We must get our sense of humor from God.

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A VG Serial: Where It Ended

Chapter 9 – 4

That night, Katie git in her car an drive to Small Town to see me. If’n I spent all my life, to this point, trying to imagine a set of horrors that could further come on Miss Katie, I never come close to somethun as sick an evil as Samuel Sutton. When she git finished telling me what Liddie tole her, I surely had to set a spell. An like so often happen when you desperate, the very light you calling on to shine git buried under the bushel basket of you fear. An so that happened to me that night. It ain’t God neglecting us. It be us forgittin’ who we be. Fo’ we cain’t ever git outta touch with God. We can only come to forgit that. Nothing come to me. So I do all I know to do. I work ever so hard to quiet the ragin’ storm inside me. It feel like I responsible fo’ the lives of all these peoples. That it be mine to come up with a plan.

Miss Katie fall asleep curled up in the porch chair. As dawn give its first indications that it has clocked in fo’ the day, I finally see clear. We cain’t fight them by they rules. We cain’t do unto them what they ’bout ready to do unto us. That sure look like the road to go, fight back, but through the eyes of mother dawn, I see it ain’t. I see there will be a sacrifice that will be made. I see how yet another generation will suffer until the greatest good can appear. I don’ likes what I see, an I surely don’ understand why someun mighty as God cain’t wipe this slate clean now. But we up agin an evil that not be undone in that way. An if’n yo do unto the evil what it gittin’ ready to do unto you, it never die. For you make it real that way. Someun will finally step up to the mark an free this family from its generations of hate, but they ain’t here yet. An that’s what I come to know this night. So what that leaves is juss what my mama tole me had to be done. I muss love the world as it is, an hold that love so strong an true that it at least dull the edges of the sword that evil wield. An maybe I live long enough to see it finally triumph. But that don’ change anything now. I muss be stronger an clearer than I ever knowed afo’. An I promised my mama, so I will do that.

When Miss Katie wake, I share with her what come to me. At first her face darken like the sky afo’ a tornado, angry an menacing. So I speak to her quiet like.

“It don’ do no good fo’ you to be put away. That fix nothin’. It don’ do no good to let Small Town burn to the ground. That fix nothin’. Mr. Sutton ain’t interested in Martha Faye as a toy. What he want is another Katie, another star to burn in his life. So let her go. Let her develop whatever talent she might have, since you family be overflowing with it. An atween me, an Liddie, an you, we will keep checking on what’s going on. We can only do the very bess we can. That’s what I’m gonna do. That’s what I ask you to do. Fo’ we hold the balance. Liddie can only help abit from the sidelines. But here’s a different start so listen to this. You go to him today. You put youself in a powerful position by pulling the rug out from under him. Approach him ’bout boarding Miss Martha Faye at the Sutton house so she can go to school in town. That mean she can come home on weekends an holidays an summer. That mean he not own her or her future. He juss give her a place to stay. That should take most all the wind out of his sails. Act like you have no idea ’bout any of this other bidness, an go today to git it set up.”

She set there a good half hour. Then she see the beauty of the plan. As she get in her car to drive on to do what she muss. I start to relax an feel hopeful agin.

I set fo’ a while longer afo’ I git ready fo’ work. Mr. Ware, he bring me coffee an set with me.

“You look peaceful agin, my honey lady.”

“I juss thinking how that Ole Man snuck one in on me. I thought He not speaking to me an I was scared ’cause so much look like it depend on me. But juss afo’ the night end, I realize I have this plan in my head, an it ain’t my plan. It like He snuck it in round an edge somewhere, an I never notice. I juss telling it to Miss Katie like its mine, but I never had one. I think we git our sense of humor from God, I surely do.”

Mr. Ware, he juss set there chuckling quietly at his silly lady, an I juss set there chuckling back.

Episodes of Where It Ended by Christina Carson will be published every Tuesday.

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