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Sagas of the Wild West
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Grin and Bear It


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Then there was the ever-long day, chores, school, more chores, before he could finally escape and hop over the back fence, to the Professor's back porch, where Buster accompanied him as he waited for Miss Jemima to appear!

 

When the harried Miss Wigfall finally appeared, it was apparent that she had found difficulty escaping from Mrs O’Houlighan: she was carrying a large piece of silverwear and a paper packet of baking soda, clearly mid-task. She was furtive and she was quick, glancing around every now and again to make sure she wasn’t spotted playing hooky.

 

She spotted Weedy, dashed over to him and huddled down to his level.

 

“We got through!” she announced hastily “Trouble at first, we got another Chloe, little girl, one year old when she passed over. Innocents like that, though, they always go straight to bein’ sweet angels, we used her as a spirit guide, she’s the one that found your Mama.” Bending over and speaking fast (for her) was making Jemima breathless, so she took a big gulp of air.

 

“Then some feller stated trying to come through with a message about some old chest or something, Mr Gallows had the dickens of a time getting rid of him. You should see Mr Gallows, Porter, he’s got eyes like this:” she put the silverware and the baking soda on the wet grass and closed her eyes. She then used her thumb and first finger on each side to force her eyelids open so you could see the horrible sight of white eyes with no pupils. This horror complete, she finished her tale of woe.

 

“Anyhow, this Chloe, Angel Chloe I’ll call her, save mix-ups, she’s a full angel but she’s sort of tethered to Kalispell because someone here who knew her in life still prays for her, just like you pray for your Mama.” Jemima took that as a given. “And she found your Mama all right but she’s all lost and alone out there, tied to the place she died by guilt and remorse for what she did in life and how she treated you.”

 

There was a noise inside the Professor’s house and Jemima looked around furtively.

 

“Somehow you gotta convince Miss Addy to take you to where your Mama’s buried, and tell her you forgive her: then she’ll be able to go on properly and be forgiven by the Lord in his Everlasting Glory!” the odd girl advised the orphaned boy. “Now let’s say a prayer!” she added quickly holding out her hands and closing her eyes. It was taking up more time, but worth the risk, in her mind.

 

“Oh God, who loves us unstintingly. Please help Porter James and Jemima Wigfall, your servants, to help release the poor soul of Chloe James, kept in bondage to this wicked world by guilt and remorse and forgive us all our sins in body and thought. Amen.” she prayed extempore.

 

She looked back down at the silverware and the soda, which was frothing and pouring out of the packet: it was a sign! Ectoplasm!!

 

@Bongo

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Weedy listened in innocent wide-eyed, rapt attention, barely daring to breathe lest that breath cover an important word or phrase, and he drank in every little detail.  As curious as he was about the chest man, he chose to set that aside for now, afraid that the distraction might cause some of the things about his mom to get lost.

 

As for Angel Chloe, he had a thought, and looked up at Jemima to see what she thought.  "Do you think my ma is looking after Angel Chloe?"  There was a pang of jealousy, but then, he also felt sorry for the poor little girl, and maybe his mother had changed her ways and would treat the other Chloe well?

 

“Somehow you gotta convince Miss Addy to take you to where your Mama’s buried, and tell her you forgive her: then she’ll be able to go on properly and be forgiven by the Lord in his Everlasting Glory!”

 

Nodding silently, Weedy sniffled and wiped the back of his sleeve over his eyes.  No, he wasn't crying, but even as much as his ma had not been much of a ma, she was still his ma, and he wanted her to be happy.  As to asking Miss Addy, he wasn't so sure about that, but maybe Jay would go with him, or even Wyatt...they might have to fudge a bit, but he'd get to Whitefish somehow.

 

“Now let’s say a prayer!”

 

"Yes, ma'am."  He took her hands, sniffled again and closed his eyes.

 

“Oh God, who loves us unstintingly. Please help Porter James and Jemima Wigfall, your servants, to help release the poor soul of Chloe James, kept in bondage to this wicked world by guilt and remorse and forgive us all our sins in body and thought. Amen.”

 

"Amen."  Opening his eyes, Weedy looked up at the woman and smiled, a little sadly.  "Thank you, Miss Jemima.  Ma might not have been so good as a ma, but that doesn't mean she shouldn't ever have a chance to be happy."

 

Impulsively, he hugged the woman around the legs, then turned and ran for home, wondering where Jay was.

 

@Javia

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As for Angel Chloe, he had a thought, and looked up at Jemima to see what she thought.  "Do you think my ma is looking after Angel Chloe?"  There was a pang of jealousy, but then, he also felt sorry for the poor little girl, and maybe his mother had changed her ways and would treat the other Chloe well?

 

Jemima shook her head. “Things ain’t like they are here, in the afterlife” she informed him “It’s the other way round, little baby Angel Chloe is looking after your Mama. But she can’t force her to let go of the things of this life, she gotta be released from this side.” Added Jemima, parroting all the things that the weird Mr. Gallows had said.

 

“Somehow you gotta convince Miss Addy to take you to where your Mama’s buried, and tell her you forgive her: then she’ll be able to go on properly and be forgiven by the Lord in his Everlasting Glory!”

 

Nodding silently, Weedy sniffled and wiped the back of his sleeve over his eyes.

 

Jemima instinctively lay a comforting hand on his shoulder. For all her morbid interest in what lay beyond the grave, for all her mad obsession with men and romance and her, franky, cranked up, frustrated sex drive, she was a fundamentally good person and a natural mother at heart. She saw a sad little boy or girl and she wanted to hug them and make them better.

 

“Now let’s say a prayer!”

 

"Yes, ma'am."  He took her hands, sniffled again and closed his eyes.

 

“Oh God, who loves us unstintingly. Please help Porter James and Jemima Wigfall, your servants, to help release the poor soul of Chloe James, kept in bondage to this wicked world by guilt and remorse and forgive us all our sins in body and thought. Amen.”

 

"Amen."  Opening his eyes, Weedy looked up at the woman and smiled, a little sadly.  "Thank you, Miss Jemima.  Ma might not have been so good as a ma, but that doesn't mean she shouldn't ever have a chance to be happy."

 

Jemima nodded her understanding. “Always remember that Jesus loves sinners most of all, He loves your Mama and He wants to forgive her her trespasses as he forgives all of us who ask it.”

 

Impulsively, he hugged the woman around the legs, then turned and ran for home, wondering where Jay was.

 

The plain, disturbingly intense girl, fell to her knees and hugged him back on his level. As Weedy ran off she gathered up the silver and the baking soda and hurried back to the drudgery of her life.

 

@Bongo [Is this little episode finished?]

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