WARNING: Mature Rating for subject matter. NOT suitable for younger readers, and if the subject of child abuse upsets you, please don’t read. (Mention only, not graphic, but…)
The cousins are only young in this one, Bo being about 18 or 19, the others not much older. Early 20’s perhaps. A few details from later on have snuck in, but no spoilers, I don’t think.
This is a reaction to / release of my feelings about certain events in the media over here, eighteen months or so ago, combined with coming across somebody else’s fic based on the beautiful, but sad, song “Alyssa Lies”.
The Dukes meet a little girl with a very big secret.
Bo and Luke had been helping Uncle Jesse on the farm, when they ran out of some seed, so Luke took the General, to go get some – and coming back past the Boar’s Nest, he saw Daisy just getting off shift. They were driving home together, racing part of the way, when they came past the home of some new people in town. Mack Johnson and his little girl, Alyssa.
//The Johnson’s had only been in town a month or so, but they’d already met a lot o’ people, includin’ the Dukes, and little Alyssa had charmed the pants off of most of ’em. A sweet, shy, beautiful, little seven year old. Small for her age, with long, dark hair and bigger brown eyes than you’ve ever seen. She weren’t too keen on new people, ‘specially men, but she took to Daisy right off.
Her daddy didn’t leave her alone much, preferring to have her close by his side – which was understandable, since he said she was the image of his late wife, who’d died only about six months before.
This particular day, she was playin’ out the front of the house, just runnin’ around as kids do, and she tripped and fell, just as the young Dukes came past. Of course, bein’ Dukes, they both stopped to make sure she was okay, but one look at Luke sent her scrambling around towards the back.//
“I’ll go after her, Luke. She’ll be okay. It’s probably just that you’re so much bigger than her, and you startled her. That’s all”
“I hope so.” Luke was tall and stocky and time in the services had made him strong, but he was a gentle young man, and he hated the thought that a child, especially a little girl, might be scared of him.
“Look, why don’t you take that stuff home to Uncle Jesse and I’ll find her and make sure she’s ok. I’ve met her before, an’ I know she’s not scared of me.”
“Alright. But lemme know what happens, ok. She can’t be hurt, the way she took off, but… just let me know. Alright?”
//Daisy went looking for Alyssa and found her crouched under the back porch. Apparently she wasn’t supposed to be playin’ out the front by the road, and she was scared that she was gonna be in trouble. Daisy helped her out and sat on the porch with her, assuring her that she wasn’t in any trouble, and sayin’ that she and Luke had both been worried about her, the way she ran away, an’ all.//
“Luke. My cousin. The dark-haired man who was with me. You’ve met him, haven’t you?”
“The big, scary one.”
Daisy smiled “He’s not really scary, Sugar. He was just worried that you’d hurt yourself. That’s all.”
“He’s big and scary.”
“Honey, Luke isn’t scary. He’s tall, sure, but he’s not scary. He won’t hurt you.”
“He looks like Daddy.”
“And your daddy scares you?”
The child wouldn’t look at her, gazing at the ground, instead. “Sometimes.”
Daisy grew serious. “Does he hit you? Because he shouldn’t hurt you. That’s not right, you know.” As the child didn’t answer “Alyssa?”
“I promised.” A barely audible whisper.
A phrase came back to Daisy from her own childhood. From her life in the city, before she moved to Hazzard to live with Uncle Jesse and her cousins. ‘Some promises shouldn’t be kept.’ She repeated it, now, to the child she held in her lap.
“But it’s wrong to break promises.”
She gently repeated the phrase over again. “Some promises should never be kept, Sugar. In fact, some promises should never be made at all.”
The little girl just looked at her with big eyes.
“C’mon, Honey, you won’t get into any trouble. I promise you that, ok? Do you trust me?”
The little girl bit her lip and nodded, slowly.
“Well, then, you can tell me, can’t you? I won’t let anybody hurt you. Not your daddy or anybody else. I promise, Sugar! An’ that’s one promise I won’t break. No matter what.”
Daisy went cold inside, as the little girl haltingly told her what her daddy did to her and why she was scared of him sometimes. How he touched her, sometimes, when they were alone…
“Rosco, where are you? It’s Daisy Duke, an’ I need to talk to you, right away! It’s urgent, Rosco!”
“Alright.” The lawman was taken aback by the seriousness of the young woman’s tone. “I’m out on Junction Road. Mile Marker 63.”
“I’ll be there in five minutes.”
When she caught up with him, Daisy got out and she told Rosco what the little girl had told her, and watched as the man went white. “Are you sure about this? I know you … you wouldn’t lie about somethin’ like this, but…”
“Ask her yourself, Rosco.” She gestured at the little girl now huddled in the passenger seat of the car. “You can see how she reacts to you. She’s the same way with Luke. But me, and even Lulu, she don’t mind at all.”
The sheriff walked over and opened the car door, and crouched down, so he was on the same level as little Alyssa. “Is it true, Honey? What Daisy, here, just told me. Does your Daddy really do that?” As the child didn’t answer, he tried again, “C’mon Honey. I’m a policeman.” He pointed at his badge. “See? That means ya can trust me.”
“He said you’d take me away.”
“He said that a policeman would take me away, and that you’d hurt me.”
There was silence for a minute as the adults absorbed this. Then gently, from Rosco. “He said a lie, Darlin’. I ain’t gonna hurt ya. I ain’t gonna take you away, and I ain’t gonna hurt ya.
“In fact – I’m gonna stop him hurtin’ ya. You don’t like what he’s doin’, do ya.”
A small shake of the head.
“Then I’m gonna make him stop.”
“But he says I’m a Big Girl, an, an, Big Girls…” She started to cry.
“Oh, Sugar” Daisy pulled the child into her arms “You are a big girl, honey.You’re a big, very brave girl.” She looked over at the Sheriff as she rocked the little girl. “Isn’t she, Rosco?”
“Yes, she is. An’ Flash thinks so too!” he added, on a hunch, to the child
“Flash?” Alyssa looked round.
“My dog. She’s just over there.” He gestured at the patrol car, where Flash was looking out the window, wondering what was going on.
“You’ve got a dog? I love dogs, but Daddy always said we couldn’t have one, ‘cos they shed hairs, an’ make messes, an’ we move a lot for his work.”
“Well then, why don’t ya come and say hello to Flash. She’d love to meet you!” Rosco stood up and moved over to his car, opening the door, and gesturing to the little girl, who scrambled down and ran over, forgetting for the moment, her fear of the man, in her joy at meeting the dog.
//In the end, Alyssa rode in Daisy’s car, with Flash on her lap, out to the Hazzard Orphanage, and Rosco arrested her father for child abuse. He was none too gentle about it, either.//
That evening, when the boys went upstairs to wash up for dinner they heard the sound of crying coming from Daisy’s room. They shared a concerned look and Luke knocked gently on the closed door. “Daisy? Daisy, are you ok?”
The crying stopped and Daisy called out, “Come in,” in a slightly strangled voice.
Luke turned the knob and they both went in to see Daisy lying on the bed, with tears running down her face.
“Daisy, what’s wrong?” Luke sat on the bed and put an arm around her.
“Yeah, if somebody’s hurt you…” Bo was starting to get angry, seeing his cousin so upset
“Not me, Bo.” Daisy’s voice was muffled against Luke’s chest
“Then what is it? Come on Daisy, you can tell us.”
Daisy pulled away from her cousin and slid off the bed, swiping at her eyes. “Why don’t we go downstairs and I can tell Uncle Jesse as well. I don’t have to repeat it that way.” She headed for the door, and her cousins followed, all thoughts of washing up, and even dinner itself, forgotten.
Jesse turned as all three of his nieces and nephews came into the kitchen “You ain’t washed up already? Daisy? What’s wrong?” The young woman threw herself into the arms of the only father she really knew.
“It’s alright honey.” Jesse comforted her: “Now, what’s going on?” He sternly eyed the two younger men
“I dunno, Uncle Jesse. She won’t tell us.” Bo answered first “She said somebody was hurt, but it wasn’t her.”
“Alright, then. Let’s sit down, an’ we can talk it all out. Alright, honey?”
Daisy pulled back. “I’m so glad I’ve got you, Uncle Jesse! I’m so lucky!”
Jesse just kept one arm around her as they all sat at the big kitchen table.
“Now, what’s wrong, honey?”
“Luke, you know Alyssa Johnson.”
“She’s the little girl that wouldn’t go near you, isn’t she?” Bo teased “I think she’s got good taste!”
“It’s not funny, Bo!” Daisy tried not to start crying all over again
“Did something happen to her after we saw her earlier? Is she ok?” Luke was still confused, but worried too.
“I found out why she wouldn’t go near you. You’re too much like her daddy.”
Daisy explained what had happened that day, and the three men sat in shocked silence, Luke looking angrier by the minute, Jesse looking sad, and Bo just looking like he was going to be sick. “But, but, she’s… she’s only, what, six years old?”
“Seven” Daisy corrected quietly.
“Seven? Still… She’s just a little girl.” Bo looked even sicker
“Bo.” Jesse spoke quietly “There’s some men, well, they got somethin’ wrong inside o’ them. They find little girls… well, little girls appeal to that wrongness.”
“But he’s her father!”
“I know, Bo.” Jesse still had one arm around Daisy, and now he put the other hand on his nephew’s shoulder.
“I presume he’s in jail?” Luke’s eyes were as dark as his hair. The older cousin’s temper was slow to rouse, but when he looked and spoke a certain way, you didn’t want to get between him and what had made him mad.
“Yes.” Daisy was still upset, but she wiped at her eyes, and added “He’s being transferred to Atlanta first thing in the morning. Rosco said he didn’t want him here when people started finding out what he’d done.” She swallowed and added “He says he’s sleeping at the jail tonight, too. Along with Enos. Just in case.”
“Now that’s a good idea.” Jesse looked around at them all, and said “And I think a prayer for little Alyssa, would be a good idea, as well.” They all bowed their heads, and Jesse said a prayer, asking the Lord to look after the little girl and to help her deal with what had happened to her. They all joined in with the Amen.
//Nobody much felt like eating after that, even Bo, so Jesse cleared away the preparations for dinner, with the help of Bo, and Daisy, who was still crying at intervals, while Luke went out for a walk to try and cool down.
When he came back, a while later, everybody noticed that he was breathin’ hard and that his knuckles were scraped, but nobody commented, and they all settled down in the living room, to talk and just be together, until bedtime. Just grateful to have each other, and the clean love they all shared.//
//Alyssa needed a lot of love and care, but she grew up into a fine young woman, who wasn’t scared of anythin’. Nobody really knew what happened to her father – he was never seen or heard from again – but there was a rumour went round, later on, that he was killed, in jail, by another inmate who found out what he had done. And I must say, nobody in Hazzard really seemed too sorry – not for anyone but Alysssa, anyway. But then, that’s Hazzard for you. A good place, with some good folks livin’ in it.
And long may it stay that way! //
Author Note: I tagged this as not for younger readers, but if you are a younger reader who has come across this fic, and if something like this is happening to you, or to somebody you know, for God’s sake, TELL someone! Please!As Daisy so truly said, “Some promises shouldn’t be kept!”.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re as young as Alyssa, or somewhat older, the only way to make these people stop is to tell someone – preferably an adult – and keep telling until someone believes you. And please remember that YOU have done nothing wrong. No matter what anybody else might say!!