Sample Chapter from “Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth”

Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth

1.  Remnant

Stomping, jumping, I’m singing away.  Me and Granny’s up here at the microphone, Granny on guitar, double strumming, foot tapping, urging everyone on for the chorus.

“Climb that mountain high and wide,

Jesus keeps you satisfied.

Praise him silly, oh yes.

Praise him silly, oh yes.”

Everybody’s clapping.  It’s a tune Granny wrote herself.  I shake the tambourine on the chorus and Granny ends with a loud “Amen!”  She’s up here from Crawdad, Kentucky, seeing some doctors about her high blood.  We set down with Mama and Daddy, then our pastor, Sister Coates, says it’s time for personal testimony.  “Who would like to give thanks?”

Jonathan Safer jumps up.   “I got a B on my history test.”

“Praise the Lord!”  Everybody yells.  “Amen!”

“I found a good used car,” says Roscoe Goodwin.  “Got power windows and cruise control.”

“Amen!  Praise the Lord!”

Granny gets up. “I’m happy to be visiting my family here in DeSailles, Ohio.”

“Praise the Lord!  Amen!”

Granny’s really my great-granny, staying in our old boarder Lucinda’s room.

+ + +

I like it here at Remnant.  Remnant Church of God.  How you can get up and sing and say what you’re thankful for.  I went to another girl’s church, Edna Flotsam’s, and we just set quiet on a wooden seat except when we sung songs.  And the only time you talked was when you read something out loud.

+ + +

Sister Coates gives her sermon.  It’s on believing every word of the Bible.  She gets all excited, walking back and forth with her microphone, telling us how some people think the Bible is just a bunch of stories, but she’s here to tell us it’s the solid word of God. “And they got proof over there in the Bible lands that Jesus was there and he done what they said he done.”  She ends by telling us how we got to spread the word.  “It’s your duty as a Christian,” she says, “to get out and tell other folks about our Lord and Saviour.”

She reaches behind the podium and pulls out a box.  They’s packs of cards in it, wrapped in rubber bands.  She holds up one pack and says, “These is John 3:16 stickers.  Now what we got to do is get these out to different places. They’s fifty in each stack.”  She pulls one out—it’s shiny aluminum with a cross at the bottom, peels a piece of paper off the back, and sticks it to the front of the podium.  “We all know it.  Let us recite:

‘For God so loved the world

that he gave His only begotten son

that whosoever believeth on Him

should not perish

but have everlasting life.’”

Mama had me memorize that when I was four years old.  She says that’s the most important verse in the Bible, that you can get to Heaven on that one.  And that if you don’t, well, you go straight to Hell.

Chloe Sample, she walks right up, takes two stacks and walks back.  Mama’s always talking about how full of the spirit Chloe is, throwing her head back during prayer time and falling to the floor.   I don’t want her to have nothing on me, so I walk up and take three.

“What are some places you can hand these out at?”  says Sister Coates.  “We got a blessed opportunity to bring folks to the Lord.”

Jimmy Toggle says he can hand them out at his factory, Porter Ironworks.

Chloe Sample raises her hand.  “I got a White Castle down the street from me,” she says.

“Fine place,” says Sister Coates.

I want to show Mama I’m just as holy as Chloe.  “What about—” and I’m trying to think up something grand—“what about—what about going up I-71, and—”

Then Mama gets in the spirit.  “We’ll do rest stops, Mary Mae.  And that big mall up near Chillicothe.”

“Praise the Lord,” says Sister Coates.

“We can do it next Saturday,” Mama whispers.

“I’ll be working,” says Daddy.

“Then me, Granny and Mary Mae’ll do it,” says Mama.

Mama saying Saturday, I know what I’m getting myself into.   Can’t be messing around, but I know what’s important.  I’m a-saving souls for the Lord.

One Response to “Excerpt”

  1. Jim Livi aka Mega Bubble Man (http://www NULL.megabubblemanproductions NULL.com) says:

    Hi Sandra,

    I love the way you’ve written this preview of Mary Mae and I’m so glad you’ve received a lot of praise.

    Later, I popped into a writing group after the BOCES mtg and met Carolyn there, the Iroquois writer. Here’s what I shared at the group:
    http://tinyurl.com/bwqz3sy (http://tinyurl NULL.com/bwqz3sy)

    As an author, would you be willing to start a conversation with one of my nieces?
    She’s 15, an avid reader, writer, “drama queen” and her parents work at Syracuse Stage. Her younger sisters are always in books too.

    Keep in touch.


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