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Myshuno Prompt: Prohibition

Name: Not the Intention
Characters: James, Cindy, Marsha, Jefferson
Rating: PG for discussion of violence, and because James and Cindy can’t keep their hands off each other.
Summary:  The family copes with some of the unintended effects of Prohibition.
Notes: Canon.  This will be appearing in the next chapter in some form, so it is a spoiler.  I have not yet played the house, so I don’t know if the baby is a boy or a girl yet.
Word Count: 826
My Card
Cindy was lying on the floor of the nursery, watching the baby play with the dangly toys that Jefferson had bought.  It seemed so odd to her that just a few short months ago she’d been worried about being a mother.  Now it seemed like the most normal thing in the world to her.
She heard footsteps on the stairs, fast and heavy.  Jefferson and Marsha had gone to visit Viola, and besides, they would have made so much noise.  As she got up from the floor, the door to the nursery burst open and James rushed into the room.
“What’s wr…” Cindy began, but she was cut off when James pulled her into a tight embrace, and kissed her soundly.
After a few moments, he pulled away from the kiss, but kept his forehead pressed against hers and his arms wrapped tightly around her. 
“James, what’s wrong?”
“Shh,” he shushed her.  “Just let me hold you for a moment.  Please.”
“Of course,” she replied softly.
They stood there, James’ arms tight around his wife, for an unknown amount of time.  Eventually, the baby began to fuss, and Cindy made a move towards the infant.
“Let me,” James replied.  He scooped his child up, holding the baby close as he had just held his wife.  After a kiss on the forehead, he placed the baby in the crib.
Cindy came up behind him, and slipped an arm around his waist.  “Do you want to talk about it now?”
James nodded.  “It’ll be all over the news soon.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Mama and Papa bring back news of it.”
They moved to their bedroom, and sat down on the foot of the bed.  James took Cindy’s hands in his. 
“There was a shooting in Simcago yesterday.  A massacre, really.  One of the bootleg gangs tried to take out the leader of another, and in doing so shot up an old warehouse.  Seven men died, and they have no idea who did it, but it looks like Al Simpone.”
Cindy gasped.  “Are they certain it was Simpone?”
James chuckled darkly.  “He’s slippery as an eel, so no, they’re not certain.  But who else would want to make the other bootleggers disappear?”
“You don’t think something like that could happen in Portsimouth, do you?”
“It’s always a possibility.  But the warfare between the bootleg gangs here isn’t nearly as bad as it is there.”
“I still don’t like it,” she shuddered.  “That hits a little too close to home.”
James put his arm around her.  “Don’t I know it.  Why do you think I hurried home?”
Cindy snuggled closer.  “I’m glad you did.”
“You know,” he said, as his hand moved from her shoulder to her waist, “the baby’s asleep, and my parent’s won’t be home for a while…”
She reached up and began to unbutton his shirt.  “Is that right?”
“I still can’t believe it,” Marsha was saying over dinner that night.  “Prohibition was supposed to stop crimes like this, not cause them!”
“I know, Marsha,” replied Jefferson, worrying over the headlines in the evening edition of the paper.  “But with so many people in the cities ignoring the law, it seems that the less-than-desirable characters have taken advantage of the situation and it’s caused an increase in crime.”
“Not to mention the fact that the Prohibition Bureau doesn’t pay well,” James commented.  “I imagine that some of the speakeasy owners have paid them to look the other way.”
Marsha shook her head again.  “I thought it would help.”
“Lots of people did, Marsha,” replied Cindy.  “But to blame alcohol for all the nation’s problems was a dumb idea.  The countryside got behind the idea, but the cities never did.  And there are more people in the cities than in the country now.”
“There’s talk of trying to repeal it,” Jefferson said as he folded up the paper.
“An amendment to the Constitution has never been repealed,” Marsha stated.
“No, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be,” James replied.  “Look, Mama.  I know you don’t like alcohol.  But the truth is that the issue should have been left up to the states.  If they do repeal it, the bootleggers lose their power.  The government gets tax revenue on the booze.  Things will get better.”
“It’s not that simple, James,” Jefferson replied.  “After the last Census, they didn’t realign the congressional districts.  That means that the rural areas, the dry areas, still have more power.  They’ll never allow their representatives to vote for repeal.  They’ll get them out of office before that.”
“I don’t expect that it’ll change overnight, Papa.  But I think it will change.  Either they’ll repeal altogether, or they’ll change the Volstead act to allow beer and wine.”
Jefferson nodded.  “I just hope the violence in Simcago doesn’t spread.  I’d hate to think of something like that happening in Portsimouth.”
James and Cindy exchanged a look.  “So would I, Papa.  So would I.”


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 10th, 2011 01:39 am (UTC)
Nice! I love getting a picture of this time period! I really, really need to read your legacy now!
Oct. 10th, 2011 03:54 am (UTC)
Yes. Do read it. it's so enjoyable, emotionally stimulating and even educating. in a fun way ;)
Oct. 10th, 2011 04:06 am (UTC)
;) The best kind! I will, indeed!
Oct. 10th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
*hugs* Thank you. You always have such nice things to say about my story.
Oct. 10th, 2011 02:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm having tons of fun writing this generation, let me tell you. The Roaring 1920s got their name for a reason. :D
Oct. 10th, 2011 03:54 am (UTC)
Ooh, that scared me a little. I was worried tht James was in some sort of trouble.

I like this vignette. I never think much about prohibition aside from the general cliched information we're taught. it's nice to see the issue from an average family of the time dealing with the reality of it all.
Oct. 10th, 2011 02:48 pm (UTC)
I'm kind of glad I scared you a little bit, because James helping out with bootlegging was risky.

If you have the chance, check out Ken Burns' documentary called "Prohibition." I watched it yesterday and it inspired this piece quite a bit. I also now have tons of great tidbits to throw into future scenes.
Oct. 10th, 2011 12:43 pm (UTC)
For a minute I thought James had been caught. Glad it was away in Simcago. Maybe this will change Marsha and Jefferson's minds.

I love learning a little American history when I read your updates.
Oct. 10th, 2011 02:51 pm (UTC)
No, James hasn't been caught. But the St. Valentine's Day massacre, which the shooting discussed is based on, was BIG news. It was a hit that would make your Mobacys proud.

Yay for American history being fun! I'd like to find my high school teacher and show her this and say "SEE! History CAN be fun if you teach it right," 'cause she DIDN'T. But remember, it's inspired by history, not a true version of it.
Oct. 10th, 2011 09:19 pm (UTC)
Yes, I know it's only inspired by it. :) Probably more interesting to me because it's not my countries history. I find Americans rather fascinating anyway lol. :D
Oct. 10th, 2011 07:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Prohibition definitely doesn't solve everything, sadly. It's also interesting to see the generational clash here, because Jefferson and Marsha are very pro-Prohibition while James and Cindy are very anti-Prohibition - though they've made good money breaking it. I do wonder what James will do after he no longer can run an illegal speakeasy - run a legal one, maybe?
Oct. 11th, 2011 01:14 am (UTC)
I think one could successfuly argue that Prohibition caused as many problems as it solved. It is partially a generational thing, but it was also a geographic issue. The rural parts of the country were for, the cities against. Marsha and Jefferson like the country, James and Cindy the city.

I'm not quite sure what will happen with repeal and James' job. Certainly, the secrecy with a speakeasy wouldn't be necessary after that. I've got a rough plan, but that's another chapter away.
Oct. 11th, 2011 01:25 am (UTC)
Yeah, I don't think Prohibition was entirely positive OR negative - and you can argue that pot being outlawed is causing many of the same problems as Prohibition did. I do remember hearing about the geography issue as well.

We shall have to see!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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