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Ed Sheeran Wouldn't Treat Me This Way


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Noli Joudain

Magnolia Belle Joudain; middle child, pre-school teacher, adept in many things and master of none; she would never be the strikingly attractive socialite her younger sister was and certainly not the adrenaline junkie her elder brother had always been. Noli was simply herself; unimpressive, seemingly meek at times, and always, always, always the fixer of the baby’s problems.

3:00 AM, Cocodrie, Louisiana

Living off the beaten track had its advantages in being quiet, isolated; far from civilization but not quite so far into the boondocks that Noli wouldn’t return home after dark. Plus, as most good Southern girls do, she was always packing and a crack shot, so traveling in the darkened bayou wasn’t an issue.

However, the disadvantages sometimes reared their ugly heads. Animals under the house. In the house. Everywhere. Poachers tend to stay away with a warning shot but sometimes, only sometimes, someone would find their way into trespassing, by accident, at least she hoped so.

Tonight, however, all things were peaceful. Mostly because everyone had travelled into N’awlins for Fat Tuesday and by everyone, Noli would mean the little sister that had taken up residence in her spare room finally left her in peace. These were the kind of days (and nights) that Noli lived for.

Twenty little drawings to enjoy, a great dinner with a glass of wine, a lovely romp through the woods with her darling hound. Round off all that excitement with a long soak and some lively television show before bed, to her it was wonderful; it was a good life.

Not exciting, nor very entertaining to most looking in; but it was her life and she was more than okay with that.

If she was lucky this peaceful respite from her sister would remain and Emeline would be whisked off by some new suitor on a grand adventure and Noli could resume her quiet life without interruption.

February 19, 2018 03:23 pm

Noli Joudain

Noli was regretting that second glass of wine while abruptly waking from the oddest dream one could possibly have, at least for her; something about tightrope performers and Ed Sheeran dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow would make anyone have regrets. Especially when the lovely part of the dream suddenly took a nightmarish turn, no singing, just loud screaming danger coming from a void somewhere in the middle of the Sheeranmare's face.

Of course, it was only Noli's ringtone set for her sister, a warning; clearly. But imagine going from peaceful, wine-induced dreams to some kind of hellish Cirque du Soleil with an oceanic theme; obviously this was a warning from the great beyond.

Do not answer the phone.

Being a normal, mostly, Louisiana woman that certainly didn't have any kind of superstitious bone in her body; she still wouldn’t have answered the phone. It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that her grandmother preached long and hard about nothing good coming after midnight.

Nor did it concern her that three in the morning was the so-called "witching hour".

Dreams, totally warnings. Superstitious prattle, alright, it's also warnings.

Either way, she was not picking up the phone.

Until she did, but only to decline the call. There was no way, even half-comatose, that Noli would get back to sleep with it screeching at her; would be worse had she answered it, luckily, she's smarter than that. At least, sometimes, but right now, drifting back into slumber, intelligence wasn't high on the list of the few attributes she possessed.
February 19, 2018 03:51 pm

Noli Joudain

Danger... Danger... Danger...

"Ed Sheeran wouldn't treat me this way." Noli didn't whine, that was more Emi's shtick, so when the words leftover from a dreamstate were mumbled sleepily accompanied with a slight whimper; it was the shock needed to push the brunette into some semblance of wakefulness. Exasperated as she was, if it was so important to repeatedly call, the least Noli could do is answer the call from her sister; superstitions be damned.

"Call..." A midsentence yawn would pause the directive she was about to spout, while one glassy, hazel eye would wander to the bedside table, hunting for the glass of water she could have sworn she had placed there before falling into bed. "Landry."

Feet would hit the floor while simultaneously moving a finger to end the conversation, moving toward the small kitchen to retrieve something cool to ease her scratchy throat, but before she could disconnect the call, the sniffling on the other end could be heard before her sister finally spoke.

"Frecks, I did something bad..."
"Don't call me that name. I said to call Landry, it's his turn to bail you out."
"It's not my fault you have weird eyes..."

Those 'weird eyes' would move heavenward; the blasted nickname had stuck since they were children and while technically Emi was right, it wasn't her fault, the name was solely due to her sister. Between the name and the sectoral heterochromia dotting her hazel eyes; Noli was severely self-conscious. Though she didn't have time to really mull over just how much it traumatized her, because already the voice was interrupting her thoughts and pulling her back to the here and now.

"I think I killed a man, Noli... I'm on my way to your house."
February 19, 2018 05:07 pm

Noli Joudain

There she was, standing in her barely lit kitchen in an oversized teeshirt staring at her phone and wondering why on earth she answered the phone; apparently it wouldn't have mattered because Emeline was on her way to her home, running from one problem Noli didn't think she could actually help with.

She just couldn't panic. Maybe it was normal Emi, making mountains out of molehills, it was possible; not that she had ever killed anyone before that Noli was aware of and since she was usually the one to clean up after her sister, she was pretty sure this was a first.

At least she had some time to dwell on it. Maybe. Frankly, Noli wasn't sure how long it would take her sister to arrive considering she didn't take the time to tell her where she was; at the most, Noli was looking at near to a couple of hours. Enough time to brew strong coffee, get dressed; and more importantly, wake up enough to deal with whatever was coming her way.

It didn't take the young woman long to get herself motivated, it wasn't long before she felt awake enough to tackle her sister's issues; hot shower, clothed, and sitting at the kitchen table pouring copious amounts of caffeine into her system certainly did the trick. It was definitely a good thing Noli was so low-maintenance because it didn't take the younger Joudain very long to slam through the side door leaving the eldest of the two staring at a very bedraggled and hysterical version of her baby sister.

"I don't know what happened! One minute we're in the car laughing and the next..." The younger of the two women would suck in air, before stomping her dainty feet toward her sister and dramatically falling into the chair across from Noli. "He got dark and it frightened me and you know how Papa always said to carry a weapon so I had this silver letter opened from Maman and I... I... killed him"

The keening wail that her words ended on would provoke action from Noli, if only to shut the younger one up so that she could think; feet would propel her outward into the eerie darkness of a very early morning as she could only assume that after plunging the sharpened blade, her sister would drive here without disposing of a body.

Because that would be Noli's job. Of course.

At least her sister had enough common sense to pull around behind the house rather than next to the old truck Noli had inherited from their grandfather; granted it wasn't the optimal area to see into the darkened vehicle to prove or disprove Emi's dead guy. It took mere seconds to reach the cooling car, even less time for Noli's hazel orbs to fall on the man with a letter opened sticking out of his chest and barely two shakes of a lamb's tail before the young woman gagged, screwed her eyes shut and backed away from the car.
February 20, 2018 08:07 am

Noli Joudain

"I told you he was dead."

The voice that had contributed to Noli's stress-related eye tic had also nearly caused her own death by heart attack as she suppressed a scream and whirled around on her sister. Now all she had to do was figure out how to prevent her sister from going to prison, but once again, her thoughts were interrupted.

"I didn't know it would do that."

"Emeline... How... Wh... What the f*ck did you think it was going to do? Did you expect it to ppffth around like a godd*mn popped balloon?" Hands waved in the air mimicking a balloon befor the brunette pressed her hands against her eyes, wishing this was just some warped version of her earlier Ed Sheeran dreammare. Only the shocked gasp from Emi would have those hands drop away and hazel eyes glaring at the alarmed look on the blonde woman's face.

"Noli, you cursed."

"Oh, for land sakes. Go get a wheelbarrow, Emi. Right now. Just go before I kill you and feed you to the gators, as well." She had cursed. That was what her sister was going to focus on, granted, if she had just killed someone, Noli figured that she would want to nitpick about anything else, rather than the murder she had committed.

It didn't take long before she heard the huffing and puffing of her sister; the sounds of someone who was not use to menial labor, especially over the Cyprus roots that grew almost comically large out in the bayou. Still, in no time, well, it was a bit of time, neither of them was exactly Lou Ferrigno, however, the sisters would somehow manage to move the body so that disposal would be a little easier. Not that Noli was handling it well, she could scale fish and skin rabbits but dead bodies were a little out of her wheelhouse and gagging every few minutes proved that.
February 22, 2018 08:25 am

Noli Joudain

Giving up her snake-waders to her little sister was a bitter pill to swallow, but it did help that if she died at the edge of the bayou, there was no way her sister wouldn't go to jail with no one else covering her ass, so for now she'd let the spoiled child have her own way and remained silent as they pushed and pulled their way through the wooded swamplands.

Noli knew there would be no repayment, not even a ''thank you for saving me'. Yet, she could not in good conscience let her sister rot in prison, even if she clearly belonged there and a dose of reality would likely do that girl some good, maybe.

But that wasn't her job.
Somehow, their parents failed at that a long time ago.
Her job was to keep her safe, right? Did that include covering up murder?

Daylight was coming so she couldn't dwell overly long on the right and wrong of the matter-at-hand; she needed to light a fire under them and get the body out into gatorland, which wouldn't be that hard if she had a normal sister. One that was capable of... well, anything.

Not that she could expect Emeline to know how to get rid of a body, because she didn't herself. But, if Noli could think of one person that might know how to avoid prison, it would be her sister.

All Noli could do is hope the Bayou was in a giving mood and the gators were hungry; a silent prayer went to anyone who was listening as she pulled the letter opener from the chest with a sickening pop. Maneuvering the wheelbarrow and lifting the dead weight proved to be harder than she thought, but Noli would manage to spill the corpse upon damp ground.

This would be followed by another retching interlude before her foot pushed against the body to try and roll him toward the seemingly stagnant water; lucky for the girls, the things that lurked on the bottom of the bayou would hide the crime. Only then did she hear the slight moan come from the direction that the body had landed before the splash was heard and then all that remained was the eerie silence of the usually alive with nocturnal sounds swamp.

Noli would easily brush that off as nothing, even if in her gut things didn't feel quite right as she pushed her sister back towards her home.

She would attribute it to the fact that she just hid a body.
Anyone in her shoes would feel out of sorts.
Now to clean up the rest of this entire mess.
February 26, 2018 12:16 pm

Noli Joudain

"There wasn't much blood. Isn't that a bit odd?" Noli was really having trouble with this entire wanting to vomit thing; she really couldn't wait to put this all behind her, so her observation skills were mediocre at best, for the moment, so she didn't really pay attention to the blood, just that she hadn't notice any on the seat in the car.

"You'll go back to N'awlins. You will have the car detailed, get the works, every single inch. You will gather your things from whatever hotel you were in and you'll return the car to the rental agency. Get on a plane and go to maman and papa. I want you to call me as soon as you're back in the city and when you get to Virginia."

Dealing with twenty, four and five-year old heathens would give Noli the ability to tune out the whining she knew would come and of course, the upper hand when it came to dealing with different situations; she was quite used to commanding a room, even if this was a bit different and usually just meekly went along with whatever her sister did or said, if only to keep her out of trouble.

Today was different.
Noli was different.
She was changing.
She was an accomplice.

One that was starting to sweat bullets; the sun was making its way above the skyline and with it came the heat of the day to help out the humidity, granted, that probably wasn't the reason she was sweatin' like a politician on election day.

Now she just had to survive the day and wait for the phone calls; after another shower, more coffee, and a short drive to Little Cailou Elementary School, Noli's phone had still not made a sound, but getting preoccupied by her students would push the thought to the back of her mind. She would just call Emi when school let out and every few minutes after that until she answered; because there is no telling what the girl could get into if left alone for any amount of time.

Like, say, murder.

Panic was starting to set in after Noli had no calls and no answer as she drove home; but she wouldn't let it control her seeing as Emeline was definitely one to beat to her own drum and would call days later with some outlandish excuse, but that wouldn't ease the block of lead that had settled in her gut. Noli just couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong.
March 05, 2018 08:47 am

Noli Joudain

Dinnertime had come and gone with no call from her baby sister; Noli tried to not let it get to her as she took Sabine for her usual romp and tried to stomach food and a comedy on the television, but much to her chagrin, she couldn't focus on anything but her terrible, ungrateful, spoiled baby sist...

Danger.... Danger... Danger...

It seemed like ages since she had heard her sister's ringtone and for once, she wasn't coming up with an excuse to not answer it; instead Noli pounced on the phone to give her sister a dressing down for needlessly worrying her. But, before she could even take a breath to launch into her tirade, a bloodcurdling scream came from through and the line went dead.

Magnolia could swear this was the exact moment her life changed; the scream from Emi and subsequently her own heart stopping as minutes dragged on and her hand constantly dialing her sister back. She had one other option and she knew it wasn't a great one but searched up the number anyway and waited for the pickup.

"Little sister! Can't talk. Going out."
"Emi... something's wrong. She called... screaming. Won't answer."
"It's Mardi Gras week, cher. Laissez les bons temps rouler. She's fooling."
"No, Lan.. She's not fooli.."
"Let it go, Frecks, gotta go!"

The young woman knew it was only a matter of time before her head imploded with the amount of bull she had to put up with from her siblings; until then, she was not going to let it go, she would do something she never thought possible.

In all of her twenty-seven years, she had never once ventured toward the great city of New Orleans during Mardi Gras and now, as she packed her bags, made calls to her boss for an extended leave, and got her Catahoula loaded up into the old truck, Noli knew that deep down once she left, there would be a slim chance of her never coming back.

Her heart might have stopped earlier, but now it was breaking and she had no time at all to reflect on that; except the hour and forty-five minute drive it would take to get to the city.

At least she had Sabine for company and the radio.

Playing Ed Sheeran.

"Well, isn't that f*cking perfect."
March 05, 2018 09:28 am
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