A Better View
By Joshua Scribner
Copyright 2016 Joshua Scribner
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without the permission in writing from the author.
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Shakespir.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
A Better View
The faces in the living room were blank. They were all in shock. No one was even crying. Marigold wished that they were crying. She had to get out of there. She moved back to the guestroom, where Jones sat alone.
He had his hands crossed in front of his face, like he was deep in thought.
“I don’t understand it,” she said.
“You don’t have to understand it.”
“But I had that terrible professor. He was going to flunk me unless I did things for him. I told you. The next day he had a car accident.”
“It was easy to do what I do. And now he’s gone.”
“Then there was the guy who was stalking our daughter. The police wouldn’t do anything about it. You did your thing. He was bitten by that snake and died.”
“And now our daughter is safe.”
“When that drug dealer was going to kill your brother, he called you. The drug dealer was shot in a deal gone bad.”
“My brother has since improved his life. He’s not on drugs. He’s holding down a good job, supporting his kids.”
“Yes. You’re good at helping people. That’s why I don’t understand. I told you about the jerk. He was hurting my sister. He was mean to the kids. He might have even been hurting the kids.”
“And I heard you. I did what I do.”
“But I don’t understand.”
“You don’t want to understand.”
Marigold wanted to hurt him. She wanted to claw his arrogant face right off. She had to leave the room.
She didn’t want to go back in the living room and look at the blank faces. She went into Grandma’s room. Grandma was always comforting to her.
She sat in front of the old woman’s rocker. She leaned into her lap and sobbed.
Grandma stroked her hair. “It’s okay, baby girl. Everything is going to be better now.”
“No, Grandma. My sister is dead. That jerk is still living, and my sister is dead. Why is no one crying? They just look stunned.”
“They’re stunned by their mixed feelings.”
“Yes baby. They are both happy and sad.”
She would have been furious at anyone else for saying that. But this was Grandma. Grandma had always been her source of comfort. She couldn’t be furious at grandma. “Please, Grandma. Please make me understand it.”
“You don’t have to understand. The spirits understand.”
Marigold had never told anyone about what Jones could do. But she felt a compulsion to say something now, something that would make her feel less alone. “But my husband can talk to the spirits.”
“I know, baby. He has a gift. He chants to them and they do his bidding.”
Marigold looked up at the wrinkled face, which was now as calm as ever. “How did you know?”
The old woman chuckled. “I’m old. I’m close to death. I can feel things others can’t. And I can feel the spirits around when he’s around.”
Marigold struggled with the next question. She wasn’t sure she was ready to know the answer. But at the same time, she felt a compulsion to understand. “So you know. You know he killed my little sister.”
“He didn’t kill your sister.”
“He sent them to kill her.”
“No, he did not. He sent them to kill that piece of garbage. And the spirits like to be talked to. They will always go where they’re sent. But they don’t always do exactly what you say.”
A chill ran through her. She’d always felt comforted by Jones’s power. But now the world seemed scarier, more out of control. “Why did they disobey him?”
Grandma smiled. “Because they have a better view. Instead of taking out one piece of garbage, they took out the one who brings the garbage to her. He wasn’t the first. He would not have been the last. Now those innocent children will never have another bad man in their lives.”
Images flashed through her mind. She saw the faces of all the men, all the outcasts her sister had brought into her home. Marigold stood up. She moved back into the living room to be with her family. And now her face was blank and her emotions mixed.
About the Author
Joshua Scribner is the author of 18 published novels and five 50-story collections. He currently lives in Michigan.