Kieran’s Kung Pao Chicken
“Now, whose idea was it to bring Chinese food to a soul food picnic?”
“Girl, you know that wasn’t nobody but that Deacon Kieran,” the second voice jibed.
The two women exchanged an arch look that dissolved into smiles as Mama Lou and Ethel Mae entered the tent. “Hey, Mama Lou. Hey Ms. Ethel.”
“Ladies,” Mama Lou acknowledged the greeting. She said, “This potluck is turning out to be something nice, isn’t it? It’s good to have a variety, don’t you think? That way, there’s something for everyone.”
The two ladies, now properly chastised, nodded and continued their work in silence.
Mama Lou said, “Have you seen Detective Mendoza? We’ll want to catch him up on this latest drama.”
“I believe he’s still sitting with the men at the pork pit.”
The men were in a heated discussion as Mama Lou and Ethel Mae arrived.
“We don’t have a choice,” said Deacon Perry, lawyer and president of the Deacon’s Board. “If we don’t act now, we’ll lose the land.”
“Yeah, but we don’t need to be hasty,” said Uncle Frank. “Pastor Griffin’s been the leader of our flock for nearly fifteen years.”
“True,” said Noble Connor. “And this congregation is in one of the worst financial straits since the church founding. Is this really the legacy you want to leave behind?”
Deacon Kieran, the youngest member of the Deacon Board, both in age and service said, “Real talk: he stole our money and he’s playing us for a bunch of fools using the Lord’s name to do it. He’s got to go, one way or the other. He should’ve been gone.”
“Now ‘stole’ is a harsh word,” said Uncle Frank. “He borrowed the money to build the Family Life Center.”
Kieran glanced around, his gaze touching on each man, then he directed his eyes towards the church. “That was five years ago. We don’t even have a cornerstone. He’s an out and out thief!”
“Kieran!” Deacon Perry warned.
“And that so-called First Lady-” Kieran continued as if uninterrupted.
Deacon Perry stood up and loomed over the younger man. “That’s enough, Kieran.”
Kieran pushed up and faced Perry square on. “Although, maybe we shouldn’t blame it all on Sweet Charlotte, huh? It’s not like the good Pastor knows when to keep it in his pants either.”
“I’ve heard enough,” said Mama Lou. “Kieran, I don’t know what your beef is with Pastor Griffin but you need to take that up with him. Leave his wife out of it. In fact, leave the congregation out of it. The church has enough problems without taking on your ill-intentioned slander.”
“It’s not slander if it’s true.” Kieran refused to back down, his caramel complexion glowing bright red. “And I can prove it.”
“I know what he did with the money.”
UP NEXT: Loretta’s Lasagna