Earl has published poems in Simply Haiku, Manila Envelope, and Four and Twenty. This is his first attempt at writing a story.
My job as a reporter at a small town newspaper is the only reason I am on this trip. I read a reported story concerning an eight year old little girl who was healing the terminally ill. This assignment is a long way from home but if a great story exists it might boost my career.
I am traveling U.S. Highway 395 in search of Red Mountain, California which is an old gold mining town, Population: 130. The highway is at points beautiful with the variety of gorgeous wildflowers such as Desert Primrose and Prince’s Plume. The temperature is so hot an egg could be fried on my car and my clothes feel as though I have taken a bath. Just as I slow down for a Desert Tortoise to cross the road, a ‘Welcome to Red Mountain’ sign appears.
Red Mountain is quaint with the Silver Dollar Saloon, a General Store, hotel, and a small church at the end of Main Street. After checking into the motel, I strolled over to the General Store hungering for a sandwich or something. As I walk in the place a large housefly lands on my nose and I brush it off, a snicker comes from behind the old wooden counter. In just a few seconds a young beautiful Indian girl stands in front of me. She has the most beautiful long hair of all time and eyes of steel. A stare between the two of us lasted approximately five minutes when I spoke, “What is your name, honey?” She stared as if I had not said anything to her. A startling moment to come close to me ended in our joining of hands. A look of distant horror suddenly came over her face. “You real sick,” she said. I related my current diagnosis of incurable liver cancer to her request but how did she know. She responded by letting go of my hand and just stared off into space in a spine tingling trance.
Suddenly an older thin woman standing in a door with a curtain of colorful beads enters the room. She was wearing khaki pants and a plaid short sleeve shirt and hummingbird earrings. She spoke in a raspy, deep voice.
“What can I do for you, sir?”
I responded, “I came in to look for something to eat and was talking to your daughter, is she alright?”
“No, her real momma died upon giving birth and the doctors almost lost Sam and she tells a story of an angel being with her. The angel whispers to go and heal others but first each must believe. Sam has always been as you see her here today.”
I spoke concerning the story that crossed my desk of a young girl healing others and that was why I was here now.
“I’m sorry, madam, what is your name?”
“People around here call me just plain crazy. You can call me that too. But don’t call Sam crazy because she certainly didn’t ask to be the way she is today? I guess God had other plans for her as he does for all our lives. Sam loves the Lord and prays each day for all upon the earth to believe.”
I spoke up, “Has she helped a lot of people?”
The old lady replied, “No, they are either afraid of her or don’t understand. Some have come but none that I know of were ever healed. Sam has endured profane language and verbal abuse from people around here for seven long years. On occasion strangers still come and she puts her soul into it although she is so very tired. Sam has always said that all we need is to only believe.”
I came here for a story but now I believe that it is not exactly the one I had in mind when I arrived.
It was late afternoon and I said goodbye to the crazy lady and Sam and headed to my hotel room for the evening. It was in the quiet of my room that a deep voice spoke, “do you believe?” I found the Bible closed up in a drawer in the nightstand and began to read. I opened the Bible and the first verse that I read was, “Believe upon me and I will give you peace.” My mind wandered to Sam and all she had gone through but continued to do as God wished. I longed for this in my life and I fell on my knees. My prayer vigil lasted into the night as I fell soundly asleep.
The next morning I was awakened by the phone. The hotel clerk said, “The little girl Sam has passed away during the night.” I was deeply saddened and shed a tear for a young life gone. I stayed a few days for Sam’s funeral and the only attendees were the crazy lady and I. As I drove out of Red Mountain the day after the funeral, a chilling sensation came over me that Sam was finally in a place where pain and suffering would be no more and she would have peace.
I arrived back in the Montgomery area with no story for my editor but I will never forget this experience or Sam. After two weeks at home, I realized there was no more pain or nausea. The next day I was sitting in my doctor’s office for a checkup when he entered and the look on his face absolutely scared me to death. The news was the most unbelievable news I had ever heard. My cancer was not only gone but none could be found anywhere. Now as I get up in the morning, I thank God for his little girl with a faith that shook Red Mountain.
(© 2010 Earl Moore – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)