Charity’s Ball
By Daisy Jones
Date: August 4, 2016
Ch. 1515

Charity clenched the letter and held the written words close to her heart. She finally understood Josiah’s reasons for his sudden departure and she instantly forgave him. He paid the ultimate price for the knowledge he possessed and regretfully misused. His good intentions, just as hers, produced unexpected results that changed the course of people’s lives, without their knowledge or consent. The course of miracles can sometimes make unexpected journeys far from any beaten path. Sometimes the journey takes the traveler into unknown dimensions with no promise of a return trip. Other times, it can lead a soul right down the center of Main Street to discover their destiny was there all along.

Charity retraced her steps to return safely home. She considered the fact that Josiah never got the chance to make his final descent from the mountaintop. She collected each piece of yarn she had placed along the way, while laughing away her own fears.

There wasn’t much left of the day’s light, but it was just enough. Charity returned home in time to meet up with James at the crossroad leading to the cottage gate with fading sunset outlines defining her graceful movements. She blushed at his obvious attraction to her approach while he removed his newly-acquired feathered cap, and gregariously bowed to acknowledge her presence. James was thrilled to share his sudden affinity for medieval charm, as he effortlessly extended his free hand to swing the garden gate open. Charity stopped at her mother’s iron table and sat quietly for a moment, still tightly clenching Josiah’s letter. If only there were a way to share it with Sarah; to ease her mind with the same closure Charity was able to experience. Or perhaps, that wouldn’t be necessary now.

“Why the long face, Charity?” James questioned while reading subtle clues from her demeanor.

Charity snapped back into the present moment, aware her thoughts would have to wait. “I was thinking about my parents for a moment. The past month was very eventful and this place is filled with so many memories. At some point, it all catches up and I just have to let nature take its course,” she stated while standing and sighing gently.

“Well then, Miss Charity Adams, that’s what we’re going to do. We are going to let nature take its natural course. With that bold statement, James dismissed courtship protocol and extended his hands to draw her closer. He passionately stole a long overdue kiss that literally swept Charity off her feet, and he was right there to scoop her into his strong Robin Hood arms. On the first evening of November, in the center of Charity’s universe, he stole her heart.

Time marched forward with few delays. Charity continued to study her father’s legacy of ageless information that reshaped the lives of everyone she had ever known. She remained confident she would never access the unknown worlds that claimed her father while often wondering if she could.

The town of Proctor never reclaimed its anonymity, but no one seemed to care about that distinction anymore. Liberated from unspoken traditions, Proctor finally had two restaurants, two general stores, two schools, two churches and a lot more open-minded citizens. They often took the time to linger outside and look up at the night sky or a fresh sunrise and were willing to understand and consider something bigger than themselves. Handcrafted willow flutes and talented fiddlers played spontaneous compositions of homespun tunes on a regular basis, as if trying to recapture the magic of one particular Monster Ball. Charity’s apple orchard continued to flourish and provide nutrient-rich cider through the local farmer’s market, minus the extra ingredients.

And still, every year, two full barrels of Charity’s Apple Cider Special Reserve magically transforms all participants of the annual Monster Ball into the luckiest people on earth.

The End

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