Nothing about this makes sense. No one just picks up and leaves
everything behind. I don’t even know where I’m headed.
Panic took root. Confused tears blurred her vision. She wiped at them
with the back of an uncertain hand, then gave her head a determined
“No! You can do this. You have to do this.” She placed a maternal hand
on the small bulge of her stomach. “They deserve a chance. Both of
promptly at eight o’clock. Sister Betty Marshall liked to be on time. In
fact, she liked to be early. Stuffed inside her floral print
going-to-church dress, Sister Betty bustled along the sidewalk. Worn
leather sandals, stretched beyond their original shape, accommodated
wide brown feet and slapped the concrete as she went.
Sister Betty clutched her Bible close. She had to make it to the revival
center before Luella Thompson. Theirs was a
friendly competition but a competition nonetheless. When she didn’t make
it before Luella, Luella never let her forget it.
The walk light turned amber and then red just as she reached the busy
intersection. Sister Betty slowed down, resigned to her fate. She
wouldn’t make it on time. Luella would get bragging rights for this
evening. “Unless—” She strained her eyes to see. Was that a homeless man
in the alley? “Yes, Lord!” She headed over. Sister Luella might beat her
to services but what were the odds that she’d bring along a potential
When Henderson first noticed the lone Sister Betty, his fangs pushed
down and out. He’d intended to wait until she got closer, and then pull
her into the alley. He wasn’t prepared for her to approach him.
Her Bible captured his attention first. He drew back, hissing. The cross
around her neck added to his torture. His ears burned from the sacred
words she now quoted. Searing pain shot through eye sockets each time he
looked at the cross on her necklace. He threw his hands over his ears,
closed his eyes against the pain, and ran.