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The Money: A Parable of Sorts (Part 1 of 8)

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Brina Blum/Unsplash

Brina Blum/Unsplash

 

The mountains have never been kind to my family. People just keep on getting rich off our kind. The haves have all that there is to have. We don’t have a damned thing. Once or twice, I tried to consider what it might be like to live like that…but when it came right down to it…I couldn’t even muster up the head magic to know where to start. I know it’s wrong. I just didn’t know what to do about it. I turned to Jesus and found no help there. Now, I just sit here on the corner trying to find work. I’m growing poorer by the second. How am I supposed to feed my family?

 

Shouts filled the air. A newspaper dropped at his feet. The state/the haves had voted for succession.

 

I ain’t got time for no war. I ain’t interested in dying for some rich man’s pocketbook. I ain’t got no problem with the Negroes. Why don’t they concentrate on making sure that all of us got a chance to survive for a change? I ain’t interested in all of this damned buffoonery. I’ve got a family to feed.

 

What are you going to do?

 

“Chester Drillard!” I looked at the Confederate official. This was my time. I took my orders and walked out.

 

The buggy is rough.

 

Every bounce jars me back to the reality of my predicament. I have one day. What am I going to do?

 

Margaret met me at the door. She knew. The Confederacy was promising to pay well. We’re broke…but money don’t mean everything. I don’t believe in all this mess. I love Negroes and I hate the rich. Margaret got real close and said, “Fight for what is right!”

 

Seconds turned to days. Minutes turned to months. Hours turned to years.

 

I fought for so many years…that I didn’t know what year it was when the whole thing was over. I just knew I was going back to Margaret once and for all. While the Yankees stayed to manage everything, we lived happily ever after. I even took in one of my Nero soldier friends, Troy. When they left, the Klan and all other kinds of vigilantes came to take their revenge. Our farmhouse was burned twice.

 

“Stop! Stop! Stop!”

 

Regardless, we all stayed put.

 

I’ve been in the bed for months. I didn’t live for the money. I lived for right. The end is near.

 

In his final hours, Chester gathered his family around his bed and said, “Don’t chase the money. Fight for what is right!”

 

When I saw the pearly gates, I wondered why there were smoldering piles of money everywhere. Then, I heard the booming voice of God declare…

 

“Damn the money!!!”

 

Amen.

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