Welcome to the next episode of scenes or sections from the original novels that make up The Prodigal Band Trilogy that were deleted within the trilogy book. Most of the scenes or sections posted in this series were deleted for the sake of allocation of the amount of pages.
But this section here was not included in the three-books-in-one trilogy mainly because I had originally written this as a short story related to the trilogy series and I only put it into The Prophesied Band for its heart-warming, feel-good quality. When I was writing this short story that I’d incorporate into the second novel in the trilogy, I cried my way through it! And when I was re-typing from the original novel onto this laptop for inclusion here, I cried again!
The short story, by the way, made its way into a yearly publication of poems and short stories written by members of my local writers group, Texas Mountain Trail Writers. At the time I was the editor of the monthly newsletter as well as the yearly publication.
This section/story takes place within the time frame of spring, 1996, when singer-frontman Erik and bassist Keith are recovering from mild heart attacks they endured in early February (as told in the final chapter of Battle of the Band.) At the same time, Ger, Erik’s wife, is battling esophagus cancer she brought upon herself during her long bout with the eating disorder called bulimia, which involves eating lots of food and then immediately purging it by vomit into a toilet or whatever. This is told in Chapter Four of The Prophesied Band referenced here. In Chapter Six, she is seeing doctors for treatment and discovers she has the cancer, and has difficulty swallowing any food or drink.
In April, 1996, after bringing her to a doctor visit for a second opinion on this cancer, Erik decides to buy chocolate chip cookies (called biscuits in England) at a local cookie shop, but not for Ger. He has not been a worthy father to his two-year-old son, Alec, as he admitted in Chapter Four of The Prophesied Band, and he has vowed to change that–he himself never really had connected to his own father as stated in the final chapter of Battle of the Band, so he had no guidance as to how to be a good dad. He had to figure this out on his own.
But son Alec wanted nothing to do with his father, either. Erik was an alcoholic, and he smelled like it! Alec did not want to be around someone smelling of whiskey or scotch and having ‘clammy’ hands. Yet Alec also knew his father did not smell that way anymore, as the singer severely cut down on his booze consumption, only having drops of booze added to tonic water ‘for the taste of it’ by his personal assistant–who had strict charge over all booze in the house so Erik wouldn’t!
This episode takes place in the dining room of the fancy estate, at supper, as the singer, Ger, Alec and baby sister Amethyst (Amyla) are finishing the meal. From Chapter Six of The Prophesied Band:
Dinner of eye-round roast , mashed potatoes with gravy and sweet peas was nearly over. Alec….had been told by mummy that dessert was special tonight.
“What’s for dessert, mummy?” he called out louder than usual.
“I don’t know, Alec, but I heard it was super. Daddy bought it. Ask him.”
“I reckon it’s time to bring out dessert, eh?” Erik got out of his chair and reached for the box on the lower shelf of the serving cart. Plunked the box between himself and Ger. “Since I bought ‘em, I get to dole them out. But I have to say this—they’re totally awesome. All natural….Good fer what ails yer, eh?” Wink.
(Ger) laughed lightly and Alec did a double take.
Ger bit into the cookie as if for the first time. “Erik! These are—incredibly delicious! Where did you get these?”
He winked at Alec. “The magic biscuit shop.” The handed one to a drooling, teething Amethyst, who proceeded to bang it on the high-chair tray.
Daddy showed her what to do. “Like this.” Exaggerated bite. “Yum-yum-yum. Chew it.” He showed her how.
Ger swallowed and was about to take another bite. “God, babe, these are totally awesome!” She turned to her son. “These are magic! Aren’t you going to ask for one?”
He squirmed. “Yes, mummy. Can I one?”
May I one, mummy?”
She looked directly into his baby-blue eyes. “Don’t ask me. Ask your dad. He bought ‘em.”
Alec could not define his feelings, but he felt in a quandary. At first he slowly hyperventilated. That brought no parental response. Drat. So the boy looked down at his plate with the dreaded peas, a tear falling out of his right eye.
Erik watched sadly. Please, Alec, talk to me. Don’t you know I love you and want to show it? Please, my son.
(Minutes later after Ger and the baby girl left the two males alone).
Slowly, and with heavy breathing—for in his own way the boy knew now he’d made a mess of things with dad—Alec looked up to his father with pleading eyes—
Into wet, pleading eyes of the older, now wiser man who knew that if he’d been a real father in the first place, none of this heartache would ever have happened. Of course Erik never had much of a role model, but when all was said and done, he had no excuses for his neglect. Unlike his own father, he didn’t have to work a night job and wasn’t forced to leave home to seek work. He’d been rich for years now. Was he really forced to go on the road ten months out of the year? No. He chose that life.
What goes around comes around.
But that was then and this was now. He believed he really tried. Now it was the turn of the soon-to-be three-year-old.
He opened his mouth. “Can—I—” So, so hard. Not can I. May I. “May I—one?”
Stiff and formal as to a stranger, but even so—
Dad smiled as he nodded. “Yes, you may.”
Son reached for the box.
“But you have to come over to me to get it.” Another smile and a nod. “That’s the rule if you want a magic biscuit, eh?”
The boy really wanted one of those yummy biscuits.
And for the whole of his life he really hated this man who smelled of whiskey, looked at him with uncaring eyes and touched him with clammy, foul-smelling hands. But now the man had changed. He smelled a lot better lately.
The boy got out of his seat and walked slowly to his father who held out the biscuit.
Alec took it with shaking hand. Looked into the man’s eyes. “Thank you.” Returned to his seat.
“You’re welcome to it, son.” Broad smile. “Enjoy it.”
(Later, after having two more biscuits)
Alec, for the first time ever, beamed at him. “I like these.” Then sent the rest of the treat down to his tummy.
Three biscuits were his daily limit. Mummy’s rule. And onto another rule Ger tried to impose on the boy. “Can I—May I—”
“Hey, Alec. It’s okay if you use ‘can I’ with me, eh? Just between us men.” Wink.
A little snort. “Humph. Okay, dad. Can I be ‘cused?”
A short laugh. “Yeh, son, you can be excused, eh?”
The Prodigal Band Trilogy © 2019 by Deborah Lagarde, Battle of the Band © 1996 by Deborah Lagarde, The Prophesied Band © 1998 by Deborah Lagarde and The Prodigal Band © 2018 by Deborah Lagarde. Permission needed to copy any materials off this page.