“Before the silence kept for those grieving you asked who sent me, and you asked my name. Your sister sent me and I am called Ezra.” I told him I am Ezra because I still need to keep my secret a bit longer.
“Ezra? I am Ezra also! And you say my sister sent you?”
“She said I would find you here.”
“Oh, that is very strange indeed. My sister sees no one and speaks to no one. When someone comes with a need she calls through the door and sends them down the road to my cottage and if I am not there my wife treks up to her garden with the message. But my sister receives no one.”
“I thought she was wearing the bee netting because she was particularly afraid of me.”
“No, my man she hides from everyone. But I do have a thought why she didn’t hide herself from you. I think she got a glimpse of you and maybe thought you were the very ghost of our father. You do look and talk like him at the age he was when he died. And she is one to believe in spirits of the dead flitting in and out among the living.”
I asked, “So for her father’s spirit she put on the bee veils and came out and spoke to me in person?”
“Apparently so. I wouldn’t have thought it of her. As recluse as she is from living people surely she would also hide from a ghost.”
I should change the subject. “So why were you named Ezra? Is that a family name?”
“No. I wasn’t named Ezra. I was named Lazarus after my father. I liked my name because it reminded me of him. But the keeper of the lone boys told me it was the name of a dead man and I would be better named for the living.”
I had to argue. “Apparently the keeper of lone boys didn’t read to the end of that story. Lazarus was not a dead man for very long. Jesus raised him back to life.
“So what of your sister? Does she still call herself Eve?”
He pales before me and stares at me — hollow and cold as though he has seen what his little sister doesn’t seem to fear – a ghost. He gathers his wits to ask.
“How do you know her? Did she tell you that was once her name? How would you even know that?”
(Story continues tomorrow, 10-30-19)