The little half-breed girl hugged the tree as tight as possible while balling her aching emotions out. Minutes passed by and slowly her feelings ebbed away allowing her to feel less lonely. Tears of sadness dropped upon the ivy climbing up the massive tree to reach it’s tree top for light. If Celeste were paying attention to the earth plant, she would have witness with each tear drop that fell, the vine climbed further up the tree.
Time passed by until finally Celeste had no more tears to shed. She held on to the tree for dear life until her emotions were exhausted. Laggard she felt a strange tingling sensation course throughout her body giving her strength to endure the heart ship. If anyone had seen what the little girl was doing to a tree in a dirty bathing suit, they would have thought she was trying to kiss or make out with the dang thing.
Consequently, Ernie didn’t think that when he first saw her, with slothful movements he approached his little friend. “Awe, darlin’ ya hug that tree with all your strength, she might hug ya back.” Celeste twisted around quickly to the visitor. Ringo scampered towards Celeste making his happy animal sounds, Celeste smiled for the first time. Ernie could see Celeste was taking the lost of horse and mother pretty bad. She was fifthly down to her little toes, he noticed the blood crusted spots on her back and hay participles were sticking out of her long rat nest hair. Her tear stain and swollen eyes told Ernie she was not taking the lost very well. He had just spent the day helping her father search for his wife. The aged old moonshiner was known for his tracking skills in the hollers. He was shocked to see Celeste’s father knock on his door asking for help. When he heard the story of Ghost and her mother’s disappearance, he left her father on a course in the woods with another tracker scanning for his wife, he had to come back to check on his little friend.
In reality, he was mad at her father for leaving the little girl alone. He knew the girl could not handle the emotional blow by herself, in fact he was getting down right discussed watching the city folk father trip and fall in the forest. Ernie belted out to Celeste’s father when he fell for the umpteen time. “Ya a city slicker who’s goin’ break ya neck ya don’t know these woods, so how about we git ya home, and I will take ya daughter with me to scout out the hollers.” Her father spit out to the moonshiner in anger and frustration, “She’s my wife, and I got’s to be the one to find her, not my daughter!” “Humm,” Ernie thought to himself, “Stupid damn man who wants to be a hero…the damage is done and now it is time for ya to face the music, ya was the one who screwed up ya wonderful beautiful family.”
All Ernie wanted to do is pick the little girl up, and give her loving’s. The intense invasion of sorrow slapped him across the face when she turned around from hugging her tree. He spread his arms out waiting for his little friend. She rushed into the folds of his loving arms and began to cry out. “My mama…I want my mama.” Ernie hugged his friend tightly allowing her to get the emotions out of her system. “Now, now little britches don’t ya worry none, we’ll find ya mama fer ya.” Celeste’s body slumped against the strong old man and said in a low voice, “Ghost…my friend is dead Ernie.” He could only pat her mop of hair an added, “I know little one, damn crying shame too; but he is not dead, he lives inside ya girl, and will never leave ya side that’s why he is called Ghost, he’s a spirit little britches!”
Celeste pulled away from Ernie and gave him a scornful eye. She was about to reply when Ernie commented, “Come little one, ya got’s to take a bath and clean up. I’ll make ya something to eat. Have ya eaten today?” Celeste nodded no and was escorted into the home. “Go git ya self purity girl, while I make us something to eat.” She didn’t respond and did what was asked of her.
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