Things seemed to get back to normal the next day with Celeste and her parents; however, her mother was tight lipped and in full swing packing their belongings to take to Alabama. “Celeste go in the storage cellar and please pack up all my can goods. They’re boxes down there you can use.” Celeste gave her mother no reply and did what she was asked to do. When she opened the cellar door she remembered using almost all the can jars of tomatoes to get the funk of skunk off her body. Swiftly, a clear vision of the horrible scene of Dale’s assault filled her mind. She sat on the stairs and let her mind receive the information with clarity.
“No man will touch me like that again!” Celeste vowed to herself. “You bet my little spitfire! No man!” Celeste spun around to her father’s comment. It had been days that the two had not spoken or spent time together after he almost whipped her for misbehaving on the night that Dale made his mistake. Celeste could careless to talk to him, her heart had harden in the days of solitude. She got up off the stairs and went to get the boxes to begin packing the jars, while presenting her backside to him the whole time.
He climbed down the steep stairs to the cool underworld under their home and watched his daughter in silence. For several minutes Celeste could feel his energy bounce off the wall, something was wrong and she was about to hear it when her father cleared his voice to get her attention, while she carried out her task at hand. “I’m a thinkin’ girl that Ghost is gonna have to stay with your grandfather till we find a place to live.”
Celeste turned her head slowly and gave her father ferocious stare. “Where ever Ghost goes, I go!” He was not prepared for the bitter bite in her tone. “I don’t care girl. Ya’ don’t call the shots in my household. We can’t cart that damn horse everywhere we go; besides, when we get settle we will come back and trailer him to Alabama.”
Inside the little girl’s head she was screaming out her anger. Time ticked by between the two as they silently stood their ground. “My Ghost is not damned father! I will not leave without my friend.” Her father took a few steps towards her while cooing soft words. “Awe, darlin’ don’t be a party pooper, and I didn’t mean to say it that way!” He lightly touched her arms, she quickly jerked her arm lose of his soft hold.
“I am sick of movin’ papa and I am not leaving without my horse. I will live in the woods by myself if I have to, but I am telling you now I ain’t leaving him behind! I will stay with grand papa; because he is the only one I trust.” SLAP! The sound of an open hand touching skin echoed in the cellar. Celeste didn’t budge after her father slapped her hard across her face. Boy did that slap almost knocked her off her feet, but she took it in stride and was not going to give her father the benefit of knowing that he hurt her. Nevertheless, tears began to form in the little girl’s eyes.
“I am the father, parent in this family and ya’ will do as I say. Ya’ got that girl? Don’t ya’ ever disrespect your elders!” Her father was pissed off and spoke in his heavy southern drawl. His green intense eyes scared Celeste to submission. His half-breed energy had turned dangerous and she knew not to push anymore of his buttons. She let the tears fall and said, “As you wish father,” and turned her back on him.
“You’re damn right as I wish!” He barked out and left Celeste to her task. It took Celeste about two hours to pack the jars up into boxes by herself. It was late in the sunny, warm afternoon when she took a jar of canned peaches. For an hour the cowgirl sat in the woods by a Apple tree to eat her peaches alone with her fingers.
“I ain’t goin’, I ain’t goin,” she mumbled herself. “What am I doin’ wrong my lord? Do I keep my mouth shut and let whatever happens? I can’t leave my friend behind lord, please make papa see that! If you feel the fancy to give me a miracle, I truly would be thankful of the gift.”
She didn’t expect a reply, she knew the lord never spoke to her. Suddenly a mighty gust of wind blew through the woods. Celeste tipped her head up against the tree she sat under, and glimpsed at the top of the trees bowing from the forceful wind. “Teehee…Teehee…” the sound of laughter was heard. “Who’s there?” She immediately called out unafraid. Celeste picked her body off the dirty ground, and with haste scanned the woods with a eagle eye. The wind died down instantly and all was silent and still in the woods of Ohio, leaving Celeste to feel she was hearing voices. “Is that you Lord?” Celeste whispered out.
All of a sudden the air was filled with beautiful blue, white, and yellow butterflies fluttering towards Celeste. She opened her mouth in awe at the sight of vibrant colors floating in the forest air above her. The reward of her smile lit the dim woods to brighten the path of the butterflies, as one of the insect landed on her nose in greeting and fluttered his wings on the tip of her nose then softly flew away. “Thank you Mother Earth, for giving me a smile.” The little girl offered happily before she headed back to her home to finish packing.
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