Chapter 17


Josh planned his Aunt Ina’s funeral for the following Thursday. It dawned a gray muggy day. Very much a typical day for a funeral. As sweet as Ina was very few people showed up to pay their respects. A few ladies from the local homemakers, and church. Not one of the woman’s sisters. Nelda, and Imagene were still in the area.
The sheriff, Josh, and I sat waiting for the flames and charges with Roberta to come out of them. She never showed.
Some one else did though. About half way through the ceremony a rosebud appeared at the casket. Then a cold draft settled over me. It took a hold of my hand. But a chill that could have been a child’s hand seeking comfort. I didn’t move through the ceramony. Even walking out later I could feel that little cold hand in mine.
After I got outside “Sammy is that you?” There was a gentle squeeze. And before I could ask anything else my purse came open and the chill was gone.
I didn’t have time to see what was in my purse. I snapped the purse shut as I heard Josh calling me.
“I promise I will check later Sammy.” The latch came open and closed as if he was agreeable to that.
Josh took my hand to help me in the car. He looked at me funny before saying “Your hand is so cold.”
“I had a visitor in the funeral. Sammy has put something in my purse. I told him I would check later.”
It was while I changed after getting home that afternoon. That I checked on the purse. There was a piece of flat bark with what looked like crude markings on it or a childish scrawl.
“She is hurting people. She only sees her pain. She feels scared and mad. She sings to her son. Pretty music. I fall asleep listening.”
Josh showed up about ten minutes later to take me with him to see Ronald’s wife.
Handing the bark to him as he entered. He read it.  “Well at least she has her good points. Wonder if we can get her to take care of Sammy then neither one would be alone.”

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