UPDATE: The winner is…Delaine McLafferty!
Wait, what? One good wreath deserves another? Isn’t that supposed to be one good turn deserves another? True, that’s how the old saying goes. A good act leads to another, and thus goodness is spread. Well, this year for me this came true this past Christmas. Let me explain.
I go all out decorating my house inside and out for Christmas. With the uproar and upset caused by waiting for the 2020 election results I decided to started my Christmas decorating in November. I wasn’t alone. My neighbors were doing the same.
The good feeling then extended through the neighborhood to the beginning of the new year. I didn’t want the feeling to end so for the first time I created a wreath for New Year then decided to leave it up for the whole month of January. As February approached, I wanted to keep the positive vibes going through Black History month as well. Needless to say, Women’s History month and St. Patrick’s Day couldn’t be left behind.
Nor could I slight Easter in April. I then created a wreath with the May flowers brought by April showers and the rainbow created by the showers of love in Pride Month.
I was on a roll, so I made a July 4th wreath for my house and for my sister too, as well as a special wreath in honor of my 32nd wedding anniversary.
I’m up to August, celebrating summer and designing a birthday wreath for reaching the 65th year milestone.
You see what I mean? I’m such a regular at the Dollar Store, Michael’s, and Hobby Lobby I ought to look into buying stock. I’m looking forward to keeping the good feeling going to the end of the year as ideas for wreaths for the remaining months are on the drawing board. The additional benefit is all I need to do is rinse and repeat these wreaths in 2022. So for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, share in the comments how you honor or celebrate special days or seasons.
The Patience of Unanswered Prayer from Cowboys
featured in Cowboys
A feisty businesswoman about to become the next victim of Post-Civil War revenge receives rescue from an unexpected source
Excerpt from “The Patience of Unanswered Prayer”
Eleanor Taylor lay on her side, kinks knotting her back, cramps burning her thighs. Her muscles strained with each attempt to ease her discomfort. Instead of relief, the movement tightened the rope pinning her arms to her body. The blanket beneath which Sheriff Radcliffe concealed her smelled of horse sweat. Its scratchy wool surface set her cheeks afire.
Dirt coated the cloth he’d stuffed into her mouth. She moaned, unable to avoid swallowing the grit now smeared across her teeth and tongue. Afraid she’d wretch, she raised her head, an action that forced the grimy gag further down her throat.
“Keep still, you uppity mulatto bitch.”
She shuddered at the menace in Radcliffe’s tone. The same menace glinted in his icy blue eyes when he’d entered her cell and tried to violate her. He’d covered her mouth, but she’d sunk her teeth into his hand, eliciting a satisfying pain-drenched yowl from the bastard. A well-placed kick to the balls had laid him low. His groan flooded her huntress spirit with joy.
If his deputy hadn’t rushed in, she’d have gotten away.
The coppery tang from Radcliffe’s blood renewed her desire to be the hunter, not the hunted. Tapping carefully into that desire had enabled her to thwart the hostilities all independent Black business owners faced in this post-Reconstruction era. Acting on that desire now, however, could lead to her death. She had to find another avenue of escape before that desire resurfaced and revealed what no one should know about her.
“Seems your fears about the jail being overrun by her foes was misplaced, Sheriff.”
Radcliffe snorted. “Better safe than sorry, Jim. Something could’ve happened before we got her on the stage in the morning.”
The sounds of horse hooves clopping, drunken laughter, and saloon music had faded long ago. Only chirruping crickets, croaking bullfrogs, and Sheriff Radcliffe’s lies penetrated Eleanor’s covering. Where were they taking her?
The wagon wheels creaked with every rut they hit. Eleanor wheezed, desperate for fresh air. Nausea roiled at the base of her throat. Would she die choking on her own vomit? Fear squeezed her chest as yes flit through her mind like a lightning bug.
The wagon lurched to the right. Her nausea intensified.
“Mind how you go there, boy. We don’t want to be accused of mistreating the prisoner.”
Being arrested on false charges didn’t count as mistreatment? How about being abducted by ones sworn to uphold the law? Eleanor’s agony mirrored that of Christ’s on the cross.
My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?
She moaned, her spirit smothered by despair. The pressure at the small of her back eased only to be followed by a sharp jab to her spine.
“Shut up, damn you,” Radcliffe snapped. “Your days of troubling me will soon be over.”
“What was that you said, Sheriff?”
“Thank God this trouble’ll soon be over. We’ll have delivered her safe and sound to the county seat tomorrow.”
“Safe and sound,” Deputy Jim Flyte said. “Thank the good Lord.”
His tone, full of innocence and ignorance, penetrated Eleanor’s cloth prison and killed all hope that he’d be of any help. She stifled a groan lest her tormentor kicked her again. Flyte was too young to know that safe and sound to Sheriff Hobart Radcliffe meant only one thing: Eleanor’s death.
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