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Country Light

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by Dennis Carroll

Novellas and short stories are copyrighted by Dennis Carroll, 2013.
E-mail inquiries and comments to denniscarroll@denniscarroll.me
Criticism and comments may be posted on the Smashwords site.
All stories are published only in Ebook format and are published through Smashwords. The stories are available through most Ebook providers. "Seek" will be published in hardcover format after e-publication of all of the short stories.
Foreword

“Country Light” is a 3800 word fictional short story which recounts the last night of a young 90+ year old woman. No one fears death. It is the process which is feared. If this story helps alleviate such fear for any person, it has served its purpose.

The story recounts the fictional last night of a young 90+ year old woman whereby she finds that which she did not know she was seeking. The character study is loosely based on my still-living mother’s life. It is neither biographical or a sketch of her character, personality or world view; nor does she take pills. It is simply my attempt to find the truth of why and how she is who she is and to suggest that her life will continue to be exhilarating. It need not find the heart of any reader except, perhaps, on a quiet night, hers.

Part of the "White Light" Series.

Country Light
Chapter 2. We Had A Party, Didn't We?

She sank deep into the chair. She would sit for just a minute -- by the fireplace. There really wasn’t much left to do. The girls had cleaned up the kitchen, the boys had gathered up all of the trash and everything.

She wasn’t used to being this tired. Yes, it had been a long day but she didn’t really do very much. Baking the ham didn’t take long, making the breakfast eggs and biscuits were routine. A couple of pies and a cake and she was pretty much through, except for corn and peas and the casseroles. The girls had bought most of the food. Mike fried the turkey; the boys sliced the ham and had put up the lights. Oh, she had made cheese and mac for the children. And pizza.

Widowed for all of these years, she tried to keep the parties as festive as they had been when her husband had added so much zest and life to them. And, oh, what a party it had been this day. As good as the old days. Her recent Old Days, of course. Not her old Old Days.

Chapter 3. Her old Old Days

Her Mother lay dying. "Mama, promise me you will adopt Grace. Promise me."

“Child, Roscoe will take care of your child just like it was his’n.” "No, Ma, it’s hard times. It’s hard times and he will favor his own child over mine. Promise me.”

"Papa and me will take care of Grace, I promise you, child.”

"No, Mama. Adopt her. Make her your daughter for real.”

“Child … child ...”

“Mama, please.”

Chapter 4. Shooting Stars

The gas fire burned low. You didn’t need face protectors like back then. Back then the fires were hot, they were real fires.

A shooting star passed through her mind, from back to front, landing as an ember in the front of her mind. Only it wasn’t a shooting star. It was the face of Mama.

That was funny. Mama, so long gone ... a shooting star.

She should get up now and go on to bed. She had to open up tomorrow. They had decided not to close the extra day. Everyone said times were hard these days.

How comfortable she had grown. Not even her grandchildren believed that she had really walked barefoot to school, how it was her job to milk the cows before breakfast, before she could go to school. How extremely lucky she had been to get an education.

She was so fortunate. She remembered Mama and Papa – how hard they worked. Her grandparents had officially adopted her and they loved her very much even if they weren’t exactly her biological parents. Theirs was not the touchy-feely laughing kind of love but rather the give the extra potato to their daughter rather than eating it yourself kind of love. They had already raised ten of their own children during hard times. Grace was the eleventh.

The nature of love changes with time.

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The entire short story is available for purchase online at Smashwords.com.