THERIOPHOBIA: FEAR THE BEAST Part 36
Mathilda Jackson had done all that she could. She’d said all the prayers, performed the necessary rituals, made the necessary intercessions.
*In the good Lord’s hands now.*
Mathilda put on her prettiest dress. Not so nice at all, she knew. But it would have to do. She brushed out her cotton-white hair, rolled it up and pinned it into place.
*Gots to look my best.*
Stepping out of her bedroom, she heard voices and went to them.
*Goin’ to meets my Maker.*
Roosevelt and Rebecca were in the kitchen. He sat at the table, and Rebecca brought him a glass of orange juice.
“What’s this for?” he asked.
“To keep your sugar up,” she replied.
“The Red Cross is having a blood drive at Miner Days.”
“Roosevelt, it’s just a tiny little needle. It won’t hurt a big, strong boy like you at all.”
Mathilda stood in the swinging doorway, watching and listening. It made her smile.
“Isn’t that right, Aunt Tillie?” Rebecca asked. “It won’t hurt Roosevelt to give a little blood?”
“‘Spect not,” Mathilda answered.
“You feel up to going to Miner Days, Tillie?” Rebecca asked.
“No, chile,” Mathilda said. “I can’t be goin’ to no such a’ thing.”
“Well, there’s some stew in the fridge.”
“No, chile,” she said. “My taxicab be here in a minute. I may be needin’ you to help me, Roosevelt. Got to carry my jars with me. Be three or four sacks full, ‘sides my basket.”
Roosevelt frowned, not drinking his orange juice. “Where are you goin’, Aunt Tillie?”
“Goin’ to visit my friends back to the nursin’ home,” Mathilda said. “Goin’ to take ’em some a’ my sauce,” she added.
“Tillie, I don’t know as I like the idea of you traipsing all over the place like that,” Roosevelt said. “And at night, no less.”
“Be fine,” Mathilda said. “Be jus’ fine.”
“Well, we’ll drive you then,” Rebecca said. “You don’t need a cab.”
“Oh, no, chile,” Mathilda said. “You can’t be comin’ with me. I got to do it myself.”
“Now, Tillie,” Roosevelt began.
“I knows you reckon I done lost all my senses, Roosevelt,” Mathilda said. “An’ I reckons I’d be a’ thinkin’ same ways if’n I was you. But I ain’t crazy yet. I knows what I is doin’.”
She paused. “You an’ Rebecca been real good to me, Roosevelt. An’ I does appreciate it. Don’t reckon as I’ve said that enough, but I does.”
“Well, you’re welcome, Aunt Tillie,” Rebecca said.
“I done been a’ imposin’ on you folks a awful lot,” Mathilda continued. “Mos’ folks wouldn’t be a’ havin’ none of it. But y’all is good folks. Best I ever knowed. Y’all an’ that sweet baby girl.”
Mathilda stopped. Any more and she’d start crying. And she knew this was not the time for tears.
“Anyways, I reckon I’m ’bout ready to go,” she said. “Now y’all gots to be careful, too, goin’ out tonight. Gots to be real careful.”
“Aunt Tillie, you’ve been saying that all day,” Rebecca said. “But you haven’t told me why.”
“You don’t want us to go to Miner Days?” Roosevelt asked. “Why’s that, Tillie?”
“Be all right, long as you stays in public,” Mathilda said. “Stays roun’ people an’ such. But don’t be wanderin’ off nowheres. Stays in town.”
“Why’s that?” Rebecca asked.
“Full Moon tonight,” Mathilda said.
“Ol’ devil gets free sway, nights a’ the full Moon,” Mathilda said. “Gots to be careful then. Ol’ devil gets to run loose when the Moon be full.”
* * *
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!