Tuesday, July 09, 2013


Mother Catherine smiled in amusement when John, Jennelle, Jessie and Jillie showed up outside the homeless shelter’s doorway where she sat in her wheelchair.
“I understand you’re a carpenter, Mr. Jones,” she said. “We just took delivery of a big TV set that was donated. I wonder if you wouldn’t mind putting it up on the wall for us so our older clients can watch programs in the lounge.”
Jillie began tugging at the leash Jennelle held, in the direction of the vacant building.
“I don’t have any tools with me,” John said.
“We have some. It came with a mounting frame that it slips onto. I think it just needs to be screwed into the wall. I’m afraid to ask any of our elderly gents to do it.”
Jillie pulled hard on the leash, drawing Jennelle away from the door.
“It’ll have to be attached to the studs,” John said.
“No doubt,” Mother Catherine replied.
“Probably a drill and screwdriver will do it,” John said. “You have those?”
“Sure do. It looks like Jillie wants to walk a little more.”
John looked over to Jennelle who had her hands full with Jillie’s tugging. Jillie turned and looked at him.
Mr. jones, go inside with Mother Catherine, she transmitted. John shook his head as if he had an impulse he couldn’t fathom..
“You’re right, Mother Catherine,” he replied. “You kids walk with Jillie a little. I’ll install the TV, it won’t take long, and when you come back, we can ask Mother Catherine about the photo album and the house.”
Come on, come on, Jillie signaled to Jennelle. We have to go down to the fourth window. It’s showtime.
“We’ll be right back, Dad,” Jennelle said. “Come on, Jess.”
I’m worried, Jillie, Jennelle thought. I have an odd feeling about this trip.
No fear, Jillie replied.
Inside the shelter, John mounted the flat-screen television near the cable outlet used for the older small set that sat on a table, attached it to the cable outlet, plugged it in, and turned on the set with the remote to check it out. On the screen he could see images of Jennelle, Jesse and Jillie outside a window of the vacant building. The image disappeared then scrambled.
“What on earth!” he said. He turned to look at Mother Catherine. She nodded her head toward the TV screen.
On the screen, the image changed from a view outside the vacant building to a night scene in an urban area where buildings looked partially destroyed. John could see Jennelle, Jesse and Jillie walking toward a group of three children huddled around a small fire close to one building, Jesse looking in all directions, sometimes walking backward, stopping, then catching up with his companions. Jillie appeared to be leading the way.
“What is this?” John demanded. “Where is this view coming from?”
“It’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean!” an elderly man explained, who seated himself to view the new set. “Ain’t you ever seen that one?”
“Yeah,” said another. “Get out of the way, you’re blocking the view.”

(c) 2013 Wes Rehberg

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