A women’s Brokeback Mountain.

by Amos the Preacher
from the book The persecution of Mildred Dunlap
by Paulette Dunlap

Everybody has a story. And, then there are those that like to make up stories about others, usually no good comes of this. I hear it all, in confession, in counseling, and there isn’t a thing that would surprise me any more. I’ve come to realize that everyone in this here town has a secret, some to protect their preference, others to protect their self-esteem, cause of what’s been done to them, I mean nobody wants to be  taking about being raped, even though the whole town knows about it. The thing that puzzles me is why Mildred Dunlap never likes to talk about all the good she does for the town, loaning just about everyone money to help them through the rough winters, putting food on tables, helping pay mortgages. That woman does more good than any single person I’ve ever met; whole town knows it yet they are so damn mean to her. But then I know why.

Author Paulette Manhurin

Yes, indeed, everyone has a story, a secret, things they don’t want to let on to, you live long enough in this here place and you see it, you watch and find out, like with Josie, her secret turned up in the most unexpected way, and she has no idea that it’s known. She thinks she’s so smart, putting down Mildred and anybody who gets in her way, well there’s someone in town that knows all about her, and that may come in handy for that person some day. If Josie keeps up her spewing hatred like she does she’s bound to bring the roof down on her head. I ain’t never heard such a mouth on a woman like that Josie and why everyone goes along with her, caters to her, is a mystery. Gotta be all those secrets, like the one Helene has, poor Helene.

Only person seems to be immune is Charley and he’s smart to keep his nose out of other’s business but for his beloved Emma’s death and the whole town coming to his aid and getting into his business he could not stay under the shadow he wanted to live in. A good man, that Charley, helps the kids at school, volunteers to do carpentry work, loves…excuse me, Lord, loved his wife, and when she went on, he was no use to anyone. Not until… well, I’m getting way ahead of myself, cause I made my point that Charley is a good man, was back when Emma was alive and … it’s just his nature, so he’ll continue on along that way, or at least I hope so. Just never know, cause everyone has secrets. Even me.

. The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; the United States expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine to cover South America; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for gross indecency under Britain’s recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When news of Wilde’s conviction went out over telegraphs worldwide, it threw a small Nevada town into chaos. This is the story of what happened when the lives of its citizens were impacted by the news of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment. It is a chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing.

All profits are going to Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, Ventura County, CA. (the first and only no-kill animal shelter in Ventura County). For more info contact the author through facebook. Buy a book; save a life. Press article: VC STAR Sept. 9, 2012 Sunday Life Section.

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