From a work in progress: Simon Saith
by Piper Davenport

The flowers were laid on top of the casket. Simon's mother, red-faced, with puffy cheeks and whipped hair, whose Southern-bred eyes refused to show the embarassment she felt toward the black people standing around her. Mrs. Saith could not look into their Christian faces, so she wiped her nose instead. She turned around and briefly stared and wondered what they were thinking about her and her beloved son, Simon.

Mrs. Saith wondered about her absent husband, her community's complacence over the death and the dirty money that had paid for the funeral. What about her child? She looked over at Simon. He was eating a sticky bun, the "reward" for leaving the dead animal, a squirrel, under Mr. Saith's car. But Simon was not thinking of that. No, Simon was very, very upset about being pulled away from his game only to be pushed into a suit and out the door. 

His father had stood at the window, barely able to acknowledge his lame-duck son. Even the black people at the funeral glanced sideways, their voices that whispered of his legend. They had given him more admiration than the equally strange woman in the casket.  Simon ran his fingers along the ice-cold structure of Minerva's deep brown face. She laid there in the casket with a Bible and a sheet of prayers. Even the preacher looked into the little boy's beady eyes and refused to ask God for Simon's redemption.

The black preacher did not know that the little boy, blond hair, blue eyes would need a stone thrown at him to save him. For there were no signs except for the twitch of an erratic smile. But Simon's hands waited and waited for the fallen angel in front of him to wake up. He even went over to the casket and whispered, "Wake up, Minerva. You dirty old hag, you. I said wake up!" But that wasn't to be. Minerva's sister watched the boy and between weeps carefully recalled the many clues her sister had given her in regards to the child.

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