Chief By Donna Flood
Chapter 17 -
Mariah Walks Away
At this point I will be going back into my manuscript
to change names. You, my reader, have acquainted your self with my
family, but now I must consider what has to be done for publication.
Mariah and Warren have descendants. Name changes protect the innocent.
For instance, the book, Centennial, has material that is, without a
doubt, very much my grandfather, Pachal. The name for the French
trader in the book, though, is Paschanel. My book , Chief will be
listed as Fiction, based on a true story. Mariah will be Mariah, Weldon
will be Weldon. I have called Dean, Dean, in other stories and this
one, I will too. Velma will be Vee and Leon will be Leon.
Just across from the roomy, adequate
house for a family was a café. This property is what my parents
rented and I now had a room of my own.
How nice to be able to put my things in my own
closet, again. My dissatisfaction with the other living place was
overcome, suddenly. Clothes and shoes werent that plentiful, but
it was nice to have order.
Mother was still not
at the house, but at least, there were only step away to where she
was working. We were allowed to stop in at the café for our meals
and that was okay. Dad helped in the café after his work. He washed
dishes, poured coffee, and chatted with the customers. The little
café seated only around, 25. A Mom and pop establishment was
working very well. Occasionally, if Vee had to run an errand, or be
out for some reason, I filled in as cook. Flipping hamburgers or
serving stew was an easy job. Café was in Mothers blood, but not
mine. I could take it or leave it.
Order up, Girl!
Dad called through the small window. One cannibal hamburger.
What is that? I
had no idea, what he wanted.
A cannibal hamburger
is raw. Dad informed me.
Dutifully, I rolled
out the meat, put it on the grill for an instant, turned it, top and
bottom, placed the nasty looking thing on a bun and made it up with
mustard, pickles, onions, and tomatoes.
In a few minutes the
thing was back on the shelf of the serving window.
You dont put the
meat on the grill at all. Simply roll it out and serve it raw.
Dad was never impatient about anything and he wasnt now.
I looked out toward
the man who had the hamburger I had just made and that Dad had
served. He was grinning like a Cheshire cat as he quietly wolfed
the raw hamburger down.
Oh Gag! I wanted
to say out loud, but didnt.
I still hated school but
was doing a bit better. There were some new friends and the hated,
confinement of walking the halls I began to accept. Having my own room
was a place of escape for me.
What on earth! When I
was putting my coat on a hanger, I could see clothes in my closet that
werent mine. Whose are these? I didnt expect an answer. When I
pulled the dresser drawers out, there too, was someone elses wardrobe.
My school books I dropped
on the end of the bed and decided to ask Mother ,who was at the café,
what she knew about the disappearance of my clothing. As I walked into
the back door of the place I was so astonished. Standing up to the
stainless steel row of sinks was Mariah, washing dishes. She was
dressed in one of her nicer outfits and looked totally out of place.
Mother! I started to
quesion her. She quickly shook her head and wouldnt look at me.
Clearly, she didnt want me to ask any questions, so I didnt.
That night after the café
had closed Mariah came in my room. I heard her brushing her teeth and
quietly putting on her night clothes. All my life Mariah had to put up
with me sLeonping with her. She was often my babysitter.
Dont kick me! or, Stay
on your side of the bed! She often advised.
Tonight not a word was
said. She slipped into bed, turned on her side away from me and said
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