Everyone in town knew about it. They knew my name, said it like they were in church, hushed and quiet. Tommy’s step-brother up in Creelston said he’d help us set it right. Never did like that man. Gave me the shimmy shanks.
Momma just glared and spat and broke different parts of the house. Got so bad I couldn’t eat. Used to be she and I’d spend better part of Saturday morning out on the sand flats digging for stuff. Sifting the tiny shells at the tide line. Them slippery clams we hauled out with the sun still silvery and the gull’s squawking. No way could I hold any of it down anymore.
Well, Tommy, back in the vestry, game and jittery said let’s go do it. Told me Father Hammley kept his best stuff in the little drawer by the place where his robes were hung up. We creeped back through the maze of hallways and found the place, opened the drawer and just stared at it for a while. Then he said, “I’m having a smoke now…You OK with that?”
When he struck the match that’s when the real trouble started.