Chapter One: We Meet Josephine
Lying, cussing, smoking, drinking, fornicating, all those things Brother Richard told the congregation not to do, she
was doing every one of them and then some. And, they weren’t turning out to be all that fun.
Josephine pushed herself back and forth in her aunt's rocking chair on the porch. The way the sunlight hit the
porch at this time of day may have been beautiful to some people, but the light and heat only made her sick. Josephine
shifted the weight back and forth on her bare feet methodically.
She followed the neighbor girl, Mae, with her eyes as Mae made her way down the road that ran in front of
Josephine's house. Mae was dodging holes in the road. She was walking carefully around the edge of each one. The road,
like all the rest of them in this area, was red dirt. A false step and Mae would be covered in red mud. Josephine gave a
distorted smile. The knots of Josephine's hair that were twisted into shredded rags all over her head kept her face from
Josephine had just spent two hours twisting and knotting each piece of her straight hair around the torn pieces of
cloth. Her arms had started to hurt, but she kept twisting and tying. Josephine's arms went numb, but still she had kept at
it. Pain traveled from her wrists to her shoulders, and she rubbed her palms together to get rid of the throbbing and tingly
sparks that were shooting through her arms.
Her dress was pressed. She had done that first. Her makeup was half finished. Josephine didn't think her hair
looked all that special when it was curly, but Ethan had told her he liked it. So, she curled it.
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