Hi again everyone, and thanks for dropping back into campbellsworld.
It’s right at 2 P.M. here in the Campbell Kingdom, I’m about ready to take off to run errands for the weekend, which I was supposed to have done this morning, but before I go I want to share something with you all.
One scorcher of an evening around first of July I was out on a walk with Campbell. I’d had snatches of a story rolling round all day long in my head and as we headed toward home, with the roar of the factory a stone’s throw away echoing in the distance, the heat of the day baking off the sidewalk under our feet, and the humidity clinging to us as if it were made of a thin coating of plastic wrap, the whole thing just clicked into place.
Now, there are some I’m sure who will think I should keep this all to myself, finish it to its completion and either self-publish or try to sell it to a publisher, but I’ve got a real aching in my storytelling bones to just have some fun.
I’ve already shared chapters one and two and am now ready to share chapter three. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.
Oh, yeah, one more thing, just to get the disclaimer junk all out of the way. This is a complete work of fiction and if you see any similarities to folks you may have met or places you may have seen while living in or visiting Kingsport Tennessee, they’re just what they seem, similarities.
ABOUT THE BOOK…
Blending Adventure, mystery, supernatural, Romance, and Suspense, author Patty L. Fletcher weaves a tale of fiction, all readers are sure to enjoy.
James Landing Tennessee was a peaceful little town just trying to keep up with its neighbors, which seemed to always be growing by leaps and bounds around it. Then one day Roy Dingus took over Friedman chemicals, a lady of unknown origin known only as Miss Mazie bought the old house on the outskirts of town and as the heat of August blazed with no end in sight, what was once a city with no promise came to life.
Follow the adventures of three small-town boys, Joe, Ronnie, and Jake, and their newfound friend Billy Ray as they try to unravel the mystery that surrounds the newcomers and all the strange goings on before James Landing is no more.
To read the previous chapter visit Post URL: https://campbellsworld.wordpress.com/2019/08/01/wordpress-wednesday-miss-mazie-chapter-two/
CHAPTER THREE: MEETING MISS MAZIE
Rain slammed viciously against the little room’s windows, as Billy Ray lay flat-out on his back, arms spread above his head on the old bed in the corner. It had been one more long day, and in the end he’d not even needed to worry about going out to that old house to try and sell another few bibles because when he’d finally made it back to his car for a wonder the thing had started right back up as if it had never missed a lick. In fact, he could swear it was running better now than ever before.
Running a hand distractedly through his sweat dampened gray flecked hair, he thought again of the strange woman named Miss Mazie he’d met earlier that evening. He hated like hell to call her strange, maybe a better word for her would be unusual, but either way she was as the middle boy had said, “different.”
Making himself more comfortable he let his mind drift back running through the visit yet again.
“You must be Bubba.” Billy Ray had allowed.
“That’s right.” A woman’s gruff voice confirmed from somewhere in the shadows ahead, “And who might you be?”
Billy Ray had tried to see into the shadowed yard, but somehow, he simply couldn’t see a darn thing but the big dog moving slowly but deliberately closer and closer. Part of him had wanted to turn and run, but he’d been afraid that to do so would’ve enraged the dog and he’d have been on him before he could even make it back onto the road from the yard.
“That’s right.” The voice had agreed. “You wanta stand where you are sir, Bubba don’t fancy a game of chase quite as much as he used to but if you rile him, he’s just liable to get the idea back into his old head.”
“How in all hell had she known what he was thinking.” He wondered, replaying the scene in his mind.
“Name’s Billy Ray Ma’am, and I mean you and your dog here no harm. Just out selling Bibles for the Angel Network.”
A peal of deepthroated rich laughter had drifted out of the shadows toward him. “Me and Bubba don’t need any bibles son, but you look like you’re about to fall over with heatstroke and Miss Mazie never let anyone fall out in her yard from the heat, so you’d best come on up onto the porch and sit a spell and cool off.”
“What about Bubba here?” Billy Ray had asked. Hating himself for sounding afraid of what was very obviously an old dog.
“Bubba! Stop that! Leave It! Go on back to your nappin’ and Let the man pass son.”
The big dog had given him another hard look, shown his teeth one last time, then lumbered back to his overgrown bush settling himself back down as if nothing whatsoever had disturbed him.
“OK. Come on. It’s hot as blazes there in the sun. Want iced tea or lemonade?”
Once again, Billy Ray had been totally taken aback. “How on earth does this woman know what’s in my mind.”
Coming up onto the porch, letting the screen door squeak shut behind him chimes overhead jingling he’d seen Miss Mazie for the first time, and he’d had to admit she’d not been at all what he’d expected. She’d stood there in the doorway of the old house dressed in a pair of faded denim jeans and white tank top, flipflops on her feet. Her long salt and pepper hair had been gathered back into one long ponytail that went almost to her waste, and her dark brown eyes had looked him over with an intensity which had seemed to momentarily look straight into his very soul. Her darkly tanned skin was as smooth as a baby’s, and she was just a little shy of six-feet tall, and heavyset in a country woman sort of way. She looked like a woman who could give any man a run for his money out in the field or anywhere else she happened to want to work.
“Well,” she demanded, hands on expansive hips, “Lemonade or tea?”
“L…Lemonade sounds wonderful.” He’d stammered, and neither then nor now could he understand why she’d knocked him so far off his game.
“Have a seat in one of the rockers there. Want a little shine in that?” She’d asked, heading through the door into the kitchen a smile flickering round the corners of her mouth.
“Shine? Oh, No thanks. Plane’s fine.”
“You sure?” She called, with a snort of laughter. You seem a bit rattled. Surely old Bubba didn’t scare you that much. If so, bathroom’s just inside here down the hall.”
“Oh, no ma’am. I suppose I’m just warn out from walking. My car broke down a couple miles back as I was finishing my sales route for the day, and I made the mistake of misjudging the heat.”
“Thought you’d just pop on in on Miss Mazie and save her soul with one of them bibles, did you?”
“Huh? I don’t reckon I’m in the business of saving anybody’s soul ma’am, I’m just trying to make enough money to get a little better place to live than the little room I live in above Sissie’s Bakery.”
“Oh goodness. You living up there?” She’d asked as she’d handed him a wonderfully frosty cold glass of lemonade with fresh sprigs of lavender sticking out of the top. “Hot as hell this time of year in that little room I’d bet.” Miss Mazie allowed.
“Look, Billy Ray is it?” She asked, settling herself into the rocker opposite his. “You got to quit that calling me ma’am. You’re Makin’ me feel older than Mother Gaia and I aint’ quite that old no matter what them three boys told you.”
He’d nearly dropped his glass of lemonade. “How in all hell?” He thought again.
“You don’t happen to have any handyman knowhow, do you?” She’d asked.
“Um? Actually yes, Ma’am… um? Miss Mazie, I do. My dad and I used to have a business together, but he had an accident and passed away.
“Oh, I am real sorry to hear that. Well, anyhow, I bought this house as a fixer upper and now can’t seem to find anyone willing to do the fixing up. There’s a decent apartment overtop that old garage in back, and if you’re not afraid of the town’s folk and their talk, I’d be happy to give you a place to stay and a little pay in return for your work on the place.”
To say that the offer had taken him by surprise would’ve been a huge understatement, but he’d accepted it without even giving it any thought. In fact, it seemed to him as he thought it all over now, he’d said yes before she’d quite finished speaking.
Turning onto his side, and drifting toward sleep he thought, “Strange indeed. But beats the hell out of selling bibles and living in this oven like room.”
*** Well, that’s the end of the first three chapters. If you’ve read along with me this far I say thank you, and I’d love to know what you think.
Come back next week for more from James Landing and all who live within.
ABOUT PATTY L. FLETCHER
Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer and Social Media Promotional Assistant.
She is the owner and creator of Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing, and is the published author of two books, Campbell’s Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life, and Bubba Tails From the Puppy Nursery At The Seeing Eye.
She can also be found in two anthologies which are, December Awethology Light
And A Treasure Chest of Children’s Tales
For more details visit: