Now it happened in the twelfth month that James and Crowbar visited Renah, James’s sister. They were there to never lift a hand. Just their fork expecting something on it.
The two men drove from Nail, Arkansas, along Highway 16 to Red Star, where Renah had her cabin nearly built into the hills. Her goats and a few hens. A woodpile. Some rusted auto parts Crowbar was thinking of asking for his salvage yard he called Trucks and Stuff.
If he could find them under the snow.
And Renah rising early to cook, cooked until after sundown thinking already what to have the next day. Asking for nothing but a trip to the cemetery with a Christmas basket for the parents’ graves. If her brother, James, and his friend, Crowbar, had made it across Highway 16 from Nail, they could give her a lift to the graveyard.
What were they doing here anyway? Expecting their Christmas fruitcake and curls of pork-rinds early?
The two men sat at the kitchen table. James stirred his coffee with fury and chopped the eggs on his plate.
Renah cleared her hands.
We open the morning with prayer.
Even before their first bite was swallowed.
EEEEEeeeee. Renah jumped on the curled edge of the linoleum floor when the Spirit moved her. She skitted across the floor in a holyghost dance. James and Crowbar just looking at her with their mouthfuls of eggs and toast. Even when she prayed quietly, you could hear James chewing. He might choke, you know, with a mouthful of breakfast. He had to get it down. Crowbar nudged him. But James kept chewing.
You can’t hear what she says when you chew. James told him.
It was true. Crowbar tried it.
But Renah kept moving in the Spirit.