Charity’s Ball
By Daisy Jones
Date: April 19, 2016
Ch. 8Revelations


On a brisk and sunny Saturday morning in mid-October, Charity began assembling and weighing the ingredients collected for her next batch of apple cider. The brew required fermentation prior to the ball, so everything had to be synchronized. Her growing apprehension was interrupted by the familiar creak of the garden gate. Charity carefully covered her ingredients and stowed them out of sight before heading out the kitchen door. A familiar, yet infrequent visitor was standing alone in the center of the garden; the same spot Sarah claimed as her patient consultation area many years ago. It was one of Jesse’s favorite places on earth. The solid iron table and chairs were still in place, centered on an oversized cobblestone terrace, providing ageless testimonials of the nook’s significance. Four oversized willow trees bowed inward toward the clearing to provide a natural lush canopy.

Charity was happy to see Jesse Brown whenever he spontaneously arrived at the cottage. He was a loyal family friend and like an uncle to her. Jesse promised Sarah he would always keep a watchful eye on Charity, should the situation find her suddenly alone. Since Charity was only seventeen at the time of Sarah’s death, Jesse took his vow seriously and settled down permanently on the outskirts of Proctor, about twelve miles west of Charity. After Sarah passed away, Jesse was instrumental in initiating Charity’s legal inheritance and ownership of the cottage, adjacent gardens and orchards, thus assuring her birthright. Through squatter’s rights, Sarah and Josiah Adams laid claim to over fifteen acres of orchards, gardens and farmland, including Josiah’s mountain. The land was thick with multitudes of edible vegetation and orchards that thrived with little need for cultivation or restoration. Now it all belonged to Charity.

Charity rushed to greet Jesse with a heart-warming hug as his familiar crooked smile burst into a full grin. “Uncle Jesse! It’s wonderful to see you again. Do come in and stay for a while. The pecan crop just yielded it best harvest in years and I’ve got some warm maple pecan muffins to share. I can make us some fresh tea.” she offered graciously.

Jesse complied with an eager nod and followed her back into the kitchen. “Oh dear Charity, I’ve been meaning to get by here ever since I realized you had another birthday. You look wonderful; you are the spitting image of your mom. Twenty-four now?”

“Twenty-five; thanks,” she replied with a smile.

“It’s hard to believe I first met your mom almost thirty years ago. I sure do miss her. Things just aren’t the same since she left this earth,” he said while removing his hat and bowing his head with reverence.

Charity was grateful for his memories and seized the opportunity to question him about her recent garden shed discovery. “I miss her too, every day,” Charity paused for a moment, gathering courage to discuss previously unmentionable topics. “Uncle Jesse, I need to ask you some questions.”

“Sure Charity, what is it?” He replied before realizing what he agreed to.

“What can you tell me about my father? I mean, what do you know about his medicinal practices? How well did you know him? Were they happy, you know what I mean. Were they in love?”

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