At this rate, half the book will be on my blog before it’s released into the world! Hahahahah.
Today, a little tidbit concerning family members. Fiona Scallopini is Colleen’s 93 year old, 4 times married and widowed Irish born and bred grandmother. She’s feisty, unfailingly loyal, and loves nothing more than to buck the system. In this scene, she’s being held in the town jail by Chief of Police Lucas Alexander for a traffic violation. Colleen is tasked with bailing her out, something she and her sisters have done before….lots of times before.
The hallway opened into a kitchen. The decor was circa nineteen sixties, the table an oval of solid oak surrounded by four chairs, one of which was occupied by a leprechaun. A flaming red-headed leprechaun with the bluest eyes ever produced. While the eyes were their birth color, the hair was not. The shade was simply one not found anywhere in nature. I knew it came out of a box—two different boxes, in fact—because Nanny had never been able to find the exact color she desired, so she created her own. All the O’Dowd women resembled our grandmother in coloring and facial structure. My sisters and I could still claim, truthfully, our red hair was from God.
“Nanny, I’m here.”
“Praise the Lord.” She jumped up from the chair and bolted across the room with more speed and vigor than a woman in her nineties should have. “Get me outta here, Number Two. Tilly’s probably having a coronary wondering where I am. I need to get to the home.”
As she spoke, her eyes grazed over Slade and narrowed thoughtfully. “And who might this be?” she asked, pointing her chin in his direction, but addressing me. “Got the look of a legal man about ’im.”
Before Slade could introduce himself, I moved to the other man in the room, one I’d known since birth.
“Lucas, what’s all this about? What’s Nanny done?”
“I’ve done nothin’, child. I’m falsely accused. Police brutality, ’tis. Pure and simple.” Nanny did her best to pull herself up some in height, but even standing on the tops of her toes, she couldn’t achieve more than four foot ten.
“Nanny, please.” I turned back to the chief. “Lucas?”
“It’s what she didn’t do, Coll, that has her sitting here. Her driver’s license expired.”
“Oh, my God, is that all?” I relaxed for the first time since the phone call. “She can just retake the test, then. Her license isn’t too far out of date, is it?”
Lucas looked at Nanny and said, “Do you want to tell her when it expired?”
Nanny’s mouth clamped shut.
“Well?” My gaze bounced between them. “How long ago?”
“Ten years,” Lucas said.
What? “Te-ten? Years?”
Lucas nodded, flicked his gaze to my grandmother and then back to me.
“Obviously, you didn’t know. I wouldn’t have either, but she ran through the stop sign—”
“I did no such t’ing!” Nanny shouted.
Lucas ignored her. “—on Purgatory Place. Pete Bergeron was sitting in the squad and saw her blast through it.”
“Lies! All lies.”
“Nanny, please.” My hand flew to my left eye, bracing it when it started twitching like a meth addict in need of a fix. I turned back to Lucas. “Go on.”
I had to give the man credit. He never lost his composure when Nanny yelled her accusations. He simply waited until she wound down. “Like I said, Pete saw her run the stop and then gave chase.”
“Lights a-blaring, sirens a-blasting like he was chasing a notorious criminal.” Nanny shook her bottle-dyed head, the corners of her lips pulling down to her chin, a click of her tongue echoing with disgust. “The whole of Glory Road saw him barreling down on me like I was Whitey Bulger himself, come back from the grave!”
I ignored her outburst, never correcting her that the famous mobster was still alive and well and living out his days incarcerated.
“When he finally got her to stop,” Lucas continued, “he asked for her license and registration, and where she was speeding off to so fast she blew the stop sign.”
Nanny made a rude noise, crossed her arms in front of her chest, and said, “The man’s a complete askhole.”
“Excuse me?” Lucas’s voice dropped several notches. I imagined criminals wet their pants when he used it on them.
“It’s what she calls people who ask—in her opinion—stupid and pointless questions,” I explained quickly. “Askholes.”
My pulse slowed a little when I saw the ghost of a grin tug at his mouth. “The car’s registered to your dad,” he said after a moment.
I rubbed my eye, then batted it a few times to focus. “Daddy left it for her to use when he and Mom moved. Is the registration expired, too?”
“No. Just her license to operate a vehicle.” He finally turned his full attention back to my grandmother. “What I can’t understand is why you let it go so long, Fiona.”
“Don’t’cha be addressing me as anyt’ing other than Mrs. Scaloppini. You’ve lost the right to use me Christian name, treating me like a criminal as ya are. I used to wipe your snotty nose when your ma brought ya to catechism class. You’ve no cause to be calling me Fiona as if we were friends. We’re not from this moment on and never shall be.”
Nanny Fee provides a great deal of the humor – and angst – for the O’Dowd sisters in my MAtch Made in Heaven series. I just love me a feisty grannie!
DEARLY BELOVED, Book 1 in a Match Made in Heaven, Coming in November 2018 – I’ll post the pre-order links as soon as I have them!