A writing experiment
My Gala! My beautiful Gala! Everything was going so well! And then those dirty homeless people tried to get in--to get the free food!!! THEY do NOT belong at our party--or even in our town--those disgusting remnants of humanity! Lord, why did you let them ruin my party?
One of them had some kind of seizure or something, and then the whole group of them ran in and stole the food while we were trying to save the awful bum!
Then they knocked the table over and ruined EVERYTHING! My party ruined! My life is ruined! My reputation!
Those vile varmints--those scum--I will make them pay, that's for sure! I will run them out of town! They'll see that they can't come in here and ruin my party, my life, my town!
Sniffle sniffle sniffle...Woe is me!
Planning the Gala
Violet Hammond is involved in the community meeting for the gala in May. So far, she has alist of music, food & food prep set-up, table set up and decoration, and speakers. They wanted to hold the event in the high school basketball court but the principal said that high heels would mark the floor, so now they have to find a new place to hold the event. Violet wants the theme of the gala to be Communiity Strong. Other ideas are Reno City United, Reno City Extravaganza, and Centering on Reno City for the Reno City Community Center. Everyone is fighting over the name, as usual. The restarauants are vying for the buffet ticket, but Violet has other ideas. She wants to do this with as little money as possible, so her manipulative powers are at their height. Her goal is to get a free space to do the event, get all the food donated, and get a band who wants promotion to do the event for free. There is also a fight over whether or not to have alcohol, but if the vote is a no for alcohol, there are some folks who will make sure the punch gets spiked.
The Gala is coming soon, the first weekend in May! So far, Violet Hammond the town clerk has done a fairly good job of harassing members of the town to help out. Otis Rawlins has agreed to set up the band stand and set up tables. Ross has offered to donate lighting, and Billy Runningwater will do inspection to make sure all is up to code and safe and secure. Andy offered to donate tapas as appetizers as long as he can advertise for himself. His goal is to get a restaurant going, and Dr. Steve has considered partly funding him a restaurant, but Andy is trying out catering first to infiltrate the town with his more European fare and flavors.
So Violet suggested he donate some hors d’oeuvres, because Violet’s idea is to get as much free stuff as possible to keep costs down. Thus far, she has been able to get all of the above to donate their services, so she’s using the town halls chairs and tables, but she’ll still have to pay for plates, cups, dinnerware, which may cost the most, besides the punch and its fixin’s. TV personality Willow Severelli has agreed to look for a band to play the music (preferably free, for promotion, at Violet’s urging) and to be the Mistress of Ceremonies.
Adelaine, who will be in town for the event, has agreed to be at the welcome booth, gathering tickets, handing out nametags, and distributing drawing tickets, under Violet’s nosy control. Ross Kirkpatrick also agreed to be the event photographer, although he had to be persuaded—being in a witness protection program, he thought to be at the event might not be a good idea, until he realized that behind the camera, he would be ignored and invisible, and there would be no pictures of him after the fact. Most people forget all about the photographer, so that might be the perfect ruse.
Dr. Steve, after a little cajoling by Violet, who thinks he is not to be trusted but knows he can be relied upon to donate dollars to any town event, has donated money to pay for certain gala particulars such as tablecloths, small decorations, and the tableware, which helps out with the city event budget. Some of the bars and houses of spirits have been prevailed upon to donate wine and liquors for the punch. Queenie, who owns Queenie’s Bar, however, has oddly disappeared, and although the staff has been keeping the place running, they haven’t seen Queenie in a month. Violet, who has been trying to track her down for a donation, is about to share this strange info with the chief of police to see if anything fishy is happening…
Who She Is: Violet Hammond
Violet Hammond is the town clerk. She is a cheerless woman, built like a stuffed sausage with a froth of salt and pepper hair on top. She wears bland colors like beige and grey, because she is, in essence, a cheerless woman. You can tell by looking at her face, which is puffy with squinting eyes and a pinched mouth that looks like an “innie” belly button. She pulls her lips in, as she eyes you and decides—this is her only power—whether to give you a hard time or bestow an easy path upon you. She likes bribes. Not money bribes, but rather compliments (whether you mean them or not—she can’t tell), flowers, candy and cookies. I can see her now, popping a chocolate into her pinched mouth with a grasping grabby delight—something that brings her joyless character the minutest amount of pleasure. Why is she so unpleasant? Her critical, suspicious personality drove all her kids away early—they wanted to be free to be happy—and uncriticized—and unaccused.
To give her credit, she brought up her kids by herself, so she is a strong woman who had to be tough to survive and make it. Her ex-husband became a drunk, because he could never please her—spent more and more time down at Queenie’s bar—until she actually chose to leave HIM. He went on to quit drinking and lead a happy life in another town, where he remarried a lady who doted on him, a fact which never ceases to annoy Violet—and which she constantly refers to, especially when talking to her kids—“your father this”, “your father that”. “He never could do this, and then he goes and marries that hussy.” Blah blah blah. The kids know the truth. They prefer Dad’s house at the holidays, and there’s a reason for that.
Violet is always on reconnaissance. That means she wants to know everything going on in town, and being town clerk often helps with that goal. She wants to know everything, because she wants to give her opinion on everything, and the coming Gala and the community center are the centers of her investigations these days. First of all, she wants to know who is going with whom, who is going to give what, and who is going to be do what on the gala committees. She wants to be in control of SOMEthing, and let’s be honest, when she puts herself into something, she becomes no less than a commandant. There is the food committee, the decorations committee, and the entertainment committee, and though she can only be on one, she intends to attend every meeting and put in her two cents worth on all of it. And on the day in question, you can bet she will be there ordering volunteers to put tables and chairs here and there. She is thorough. She already has a plan for the traffic pattern near the food and drink tables and the general layout. She will surely butt heads with whoever really is in charge.
Violet Hammond mistrusts Dr. Steve, because she he has not aligned himself with any church, and Violet considers that close to blasphemy. She is part of the New Life Baptist Church and is always trying to get new parishioners, which is part of her mission. Again, she does believe that getting new followers into the fold will help them in their lives, but she also wants her little church to make some money. Through money, the church can thrive and become bigger, thus pleasing God. Her intentions are good but practical. When she is trying to bring someone to the fold, she actually becomes almost pleasant. But so far, Dr. Steve has seemed to ignore her hints that his life would improve by joining the church.
Dr. Steve has visited, as he has visited all of the churches in town, but Violet’s focus is like a wasp looking for a victim to sting, and Dr. Steve loses his normal even demeanor whenever Violet is around. She makes him nervous, and he tries to avoid her, if possible, which he can do, except for once a year when he has to take care of specific permits and taxes which require entering Violet’s domain. Violet’s energy is like an electrical socket, and Dr. Steve always feels better when he leaves her environs. You can see there is an energetic battle of wills going on between them, and the only reason Dr. Steve wins is because he avoids her. Another reason Violet is after Dr. Steve is because she knows he is generous with his money. She sees that his cash could benefit her church, and she is somewhat afraid he’s going to give it all to the new community center. And do we even want to go there? What Violet thinks the new community center should be. In some ways, it doesn’t matter, because as long as she has a say in it, that’s all she cares. She’s got an addiction to power and control that is sometimes overt and sometimes under cover and manipulative. Never underestimate this powerhouse of a woman if you go to City Hall.
Violet reacts to the VIRUS!
Oh my dear Lord, save me from this humiliation and embarrassment! Today, I got to work, all ready to get down and dirty to organize the Gala donations and try to put things back together after the fiasco due to those unrelenting scum like Rory B robbing the party. I was going to try to re-build and make the best from the bad, and I thought that maybe I could use sympathy to get more people to give more money after all that had happened at the Gala. But the Lord must have seen fit to think I needed one more hit to bring me down--and hard! Dear Lord, I know I am a sinner, but you know I try to help this town and the people in it. Dear Lord, I promise to put aside those carnal desires I sometimes have and dig ever deeper into doing Your Work. But there it was. I went to the computer, logged on, and everything seemed fine until I went to write some thank yous. There it was. A vile picture taken by someone even more vile, some vindictive slime of a person had put a picture of me—me—undressing and showing my own private underwear—it all showed, and it was clearly me, even from behind, and I was so shocked and disgusted, I quickly shut the program down. It never occurred to me that something even more horrible could happen, until I heard Bella from the other room call me, in a frightened moan—“Violet! Come here, will you?”
That was when I discovered that anyone who opened the program would see what I saw…my picture, me in my skivvies, my red one…me undressing in the privacy of my own home! I began to hear the snickering as others in the building began to open their computers and see the picture too! I had to go throw up, and then I wouldn’t leave the room. Bella came and tried to lure me out, but my makeup was smeared from my sobbing, and I threw up all over the toilet seat. Red like the left over pizza from the Gala. “I’m not coming out!” I cried, but Bella wormed her way in, and even though she was gagging from the smell, she cleaned up after me and hugged me, and said, “We’ll find who did this. Why don’t you go home and I’ll get one of the tech guys to remove it.”
“I can‘t go home!” I began to shake in fear.
“Why not, honey?”
“Because someone took my picture. There must be a camera there!”
“Okay, hon! Just go to my house. Here’s the key. Now, come with me. I’ll walk you to the car.”
She held me, and with heads down, we walked out to the parking lot, and I drove to her house, where I sat stunned for the rest of the afternoon, alternately crying and throwing up. I aimed better, since it was Bella’s place. Who could have done this thing? I was devastated. All I knew was, deep in my heart, that they would pay, whoever they were. I and God would see to that.
At the Gala!
Violet Hammond was being her annoying self. She was following Randall the photographer around and being bossy and irritating, trying to tell him who all to take pictures of, and what to do. Randall didn’t like all the attention or the bossing around, but he did want his wife to have a good time, since they never got out much, AND he didn’t want to make waves or draw attention to himself.
Then Violet saw the new mayor Bert Arden and his new city manager Angela Peck, and she went over to schmooze with them. Actually, she didn’t like them at all—they were two young know-it-alls, wanting to change up everything and get rid of the old folks, and that included her—and, she knew, Nakomis Paul, the city water manager. He’d been hurt on the job recently, and Bert and Angela were trying to trump up reasons to fire him because of his slow down. It’ll be a cold day in Hell, thought Violet, as she coddled and cooed over the young folks. She knew they were only putting up with her, but what they didn’t know was that she knew everything going on in town, So, screw them! she thought, even while smiling at them.
As she saw that, she saw Nakomis over in the corner with Griffin Moriority the new massage therapist. The two of them had become acquainted after Nakomis’ injury. They were sunken back in the room over by a column near the portico, somewhat in the shadows. They both had somewhat sullen looks on their faces, and when Violet approached, they both said in unison and nodded, “Violet.”
“What’re ya doin’ talking to them assholes?” asked Nakomis.
“Mind your language, boys,” replied Violet. “I’m the best chance you got with those so-called a-holes around, because I know everything they are doing, and I can undermine them with my pen and ears.”
Griffin smirked at Violet. Nakomis looked solemn. “Are they getting rid o’ me?”
“They can’t get rid of you, Komey, because nobody knows how things work but you and me, and I don’t want your job. I’m keepin’ tabs on them two—don’t you worry. I got snitches ever- where.”
Nakomis nodded. “Lookit the preacher-man havin’ a good time! I thought he was a stickinthemud, but you never know. It’s the shy ones that have a surprising side.”
Griffin nodded and looked a bit nervous.
Violet stood still, looking straight out onto the dance floor and said, “I put some Crown in his pop.”
“You what?” Nakomis chuckled.
“I put some whisky in his Coke,” said Violet, still not looking anywhere but onto the dance floor. “That’ll teach him to try to push me around over at City Hall. He didn’t like it that he had to go home and get a document before filing some papers, and he started being rude to me, sayin’ he was the town Reverend and all. He’s a tee-totaler, so I just thought I’d give ‘im a good time. I smiled in his face and handed him the drink, and he thought I had forgotten all about his behavior, but I hadn’t. He said thank you and thought we’re all back on good terms. We ain’t.”
“You know, Violet,” commented Griffin, “I like you.” Can’t stand your friend Bella Vaughn, he thought, but still…Violet had style.
Just then, Fordham Lincoln walked by. “Ford.” They all said in unison and nodded.
“Evenin’.” He kept on movin’.
“Think the professor is armed tonight?” Nakomis pondered out loud.
“He’s always armed,” answered Griffin.
“Well, he’d better not be!” Violet sprung into action. “I’m going to find the officer! There are to be no firearms in this room tonight!”
“Things are fixin’ to get interestin’,” commented Nakomis.
“Yep,” answered Griffin. They both smiled.