Discussion in 'The Drivers Lounge' started by RickyRicardo, Mar 24, 2014.
Good to see you writing again Ricky!
You're quite welcome. I'm off until the 29th so hope to get some more up over the next few days.
I don't know where the numbers materialized from when I transposed to this site. A new one for me.
Yeah, I wondered about that.
“I am so terribly sorry. Please forgive me. I pray you are unharmed,” Preacher said with anguish in his voice.
“Oh, I’m okay Mister, didn’t hurt a bit, no more than a flea dropping off a dog’s belly anyway,” the boy said with a grin as he brushed dried grass from his trousers.
Oh my, thought Preacher; bright, articulate, a sense of humor, and barely a trace of the mountain accent so prevalent in this area.
Cute as a speckled pup under a Christmas tree.
“Did you know my Grandma?” the boy asked.
“No, I didn’t, why do you ask?”
“She used to say that, but she’s dead now. My Grandpa’s still alive but he doesn’t say much. He mostly just sits in his chair and stares at nothing, only it looks like he sees something that we don’t.”
Preacher was pleased that his new friend not only picked up the unspoken thought but responded to it as well, as if it was the most natural thing in the world to do.
“Maybe he does, Timmy, just as some people can hear things others don’t.” Not the slightest register of surprise at the man knowing his name.
By now Timmy’s parents missed him and turned in a frantic circle searching the area before spying their son talking to a stranger thirty feet away.
An odd combination of relief and fear swept over their faces as they rushed to their son as he was engaged in conversation with the vaguely familiar man kneeling before him.
“What’s going on here?” the man asked to either or both of them in a somewhat accusatory tone.
“I’m sorry if I created a problem, sir,” Preacher spoke up. “I wasn’t paying attention and walked right into the young lad, your son I’m guessing, and knocked him right over. I’m terribly sorry. I was just apologizing to him.”
“It was all my fault, Dad,” Timmy interjected before his father could respond. “I was daydreaming, not paying a lick of attention to where I was going and just banged plumb into the man.” Pleased again, this time at how quickly Timmy came to his defense.
“Well, the important thing is that nobody was hurt and there are no hard feelings,” Timmy’s mother said.
“My name is Tammy Sue Burton and this is my husband Wendell Burton,” Tammy continued as she extended her hand. Wendell stepped forward grudgingly and did the same mumbling a half hearted “pleasure to meet you.”
“And a pleasure to meet both of you. My name is Isaac Hill,” Isaac said, accepting their handshakes. “I’ve been visiting family down in Beckley and decided to visit the revival on the way home.”
Isaac found it made things easier when dealing with strangers to offer some information, although false, about himself. It generally put folks at ease when they believed whomever they were dealing with was being open and honest,
“I’ve heard much about the Reverend Goode over the years and didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to finally see him in person,” he explained.
“That’s wonderful you could take the time to do so now. I hope all was well with your family in Beckley?” she asked.
“I’m afraid a dear uncle of mine has passed, the day before my arrival, actually. I so regret I wasn’t there in time to see him but my faith tells me the Lord called him when he did to not prolong his earthly suffering.”
“That is such a thoughtful way to phrase it. Are you a preacher yourself?”
“Oh, no. My father, Jeremiah Hill of Alda, Kentucky was though; full Pentecostal, fire and brimstone, handling snakes, the whole shootin’ match. Maybe some rubbed off on me but I’ve never delivered a sermon in my life.”
“Well, you certainly have the temperament of a pastor. I bet you would make a fine one if you ever chose to pursue it.”
“Thank-you, you are too kind, but I do try to serve Him in other ways. We all have our own parts to play, no matter how insignificant they may seem to us.”
It didn’t take Isaac long to understand the family dynamics at play here. Wendell had barely spoken and was trying unsuccessfully to disguise his resentment of his wife carrying on a conversation with a total stranger as if he wasn’t even present.
Isaac’s father ruled his home with an iron fist. Wendell obviously did not. Despite his sizeable stature, and his scarred callused hands, Wendell Burton was not an alpha male, at least not in his own family.
Normally this would be an advantage for Isaac, for men tended to be right brain thinkers, and when a weaker man was pushed from the forefront, that left him to appeal to the woman who more often led with her emotions, and her heart.
Tammy would pose more of a challenge however. For despite her faded clothes and homemade haircut, Isaac suspected he was dealing with an intelligent, willful woman. He idly wondered how she came to be here and why she chose her current mate but wouldn’t allow himself to be distracted by these matters. But whatever challenge she posed, Isaac was up for it, for when playing his game by his rules, he always prevailed.
“That is a thoughtful way of phrasing it. We forget that the small things we do for others are larger in the eyes of those we help,” Tammy responded.
“I may use that quote myself one day, with your permission of course,” Isaac said with a twinkle in his eye, his back to Wendell.
“Permission granted, kind sir,” she answered, laughing as she did so. Isaac had the impression she was enjoying herself in a fashion that rarely, if ever, occurred at home.
“May I offer you folks a ride home?” Isaac asked, directing the question at the silent husband, allowing him his role as family leader. The last thing he wanted to do was to alienate the man. He may be the weak link but in the end his vote was still needed.
So what kind of plans does Isaac have for the Burtons?
Like I'm falling for that...