The Writing Disorder


jessica caudill

New Fiction


by Jessica L. Caudill

                                                                          The Letter of Mother to the


      1Mother, part-time Christian, full-time caregiver, avid reader of The Word, 2which was laid down by our most gracious heavenly Father (praise him!), 3appointed by the great Lord above to bring forth children into this wretched world, to raise them up in a wholesome religious fashion (hallelujah!), 4beating the Good News into their heads and leashing them off to weekly morning service (glory be!), 5to prepare them to be cast off blindly into a world of thieves, whoremongers, and the most vile and malicious of unclean and ungodly yard apes, (thank you Jesus!)
      6 To my onliest and blessed fruit of my tired loins, whom I waveringly call my Daughter,
      7 Mercy and blessings to you from God our Lord and heavenly father of sweet Jesus Christ, our gracious Savior, our Spirit in the Sky who laid down his life so that we may have life more abundantly during these dark ages of war, disease, and nay faring Godless hippies!
      8 Firstly and foremostly and above all, I give thanks to our God through the Lord Jesus Christ for you, my esteemed and slightly misguided daughter, for your years of servitude in our household have proven to be beautiful, holy, and most importantly obedient in the eyes of our Lord. 9For in most every way you have pleased him and moved
      him to rain his blessings down upon your weary head, 10despite your unfavorable and potentially embarrassing situation which is seen as despicable and undesirable especially unto me, 11though it is my unwavering belief and solemn vow that you will one day be steered from your improper ways and be delivered from your unchaste … proprietor, 12and come back to the loving arms of our forgiving Savior and our family, for it is the only way out of your dismaying situation. 13For it is written (pray for me),
      “Son, thou art ever with me,
      and all that I have is thine.
      It was meet that we should make merry,
      and be glad: for this thy brother was dead,
      and is alive again;
      and was lost,
      and is found.” (thank you, Jesus!)

      14 For I also know deep down in the most clandestine crevices of my saddened and disappointed heart that once you have been bluntly struck with the realization of your wrongdoings, 15that you will come crawling in a submissive, exposed and ashamed fashion that is pleasing to our great Lord on high, 16and falling to your knees, as you have probably been accustomed to doing so by now, 17saying,
      “I have recklessly forgotten Your glory,
      O Father;
      And among sinners I have scattered the riches which You gave to me.
      And now I cry to You as the Prodigal:
      I have sinned before You,
      O merciful Father;
      Receive me as a penitent and
      make me as one of Your hired servants.” (Blessed be, oh God!)

      18 Even so, my hope for you is undying; girl, and my prayers go out to you every day. 19And, my hopelessly lost daughter, never forget that God’s justice is swift and right against those that willfully commit wrongdoings, and you yourself fall into that pit of devilish deeds. 20The Lord has no partial respect over persons, his blessings are not suited for the richest, the brightest, or the most beautiful, 21just as his wrath exempts no person that goes against his Good News, 22and no mercy shall be laid upon those that lie in sin as adulterers, and harlots, and … fornicators. 23You remember that well, darling, you remember that good and well.
      24 Make no mistake while your mother may be past her prime, and may be behind in these modern savage times, I am not so aloof to the unholy behaviors of my own flesh and blood. 25For some time now, I have known that you have been in cahoots with that “nice young man,” as the neighbors think of him, who works at that dilapidated eyesore ‘hoochie coochie’ bar downtown. 26That boy, who shall remain nameless — or so he claims to be, but under all that disgusting display of effeminacy who can tell — who comes over unannounced and saunters around my kitchen like he owns the place, asking me, “What’s for dinner, mom?” 27and raising that drawn-on eyebrow when I sharply yet politely tell
      him, “I dunno, Boy George, why don’t you go home and see if your family is roasting an orphan for supper?” 28That much older slick Nancy boy that flops his raggedy jean ass on my couch that I just had steam cleaned from the last time he sat on it, and tries to tell me, in my house, 29that Jesus was just some homeless “dude” that spiked the water by adding some absinthe from a flask hidden under his robe when everybody wasn’t looking; 30and all the while he’s got one arm draped around your neck like a leech trying to suck the very life from you, and the other is holding a copy of some book written by that Antwon Levi fellow — when the only book he needs to be reading is the Good Book.
      31Now I know that a bright young child such as yourself, who was brought up in a loving and strict by-the-book house founded upon faith, can plainly see with her own eyes what tears the very core of your mother’s soul to shreds. 32You know it was my wish — never you mind what your father said about “cutting the cord” so you could find your own way — that you would attend the Soldiers of Christ Bible College, which is not even twenty minutes from our house, 33so that you could stay here at home and receive an education what’s better than anything you could get at some big fancy university. 34But of course you went against my wishes just as I had feared you would, and instead decided to run off to that school in the city, which just happens to be the very same school that he goes to. 35Night after night before I lay my head to another restless sleep, I whisper a prayer and conversate with my God — your God too, child — about my fears and concerns surrounded by the lifestyle which you have chosen to live, 36and that you would be soon flee from the grip of Satan’s lustful hand, and fall back into the pure and gracious arms of Jesus. 37One Sunday of every month, much like today, I sit in the same pew, fifth row on the far left, of
      the First Self-Righteous Baptist Assembly, hymnal in hand, and request prayer for all my loved ones who are lost and without guidance from our sweet lord and Savior. 38I offer my two dollars to the Sunday offering — or whatever loose change I have lying in the bottom of my purse — while singing along to the first verse of Amazing Grace, 39and my heart is filled with the hope that next month you will be sitting in that pew with me, discussing sister Mable’s God-awful new dye job.
       2But no, the snow-white dove of grace has yet to light on your head. For only yesterday I received this letter from you, talking about how you and your “Puddin’” have decided to move in together, unwed, mind you. 2Might I remind you, precious child of mine, that this decision goes against the Law of our Father? 3Must I stand over you, like I have countless times before as when you were a little heathenistic child, 4with my open Bible and quote the very commands of the lord?
      “Flee fornication.
      Every sin that a man doeth is without the body;
      but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body,” 1 Thess.4: 3,
      “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?
      Be not deceived:
      neither fornicators,
      nor idolaters,
      nor adulterers,
      nor effeminate (he’s speaking about your precious Puddin’),
      nor abusers of themselves with mankind.” 1 Corinthians 6: 18,
      (might I also remind you of where you got your nickname, Jezzy)?,
       “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee,
      because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel,
      which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication,
      and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
      And I gave her space to repent of her fornication;
      And she repented not.
      Behold, I will cast her into a bed,
      and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation,
      except they repent of their deeds.
      And I will kill her children with death;
      and all the churches shall know that I am he
      which searcheth the reins and hearts:
      and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” Rev. 2: 20.

      3How often have you heard these scriptures from me, from preacher J.C. Walker, from your late grandmother Blanche? (God rest her soul, she made the best chicken and dumplings this side of eternity) 2The good Lord spoke of these things for a reason and it wasn’t so that this new-age batch of liberal college hippies could trample over our Ten Commandments on their way to their philosophy classes, talking of pagan religions and dropping shrooms — or whatever you do with those things — and then skipping off through the daisies to Bonnaroo. 3The Testament of Jesus Christ was laid down to guide the weak and meager through this wretched life and warn us to stray away from these very evils that plague our daily lives. 4And since you have left the confinements this house and the watchful eye of your caregivers, you have turned to walk down the same wicked path, 5and no thanks to that makeup mongering albatross that has slithered his way into your life and into your pants. 6Don’t think I don’t remember the night when you would come home, pert near 3 in the am, smelling like Southern Comfort and that stink leaf that the kids are smoking nowadays. 7Don’t forget I was your age once, I know what goes on during these “study groups.” 8Ain’t nobody I knew growing up that spent 6 hours reading War and Peace. 9I’ve dabbled in the forbidden fruits myself, sneaking out of my mother’s house (may she rest in peace) in the middle of the night when I was 16 to meet that Johnny Price that lived down the street from me; 10hopping in his ’74 Gremlin and driving off to Makeout Mountain.
      11 But that was a long time ago. 12Have I not told you time and time again, “Do as I say, not as I do?” 13Did I not thrust you from my womb and distort my body so that you would be raised to walk in the path of light? 14Have my years of teachings, lectures, and my house arrests, all been in vain? 15Did I quit my job at the Piggly Wiggly when you were born and stay home with you so that you could be home schooled and not have to go to the public schools and be surrounded by all that blasphemy, secular garbage about Big Shebangs and Dinosaurses just so you could throw it all away without a second thought? 16And here you tell me that you want to be a pharmacist or some sort of scientist and search for a cure for cancer. 17I suppose this means you found my stash of Xanax in my left top dresser drawer. 18Honey, the only cure for any ailment is the Man upstairs. 19I don’t think I’ve ever seen a beat in my life! 20Never in all my born days have I seen such a disrespectful and ungrateful daughter such as you that would willingly allow herself to be deterred by her carnal desires and completely brush off her family as if we never cared. 21And what’s more you say everything’s “fine” and not to worry about you and you’re going to get a part-time job while going to school to pay the rent. 22The only place you need to be is at home, making sure that the house is clean and the couch is sanitary and there’s supper on the table, 23because you know when “Puddin’” gets home the first thing he’s going to say is, “What’s for dinner?” 24I can only hope with the last thread of faith left in me that you have been using some kind of protection, because this world doesn’t need 2 or 3 more of him running around, 25polishing their fingernails and carrying those sadistic tarot-farot cards in their back pockets and putting hexes on everybody.
      4Don’t think that I write to you merely to find fault with you, my poor misguided dear. 2I only write to remind you of the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ that speak against everything you are doing. 3As I come to a regretful close, I say that it is written in plea to all those that follow a path of earthly desires,
“Live by the spirit,
I say,
and do not gratify the desires of the flesh.
For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit,
And what the Sprit desires is opposed to the flesh;
For these are opposed to each other,

      4To prevent you from doing what you want.” (Glory to God!)
So you see there is a time and a place for this folly, which must be short-lived. 5You have had a chance to experience the things, 6which are of this world and surely you can see that they are not of God. 7Surely you can see that the dim-witted freeloader you are seeing is not of God, but from the bowels of Satan himself! 8It is not the Lord’s will that you succumb to an eternity of damnation, 9but I fear that is exactly where you are being lead to, headfirst into the fiery pits of hell! 10I have detected you in such a transgression, but all is not lost. 11You still have a chance to repent for your sins and return to the life you know you should be leading. 12You must purge that perversion of nature from your system, forget about that college you’re going to, and pack up your things and come straight home this very minute you read the last words of this letter. 13This has nothing to do with you and the dreams you have concocted in your sleep, 14but the very law of Christ. 15And trust in the Lord that he will provide you with a suitable path to follow, 16one that is surely pleasing unto him and one that glorifies him; not you, but him. 17For we are nothing without our God, which is in heaven. 18In time I know that you will come around to this idea.
      19Once you are back home with me, you will get back into the swing of things; you will enroll in the Soldiers of Christ Bible College as I had originally planned for you, 20take the kinds of classes you should be taking, learning the kinds of things that’ll prepare you for a job at the library, 21working in the Religious Text section — the part of the library that hardly anybody goes to. 22That way, you won’t have anybody to bother you, and you can spend all your time reading up on The Purpose Driven Life and those wonderful and inspirational books by that Joel Osteen (Bless him, Lord, that man knows what he says!) 23You’ll forget all about what’s-his-name and meet a wholesome and decent boy- preferably Ronald James, the bag boy at the Christian Book Store (why that place needs a bag boy, I don’t know, but that’s beside the point; he’s working for the Lord. Have mercy!)
      24This is the right way, the only way to get you back on track. 25Nothing you are doing right now could ever prepare you for your walk into the afterlife. 26I beseech you turn away now!
      “…be strong in the Lord
      and in the strength of his power.
      Put on the whole armor of God,
      so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
      “So let us not grow weary in doing what is right,
      for we will reap at harvest time,
      if we do not give up.”
      27I haven’t yet given up, daughter. Neither should you. 28I write this letter with my hand, which is guided by our most gracious heavenly Father. 29May the grace of our God and his only begotten son Jesus Christ be with you, and slap some sense into the back of your head. Amen and A-men!

Jessica Caudill is a life-long resident of Kentucky. She received her BA in Psychology from Morehead State University in 2010 and she is currently enrolled in Spalding University’s MFA in Writing Program. Her writings have appeared in Morehead State University’s Inscape Magazine (2009, 2010). Her piece entitled, "The Motherly Epistles" received a Kentuckiana Metroversity award for fiction.

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