The residents had not witnessed such bustling in this sleepy village. Every now and then a funeral procession passed through the dirt road to the cemetery where the very old inhabitants were called to their saviour. This population lived a long healthy life, they ate right and walked for miles to their destinations. This they thought was the key to their longevity. The burying of so many of their young dwellers caused lots of wailing and wringing of hands. The young and old, women and men,the feeble all gathered at Morgan Valley Farm, day in, day out to talk about this fishing boat accident that took them by surprise leaving the town void of so many hard working men. They were trying to make sense of this disaster that had befell them.
The Reverend McMillan delivered his sermon with fiery zeal. The church was bursting at the seams; everyone made it up the hill, some hobbled but they got there, they were determine not miss this gathering, even the men from the corner square were present. The Reverend wiped away his sweat and blinked his eyes,yes it was the men whom he had tried to bring into the congregation. This was his chance to minister to them from his pulpit. He began "Church, you know the doors are open to everyone?" in that talking and tune added voice. The parishioners replied with an "Amen" The three dozen men shuffled in their seats, they could feel lots of eyes on them. The gut-wrenching squeals of the master's name penetrated their souls. Although the community had scorned them for their worldly ways, they had feelings too, they came to mourn their family members and to show respect to a village in mourning. Everything happens for a reason and the Reverend knew this was the beginning of a ministry for which he needed all the vigor, strength and will power that he could muster up. He looked at the faces in the jam-packed church all stricken with pain. He was ready to do some healing. "We are one" he shouted in his loud bellowing voice. "You gotta believe, we are one" in that sing-talk tone.
The mourning had gone on for quite some time. It was months before the usual pleasantries were heard in and around Ridge Hill. Josephine Carter James needed workers for Morgan Valley Farm and the men at the corner square were her prime choices. The Reverend McMillan found another opportunity to convince these men to start a new life, to become productive citizens, to help rebuild the Ridge Hill Community. But remember, this was an extraordinary place and the gossip wheels began turning again. Many of the villagers thought this was the work of an evil woman who had long passed but every now and then they claimed, she would wake up the town with one of her 'pranks' that would have tongues wagging about her toxic spirit. She had an old grudge that she vowed to settle, she promised on her dying bed. This is the story as the elders remembered. This was the way things were in Ridge Hill, a place full of secrets, that will eventually be released and put citizens against citizens. The Reverend's plate was full and flowing over but he did not buckle under these pressurized situations, this he knew was a powerful beginning and all eyes were on him. Let's see what you can do or will you run like the others, their stare seemed to say.