I left the library, walked to my car, drove the B&B. I had been here a little over 3 hours and just now thought of lodging. A reminder, thanks to Kerris.
I get so caught up in my work I forget to do the necessary things, like eating. I haven’t eaten a thing all day. I checked in with Auntie Judith. I told her that her niece recommended to stay here. “I know, she called.”
This is a gossipy town, I thought.
“Justin Chadsworth, the writer, welcome…I dare say, I do not believe in all of that gobbledegook you write about, but, it is a fun read all the same. I could write a book about this town, not like yours, but, about all the crazy goings on here and the undignified ways certain folks behave.”
I retorted that everyone I had met seemed cordial and congenial and quite helpful.
“You only met a couple of folks.”
“I met your niece.”
“Yes, of course…well, she is an exception…isn’t she a charming soul? I oughta know, I raised her after my sister died and that blasted no-good dad of hers up and ran away…scoundrel.”
“Um, yes, well, could you direct me to my room, I’m a tad weary and I’d like to clean up and perhaps, you can recommend a place to eat?”
“Yes, there is Hank’s Diner, good food, but mine is better. I don’t usually cook supper for guests, it’s extra, and, I have to be pre-warned, but, since you haven’t eaten, you go get cleaned up and in a half an hour I will be serving fried chicken and all the fixins.”
I acknowledged her with a gracious thank-you.
The room appeared as cozy as Kerris told me it would, a writing desk near the window full of sunshine, a huge 4-poster bed several inches, perhaps, a foot off the floor, a throwback when they used bedwarmers.
I was on the second floor of this old 3-story house and as typical, the bathroom was outside and down the hall. I forgot to pack a bathrobe.
I managed using the largest towel available and just hoped no one would catch me half-naked making it back to my room.
Supper was much needed and very tasty, but, I excused myself immediately after to go back to my room. The sun was fading and I wanted to put my notes together and begin writing. I fell asleep feeling exhausted. The drive is what wears me out more than anything else, and, it was a long drive.
I awoke just a few minutes before 9 a.m. and went to douse my face and brush my teeth. I made it downstairs.
“You almost missed breakfast, but, then I did forget to tell you breakfast is from 6 to 9. Cup of coffee?”
“Yes, appreciate it.” I tend to be a groggy sort, it takes me a while to adjust to being awake.
I just noticed the other boarder, a scraggy old fellow with rather long hair and beard, nearly looking like a vagrant but cleaner.
“this is John Johnson, he doesn’t stay here but comes every Sunday morning for breakfast before he goes to church with…”
Just then Kerris appeared drying a dish in her hand and wearing a sunny yellow dress to the knees, her hair undone from the librarian bun, and a sparkling smile, not wearing her glasses…she shone like the morning sun itself and not keeping herself like a light under a bushel.
“It wouldn’t hurt you, Auntie, to go to church once in a while.” Kerris scolded her in a gentle voice.
“Church, church, I don’t need any church. I don’t need any religion. I got my Bible…don’t need anyone preaching to me or giving me a sermon, the hypocrites, why even the Reverend is a scandal, he…”
“Now, Auntie, Mr. Chadsworth doesn’t need to hear this…besides, we best be going…Mr. Johnson, you ready?”
The old guy was clutching his cup in both hands, staring into it. Kerris released it from his grip and helped him from his chair.
Once out of sight, Auntie Judith chattered again. "He’s half blind, the poor man, ever since he lost his wife, and that was 10 years ago, he hardly speaks. Kerris takes him to church and afterwards they visit the graves of his wife, then, Kerris’ mother. The woman was a negligent mother, but, Kerris still loves and misses her all the same.
I took my leave, too, and decided to head out on my walk to do what I came here to do.
Fetching my camera and notepads I proceeded along the walk nearly enough to see the library, and across the street, 2 buildings down, I saw Len’s Barbershop.
There was virtually no traffic and I could hear church bells from various directions. These towns are loaded with churches. Like Auntie Judith, in a way, I am not fond of religion, but there are times, in my travels, I ponder reconsidering, yet, my own rationale keeps me from getting into it, as well. I was raised Anglican, although found it rather stiff and stuffy.
Now, just parallel across the street I spied the path between the buildings, startled I also saw Dickie’s bicycle leaning against the abandoned store.
I made it across with ease and stood before the worn path, although, it didn’t seem all that worn peering into the thick of it.
This was my chance to talk to Dickie, I thought, and to get the lowdown on all that he purportedly witnessed firsthand.
Sometimes, I wonder why I do this…why I go on investigating the supernatural, the eerie, the unexplained? I think I might be looking for proof, proof of an afterlife, possibly proof of God Himself. With all I have learned and all of the mystery I am still not sure what drives me, the fascination. I didn’t just fall into it by happenstance. I had a vision of my own mother the night before she died. I wasn’t completely sure I saw her, I was distracted by writing. I tried my hand at writing fiction, but, gave that up in favor of this.
to be continued