© copyright 2013 by Sara Jacobelli
(Flash Fiction) The Evil Mary Fran Series
“Your parents should send you to Catholic school,” declared the Evil Mary Fran. We were on her rickety gray wooden front porch, looking for parked cars with open windows. We used our trusty pea shooters to expertly fill the cars with mountains of dried peas.
“Duck!” I said. We kneeled, giggling as a customer from Fiorito’s Hardware Store got into his car.
“HEY!” the guy yelled. He was wearing a gray plumber’s uniform. “You God Damned kids got God Damned Pea Shooters!”
Mary Fran popped up. “You’re gonna go to Hell, Mister! Takin’ the Lord’s name in vain like that! You’ll roast in Hell! Sister Mary Catherine says so!”
The guy was pissed. He started his car and drove off, still swearing.
Mary Fran and I got bored with the pea shooters. We strolled down East Main. The street was filled with people going to Fiorito’s Hardware, the Department of Motor Vehicles, Fiorello’s Bakery, Gene’s Meat Market, the dry cleaners, the beauty parlor, the Quicki-Wash LaundroMat, the Discount Liquor Store, the fish and chips place, Paolo’s Appiza, and the Royal Palms Tropical Spa, which was not a spa at all, but a deli-lunch counter-candy store. Cars zoomed by in the noontime traffic.
“My parents don’t have the money for St. Charles,” I said. “And I like Beardsley School anyway.”
“Well, if you’re too poor, the nuns and priests pay for you to go. My parents said if you love your kids, you send em to Catholic school. So your parents don’t love you very much.” She scratched the mosquito bites on her bare legs. “Besides, you could go to Hell for goin’ to public school.”
I stopped and looked the Evil Mary Fran in the eyes. I balled up my fists. “Take it back!”
“No, I’m not. It’s true.” Mary Fran was older and bigger. She wouldn’t back down.
“You’re wrong! My parents love me.”
“They drink too much. My mother said so.”
“No they don’t. They just drink coffee,” I lied. We stared at each other for a few minutes.
I got tired of the staring contest and the argument. We walked up and down East Main Street. “What do you wanna do?” I asked.
“Let’s go into Paolo’s.”
“We don’t have any money to buy ah-beetz.”
“We can look for money the pool players drop onna floor. And we can steal tips off the tables.”
“OK.” I entered the side door. I whispered to Mary Fran, “But will we go to Hell for stealing?”
The Evil Mary Fran shook her head. “Nah. Not as long as we don’t get caught.”
Photo Credits: “Discount Liquors-East Main Street,” by Sara Jacobelli
“Stores-East Main Street,” by Sara Jacobelli
Note: If you click on the pictures just one time, they will get bigger. These are pics of present-day East Main Street.