Fearin’ the Banshee

Some background on Cali Marrow…

Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin to Aengus Hughes and Georgia (Reismann) Hughes, Cali grew up with a relatively normal childhood. Her father was employed as an editor in the newspaper business and when she was nine, he took a position with the Battle Creek Enquirer, in Battle Creek, Michigan. Her mother secured a teaching position at the Verona elementary school.

Cali essentially stayed to herself with few close friends in school, ignoring any significant personal relationships during high school. After she graduated, she spent her spare time tutoring and helping younger students and worked at a summer camp for fourth and fifth grade children. Then with her summer over, a partial scholarship to the local Western Michigan University branch in hand, she took courses in Child and Family Development. In the meantime, her father had set aside a trust fund for her and an education allowance to help her advance. But without warning, she suddenly needed every penny of her allowance: both her parents had died in a car accident, struck by a drunk driver, two months into her first semester. Well educated in the old country ways and beliefs, mostly due to her father’s Irish influence in her upbringing, Cali felt the deep despair of the Banshee’s double wail.

She struggled, supported by her few friends, trying to find a solid footing, and after much soul searching and debate, she finally decided to sell her parent’s house and the belongings she did not need. She needed the money and hoped to keep her trust intact for a future need. Next, in her new plan to move ahead, she applied to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and was accepted. Unable to deal with the sudden loneliness after her parents died, she put her head down and single mindedly focused on reaching for a teaching degree and certificate.

Two years after her folks had passed, Cali met Robert Marrow, a beat patrolman with the Ann Arbor police department. They clicked and seven months later, they were married on the ninth of April. To help with living expenses, mostly groceries, Cali took a temporary teacher’s aide position at the semi-exclusive Elderwhite Elementary School, a job which turned into a proper teaching position when she graduated a year later with a degree and a Michigan Teacher’s Certificate.

After they were married, Robert was promoted to lieutenant and to his liking, remained a beat patrolman. Slowly his job took on a more serious tone and he found himself involved more and more in investigating the doings of a Detroit gangster named Einri O’Brien, especially when it came to things that affected the peace and quiet of Ann Arbor.

Cali noticed his change, his slow withdrawal in to his private thoughts. When she inquired, he would shake off his taciturn mood, draw an endearing smile on his face and try to make his time at home enjoyable for her. But every week it got harder for him and she worried, feeling his cool and deepening separation. Finally, in an effort to balance her growing displeasure with the work he had to do, Robert set aside two days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, for them to picnic or have lunch together at one of her favorite restaurants.

It worked for a while, but Cali knew he was a dedicated officer and if there was danger, she knew he would face it like the good cop he always tried to be. And he was not good at hiding the rising seriousness of his days. The arguments still came, and they tried to find a balance, striking temporary truces each time, but the distance between them continued to grow.

On the morning of their third anniversary, Cali woke to find flowers on the dining room table and Robert, her Bobby, cooking breakfast for them before he had to leave for work. It lifted her spirits and she looked forward to their lunch-time picnic when she left school to meet him. He was waiting for her, saving her a parking place on South University Avenue when she turned off of South State Street and saw him. She parked the car and he opened the passenger door to help with the basket she brought, but the gangster from Detroit chose that particular moment and suddenly attacked, decimating her life. As darkness carried her away, she could only hear the unnerving shriek of the banshee once more…

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