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Thursday, May 18, 2017

The World of Molly Grace Chapter One

Chapter 1 Molly’s World

A walk down Main Street would reveal your typical small Southern town. There was, of
course, a library and a court house as well as a post office. The merchants in town were all friendly people and looked after one another.

Marlene Chambers had owned the Tick Tock Clock Shop for more years than she cared to remember. She was a good-hearted person with a very outgoing personality. Through the years, she had been forced to add other items to her clock shop like ornaments and collectibles. Fortunately for her and the other town merchants there was a large tourist trade. People came to this small town to see what the Old South was once like.
Marlene had offered a place to stay to her friend Patsy Madison when she learned that Patsy’s husband, Robert, had been beating her and her young daughter, Molly Grace. Molly Grace was the kind of little girl that you could not help but love. She had beautiful auburn curls and the largest chestnut brown eyes imaginable.

One of the bad things about living in a small Southern town is that everyone knows your business. One of the good things about living in a small Southern town is everyone knows your business. It was no different in the small town of Pigeon Hole, Texas. The town was about as exciting as its name. Since the only thing to do was to mind everyone else’s business that is what most people did.

Patsy had fled in the middle of the night with Molly Grace. She waited until Robert was passed out drunk and loaded up the family station wagon. She drove all night from South Carolina to Texas. She got into town about sunset the next day. She was tired and was very glad to see Marlene. Marlene carried Molly Grace up the stairs to the apartment she had above the shop. Most of the merchants in town lived in residences above their stores. This was one of the best things about owning a shop in a small town. The commute to work was simply a walk down the stairs.

Patsy and Molly Grace rested a while then Marlene said they should go to supper. Most of the town merchants did not bother to cook. They simply walked down the street to Eat, which was a small diner. It was named Eat because when Larry and Mama Sue Harthwell bought the diner, it had a sign on the outside that said “Eat”. It was simply cheaper to keep the name that had been on the sign for years. 

When they arrived, Marlene introduced Patsy and Molly Grace to Mama Sue. Mama Sue was a large black lady with a heart of gold. She was the kind of woman who liked most people. She treated every child in town as if they were her own. The kids often stopped by after school for a snack. Someday it would be cake and milk, other days it would be cookies or brownies. Mama Sue always had something ready. Larry, her husband, was pretty much the same way. He always had a smile and a laugh for his customers.

Larry brought a huge slice of cornbread for each one of them and Mama Sue set a huge bowl of homemade vegetable beef soup in front of them. Patsy thought it was odd because neither she nor Marlene had ordered anything. Mama Sue explained that she knew that she and Molly Grace had a long trip and they needed something hearty to stick to their ribs.

Soon dinner was finished and the ladies and Molly Grace made it back to the shop. Molly Grace was asleep before her head hit the pillow. She felt safe here. For the first time in a long time, she did not have to worry about waking up to the sounds of her father beating her mother. She did not have to worry about the beatings she received for anything and nothing. She felt at peace.

Molly Grace took to small town life. Every day she walked the one block from school past Lamb Shoppe Dolls and Collectibles. This shop was directly beside Suzanne’s Photography and the two stores were connected to one another. They were both owned and operated by Suzanne and David Logan. 

Molly Grace loved to look at the pretty porcelain dolls in the window. They seemed so pretty and happy. Suzanne saw her looking in the window and invited her in. Suzanne was a beautiful woman with a smile as big as the Southern sky. Molly Grace could not help but love her. Suzanne was not much taller than ten year old Molly Grace, but she looked very much like a fine Southern Lady.

Suzanne took Molly Grace around the shop and showed her all the pretty dolls. Molly Grace thought they were all beautiful. Little Molly Grace left the shop and skipped down the street. She hurried fast as she passed Iron Mike’s Irish Pub. Patsy had warned her that they served alcohol inside. She reminded Molly Grace that Robert was the way he was because he drank alcohol. When she met Robert, she never saw him drink. He did not start that habit until after Molly Grace was born.

All of her attention was focused on watching the door to Iron Mike’s as she hurried by. Suddenly she ran into something. She bounced off of the surface she hit. It felt like she had run hard into a brick wall.

 She looked up and saw a huge man. This man was about six foot six inches tall. He could easily weigh three hundred pounds, but none of it was fat. It was all muscle. As she took in all of the giant’s features, she noticed he had a large pistol in a shoulder holster and a huge knife hanging on his belt.

 Lucky was a bounty hunter and a darn good one, too. He had captured as many as ten bounty jumpers at one time. He was smart and he was strong. But to Molly Grace, he was just plain scary. He reached his hand down to help her up. He said “Sorry, little lady.” Molly Grace would have none of it. She scrambled to her feet and ran back to the Tick Tock Clock Shop as fast as her feet could carry her. 

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