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“Forget Me Never”




Sable Hunter

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2012

Sable Hunter

All rights reserved.


Glimpses Into The Past


Savannah’s Mother-to-be

“Rise and be healed!” Elisha Renfro threw his arm in the air and shouted in a vibrant, mighty voice.  In his hand he clutched a Bible which he waved in the air like a banner.

Georgia Renfro timidly stood with head bowed in front of her father.

“In the name of Jesus, I command the vile spirit of leprosy to vacate the body of this, thy maidservant!”  The words echoed in the small building.  As the healer sing-songed the name of the Savior, it seemed the very walls vibrated with power.  He strained, red-faced as he tried to pour every ounce of faith in his soul into the words that would eradicate the ancient plague from his daughter’s body.  Elisha placed the handkerchief covered palm of his hand on the top of her head and pressed hard, pushing her backward.  She stumbed and would have fallen if Malcolm Waters hadn’t caught her.  Immediately he righted her, and then wiped his hands over and over again on his pants.

“Easy, preacher,” Elisha’s assistant cautioned the man of God, “remember what we’re dealing with here.  Okay?  It’ll be all right, Georgia.”  He patted the air near the trembling young girl’s shoulder.  “He’s just trying to help you; that’s all.”

“I know,” she whispered.

“Check for the spots,” her father demanded.

Georgia hung her head in humiliation as Malcolm grabbed her arm and gingerly pushed her sleeve up without coming into contact with her skin.  They all looked, but the white patchy lesions were still there.  “God Dammit!” the pious evangelist bellowed.

“What’s going to happen to me, Daddy?” Georgia was scared out of her mind.

“You’ll have to go to the hospital, Girl,” Malcolm tried to comfort her without touching her.

Georgia wondered if anyone would ever touch her again.

“Take her away,” Elisha sighed as he wiped the sweat from his brow.  “I can’t do anything more for her.”

“But, I don’t want to go, Daddy,” she pleaded.  “I want to stay with you.”

Malcolm led the crying sixteen year old from the room and returned after a few minutes.  “Sister Jones is getting her ready to leave.  Everybody’s scared to death, preacher.  What now?  Are we all infected?”

“I pray to God He’ll spare us.”  Elisha laid his Bible down and shoved his hands in his pockets.  “Georgia will have to go to Carville, it’s the law.  But I don’t want my name or the ministries name involved in any way.  From this day on, I don’t have a child.”

“Sir?” Malcolm Waters tried to understand.

“Don’t you get it?” Elisha paced across the wooden floor of the small country church where he was leading a charismatic revival.  “I am a faith healer!  I am God’s physician!  It can never be known that my child has come down with a disease that is the very expression of sin and evil!  It’s beyond my understanding, but Georgia has come under divine judgment and I do not have the power to deliver her!”  By now his swollen face dripped sweat and his breath was coming in gasps.

“Sir, you need to calm down.  You’re going to have a stroke and then where will we be?  I’m sure the doctors will be able to help your daughter at Carville.”

“I no longer have a daughter!” width bellowed.  “When you leave her at the leprosarium, give them another name for her.  I’ll pull some strings at the capitol and have the records sealed.  I don’t ever want her real name or my name connected in anyway ever again.  In fact, her name is to never be spoken again.  After I’m finished, there will be no way for anyone to ever trace Georgia back to me.  I wash my hands of the leper.”

“Why?”  Malcolm couldn’t believe the man that he followed as his spiritual leader could be so cold as to abandon his only child.  Where was the compassion?  Where was God’s love in all of this?

“Don’t you see?  She would be the ruin of us all.  I can’t afford to acknowledge this travesty.  If I cannot heal my own child, no one in the world would ever place their faith and trust in me again.  My reputation would be in tatters.  Our ministry would be over.”

Malcolm almost reminded him that it was God in whom people should place their faith and trust, but Elisha paid his salary – the words went unspoken.

Georgia and Miguel

“Push!”  The infirmary nurse stood about a foot away clothed in enough protective gear to enable her to survive a nuclear meltdown.  Georgia complied; she pushed as hard as she could and held her hand out to touch Miguel.  Dr. Cheshire had allowed him in for the birth, even though they both knew they wouldn’t even get to touch the baby.

“It won’t be long now.  Good girl.”  The doctor stood back and looked at the couple who had created life in the midst of suffering and death. His heart went out to them.

Miguel took her hand.  It was as unmarked as his was.  Their disease was under control, yet they still had to abide by rules that went beyond cruel and unusual punishment.  They had to give up their baby.  “I love you, Georgia,” that was the only words of comfort that he could think of.

He had come to Carville from a border town in West Texas.  The doctor at the clinic who had handed down the sentence of leprosy had told him that great strides were being made in the treatment of Hansen’s Disease and that it didn’t have to be a death sentence.  What he hadn’t told him was how people would treat him, or how confining the leprosarium would be.  If he hadn’t found

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