Keeper
Chapter 28

Copyright© 2021 by Charly Young

The pastor’s daughter, Charity, knew that everybody in the congregation of the Christian Church of Truth said that she was the best-behaved little girl to come along in a while. Almost everybody said so when they patted her head and added a “bless her heart.” She also knew that everybody thought that her mother was a whore, a godless witch who left a good and godly man, no doubt chasing after some sweet-talking fancy man, three months after giving birth to Charity.

Her daddy and her Aunt Sophia raised her to be a good girl—but because she had the taint of her mamma’s blood as her aunt reminded her over and over, it was necessary that her loving aunt keep a constant watch for the evil that was surely deep in her nature. They must keep away her from the influences of the worst sort of people. Any backsliding on her part was met with a belt beating.

Swift and severe punishment was the road to redemption.

When her daddy and auntie died in a car wreck, Charity didn’t miss them much, but she was lonesome — real lonesome until the day she found Dolly in one of her adventures in the attic of the group home where they sent her to live.

She finally had a friend. She spent hours talking to Dolly and listening as well, of course, because Dolly had many interesting secrets to tell.

When she nine years old, a boy named Jeffery snatched Dolly from her and he wouldn’t give it back. He just kept laughing at her and jumping away every time she grabbed for it.

“Awww, are you going to cry big baby,” he taunted, as he swung the doll over his head by the hair.

“Stop it! Give her back! You’re gonna hurt her!” she cried out at him, lunging again to get her doll back.

Finally, she managed to get a grip on the dolly’s legs. The boy pulled back. Between the two of them, dolly’s neck could not take the stress and snapped. The little girl fell backwards into the dirt, holding the headless doll in her hands.

She cried piteously, mourning her only friend.

The boy laughed as he threw the head into the dirt and walked away.

Unfortunately for him, Dolly had schooled Aggie well.

“A curse on your head I place...” She sang/chanted the words she’d been taught.

Jeffery was laughing and doing a mocking dance for his friends atop the low stone wall when he lost his balance and fell on a big rock. He gashed his head and there was lots lots of blood and the ambulance had to come.

Charity felt a flicker of remorse. The fall looked like it hurt something terrible, but like Dolly whispered, he deserved it.

For the first time, deep down, a dark part of little Charity exulted in the power. Another part of her, the part that the folks who worshiped in her little country church would have named her soul, called out dire warnings, but the other part flush with the satisfaction that comes with justified anger tamped it down.

It wouldn’t be the last time in her life she got a little payback on those who should know better than to be mean to her.

The funeral was a nice one, everyone said so. Little Charity sat in the back with a secret smile on her angelic face. Beside her although no one could see was a faerie known in other times to other people as Discordia. The Romans thought her a god, but she was faerie and her help was acid that ate at the soul.

 
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