Chapter Four

[Start from the beginning here.]

As soon as Miranda marched her plump little tush downstairs, she sat herself at the kitchen table and waited for Gus to bring over her plate of fried tofu and chives with substitute soybean sour cream. As she shoveled the food into her mouth, Gus noticed that there was a slight twitch in his daughter’s face. Mira kept staring at the ceiling with anticipation then quickly glance back down at her plate when she noticed Gus watching her.

Gus wondered if she harbored all the neighborhood dogs into her bedroom again. He took a step back and listened. No puppy paws scratching the floor.

“Miranda Lukenglasse, what’s going on? You seem strange my little macaroon.”

Mira shook her head back and forth, “I knew it.”

Gus sat down across from his daughter and looked into her worried face.

“I knew you would find out. I told him that I couldn’t hide it from you, but he just wouldn’t believe me.”

Gus looked to the ceiling with a nervous glance, “Did Ron tell you something he shouldn’t have?” Gus pursed up his lips and shook his fist at the ceiling remembering the time that Ron tried to convince Miranda hamburger meat was a perfectly acceptable food.

“Well actually,” an innocent smile broke across Miranda’s face, “Ron did tell me something, so…”Gus’ face grew red from anger.

Mira bolstered herself, “God is playing poker in my closet,” she stated with glee.

Gus let the tension in his body relax for a moment only to let the words sink in and tighten right back up again. “God!” Gus jumped from his seat and grabbed Mira’s plate just as she was spooning another bite into her mouth. “God is in your closet, is he? So that’s what Ron’s been telling you.” Gus dumped the rest of the tofu into the sink and scraped at the plate ferociously. “I didn’t think he had it in him, that boy. I really took him for a nice decent kid after this last year, but oh no.” Gus spoke more to the kitchen wall now then to anyone in particular. “But now he’s spouting off lies to my daughter, my flesh and blood, that there’s a God, and playing poker no less. Well I won’t be having any of this, that’s for sure.” He dropped the plate into the sink and waved a dish brush at Miranda. “What else has he been telling you?” Gus demanded.

“He just told me that God didn’t exist. That’s it. He really didn’t help me at all in fact. I mean, I came to him for help and he’s telling me I’m just seeing things, but I tell you—“

“Wait, Ron told you God didn’t exist,” Gus interrupted Mira.

“Yep, that’s exactly what he said,” she smiled, happy to have the right answer for once.

“So then who told you that God was in your closet?”

“God told me of course when I found him in my closet. At first, I couldn’t make out who he was. I thought he might be a teacher or something, but then after awhile I figured out that I didn’t know him at all but I told him he could stay…” Miranda could have continued on like this for hours seeing as her father was now a million miles away trying to piece together how his daughter came to know about God and where this crazy story about him playing poker in the closet came into existence.

“…but then I was telling him about the lepers and he shook my hand and I thought ooh gross what if he has diseases when—“

“Now, lets get this straight,” Gus interrupted Mira again, “you say there is a man up in your closet?”

“That’s right.”

“Right now.”

“Mm-hm,” Miranda shook her head in the affirmative.

“And he says he’s God.”

“Like I’ve been telling you, he—“

Before she could go on, Gus put up his rubber glove-covered hand to stop her. “So if we go up to your room right now I’ll find God in your closet.”

“I would suppose so but he said something about needing to go out and get a drink.”

Without another word, Gus grabbed his daughter’s hand and yanked her from her seat, rushing up the stairs two at a time, still clutching the dish brush and wearing the yellow gloves. He threw back his daughter’s bedroom door and stepped inside preparing himself for the worst but hoping for the best and slowly tiptoed toward her closet thrusting the brush out in front of him like a sword.

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