"My God! I've fallen into an old well. Please help me, Angel--I'm drowning!"
"Oh no! Don't say that Bret, 'cause I'll not hear it. I'm coming, please hold on." "Are you asleep, God? Please help me get Bret outta there!"
Cathy Dougherty, aka "Tootie" and Bill Bishop, aka "Commando," are co-authors of this novel. They invite you to join them in each chapter. Their wish is to make you laugh and cry, yet leave you in a state of uncertainty of what will happen next. As always, thank you for reading our work and God Bless!
Characters will, from time to time, reflect earlier scenes in their lives
"Miracle after miracle! That's what I need with Bret." I whispered. It seems like there are more tragedies than blessings lately. "So, what's this all about, God? Please tell me! Am I to take it day-by-day; and, will I understand it later? Hmmm! You work in strange ways, Father."
I was running as fast as I could towards Bret's continuous calls for help. Being barefoot, the sharp stones were cutting my feet as I hurried along the path, but I continued on knowing that Bret was in serious trouble and needed me. Having almost fallen into the well, I stopped short and doubled over to catch my breath. Then, I saw Bret as the moonlight reflected upon his head. Oh my God! The water was up to his chin. I panicked momentarily, then regained my composure.
"Honey, I'm here! What can I do to get you outta there? I can't reach you, and I don't have a rope. Sweet Jesus! What am I to do?"
"Shee! Just remain calm, Angel. Although you may not see God, He shall always be there if we need Him. So, ask Him to lead you across the meadow, then ask my neighbor, Larry, to come and help. Although he may sound mean, he has a heart of gold. Please, hurry along, and I'll do my best to hold onto the rocks on the sides of the well."
"You mean if you don't hold on, the water will be over your head, don't you, Bret?"
"Yes, Angel! Now, stop lollygagging around and run like a rabbit, 'cause this well water is freezing cold--go, go, go!"
I took a deep breath, then turned toward the cabin. I could see an oil lamp burning inside a window. "Okay, Bret! Hold on; I'll get Larry." As I ran to Larry's house, I was thinking. What if Bret does drown? I couldn't live a day without him. Although I know he is flirty and flamboyant, I wonder how he truly feels about me. Sweet Jesus! It can't end like this. We need each other. Honest to God! He's the best thing that ever happened to me. He calls me his Angel, but truly, he is mine.
Knock, Knock, Knock! I banged on the door and soon heard shuffling. I knew someone was home. After the door opened a dark-haired man with a scruffy beard and angry look in his eyes appeared. He was tall--over six feet, dressed in jeans and a red plaid shirt like a lumberjack. OMG! I'm glad Bret told me about his heart of gold as I was scared out of my wits. I thought for sure I would be history.
"It's the middle of the night! So, why are you knocking on my door? We don't want any Girl Scout cookies. Now, move along!"
He started to shut the door, but I got brave, held my hand out to stop it, as I stood there shaking like a dog after taking a bath in ice water.
"Bu...bu...but, Mister! I ain't selling cookies. Bret has fallen into an old well, and he needs you to help pull him out before he drowns. He asked me to come and getcha."
"My God, woman! Why didn't you say so sooner? I'll get a rope. C'mon, let's run faster than my old blue mule--giddy up! Let's go!"
My hands were numb from the dampness and started slipping along the stones in the well. Continuing to sink, I whispered, "Jesus, is there an empty chair at Your supper table?" At that moment, I felt warm and sleepy. Hmmm! "Why not take a short nap while waiting on Larry and Angel to get here," I asked myself.
"Awe, Grandma! Do I have to take a bath tonight? The water in the old tub isn't warm and I'm so cold."
"Mind what your grandma tells you, Bret, 'cause you smell like our ole billy-goat!"
"Yes, Sir! I'm gonna take my bath right now, Grandpa--Brrr!"
"Hold on, Bret, we're here! Can you hear me, honey?"
Yes, Angel! Please hurry, the water is up to my chin, and I'm freezing."
Larry immediately lowered the rope, Bret grabbed hold of it and we proceeded to pull him outta there with our combined efforts.
"HEAVE HO!" Bret found the strength to yell.
We pulled and pulled with all our might. With each pull, we took several steps backward only to be thrust forward again. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I saw Bret's mud-covered face and then his torso emerge from the well. Once he was out, he yelled, "Hallelujah! Miracles still happen, Helen."
"Helen! Who the hell is she, Bret? Oh, I remember now, she's the beautiful woman who lives near you. Sweet Jesus! You're courting her, too."
I didn't care what happened to Bret anymore. I went right up to him and slapped his flirty face. I started running again because I was scared about how much I loved him and whether he loved me as well. I'd never heard him talk of a Helen before. Hmmm! How many more were there, I wondered?
"Awe, stop running away from me, Beautiful. Please let me explain about Helen and me!"
I continued to run away from Bret. I was so damned jealous! I prayed..."Dear God, I can't live with him, yet I can't live without him. Please tell me, how did I get in such a mess? Why did I give my love so freely to a man I hardly even know?" At that moment I seemed to hear a whisper in the wind saying, "Love has no excuse or reason for its existence, my child. When it's there, it pleases me. Always follow your heart, and toss doubt aside. I'm at your back and will lead you wherever you need to go."
Well, I don't think God intended for this to happen--or did he? I wasn't looking where I was going, in fact, I had no idea where to go. I was running away from the man I loved because I was afraid, I reminded myself. I figured it was time to stop being jealous, wait for Bret, and become the woman God had chosen to care for him. I ran on until I reached the blanket in the meadow, then sat down and cried.
"Where are you, Angel? Please answer up! Oh, my God! Please come back to me. Don't leave me all alone, 'cause you promised God you'd look after me. Why are you deserting me, Honey? Don't you love me any longer?"
"I'm over here on the blanket, Darling. Please forgive me for not trusting you, for acting like a selfish fool, and being unable to make near impossible things happen in our lives."
"Awe, Beautiful, please don't cry! I'm so sorry for hurting you. Can you ever forgive me?"
I ran and jumped into Bret's arms. As I smothered him with kisses, he picked me up, carried me to the blanket, kissed my lips, then whispered.
"Call our love magic, or whatever comes to mind. Call it having the power to make those near impossible things happen in our lives! Just remember, when the nights are long and lonely, and your bed feels cold and bare. Just reach out and touch my picture, then you'll know that I am there. Then in the morning, you'll wake and find, that I'm sitting in my chair. Oh yes! We'll plant red roses in the garden, feed the baby bear and deer. When the whippoorwill sounds its mating call, I'll sing I Love, You' in your ear. Then, we'll climb the highest mountain, reach and touch the Face of God. And our love shall bloom forever, like red roses in their pods. I love you heart and soul, Angel!"
"Awe, Bret, that's so beautiful! Of course, you know you made me cry, doncha? Did you write the words to that little poem, or did someone else?"
"Shee! Do you promise never to tell?"
"Hmmm--Okay, Angel! The truth is, Grandpa wrote the poem for Grandma. Then one Saturday night, he came down from the mountain with a quart of moonshine whiskey in the pocket of his bib overalls, and within an hour it was history. After drinking the whole quart, he walked (kinda wobbly mind you) into the log cabin, grabbed his guitar, Grandma's hand, pulled her out onto the porch, then started picking and a 'singing. Once finishing, he staggered over to Grandma, whispered something in her ear, then jumped back. Oh my! Grandma's face turned watermelon red, she walked over and picked up her ole straw broom, then started whooping Grandpa's tail. Well, Angel, aren't you gonna ask me what Grandpa said to Grandma?"
"Of course I am! Just as soon as I get back from Heaven with Grandma's broom, and whoop your tail--you silly gander. Oh my God! Did you hear that, Bret?"
"Yes, Angel! It sounded like a black panther screaming and it's very close. Sweet Jesus! I can see it now and it's running our way. Quick! Get on the grass and pull the blanket over you, and I'll try to attract it to me--'God help us'!"
"I'm over here, 'Bad Cat'! What's a 'matter? Come on--'Chicken, Chicken'! Leave, my Angel alone, you woman eater--Do you hear me?"
Just then, it hit me like a ton of bricks, and I went flying through the air like a frightened duck. After my hitting the ground, the panther turned and headed for Angel.
"Oh God in Heaven! Can't you see the panther is ripping me apart? Why have You forsaken me?" "Oh, Bret! I love you so much for trying to save me. Please, always remember, 'You're my hero'! Gotta go now, I'll save you a chair next to me at the table of Jesus--Goodbye, Darling!"
Sorry, friends! However, Cathy and I told you, "We'd leave you hanging."
So, come on Y'all--We'll see you in Chapter 7.
Best wishes and God Bless!