It's Quilly Time again! Step up to the challenge and help us rescue obscure, dying words! This week's are maleolent, xenization, and pigritude. Play along by writing a story or an installment of a story...it's fun! Thanks again Quilly!
Alice stared with dismay at the piles of paper on her desk. She had only been gone a week from the office, but there was at least three weeks worth of work piled there. Petitions, pleas, motions, and decrees were staring at her, challenging her to get past her pigritude and enter into a state of productivity. Guiltily, she realized that if she didn’t do so, other people whose income depended on her generating income would also be adversely affected. She sighed and started working through the first pile.
Four billable hours later, Alice stretched and realized she was hungry. A search in the office refrigerator revealed only a maleolent container of dubious origin. Making a face she quickly dropped it into the trash bin and grabbed a chewy bar from the basket on the counter. On her way back to her office, she stopped to chat with her legal assistant, Kat. This sparkly young lady, freshly graduated from college, had been Alice’s first legal client. Alice remembered that serving as Kat’s guardian ad litem had been a thrill and a challenge. Fortunately, the willful young Kat had turned into a determined young Kat on a very different path.
“So Kat,” began Alice. “If you’re a 9 year old boy and you don’t know who to trust, what do you do?” She had filled Kat in on the details of Adam’s case earlier just in case the Bar Ethics committee came looking for Alice at the behest of Adam’s father. The young lady’s smile faded, and she began slowly. “Well . . . you may not want to hear this Alice, but I think the boy is a danger to himself and others. With what he’s been through, it would be completely normal for him to be abnormal, if you know what I mean. Kids who are abused often hide within themselves. What’s left for outsiders to deal with is often a mask – and kids are smart. They know which mask to use with each adult they encounter. You said he took to Luke like a house afire, but took all afternoon to trust you. He could be engaging in a kind of xenization within the world he finds himself, but adapting quickly. That kind of adaptation is highly unstable.” She paused, “I should know. I did it myself.”
“But you never hurt anyone,” Alice countered. “No…but do you remember that I cut all the stuffed animals in the house to ribbons when I was placed with that one family?”Kat asked. “Yes, and boy did it take some fast talking with the judge for me to keep you out of the looney bin!” Alice agreed. “Well, the father in that family reminded me of my abuser. I just had a feeling about it and was terrified. That was the only way I had figured out to get out of the situation. Now think about Adam. He was in the woods with his mom, who he feels a need to save, and here comes Luke who wants to save him by taking him away from his mom. He didn’t have any scissors or stuffed animals. He had to stop Luke in whatever way he could.”
The girl paused, then continued. “Alice, I think he could be a danger to the Carmody family. There may be some part of what his dad is saying that is true – Adam is sick and needs some help. Even if he's the one who has created the situation, he may be right about its effect in Adam. And, one thing you have taught me Alice is that just because you don't like Trent Tradoch doesn't mean he is the one who abused Adam.”
“Thanks, Kat,” Alice replied. “I needed your perspective. I think I need to make some phone calls."
"Alice, one more thing?" inquired Kat. Alice nodded for her to go ahead. "Is Luke still on the "Do Not Accept Calls" List?" Alice laughed and said, "I guess not. We have a lot to talk about." Kat's sunny smile broke back out, "then do you want to know that he has called seven time this morning? And the last time he said he'd be coming over with lunch at 11:30?"
Kat thought she heard Alice humming as she went back to her office.