This is an excerpt from a new Fina Fitzgibbons mystery in the making. The story takes place in Brooklyn when a thirteen year old is kidnapped. Her name is Brandy and in this bit of monologue, she’s doing the talking. It’s lifted from her diary which Fina finds in Brandy’s closet. Again, the writing is rough.
There’s something about Dad you ought to know. I didn’t know it until after he was dead, but his real name is Colm. Only he always wrote it C. Mitchell Liam, as if the angels taught him, Granny said.
“Himself gave Mitch that wayward spark.” That’s the way Granny talks. “Gave him and Caroline a spark and a wayward glance you’d think they were born to charm and break all the rules. And they did, believe me. We had two charmers, himself and me.” She means Caroline and Dad. And she makes the sign of the cross. If you hold your thumb and two fingers together while you’re signing yourself, the devils slink away. Anyway that’s what Granny says, and Dad’s eyes would grin when she’d talk like this.
Sometimes he’d smile without his mouth getting involved at all. Genes from his father, Granny would say. “That’s how he got to be such a good lawyer. Only he didn’t make the big money,” Granny said. “Too busy defending all the poor unwashed. That’s how he met your mother. In court, downtown Brooklyn. Your mother was prosecuting the poor unwashed, upholding the sly buggers at the time. Yes, your mother was born a prosecutor, my sweet Brandywine.” Her name for me. “She’d prosecute the Blessed Virgin, send her down in a blink, but don’t tell her I said so.” Then she’d cross herself and say, “Excuse me, Lord, for saying bad things about the boring.” And I knew who she meant. I felt bad for my mom then and my heart started thumping. My cheeks burned and my skin puckered at the back of my neck, but I never said a word, just sat on the edge of her bed and stared out like a gutless wonder.
Photo: Brooklyn Heights, July 2006. Credit: kmf164, Wikipedia Commons.