Monday, March 19, 2012

Now Playing: The Witch of Cooper, Arizona
New to these parts? To start the story from the beginning, click

Episode Eleven of The Witch of Cooper, Arizona

Episode Ten Concluded with:

            The front door of the church opened and Sheriff Stephens burst in, gun drawn. “The shots from the robbery woke me up. Whit Krammer told me—”
            Dehner was crouched over the body of a man he had just killed. “This man looks familiar. Recognize him?” The detective nodded at the corpse.
            Buck hurried onto the platform and looked at the dead outlaw. “That’s Kyle Ryan. Remember, I pointed him out to you last night. He’s the jasper Vicki put a curse on.”
            Dehner nodded. “Vicki is young, guess she hasn’t got the hang of being a witch yet.”
            “What do you mean?”
            Dehner pointed at the corpse. “I watched this man run after his horse took off. Kyle Ryan wasn’t limping.”

Episode Eleven


            Judith Martin awakened and looked over to her husband. He wasn’t there. The woman experienced a momentary sense of alarm and then laughed at herself. Of course David wasn’t there. She wasn’t in her own bed.
            The previous day had gone reasonably well. As promised, she had visited the Burke Ranch. Vicki and her mother, Ruth, seemed to enjoy a visit from the preacher’s wife. Lamar seemed distracted and restless, but after what he had been through she could hardly blame him.
            Judy got out of bed and began to dress. She had promised Vicki that she would help with making breakfast. She planned to leave immediately after the clean-up. Lamar had not been happy with her spending the night at the ranch, but what else could she have done? The rain had been too heavy for her to ride back to Cooper.
            Rain storms were not common in this part of Arizona, Judy mused, and ranchers usually appreciated the few storms that did come. Why was Lamar so grouchy last night? As she thought about it, she remembered Lamar asking her to visit for a few hours. He had seemed to be doing it as a veto to Vicki’s invitation. Vicki’s plan had called for a few days.
            Judy’s thoughts were interrupted by soft, muffled cries. She hastily checked herself in the mirror, then stepped out into the hallway of the house. The sound was coming from Vicki’s room. She knocked gently on the door and entered.
            Vicki sat fully dressed in a chair beside the bed. On the bed lay a Bible.
            “I try to read the Bible,” Vicki spoke as if she and Judy were in the middle of a conversation. “But I can’t. I don’t know how to put the words together. Do you know what I mean?”
            Judy Martin sat down on the bed beside Vicki and held one of her hands. Judy knew there was no way she could understand Vicki’s affliction. She could only be her friend. The pastor’s wife wondered if that could possibly be enough.
            “David has talked with you about the Bible. Remember what he said?”
            “I always do wrong. I make people mad at me.”
            The response did not surprise Judy. Vicki Burke frequently switched topics while talking.  “That’s not true Vicki, why—”
            “Yes it is! I tried hard to do everything right. The trick with the magic box seemed to make people happy, but Uncle Lamar is mad at me because I went into the special place.”
            Dozens of questions began to pound in Judy Martin’s mind but she had to be cautious. Vicki often turned silent when confronted with questions which caused her discomfort. The preacher’s wife spoke casually, “Vicki, where is the special place?”
            Tears were still visible on the girl’s cheeks but a mischievous look flashed in her eyes. Vicki’s moods often changed rapidly. “I’m not supposed to tell. Uncle Lamar will get mad at me.”
            Judy responded with a playful gleam. The two women laughed together.
“Most everyone is still asleep,” Vicki whispered. “Come on. I’ll show you.” 

Tomorrow: Episode Twelve of The Witch of Cooper, Arizona