Monday, January 17, 2011

Sample Preview "Posey Dawson"

      The dust raised by the Dawson family wagon, hadn’t yet settled back on to the drive before Posey had thrown clothes and some grub in a burlap sack and lit out.  Billowing puffs of dust scooted out in front of his worn shoes with each grudge-filled stride, the last heavy words of his father drowning out all other sound, with their thunderous echoes still banging back and forth against the hallways of his brain.
     “If you don't like it, ...get out!” were the exact words Will Dawson had used in response to his oldest son's objection to rising early on Sunday morning to study scriptures with the family. 
     Having waited just long enough hear the wagon wheels grind out of the graveled drive, Posey did just like his pa had said, begrudgingly wondering the whole time if finally, his prompt obedience, a thing his father had always preached, would finally be quick enough for his liking.
     "Now we’ll see who's sorry." he huffed feeling mad clear through, …hurt and mad actually, ...two things in a head strong, wounded eighteen year old, that seldom if ever add up to any good! …least ways not right off.
     For days Posey trudged along on tired legs, over hill and dale, re stoking with every forward step, the bitter coals of hurt burning in the pit of his stomach. Why he chose south, he didn’t rightly know. Maybe it was because he had known some folks who had moved that direction, or just the natural drift of things, like water running down hill, or the way stuff falls. When all was said and done, he just sort of picked a point and headed towards it.
     Fourteen times the sun had risen on the runaway trail, and as it neared three quarter of the way across the sky on that fourteenth afternoon, Posey stepped foot onto the sprawling main street of Fillmore Utah, the state’s capitol. The town seemed odd, yet strangely familiar as he made his way south through the business district towards a tall, red rock building towering over the other modest businesses lining the wide dirt road. Not hardly even birds were out, much less people. A half a block beyond the two story Capitol building, stood a stone meeting house, and upon nearing it, he realized the reason for all the quiet. Up until just then, the long hot days had become a blur, but the joyful singing flowing from the open windows of that church, made it abundantly clear what day it was.    
     Typical of most Utah towns, it being Sunday, pretty much the whole community was sitting inside that church, explaining the empty streets.
The music sounded good, reminding Posey of his mother, and all the times she had made him sit for choir practice after Sunday school was over. Fighting the powerful hankering he had to go inside, he settled down on the wide steps of the Capitol building to listen, liking the way the music seemed to bring her close again, even with all the anger and nastiness he had built up in his heart. Funny how God works… He must have seen that the boy was listening, because the sermon was all about temperance, and the dangers of hate. Heavy words like "Obedience", and "Respect", ruffled his feathers some, but yet he stayed and listened anyway, the proximity, and the familiar sense of belonging overpowering his wounded pride.
     When the service ended, Posey stayed put, studying the people as they left, something he had always enjoyed, especially when the people being watched were unaware that somebody was looking. Such a moment paints whole different picture of them, than when their sitting in their Pugh, with saints all around them. He wasn't really judging them for what he observed, at least not the normal stuff. That was one thing his folks had en grained in good and early, the understanding that if he did judge other folks, he would have to be OK being measured up the same way.
     A right handsome man, in wealthy attire, stepped out and dawned his sharply trimmed hat. Salt and pepper gray hair waved coolly over his ears extending midway down his neck, and even at a distance he gave off an unmistakable air of importance. Remaining on the wide landing at the top of the church steps, he loitered about, greeting the passers by as they made their way through the big double doors as if he were the mayor. 
“Looks like you're running for office or something...” Posey laughed under his breath, noting the way the man busied himself about, making sure to be noticed by as many folks as he could get in front of. As Posey's amusement continued, a half a dozen girls appeared on the steps, drawing his full attention away. One, taller than the others by nearly a half a foot, stepped from the open doors and walked over to the man, taking his arm, and leaning in close.
     “Auugh! ...what in the world?” Posey growled.  For a moment his attention returned to the man, simply because of the repulsive sight of such a pretty girl hugging up on him, but soon drew his gaze became drawn only to her.
     “You are somethin'!” he breathed, keeping his eyes fixed on her every move, “...even if you are his daughter.” She was pretty, …looking down right beautiful, even at that distance, with dark, flowing hair reaching midway down her long slender back, her face that radiated like the sun. As they moved away toward the wagons, the other girls flocking around blocked her from full view until all he could see was her back as the buggy rode in turned east onto the street behind a shimmering black horse.
     “Wow Pose…” he said, laughing to himself, recalling his long journey as he made his way down the steps to the plaza, “…that surely was worth the walk!”

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