Tuesday, April 9, 2013

'H' is for Horace Henry - Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

Horace Henry believed in miracles. Maybe that's because he didn't know any better. Maybe it was because when he was just five years old he saw his father run over by a truck on the red dirt road in front of his house. Horace ran down the road, screaming for help, only to find his daddy sitting on the front porch drinking iced tea when he returned home with the doctor. Things like that will make you believe in goodness.

He wasn't the smartest boy in his school, but he wasn't the dumbest either. If he'd had nicer clothes, Horace could have been good looking. Even without nice clothes, Horace had a way about him. He knew how to build things with wood, and when he was finished, whatever he worked on was always a piece of art.

Carolina Harrington lived a little ways down the road. She knew Horace at school, and she also knew him at church. "He's a nice boy," she said to her friends, "I think I like him okay." On Sunday morning, Horace usually made it to Carolina's house early enough to walk with her to services. When Carolina made a hummingbird cake for dinner on the grounds, Horace did the carrying.

Horace and Carolina talked about everything. She liked to sing hymns. He liked to listen. He liked to talk about politics while she pretended she thought that was okay. Both of them liked to go fishing, and so finally Horace got up his nerve and asked, "Carolina Harrington, will you go fishing with me on Saturday?" Carolina nodded her head and she smiled. Horace smiled back, "You bring the picnic, and I'll bring the fishing poles."

Early Saturday morning, Horace and Carolina took off for the creek. "It's gonna be a fine day for fishing," he said. "I'll bait your hook." Carolina smiled.

The two friends sat by the river and caught seven catfish before lunch time. Carolina spread a blanket on the grass. She brought fried chicken, fresh butter beans, and a recycled pickle jar filled with sweet iced tea. Carolina twisted the metal lid, opening the tea. Neither Horace nor Carolina notice how dark things had become. Lightening flashed, hit the lid and knocked Carolina flat onto the ground. Knocked out, Carolina was gone.

Horace looked up in the sky and he yelled at the lightening. I believe in miracles, and I'm not going to let her die. Jumping up, he picked up the cat fish and threw them back into the creek. He leaned over Carolina's body, still holding onto the pickle jar lid, and softly touched her hand. "I believe in miracles," he said again, in a whisper, and kissed Carolina on the cheek. Lightening struck again. Carolina Harrington opened her eyes and smiled.