Unfortunately, when Jordan and Elise were attacked, David was killed trying to protect them. The Texas and Louisiana members decide they want to go home.
Monday rolled around, but no one felt like celebrating. David’s wake was that evening and his funeral the following day. None of the children went to school on Tuesday. For the second time, Chase’s family got into the black limosine provided by the funeral home, and drove to the church together. This time, it was Neil who verfied that it was his father in the coffin, not Chase. They did the duty together, both keeping the other strong.
David had asked for a small, private ceremony, just family and close friends, but the public wouldn’t stay away. He’d been a part of the Miracle City Council, served on the Board of Education and been a member of the Lion’s Club as well as the VFW. Despite the announcement in the paper, everyone showed up to pay their respects. Rather than turning them away, the family agreed to allow them to join them.
Like at Cliff’s funeral, members of the family and close friends, were asked to come up and share their memories of David. Each of the men from the Center Circle came up and told stories about David, making everyone laugh. Chase and Neil also spoke, along with Dora and Cynthia. Even the mayor asked permission to speak. Because he and David had been close friends, Myra welcomed it.
“David and I came up together,” Mayor Farnsworth said. “Best friend a man could have, and the worst enemy. Didn’t pay to get on his bad side, let me tell you. We got along great until I made a play for Myra, who was the prettiest girl in town. Thought to my soul he was gonna tear me apart. Scared me so bad, I ran off to the woods and got myself lost. I wandered around in the wilderness I don’t know how many days, confused and disoriented. Just as I was about to give up and just let the Good Lord take me, when I heard someone calling my name. It was David. He came with his mated pair of Blue Tick Hounds. He found me less than five miles from home, wandering around in a circle. He fed me, gave me water and told me how to get home. He didn’t bring me in, let me show up to be brought in by the team. Never to this day did I tell a soul that it was him who saved me, showed me the way. He showed me the way on more than one occasion, and I’ll miss his silent strength.”
There was quiet in the church, except for sniffles and nose blowing.
“David Braxton, I’ll miss you, my friend.”
The choir started singing Amazing Grace and the mayor joined in, his booming bass nearly drowning out the entire choir. Everyone in the congregation joined in and continued singing as the coffin was put in the hearse.
Afterward, every headed to the fellowship hall for a reception. No one had planned on so many people, but the church ladies had pitched in and made a feast for them all.
“I feel like Jesus with the loaves and fishes,” Myra said, looking at the laden tables of food. “He’d be so embarrassed by all this fuss,” she whimpered.
Neil held her close. “No, Mama, he’d be proud. And he’d go over there and eat all the chicken.”
She giggled, nodding. Not to be outdone, Neil went over and helped himself to a heaping platter of fried chicken and fried green tomatoes, provided by a local restaurant.
Once the reception was over, and all the leftovers had been loaded up and distributed to the family, everyone went home. Leaving Chase’s family to grieve on their own, at their request, Brian and Jordan’s famlies gathered at Brian’s house. They changed into their comfy clothing and lounged around the family room, watching Elise play with her brother and Jordan.
“I never did get a clear picture of what happened at the river,” Maribelle said. “I know that Jordan was there, unconscious. Then Brian and Sweet arrived with Summer. But you were very vague on details.” Her penetrating gaze riveted her son. She might be legally blind, but she still could nail him with a guilt stare.
Brian gulped, appealing to Jordan and Scott.
“Don’t lie to me,” Maribelle said. “I know it’s on your mind, Brian Casey. I can see it in your aura. Yours too, Jordan.”
“It was Elise,” Brian said slowly, haltingly.
“What?” Maribelle tilted her head as if she hadn’t heard properly.
“She protected Jordan from Lien. I heard her yelling No and she smacked her around, hit her with water, air, earth. Only thing she didn’t wield was fire. It was like watching a miniature pitbull on the attack. She knocked the shit out of Lien.”
“Sit,” Elise said, grabbing her brother’s lips. “Sit, sit, shhh-it.”
Brian smacked himself in the face.
“My baby? How’s that possible?” she appealed to Jackie.
“I don’t know…. Heath did some research and found that in extreme circumstances, more than one member of the family can have special powers. She may never show them again,” she hastened to say. “It might have been extreme measures because Jordan was in danger.”
“My baby took on a fully grown Kitsune—and survived?”
“She not only survived, Mom. She kicked Lien’s ass.”
“Will you stop teaching your sister inappropriate words?” his mother’s temper flared.
“Sorry. I’ll try. But I’m an inappropriate kind of guy. But she did, seriously, kick it.”
“I can’t believe it.” Maribelle shook her head. “I need to go lie down. Can you watch Elise for us?”
“Sure, Mom. Go get some rest.”
Jackie and Heath headed home, leaving Jordan to help babysit. Once they were alone with the little girl, Jordan combed her fingers through Elise’s curls.
“Did she really do all that? You’re not exaggerating?”
“Not a lick. If anything, I toned it down. I didn’t think Mom could take all the details.”
“Do you really think she’s never going to use her powers again?”
Brian nodded at his sister, who was currently spinning her foam building blocks in the air. “I don’t know, Jordan. What do you think?”
Jordan stared at the baby, laughing softly. Elise grinned at her, giggling as she made the blocks spin and whirl higher and faster.
“Not a chance,” Jordan said.
“Shit,” Elise said as the blocks dropped suddenly. “Shit, shit, ass!”
“Well, one thing’s for sure. She’s my sister!”
Laughing, Brian set the blocks swirling for Elise, who clapped her hands and danced as the blocks floated around her. His eyes met Jordan’s and he imagined he saw their own daughter there, dancing around with blocks spinning in the air.
© 2018 Dellani Oakes
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