This is Issue 45 of Hope On The Rocks, entitled "Psalm 23".
This issue is Lia-centric.
407, Psalm 23
”The Lord is my shephard, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right path for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
I sit quietly, listening as the priest reads up from the bible. The white chalked church smells of wet dog and vinegar. The short-haired priest is claimed to be lesbian by my classmates, though it has never been confirmed.
I sit between my father and my mother, both listening as the priest reads.
Sometimes I wonder why I even go to church. I am not really that religious. Neither is dad. It’s only mom who likes going to church once in a while.
“Dad?” I whisper, just quiet enough for mom not to hear it.
“Yea?” Dad whispers back.
“What does it mean that she says?” I ask. I have never understood anything from the bible. Well those stories we got when we were smaller, of course, but like this; I don’t get it.
“You’ll realize sooner or later.” Dad whispers, smiling.
And now I do realize what it means. I understand why my parents had to die, but it’s still not fair.
Both of my parents were accidents; Chad was too slow and that caused my mom to be bitten. My father was shot because Chad didn’t see the farmer.
It’s all Chad’s fault, now that I think about it. All Chad’s fault.
“Lia?” I hear Miles saying. I snap out of my thoughts, and realize that I’ve been laying on my matress for an hour, just looking at the wall.
“Mm?” I just mutter, not really in the mood for talking.
“You need to eat.” He says, sitting down next to me. He has apparently been up for a few hours.
I’ve been thinking about whether we should bury my dad. On one hand, I don’t want to see the man who killed him, but I really want a furneral for him. Besides, I know what has to be done.
“Miles?” I say.
“Yea?” He looks at me.
“I want to bury my father.”
And so we do. Standing at the farm, my father’s corpse in a hole, dug by the farmer’s kids. Even a scavenged tomb stone where Texas managed to write in ‘Nick Camper, 1974-2011’.
“Nick Camper...” Ridley begins. “was a good man. He didn’t deserve to die this soon... he deserved a chance... more time with his daughter... with us.”
I look around, tears filling up my eyes. The farmer is standing in the window of his house, looking out. He claims that it wouldn’t be ‘respectful’ attending at the furneral of the man, who he killed. His kids are here, though.
“Nick did bad things...” Ridley continues. “but he most certainly did good things as well. And the good things are what we will remember him for.”
He pauses. I look up, seeing his eyes full of tears, just like mine. He is holding Esther, who is crying as well.
“We all loved Nick, and he will be missed...” Ridley says with a breaking voice. “Amen.”
“Amen.” The rest says, me too under my breath.
Miles gives me a kiss and heads towards the grave. Along with Texas and Ridley, he begins to bury my father’s corpse.
Everyone heads towards the house.
And that’s when I snap; I take up my Walther GSP, raising it and aiming at the farmer’s son.
I need revegne.
- Miles Vance
- Chad Bottom
- Ridley Johnson
- Lia Camper
- Nick Camper (flashback)
- Douglas Tallie
- Texas Starr
- Kristen Tallie
- Helen Camper (flashback)
- Jamie Tallie
- Unnamed priest (flashback)
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