Seminole and Powhatan
On the corner of Seminole and Powhatan just north of downtown in the Heights, Emmeline and her granddaughter sat on the front porch waiting for the sun to set.
Beyond the wild cactus that had outgrown the front yard and reached its spiny arms toward the road, the July sun seethed orange in the western sky. Too big to swallow at once, it hovered mean on the horizon and flushed the sky with shades of fevered pink. Emmeline pulled the ends of the afghan tight around her shoulders. She wondered how many hours the two of them would have to sit on this porch going over the same tired questions while they waited for Becca to show up on the driveway.
Morgan, the girl, looked out onto the yard at the cactus. She pondered the shadow it cast on the ragged lawn that was strewn with rusted tricycles, bald tires, and miniature dandelions popping up amid the rubbish. She wore a long, gauzy dress of sheer cotton with straps as fine as embroidery threads that draped her shoulders. Her bare foot kept the porch swing swaying on rusted chains. "You think Julia knows?" she asked Emmeline.
"Julia knows," Emmeline said. "But not like knowing the day of the week. More like rain coming and no clouds—by smell." Emmeline paused for her granddaughter to stop the swing, momentarily and as she always did when contemplating Emmeline's responses.
"If Julia knows," Morgan pondered, "why wouldn't she say? Why would she just let it smolder until it made her crazy?"
"And who should Julia tell?" Emmeline asked. "Natalie?"
Morgan dropped her leg. Her bare foot pushed the splintered pine of the porch to set the swing in motion. "She could have told Rebecca," she said, "before she died."
This family is somehow connected to the Westcott family. But how? Stay tuned to the next blog to find out!