Mad Season for Profit!
Prelude to a Requiem
A gun, a knife, a nylon rope already fashioned in a noose, rat poison, antifreeze, and pills seemed intentionally sorted from left to right in a order of decreasing gore. While McKell slept, her father had meticulously arranged the methods of suicide like a psychotic buffet across the cherry oak desk. Stationary and a pen served as an unspoken parental command: Do this right. Leave a proper note. Don’t embarrass your family. The girl reasoned through a mind haze of hunger and pain. She understood her parents’ deep need to maintain appearances, but that need got her imprisoned in the basement bedroom and kept her from her high school graduation. She never imagined their faith and fear could manifest so cruelly.
The gun hurt her feelings the most. The Pastor and Mrs. Proffit entertained no sentimental ideas about their daughter’s future funeral. McKell was certain of that. They never considered looking lovingly into an open casket and mourning what might have been—not if they made a gunshot wound to the head an option. They just wanted her dead and didn’t care how she did it. In their minds, suicide was the best solution for a teenager supposedly possessed by the devil, but McKell decided she would not die by her own hand. If her parents were determined to allow their only child to starve to death in the basement, murder would be her story’s end. She did not feel shame or regret that God gave her the gift of revelation.