Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #201

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #201

Chapter Eleven

BALANCE OF POWER

…Can’t we say that John Ferrell wasn’t of sound mind when he did this…

“You’re the lawyer in the family James! Can he do something like this?” Martha Ferrell Ferrell will-001has gotten over the shock of her husband’s untimely demise, turning her attention instead to his last will and testament. For her, it is a mystery novel, a work of fiction fraught with plot twists and turns, and a bitterly cruel ending.

“He did,” her son says flatly.

  “Can’t we say that he wasn’t of sound mind when he did this? Look at the crazy thing he did, going to Scotland in the middle of the goddamned war!” There is a lot of that G-D thing going around.

“Mother…  taking the Lord’s name in vain will not change anything. When she turns 21, Maggie Lou “Ferrell”, he clears his throat, “will officially own over 100 acres of Tallahassee.”

“People are calling him a hero, Mother. Cousin Matthew tells us they are thinking about naming a new huge rail-bridge after him.” Agnes is proud of her father, void of the tangible acridity.

“James Barrie can rot in a bog for all I care. He is the one who whined his way into making John feel guilty. ‘Our people are starving’, ‘we have no petrol for our motorcars’. Huh! I for one am glad he could not make the funeral… some silly play about a handmaid called Cinderella.”

Image result for a kiss for cinderella gif“When the war is over, he is going to bring A Kiss for Cinderella to the United States. I told him that I would find a theater for him. He even said I could be an “understudy”, he called it. If Cinderella falls ill, I could be the lead actress.”

“How silly would that be? You could make two of her I’m sure, but yes if Cinderella is single, you would be perfect for the part, 34 and without a man.” Martha’s dour mood turns vicious.

“Cyril (Odz) has been talking about the future quite a lot lately, I’ll have you know. Then you will be all alone, does that make you happy?”

“That is enough bickering!” A lawyer hears his fill of petty wrangling on a daily basis. “Maggie legally owns the land and that is the bottom line, though I wonder how he was able to keep the property a secret for all these years.”

“He was very good at secrets, wasn’t he? A black girl owning half of town,” She cannot let it go.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #201


page 188

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #193

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #193

…Martha Ferrell is letting her true feelings surface for the first time…

Preparing For Thanksgiving by Doris Lee

John ponders Scotish aid.

‘I wonder if he wants to go see where his family has its roots.’ She knows John is eager, knee-deep in his new project, but a look that would stop a charging bull in its tracks, halts his notion there and then. ‘No, I suppose he has better things to do… busy, busy, busy, always something,’

 Thanksgiving is the next day.

“And please do not spoil Thanksgiving dinner with too much talk of Scotland. It will be difficult enough dealing with the extra guests.” She is in the kitchen, preparing to prepare enough food to feed the Third Scottish Regiment, with Agnes’ help… as soon as she wakes up.

“Ziggy is old and alone.” John insists.

“He is not the problem. Neither is his friend, Doctor Alpha. It is who will be with them.”

Truth-001“Laura Bell and Maggie – I thought we buried that resentment years ago?”

“We buried? No, I have learned to forgive your adultery, but I may never understand your complete devotion to that child, I mean we could have paid Laura off and sent them away. Instead, they live across the lake and you spend as much time with them as you do me.”Martha is letting her true feelings surface for the first time.

There is the welcome sound of footsteps coming down from upstairs, much to John’s relief. “Agnes, darling, you’re up early, good, your mother needs help peeling the vegetables, I am going to stoke the stove. Let’s make this the best Thanksgiving ever!”John heads for the woodshed for enough fuel to cook six separate dishes and a 25 pound turkey.

“Daddy is unusually lively this morning, Mother. Did we put too much starch in his underwear again?”

“I will let him tell you himself, but suffice it to say he has a new project to work on, something to do with the war in Europe.”

“How exciting! Do you think I could help?” Agnes could use a little spice in her life as well.

“No, I mean yes, no I mean maybe.” It is hard for her to be clear, without appearing to oppose the one man whom Agnes overtly adores. “We will discuss this after dinner, when the guests leave.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

MimiEunice_60

Mimi & Eunice by Nina Paley

Episode #193


page 181

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #73

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #73

…”Young lady, people, no matter what color,” Martha Asserts, “are not meant to be property of a fellow human being – period, and end of subject”…

Abigail-001

Back to the real world. Abigail and James manage to maintain a several-step-stagger for their stairway decent, for appearance sake at least, that they may not have been spending quality time exploring bodily nooks & crannies.

Introductions are made, though one is not needed. Herb Love is her rescuer, warmly received – kind of a stabilizing influence.

Rescue-001 Willy Campbell is another story. She is startled to see him. He immediately reverts to his subservient roots, dropping his head to avoid eye contact.

And she is bright enough to make the connection between her late father’s former slave and Herbert Love; awful recollections, previously buried beneath tons of denial. The destruction of Fort Sumter South, flood back to the present.

‘The Campbells is gone!’ are the cries she remembers hearing that fateful day, more than a year hence.

“You killed my father!” is Abbey’s cry now. “You killed my father and destroyed our lives.”

“I weren’t there, Miss Abigail, I swear!” Willy scrambles to explain.

  “Yes, I believe you are correct, Willy Campbell. You were not there and because Justice2-001you were not, the rest of our people revolted against us and burned and pillaged and killed every white man they could lay their hands on… including my own Father. Why, why… why!!!???,” she asks futilely as she beats her small hands against the chest of the obviously dismayed black man.

Herbert Love steps to Willy’s defense, pulling the distraught girl away. She is detached from reason, to the point of not responding to even her dear James’s loving touch.

“You are all in this together, aren’t you. It makes sense to me now!” Her alleged co-conspirators are guilty of nothing, excepting a deep-seated dislike of the “business as usual” in the south that they treasure. “You just happened to be passing by that day? I think not, sir. I remember seeing every one of you, just like it were yesterday!”

“We did not intend for any harm to come to your father. There was no way to know what effect the freeing of the Campbells would have on others,” Love appraises. He is not in the business of apologetics.

You had no right stealing our property!” she furthers.

“Young lady,” Martha sternly asserts, “people, no matter what color, are not meant to be property of a fellow human being – period, and end of subject.”

“You have slaves, Joseph and his helpers.” Abbey tries to make a weak connection.

“Wrong, wrong, wrong! Joseph is a paid foreman and is free to leave if he no longer likes his job or position.” Martha is fighting the girl’s preconceived notions. “Take Olla, for instance. She left out our house for different situation. She did not even bother properly explaining why she wanted to leave, but that is not the point. The point is, is that she wanted to leave, free to keep her money, in her name at the Lewis State Bank as a matter of fact

… Free is the key word. Were the Campbells or any of the others, free to leave? … I will answer for you in your mute ignorance. NO! If you would take the time, look at things long and hard you might get a clue as to why you are clinging to archaic belief system.”

Abigail Smythwick-Ferrell shrinks in the face of Martha’s human rights passion. She falls to the floor in a heap, like her legs had suddenly turned to gelatin. The shock of recurring lost memories has sapped her strength. James rushes to her side, cradling Abbey’s head, stroking her long, light brown hair.

Martha Ferrell retrieves smelling salts from her handbag, opening the tiny jar and waving it in front of the young woman’s nose. Ammonia inhalants, along with subconscious realization cause her to stir, to the great relief of all.

Sometimes pain must precede progress.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Abigail-001

Episode #73


page 67

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #71

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #71

…Willy and Herbert exchange sideward glances, neither having seen so much as a smudge of soot on him….

Just two adult visitors (Herbert & Willy) and their host (John) retire to Hillside Estate, just as the setting sun dips below the tree line, glowing dimly all the way.

"Wooly"

“Wooly”

Martha is faithfully waiting outside her San Luis Lake castle with Agnes at her side, along with Wooly the sheepdog who is sleeping at their feet. And though they are accustomed to the prolonged absence of the head of the house, they do not rest until he is safely home. They have anticipated guests for the night by, so they need to prepare the spare bedrooms. Ever since the unexpected loss of the irreplaceable Olla, mother and daughter take up the care for the house, no one therein is having the will to find another upstairs maid.

“We were wondering if the doctor kidnapped you, perhaps to harvest your organs,” Martha says, with a hint of sarcasm with a pinch of resentment.

“They are old, Martha dear. I help them whenever I can. Today I cleaned the front room ChimneySweepingchimney. I can feel a chill coming soon and I don’t want their house to burn down. It would be ashes in a blink of an eye.”

Willy and Herbert exchange sideward glances, neither having seen so much as a smudge of soot on him.

“Should we make you men some supper? You must be famished,” she offers dutifully.

There have been giant strides in the area of cooking, but it remains the single most missed chore of Laura Bell’s former jobs; the menu.

White_Lies  White_Lies  “As a matter of fact, Frieda made her famous wiener schnitzel and insisted we stay, right my friends?” John prompts.

“Oh my, yes, a true European delicacy it was,” agrees and adds Love. He is mildly suspicious of John’s liberty with small details.

“Let’s go inside and enjoy some Indian spiced tea. John, would you start a fire in the den… or is our chimney not fit for a autumn fire?”

“Certainly dear” he ignores the snide addendum to the request. “Say, where is James?” he wonders.

“I will give you three guesses and the first two do not count.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #71


page 65

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #60

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #60

…The emotional bond that first gripped the two youngin’s in the summer, has progressively warmed, simmered, boiled and now threatens to surpass the rim of the pot…

Sweetheart Tree-001

Christmas Tallahassee-001What a Christmas indeed.

Unaware of John Ferrell’s various ins and outs, Martha Ferrell is equally unaware that son James has no intention of honoring the brother-sister relationship, as it applies to Abigail Smythwick. And to be sure, methinks the lady doth protest too much. Maintaining an acceptable decorum, in the company of others, is all that they can manage. The emotional bond that first gripped them in the summer has progressively warmed, simmered, boiled and now threatens to surpass the rim of the pot.

If one ignores something, perhaps it will go away. ‘It is sure to be mere infatuation, you know, a phase of adolescence’, Martha tells a friend, who has noticed how the two act away from home, specifically in her secondary school classroom. True siblings are rarely so close; twins being the possible exception, but James and Abbey are a year apart, the sole apparent separation.

 Take the day before Christmas break, the two week holiday from classes, creating a bridge to 1897. Everyone is anxious to set aside studies. Ferrell and Smythwick-Ferrell cannot wait themselves, to steal a moment during lunch.

“James,” Abbey whispers, “let’s eat our lunch outside. It’s such a pretty day.” She is incapable of suppressing the feminine charms emoting in all four directions and three known dimensions; doing absolutely nothing to establish her sisterly self.

“I’ve got a blanket in my locker. Meet me at the Sweetheart Tree.”

Around the corner, just out of sight, Agnes is an interested spectator, by definition a voyeur, secretly wishing it was she who had a young man vying for her attention. That “big sister” notion at first seemed ducky, idealistically pleasing. But it is obvious that if Abigail’s father had not died, she and James would be on a similar collision course. Adoption into their family has facilitated the attending of the same school which has only served to fan the embers into ardent flames.

Agnes shadows James on the way to the tree that has more initials carved into its bark than words in her favorite books, Little Women. Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy were sisters fast and true, something to be admired, just not to be for her. Instead, she sees her brother courting the Meg to her Jo, leaving only Mother to confide in. When Agnes looks closely in the mirror, it is mother, Martha’s reflection she perceives. The end results of that notion are palatable, but only if she could find a man like James. He is the man she wished she could marry.

The younger Ferrell watches, as the rival for her brother’s affection applies her wanting lips on a defenseless, yet willing participant. Agnes has hid these confusing thoughts since from before her blossoming womanhood had intruded on normality. Very little has been the same since. What a cruel twist of nature; knowing exactly how you feel, not ever being able to state her case in understandable terms.

Even more frustrating, is the fact that, if she dares to undermine the situation, no good can ever come of it. Woe is she.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #60


page 55 (end Ch. 4)

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #46

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #46

…The Campbells is free! The Campbells is free!’ are the cries for joy…

Escape2

“Are you sure the cabin is empty?!” demands Pigface of his night watchman, whose tending of his duties has lapsed this evening into morning. “They’re on the lamb with three brats and a useless old woman. They can’t be far! Get the dogs, you damn fool, whilst the trail is still warm!” 

The baying of a trio of converted coonhounds brings sleep to a raucous halt for the rest of these renaissance cavemen of the 19th century. The lamps in the overseers’ quarters, as well as the mansion are lit room by room. Looking out the window of his bedroom, Jefferson Smythwick sees a line of torches heading northwest across his recently harvested fields. When word of the Campbell flight reaches him, he orders every available man to the search.

The news spreads like wildfire from farm to farm on the plantation. ‘The Campbells is free! The Campbells is free!’ are the cries for joy, resounding and inciting. Those workers who remain take up the torch as well; not to aid in the capture of the Campbells, rather to band together in revolt. Within the hour of 2 A.M., the light generated by scores of burning buildings illuminates the Midway landscape better than the coming clouded sunrise could hope to.

Dynamite-001

There are sporadic rifle shots amidst the chaos, but they are drowned out by the explosions coming from the dynamite shed. The explosive used in stump removal craters straight down to the bedrock.

It feels like a Florida quake after all, epicenter, just outside of Midway. Fort Sumter South shakes to the depth of its old Southern ways, the sound of freedom echoes far and wide. From the slave traders on the Gold Coast in West Africa to the slave markets in Atlanta, Georgia.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Slave Trade

Episode #46


page 43

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #13

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #13

…Your letters stopped comin’ over a year ago…

Post-funeral mingling continues…

“We’ll all be missin’ her, Doc, just like we’ve been missin’ you,” offers Edwina Stephens, longtime Frenchtown resident and friend to the family. A warm embrace is given to all in the greeting line.

Second in sequence is J. Kenty Johnson, who along with A.O., was one of the first black doctors in the former Confederacy; numbered lower than 100 for the longest time. “You had the finest possible woman, ‘specially for a doctor, A.O. A single man like me can sure ‘preciate that.”

“Thank you, Johnnie. I know I couldn’ta made it through those early years without her. She was a blessin’ to me.”

“To everyone,” it is agreed.

The slow moving, single file line produces a surprise: Hosea Campbell, the wayward older brother of the doctor, who still looks like his vocation, a purveyor of prostitution. He saunters up respectfully.

“I’ma sorry that I ain’t been ‘round these years, Alfrey,” he speaks to his brother using a nickname only the Quincy Campbells use; Alfrey actually being A.O.’s given name. It wasn’t dignified enough.

“How’d Jersey been treatin’ you, Hosey?” asks Alpha, not expecting what would be coming out of his mouth next.

“Oh well, I’m doin’ okay,” Hosey says, changing to a whisper, “but Angie is worried sick ‘bout you. Your letters stopped comin’ over a year ago. She’s thinkin’ you forgot about her.”

The doctor discretely responds in muted words, “Tell Angela and her mother that I’ll be contactin’ them soon. I was fearin’ the warden’s been spying on my mail, don’t need his knowin’ ‘bout Camille.”

Secrets-001

Secrets are undisclosed facts. You would swear that these liberties with the truth would make a heck of a good story, if they did not make such painful truth. And it’s not as though things got this complicated overnight. Years of careless planning have contributed to current circumstances. 1919 was one interesting year, in the deep dark past and the culprit in several indiscreet situations by multiple offenders.

“Camille is married, did ya know?” Hosey is updating the New Jersey news, as they shunt to an unoccupied corner.

It has caught the doctor off balance. “Married?” There is a slight trembling in his voice, reflecting a tinge of unwarranted possessiveness.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #13


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