on the door to ‘open’, and sweep the rug and the floor and the carpet and the wood; he says, there is a lot one must put into this place, so the customers come.  He says my name, ‘Oliver;’ he tells me I have done enough work today to call it done, and then I says, ‘OK’. I think ‘You are OK’, but I did not say he was ‘OK’, I just thought it—so the next time he is ‘OK’, I will think he is ‘OK’, till then, he is ‘alright’. Mr. Gladstone then excuse me.

Mr. Gladstone reopened the store at 6 o’clock the next morning; he didn’t bother to take the morning bus, cuz the buses do not run this time of hour.  I also walked to work—I saw him appear suddenly from the long distance…Yet, I cannot say I ever speak to him again:  A Bohemian woman stopped me on the way to work; I went to run for Gladstone, but she run after me and she caught me…it was not even within 5 minutes…she raped me— ‘Where was that cop?’ I say.

My whole life shook after that.  I never could look at the woman again, not even in court; I am not sure if she is black, because a black woman should not rape a young white boy—no—it is a crime to kiss or get touched by a black woman if you are a white boy of any sort, ones ‘round here say.  After she pulled down her dress, I scurried along like a little church-mouse all the way to Gladstone’s: he was right in the threshold of the door when I confront him, as if he heard my shrills over a mile away?

Entering the convenient store, after catch my breath; I was scared to tell what happen just now—I thought he wouldn’t believe me, Mr. Gladstone, if I had.  But I did tell him: I told him that a Bohemian, maybe black woman run after me and touch me, raping me.  It was at that very moment he revealed to me: I was adopted.

The cop is not my friend, he is only the one I see nearly every morning: ‘he would not believe me’, I thought.  ‘Believe me,’ I thought.  Gladstone was in shock, as were the police; they think I set her up, which I didn’t: ‘I didn’t set her up’, I says.  ‘She set you up.’ ‘No, she did not.’ ‘Was she black?’ ‘No—no, well, I don’t know—maybe, well, she was Bohemian.  ‘A Bohemian woman?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘How peculiar, I have not seen any Bohemian-looking women here in this town.’ ‘I know.’ ‘Well, then...?’ ‘I don’t know’—

Chores needed to be promptly at the corner store, I started to think I wasn’t doing my job; that I was out foolin’ ‘round here—it all seemed so empty and dark—it was my fault the lady had sex with me, not hers.  And where was that cop? I began to say this to myself a hundred-dozen times the next day, and I was afraid for the trial and everything; where was my proof?  Clearly she should win: I am younger than her; that is my only defense—in fact, I was 17—I wonder, ‘was this lady—could it be, that she has committed such a heinous crime?’ When I entered the store, Mr. Gladstone was stocking the empty shelves full of toothpaste, soda, and fresh raspberry tarts.  I must have scared him, because when I snook up on him, he jump and knocked down the canned soups!  I apologized to him for this unruly error, then slunked back to the office with head down, because I think, ‘obviously, I am not wanted—because I am adopted, remember?’  How must I tell this heart-breaking news to Marie Gladstone, Mr. Gladstone’s wife!  (She dropped in today,) for surely, she must know!  Yet alas, I was too shy to approach her; and besides, I deal with the customers. I keep myself busy until it is my time to leave: stock shelves of canned vegetables, milk; greeting the guests; compromising my efforts by doing some light cleaning; and prepare cured meats for the deli in our annex.  I now leave the store.

As me being honest and friendly, I left through the store doors and saw Mr. Gladstone peered at me, what I could see, for I was not excused today—but I still had a job.  I hurried back to my owner’s residence, Dr. Abner’s—he surely would not be very happy to see me pass through the door without explanation of where I was or whom I was with.  And it did anger Dr. Abner, my sole provider.  Abner ran a tight-ship at home, and arriving back home a little too late or later than normal were simply not allowed. ‘Am, ohm, am I adopted?’ I asked him curiously, maybe to divert from any form of admonishment. ‘Adopted!  Who ever said you were adopted?’ ‘I heard.’ ‘Heard from where?’ ‘At the store, you know, Mr. Gladstone and Mrs. Gladstone?’ ‘Yes, Abner shrugged. ‘Well, I’m here to tell you, you are not.’ ‘OK,’ I answered. ‘OK, what?’ ‘OK, then.  I would like to know where the color of my eyes came from…’ Abner finally broke in with, ‘OK, but that doesn’t matter, you are late.’ ‘I know, I’m sorry though, Master, I shall never do such an act from this day on….’I promised. ‘OK you’ve said this before, but OK,’ Abner sighed with disbelief. ‘OK.’ ‘You are not adopted,’ he repeated. ‘I know.’ ‘OK, I believe you.’  ‘Stop calling me Master, I am a doctor…better yet, your father— OK?’ ‘OK,’ I reaffirmed.

I grew tired of the General store—maybe it was a sign I was growing up or maybe it was because I could no longer bear Mr. Gladstone and seeing his wife from time to time, after I told them that I was adopted and raped, and that got to me.  I am not sure that I will ever see them again.  I miss everything else about the Store, though…

I was raped.  The horrible thing is that I do not know by whom; the night was dark, everything scary—I don’t know if I believe it myself, the whole thing, how it went down.  My owner cares, Mr. Gladstone and his wife care, but I do not.  I think I will not be at the General Store anymore; I am lonely.  Dr. Abner will not be happy this time either, giving up my job, quitting chores outside the house, not getting an allowance, not paying rent.  Surely, I must—

‘You have to be working to make a living—you must be making the bread in this household too!’  ‘Yes ‘m.’ ‘Now go, get along now.’ ‘But’— I stammered then shut my mouth and went out looking for a job.

I was all alone that day too, but even felt more alone on this day.  Unfortunately, if I came back without a job, I would be kicked out and even more lonely; can you believe?  I walk endlessly, miles from home.  I stop at every house every few blocks of my neighborhood, and pretty soon the whole town knew I was a poor man in search of a good job that pay well! It began to grow dark and I still ain’t made it back yet to Abner’s.  The cop car was watching as I passed; I felt him as my guardian angel of sorts, but he put his brights on, which scared me so I jump.  He didn’t see me but I saw him; he’s a good friend like Mr. Gladstone, although not Mrs. Gladstone, just Gladstone himself.

Fortunately, after sunset, I found a potential employer: Lady Tanner of Tanner Barn.  The house seemed nice, despite being on a farm; the front porch light on just bright enough to see the dismal steps.  The lady was even nicer and welcomed me in for some tea and some conversation: he was, after all a stranger!  Her door wasn’t even locked! ‘Yes, Ma’am, I’m looking for a job that pays well or my owner, I mean, Dr. Abner will kick me out of my house,’ ‘Well, I don’t have a job for you, sorry.’ ‘Yeah, but—‘  ‘Yeah, but what?’ ‘Well, don’t you need a farmhand?  I know a lot about agriculture and raising crops, rearing cattle and all…’ ‘OK. No.’ ‘No? Please.’

‘OK, well we need someone to work a columbine’— ‘So…so you are saying there is work I can do that needs to be done here?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘OK.’ ‘What is your name?’ ‘Lady Tanner.’ ‘Lady Tanner, OK.’ ‘What ‘bout yours?’ ‘Oliver.’ ‘OK Oliver, you have a job—‘  ‘OK, thank you so much, my feet hurt; am tired, but when do I start?  And, what if—could I maybe live with you for a while until I get back on my feet?’ ‘Boy don’t you have a home? Where is Mr.—Dr. Abner, who is he to you?’  ‘Uhh, well, see I am tryin’ to make my own livin’ you see—tired of my owner, I mean Abner, tellin’ me don’t do this, or do that, and whatever. Tell me, what is the name of this hearth?’ ‘Tanner Barn.’ ‘Tanner Barn, OK, I see.  Am I welcome back t’morrah?  I must get on track now if I want to get some sleep, you know, to Abner’s.’ ‘Wait, you mean before dark?  It is dark, the time is 8:30—wait, where do you live?’ ’Bout 2 miles from here, out in the country—a small town, up North.’ ‘Wait, it is too black out to see where you are going, who knows what could happen to you at this time of night…you can stay here with me tonight.’ ‘OK. I will call my dear Dr. Abner and let him know I got the job and that I am staying with you for a day and will return to his place in the afternoon after your chores are finished here.  You can take a cab, I’ll make you a good breakfast: hardtacks and gravy, eggs and orange juice or coffee, then I will send you on your way.’ ‘Well thank you Mrs.—Mrs. Tanner, good night!’ I exalted jubilantly, then changed clothes and laid my weary and tired head on a duck-feathered pillow provided by the kind woman, then went to sleep; all of which I could not remember.

‘She raped me, she raped me,’ although I could not tell if it was a white woman or a black woman…she appeared to me as a Bohemian woman.  ‘She raped me!’ Was it really rape, ‘think’, if I did like it somewhat, would it be considered consensual then? Surely, yes, it was a crime—or was it not?  I did not ask her to, for I am only 17; she a woman of 40—it was thus a crime.  But, I enabled her—maybe the Mrs. Gladstone was right, maybe I got her to do it—I am so confused in slumber.  Well, I did like a sum about it—She raped me, she raped me…we are like an unlikely couple, to which shall succumb to a funny passion—she raped me, she raped me: it was our faults.  It was neither of our faults.

Only days later we were married: ‘It is time to join you in Holy Matrimony—You may kiss the bride!’ the reverend spoke, uniting us as a beautiful—no—wonderful couple, as husband and wife: Tanner and I were now married! ‘It was not rape! It was not rape!’ I shouted; all grew quiet— ‘my owner isn’t even here to see this,’ I thought, standing there saddened but not showing it to my new wife.  ‘I’m crying cuz I’m happy, not sad…’  I am sad.  The Gladstones are here, thank goodness!  It was not rape, no, not rape…

On this very same day, after the wedding we had parted ways in two very unlikely directions: ‘Lady Tanner must be somewhere!’  Gladstone said looking for her.  The very arrogant neighbor girl named Delilah—one of the house-maids, escaped from the attic of Tanner Barn made a fire of Lady Tanner’s barn.  ‘Lady Tanner, must surely be dead!’ Oliver panicked. ‘I need my wife, surely whom ever did this must be punished, and I must rescue her—the flames are burning bright, I see, as my passion for her—Oh Tanner, oh Tanner—” I voiced, fleeing from the church and ahead of the wanderers, into the blustery moors for days until she is rescued finally—the giving maid must be punished…she assuredly must be punished, I told myself when appeared a Bohemian woman who was not black—‘I was raped, I was raped…’ I thought.  Was the arrogant girl the Bohemian woman; do not touch me! Do not touch me, I tell you!  Get off me! ‘Rape, it was rape!’

The cop car followed me for at least an hour searching for my new wife; my clothes smelled of garbage, and my hands: my hands smelled like garbage; that is when I knew she must be around somewhere.  Several hours passed; it was like a hell-ish nightmare without an end.  The cop followed me well too, looking with his bright flashlight searching for a body.  We looked until we saw the orange flames rising from my house.  ‘My wife Tanner in there? Certainly, I pray not.’  The firefighters and paramedic saved her, except for her eyes: she went blind and couldn’t see anything anymore, although she can still breathe without much effort. ‘Can you see?’ ‘No. I cannot see anything.’ ‘Are you blind?’ ‘Yes, I am blind.’ ‘OK.’ ‘Help me!’ ‘OK…’  Oliver and the cop left, the house left to burn: it burned down to the ground; firemen gathered round, ‘sorry that we couldn’t save your house.’ ‘OK.  My new wife! She lost her sight! Help!’ ‘Help?  We can take her to the hospital, OK?’ ‘OK. Please, I don’t care about that God damn house!’ ‘OK, OK,’ the firefighter reassured.

‘Who set the fire?’ The sheriff asked.  ‘I dunno. Well, there was a black lady—no—a Bohemian woman, although I couldn’t tell real good, it was dark at the moment—‘  ‘At what moment?’  ‘When I was walking home from the general store where I work; Mr. Gladstone had just said goodbye to me and I left and went to go marry my wife—looking for a job when I met Tanner, I’m sorry she’s blind; happy she’s saved—but not that she is blind.’  ‘OK, I just want you to know you are not a suspect—‘ ‘I know, I was with her, at the ceremony, so I couldn’t of have set that barn on fire,’ I reiterated.  ‘OK, right.  Who is Mr. Gladstone?’ ‘He’s the store owner, of the General Store I work at—he, I mean, they were at the wedding too—‘  ‘They?’ ‘Yes. They: Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone, I assure you.’  ‘OK.’ ‘Who is this arrogant girl you speak of? ‘She is a neighbor of Tanner’s, not mine.’ ‘OK. Would she have a reason to set that barn on fire?’ ‘No.’  That is all—we will return to the scene t’morrow for further investigation, thank you.’  ‘OK.’   

Days passed, then weeks, then months and still no answers about the fire and Tanner’s eye-sight.  Blind and emboldened, Tanner transferred into a wicked, crazy character: she turned to alcohol for comfort.  The ghost of the girl from the attic haunted her, this led me to doubt my own sanity: could this evil demon be the one who started the fire and watch it burn; turns out, the records show the arrogant girl had died many years ago, right in Tanner’s attic, which has haunted many of the tenants.  Tanner’s drinking soared and her health plummeted; I don’t know what to do to her anymore.  The cops followed me; they are not my friends; I was raped I tell you, by this girl—a succubus—or human, a Bohemian or black woman, I have yet to figure out—I am helping my wife with her eyesight and her nightmares and her drinking problems.

Flashback: ‘Lady Tanner is dead,’ the officers says.  ‘But I’m in the middle of the wedding here—‘  ‘I know…sorry, here is your maid.’  ‘But she is not my savior, I do not propose…to her, this savior—she happens to be my maid—wait!  If you are the arrogant girl from the attic, how could you be here and not at the barn?’ ‘I was thinking Tanner was dead.’  ‘Sorry, I do not follow—‘  ‘Well, my wife was here moments ago, Tanner!’ ‘She’s gone, she died in the fire, so sorry…’ ‘I’m sorry too, well…’  ‘Well, what I am saying is that if Tanner was here and not in the barn it was not her that died in the fire, and if the little girl was here with me all this time, how could she have set the barn on fire?’ ‘I dunno, good question—‘  ‘Oliver, where are you?  Oliver come home!’  ‘What is that I hear, I hear a voice; it sounds like my wife, my first wife Tanner, calling from the barn!’  ‘Follow her, she is alive!’  ‘She didn’t die in the fire?’ ‘How could she, when she was with you?’ ‘Good question.  OK.’

I told the cops that on my return, I found my Lady Tanner drunk and without sight.  ‘I am a ghost mistaken for the arrogant neighbor girl, I’m the one that set the barn on fire’ I said to my wife Tanner; Lady Tanner was alive after all—she attacks me right then and there with a tiller:  She dies of consumption two days later.


© Copyright 2017 Jenna J Richardson. All rights reserved.

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