A New Beginning
Scot Walker



The rapist covered Mary’s mouth with his stinky sweaty form, smothering her, using her for less than five minutes, slapped her, kicked her down the stairs and fled. . . and that’s all Mary remembered, all she ever remembered about that incident—that moment of the dark foreboding spirit. All she wanted was to forget it, to move on . . . but then the vomiting began and Mary wandered the neighborhood, wrenching her  guts out.

When she recovered, she realized she was with child. With child for God’s sakes. . . at thirteen. . . was that even possible?

Rebecca, Mary’s closest friend, told her to take it in her stride—most of the girls in the neighborhood were already mothers and the men, if you could call them men at fourteen or fifteen, were carpenters or bricklayers or plumbers and had great jobs with great potentials.  The only problem, Rebecca said was pinning them down.

“Pinning, like that hovering spirit pinned me. No thanks,” Mary said.                       

“It’s not that kind of pinning—it’s a settling down type of pinning.”

“So I’ll be pinned every night for the rest of my life?”

Both girls laughed.

“It’s really not that bad. . . once you get used to it.”

“I don’t want a baby.  My folks will kill me.”

“There is a free clinic. All you have to do is show up and give a fake name and they’ll take care of the rest.”

“I like the idea of being anonymous—perhaps I could tell them my name is Madonna.”

“Madonna it is. . . I’ll drive you when you’re ready.”            

Rebecca held Madonna’s hand the entire time.

And afterwards they had sandwiches and Cokes and within a few hours Mary Madonna’s color had come back to her.

“So much color,” Rebecca said, “You should have called yourself Iris.”


“The Goddess of the rainbow.”

Mary smiled. It was as if the weight of the world had left her shoulders. She cared no more about the mystery of the strange force that had overcome her, raped her, torn away part of her soul and left her empty and now that she was free, she texted her boyfriend, “Joseph, it’s okay, now. We can go to Bethlehem. I’ve killed the little bastard.”

First published: May 2018
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