Effete Discusses Disturbing Details About Fen

Lucent Keener, Sage Wiseman, and Effete Mann – she now referred to herself by her maiden name even though it had not yet been officially changed – all waited in the Keener’s living room for the return of the “Three Buccaneers,” as they humorously called Moxie, Able, and Blue Poorman.

“You see, there’s no doubt in my mind that Fen justifies abuse; of course he does,” Effete was explaining rather calmly, although she was deeply disturbed by their uncomfortable conversation. It was necessary, though, and so she continued while Lucent and Sage listened attentively. “And always, always, his ‘justification’ was spiritual, even biblical … or, at least, some very warped interpretation and application of biblical principles.”

“This sort of justification is congruent with all other sorts, or types, of justification commonly used by the perpetrators of abuse and violence,” Dr. Wiseman inserted. “In fact, religious justification is not only common, it is also one of the stronger kinds of justification because the victimizer actually believes he has God on his side, with complete divine approval…”

“And there is where I stumble now,” Effete cut back in. “I grew up nominally Episcopal – high Episcopal, or Anglo-Catholic, if you will – and attended Lancelot Andrewes Episcopal School – hell was hardly ever discussed, to my memory, and the wrath of God was avoided, again, at least to my memory. This is one observation Fen made with which I still agree, and that is: Scripture does have an awful lot to say about divine wrath and judgment and hell … so why do so many Christians avoid it? And if God is prepared to send millions upon millions of people to an eternity in hell, excruciatingly painful beyond the scope of human understanding, then why do so many Christians now decry corporal punishment … you know, strict discipline, even harsh physical correction and whatnot? In this sense, I’ve felt for a long time now, Fen could not possibly be more abusive – more horrendous and terrible and torturous – than the God we clearly read about in what is supposed to be God’s own self-disclosure, the Bible.”

“Wow!” Lucent reacted. “Well, I’ve got to admit, you really hit home with that point! I can see what you mean, Effete … but just for the record, not all Christians have the same take on those passages as the more conservative and fundamentalist Christians, especially those that point to the more primordial history of humanity. But I can certainly see how easy it might be for someone who’s predisposed to be abusive, and desires to be abusive, to use plenty of verses and passage of sacred writ to justify their horrid actions.”

“Yes, Joy and I have discussed this at some length,” Effete laughed and shook her head. “I don’t think I’m quite there yet, but I can tell you, the only reason I have even a shred of faith left is Joy Brighterday… She really and truly has been an angel, whether sent by God or no God.”

Ah, you’re saying ‘God or no God’ brings to mind a counselling session I had about six or seven months ago,” Dr. Wiseman recalled. “The woman in my office was caught in an abusive situation, and had been for about four to five years. Interestingly enough, her husband was an atheist, which had caused her to question her own faith. This was important to her, obviously, because in her mind if God existed, then God saw everything, heard everything, and knew everything, and ‘he’s just let it all happen,’ as she told me. And she wondered why, of course.”

“Now, I couldn’t answer that question, and I told her honestly enough. I admitted that I’m no theologian or bible scholar or philosopher, minister, or whatnot,” Sage continued. “All I could think to say is, ‘You know, I may not have any good answers about God, but I do believe I have an answer for you here and now, while we talk and share confidentially in my office. I have an answer for your present, horrific predicament now, God or no God. Of course, it may very well be that God has provided this opportunity for you; that God somehow ‘brought’ you here; that God is, at least now, providing an authentic, viable way of escape … escape from your horrendous abuse, escape into a newer, better, healthier and ultimately happier life. Even still, if this is not a ‘divine opportunity,’ it is still a realistic opportunity. The one remaining question is: Are you ready to make the move, to take this opportunity … to leave behind the dark, sick and brutal violence for an altogether different, better, brighter, freer and more fulfilling life?”

“Hmmm, now both of you are beginning to sound like Joy,” Effete smiled as the other two laughed quietly. “And I think at this point, she’d probably probe me – she has before, anyway – to think carefully and ask myself if I ever before had the opportunity to leave, to escape the hellish prison in which I found myself. And, yes, I probably did, but there are thousands upon thousands, maybe millions, of innocent people around the world who realistically have no opportunity to escape the brutality; they simply have to live with it … suffer and die with it … as their reality, their life. And where is God in all this? Yes, it’s damn sure an important question.”

“Yes, it is,” Sage turned slightly in her chair to more directly face Effete, measuring her words carefully. “The suffering of others is … certainly very important to me, as you can imagine given the choice of my profession, and of course, Lucent, as well… But … speaking of the suffering of others, Effete, did … did Fen ever go beyond verbal and emotional abuse of … your children … or any others?”

Effete smiled. “Why so hesitant and nervous, doctor? Do you think you’re asking me questions I haven’t already been asked? Humph!” She leaned forward. “Let me see, now… There’s been Joy, one professional counselor, one social worker, one attorney, and one police investigator so far. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been emotionally gang raped,” Effete chuckled sadly and shook her head. “You want to know everything I know about Fen. Fair enough, doctor.”

“Effete, I didn’t mean to…”

“No, no, it’s o.k.” Effete waved her off as Lucent moved to sit beside her. “It’s perfectly alright. In your profession, as you say, you are naturally concerned about the suffering masses … and I’m glad you are, too. I don’t really have any professional credentials, but I kind of care myself.” She smiled again, sadly. “So what about the hideous monster, Fen Sloughheart? No, surprisingly enough – and maybe this was due to divine intervention, I don’t know – but he never physically abused either of the boys. Most of the time, in fact, he tried to keep his abuse of me out of their sight. They could hear, of course, so they knew. Others?”

“Like Morris Graver,” Lucent offered.

“I’ve always been suspicious, since shortly after we married.” Effete answered, looking blankly at the floor now. “You already know he’s been abusive, and still is, of an entire congregation … an entire congregation apparently willing to be abused. But maybe they’re somehow caught like I was caught, I don’t know. An erudite, professional psychologist might have to answer that one!” She looked up at Sage and nodded her way. “I’ll leave that to the professionals, then. So far as … more sinister, twisted physical abuse … or more … I don’t know about Morris. Like I said, though, I’ve always been suspicious.”

“During his most recent rampage, which landed me in the hospital and eventually led to my freedom, he made some slight and vague remarks … like he has many times in the past. Like what? Naturally, you want to know, but it might be a bit disappointing.” She ran both her hands through her hair. Effete looked haggard again. “During his ranting and ravings, he said something about ‘that kid’ and his ‘fried brain, dim-witted mother.’ As he continued beating me on my naked backside, he said he’d had ‘hell untwisting the kid on just one point.’ Fen said he ‘finally got him straightened out, though.’ You see, he could do this, evidently, because he was at least dealing with a young man. He had to get his ‘stupid bitch of a mother’ out of his office so he could work with the ‘dumb kid’ one on one.”

“At that point, again like times in the past, Fen started breathing heavily … you know, a … lusty kind of breathing … raw, sexual. That’s the point where he threw me over the bed and told me he finally ‘pumped out the poison’ and thought ‘the kid’ would be fine now … but then he said he’d need to ‘keep him on the straight and narrow’ and ‘do something about his weak and flaky momma.’ That’s when he laid his massive bulk down on me and, well… I trust I don’t have to go into detail. Let me just say, I fully believe I got what ‘the kid’ got … in the same area, the same place … if you know what I mean.”

“Yes, of course,” Wiseman barely breathed out. Even after all of her education and professional experience, situations like this still shocked her and deeply disturbed her. She’d often thought about moving completely into research just because she wondered if she’d ever manage to acclimate herself to such horrors. “I think we get the clear picture… He proceeded to sexual molest you like he had sexually molested this ‘kid,’ whomever that victim was … is … which may not be Morris, although I think we’d agree,” she looked at Lucent, “especially given the mention of his mother – no father mentioned – Morris would be an obvious candidate … or suspect for victim.”

“Yeah… Yes, of course,” Lucent was barely able to answer either. “Most certainly… Oh God! My God!” She shook her head aggressively, then placed her hands up to her temples. “Dear Jesus! I’d like to emasculate him, then slowly torture him to death…”

“Ha!” Effete laughed out. “Sorry, but I’m first in line … and then the line behind me is probably quite long, Lucent. By the time you reach your turn, there probably won’t be anything left of Fen Sloughheart. But God? You’re crying out, ‘My God, my God, my Jesus…’ Reminds me of Jesus on the cross screaming, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” She paused. “I guess maybe Jesus of Nazareth, at least, understood the silent, absent God … the cold, distant, forsaking God. Maybe, too, that’s one reason Jesus said to his followers, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’ Maybe he was, in essence, saying, ‘I’ll never be like God; I’ll never forsake you.’”

The phone suddenly rang. All three of them instinctively jumped. Then came the second ring…


2 thoughts on “Effete Discusses Disturbing Details About Fen

  1. This was really hard to read. The world in an awful lot of places and situations is an horrible place, and People especially the young and the vulnerable go through things, that the average American can not comprehend. It does make one doubt the goodness of God. And if you were ever the object of such actions you tend to see God as being cruel and hard. The love of God seems unfathomable, and unreal. And Jesus becomes an anomaly. I hope this comes out all right in the end. But it is written very well.

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