#Comedy #Drama: The Convict, the Rookie Card and the Redemption of Gertie Thump
by Author Becky Lyn Rickman
The plot is clever and quick, with more twists and turns than a switchback mountain road.
Rosedale has a thorn, and her name is Gertie Thump.
When folks see her walking down the sidewalk, they cross to the other side of the street. Gertie’s mission in life is to improve Rosedale’s citizenry through a steady stream of belittling, correction, and harassment. The only person unfazed by her campaign is the town’s deputy sheriff, Seth Randall, who has his own mission. Seth also serves as associate pastor of a local church, and he will not rest until he saves Gertie’s soul.
But redemption is a word easier said than done. Add Gertie’s childhood friend turned convict, an extremely valuable rookie baseball card, and a plate of cookies delivered with threatening messages, and you’ve got yourself a hornet’s nest of trouble.
About the Author:
Having only attended a handful of creative writing classes and workshops, Ms. Rickman defers to her life experience for her credentials. She follows the Evelyn Waugh school of thought, as follows:
“Novel-writing is a laborious trade. The raw material is every single thing one has ever seen or heard or felt, and one has to go over the vast rubbish-heap of experience, scraping and delving, until one finds a few discarded valuables.”
Ms. Rickman’s rubbish heap includes: over 70 addresses, a marriage to a man who dated other women and one to a man who dated other men, a significant hand in raising over 50 children (including biological, steps, and fosters), serving and advocating in the areas of Special Olympics, literacy, hospice, pre-school reading programs, drug rehabs, and domestic violence. She has, herself, spent 15 months as a homeless single mother.
Her writing credits include: editorials for local newspapers, the voice of Booker the bookshop cat (who did brilliant and articulate book reviews and commentaries), website articles, well-crafted notes to her children’s teachers, captivating shopping lists, scathingly brilliant letters of accusation followed by the inevitable ensuing and heart-wrenching letters of apology. She is a contributor to Family Share, putting her vast array of experience and failures to good use writing articles on a multitude of topics surrounding family, mostly sharing how NOT to do it.
Her articles have received over a 250K views. She has also completed several novels: When Renoir Loved Thomas Jefferson and Grimm’s Last Fairy Tale, as well as The Convict, the Rookie Card and the Redemption of Gertie Thump, from WiDō Publishing and due out this winter. She has also written several humorous how-to books, including: How to Be a Man in a Woman’s Life and How to Be a Human in a Cat’s Life.
Free Chapter: Chapter Two
“Evening, Ms. Thump. Lovely weather we’re having, isn’t it?”
There he was, in all his holiness. Seth Randall, full-time deputy and part-time associate pastor of the Church of Everyone’s a Christian, Even the Heathens, They Just Don’t Know It Yet. He measured about 6’3” in his boat shoes and wore his perfectly pressed Dockers and light blue button-down oxford shirt. He grinned with teeth so big and white, any dentist would be proud. He looked like the scales of justice with a plate of homemade cookies in one hand and the Holy Bible in the other. Those must have been some hearty cookies to balance out his scriptures and the stack of tracts hidden underneath.
The town of Rosedale greatly respected and admired Seth for his perfect little family, his immaculate house, and his non-existent capacity for remembering how much Gertie despised him. He was the only one in town who dared knock on her door, relentless in his mission to bring her unto salvation.
His wife, Janet, was one of those mousy little women who wore those empire waist jumpers in neutral colors and big pockets in the front to hold her tissues in case the spirit overcame her. Gertie supposed she wore those jumpers because they were universal and she got away with wearing them whether or not she had a bun in the oven. So far, they had six little Randalls, all blond, home schooled, with the same toothy grin of their father, and all with Biblical names: Zedekiah, Rebekah, Ruth, Daniel, Ezekiel, and Noah. They sometimes accompanied Seth on his ecclesiastical rounds, but never when he visited Gertie.
She had pulled a gun on him a few times in an effort to scare him away. For some reason, completely out of the realm of her sensibilities, he continued to return. This flummoxed her no end.
“Seth Randall, why are you darkening my doorstep this evening?”
“Well, Ms. Thump, I’ve got some fresh-baked molasses cookies warm from the oven and I just thought you might like some. I know they’re your favorite.”
“You know nothing of the kind. What makes you think they’re my favorite?”
“They’re the one thing you haven’t thrown back at me.” He chortled awkwardly and Gertie gave him the stink eye, which put a stop to his silliness. He cleared his throat and continued, “I just thought you might enjoy dipping some in a cold glass of milk while you—”
“Let me finish your sentence for you, Seth: while I read over the latest brochure on saving my soul?”
“I thought you might like to—”
“Sit down and talk with you about the profundity of some passage which enlightened you this week while you were reading in your Bible?”
“Please don’t mock me, Ms. Thump. I’m just trying to be friendly and share the gift of God’s word.”
“No, you’re not. You’re trying to set me on the path to salvation and you’re doing it by bringing me guilt cookies. Well, I don’t need your cookies or your salvation, thank you!”
Gertie watched as Seth turned and left, but she knew he’d return the next week, undaunted by her belligerence, with new pamphlets and warm cookies.