Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Love Children and The South Rings True

After talking with Terse for a while, Art figured he could accept the "odd" experiences he had had in Gallagher. No doubt, he was embellishing the events in his mind. Maybe he had read too many articles ridiculing the South, as a place where no one was educated, many lived in large old houses, and they were all kin to each other.

His thoughts were interrupted when this woman walked in the door and Terse said, "Bunny! Hey, come meet someone." Not to disappoint anyone, Bunny was wearing tight leopard skin pants, black stilettos, a red sweater with a red boa like collar, and a low cut neckline. Her hair was done in her perfect bouffant. Bunny waved and walked over to the table. Terse stood up, "Art, this is Bunny Vontese. Bunny, this is Art Nome. He is a reporter from New York."

Bunny held out her hand, "Nice to meet you."

"Art, Bunny is a good friend of mine. In fact, Art, we need go out to Bunny's house. You'd love it."

"OK," said Art, not knowing what that was all about.

"Bunny, I guess you could say 'inherited' this beautiful old home that sits on the river. It has been on magazine covers before."

Not quite sure what Bunny was all about, Art said,"Sure, that would be great." He took another sip of his drink. 

Ike showed up with a Mai Tai for Bunny complete with little umbrella.

Bunny gave Ike a big smile,"Thanks Ike."

"Anytime 'Miss' Bunny," Ike winked at her and returned to the bar.

"Inherited? It was in your family?"

Bunny laughed. "Not exactly. I was engaged to marry the gentleman who owned it, Harrison Wells. He died very unexpectedly and left it to me. 

"That was very nice of him. He has no family?"

Terse added, "Oh, he had plenty of money. He just adored Bunny. Harrison also set-up a very handsome trust that will care for Ivy Lane and Bunny for life." 

"So you must be from one of the old Gallagher families. Have you always lived in Gallagher?" Art asked.

"Yep, born and raised here. But you could say my family lived on the 'other side of the tracks'. We were anything but one of the old families and well off. "

Art wasn't sure what to say. Bunny continued. "My Daddy, William Vontese, passed away several years ago. My Mama is Anna Belle Vontese." A bell went off in Art's head. There could only be one 'Anna Belle' in this small town. This young lady was the daughter of the town 'madame'.

About that time Vivian walked in. Terse stood up, "There she is." Vivian walked over to the table. Terse gave her a hug and kiss on the cheek. Terse and pulled a chair out for her. He introduced her to Art. The way Vivian and Bunny interacted with each other made it clear that they were close friends. Art found that odd given Vivian's natural good looks and simple outfit compared to Bunny's unique style.

"OK,"Art asked,"Vivian, who are your parents?"

Terse looked at Vivian,"Art is convinced that we are all kin because we marry our cousins." They all laughed.

Vivian said, "Well that is interesting that you would ask. Technically I was an orphan. My parents were killed in an automobile accident when I was just a baby."

Art laughed,"I sense there is 'but' here."

"But, my mother Tula Wells, is alive and well here in Gallagher." 

"Is that the 'Wells' family Bunny was getting ready to marry into."

"Yes, my mother and Harrison were first cousins."

"And your father?"

Vivian and Bunny looked at each other, Vivian laughed, "My father was William Vontese."

"Wait, that means that you and Bunny have the same father. So he was married to each of your mothers"

"Yes, but it is not that simple." Vivian laughed again,"I was a love child conceived while my father was married to Anna Belle."

"So then your parents got married?"

"Nope that was after my parent's divorce. . . while he was married to Bunny's mother."

Terse had a wicked grin on his face."There is someone else I want you to meet." Terse got up and went to the bar. Buzz was sitting there having a beer and talking to Ike."Buzz, there's someone over here I want you to meet." He and Buzz walked back over to the group.

"Art, this is Buzz Jackson. Buzz, this is Art Nome."

The two men shook hands, Buzz said, "The reporter from New York."

"Word travels fast."

"It doesn't have far to go."

They all laughed. Then Art looked at Buzz. "Wait are you and Terse are both 'Jacksons'. Are you two kin?"

"Brothers," Terse said proudly and put his arm around Buzz.

Art was confused,"Wait, Terse I thought you only had a sister."

"I do only have a sister, Buzz and I are half brothers."

"So, your father was married twice."

Vivian laughed out loud,"Nope, Buzz is another love child."

Art shook his head,"You can't make this stuff up." And to himself, he said, 'Damn they are all kin to each other."

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