Sunday, November 6, 2011
A Cordial Christmas
Enjoy the magic of the season and find romance....
Cordial, Texas is a small town founded by Dobson Winters and his wife Miranda. When fate deals Dobson with a bitter hand, his heart grows cold until Curtis Watson on his death bed demands him to listen or be condemned for all eternity...
Read an excerpt here...
The doctor placed a guiding hand on his shoulder and together they moved to the room where his patient lay. Dobson pulled his hat from his head as they entered. The small room contained a single bed pushed the wall from beneath the covers, a frail old man lay quiet. The only sign of life, a ragged breath with a deep rattle that echoed in the stillness. His eyes stared at some unseen point in the ceiling.
The cold fingers of death crawled up Dobson's spine. He watched the face, with its sunken eyes turn as Doc stepped up and spoke. "Curtis. Curtis, can you hear me?"
The two words spoken seemed to take great effort. Dobson wondered if this was a mistake. It was clear, old man Watson needed to conserve his strength.
"Dobson Winters is here."
The corner of the man's mouth curled with satisfaction. His gaze moved from the doctor to stare straight at him. He couldn't turn away. The frail hand lifted from the blanket it clutched. A gnarled finger curled, beckoning him forward. His boots shuffled against the wood as he made his way to the bedside. "Hello, Watson," he said.
A flicker of amusement flashed in the old man's eyes. "Bet you wonder why I want you to hear my last confession."
He admired a man who went straight to the point. "It crossed my mind."
Curtis Watson drew a heavy breath. "As it should. There are a lot of things betwixt us. Some that should be aired afford I go."
"You are too mean to die, Watson. Like me, you know the good Lord only takes the best."
The old man's eyes moved back to his face and for a moment. There was a unique clarity in his eyes. "You are so right. Draw up a chair and listen to what I have to say."
Stunned, Dobson turned and found a chair shoved to the back of his knees by the Doc's hands. Lowing himself down, he leaned closer. "All right, I'm here."
"You and me, we're a lot alike," the old man began. "We both lost the love of our life. But, me, I tried to rise above. I tried to make something of me and mine that was left. Not you."
"Hey now," He sat back. "I didn't come here to have you throw it back in my -"
"Hush," came the command followed by a wheeze. "I don't have much time." The old man's eyes narrowed on him. "Maybe you don't either. Hate is something' that eats at a man. It leaves his soul blacker than the darkest night. A soul like that is damned forever. Now, my life ain't been no bed of roses, but I did my best. My boy went wrong and you were in your right to send him away, even though it killed my Mary. I might have forgiven you, however, she lost her heart and no amount of coaxing brought her back.
I watched you and your Miranda. Every day I prayed the good Lord would hurt you just like you hurt me. Then when they died, I watched you suffer. I thought, good, an eye for an eye, since you took my boy, my wife," he swallowed. "But there twernt no satisfaction in it only thing it did was make the hole bigger."
As he listened to the words, Dobson felt the wash of cold water washed over him. Anger made his body tremble with rage. He should get up and leave. He should let the door slam as he walked out. Yet, he couldn't.
"I watched you, a strong man, curl and wither like a crop with blight. Now, the only thing I got for you is pity. You've become a bitter excuse for a man, Dobson Winters and I thought more of you than that."
He tried to find words to say, yet what Curtis said was closer to the truth than any man wanted to admit.
"Now, I'm dying. There won't be no more tomorrows, no spring sunshine, or marvels of first snow. I ain't got much to leave, but I got me a pearl of great worth. Somethin' few men have and I'm gonna leave it to you."
"I don't need your parting gifts," he snapped.
Curtis Watson had the audacity to chuckle. "No damn you, you don't, but I'm gonna give you a choice." In a flash, his hand snaked out. Cold fingers akin to the grim reaper grabbed his.
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