Here it is several weeks since my last installment. But, like I said just the other day, we make plans then stuff gets in the way.
I hope yawl enjoy reading this fourth chapter of Miss Mazie as much as I enjoyed writing it.
If you missed the last chapter you can read it at: https://campbellsworld.wordpress.com/2019/08/08/miss-mazie-a-summers-tale-chapter-three-meeting-miss-mazie/
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.
This is a work of fiction. Any similarities to Kingsport Tennessee and its people, places, and things are simply that Similarities.
Dusk settled over the town park and the music of summer drifted through the air with a joyful rhythm of children’s laughter, old women’s gossip, and insects buzzing in the trees. The Friedman Chemicals ice cream supper was in full swing and all of James Landing seemed to be there.
“Miss Mazie,” Sissie called, “Your blackberry ice cream is so good I’m considering having you make it to sell in the bakery alongside the cobbler.”
“Well, I think you Sissie, but I don’t know as I’d have time to make enough to satisfy all your customers. It’s all I can do to keep you stocked with preserves.”
Just then Old Dog Bubba darted across the field with a large blob of ice cream on the end of his nose. “Bubba, what in blue blazes are you doing? Have you been into the ice cream son?” A burst of laughter sounded, and Jake Blaire streaked passed in hot pursuit. “Bubba you come back here with my ice cream.” Jake squealed. A moment later Billy Ray came puffing up calling, “Jake do you really want it back now?” Sissie and Mazie looked at one another and burst into girlish laughter. “Lord, let me go see if I can wrangle that dog of mine.”
“Ah, now Miss Mazie, let the old feller be.” Roy Dingus laughed sauntering up to the table with a cone of ice cream in his hand. “He just wanted a bit for himself. You should’ve seen the look on Jake’s face when he slurped up his cone.”
“Why, Roy, if I didn’t know better, I’d say you were enjoying yourself.” Sissie teased.
“And why not? What’s not to love about an ice cream supper?” Roy asked cheerfully. I don’t know how we could end summer without one, do you?”
“Well, you got me there. And, it was mighty nice of you to give Eddie Joe the night off too.”
“Well, he’s done a fine job whipping that crew of his into shape, and he deserved it. I tell you Sissie, I couldn’t have done all I’ve done with Friedman had it not been for that brother-in-law of mine. He’s got more crew boss in him than any man I ever saw, and the boys love working for him.”
“Where are he and Cindy anyhow?” Mazie wondered.
“They loaded up their car with a couple ice cream freezers full of homemade ice cream and a big box of hotdogs and fries and took them over to the crew on duty at the plant.”
“How nice, no wonder the boys love working for him. ain’t everyone who would take the time to do that.”
“bribery will get you everywhere.” A grumpy voice chimed in.
“Oh Duff, get over it.” Roy snapped, his dark green eyes flashing as he turned to the heavyset old man who had walked up without a sound. “You’re just pissed off because Eddie’s crew puts out twice as much work as yours.”
“Maybe if he’d wipe that hateful frown off his face every now and then someone would want to do something extra for him.” Sissie allowed.
“My men work cause they like their paychecks, not because I coddle them with ice cream and hotdogs.” Duff Growled.
“Well, if it ain’t old Walrus Sims.” Mazie called in mock joy. “It’s a sure bet they don’t do it cause they like you. I hear tell they’d just as likely dip you in a vat of acid as look at you.” Mazie jabbed back. “You are, I believe the most odious man I ever had the not so great pleasure of knowing.”
“Alright now, you two let’s try, just for tonight to get along.” Roy urged.
“I’d have an easier time of it if that old walrus there would get along somewhere else.” Mazie said. “I tell you Roy I don’t know why you keep him around. He’s got to be bad for business.”
Roy stood quietly eating a double scoop cone of Mrs. Deal’s fudge delight watching as Duff Sims waddled away, and Bubba came loping passed going back the way he’d come wagging his tail looking rather pleased with himself.
“Mazie, I might could’ve replaced him if you’d not stolen away the new man in town. I hear you’ve talked old Billy Ray here into working out at your place.” Roy observed waving his cone in Billy Ray’s direction.
“Nothing like town gossip to spread the word.” Mazie grunted. “Aint been out there a whole day and already all over town. Why do we need a newspaper anyhow?”
“Well, I didn’t know it was a secret.” Roy smiled a drip of ice cream lingering on his chin.
“Don’t reckon it is, just surprised everyone already knows.”
“You can thank the Blaire boys for that.” Billy Ray said. “Lord, those kids. They’ve been telling anyone who would listen that Billy Ray the bible salesman has turned trade and is now Miss Mazie’s handyman.”
“Nothing wrong with that now is there?” Sissie asked, handing him a cone of peanut butter cream.
“I don’t suppose, I guess I just don’t understand what all the fuss is. Mazie needed someone to work on her house before winter sets in, and I’m just not cut out for the Angel Network.”
“What’s wrong with it is that damned old Preacher John Carrol and Duff Sims Miss Mazie grumbled. “They’ve got every old lady in town believing I’m some sort of wicked witch from the north or something.”
“Ah, Mazie honey.” Sissie soothed, “Those old gnarled up Blue haired biddies don’t really mean no harm. They’re just afraid of what they don’t understand.”
“What’s to understand?” Mazie huffed. “People have been using herbal medications since before there were licensed doctors. I mean for crying out loud! One of Jesus’ own disciples was a doctor, wasn’t he?”
“Of course, he was, but those old gossipy women don’t know anything but what Preacher John Carrol tells them. They don’t study nothing on their own.”
Just then Jake came up to the table. “Miss Mazie. I don’t mind sharing my ice cream every now and again, but could you please ask Bubba there to stop runnin’ off with my ball?” Mazie turned to see her big brute of a dog scrambling underneath the fence with a tattered baseball in his mouth. “Bubba! Drop! It! Come!” The big dog lifted his head, turned and looked at his mistress and promptly kept right on going. “Oh dear. I reckon his selective hearing has kicked in.”
“Ah! Nuts! I wanted to play ball!” Jake whined.
“Hey, Jake.” Roy called. See that old yellow truck there in the lot?”
“Yeah.” Jake answered.
“Here’s my keys. You go have a look in the glovebox, and you’ll find a ball and glove. Glove might be just a tad big but I’m betting old Billy Ray there can be convinced to catch for you.”
“Would you?” Jake asked, turning to Billy Ray who was just finishing his second peanut butter cream cone.
“Sure. Just let me rest my stomach a minute or two.”
“Game of ball will do you good.” Sissie laughed leaning over and wiping a streak of cream from his face with a damp cloth. “You’ve had more ice cream than those kids.”
“Well, a man’s gotta keep up his strength, don’t he?” Billy Ray wheedled as he headed off after Jake.
“Sissie.” Roy observed, “I believe he’s sweet on you.”
“Sweet on my cakes, cookies, and ice cream.” She allowed. “Besides, I believe Miss Mazie’s done gone and put a spell on him.”
“Oh! Girl! Not you too?” Mazie declared in exasperation.
“I’m just teasing you sweetie. I’m glad he’s working for you. I was starting to worry about how you were going to manage that big old place during the winter if you didn’t get it patched up.”
“Well, I’ve got to say, he’s already done a fair amount of work. Fixed both the front and back doors, and even got a couple screens mended all on his first day. I wanted him to fix up his apartment first, but he wouldn’t hear of it. Said he’d work on it on his days off. He’s a good old boy and this town’s lucky he’s come along. Mark my words, before the year’s end we’ll be glad he’s hear.”
TO BE CONTINUED…
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
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