His heart was formed from the black gumbo that filled the space between heaven and hell
It was a cloudy and rain soaked day when they lowered Eddie into his 8’ x 3’ x 6’ eternal home. The entire town was in attendance. Most people were still stunned at the news that our star athlete was dead. To listen to them talk, he was a saint. More like a God among men, a Messiah sent to us to deliver us to the Promised Land reserved for those who could call themselves ‘State Champions’.
Every business in town was closed and every man in town who wasn’t at the funeral was gathered down at Pappy’s bar. They sat around mourning in their own way, like men without pride tend to do, over beer and whisky. While every woman in town was busy frying chicken or making a casserole for after the funeral. All of them crying like the very heart and soul had been ripped from the town itself.
On the pulpit, Reverend Delkes was proclaiming that, “God has stretched out his arms and pulled young Edward James Walters to walk eternally at his side.”
Tears streamed down Momma Walter’s cheeks. William, Eddie’s father, stood by her side. Teeth clenched and jaw set so as to show no emotion. Eddie’s sister Mary stood beside them both, swaying back and forth like the Holy Spirit had entered her body and took possession of her. The boys wept because they knew any hope of their winning now was being covered with black gumbo. All the girls cried because they knew he was their best shot of getting out of this town.
But you and I know the truth Janice. You and I know what really happened so many years ago. We know that bastard got exactly what he deserved. But your soul is still tied up in knots from his hands and I will live with the blood on mine and gladly give more. If only I could move the clock backwards for you. To that Friday before he ripped away your innocence.