May 8, 2017 by dleecox
About twenty or so years after he left, Virgil Sanders came to visit. I didn’t ask him to stay. I think he was grateful for that. He’d aged properly and appeared to be a man of about eighty. He wasn’t nearly as light on his feet as he’d been when I first met him, sitting on that rock all those years ago.
He did finally find his momma’s grave. Never did find his home in Franklin. He’d gone to Birmingham to look for his sister and their kin. Found records of her marriage to a man there, but never could find her death certificate. He found her husband’s grave and those of their children, as well.
He was absolutely amazed with technology. He said if he was any other man he’d think it was magic – but that he knew real magic and they weren’t the same. He never learned to drive a car.
He gave me a big, warm hug when he left. We cried a bit and shook hands. He told me I smelled like basement.
I never saw Virgil again. I can only hope he found the peace he deserved. To my understanding he served almost two-hundred years on this mountain. Maybe he wasn’t a saint when he came here, but he certainly is now as far as I’m concerned.
As for my own family I don’t know where my daughter, Rowan, ended up after she left for California. She didn’t care where on earth I was either. She blamed me for her mother’s death. Sometimes I wonder if she was right.
I assume Rowan was killed in the Yellowstone eruption or its fallout. Its a safe bet the ash, mud, pumice and basalt have long since erased any clues as to her life.
My son was a good man and visited as he could. He was killed serving as a forward data analyst during the Ukraine war – sorry, the “action.” I had seen it was for nothing, and ultimately, as you know, it was.
I have been on this mountain now for well over two hundred years, myself. I’ve had good and bad relations with the Secret Sons of Dawn. I still don’t trust them. They always have an agenda and one, I suspect, has been followed for long before Franklin Pedimore, possibly all the way back to the original Oracle.
I’ve tried to help everyone that’s sought me out or stumbled upon me or simply shown me kindness. I’ve rarely asked for more than a pittance for offerings. I don’t need much.
But dammit I miss my kids so much. I suppose over the years its become like a fire ant bite. It really hurts for a bit, but by and by the pain goes away.
I’ve had sixteen dogs. I miss every last one of them almost as much as my kids.
You know I’ve never attempted to go beyond Pinhook creek. Not that I’m worried about getting old so much as I just had no desire to leave this mountain – until recently.