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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: October 30, 2018 11:50PM

In the Service of The Lord

Sarah Osorio was a recently admitted attorney to the Utah bar. She was born in 1994, in Los Angeles, California, into a mixed race, mixed religion family. She and her mother had been steadfast in their Mormon faith and Sarah had progressed in the church, as best she could. She had been a fixture in the youth program of her home ward and had been very active in her student ward at UCR, the University of California at Riverside, where she’d attended on a number of partial scholarships. From there she’d gone on to attend and then graduate from the J. Reuben Clark School of Law on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah. She had graduated the year before.

Sarah’s skin tone was a nice toasty brown and had heavy, wavy black hair. She was completely bilingual, English and Spanish. She was tall but was neither poised nor polished in appearance. Awkward was a word that often came to the minds of those who knew her. She was immediately assignable, with no feelings of guilt, as a second banana. She would never be picked to be the star. But you’d approve of her as the hero’s plucky friend. Maybe she’d live through to the final credits; a lot depended on the genre.

She had no idea that people thought of her in those terms. She simply thought it was subtle racism that kept her from being the heroine in whatever story she was a character. She longed to be a featured player.

Prior to law school graduation (with honors!) she, as had her entire class, sent out resumes to all the law firms they’d give their reproductive organs to work for. Of course, this included Kirtland-McCostco, the Mormon church’s ‘go-to’ law firm. When she, and only two others, had received invitations to visit the law firm the week before graduation, two days passed about which she had no recollection, such was her excitement!

Sarah had one close friend, from her student ward, not the law school class, where she had no friends at all, and that church friend had helped her to prepare an agenda of preparation, so that on the day in question, Sarah thought that she had displayed all the qualities she wanted the recruiter to be aware of. And for whatever their reason(s), and speculation ran rampant about the matter, the Monday after the Friday graduation ceremony, Sarah Osorio received an emailed offer from the firm to become an associate attorney. Meaning, to those in the know, that if she took the position, she would be entering a master/slave relationship.

Of course, she accepted. Being a literal slave for maybe a decade was one of the established methods for success in the law, as long as one had the mental toughness and acuity. She did not doubt her abilities and obviously, the powers-that-be in the law firm agreed with her self-assessment. She was over the moon at having been accepted at the Church’s primary law firm. If there was a secondary law firm, no one had ever heard of it.

They gave her a week from the date of their offer to make the move from Provo to Salt Lake City. Her mother had come up with two of her brothers for her graduation, but they’d taken off back to Los Angeles the day before she’d received the offer.

The Bishop and the Elders Quorum President had come through for her. She found an efficiency apartment (meaning the couch was also the bed) three-quarters of a mile from the law office and two pickups trucks and four sturdy young Elders had sufficed to tote her belongings to her new (but very old!) apartment. That was on the Saturday 48 hours before her first day on the job. And maybe she should have felt some guilt, but not attending church the day before her first day as a slave did not bother her at all. God obviously knew how much she had to do, in way too little time!

It had all gone splendidly. She was assigned to a mentor (she later learned that this was a paid position in the firm), Charles Colby, who’d been with the firm eight years. She learned that he was a ‘sure thing’ to be offered a partnership in the firm. What she never did learn was why he’d taken on the task of mentoring her. The most popular theory involved a love for lost causes. Sarah never could bring herself to believe that.

The first few months were relatively easy, which was easy to understand. The firm was investing time and money in her, so the firm made time in her day for her to study for the bar exam. Charles Colby even pitched in and helped her review. She had to take and pass this bar exam in order to be licensed to practice law in Utah. If she failed it, the likelihood was that she would cease to be an employee.

When it came time to take the November bar exam, she was ready. She didn’t get sick, didn’t have a automobile accident; nothing arose to meddle with the grueling three days of test-taking.

After the bar exam, her workday exploded! They’d been easy on her, in terms of the hours of the day they expected her to be at the office, but once the test was over, she seldom saw daylight, arriving before dawn and going home way after dark. Twelve hour days became the norm. But at least no one expected her to work on the Sabbath.

Then had come the glorious day when one of the partners had come into her tiny little office with a cupcake, on which a candle was burning. “Congratulations, Miss Osorio! Here are 50 business cards we had printed for you up real quick at Staples. He handed her the small box, to which a sample card was affixed. It had the firm name at the top, with the firm’s address and phone number at the bottom. In the middle was her name, in a bold type, and under her name was “Associate Attorney.”

In a moment of confusion, which was clearly seen in her eyes, she looked up at the partner and a vague ‘whaaattt?’ came out of her mouth.

He smiled down at her. “You passed the bar, Sarah. I mean, who thought you wouldn’t? You’re now an associate attorney at Kirtland-McCostco. So again, congratulations!” And having completed his mingling with the chained-up oarsmen beneath decks, he backed out of her little cubicle of a room and disappeared. But then almost immediately stuck his head back around the frame of the door. “Go see human resources about your raise and about getting a secretary.” Then he was gone.

Sarah was stunned. Nothing in her life that compared to this moment. For one fleeting second, she wondered if this were a joke, but quickly dismissed that notion. Kirtland-McCostco did not joke! Kirtland-McCostco did not possess a sense of humor! The thought process from that point was not complicated. Someone at the firm knew someone in the Utah Bar Association. Heck, it was probable that someone in the bar association, trying to curry favor, had called the law firm to pass along the news that their bar applicant had passed.

Sarah then opened the box of cards and took one out. They did indeed look cheap compared to the cards the attorneys used. Of course, she’d be getting the high-quality cards, but the one she was holding in her hand was very precious to her. She reached to her left for her smartphone and used it to take a photograph of the business card. She then cropped the photo and attached it to an email to her mom and then hit ‘send’.

___________________________

It was now October. She’d been with the firm for almost a year and a half, but only the last eight months as an attorney. It was early in the evening and she had just arrived home, to the downtown Salt Lake City loft which her parents had helped her purchase a couple of months after she’d passed the bar. She was genuinely thrilled to own her own home, even with a payment plan that left her with just less than 50% of her take-home pay to use for all her other expenses. But she’d be done paying her parents back in just over a year. That would get her housing expense down to a much more manageable 30% of her take-home pay. And there was an expectation of getting a Christmas Bonus. The thought made her tingle!

It was a good thing that her tithing, 10% of her gross, was taken out before she saw her paycheck because she could see herself being tempted to shortchange her Lord and Savior because she was NOT eating as well as she liked.

She was idly thumbing through this month’s Ensign magazine, pacing herself to get to the ‘what’s up with that guy?’ section, to see if any of her classmates were out-achieving her, when her cell phone blared. It was the ringtone she’d assigned to the law office. She was the attorney on-call this week, so she wasn’t surprised.

She reached over to pick it up, assuming that the paralegal on duty would give her some mundane summary about a Sunday school teacher being too ‘handsy’ with a minor student.

“Hellooo!”

“Hi, Miss Osorio. It’s Ronald, at the office. Hold on to your hat! I’m going to put you on the line with a Bro. Ashley. He’s a member of Bro. C. Morran Armstrong’s traveling staff. He’s going to explain to you that Bro. Armstrong has been arrested for assault and battery and is currently being processed through Hadley County Jail, in Hadleyville, Texas. He’s pretty upset...that is Bro. Ashley is pretty upset. I didn’t spend any time trying to get any more details from him; I thought you should be doing that. So, while you’re on the line with him, what do you want me to do?”

“Can you keep your line open and take notes? Or better yet, can you record the call?”

“Yes, ma’am, I can do both.”

“Well, just record it, and in the meantime, who is the Partner on-call?”

“Uh, that would be Chris Shumway...uh, P. Christopher Shumway…”

“Okay, start recording, then listen for a bit, and when you think you’ve got the gist of it, call the Partner and bring him up to date, then come back online and interrupt me and I’ll probably ask to have him put on the line. Shoot… Well, it’s a start. Now connect me!”

Sarah heard a click and then Ronald was speaking, “Bro. Ashley, I’ve got the attorney-on-call on the line now. Go ahead, Sarah…”

“Good evening, Bro. Ashley. This is Sarah Osorio. I’m the attorney-on-call this week. How can we help.”

There was no immediate response. Sarah began to worry that the connection had failed. “Hello?”

“Uh, yeah… You’re with the firm? You’re with Kirtland-McCostco?”

“Yes, sir! For almost two years…” Sarah stopped, rather than finish the sentence, wherein she would admit that ten of those months were as an unadmitted law school graduate, studying for, taking, and then waiting for the bar exam results.

“So there’s no one else available right now?”

Sarah knew she could have easily passed the matter on to the ever so pompous P. Christopher Shumway, but with her wide streak of feminism, she never really gave it serious consideration. “No, sir, I’m the attorney-on-call for this week. We’re all assigned to this particular duty on a weekly basis. There are 28 of us. So we each get close to two weeks out of each year. This is my week. We are on-call for the church, so…” and she let it trail into silence.

“Yes, well, I’m on the travel staff with C. Morran Armstrong. He was attacked this evening and through lies and intimidation, the facts were twisted and he was arrested! It is a travesty and we need to get this situation taken care of as soon as possible. ...or faster! He is in police custody right now, being photographed and fingerprinted! As if he were a common criminal!!” I want… Something has to be done!”

“Certainly something has to be done! And we will do that something. I’m going to ask you some questions. First, what is your full name?”

“Robert X. Ashley, and I …”

Sarah crisply and sharply cut him off: “What is the number you are calling me from?”

“Uh...801-555-1011.”

“Thank you. Now, leaving out as much superfluous information as you can, what happened that resulted in the arrest of President Armstrong?”

“Yes, well, we’re here in Central Texas to address a three stake conference this Sunday. We came early so that the President could visit with the Saints who are involved in the Hurricane Marva clean up here. We were out at a distribution center...meeting with members and some of the...some of those we’re helping … when some kind of dissident or apostate launched into an attack on the President and in pushing forward his attack, he, the attacker, fell and knocked out a tooth and bloodied his face. And when the police came, a number of people conspired to tell a story that resulted in the President’s arrest!”

“Bro. Ashley, what is the essence of the story they all conspired to tell the police?”

“As best I can… They said that the two men, the apostate and the President, were arguing and that the President struck the other man. They said that the apostate did nothing to provoke the President, but that is ludicrous! Bro. Armstrong was obviously defending himself!”

“Do you have the names of any witnesses who are favorable to President Armstrong?”

“Well, I was probably the nearest, other than Sis. Armstrong. She must be in agony worrying about him!”

“Where is Sis. Armstrong now?”

“Uh, I believe she is with some Relief Society sisters. I don’t know exactly where…”

“Do you have a cell phone number for her?”

“For Sis. Armstrong? No! Why would I have her number!! Good heavens!”

“Okay, okay. Now, from what Ronald told me, you are in Hadleyville, Texas, and the county is Hadley County. Is Hadleyville the county seat? In other words, is the county jail there in Hadleyville?”

“Yes, I’m out in the parking lot, for privacy. The parking lot of the jail. I was told that his processing would take until at least 11:00 p.m., local time. That’s about two hours from now. And I suppose that some kind of bond or bail will have to be posted for him…”

“Yes, that will likely be the case. Who else have you spoken to here in Utah?”

“I spoke with my wife earlier, on my way here from the distribution center. Other than her, no one else.”

“Okay, thank you for your patience and cooperation. I’m going to push this up the ladder, to the partner-on-call. Either he or I will be in touch with you very soon. In the interim, if it’s at all possible, can you get a name and contact information for the person who attacked President Armstrong? Is there some way we can start on that? Can you talk to one or more of the Stake Presidents in that area to see what is on his, or their, radar about this person, or about the incident itself? If it was an angry apostate, it makes sense that one or more of them may have had dealings with them Try to find out...to dig up some information on that person. I think it would be very, very helpful. Please do what you can in that regard and we’ll get back to you very soon.”

“I will...I mean, I’ll do what I can. Thank you. Uh, is there a direct line I…” But Sarah stabbed the off button before he could finish. She wasn’t giving him her number and doubted that P. Christopher Shumway wanted his number handed out, which was what Bro. Ashley was probably looking for.”

Sarah sat down at her home office desk and turned on her MacBook and called up a note taking program and wrote up a quick summation of the ‘facts’ Robert Ashley had given her. The odds were, she felt, that the police had not erred in arresting Pres. Armstrong. He was a fireplug of a man, and although she was working strictly from stereotypes, the chances were good that he had initiated the physical escalation. She’d forgotten to ask about the stature of the man, the apostate, who’d lost a tooth. There could be serious trouble if he were smaller than Armstrong.

Then with no further ado, she called P. Christopher Shumway’s cell number. After a few rings, it went to voicemail. Sarah’s lips curled in a brief snarl, but she spoke calmly. “Yes, Bro. Shumway, this is Sarah Osorio, the attorney-on-call this week. We’ve received a call from Robert Ashley, who is traveling with Pres. Armstrong in Hadleyville, Texas…” At this point, Sarah recalled that she’d asked Ronald, the paralegal, to listen in, get the essential facts and to then call Chris Shumway, and then come back online when that was done. Since that hadn’t happened, the likelihood was that he was either calling at the same time and had gotten through and was talking to P.C., or was doing the same Sarah was doing, leaving a voicemail. “Pres. Armstrong is...has been arrested and is currently being booked. We believe he’ll be released after at least another two hours. I’m going to head back to the office, but you can reach me on my cell at any time. Thank you, sir.” And she hung up, wondering why she felt it necessary to thank him for nothing?

35 minutes later, having had a bite to eat and changed into more comfortable clothing, she was back in the office. Ronald’s cubicle in the paralegals’ centralized bullpen area, was the only cubicle lit up.

“Hi, Ronald!” She gave him a friendly smile. She hardly knew him. She didn’t think he had much more time with the firm than she did, and for whatever reason, he kept very much to himself.

“Oh, hi, Sarah! I’m glad you’re here! I feel exceptionally lonely right now! I know things that few other people know, and I don’t want to be responsible, you know! We’ve got a 70’s President out there popping impolite people in the mouth and I don’t want to have anything to do with what happens now… This is… Well, I’m glad to see you! Oh, I called Shumway as you asked me to, but had to be content to leave a voicemail, and I haven’t gotten any calls back…nothing”

“Yeah, the same thing happened to me. I think I’ll try sending him a text. I should have done that sooner.” She immediately pulled her phone out and did the deed: ‘It’s me, Sarah Osorio. Pres. Armstrong is in jail in TX, apparently being charged with at least battery. We need help in authorizing what to do next’ Then she hit ‘send’.

“Okay, let’s see what we can find out on our own. Check the church directory for Stake Presidents in or near Hadleyville, Texas. I’m going to call Ashley back…”

Ronald wheeled around and started stabbing at his computer’s keyboard.

Sarah flipped back to her cell phone’s call log and called Ashley’s number. He picked up on the first ring. “Hello, Bro. Ashley. Any news?”

“Yes, Sonia, a bit…”

“Uh...it’s Sarah, Sarah Osorio…”

“Oh, yeah...sorry. I was able to speak to Lee Carroll, that’s L-e-e C-a-r-r-o-l-l. He’s the 1st counselor in the Hadleyville Stake presidency. His number is 325-555-5143. He’s an attorney but retired now. He was there when this all went down. He didn’t see everything, but he knows the guy who started it all. It’s a guy who has it in for the church because he believes the church did him wrong. He seems to think...that is the bad guy, that the church helped lose him his custody rights, and visitation with his kids. He was yelling at Pres. Armstrong and as I said, Marron was just defending himself.”

“Okay, Robert, that’s good. Let me check Bro. Carroll’s number again: 325-555-5143?”

“Yes, that’s it. What do you want me to do now?”

Sarah grimaced. Give him another task, or tell him to just stand by…? “I gather you’re still at the jail?”

“Yes!”

“Okay, then continue to standby. Once Pres. Armstrong is formally charged, he is entitled to representation if he asks for it. And he’ll be entitled to a phone call… There’s no telling who he’ll call. Unless you have an idea?”

“No! This is definitely not something we’ve gone over! Him becoming ill, or injured, etc., we’re to call you, you know, once we get the other stuff rolling, like ambulance and paramedics. No one ever thought a General Authority would be arrested! That’s just crazy!”

Sarah shrugged her shoulders. Life is crazy; didn’t he know that? “Okay, then just stand by… Hey, I just had a thought. Why was the first thing you did was call your wife?”

There was a brief pause. Then, “Well, you’ll probably like this. Yeah, I know I came off all sexist when we first spoke. That could be an occupational hazard, of sorts. But see, I’m where I am now solely because of my wife. She’s the brains in our family. I bet you’d get along with her. I called her first because I wanted to make sure I had her input on what to do, and how to do it.”

Sarah smiled. “Hey, thanks for that! I really mean it. I’d love to meet your wife! But for now, I’m hanging up so I can push forward on getting this resolved. Bye for now, Robert.”

She killed the line before he could respond. She really did feel a swelling of pride at his admission that while he knew how to practice sexism, he seemed to know it was wrong.

“Sarah! I”ve got Chris Shumway on the line. He’s acting all pissed…” There was some more grumbling from Ronald, but it was subvocal. Then, “I’m going to transfer him to your extension.”

Sarah ran to her office, which was a good 50 feet away, and around a corner. Her phone was ringing and she lunged to pick it up. “This is Sarah….”

“Hotdammit, what the hell is going on there? I was in a meeting, a very important meeting and I get two voicemail messages and now a fricking text about a General Authority being arrested in Podunk, Texas! What the hell is going on with you people.”

A myriad of possible flippant responses cascaded through her mind and tugged at the corners of her mouth. But she liked her job, so, “Well, sir, we’re repeating the word of one of the team traveling with Pres. Armstrong, and…”

“For god's sake, counselor, how do you know he’s actually who he says he is and is in the capacity that he claims? Did you not consider the possibility that someone might just be jerking you around? … I can tell by your silence that you did NOT consider this as a possibility. Well here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to call the Podunk police department. You will tell them who you are and that you are calling for confirmation that C. Morran Armstrong is currently in their custody. If, and I think it’s a big if, you are told that they that do have him in custody, you will find out what you can regarding arrangements for his release. You will from this point deal, as best you can, only with FACTS! Have I made myself clear? If you find out that this is a hoax, please do NOT call me back. If it is not a hoax, then you will call me back and I will join you there at the office and we will do what needs to be done, and we will do so quickly and very professionally. At the very least, you may learn something about handling unexpected events, so hopefully, this will not be a total loss. Goodbye, Miss Osorio.” And the line went dead.

Sarah cradled the handset and stared at it. Then there was a soft cough from her doorway.

“Your face kind of went pale there. You okay?” Ronald did seem to be genuinely distressed for her.

“Yeah, well, I just had my ass handed to me. P. Christopher Shumway seems to be certain that this is a hoax…”

“What a horse’s ass!” Ronald turned and disappeared from view.

Sarah shrugged and then twirled in her chair and turned on her computer. When it had taken its own sweet time warming up and getting online, she Googled Hadley County Sheriff’s Department. Google gave her the lowdown on this agency and confirmed that it was in Hadleyville. She called the listed number and got a recording that the office was closed and to either call 911 or the dispatch office, and provided a number. She called the dispatch office.

When the call was answered, she heard nothing but Texas in the low, rumbling voice, “Hadleyville dispatch. How can I help you?”

“Yes, sir, my name is Sarah Osorio. I’m an attorney here in Salt Lake City and I’m calling to confirm…”

“Yeah, we figured we’d be hearing from Y'all, because one of your big cheese apostles has landed himself in our pokey for A&B, and it’s not even Saturday night!” At which point it seemed that he attempted to cover the mouthpiece at the same time that he shouted, “Hey, Trina, the Mormons are on the line, asking about their prophet we arrested!”

Sarah groaned audibly. “Hello? Hello, sir, can I get a bit more information?”

“I’m sorry, what’d Y'all say?”

“I said, can I get some information? Can I fill in some of the blanks, get some info on how to arrange for bail, bond or whatever it takes to get him released once he’s been booked?”

“Well sure, we’re happy to oblige. He’ll be in the pokey all night. We’ve got him bedded down already. We put him in his own cell so that he wouldn’t be trying to convert any of our more gullible prisoners. Also, he’s a bit of a windbag. Is that like a requirement to be a prophet? Anyway, he’ll be going before the judge a little after 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.

"We asked him if he had an attorney we should call, or did he want for us to get him a P.D., but he said that everything would be taken care of. He said a lot of other things, but one thing he wouldn’t talk about was the incident in question. Which we didn’t mind at all, what with the video we have and which the DA will be showing to the judge. Not a Deputy DA, but Fergus Delatorre his own self! Gonna be fun, cuz I am pretty sure your boy doesn’t know the video exists. Any chance you can make it here in time? Y’all’d probably get a real big kick out of it!”

“Can I have your name, badge number and supervisor’s name?”

“Did you record this call?”

“No…”

“Then I’m just gonna hang up now, nitey nite!” And the line went dead. Sarah sat and stared at the handset again. But this time she quickly pulled out of her little funk and hit the desk phone’s redial. After a couple of rings it was answered, but this time it was a female.

“Hadley County Sheriff’s Office, Dispatch. How may I help you?”

“Would this be Trina?”

“Why yes! You heard that! What a dummy he is. What can I do for you, Utah?”

"Can I get a booking number of some kind, any kind of record number that relates to the arrest of C. Marron Armstrong?”

“Sure can, Sugar. Gimme a sec. Dez, gimme the file on the Mormon guy, Armstrong, mind weak…”

Sarah groaned audibly after her brain figured out that Trina and just called a General Authority “arm strong-mind weak”. And the news that there was a video was starting to sink in. This was not good, along with the fact that they, the police, were having way too much fun with this. And if there was video, and they’d seen it, it was probably of sufficient quality and clarity that they were likely to be fully justified in their optimism. So, of course, they were childishly gleeful about a big wig about to be taken down a notch.

Trina came back on the line. “Okay, Sugar, the booking number is SBT-01634. That’s Sam-Boy-Tom. The court clerk’s number is 325-555-4992. She’ll have the file under People v. Armstrong. Arlene is pretty good about starting to take calls right at 8:00 a.m. She’ll be able to tell you about what time she’ll call us to have him brought over. The odds are that if you have someone there who can post bail, then he’ll come back to us and we’ll take about 45 minutes to process him out. So I’m thinking that we won’t have to provide him with lunch; you guys can. I’d love to be there! That’s about it. You got the numbers: the booking number and Arlene’s phone number?”

“Yes, I got them.”

“Okay then, you have a good night, Sugar.” And again, Sarah was hung up on.

She went back to her computer and this time used Word to prepare a much more detailed explanation of what had just taken place. When it was done and she’d proofread it, she turned it into a .PDF and emailed it to Chris Shumway, along with a bcc to her own private email. Then she sent a text to Shumway, telling him about the email, which he’d be able to read on his smartphone. Once she’d done that, she got up and wandered down the hall and around the corner to the paralegal cubicles.

She found Ronald immersed in a phone conversation. She waved to him and then passed him and turned into the breakroom. She turned on the lights and then got a soda out of the vending machine. She’d intended to linger a bit, but the thought that her office line might be ringing sent her at a quick pace back to her office.

But it wasn’t a phone call that came next; it was the arrival of P. Christopher Shumway, law firm partner, and fifth name down on the firm’s letterhead. He was a Big Cheese at the firm. Sarah knew from gossip that he was a work-out fiend and that he was convinced that the only reason he wasn’t a GA was pure jealousy. The other White Boys were jealous of P.C.’s looks and good fortune, which basically consisted of having married one of the very rich Kimball descendants. It was rumored that he had breached the Trust under which she’d labored as a teen and young adult and together they’d gotten two shit-loads of money, and established that it was money that had already been tithed on, so there was a big blessing right out of the starting block, 10% more than they’d planned!

Sarah cringed inwardly when she heard his voice call her name. But she was sprightly enough when she leaped to her feet and hurried toward that voice, which she found attached to his mouth, which was poised above Ronald’s chair, in his small cubicle. He was talking rapidly to Ronald, who was feverishly taking notes.

Apparently having concluded, he turned to Sarah. “Aha! And speaking of the devil… Sarah, young Sarah, whose turn it is to be on-call, it’s a good thing you’re not too much of a doll… You and I are heading for lovely Hadleyville, TX, courtesy of a faithful member’s private jet, which is at this point is sitting on the tarmac at West Jordan’s South Valley Regional Airport, located at …” At this point he looked down at a card in hand, “...7365 South 4450 West, West Jordan, Utah. Ms. Osorio, it is my plan that we will be ‘wheels up’ before 11 p.m.”

He then handed over the business card. “Copy down the necessary information, give me back the card, then go home and pack up for a couple of days work there in Texas. We’re definitely going to be in and out within two, maybe three days tops. Now hop to it.”

“Yes, sir!” It occurred to her that a salute would not have been out of place.

___________________

When she’d boarded the small private jet, escorted by one of the two pilots, she thought it unlikely that she’d be able to sleep. But her seat, across the small aisle from P. Christopher Shumway, was extremely comfortable. She seatbelted herself in and they were airborne in minutes. Then following his example, she tilted back until the seat turned into not a half bad sleeping platform. She got up, again after watching P.C.’s example, to get a blanket and a pillow. Then she visited the small bathroom and returned to her seat, where she’d composed herself for sleep and then actually fell asleep.

Her sleep was interrupted by a gentle shake of her shoulder. “Miss Osorio. We’re going to be landing in 12 to 15 minutes. You need to seatbelt yourself into position. She heard this through a haze and then the picture came into focus. She was on a small private jet, about to land at or near Hadleyville, Texas, She looked over at P.C.’s chair but it was empty. She laughed at herself for wondering where he was: there was a very limited list of options. And then she heard his low, rumbly voice as he exited the bathroom and spoke to the crew member who’d awakened her. He’d probably done just the same for P.C. a minute or so before waking her up.

She grabbed a small bag and went into the restroom, keeping in mind that she only had a few minutes to spare. But she took care of her business in plenty of time and was back in her seat before the ‘fasten seatbelts’ sign came on. It was still a dark, overcast night and she watched as they descended through the cloud layer, and then it became inky dark. Her cell phone said it was 2:33 a.m. She’d lost an hour in the trip towards the east. Her body thought it was 1:33 a.m., which when she thought about it, was a meaningless statistic. She was tired and sleepy, and with good reason.

“We’ll be able to get some more sleep at the motel. A friend’s son is meeting us at the airfield and will take us to a motel. We’ll sleep in and then at 6:30 a.m. we’ll meet for a breakfast planning session and then walk across to the courthouse at 8:00 a.m. It’s gonna be a piece o’ cake, Sarah Osorio.”

She smiled tentatively at him, but then shut it down, hard! Good grief, what if he thought she was flirting! “Yes, sir.”

But the entire time he’d been speaking to her, he’d kept his eyes glued to his smartphone.

The touchdown was feather light, and the plane quickly taxied up to a squat, but a very solid looking building, slathered in white stucco, which could only be seen when the plane’s landing lights hit it. Then the plane came to a stop and one of the pilots came back from the cockpit and opened the door and let down the steps. Sarah got up and grabbed her stuff and followed a similarly laden P.C. up the aisle and then down the steps.

At the bottom of which P.C. and a tall gentleman shook hands. There was only the feeble light from a bulb over a doorway into the squat building and Sarah could not see anything of the man, because she was looking into that light, faint though it was.

“Sarah, this is Brad Carroll. He’s with the law firm of Carroll, Boone & Riley. A long time ago I worked with his dad, Lee Carroll.”

The name hit a hot button. Lee Carroll was the man who’d been present when the altercation had occurred and who knew who the attacker/victim (take your pick) was...and he was in the local Stake Presidency.

“Sarah was the attorney-on-call when the call came in. Lucky her, huh?”

This jape was met with a polite chuckle from Sarah but got a solid laugh out of Brad.

“C’mon, you two. Let’s get you checked in so you can get a few hours more sleep.” He turned and the two Utah attorneys followed, with Sarah ceding the right of way to the senior attorney. And when they went through the building and out a front door, she opened her own rear passenger door on Brad’s dark colored 4-door pickup truck.

At the motel they quickly got their rooms and Sarah set her alarm for 5:45 a.m. local time and then climbed into bed.

At 5:45 a.m. Sarah struggled awake and turned off the alarm. She completed an abbreviated toilet and dressed, choosing one of her more plain skirt and top combinations. Pants and pantsuits were not encouraged at Kirtland-McCostco. She checked her phone for texts or emails and found nothing new.

She was out in front of her room before 6:30 a.m. and P.C. came out of his room right at 6:30. He glanced over at her, smiled and called out, “Good thing we don’t need coffee! Let’s go get this over with…”

Sarah thought that to be an inappropriate comment under the circumstances. Not the reference to coffee, but the remark that made it sound as if there was one simple procedure that needed to be taken care of and then they’d be all done. That wasn’t the way Sarah thought things would shape up!

The two of them walked down the block, to the east, from the motel. She thought it a certainty that they were going to the diner she’d noticed earlier when they’d arrived. And as they neared the front door, it was pushed open from the inside by Brad Carroll. He had a ready smile for them, and wink for Sarah as she passed him. She didn’t know whether to roll her eyes or blush…

“Bro. Shumway, go down the corridor to the left… Ma’am…” and he motioned for Sarah to precede him.

At the end of the corridor, a door opened into a room, an office, by its utilitarian appearance. Seated against the left wall was an older looking version of Brad Carroll. The older gentleman stood up and clasped hands with P.C. Both men had huge grins on their faces. They laughed and clapped shoulders. P.C. turned to Sarah, “This is Lee Carroll, Brad’s father. He and I go way, way back; we met in the old Southern States Mission and then we were buds at the Y. We both went to law school, but only I had to work at it. Get out your laptop and your printer. We’re going to need to prepare a release of all claims and an NDA.

“Okay… Uh….”

“So here’s the deal, Sarah. And Lee or Brad, you correct me if I err… Our boy, C. Marron Armstrong, allowed himself to be goaded into taking a swing at a young man named Graham Duncan. Graham is currently harboring a lot of ill will towards local leaders of the church because it is his belief that upon the loss of his testimony, followed by complete inactivity, his very faithful and devout wife, HoneySue Bledsoe Duncan, allowed herself to be convinced to divorce Graham. And then the matter was compounded, in Graham’s estimation, by the offering of testimony in court that featured him, Graham, as a very unfit father. The evidence presented was enough to sustain, in the court’s view, these allegations. Graham Duncan has not seen nor spoken to his three young children in about a year. Apparently, his mental condition is somewhat distraught at this point.”

P.C. had by this point taken a seat at the edge of the big desk in the center of the room. “Now… It has been confirmed that despite the enthusiastic version supplied to you by Bro. Ashley, there is evidence, in the form of at least one video recording, that puts across the point of view that Graham Duncan began a conversation with C. Marron Armstrong and that during that conversation, Pres. Armstrong first began to shake a finger in Mr. Duncan’s face.

"But then apparently feeling that a stronger reaction was necessary, Pres. Armstrong made a fist and shook that in young Mr. Duncan’s face. I don’t know if the video recording captures the words that were exchanged, but I’m told it definitely shows Pres. Armstrong pulling back his fist and then striking Mr. Duncan in the mouth. There’s blood visible and a tooth pops out of the victim’s mouth. I’m told that it’s totally an open and shut matter as to the criminality of Bro. Armstrong’s actions. Bro, Armstrong far overreacted to words he was hearing and assaulted and battered young Mr. Duncan, who unfortunately is an inch shorter, wasn’t wearing lifts, as was Armstrong, and weighs about 40 pounds less than Armstrong. Nice, huh?

“So believing my sources of information to be accurate and that there is a video which is likely to be persuasive when viewed by a trier-of-fact, my duty to our client is to shut this down as quickly and as completely as possible. In that regard, Mr. Duncan and his attorney, with whom both Brothers Carroll are well acquainted, will be here at 7:00 a.m. At that time will we negotiate and hopefully be able to reach an agreement that both sides can live with. And sadly, and you no doubt can appreciate this, we are not holding strong cards. I’m sad to say that this is not an unfamiliar position. Please take note that the only things that will exist when this is completed in our file are my report, the signed Release of All Claims, the two NDA, one for Graham and one for his attorney, copies of our time sheets and a copy of our billing. Now go ahead and set up and then plug in the Church and Pres. Armstrong as the parties being released and Graham Duncan and his attorney...What’s his name?”

From Brad, “Peter P. Stewart. Also an ex-Mormon, but for all that, an honorable man.”

“Right, Peter P. Stewart… This should all go very smoothly. We’ve got something he wants and he’s got something we want. And both sides are very motivated. We could be wheels up by noon. That would be good…”

While Sarah was getting out her laptop and her little Epson portable color printer, the three men started talking about hunting.

A few minutes after 7:00 a.m. an older gentleman poked his head around the doorframe. “Lee?”

“Hey, Pete! C’mon in and bring your client! Let’s get this show on the road.”

“Okay, but I know you bill by the hour, so I packed a lunch.”

“Yeah, right. I’m glad you’re feeling all frisky. Pete, this here is C. Christopher Shumway, a partner at Kirtland-McCostco. And this here (pointing to Sarah) is an associate of his, Sarah Osorio. And of course, you know my son, Brad. He’s only here because he’s used to getting up early and driving…”

“Gentlemen, Ma’am. Let me introduce my client, Graham Duncan. You’ll understand that he’s in a bit of pain and is on medication for that pain. Here are some prints of the damage that was done. And here’s a print lifted from the video, showing the contact of your client’s fist with my client’s mouth and then a print of my client’s tooth popping out. Isn’t technology a wonder? Not only can I document all this, but we’re told that the tooth can be replaced in my client’s mouth. It’s not an inexpensive procedure, but you guys can afford it.”

“Yep, yep, sure… Hello, Mr. Duncan. Please make yourself comfortable. It’s my hope that we can wrap this up quickly.”

“Ours, too,” chirped Stewart. “I trust you’ve been briefed on the background. My client wants a 50/50 custody agreement signed by his ex-wife, he wants his current medical and dental expenses covered, his loss of earnings during this period, he wants to have what he’s spent trying to gain his custody rights repaid to him and then he wants us to negotiate fair compensation for the blow struck by your hooligan President of the First Quorum of 70s.” As he delivered this last line, his face lit up with a huge smile.

“Yeah, it’s always fun when you can enjoy your work. If you have some type of accounting for the custody battle expenses, hand over copies. We’ll cobble together some idea about about your medical and dental expenses. Which leaves us with the pain and suffering figure you’re looking for. What’s your opening salvo?”

“What’s your offer? You’ve seen the photos and you’re looking at my client’s present condition. What’s a fair offer?”

“I don’t want to insult you. What’s your number for making all this better for your client?”

Both men were startled when the client in question spoke up, “I want to put $300,000 in the bank, $100,000 in three college savings accounts, for my kids. And I want $12,000 for myself. That’s what I want. You two work it out.”

There was an intense silence following that wooly mouthed pronouncement. Sarah looked over at P.C. and saw that he had a huge grin on his face.

Then he spoke. “I’m hungry. Anyone else hungry? C’mon, Pete; can I call you Pete? Let’s go get some breakfast, let’s chew on this settlement thing while we eat and then we’ll come back in here and finish it up. Sarah, you take care of feeding the Carroll boys and young Mr. Duncan. Of course, you all know that any discussion with Mr. Stewart’s client on the issues at hand is completely verboten. Right?”

He then stood and gestured to Pete Stewart to precede him through the door.

“Gosh, Graham, are you in any condition to be eating?” This came from Brad Carroll.

“No, but I’ll sit with you while you guys eat. Who are you again? This was directed at Sarah.

“My name is Sarah Osorio. I’m an attorney at the same law firm as Mr. Shumway. I’m sorry about your mouth and tooth…”

“Hey, I’m not! I haven’t seen my kids in almost a year! Now I’m going to see them, they’re college costs are going to be covered and I’m getting back all the money I’ve spent with Mr. Stewart and then I’m getting some spending money. I guess that Pete will try to get as much as he can for me because he’ll be getting a third of that amount. But it’s seeing the kids that’s the big pay off for me!”

By this time, the four of them were walking into the restaurant proper. A waitress breezed up to them.

“Hi, Brad! Hi, Mr. Carroll. Table for four?”

“Yep, and bring me a Diet Coke quick as you can! Anyone else?”

Sarah raised a finger. “I’ll take Diet Coke, with no ice.”

The older Mr. Carroll said, “Regular Coke for me, please.”

They looked at Graham whose response to just shake his head no.

“Go ahead and take this booth here, ma’am and guys. I’ll be right back with your drinks and menus.”

The meal passed pleasantly from Sarah’s point of view. She was the primary focus of conversation and on top of that, the food was ample and excellent. The Diet Cokes put some vigor into her attitude and she was feeling very good.

She couldn’t see the table where P.C. and Peter P. Stewart were seated and it didn’t seem as if the two Carroll men were paying any attention to their table, which was behind Sarah. And poor Graham Duncan, who’d finally had asked for a glass of water, wasn’t really focused on the conversation at the table. Sarah supposed he was day-dreaming about his prospective reunion with his children.

And then it finally occurred to Sarah, and the question was out of her mouth before she could censor it, “How is it that everyone is certain that Graham’s ex-wife is going to sign a new custody agreement…”

The two Carroll men looked at each other. Then the father said, “You go ahead and offer up your opinion, cuz you ain’t anything official in all of this.”

While he was saying this to his son, Sarah looked at Graham, seated next to her, on her left.

Brad Carroll made a pretense of looking around as if to be sure no one was eavesdropping, “Well, it’s like this: HoneySue Bledsoe and her parents are very, very good Mormons, very observant, very obedient, very faithful. Their spiritual leader, hopefully just the Bishop, will have a talk with all of them and they will do the right thing. We just have to make sure their home teacher doesn’t get involved. He was the driving force behind their decision to make life difficult for Graham. In effect, he helped them manufacture totally false information about Graham. I don’t think there’s any doubt that this time they’ll do the right thing. Plus I know for a fact that the kids really miss their dad. We all think it’s a done deal. Graham figured out a plan, put it into action and C. Marron Armstrong, probably the only one of the 70s who might fall for this, did as Graham expected.”

Sarah looked over again at Graham and saw him smiling at Brad. There were a lot of questions running through her mind but the best she could do in terms of coming up with answers was to hope P.C. would talk freely on the trip home.

Brad spoke up, interrupting Sarah’s musings. “I think we’re costing our waitress tip money by hanging out here in her booth. Let’s get back to that office…”

Sarah immediately got out a credit card and got up and found their waitress. Sarah handed over her the credit card and then followed the girl back to the register, where she added a big tip to the cost of the meal and then signed the receipt, which she then carefully folded away.

They all scooted out and then wended their way back to the borrowed office. Sarah had decided to immerse herself in the work assigned to her by P.C., so she got out her laptop and hooked up the printer. She pulled up MS Word and opened the basic NDA form. The key to a good NDA was locking down all that needed to be locked down without saying what it was that was being locked down.

After filling in the blanks on the NDA, she opened a General Release of All Claim form and filled in the blanks. She couldn’t put in an amount yet. And she wondered how they were going to list the requirement involving the change in Graham’s visitation rights. It wasn’t a monetary figure, but rather a performance requirement. But she didn’t doubt that there was some way to make it work on paper, which was all she cared about right now.

When she’d finished, she looked up at the others. Graham was seated behind the desk, slumped forward, his head resting on his arms, appearing to be asleep. Both the Carrolls were looking down at their phones, with Brad all smiles and his father looking somewhat somber. ‘Well’, she said, ‘if they’re playing Words with Friends, Brad must be way ahead.’

Sarah pulled out her phone and checked for texts and emails. She’d had the sound muted so she wouldn’t have gotten any incoming alerts. But since the office in Salt Lake City had not yet opened, it was no surprise that she had neither texts nor emails. So then she switched to her browser and checked the Deseret News and then the SLTribune. She read a couple of articles on each site but for no real reason that she could vocalize… They were just fluff.

Then she got up and went to find a bathroom, which was easy to do. Upon her return to the office, she found Mr. Stewart talking to this client and P.C. seated on her chair, reading from her computer screen.

“Good, you’re back.” He handed her page from a yellow pad. “Plug in these numbers. Don’t worry about the visitation rights issue. Pete called the Bledsoe’s attorney and I got their home number and if the idea to have their bishop talk to them doesn't work, then they’re going to get a call from one of the 12 apostles and that should settle that issue. Can’t have our people lying under oath just because they don’t like a certain turn of events. I am assured that Graham Duncan is a fine man and a good father. We sure do know that he knows how to play some men for suckers…” Here P.C. stopped and wagged a finger at the young man in question. “Son, I know that you’ve resigned from the church, but when the time comes that you want back in, if anyone gives you any trouble, you call me. Got that?”

Putting the fingers of one hand up to his puffy lips, Graham, in obvious discomfort, if not pain, said, “The Mormon Church is man-made, it’s imperfect, and despite all the recent changes, it is still failing. You can take that to the bank like I’m going to take your money to my bank.”

The Mormons in the room didn’t say a word. Graham and his attorney bumped fists.

“Well, they are your eternal souls…do with them as you please. Okay, Pete, come over here and check on the language on both the NDA and the Release. Let’s get this squared away and then I’ve got to get over the courthouse and get my President of 70s released with as little fuss and bother as possible.”

It was 8:05 a.m. when Sarah followed the three Mormon men from the diner over to the Courthouse. They went through the metal detector and then found their way to Department A of the combination courthouse and government office building. Lee Carroll then had a brief but intense conversation with the bailiff and then got passed on to the Court Clerk where another very intense looking conversation took place. P.C. and Sarah took seats in the first row. There were few people in the courtroom. As Lee Carroll and the Court Clerk continued their conversation, the door next to the Judge’s Bench opened and a robed figure emerged. The bailiff snapped to attention!

“All rise. Justice Court for the County of Hadley, State of Texas is now in session, the Honorable Judge Samuel Horace Humble presiding. Please be seated.”

Sarah had barely begun to rise when the bailiff had concluded his rapid-fire elocution. P.C. hadn’t stirred. She sat back down and wondered if she should look sheepish for her own behavior or askance at P.C. for his.

At this point, she noticed that Larry Carroll had finished his conversation with the Court Clerk. She watched the older man come through the well of the court and then through the small swinging doors that separated the well from the public seats, and then out the courtroom door.

“Where’s your dad going?” she asked Brad Carroll, who was seated to her right, bookending her, with P.C. to her immediate left. If P.C. heard her question, it got no rise out of him.

“I don’t rightly know, Sarah. From this point on, I’m just a spectator. Too bad we can’t get popcorn…”

Sarah turned to P.C., but he was tapping away on his phone and had it tilted so that she could not see the screen. ‘Hmmm,’ she wondered to herself, ‘I wonder who he’s writing to and why doesn’t he want me to see?’ But that opened up such a variety of possibilities that she knew it was pointless to proceed. Better she should just shut down her brain and roll with the tide. So she got out her phone and went to Facebook and doodled around, hitting the like button on a couple of friends’ posts. She noticed that her ‘location’ notice was quite accurate! Anyone up and looking at her page would see that she was in Hadleyville, Texas.

The Court Clerk had been in discussion with the Judge and people were beginning to come and go into the well where they, most likely all attorneys, spoke with the bailiff. Some then took seats at the plaintiff and defense tables and others took seats in the jury box. When she finished conferring with the Judge, the Court Clerk returned to her seat and called out, “People versus Thornton, Richard B. The charge is Disturbing the Peace. Appearing for the people is Wellborn Campbell."

A tall, lanky young man in sharply creased chinos, a white shirt and a bolo tie stood up from the prosecutor’s table. “Your honor, Yvonne Hart of the Public Defenders office is representing the defendant and she’s still up at her sister’s house, helping out, you know…”

“So what are you asking for or declaring, Mr. Campbell?”

“If the court pleases, we’d like a 24-hour postponement.”

“Sure, why not? Do you know if Dickie..., if the defendant, is onboard with this? We all know that he can be a handful for the deputies when he starts to get antsy.”

“Yes, your honor. Yvonne called over to the jail and spoke with him and she says he’s okay with it. Apparently, he’s been partying for a while and told her that he could use the sleep.”

“Well then good! A 24-hour postponement is granted. Arlene?”

“Yes, your honor; next is People versus Dominguez, Rogelio, also on a charge of Disturbing the Peace.”

As she was saying this, a door on her side of the courtroom, opposite the jury box, opened and a Deputy led out a tired looking, elderly Hispanic gentleman in an orange jumpsuit. When he came into the well and turned to sit at the defense table, Sarah read, ‘Inmate’ on the back of the jumpsuit. At the same time, one of the attorneys seated in the jury box rose and proceeded to the same table and sat down next to the accused. The one gentleman who’d been at the defense table moved over the jury box.

The Deputy District attorney, Wellborn, had remained standing by the prosecutor’s table. He’d switched one manila folder for another from his briefcase. “Your honor, People versus Rogelio Dominguez…

Sarah tuned out. She’d sat through a number of minor league criminal proceedings and her curiosity had been sated. She went back to her phone and Facebook. Another 20 or so minutes passed as what she assumed were the dregs of Hadley County society came in and then disappeared. But she snapped to attention when she heard Arlene intone, “People v. Armstrong, Cornelius Morran, on a charge of Assault & Battery.”

Sarah looked over at the door where the prisoners came in and out and it opened and through it stepped C. Morran Armstrong, essentially the 17th highest General Authority of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, depending on how one felt about the Presiding Bishopric. Armstrong was in a suit, though tie-less, but he did appear to have a belt through the loops of his pants. There was stubble on his face. He visage appeared to troubled.

A voice behind her, somewhat familiar, said, “Oh my lord! Why aren’t you doing anything!”

She turned and assumed, because now the voice really fit, as did the attitude, that this Bro. Ashley.

“Hi”, she said. “You’re Brother Ashley, right? I”m Sarah Osorio. We spoke about 12 hours ago. How are you doing?” She wondered if she were over-playing her role, but P.C. had not stirred in the slightest, so she took that as a positive.

Ashley made bug-eyes at her! “What are you doing!” he hissed. Why is he still in custody? Something has to be done!”

P.C. still hadn’t stirred so she put some authority into her voice, “Something HAS been done. Just relax and watch. It’s all been handled.”

Wellborn Campbell now had a new folder in his hands. “Your honor, People have opted to accept a plea of Disorderly Conduct, with time served and fine of $1,000. People are aware that the victim in this matter has been compensated. With the fine, justice will have been served and the prisoner can be released.”

“So be it. Mr. Armstong, please see the Court Clerk to arrange payment of the fine and then you will be free to go.”

At this point, the bailiff, who’d gone over the door Armstrong and the other prisoners had used to enter the courtroom, was handed a large vanilla envelope, which he put on the Court Clerk’s desk. Sarah recognized that it was the ‘personal possessions’ envelope, containing all of Armstrong’s personal property.

It was at this point that P.C. rose, shimmied his way past Sarah’s knees and Brad’s knees and pushed his way into the courtroom well, where he joined Armstrong. Sarah couldn’t hear them but watched as they exchanged what did not appear to be pleasantries. P.C. then took out a checkbook and moved over to the Court Clerk’s desk, where he looked to be asking the Court Clerk a couple of questions. He then wrote out a check. He signed it, ripped it out of the checkbook, handed over to the Court Clerk and then waited as she appeared to be writing out a receipt. He took the receipt, smiled and offered a handshake, which was accepted. Then he turned and shoo’d the former prisoner-before-the-dock towards the public exit.

P.C. took the lead and motioned to Sarah to get up and head for the exit, which she did, also doing a shimmy to get by the long legs of Brad Carroll. “I think we’re leaving, Bro. Carroll. It was nice meeting you.”

“My pleasure, Sister Osorio. Come again when you can stay longer, but we aren’t parting yet. I’m your ride out to the airport.”

“D’oh! Of course.” All this was said as he followed her out of the courtroom, with P.C. right behind them.

Just before she passed through the doorway, P.C. turned to Bro. Ashley, “He’s all yours now. Try to keep him in check.” And then they were through and gone.

________________________


The plane was on descent into the Salt Lake Valley. They’d gained back the hour they’d lost when they’d headed East. It was just past noon. She was looking forward to lunch. P.C. had remained silent, except for some very minor chit-chat when they’d first settled into their seats and exchanged pleasantries with the pilots.

Suddenly he spoke to her. He’d been making notes in a notebook that had been in his suit jacket. He tore out a page and handed it to her. “Take the rest of the day off. When you come in tomorrow, fill out your billable hours sheet with this information. It’ll match mine.” And with that, he reached across the aisle to hand it to her. Then he realigned himself in his seat and gave off the air that she’d been dismissed.

She kept her silence and then glanced down at the note paper. She was to bill 27 hours on the Armstrong ‘matter’. Not case, but matter. Her face remained calm but inside she both exulted and sighed in disappointment. This would push her weekly hours into the stratosphere, but at the same time, it was lying.

They were ripping off their client, of whose money they’d already spent over $1,500,000. Graham Duncan was putting $300,000 into each of his three kids' college funds and $100,000 into his own pocket, and Peter P. Stewart, who’d already made money off Duncan, was now pocketing $500,000, his one-third of the settlement. Sarah had no doubt that Graham would be seeing his children very soon, and that kind of made her feel good.

She didn’t think that P. Christopher Shumway would take any chances with their principal client, the Mormon Church, unless he was certain that they could get away with it. And if he was certain that they could get away with it, it had to mean that it was their standard operating procedure. Which meant that Jesus Christ, the head of the church, was cool with that. ‘Yeah, go ahead and rip me off; it’s okaaaay!’ And that didn’t make sense to her!

So she did what all good members of the Mormon Church do when confronted with a quandary, she changed the subject in her mind. She looked out her window and saw that the Salt Lake Valley was hazy with smog, but that the Wasatch Mountain peaks were crystal clear.

Such nice mountains!



(you read all of this!!! Thanks!!!)

The author asserts no copyright; this becomes the property of RfM and Concrete Zipper, except I get to play the part of Rogelio Dominguez.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/31/2018 12:07PM by elderolddog.

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Posted by: silvergenie ( )
Date: October 31, 2018 03:27AM

Great writing EOD! I really enjoyed it.

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Posted by: scmd1 ( )
Date: October 31, 2018 04:29AM

It's 1:29 where I am, but I couldn't go to bed without finishng this. Awesome!

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: October 31, 2018 09:15AM


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Posted by: ificouldhietokolob ( )
Date: October 31, 2018 09:47AM

Yep, read it all. And thoroughly enjoyed it.
But, I have to ask, when do we get the follow-up -- where Sarah goes ex-mormon? :)

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Posted by: icanseethelight ( )
Date: October 31, 2018 10:04AM

Well written and engaging. Great job!!

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: October 31, 2018 11:24AM

I saw the length of this and thought, well, based on the last story you submitted I can't wait to read. But I have a big intense day so I will read segment by segment now and then. But this was like Lay's potato chips. You can't eat just one.

Unfortunately I am a slow reader and devour each word. Now very late to start my work day.

So who the hell are you, Grisham or something?

That was riveting with lots of winks to the side.


PS. Considering sending this to a nephew-in-law who I hardly know but is in the same boat as Graham and does not deserve to be there. Or would that be aiding and abetting if Holland goes missing a tooth?

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Posted by: bobofitz ( )
Date: October 31, 2018 11:26AM

Clever EOD, very very clever.

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