Reverend Robert

Glad you could join us for the next resplendent episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

Elliot R
Photo credit: Grayson Hartman

Side by side, Cassandra and Elliot followed the lowering sun. They laughed their way through a grassy meadow, slipping over broad ribbons of green, sharing stories of childhoods so vastly different Elliot knew they created an entirely new world by weaving their tales together. The future spread before them, a blank tapestry awaiting their design.

He was happy. Every breath was blissful proof that love was more than an ideal to dream of; it was as real as life itself, and he deserved Cassandra’s gift of eternal love just as surely as it was his destiny to bestow his unending love upon her.

Nothing would ever part them.

“Excuse me, my young friends,” a silky voice called to them from the lengthening shadows. “Might a weary Traveler trouble you for a little assistance along the Road?”

Elliot stopped just ahead of Cassandra, instinctively shielding her from the stranger who stepped into the late afternoon’s golden light.

He was tall and gangly, almost comical to see. His wedgy head sat upon a neck too impossibly delicate to hold it up, and his long, raspy arms bent at sharp and curious angles as he nibbled on his own fingertips. His bulbous eyes held hypnotic fascination.

Extracting his fingertips from his mouth to steeple them before his chest, he smiled in a V-shaped grin revealing two rows of tiny serrated teeth. “Greetings,” he said, “I am Reverend Robert. Might I have a moment of your time?”

Although the air wrapped them in warmth, a chill shivered through Elliot.

To be continued…

Previously, on Elliot’s Adventures ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Next time . . .


Today’s twofer from April 23, 2016:

Regrets

“I’ve had a few.” Old Blue Eyes
Frankie
Me, too, Frankie.

I do not regret eating dirt.

It was early Spring in Racine, Wisconsin. I had just turned two.

An aside: I don’t blame you if you have a hard time believing that. All I can tell you is this: If you have strong emotional reactions to things you did as a small child and an amygdala as healthy as mine apparently is, those memories are as close to the surface as your inner child. Forever. More recent events? Like the last movie you saw or what you had for breakfast this morning? Not so much. The human brain is a mystery. Some people say they remember being born. Huh. I might be with you on that one, but who knows for sure?

Anyway, I really had just turned two. Mom had dug up a little garden plot against the back of the house next to the back door stairs. The sun was shining and reflecting off all the little sparkly bits in the soil. Minerals, I suppose, not diamonds or buried treasure like I was hoping. The dirt was dark and rich, loose and ready for seeds.

It was just so pretty.

I wondered what it tasted like, so I picked up a grubby little handful and put it in my two-year-old mouth to eat it.

Mom always said:

“Never spit your food out.” Mom on table manners

I suppose I could have rationalized that dirt wasn’t really food, so it would be okay to spit it out, but I had put it in my mouth to eat it, so technically, in my two-year-old brain, it was food.

I didn’t spit it out. I chewed it up and swallowed it.

I can still taste it. (No, not because I haven’t brushed my teeth in the intervening [mumble-mumble] years. I have. Tens of thousands of times. It’s a sense memory, Silly.) Dirt is tangy and metallic. It’s gritty, crunchy and brown. It tastes like… dirt. But not mold or dust or filth. It tastes just like you would expect clean dirt to taste.

Actually, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans did a great job on the dirt flavored bean; the texture is wrong, but the flavor is perfect.

IMG_4006
Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans (Who do you suppose taste-tested the Booger beans?)

I was probably lucky I didn’t end up with pin worms or something worse. Or maybe I did, and I just don’t remember that part. The brain is mysterious. But eating dirt didn’t kill me. Maybe it even boosted my immune system; I really am unusually healthy.

Still, I do remember thinking, as I licked my teeth and brushed the fine stuff off my lips:

“Well, I never have to do that again.” Two-year-old me

And I haven’t.

Have you ever done anything you thought you might regret and then didn’t?

#AtoZChallenge A-to-Z Fictioneers: Interested in original fiction? Here’s a list of writers who are writing stories for the 2017 A to Z Challenge. The author’s link will take you to their “A” post. If you know of any other story writers I can share, please drop the link in the comments!

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Author: Sue Ranscht

I am a writer. Let me tell you a story...

22 thoughts on “Reverend Robert”

  1. Now I am worried for Elliot!

    While I’ve never eaten dirt, I do know that lots of people add clay to their diets as a way to detox. Bentonite clay, if I remember correctly. I am in the process myself of reading up on something called diatomaceous earth with the goal of adding it to my diet, because the health benefits are supposed to be so fantastic. So, your baby-self just might have been wiser than anyone knew!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My older sister stuffed a piece of dog kibble into my mouth while I was still asleep at a sleep-over, while my best friend’s older sister did the same to my friend. Of course we woke up immediately. I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’m sorry that happened to you. but I know the two older girls thought it was hilarious.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh no! Meanies…oh the blessing of older sisters. No..I actually tried dog food through choice (Bleuchhh! Certainly not now!)
        I was a REALLY fussy eater as a child and I remember consciously thinking that the dogs looked as if they were loving their food, so it must be a lot better than what my mother was giving me..lol… I toddled over and stuck my fingers in it, much to the dog’s bemusement and my mother’s horror! LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Curiosity is healthy, right? You’re logic was commendable, and apparently, your taste buds work just fine! Lol! I wonder how many times your mom thought about that moment while you were growing up. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Let me answer the question first: In my 20s, I used to buy clothes on sale which I would regret while buying and even more when the return by date would expire. Guess what! I’d repeat this stupidity the next time Sales signs went up.
    I do not do that any more.

    When I was pregnant with my son, I used to lick chalk. And I can tell you nothing and no one could convince me not to. I am impressed with your two year old self’s manners:)

    Elliot continues to weave his magic on me…or is it you? LOVE this: “Elliot knew they created an entirely new world by weaving their tales together.”
    Thank you:)
    R is for Rann of Kutchch

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Teachers who teach the multiplication tables know that most of us learn by repetition. You finally did a sufficient number of reps to learn the lesson your regret was trying to teach you. See? Success!

      It sounds like your body was craving calcium. Mine did, too, and it led to the only craving I had my entire pregnancy: a 16 ounce glass of milk placed in the freezer just long enough to freeze a crispy edge around the surface of the milk, then drink the whole thing down in one breath. Ha, the joys of pregnancy!

      I will cherish your compliments about my story and my writing. Thank you, my friend. ❤

      Like

  3. Uh-oh, I hope Reverend Robert doesn’t turn out to be a villain like the guy in The Night of the Hunter movie with love and hate tattooed on his knuckles. Oh wait, I don’t suppose praying mantises actually have knuckles. Whew! I think that’s an auspicious sign.

    I think you’ve got a very good scientific grasp on brains – they’re magic and have mysterious filing systems. You also have very polite eating habits. I trust you chewed with your mouth closed. I’m pretty sure only one mouthful of dirt is exactly the right amount for a lifetime. Lucky you – next time it’s offered you can pass.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perhaps Reverend Robert portends a happy event. Perhaps he portends Quintessa’s prophesy. Stay tuned…

      I’ve been fascinated by the brain’s powers and complexity for as long as I can remember. I don’t believe science will ever be able to duplicate it with artificial intelligence — and I hope they never do.

      A big YES to chewing with my mouth closed — and, “elbows off the table!” lol

      Like

    1. I’ve never had a mud-flavored one, but I certainly agree about the other two! In fact, when I came across a vomit-flavored one, I finally realized that I didn’t have to actually eat it. Some just deserve to be spat out. I would hate to be their taste-tester.

      Liked by 1 person

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