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Monday, August 17, 2015


Welcome! The word prompt this week is "writing". This will be the last installment of Maggie's Story until the novella comes out. Thank you for stopping by and reading this emotional story. 


 Maggie slipped her hand into John’s as the Judge asked Penn to take the witness stand. The magistrate turned to face the boy. He asked questions and scribbled notes. Maggie was sure she had broken John’s hand, she squeezed so hard.
          After Penn stepped down, John, then Maggie took the stand. She twisted a hanky when she answered questions, but wasn’t able to hold back tears.
          She gripped the railing for support as she pushed to her feet. Uncle Alfred followed her. There was a brief recess. John and Maggie flanked Penn.
Though he was taller than she, Maggie slipped her arm around him.
          They were called back into the courtroom. The judge cleared his throat.
          “I have your statement in writing, Penn. I’ve read it carefully and heard the answers of all the parties. It may be unorthodox, but I’ve decided to let you stay with Maggie and John for the next year. Your uncle will manage your financial affairs and provide an adequate income for you to live on. After a year, the court will revisit your living situation. If, at that time, the court finds that you are not receiving proper supervision, your custody will be transferred to your uncle.”
          Maggie gasped and reached for John.
          “Do you understand, young man? If you seize this chance to live with these caring people as an opportunity to run wild, the court will put a stop to it. They will be dismissed and you will be moved to your uncle’s home.”
          “I do, Your Honor.”
          “You’re willing to abide by their rules?”
          “I am, sir.”
          “Keep up with your schoolwork, stay away from drugs and alcohol?”
          “Yes, sir.”
          “And you, Maggie and John? Are you willing to take the duties of parenting seriously? Are you willing to be available to Penn?”
          “We are, Your Honor,” John said.
          “Be with him day in and day out?”
          “Yes, sir,” Maggie said, her voice barely louder than a whisper.
          “Take full responsibility for Penn, as if he were your own flesh and blood?”
          “We gladly accept that, Your Honor,” John said.
          “Very well. Then it’s is the opinion of this court that Penn Roberts shall remain in the custody of John and Maggie for one full year –at which time custody will be re-evaluated based on the boy’s progress. Court is adjourned.”
          Maggie let out the breath she had been holding, and the tears as well. Even John misted up as he grinned broadly.  Penn joined them in a group hug. His eyes were full. Arthur stopped on his way out.
          “Good luck raising a teenager,” he harrumphed.
          “Thank you, sir. I’m sure we’ll need it,” Maggie replied.
          The older man frowned. “Don’t know how I’m going to tell your aunt, Penn.”
          “You’ll figure out something, Uncle Alfred. You always do,” Penn responded.
          The threes piled into their car and John drove them home. Once inside, Penn went to his room and closed the door. Maggie started dinner while John poured them each a glass of wine. They clinked glasses.
          “Our boy. He really is our boy now, old girl.”
          “That he is.”
          “Of course, when he’s eighteen, he’s his own man. No custody then. Is three years enough?”
          “The court’s only giving us one. But they’ll see. Yes, three years would be heaven. Parent teacher conferences. Mother’s Day. Oh, John, three years is a dream come true.”
          She wiped her eyes before raising her glass.
          “To Penn. Our boy. Our son. Even if only for a little while.”
“Amen, my lovely.”

To be continued. Watch for Maggie's Story, the novella.

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