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Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon FIRST CHAPTER

Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon FIRST CHAPTER

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Published by steph_duncan_ssd
The New Moody Fiction Novel by Debbie Fuller Thomas
The New Moody Fiction Novel by Debbie Fuller Thomas

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Published by: steph_duncan_ssd on Dec 03, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/13/2012

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~ 40 ~
 
~ 41 ~
Tuesday
 
Night
 
at
 
the
 
Blue
 
Moon
by Debbie Fuller Thomas978-0-8024-8733-9
Chapter OneMarty 
Andie sat across the courtroom wedged between her grandparents, blonde head tucked, jaw clenched in anger, eyes darting in dread. Avoiding my side of the room. She took mybreath away, she was so, so beautiful. Quicksilver. A perfect amalgam of Deja and Winnie,my other daughters. There was no question that she belonged to us.Dad exchanged greetings with the sheriff as he passed our row. We weren’t strangers here.The rst time we came to this courtroom, we petitioned to have Ginger’s hospital birth recordsopened. When you lose a child to a genetic disease that doesn’t haunt your family, you want toknow why.Four babies were born on the night of October 31, 1993, at Interfaith Hospital. One was African American, one was Hispanic, and two were female Caucasians. DNA samplesconrmed that the precious child I’d buried two years before wasn’t mine, and that AndreaHayley Lockhart was actually my biological child. We weren’t trying to replace the child we’d lost, though the thought clawed my protectivegrief on sleepless nights. No one could ever replace Ginger.I didn’t just lose her. The minute the birth records were opened, I lost possession of her.Sole ownership. At least I never had to hand her over to strangers.Dad sat beside me doodling a perfect likeness of Andie on the manila folder stuffed withevidence that argued our right to disrupt her life. I squeezed his arm gently, so my nailsdidn’t pinch. Though we wanted Andie desperately, we only wanted the best for her and would accept whatever judgment the court handed down. She wasn’t a bone to be fought overby Dobermans. Was it right to take Andie away from her grandparents? I wasn’t fully convinced until
 
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I saw her picture in the tabloids. Her face side-by-side with Ginger’s, had framed my gutinstinct that something was always slightly out of focus.I sneaked furtive glances across the courtroom. Andie chewed her nails with one kneepumping and bouncing. The grandmother touched Andie’s knee and her legs stilled. When Andie looked up, the grandmother’s eyes lingered on her face. They had no needfor words.People led in, blocking my view. The odor of stale tobacco and body odor intensiedalong with the crowd and the heat, aggravating my nerves, adding to the tension in my neck from straining to catch glimpses of Andie. What a shame, the way the grandmother dressed her. Andie’s skirt and blouse could havebeen sewn from my mother’s vintage yardage tucked away with her treadle sewing machine.There was a talcum powder-look about her, as though in the two years since she’d lost herparents, Andie had soared over adolescence, skimmed the surface waters of adulthood, andcome to rest with her grandparents in their rocking chairs on the far shore. It couldn’t behealthy in a girl of thirteen.I glimpsed the familiar, unwelcome Mia Cross seated directly behind Andie. Mia was a local reporter who’d covered Ginger’s struggle with Niemann-Pick for the paperthe year before, and hounded us for interviews when she learned about the baby switch.She’d obviously chosen her next victim.The judge entered from a side door and took his seat. Voices fell to a whisper. Thebailiff called case after case, moving us closer to our own. A woman sought a restraining order against her boyfriend. A father requested shared custody with his child’s mother. A single mom wanted to garnish her ex-husband’s wages for child support. A uniformed sheriff waited at the door as a reminder to keep things civilized. A man at the end of our row squeezed past, and when I untangled my legs to let himthrough, my skirt twisted against the velveteen seat cushions. I wore the navy suit I’d boughtfor Ginger’s funeral. The polyester blend was more suited to that rainy spring morning thanthis July afternoon that groped for the century mark. I touched a tissue to my forehead andchin, wishing the humming electric fan faced us instead of the judge.The bailiff called our case. Dad gave me a nod of encouragement and I got to my feet,

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