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The Light on the Little Angel DSC_0558

The Light on the Little Angel DSC_0558

The Angel in Aisle 13

When Little Mac finally made it back from Halifax, Big Bertha was nearing the halfway point of her constitutional. She had passed Mile Rock, where she paused for a breather and watched her breath make little clouds in the cold air, and now was toiling up the slope to the cemetery where she would turn around and face the village and the darkened sea and start for home again.

Mac pulled up alongside in their rusty old truck and rolled the window down and with a smile on his face like a ray of sun through the clouds said, "Oh, Bertie, get in and let me take you home. An angel saved me and I have to tell you all about it."

Bertha leaned against the truck and caught her breath then said, "I'm glad you're safe. Now go on home. I'll be there soon. You know I never interrupt my constitutional."

"But Bertie, it was an angel."

"I don't care if it was Trudeau himself. I don't ride when it's time to be walking."

"Listen, I'm sorry I'm late, Bertie. I ..."

She wanted to finish her walk. It was one of her favorite things and she was careful with her favorite things. She made quick strides to distance herself from the truck. The snow-white headstones of the older graves were already in sight. She fixed her gaze on them like a grappling hook and heaved herself forward.

Usually she turned right around at the cemetery entrance, without lingering. Today, wanting space for herself, she went in. Her husband found her at the back, by the woods, at the grave of a child. A low white fence surrounded the grave and a plaster angel overlooked it.

"Bertie, forgive me, I kind of got lost," said Little Mac. "I didn't tarry. I was looking for the unscented laundry detergent and they had moved it and I couldn't find it and all of a sudden all the perfume from the other detergents just clobbered me. I must have passed out. But I didn't fall down. The next thing I knew, this little girl was standing there. She asked me if I was okay. She said I had been there a long time. I guess I didn't answer. She took me by the hand and led me to the truck, right to the truck, Bertie, and told me to sit down and wait. Then there was a flash of light and she was gone. And then a young grocery store fellow appeared with my cart and unloaded the bags into the truck. And said Happy New Year and left. I swear, Bertie, it happened. It happened just like that. She must have been an angel."

Big Bertha stood lost in thought. Little Mac slipped his gloved hand into hers. "She looked kind of like that little angel there," he said.

Big Bertha squeezed his hand and sighed and said, "Did you get everything on the list?"

Little Mac nodded. "Even the unscented detergent was there."

"And you left the truck running. With the heat on. That means the ice cream will be melting. I've been looking forward to that ice cream. Don't know why, it being cold as hell out here. Well, let's go home, my little darlin'. I'll ride along with you. You can tell me the story again."

Solemnly, Mac took a dollar coin from his pocket and went and placed it between the plaster angel's folded hands.

"Thank you," he said. "You too, Bertie. Happy New Year."

30 December 2017
Texas Jim
Prospect, Nova Scotia
Subcategory:Black & White
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:and, angel, bay, black, canada, cemetery, child, cross, girl, grave, headstone, light, little, nova, plaster, ray, scotia, spotlit, statue, terence, white, wooden