02/14/2014 Writing Practice
Restless. That's the only way to describe the atmosphere. When Ash walked into the small church only two months before it had been a small community baptist church. 150 members. The board had been the same for 15 years. They'd gone through two pastors in that time.
150 members typically meant 75 of them showed up on a regular basis, and the other 75 showed up periodically throughout the year. Many of those worked the oil fields, which meant they'd only be in town 1 of four weeks a month. But those were often the biggest givers, because they made so much money.
Things had plodded along nicely in this small town. Burger Texas. Their claim to fame was that they were the origin of the modern Hamburger. Of course, no body knew if this was true or not, but they liked to make a big deal of it, and it brought in tourists every so often who may be visiting nearby Amarillo.
"There he is..." someone whispered.
Ash walked into Mac Harpers Drug Store. Mac's doubled as one of the towns two cafe's, the other run by Mac's brother. It also served a real old fashioned Ice Cream Parlor and Soda Fountain Counter. One of the few original remaining in the country. It had been started by Mac's great grandfather 126 years ago in this very store.
"Well hey there Mr Ash. What can we get for you?" Mac flashed his super friendly cheesy smile.
"Well Mac. I think I'll take one of those amazing double cheeseburgers you are so famous for, a MacCola."
"Coming right up!" Mac turned and started throwing things onto the grill. While the meat was grilling Mac took a glass from the counter and put some ice inside. Poured a thick black syrup onto the ice, then filled the glass with soda water. Stirring it with a long thin spoon he then handed it to Ash and turned back to the grill.
Ash couldn't help feel for these people. All their lives they'd been in this small town, unaware and unaffected by most of the 20th and 21st century. Sure modern life has pushed though in terms of modern plumbing, electricity, and half the people in town had a smart phone. They'd even got their first traffic light two years ago. Of course most people just drive around the block to avoid it.
But there was a stirring now. The young people especially, and some of the more spiritually sensitive adults, had been growing restless. Same 'ol Same 'ol wasn't going to cut it anymore. Ever since Ash walked up to a little girl in a wheel chair after a church service and caused the biggest commotion this town had ever seen.
That was two months ago. His interaction with her was quite calm actually. No loud voice, no fan fare. He simply kneeled down to talk to this precious girl of 11 years old and asked her name. She has cerebral palsy and has very little speech. Her body sitting awkwardly in the wheel chair, no control over her limbs. But she manages to get out the name Ana.
Ash asks: "Ana... would you like to walk?" Her parents were so surprised by the suggestion they didn't have time to be angry. Her mom looked like she was about to say something but words never escaped her lips. Ana nodded her head, Ash took her by the hand, and she stood up as though she'd never been the slightest bit broken at all. Her limbs filled out, her hands straightened.
Ash and Ana walked outside together leaving the wheel chair behind. Ana looked at the world with wonder and amazement. She turned to Ash and hugged him, then ran out into the grass field nearby. The one used for Church picnic and sports events. By now the entire church was gathered to watch her. Some smiled, others pondering, and a few looked very concerned.
One deacon looked particularly upset and worried. Ash over heard him say "What kind of demonic trickery is this?"
When she returned to her parents, who were both overjoyed, looking at her with wonder, Ana asked "Where did that man go?"
When everyone turned around he was gone. Well... he wasn't exactly gone. Ash was nearby watching the commotion with his own sort of wonder. What just happened? He wasn't sure himself. He saw her. He felt this feeling of compassion and pity rise within. He nearly broke into tears seeing her. He loved her more than he'd loved anyone for that few moments. The rest of the world nearly disappeared. He heard the words to speak to her inside of him.
It was as though it wasn't him speaking. Rather, he was repeating what he heard.
Now two months later, nothing else amazing had happened. At least not in terms of miracles. He explained to the pastor and the church board that he didn't know what had happened, or how more specifically how. He just knew it did. They questioned his honesty and motives. When they found nothing they asked him to stick around awhile.
So he got a place at the one hotel in town and stuck around.
But the town had been wrecked for the ordinary. What was next? That was the question on everyones mind?
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