The Magical Tat of Pehr: Chapter 2

Slowly, I raised myself from the wisteria.  Propping briefly on my boney elbows.  I stood to assess the damage.  As usual, just a few abrasions on my back, but my self-esteem had taken a huge hit, again.

Mama Kate squirted the dirt off my back with the hose pipe, then attended my wounds.  All the while, fussing about those mean ole Thacker boys!  She was determined to fill their hyde with buckshot if she ever caught them.  But I knew she didn’t mean that.  It was very difficult to see me bullied that way. She begged my permission to call the Sargeant.  But I pleaded with her not to do that.  I have to learn how to deal with them on my own.

It became easier to fool the bullies as I grew older.  But eventually,  I let my guard down. Thackers, Cam and Devin, were fraternal twins.  Cam,  with orange-red hair, light complexion, and countless tiny freckles. Devin, hair as black as soot, and skin with a golden tone. Their build was identical.  Compact and burly.  Practically athletes straight out of the womb!

Their father, Gunnery Sergeant Max Thacker, was an instructor at Fort Union Military Academy in Virginia.  The boys, along with their daddy, packed up to move from Fairston every September.  Returning early June to spend summers there.

Fairston is a quaint little coastal town.  Located among the scenic cliffs and shorelines of Mobile Bay.

Thackers were old money.  The family mansion on fifteen acres with access to the coast.  Left to their dad by his Aunt Bess Thacker.  Bess was an old maid.  His father’s only sister, a renown author.

My great, great granddaddy, Pehr moved to Fairston the year Mama Kate was born.  He built the house with the sweat of his brow.  A quite modest house on coveted coastal land.  Hurricane Frederick came close to wiping it out in 1979.  But the foundation endured and was built upon and expanded.  When Mama Kate passed, the house and everything else she owned was left to me. A beautiful white house with wrap around porches.  A long gravel drive nestled between a huge stand of mossy oaks.  One of the oaks stretched over the sidewalk and seemed to longingly reach for the sea. About a block from our walkway, the city pier spans into the gulf.

Many afternoons were spent there fishing, just to feed the cranes.  Two cranes that had gotten very used to my being there.  They would eat the fish out of my hand.  Feeling comfortable with me, they would stand on my lap whenever I sat on the bench enjoying the gulf breeze.  I called them Orion and Rigel, from my fascination with astronomy.  Orion, a constellation on the celestial equator is visible throughout the world.  Orion’s brightest star, Rigel, is a blue supergiant with luminosity 100, 000 times brighter than the sun!

After Mama Kate died, I never saw them again. The evening of her death, I walked to the pier seeking solace.  They were not there.  Yet, after I was inked, I felt their presence in a most inexplicable and glorious way!

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The Magical Tat of Pehr: Chapter 1

Tossed on my back, again. The Alabama sun seeping through the wisteria, burning my pasty white skin. The scrapes on my back stinging from the dirt and rocks beneath.

This was the scenario of my life from late spring until school began in the fall. It started from the time I was ten until my life changed in a most consequential way.

The Thacker twins knew I was an easy target. My last name is commonly a first name, My first name isn’t even a name! Well, not a name anyone my age would have heard of. My middle name is the maiden name of her great granddaddy’s mama. I was named after my great, great granddaddy, Pehr Dreyfus Lucas. This was Mama Kate’s idea. It had meant so much to her to name me after him. She wanted to erase any connection to my biological father. She had hoped this would instill pride in my heritage.

Mama Kate raised me. Her only child had died giving birth. Her name was Ruth. She was my mother. She became pregnant after she was brutally raped.

“My faith was being tested.” Mama Kate said about that time in her life. Mourning the life of a child. Trying to wrap her head around raising a grandchild at her advanced age. Could she love the offspring of the man who raped her daughter? Could she accept this child completely, and love unconditionally? When I was born all her worries vanished. She felt a little ashamed of her doubts. It was love at first sight.

She tried her best to raise me to be courageous, like my namesake. But I had so many strikes against me. Besides my name, I was a string bean. I wore glasses, coca-cola bottom thick. I was the stereotypical nerd, minus the pocket protector.

Mama Kate signed me up for a new sport every spring from the time I was six. She finally gave up when I was nine.

Protein powder in my milk. Piles of food on my plate. Yet, my appetite was not obliging. She exposed me to a variety of foods. A few bites are all I could ever get down.

She loved me so much. She loved my tender heart. She knew I would not be scrawny forever. She told me, time and again, I was every bit as handsome as her granddaddy. She knew it would take more than a couple spoiled rotten trust fund boys to ever break me!

She met her maker the day I turned eighteen. The day she was laid asunder was the worst day of my life. It would also be the day I would experience the most pivotal moment in my life.

(Thanks for reading chapter 1. Please follow my blog. Chapter 2 coming soon)