"when the wells run dry"
Kevin picked listlessly at the lint carpooling around shreds of his favorite cardigan from Midville High School days. In middle age, he'd outgrown it. Now it fit just fine. Stepping cautiously onto rail-less and overly-weathered stairs from the porch into a field left to scrubby wilds of scrawny reed bristling in clumps from harshly scorched mid-summer soil, he knelt to retrieve another lost twig for whittling to the turbid chorale of Drobby Creek pulsing down to Silver Plait River as the mountain extended her veins to the sea.
Minding bells from his little brick church, Kevin turned toward a familiar path east through the deciduous wood left long ago as saplings by Grandpa Ralph Vincent.
"Hey, Brother Kev! You all better?" Lydia called as he drug a folding metal chair closer to the mike after grabbing his guitar.
"You had us rightly skeered there."
Kevin chorded out "Nearer My God To Thee," patiently without answering.
The gathering hummed along.
"Will you lay a few words for Uncle Mason Meade?"
Kevin lowered his head in thought and walked to their polished maple pulpit. Standing left of the handmade glass window, he opened their wood-bound Bible toward the center before he fingered through pages for the exact words.
"I shall fear no evil......" he began consolingly and concluded poetically, "Mason is home where he longed to be -- home from the riotous sea and the hills he hunted here. Now he's truly free. We miss thee, Mason, our good friend in deed."
Kevin returned to his chair and began to strum "Shall We Gather At The River." The dappled community of Drobby Creek Pentcostal Church nodded from homehewn benches and produce crates lined against hand-plastered walls of their chapel.
"Thank you, Lord."
"Thank you, Jesus."
Finding Kevin later on his porch whittling, Rhonda asked quietly, "Did he mention me?"
"He did." Kev fibbed smoothly.
Rhonda coiled on the floor by his feet. "I've really missed him."
"He was always with you and God, and he still is."
"Yes," Rhonda laughed oddly. "it all doesn't matter now, does it?"
Kevin pulled an errant scrip of bark from her hair and nodded silently.
"No, it doesn't."
364 words 2149 characters