The Christmas Pundit (Laurel Holidays #2) - V.L. Locey Page 0,1

sunny day.

“There, see how nicely things work out when we compromise?” I asked, pushing to my feet to offer my hand to Berger. He eyed it warily but finally gave in, slapping his palm to mine. We shook in a most manly fashion, which I suspected he was shocked about. I’d run into lots of that kind of crap while I’d been campaigning against the incumbent mayor, Ralph Kitterman. Everyone in my hometown knew I was gay. I’d been one of the first of “them vocal gays” in the county to come out and wave my rainbow goodness proudly way back in high school. “So, if there’s not anything else, I’ll let you two go meet WCO Carlota and tend to that doe, and I’ll get back to work on the Christmas Carnival fundraising committee work.”

Oats got to his feet, offered me his hand, shook, and then crammed his red ballcap back onto his bald head.

“Told you he was a smart one,” I heard Berger mumble as they left my office.

“Kitterman was smarter,” Carson replied with his usual obstinance.

“Kitterman was a horse’s ass,” Berger fired back.

I chuckled, shook my head, and then let Mara handle them in the outer office. Shutting the door behind my warring constituents, I sighed, stretched, and gave my sanctum a pleased perusal. There wasn’t much to peruse. A desk littered with papers and a desktop that took forever to load up due to the dreadful internet we had up here in Northcentral Pennsylvania. One window but you had to stand on a chair to see Main Street, a chair in front of my desk that was here when Eisenhower was in the Oval Office and two flags. One the American and one the state, shoved into one corner while a filing cabinet lurked in another corner and a rickety coat rack hid in yet another. The fourth corner had a stand with brochures about Cedarburg and a picture of my parents who lived five minutes away. I flopped down into my one new extravagance, an office chair from the mall up in Corning, New York. I no longer felt like fiddling with the dismal numbers on the fundraising reports. Maybe my aide would be calling in from home with better news. Like more money news. If he could get his damn cell to work out in the boonies, which was never a given. God but we needed new infrastructure out here.

That had been one of my top five running points when I’d gone up against Kitterman. Infrastructure, updating wastewater practices, working on creating the right kind of rural roads, pushing for new ways to lure businesses into our community thereby creating jobs that will keep the young people in Cedarburg, and adding more housing choices for our rapidly growing elderly population. Oh, and a new fence around the elementary school. All those problems, plus hundreds more, were mine now.

Those five platforms had appealed to the four thousand people in my town, and they’d been able to overlook the fact that I was a little light in the loafers. I’d been rabidly pushing our nearest cell provider to build two new towers for us as well as begging Harrisburg for some road and bridge work next summer. The capital wasn’t keen on hearing about my little issues all the way up by the New York State border. They were more concerned with what Philadelphia and Pittsburgh needed, which was total bullshit.

There were farms in the outlying areas of my town that still had no internet accessibility, or it was so poor students couldn’t run videos for homeschooling or homework assignments. I ran a hand over my face. I bet they all had highspeed access in Harrisburg and the two big Ps. I scrubbed at my face even harder.

There was so much to do. Kitterman had been a stick in the mud. A hard-as-nails stickler for law and order, apple pie, and the good old days. He also was an obnoxious ass who’d been stunned to learn that a queer had beaten him by over three hundred votes back in May. Guess the people of Cedarburg were tired of living in nineteen forty-nine. Or at least the majority were. It had been a stunning upset win given the county was as red as a Honeycrisp apple and I was as blue as a Smurf. Imagine that! My blue democratic gay ass beat the good old boys republican red incumbent.

Reaching over my head I padded around my desk Copyright 2016 - 2024