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"The Annual Fear " (9)... © Rolly A. Chabot
Well another day has come close to biting the dust, though still very pleasant you can bet you bottom dollar things are going to change soon. A few years back I started to take notice of the relationship between the change in Barometric Pressure and the way I was feeling. Since then I have all but become a weather man just with the way I feel.
Gather around and lets take another look at what is happening in Cedar Rapids. Dan has made some big decisions of late and I do think the action is about to get rather nasty. Help yourself to some goodies and find a comfortable chair and lets see what happens... hugs to all and know that you are dearly loved. Stay as long as you like.
Chapter Nine: "He Was Home"
Dan arrived at the Church just before the service was about to start. Many came and greeted him, some hugged him and others looked at him as though he were a ghost.
A young lady about eighteen stepped up and sat at the piano that Beth had played so many times. She played with pure feeling and Dan was caught up with her talent. Her fingers glided across the keys effortlessly.
Just then the side door of the vestry opened and out came the Pastor and two young men who were assisting in the service. They seated themselves and the members sang a few familiar gospel songs. Dan even found himself singing along. It was like he had never missed a service.
A few people stood and made the announcements, mainly about the flood and the benefit dinner being held for some unfortunates. There were several prayer requests for the crew and towns people who had been working around the clock.
Next came the reading taken from Luke, the reading was about Jesus and the Crucifixion and the way Jesus forgave the criminal beside him.
Then the Pastor stood and spoke for the next 40 minutes about how people are called to forgive those who sin against them. Dan thought about all who had sinned against him and the way the Pastor spoke it sounded easy to forgive. Yet he had many flashbacks of the hardships and the pain and suffering he had experienced. It was something he would need to be working on for certain. Then there were those who he had sinned against. Some he would need to ask their forgiveness.
One final worship song then the Pastor announced the remainder of the day was to be enjoyed by all, as there was a great amount of food and entertainment for all. This was the day the Lord had made and they were to rejoice and be glad.
Many came over during the day, spoke words of encouragement and thankfulness for his time as Sheriff, he knew many and thanked Claire personally for her casserole. She looked rather surprised saying, “You mean you just ate that thing, lands sake Dan no wonder you are so skinny.”
He laughed and made the comment “Everything is better after it ages properly.”
Wally came over insisting he come around to the horseshoe pits and they get started. They had 6 teams set up and it was going to be a complete competition right down to the two final teams playing off. He had been placed with Wally and the pairing was fixed, as Wally was a well-known player.
The afternoon was filled with fun and games for all the children and the ladies all sat around knitting and talking quietly. Many would wave and smile at him.
It was close to four o’clock when the final draw took place. He and Wally were up against two other men; William was a young schoolteacher from the east and Wes Phillips the bondsman.
The men all shook hands and the first toss netted Dan a ringer. His second another ringer, he was in fine form and the crowd began to gather.
Wes stood beside him, as he started to throw “Just like the package I delivered to Vegas. Watch this one as it’s in the bag. With that a resounding ringer cancelled his out, his second throw was right on the money as well. He stood back smiled and said “Happens when you are out of practice old man, come back again next week and we will see if you get any better.”
The final throw was up to Dan; the others were ahead by two. His first shoe landed short, flipped over and counted as a ringer. Everyone booed at the streak of luck he had just had, his next throw was low, fast and right on target as the shoe twisted at the last minute and found its mark. They had won the match. The crowd all cheered and supper was served. Wes hung his head and said “Well I guess not as old as I thought you were. Good game brother and good to have you back with us.”
It was late when he arrived back home, Jake was happy to see him. Just as he tossed his keys on the table the phone rang. He answered it and it was the Judge, “Meeting will be here at my place on Wednesday night, love to have you come.”
“OK will be there, how are the flowers doing dad,” he asked.
“Doing just fine been watering them and looks like they are all going to take, even the ones you planted” the Judge gave that old belly laugh Dan loved to hear. “Give any thought to the offer to sit in as Mayor son.”
“Sure have and the answer is yes, but you guys need to go easy on me, this will be all new. Never been in any high society position before, but get the sense it is where God is calling me to be. Even my sister Windstar say’s I belong there and says she will be praying in the interim.”
“Good choice, proud of you Dan, very proud of you. Next time you ar talking to Windstar tell her I still think she is the most beautiful lady this valley has ever seen. Now hear me when I say you have any trouble with the busy bodies here in town, call me and I will deal with it.”
“Deal and thanks dad for thinking of me, we will clean this town out from the vermin in due time. It has to move fairly quickly as Jessie the Chief in Vegas says it is like a cancer there, all fighting over the rights to take over. Gang wars, murders and the like they are in trouble there.
“Wanda is down at the Green Wiener again and I hear she is cutting up real good tonight. Might want to take a wonder down that way later.”
“Nope, had my share of that scene the other night, if they need me they will call. They know the number, what ever she pulls off tonight will look good against her when the council decides they have had enough.
“Another of your smart calls on your part let her hang herself in her own real way of life. She is about to get exposed anyway, she had some big plans for this town and they are about to get washed away like the trash on the river.”
The judge hung up as he sat at the computer, immediately that smiling face came up again. Yes she was a beauty without a doubt. He sat and looked at her picture for a long while wondering what her story really was. He stepped out on the deck and reached into his shirt pocket for a smoke. This was the first time in several weeks since he even thought about having a cigarette.
He looked up at Sarah’s hill, smiled and spoke the words “Well Beth I finally quit the fool things. You were right I would never miss them after I stopped.”
Just then Jake came up and nudged his hand, he sat and gave his old friend a good sound ear rub. He must have found the right itches because Jake’s back leg started thumping on the deck. “Life is good Pal, lets get you a treat and off to bed with us.”
Dan filled his food dish, placed it by the counter and turned off the lights, his dreams were filled with flowers hanging on the fence again and the big trout he was about to be catching this summer. He remembered in the morning there had been a female through his dreams. It was strange as it had always been Beth as clear as though she were right there. Last night had been different, it had been another but he was unable to see whom.
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