Did You Know…?
By Sally Madison
Millicent was strolling down the lane, enjoying the sunshine warmth, but she felt a cool breeze when not protected by the woods to the right. The fields stretched out to the left, to a beautiful view of the valley. She had taken off the bolero jacket that matched her long blue skirt with black bric-a-brac trim, exposing her ruffled white silk blouse. She swung her jacket over her shoulder causally, enjoying the solitude. Her soft light brown hair was in a relaxed bun on the back of her head. She had just come from church, on her way back to the college. Behind her she heard the Packard coming. She moved over to give the large black convertible girth. She recognized the driver as a senior student at the school. His maroon double breasted wool great coat had black velvet covered buttons and matching the velvet collar. The attached cowl made his shoulders appear massive. The black silk top hat and waxed mustache spoke of dignity. He stopped to make small talk concerning the beautiful weather, the school and the teachers. He invited her to join him in the back seat, because they didn’t have a porch swing at the school. In the warm air, the luxury of the vehicle, and grand view made the young co-ed relaxed and happy.
After much small talk, he turned to her and casually asked,”Did you know I was a rapist?” The hair on the back of her neck stood up! Her eyebrows raised o show the whites around her irises! Quickly she grabbed the door handle. Her petticoats flounced in the air as she jumped and pushed her way out of the car. Smirking, he leaned back and thought, ’too easy’. Faster than she had ever run in her life she made her way back down the lane, so the car couldn’t follow easily, then zigzagged through the woods. She dashed through the open space to the school ahead. Her chest was heaving as she reached the porch. Her arms stretched out and her face pleaded for safety, as she reached the double doors. Her body slammed into the brass metal bars that protected the frosted glass of the heavy oak frames. The doors gave way only a few inches, when her breath exploded, escaping out of the gut, as she felt his icy fingers through her thin blouse on the small of her back.
Hours later, her limp body shuffled down the dark oak-paneled cavernous hallway, towards the huge glass window at the end of the passage. Her hair hung limply from the disheveled knot, and her bare feet were unresponsive to the cold white marble. Her exposed bare buttocks matched the white of her undershirt and torn pantaloons. She walked out the door into the vineyards and paused occasionally to eat a grape. She spoke. “Did you know that Prescott was a rapist?” to no-one around.
“Yes,” answered the grapes.