“Ralph! Go get me another beer,” Papa barked.
Mama was working overtime again and Edwina was sorry she had missed her communicants' class because Papa was too hung over to take them to church. “Now old Lisa Hawkins will probably sit next to Jonas and he’ll start liking her better than me,” she thought.
“I can’t,” said Ralph.
“What do you mean you can’t. Take your little narrow behind on in the kitchen and get me another beer.”
“You already drank the last one.”
“No, I didn’t. There’s more in the pantry. Go get me one.”
“I just brought you the last one a few minutes ago…”
“Now see here young man…”
“Don’t see why you have to drink so much anyway,” Ralph muttered.
“Ralph!” cried Edwina, trying to keep her brother from provoking Papa’s temper. But it was too late.
“Are you trying to sass me?” said Papa, rising unsteadily to his feet.
“My real daddy didn’t get drunk all the time.”
Papa lurched towards Ralph but Edwina said “Don’t hit him, Papa, he’s just a little kid. He doesn’t know what he’s saying.”
“Do to,” said Ralph “Our real daddy wasn’t a lush.”
Papa roared and lurched toward Ralph, but Edwina jumped up to protect her brother. Papa’s fist connected with her jaw.
She reeled and fell awkwardly, her head glancing the corner of the marble coffee table.
She saw a blinding flash of violet light, then everything went dark…
“Come on in Miss Reaves, your name is right here in the book,” said a genial man.
“He looks like he’s going to a masquerade party,” Edwina thought, but she kept her opinion to herself, figuring she was in a dream.
“Right this way, Miss Reaves,” said the man in the funny costume. Edwina could hear beautiful music so she headed in the direction he indicated.
Inside there were more people in gleaming white garments. And they all had wings.
“I wonder if they can fly,” thought Edwina. She liked dreams about flying because so far she had never even been on an airplane. Then it occurred to her that the winged people were supposed to be angels. They were certainly making a joyful noise.
Some strummed harps and lutes.
Some blew horns.
And the littlest one was playing a drum. The beautiful music filled Edwina with a sense of peace and joy that she hadn’t felt in longer than she could remember.
“Come here, child,” said a regal woman seated on high.
Edwina mounted the steps and approached the radiant being.
When she reached the throne,
the woman embraced her and cradled Edwina on her lap even though Mama said Edwina was too big for such foolishness.
“There, there child. Unburden all your sorrows.”
Edwina sobbed onto her shoulder for a long while, then the woman dried her tears and gazed earnestly into her eyes.
“Would you like to stay with us? There is no pain or strife here.”
“Mama will wake me in a few minutes and I’ll have to get ready for school,” Edwina thought. “There was only one apple when I looked last night so I guess I’ll give it to Ralph. Or maybe I’ll take the apple and give him the money Mrs. Thomas paid me for feeding her cat last week so he can get a Nutty Buddy. He would like that…”
“Welcome home, my child. You don’t ever have to go back,” said the Most High.
“But who will look out for Ralph if I’m not there?”
“Edwina! Can you hear me?” said Ralph. After a moment Edwina’s eyes fluttered open.
“Is it time for school yet?”
“Oh Edwina, I thought you were dead!” said Ralph, giving her a warm squeeze.
“Stop playing girl. I ain’t hit you that hard. It was a accident,” said Papa. But Edwina could still hear the beautiful music and the melifluous voice of the Most High murmuring “remember I am with you always…”
Wow! I didn't know what to say. I didn't think it was going there but it did. I've been there too. Very real! Great use of charaters. I have the Edwina doll too. Was thinking of selling her until I saw her with short hair. She looks tons better that way. More like a kid.ReplyDelete
It is not fair to make me cry at work like this! I am loving these stories! I am especially loving a woman as the supreme being, whether she is Goddess or Head Angel. Great work!ReplyDelete
This story was very real and so loving; and for the first time in heaven people are black!ReplyDelete
Wow. I agree with Dani, I'm very much sold on the Most High being a woman- to me that took the story from well ment but a little overdone to sincere, heartfelt and amazing :) Your stories are so poignant and beautiful!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the positive comments. I was a little concerned about how people would respond to representing the Most High as female, but I figured Edwina needed some maternal comfort and she also needed to see the possibility of her own empowerment.
This story started from a set of black angels I bought at a dollar store in New Orleans about seven years ago. Djibrilla (the one with the crystal trumpet that Edwina sees first) is the original face mold. The bodies were all worthless hollow plastic and the angel robes were very poorly constructed. I must have bought a dozen because I was so grateful to see black angels but only the four robes in the photo story were good enough to keep. They also came with white go go boots! I couldn't see angels in such footgear so I made mine some sandals.
That was so deep. The dialogue in the beginning was so real. How many little kids have heard those words time and again. Too many! It took me right to the TD Jakes movie, Woman Thou Art Loosed, when that fool threw his two children out the window. I love that you took it to places we could only imagine. Fabulous work!ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing this touching story. Sad to think that any child experiences violence like this, but you've unfolded the tale in a clean, direct fashion.ReplyDelete
I don't think how a person envisions a higher being matters as how authentic a sensation the author conveys.
Thanks again for telling a difficult yet powerful story.
Oh wow, this is one of the most powerful stories that I've seen on these blogs. Very touching, very moving, very emotional, and truly artistic. Thanks so much for this.ReplyDelete