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which was really the core of his own being.
Jason and Dr. Franz sat quietly for a few moments. It would take time for him to fully digest and integrate this new found realization. This new found awareness was more than a mere intellectual understanding. He had discovered the lost part of himself, with which he could once again say, “I am whole.” Somehow this awakening was like stepping into his heart and his body in a way that was remembered from long ago in his life. Jason felt like he filled out his frame and he was finally present in his own body. The darkness, which had occupied his chest for so long was absent, and he could breathe freely again. He felt alive and possessed of a golden glow, which shown from within.
Trusting Dr. Franz and the process of therapy, allowed the oracle of Greek mythology to step forth into Jason’s dream world to show how an ancient warrior struggled with an arduous task towards regaining wholeness. Finally, as a modern soldier, Jason experienced his inner battle and the insight, which overcomes the hideous beast within as a path towards healing. Few there have been that fully realized the truth of the Golden Fleece and how it can be regained. The oracle anticipates the conquering of the animal beast, but she cannot foretell the actual thrill of victory when it occurs.
Since the argument with Charlene, Grandma Kate had not let go of the sulfuric anger, which fumed within her being. She felt no remorse for the abusive language she had unleashed on her granddaughter. Furthermore, the fact that Charlene had moved out of her house to live with the Stiles’ family, surely added to the river of resentment that was roiling inside her. She felt a need to exact a certain revenge on all of them. It mattered not to her if a vengeful motive was right or wrong, as an inner tsunami of rage had swept her past moral decency.
For Grandma Kate, the generational conflict over who was the rightful owner of Acorn Ridge became like a pustule on the back of an angry sow. This sow lived in a filthy sty were a pandemonium of bestial debauchery was the norm. As the sow aged, the farmer had to remove her from the other swine, as she had become vile and was regularly biting the other pigs. The farmer knew better than to entertain an idea of the old sow learning to behave herself around the other animals. Punishing her would only make her meaner. To make matters worse, when isolated from the other pigs, she developed a dreadful habit of biting the metal bars of her enclosure, sometimes causing her mouth to bleed profusely.
This mean spirited sow had developed a pustule on middle of her back. It was an irritant, but because of its location between her shoulder blades she could not reach it with her vicious snout, to bite the swollen skin. Consequently, it grew and festered into a horrible boil. The farmer knew of the infection, but dared not get close enough to treat the lesion, for fear of being fiercely bitten in his attempt to help the beast. A year passed, until the day when the boil contained so much internal pressure and pus that it spontaneously burst open. The sow shrieked with pain at the moment of the rupturing of the abscess. Pus and blood oozed out of the wound, spilling over her dirt encrusted back. She kicked and bit the metal bars of her pen from the painful lancing of the wound, which had been made worse by the wanting of time.
The bursting of the abscess eventually provided relief from the pressure and pain to the sow’s back. However, the condition had gone untreated for so long that a chronic wound was now the undesired result. Much to the farmer’s dismay, no amount of hosing down or antibiotic feed seemed to result in a final healing of the lesion. It continued to produce a revolting drainage that was as horrible to smell as it has to behold. The farmer remained vexed about putting the sow down. After all, she had had been such a good breeder, back in the day.
Such was the nature of Grandma Kate’s anger, which had gone untreated for so many years. Her inner rage had insidiously declined towards a state of indolent pain, and was now beyond healing. Grandma Kate’s lifelong stubbornness and smoldering hatred had returned the reward of unrelenting emotional turmoil. The tabula rasa of her childhood innocence had long ago been replaced with a wretched anger and chronic emotional scars. The nature of Grandma Kate’s loathing for the Stiles’ clan was spiteful and unforgiving. Unfortunately, Grandma Kate was not a woman of keen insight. She could not see that her unforgiving resentment was a double edged sword that cut her own emotional flesh, each time she rose to yield the cutting edge of malicious words against the Stiles’ family name.
In a moment of devious undertaking, Grandma Kate decided to visit the Atascosa County Courthouse to search for a deed to the 40 acres of disputed land. A deed, if it existed, would be so old that it would hold dubious legal authority, but that was no matter of importance for her. She wanted to prove who rightly owned Acorn Ridge, once and for all. No cost was too high in her pursuit of this revenge. She paid the clerk the extra fee for doing a thorough search for the old deed to the property, which she coveted for all the wrong reasons. Even at that time, the clerk duly informed Grandma Kate that the deed was so old that it was probably originally filed at the old log cabin courthouse, which was now only a relic for gawking tourists. Furthermore, it might take some time to locate such a timeworn document, as all the papers from the old courthouse had been relegated to a storage facility many years ago. Grandma Kate gritted her teeth and was satisfied to wait.
Weeks later Grandma Kate received a call from the courthouse clerk. An old deed had been retrieved and a copy was ready for her. The clerk was quick to point out that the document was quite faded and appeared incomplete. There was no notary stamp, as is required by modern standards. It appeared to the clerk that this was a dubiously granted deed. Grandma Kate was delighted at the news and paid no attention to the doubts being casts upon the authenticity of the document. She hastened down to the courthouse to retrieve the means of her vindictive desires.
Bursting with pride and ambition, Grandma Kate wasted no time in proceeding out to Acorn Ridge, document in hand. Not being there by invitation, she parked her car on the dusty country road and walked the short distance up the hill to the Stiles’ family home. She strode up the steps of the porch as if she already owned the place and promptly knocked on the front door. She waited in expectation, for what seemed like a very long moment, while the summer heat surrounded her. Sweat was beginning to form on her brow. In the trees, the rise and fall of the cicadas’ loud chirping melody, rang out as a backdrop of music to the drama that was about to unfold.
Haybaler answered the knocking by opening the door and glancing outward. His eye brows raised in surprise at the person he found waiting on the front porch. Maddy stood in the center of the living room behind him. Before Haybaler could utter a proper greeting Grandma Kate launched into her debate. “I have the legal deed to this property from the county courthouse!” she exclaimed, while shaking the document in Haybaler’s face. The anger in her quavering voice was apparent. Her breathing took on a hissing quality, not unlike a pit viper which had been unexpectedly disturbed. Her appearance had suddenly changed, and to Haybaler she appeared like a cobra, coiled and ready to strike. The sight of her standing there, with flared hood, forked tongue and venomous fangs, was enough to strike dread into the heart of most mortals.
Maddy stepped across the threshold of the doorway onto the porch, pushing her way through until she stood a little in front of Haybaler. She was now face to face with Grandma Kate. “I’d like to see that paper,” Maddy said with indignation in her voice. The tension between Maddy and Grandma Kate was quickly building to a fevered pitch. In the full light of day, Maddy could also see that Grandma Kate was like a poisonous cobra, coiled and ready to strike. In fact, she was spitting venom with every hissing breath. Then, all hell broke loose. Maddy attempted to grab the paper from Grandma Kate’s hand, but was denied as Grandma Kate suddenly pulled the document back from her reach. At that moment, Maddy’s rage was triggered. As the heat of defensive anger rose up from the depths of Maddy’s stout body, she became like an enraged mongoose charging out of its burrow to confront an attacking cobra. A mongoose defending its family do
es not know fear. Thus, had Maddy been transformed by extreme contempt and brutal instinct.
Haybaler stood and observed in awe as a fearless battle for survival ensued. He was reminded from his readings about nature, that the only animal capable of taking down a cobra is a mongoose. There in front of Haybaler stood the mortal enemies ready to do battle to the death. Grandma Kate looked undeniably like a cobra, coiled and ready to strike. And Maddy with her stout body, appeared like a ferocious mongoose poised for the bitter attack, enraged that her peaceful domicile had been disturbed by the serpentine intruder. The summer heat swirled around these two bitter enemies, as the chorus of cicadas continuously cried their shrill song from the mists of ancient memory, for all to hear.
At the moment when both women were about to engage in a punishing battle, Charlene appeared at the door holding little Levi. Grandma Kate had never seen the little toddler, as Charlene had moved into the Stiles’ home before the birth of the child. She had been yearning to see Levi, and her arms ached to hold him. She was plagued by feelings of separation