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Whores .29: Pill to Swallow

10/13/12

  10:30:00 am, by Nic Wilson   , 1141 words  
Categories: Whores

Whores .29: Pill to Swallow

Lisa's arms were heavy from the big grocery bags. Her heart was still racing from the confrontation at the grocery store, so she was distracted when she walked into the kitchen. Had she heard the muted arguing from the hall she probably would have just turned around and went to the TV room.

But Clint was also there, caught in the hypnotically awkward cloud of angry murmurs. She saw an opportunity, and whispered to him, ?I spent the day with Mae.?

It took a moment for her meaning to register. "Oh no," he said.

"Oh yes."

"I should have told you."

"Probably. But this was funnier- on a day when I think we both needed the laugh."

?Rough day?? he asked, taking one of the grocery bags from her.

?Mary?s already been pushed through the court system,? Jezebel said to Anna, her voice rising to the point that they couldn't pretend not to hear it anymore.  

?And getting rougher,? Lisa said. Mae walked into the room triumphantly carrying Anna's gallon of ice cream. Lisa tried to warn her away with her eyes, but Mae was preoccupied, trying to put away what had happened earlier, so the others didn't have to see how much it upset her. 

?That gender crimes bitch pulled some strings,? Jezebel said, and Mae perked up, recognizing the tone, and the fact that it usually meant she was going to have to shoot somebody. Mae set the ice cream and several bags down on the counter. ?She got Mary's case before a sympathetic judge. He put a gag order on it, which is why we hadn't heard anything- not even through her lawyer. They threw everything at her, and I mean everything; from attempted infanticide for admitting during interrogation that she'd thought about terminating her pregnancy, to child endangerment for having her baby along when that Simmons thing happened. And enough stuck that,? she had trouble making herself say it, ?they're going to execute her.?

?But she's pregnant,? Anna said.

?And they've already figured out a way around that. They're going to cut the baby out of her, then execute her. Which is shitty... but it's not like she's the first pregnant woman on death row. Usually, between appeals and scheduling it's a non-issue, and when it has been, they've just rescheduled the execution after the child's born. No, where it gets really disgusting is how they're going to do it. It's not terribly uncommon for a judge to allow an execution to be televised. But they're going to let the cameras film both. They're going to cut the baby out of her, then sew her up, and hang her, on television.?

?Mother of God,? Anna said. ?It's almost elegant; it's the perfect expression of the idea that women only have value as birth canals. It's telling everyone in the country that if a woman isn't carrying a baby she should be dead.?

?Maybe worse,? Lisa said, ?it's making death the penalty for failing to be a 'good' mother.?

?I?d like to have Detective Campbell shot,? Jezebel said. ?Gottfried?s the best kind of a gender cop; he?s either ideologically with us or de facto eliminating someone who might be more vigorous in the position. Harmon?s smart, but benign. He?s a 9 to 5 cop, but he doesn?t take his work home with him and he doesn?t seethe with rage whenever he sees a woman not sitting in the back of the bus. But Campbell?s another matter. She set up that crisis center. She set up the surveillance that caught Mary, and then made sure she got the harshest sentence possible. She?s dangerous- more so because by being a woman she gives those bastards cover to treat us how they like, because it can?t be sexist if another woman does it.?

?You know that?s bullshit-?

?We all do. But it passes muster for some. It muddies water that ought to be clear as day.?

?Speaking hypothetically,? Mae said, ?it wouldn?t be a thing. I wouldn?t even need the .50 cal. Smaller arms, something we haven?t used previously, to keep it from tracing back to us in any way. Hell, if we have a few days I could probably buy something off some bangers or some crackheads to make sure there?s plenty of wild geese for them to chase.?

?No,? Anna said quietly. But she was angry, and it was bubbling up towards the surface. ?We?re not fucking savages looking to impose our will through violence. That?s the difference between our side and theirs. We?re fighting for our freedom; they?re fighting for our enslavement. But we can?t win that fight by denying another woman her freedom- even if she?s using that freedom to be a giant fucking bitch.?

?The laws are shitty, but she didn?t make them. We can?t just gun her down because it would make our lives easier. It was that kind of thinking that brought our country to this point. Sometimes life is tough. And sometimes it should be.?

Little Matthew started crying, and that was the first indication any of them had that Ofelia had walked into the room. ?And most importantly of all, killing that woman wouldn?t do anything,? Ofelia said. ?Mary would still be in custody. And that crisis center still would have existed. The only thing we?d accomplish would be putting Mae in danger- and possibly Jez.?

?What have you found out about the execution?? Anna asked, trying to redirect them away from murder.

?Only that security's tight. They'll have nearly every cop in the city working it- some men's righters and some not. They're also going to bring in contract security- though I'm pretty sure they don't mean the pepper spray and flashlight kind- I think that means mercenaries.  And all of that is specifically to keep us from interfering- or to catch us if we do. I think they're kind of hoping it's a provocation we can't ignore.?

Anna sighed. ?And they might be right about that. We're going to need more information.  And you're going to need to get it to Mae ASAP, because she's going to need time to get together plans and supplies.? There was a moment of calm, where it seemed like the panic in the room had died down, and Lisa found herself imagining the day they brought Mary home and reunited her with her son. And Anna saw it, and knew she couldn't let them keep their hope, because it was too tenuous, too likely to fail them when they needed it most. ?We should try and prepare ourselves for the possibility that we can't save her. But that doesn't mean there's nothing we can do.?

?What do you mean?? Ofelia asked, defensively clutching Mary's child against her shoulder.

?It means we may be faced with a choice, of letting Mary be their martyr,? Anna said, ?or ours.?

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