Before Things Got Weird

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Credits for the images in this composite may be found in the story links included below.

Links to all chapters +chapter 1 of Things Get Weird appear at the end of the synopsis below.

Thank you again Mateja Klaric for believing in me. I found out through the grapevine that you don’t believe in everybody.

The story opens with Carl meeting his ex wife Alexa, his 4-year old son, and Alexa’s one year old by her second husband, Ray, at the airport. She has fled her second marriage with Carl’s financial help.

Alexa left Carl, a much sought after engineer specializing in fluid flow, for his childhood friend and then current BFF Ray. Ray had been attending Carl and Alexa’s Wiccan circles as Alexa became increasingly disappointed with Carl as a sex partner. Attracted to Ray, she leaves Carl for him, taking Carl Jr. Soon after Ray and Alexa marry Alexa discovers kiddie porn on Ray’s computer, but bides her time. When he becomes abusive she calls the police about the kiddie porn. Ray receives a ten year sentence.

We learn that as a pre-teen, Alexa acquired the habit of masturbating to the crucifix when attending the Roman Catholic church of her childhood. A priest who witnesses this molests her. Alexa blames herself and resolves never to masturbate in church again. Unable to hold to this vow, she asks for and receives her own crucifix from her mother so that she can confine this activity to home.

Upon reaching the adulthood she leaves the church in disgust, fueled in large part by her conviction that Christianity is about sex but no one wants to admit it.

She marries Carl, who introduces her to Wicca. On a road trip she finds a newspaper advert seeking people who had been molested as children by a certain defrocked priest whose name, Ethan Walsh, she recognizes as the one who had molested her. She testifies at his trial. He is sentenced to a lengthy prison term.

Carl begins visiting Ray in prison. Carl and Ray had formed an especially strong bond in childhood after Ray came to live with Carl following a particularly brutal incident of child abuse perpetrated upon Ray by his father during one of his frequent drunken rages. During a prison visit, Ray points out a prison friend whom Carl recognizes as Ethan Walsh. Carl reveals his molestation of Alexa to Ray, who breaks it off with Ethan. Carl continues to exchange letters with and visit Ray, who comes under threat from a white supremacist prison gang and checks himself into protective custody. There he meets Star Extreme, a trans prisoner who encourages him to claim that the gang threatened him sexually so that he can claim protection under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).

As Ray’s letters become increasingly frantic and demanding Carl begins to suspect him of lying and ghosts him.

Ray Jr grows into a high school athlete who throws himself into football with such ferocity that he is damaged and develops a neurological disorder with Parkinson’s-like symptoms.

The story fast forwards to a time when Carl and Alexa, still friends, retire. By this time Carl has abandoned Wicca and become seriously Christian. Upon retirement he renters college with the intention of becoming an Episcopal priest but stops short of completing divinity school.

Carl Jr has made a life for himself but Ray Jr lives with Alexa, collecting disability. To Alexa’s surprise Carl maintains a relationship with Ray Jr. Alexa’s mother has entered hospice care. Her death opens Things Get Weird.

The full story is available by using the links below.

At the airport, Wicca, Alexa leaves Carl, Ray’s arrest:

Alexa and the crucifix. Alexa is molested by a parish priest named Ethan Walsh. Alexa becomes disenchanted with Carl and attracted to Ray:

Alexa finds a way to seek justice. Alexa’s flight and remarriage. Carl starts fucking a mutual friend. Ray and Carl as childhood friends. Carl dives into The Gorge:

Carl’s mother steps in to assist Ray’s family through its dissolution, Ray comes to live with Carl and his family. They form a lasting bond. Fast forward to Carl on his way to visit Ray in prison. On the plane Carl hears a compelling story from a stranger:

Alexa testifies. Carl visits Ray in prison, reveals that Ray’s prison friend is Ethan Walsh. That Ethan Walsh. Ray comes under threat, retreats to protective custody, meets Star Extreme:

Star Extreme persuades Ray to accuse those who threatened him of making sexual threats and to write dishonest letters to Carl (and to his — Ray’s — sister) so that they might support his PREA bid. Fast forward to Alexa’s mother in hospice care:

The story continues:

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No woman ever murdered her husband while he was washing the dishes.

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No woman ever murdered her husband while he was washing the dishes.

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