Lil Bit and the Big Storm
By Nita Wilson
Lil Bit was picking strawberries in the Queen’s garden when she heard Jesus calling her. She looked up and he was bending down to her holding his mouth open for a ripe strawberry. She plopped one in his mouth and like any five year old, pushed his bottom chin up to help him chew.
“I can handle it, Lil Bit. My they’re tasty this year.” He plucked her up by her halo, sat her on his shoulder and walked out of the garden and into the other dimension.
“Do you have another assignment for me, my Lord?” She asked, smelling the delightful scent of strawberries in the air around Jesus’ head.
“There is a little boy coming to me and I don’t want him to be afraid. I’m, sending you to be with him as he leaves the earthly world and comes home.”
“But, Jesus, why does he have to come home if he is only a boy?”
She bent down and kissed his cheek. It always made him smile and she loved making Jesus smile.
“It is time for him to be with me. I’ve missed him and his precociousness’.”
“Will I like his precoatedness?” She didn’t know what it meant, but she loved big words. Jesus laughed and tickled a little foot.
“Yes, you will like him. You will show him how it works up here until he remembers for himself. Now, run along. And, Lil Bit?”
“Yes my Lord?”
“Take him by his mother’s and let her know he is going to be fine.”
“Yes, my Lord.” Suddenly, Lil Bit was thrown by the wind into a huge wet sail and fell, tumbling and rolling, into the raging sea as the main mast holding the great sail cracked with a sound like thunder and the big Gally, Whydah hit a sand bar. Seconds later the storm flipped Whydah over and she began to break into a million pieces, sinking and taking men to the bottom of the sea. Lil Bit saw the terrified look of John King the eleven year old powder monkey falling with the cannon he’d been hiding behind. He was thrown through one deck after another until he was caught under the great weight of the cannon and four tons of pirate treasure on the bottom of the sea. Lil Bit looked into his face and smiled and he took a lung full of salty water and smiled back.
“Are you here to save me?” He asked of Lil Bit
“No, I’m here to see you home. Take my hand.” She took his hand and he looked back only once at his body caught and lifeless under a cannon.
“We need to say goodbye to your mother.” She smiled back at the young boy as he looked at the debris and raging water in amazement. He held her hand tightly as she whisked him out of the water and into a new life. Suddenly he could see his house, a little cottage on the edge of a clearing where he used to fly his kites. There was a candle in the window and his mother was darning a white cotton stocking and rocking in her favorite chair. His letters were lying, folded and folded again from many readings, in a small wooden box next to her chair.
“I can’t go in there.” He pulled Lil Bit’s hand to leave.
“Why not?” She asked.
“Because when ‘Black Sam’ Bellamy captured the ship my mum and I were on, I insisted on staying with the pirates and it broke her heart. I can’t face her.”
“You don’t know how tough a mother’s heart is if you think you broke hers.” She laughed at the ignorance of human boys.
“You have to do this, John. It will help her heal once she gets news of the ship wreck.” She pulled him into the little room and stood him next to his mother. Mrs. King put down her darning and called into the empty room.
“John, is that you?” Lil Bit turned to John and whispered in his ear.
“Kiss her on the cheek and say “Yes”. John was holding back tears; pirates don’t cry, darn it, even if he was the youngest one on the ship; he was still a pirate. He bent to his mother and kissed her lightly on the cheek and whispered in her ear.
“I’m sorry I hurt you, Mother. I’ve come to say good bye.”
His mother smoothed the hair that gently moved next to her ear and reached a hand out to the empty space.
“John, give me a sign if you will ever be coming back to me.” She let the tears fall; she knew in her mother’s heart what this meant.
“I’ve left a candle in the window for you all this time so you could find your way back to me. Give me a sign, son if you are not coming home.” She didn’t really want a sign, she wanted to wake up and see her son smiling in front of her presenting her one of the many frogs he’d catch and bring for her to see. John looked at Lil Bit.
“It’s only right to give her a sign, John, so she can be prepared for the bad news.” John walked to the window and blew out the candle. His mother caught her breath and grabbed her heart.
“Good bye, my darling.” She said into the night.
Lil Bit and John flew over the city and through a great light shining through an open portal in the atmosphere. She was always happy with this particular route, as watching the faces of the returnees made it a wonderful re-entry.
Jesus was standing just inside the light with his arms outstretched to John and Lil Bit. He gathered both in his big robe and sat on grassy hill by a flowing creek.
“John, do you remember me?” He asked the young boy with love in his voice; John laid his head back into Jesus’ chest.
“I think you are Jesus. My mum used to tell me about you. Am I to live here, or do I go downstairs for being a pirate?” He wanted to know, but he didn’t want to know. Jesus threw back his head and laughed.
“Were you a bad pirate, John? Did you purposefully kill any of my people, John?” Jesus tried to keep the laughter out of his voice.
“I don’t think so.” He was trying to remember, but his memory had begun to fade once he entered the portal of light.
“You’ll stay here with me, John, I’ve missed you. Now run along with Lil Bit, she’ll show you around until your memory of this place returns. Are you planning to go back, or do you think you’ll stay awhile?” John looked around the countryside and back at Jesus’ face.
“I think I’d like to stay awhile if it’s okay with you, sir.” Jesus smiled from ear to ear, his life just got better and better.
“My Lord; not sir, my lord.” Lil Bit corrected him and they were off.
“Do you like strawberries?” Lil Bit asked?
“Sure I love them.”
“Come on, follow me.” They both moved… without moving and found themselves in the Queen’s strawberry garden. John thought he might like this place. Next to the pirate’s life; this was the best place he could imagine.