Could they keep her from doing anything foolish?
June 17, 2014
A VG Serial: Where It Ended
Chapter 1 – 3
Margaret was in the kitchen making bread with Martha Faye, who was playing with a small ball of dough, pushing on it at the kitchen table, mimicking Margaret. Margaret stood nearby slowly kneading the warm dough, folding it over and kneading some more.
“You don there, Missy? Can I add my dough to yours so we get a nice big loaf of bread? Martha Faye held her piece up, looking at it from one side then the other. She smiled and looked at Margaret and held out her hand. Margaret took it with both her hands like she was receiving a fine gift and gently set it atop her mound and kneaded it in. Martha Faye clapped her little hands in delight as her piece became part of the rest and giggled as it disappeared.
“It got ate,” Martha Faye said. Margaret looked at her and laughed.
“Yes, child, it got ate, an pretty soon you’ll git to eat it too.” Margaret turned as she heard someone come up the porch stairs. She assumed it was Miss Katie. So when she heard a light rap on the side door at the kitchen, she was surprised. She wiped the flour off her hands and opened the door to Mazy. For some reason, the young woman shivered.
“Mazy, how you be? Come in, come in.”
Mazy walked over to the table, picked up Miss Martha as she passed by an snuggled the child like she be kin.
“Throw me a cloth, Margaret. I’ll wipe her hands off.” As Mazy cleaned each finger, she kissed it. “You a sweet child. You so pretty, you know that?” And then she started to sing to her. Miss Mazy’s voice was fine indeed. Margaret stopped washing the dishes and leaned back on the sink to listen to Mazy talk with God. When she finished, she said, “I needs to talk but not…” Her eyes indicated the child, and she shook her head.
“Let’s go outside, an I’ll put her in the little fenced yard with her toys, an we can sit on the porch an watch her.”
Margaret gathered a few of Martha’s favorite toys, and Miss Mazy carried Martha Faye. Miss Mazy, who had such a way with children, set Martha Faye on a blanket with her toys around her and said something Margaret couldn’t hear. But Missy Martha smiled big and busied herself with talking to her baby doll.
When Miss Mazy sat down next to Margaret, she was quiet for a bit, like she was trying to decide something. “What you know ’bout Miss Katie’s past?”
“Pretty well everthing.”
“Tell me ’bout that.”
“I not supposed to say.”
“Well the time has come, an I know, but I needs to know more. We have big trouble brewing, an I needs to know all I can, so I do the right thing. How come you know?”
“My mama raised her, an I not know anything that be going on there ’til Miss Katie come home from that fancy school she go to. Things be real bad at Miss Katie’s house so she come to live with us. While she there, she have like a fit, like she lose her mind for a while, an she scare Sally an me an throw us outta our own home. That’s when Mama finally tell us ’bout what happened to her. We know ’bout her daddy. She mention somethun once when Marcus still alive. Course Jessie he don’ understand, an I barely did, but later I realize what my mama be talking ’bout. But we don’ know she pregnant by her daddy then. It happened the night of Marcus’ funeral. We only found out later. No one know in her family, not ’bout the situation, not ’bout that she pregnant by her daddy.”
“Her daddy want that girl. Charlie figure it. Her daddy behind this, I suspect to finally be able to get his hands on that child.”
“Oh no. Not Miss Martha. He wouldn’t.”
“Oh yes he would. An I have no idea how to stop this. But there be one thing. You gots to call you mama. She knows better than any us what went on there, an anything we can know might help us figure a way to stop it.”
Just then the phone rang, and Margaret went in to answer it. “Hello?”
“Margaret, it’s Mama.”
“Oh, Mama, Miss Mazy an I juss be saying we need to talk with you. We have big trouble here.”
“I know, child, I figured it out this morning after I read a note in Mr. Sutton’s office.”
“The only people who come in today are Miss Mazy an Mr. Dumas. He want that baby girl, Mama. That sick man want that baby.”
“Honey child, I so sorry I got you mixed up in this. But you tell Miss Mazy to come to our house tonight so we can talk. An would you also get hold of Mr. Judd an tell him to come by there too?”
“I will, Mama, I will.”
“I’ll see you in the morning, child. I fill you in then.”
Margaret walked back out to the porch and sat with a thud. “That be Mama. She juss realized this morning what be happening. She axed you to come by her house tonight to talk. She also axed me to call Mr. Judd an ax him to stop by too. I know he one of us, Mazy. He be fine.”
Mazy stood up an nodded. “Miss Katie be sleeping out in the store. She sick to death over this. I’ll bring her back to the house when she wake. It gonna be hard, Margaret, but you have to try to keep her from doing anything foolish. Be strong, child. You’ve seen mo’ than most what strength an love look like, fo’ your mama be someun special. Juss keep her in mind an you’ll be fine.”
Episodes of Where It Ended by Christina Carson will be published every Tuesday.