By Ronald W. Brown
Eliza’s Grave is the working title for my book-in-progress. This series will feature excerpts from the work-in-progress. Periodically, I will interject stories from where The Crow left off—up until my early adulthood. I also welcome any input from you—my editors–on Eliza’s story. Some of the events detailed in Eliza’s Grave, actually happened, some didn’t.
Chapter 1: A time to Be Born
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 Modern English Version, MEV)
My Mama name me Eliza Maria, but e’rybody jest call me Liza. My last name is England; like de country England. I think de last name come from one of de ole Massahs.
Mama birf me into de world right here in Choctaw County, Georgia, on de first day of Jan’rary in de year, nineteen hundred.
It was a joyful day for her ‘cause I wuz her first chile and I wuz born on de first day of de first monf, of de first year, of a new cent’ry.
She say to me—when I wuz a bit older—dat she heard some of de White folks in town say it wuz even “de beginnin’ of a new ‘ma’lennum”.
Dey say dat represent a thousand years. I couldn’t even imagine dat many years passin’—not back den.
Anyhow, de old folks told her I wuz special ‘cause a my birfday.
Dey say to her, dat I wuz “bound for great things.”
Today is a special day too, but d’ere ain’t no joy on dis day. Today is Jan’rary de tenf, nineteen hundred and fifteen; de day I wuz killed!
Over yonder, in de norf’west corner of dis cemetery—jest inside de tree line—barely noticeable from here, sits a mound of red clay dirt. Underneaf dat mound of red dirt lays my mortal remain–crumpled and beaten–all what’s left of my life here on dis earf.
the story continues next week.