The Miseducation of Riley Pranger

self discover
love at the first sight

When all you know is what you were taught by parents and friends that are ignorant to the world, you grow up to be a man like Riley Pranger, a passive racist and chauvinistic. But Riley is going to get a fast re-education when a single black mother rents his home for the summer and he has no choice but to recognize the actions of the people around him.

Stella Burton is a no nonsense, 6-foot tall curvaceous black woman who has no problem with hurting a man’s ego. She is opinionated, specifically about a country where she has been single handedly raising her multi-racial son to be a well-rounded black man.

What happens when white privilege is suddenly challenged? When races clash and you mess with the wrong black woman? This novella contains twists and turns and sexiness as well as appearances from Lt. Christopher Jameson, Ashleigh and their children from the novel Beast, Bodie and Shaundea Matthews from A Wrong Turn Towards Love and True from True’s love.

Warning: This story includes s****l situations, graphic and strong racist and homophobic language. This story discusses American politics and race relations in a fictional setting.

The Miseducation of Riley Pranger is created by Pepper Pace, an EGlobal Creative Publishing signed author.

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Chapter 1
~Summer 2017~ Riley topped the pot roast with the onions, potatoes and carrots being sure not to allow the potatoes to touch the broth. He remembered that his mama had always done it this way so that the vegetables steamed and wouldn't become mushy after hours in the crockpot. He did this almost every Sunday and it still amazed him that when he returned home later this evening this seared piece of semi-raw meat floating in water would transform into tender roast beef surrounded by thick gray. He then padded through the neat house until he reached the living room where he sat in the reclining chair to pull on his boots. Riley had two pairs of shoes; the boots that he wore to church and the ones in the entranceway that he wore everywhere else. He didn't take time to settle into the cushion of the easy chair, which was about as old as he was. Once upon a time he would have never dared to so much as look at it, let alone set his butt on it, although he did recall once taking a dare to do just that once when his parents were out. Afterwards he'd been scared to death that his father would be able to tell. He supposed it's why the chair was still like sitting on a cloud, despite the faded and worn tapestry pattern. Once he had his boots on he grabbed the keys from the mantle and left the house without bothering to lock up. He didn't recollect the front door ever being locked when he was a kid. If anyone dared break into someone's home the entire mountain would know about it by the end of the day including the identity of the robber. Therefore, it just didn't happen. Everybody knew everybody else up here on Cobb Hill. And everybody knew everybody's business. He climbed into a dented old Chevy that had basically been pieced together by his own hands, but that purred like a kitten under the hood. He drove in no particular hurry even though the church service started promptly at eleven o'clock, and no one liked being the one to interrupt the service once Pastor Tim started. Not that the pastor ever worried over it, but it opened you up to the scrutiny of the entire congregation for such things as being late…but not having enough time to iron that dress, or being late…to probably hide that bruise after getting hit upside the head the night before and etc. The radio was playing a Rascal Flatts tune but Riley didn't pay attention to the music that drifted over the speakers. Much of his life moved in exactly that manner. It was just habit and he walked through it without much conscious thought, like the backdrop of the country music that he didn't particularly have a fondness for, or the smell of pot roast on Sunday, which he enjoyed mostly for the nostalgia. Once he reached the church he parked his truck and strolled up to the little whitewashed building. He always timed his arrival so that he entered the church just when the doors were closing. And then he slipped quietly into a back pew. This way he missed having to chitchat with anyone including his well-meaning pastor and first lady. It wasn't that he didn't like the people that he went to church with, but he knew that many of them were quick to gossip. Even the most innocent question would lead to rapid speculation about his business. Riley knew for a fact that there weren't many people in these parts that gave two shakes about him or any other Pranger. Many folks thought that the people living on Cobb Hill were nothing but hillbillies and the Prangers had done a lot to give credence to that belief. But Riley held his head up high just the way his mama had always taught him. And now that his mama was buried out back in the cemetery along with most everyone else in his family all he could do was abide by her teachings even if it meant that he showed up at church alone and barely spoke to anyone. Pastor Tim began preaching about man's desire to rule over creation. He kept it simple and got a few 'amens' whenever there was a lull in his preaching. One side of Riley's lip tilted upward slightly as he remembered how much granny had disliked Pastor Tim. She'd mutter insults at him almost under her breath just because he had replaced old Pastor Mulhaney. The old pastor had been her pastor since she was a girl but he'd gotten so old that he'd forget which sermon he was giving right in the middle of talking. Riley didn't mind Pastor Tim who talked about books and themes that were broader than what most people on the Hill thought about, although, for the most part he kept it simple. Riley's eyes settled on a boy in the pew ahead of his that was playing quietly with two Hot Wheels cars and his mind drifted back to a time when he used to do the same, quietly driving the toy cars across his legs and along the back of the pew ahead of him. Sometimes his Mama would give him a warning look and sometimes Granny would confiscate the cars and deposit them into her big black plastic pocketbook. But she'd return them to him a few minutes later and he would smile like it was Christmas. Back then, being able to play with his Hot Wheels while in church was almost as good as Christmas—sometimes better because at times he never got anything at Christmas. Before Riley knew it the sermon was over and he realized that he had a smile on his face, not because Pastor Tim had timed it to last exactly an hour (verified by most of the men in the church who checked their wrist watches and sighed in relief), but because the little boy had distracted him and for a little while he had remembered a time when coming to church wasn't something that he did alone. He wiped away the smile. Half an hour later when church was officially over he tried to be the first one out the door but the pastor's wife always seemed to know that was his plan and would make it her duty to 'engage' him. He couldn't just ignore her so he politely waited for her to rush down the aisle toward him.

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