Ashton, the psychic village of Sherman County that boasts a haunted convent now owned by a haunted priest. It’s a village where mystery is a way of life. The current mystery: Who took the barn down?
Just out of town there is an old barn that leans a bit and would be a liability lawyer’s dream if someone should be injured there. The nice lady who owns the property did the unthinkable; she had the structure torn down and buried in a hole! All this was done without the benefit of her children’s opinions, their knowledge and their consent. Also the village was caught off guard; there was nothing about this in the Sherman County Times, no local gossip at the morning coffee old codger’s club, no notice in the local church bulletin or announcement from the pulpit.
To say that one or two of her children are upset would be like calling the Titanic sinking a fender bender. Not wanting to blame their saintly mother, they seek with daring the doer of the dastardly deed to dole out deserved damnation upon him or them. But that leads back to the query; whodunnit?” Those of inquisitive nature have been asking these past two weeks, what happened to the barn? Those with more insidious motives are asking, who did it?
Means of investigation are being deployed by citizens and her kids to ferret out the culprit; CSI Ashton has begun. Instead of the usual greeting in the street, most often heard now is “where were you Saturday between the hours of eight and noon?” If the deposed is smart, he or she will admit to anything other than being in the location of the leaning liability of a farm structure. “Me? Saturday morning I was shooting up heroin while making a big kettle of meth. I was nowhere near the barn.” “Yes, I recall the day and time, I was committing the original sin; well, maybe not THE original sin, but it was an original.”
Being a somewhat reserved rumor monger, the local pastor started floating names of people who don’t attend Mass on a regular basis, in high hopes of retribution. Other villagers took out their “I’m going to get him/her someday” lists to begin gossip that would hopefully end in a severe beating or maiming. Most are laying low out of sight and hearing of the aggrieved progeny in hopes the hoopla will die down in a decade or two.
Anger is an interesting emotion; many people claim the sin of “anger” forgetting Jesus’ temper with the money changers in the temple. He also showed anger, disappointment, frustration with the scribes and pharisees. There is a righteous anger that seeks to right the wrong, but there is also an anger that’s a burden on the soul. It is a contempt of heart that inures the person to the needs of others. Such anger is a tumor which grows with the passage of time until it blots out the vitality of the soul. Letting go of that emotion is a process that takes time and mostly Jesus.
Who annihilated the barn? Give me a moment with the Ouija board and we’ll find out!