A picture of Lila – Fiction Friday

A picture of Lila came to mind, and Otis remembered how it was.
When she was alive there were hot biscuits and savory stews. On days
when the weight of work bent his back, she’d rub his shoulders and ease
the pain. And in the dark of night when they were side by side in the bed,
she’d press her body close to his and it brought a feeling of completeness.
Were it not for Lila, he wouldn’t have Benjamin; were it not for Benjamin,
Otis would surely have one foot in the grave.

“It’s the God’s honest truth,” he said, sighing. “A man ought to have a
woman.”

Denny’s eyes lit up. “Maybe if Ben was to meet up with Lucille…”

Otis laughed. “Benjamin ain’t one to have me meddling in his
business.”

“I ain’t saying we got to meddle, but they got a festival at Brotherhood
Hall this Saturday, and if you was to bring Ben and I was to bring
Lucille…”

Otis nodded. “Saturday, huh?”

That very evening Otis told his son they’d been working way too hard and
needed to do a bit of socializing.

“Now we got everything in the ground, there ain’t nothing to do but
wait for it to grow,” he said.

Although Benjamin had planned to spend Saturday replacing a worn
belt on the tractor, he agreed to go to the festival.

“I’m thinking you ought to wear your uniform,” Otis said. He claimed
it was a prideful thing he wanted to show his friends, but the truth was he
had Lucille in mind.

The Brotherhood Hall was a wooden building smack in the center of town;
across the street was a dirt lot for parking. By the time Benjamin and Otis
arrived, the music and laughter could be heard for ten blocks in any
direction. When they walked through the door Denny was waiting. He
grabbed hold of Lucille’s hand and pulled her closer.

“Ben,” he said, “you met my daughter, Lucille?”

“Afraid not. Pleased,” he said and gave a nod.

Lucille was plain as oatmeal and shy as a scared turtle. She gave him
one quick glance, then ducked back into her shell.
[mybooktable book=”passing-perfect”]

About the author

Bette Lee Crosby

USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby's books are "Well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances." - Midwest Book Review The Seattle Post Intelligencer says Crosby's writing is, "A quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life and madcap adventures." Samantha from Reader's Favorite raves, "Crosby writes the type of book you can't stop thinking about long after you put it down." "Storytelling is in my blood," Crosby laughingly admits, "My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write." It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win nineteen awards for her work; these include: TheRoyal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President's Book Award Gold Medal, Reader's Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer's Choice Award.

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