You Are Invited to Read the Complete Short Story "Funny Money" Here.
 
I have decided to post one chapter of my book every few days this month. I need to do a final edit and would love your comments/corrections, suggestions, etc. You can find chapter one on a previous post on my blog page. Enjoy!

Part 1: The Body

Chapter 1
A Talent for Trouble

We did not ask to find a body, but we did ask to be involved in all that followed that discovery. Some people have a talent for dancing, painting, or a sport. Courtney Connor and I have talent for finding trouble!

I am Marjorie Wilson and Courtney delivers my paper twice weekly, on Saturday and Wednesday. My little cottage sits across from the town park. I have a sun room in front where I drink my morning coffee and watch the birds. I am an early riser and frequently see Courtney on her bike when she delivers my paper and on other mornings when she rides the jogging path that terminates across from my house. I have thought of reaching out to her. Her dad, Sheriff Calvin Connor, is a single father and the child possibly needs mothering. She always looks unkempt – not dirty, mind you, just not particularly put together. Perhaps she feels her appearance is of secondary importance.

Connors Station nestles in the hills of North Carolina’s Piedmont. A twelve-year-old must love riding up and down hills. However, I am sure her father prohibits riding on the local roads with their blind curves and traffic consisting of log trucks and any number of old, often uninspected vehicles. The city forbids bike riding on the jogging path, but our bike routes must be boring when compared to the jogging path with its curves following the creek through the city park. I’m sure Courtney’s twelve-year-old imagination made the jogging path equivalent to traversing the High Sierras and totally irresistible.

Courtney startled me when she ran through my front door on Monday morning. Although nothing is scary about a twelve-year-old girl, she had a terrifying expression. She did not even speak to me. She ran for the phone on my kitchen wall, grabbed it up, dialed, and started her conversation.

“Dad, there’s a dead woman on the jogging path in the park.”

I imagined the other side of the conversation. A skeptical, “Sure, Courtney,” with a tone of voice meaning, “Okay, tell me another funny one.”

“No, seriously Dad, there’s a body on the jogging path in the park. Please, just come get me!” She started crying and the tears got his attention. “I’m in Mrs. Wilson’s kitchen across the street from the south entrance. . . Yes, I’ll stay with her until you get here.”

Courtney wanted to keep an eye on the body until her dad arrived. We moved to my front room, but could not see anything from the window.

“I guess because my dad’s the local sheriff, seeing the body didn’t freak me out right away. Anyway, it doesn’t look like a body, but like a rag doll or an abandoned scare crow.”

I knew Courtney was telling the truth about what she thought she saw, but she was only a child. Although she kept insisting we move to some place closer where we could see the corpse, I felt hesitant. I had no desire to see a dead body, but when she started out the door, I accompanied her. Courtney certainly did not need to go alone, and what if she was mistaken about what she saw. Her nervousness made her rattle on, which I did not discourage, because the more she talked, the calmer she became.

“I’ve fallen off my bike so many times my knees look like an etch-a-sketch that never gets reset. Not that I care. I’m not vain about my appearance. I usually seem invisible, which has its advantages. I don’t often get called on in class for example.”

Since she always dressed in a haphazard fashion, with no concern about color or style, it never occurred to me she might design her appearance to create a calculated impression. Courtney’s mousy brown hair, medium complexion, and hazel eyes made her nondescript now. However, I believed she would be an all-American beauty later.

“Dad says I’m a late bloomer and eventually I’ll be a knock-out like my mother. Thank you, but I can wait!” 

I began feeling a real kinship with this girl and her echoing my thoughts only increased it.

We crossed the street and entered the park. The trees at the entrance concealed the body from view. An eerie quite pervaded. No birds sang and the trees were still with not even the rustle of leaves or usual chattering of squirrels. Courtney and I were both silent. We stopped about twenty feet from the body.

I told Courtney to wait while I checked things out. My motivation for approaching the individual was a hope of life. Maybe she had simply suffered an injury of some sort. However, as Courtney had noted, there was something off about the position of the body.

A woman with long, brown tresses lay on her side, curled as if sleeping with her back towards us. I rounded the corpse and saw her face, her sightless eyes directed upward, her expression one of surprise. Obviously young, in her early to mid-twenties, and beautiful, even in death, I did not recognize her and I did not think she lived in Connors Station.

Dressed in tailored, navy blue pants and a loose, white shirt with large gold buttons, her clothes looked expensive. The cuffed pants had a permanent crease. I noted her shiny, red, flat-heeled, leather shoes, but saw no purse.

I returned to stand with Courtney and she asked in a rush of words, “Well, tell me. Is it really a body? A woman, right? Can you tell what happened? Do we know who it is?”

“A young woman, Courtney. I do not recognize her, so I don’t believe she is from around here. Definitely dead.”

“Any blood? A weapon?”

Uncomfortable with her desire for details, I said, “Let’s just wait for your dad. Speculation at this point is useless. I’m sure he will share with you whatever he thinks best.”

As we waited, Courtney rattled on, nervously twirling a loose strand of hair that escaped her ponytail.

“I hope this doesn’t spoil riding on the jogging path. I’m supposed to stay out of the park, but I just can’t resist that path. I’ve made a deal with myself and my Dad, inspired by threats to take my bike away if I’m caught again, to get off and walk my bike as soon as I see the first jogger. There are certain times and days of the week when I can make it all the way to the end of the path without seeing anyone, common sense times, like Sunday morning at 6:00 a.m. Think of a time when you would never jog; that’s when I’m riding that path.” That explained her early morning rides. “I ride my bike everywhere. Not just to school or downtown on Saturday, or for my paper route – everywhere. I’ve always been in or on some sort of individual transportation. The earliest pictures of me after I learned to walk were on my tricycle, or in my Barbie sports car. I challenge anyone to find any pictures — except school pictures, of course — which don’t show me on wheels. I lost my training wheels on my bike sooner than anyone in the neighborhood and from then on, Connors Station became my world. At first my Dad tried to stop my roaming, but he soon gave up.”

She stopped to catch her breath, and I took the opportunity to speak. “If you hadn’t been on your bike . . ."

“I know! I might have freaked out completely.” Courtney has a real talent for interrupting! “I wasn’t going to ride today, but Mondays are not jogging days. I’m not naturally a morning person. I know you are, because I see your kitchen light on almost every time I ride through the park.”

“What prompted your paper route?”

“Although my dad’s job as sheriff doesn’t pay a lot, we aren’t so poor I need a job to help us survive or anything. My dad is just always too busy at the wrong times, so I invariably must go to school without lunch money – a real hassle. Last year I looked around for a job, but nothing was available for a twelve-year-old. The paper route gives me a perfect excuse for being on my bike all over town. For the last year or so, I have either been delivering or collecting. If my dad ever figured out how many hours I actually spend collecting, he would stop my roaming immediately!”

“You are an excellent bike rider. And fast!” She let me talk without interrupting, a sign she was calming down. We chatted about her school and her plans for the summer. She told me about her last summer at camp and her plans to attend again this year. Just as we began to run out of things to talk about, Courtney’s dad parked and walked over to us. After asking if Courtney was okay, and after I assured him she seemed fine, he walked to the body.

The park entrance’s metal arch stated (rather unnecessarily) “City Park,” between two ivy covered, brick columns. As Cal Connor walked under the arch, a breeze rustled the leaves and birds began to chirp and sing, as if on cue. He pulled on rubber gloves and stooped down on the other side of the corpse. I could not see what he was doing, but after a few moments, he removed the gloves, pulled out his cell phone, and made a call. I assumed he called the local mortician who served as our unofficial coroner. Death in Connors Station primarily visits the old or results from natural causes. Having the mortician, Mr. Ferguson, check the body and then transport it to the funeral home made sense in most cases. It wasn’t long until Mr. Ferguson pulled in and assumed responsibility for the body. Sheriff Conner secured an area about twenty-five feet square with yellow crime tape. It surprised me how quickly a crowd of the curious began to gather. Grace Glisson from the local paper arrived, and immediately used her cell phone, doubtlessly getting the editor or a photographer to come out. Everyone present appeared to be using his or her cell phone.

Sheriff Connor ended his call as he approached us. Courtney immediately switched the direction of her attention, and her conversation. “Dad, what took so long? Seems like we’ve been waiting forever.”

“Well, I’m here now. So, honey, what happened?” Sheriff Connor nodded to me and I felt included in their conversational circle.

“I was riding the path really fast, if you were to clock it about thirty-five miles per hour. I’ve almost wiped out a couple of times on the blind curve just after the stone footbridge. When I manage to take that curve without slowing down, I experience an almost spiritual sense of success. I mentally float off into a place where anything is possible – I’m a skydiver, a pilot of my own jet, a world-famous explorer. You know the feeling; the impossible becomes probable.” Courtney’s dad wisely listened without interrupting while his daughter told the story her way.

“Well, I took the curve perfectly. When the straightaway came, I closed my eyes, lifted my hands from the handlebars, and let out a whoop. Something, I don’t know what, caused a sudden shiver down my spine, and I grabbed the handle bars, opened my eyes, and there it lay — the body. I drifted a little to the right, missed it, and kept going right out of the park and into Mrs. Wilson’s house.”

Courtney looked upset again. I picked up her story line.

“She ran right through my door and straight to the phone.”

“I know she’s an early riser because I see her kitchen light on or she is in her sun room having breakfast. She didn’t say anything when I went straight to the phone and called you.”

Courtney’s dad needed to take care of all the business that goes with a death, so we walked over and I sat with Courtney in her dad’s car. I suggested we either wait in my house, or I could take her home Cal agreed, but Courtney declared she was not going anywhere without him.

“Courtney, I can’t leave until the county coroner gets here and completes his preliminary examination. Ferguson isn’t comfortable dealing with a corpse resulting from a suspicious death. It may be a while.”

“I don’t care, Dad. I’m staying until you leave!”

“Okay, but you have to wait in my car.”

Courtney and I sat silently in the squad car watching the crowd continue to grow. Mr. Gallagher, the editor of the local newspaper The Connor’s Station Crier and Courtney’s employer, made sure his staff photographer took more pictures than he would ever use. Gallagher left Courtney and me alone after a few questions. Courtney promised to stop by the newspaper office for an interview the next day. Our small-town paper comes out twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday. The story of a body found in City Park would boost the circulation of the smaller Wednesday paper considerably. Gallagher wanted a follow up story for the Saturday paper. He did not address any questions to me, nor did he ask me for a follow-up interview, even though I offered to provide one.

Looking back, it was surprising the whole thing did not upset both of us more. For me, the whole situation seemed like an extension of all those old crime programs I watch on TV — Quincy ME, Matlock, Magnum PI. The experience did not seem real.

Chapter 2
Before and After the Fact

After we left the park, Sheriff Cal Connor interviewed both of us his station. He directed his questions to me. A subdued Courtney remained quiet. I provided enough information he did not need a formal statement from Courtney, which, I realized, he hoped would be the case. I did not add any significant information to what he learned at the park.

I didn’t arrive home until after lunchtime. I had no desire to eat and I spent the early afternoon reading, and then took a short nap. Since I skipped lunch, I woke up famished. I did not want anything heavy, so I settled on an omelet. I spent the evening watching game shows on TV and turned in early.

I fell asleep quickly and dreamed of the city park with everything dead. The birds, squirrels, and trees stood starkly against a gray sky with a black sun in the shape of an eye. I furiously painted everything with bright colors on minuscule brushes so they would come back to life. I hurried even faster when I heard the ominous rumble of thunder. If the paint did not dry before the rain started, all would remain dead, and it would be my fault. I awoke feeling depressed. After my coffee finished perking, I grabbed a cinnamon roll, hoping the sugar would sweeten my mood, and headed to my back porch. The bright colors of my flowers and the chirping of the birds dispelled my gloom.

I sat thinking about yesterday’s events. We do not have murders in Connors Station – drunk drivers, the occasional burglary, domestic disturbances, accidental deaths, but not murders. Cal’s job consists of making sure teenagers do not drive recklessly, solving minor domestic disputes, occasional drunk vagrants, and monitoring the two-cell jail, usually empty. Our city jail, the fanciful creation of Sheriff Connor’s glory-seeking predecessor who thought he needed an office and a jail, has only two cells and a small reception area in the front. Connors Station served as just a stepping-stone for that man to a big city detective job after only a year serving our town. The questionable security of the edifice, a converted storefront at the western end of main street, means the county jurisdiction handles major criminals, habitual shoplifters. Connor ended up with the sheriff’s job for the simple reason that nobody else wanted it. In addition, he had the name. Yes, Calvin Connor is related to the Connors after which our town is named.

Perhaps a brief history of Connors Station is called for. Connors Station did not always bear that name. Originally called Wells Mill, the official name change occurred in the sixties, although many of the older residents called it Connors Station for years prior. The town began as the location of a mill owned by the Wells family. It grew slowly, with occupations catering to area farmers who brought their grain for grinding. A blacksmith arrived to fix farm tools. Next, a traveling salesman married a local girl and started a small general store. When the Connors arrived, they operated a stagecoach stop for those traveling west, and many people began calling the settlement Connor’s Station. Through the years, the apostrophe disappeared.

The railroad era began and Mr. Wells used his money and connections to assure a route close to his mill. After that, the town grew rapidly, with a church, school (held in the church building), and guest house for travelers owned by the Wells family. The original guest house and restaurant evolved into a small hotel. When it burned down in the late 1800s, the lot remained empty until the son of the owners moved back to town in the 1920s. He built the Lodge. Travel brochures call it Pine Tree Lodge, but locals simply refer to it as “The Lodge,” not to be confused with the Elk or Moose Lodges, and other service organization meeting places. A massive, wood-fronted, cement block structure (fireproof), it began as a rambling one-story structure offering rooms by the day, week, or month. The current owner, the great-grandson of the re-builder, turned the Lodge into a restaurant and bar, and added two-story motel rooms extending from the rear.

The make-up of Connors Station reflects the immigrant history of our country. Initially, those of European descent settled the Carolina farmland. Next came a few Indian families seeking education for their children or working for farmers or townspeople. After the Civil War, free blacks arrived. After WWI, an extended Japanese family who assisted the Allies some unknown way appeared. The third generation of our Japanese family opened a restaurant across the street from the lodge in the 1970s. The two businesses did not look at each other as competitors. Lovers of Asian food were different from the steak and potato crowd and they recommended each others services as the occasion presented itself. After WWII, several German families chose the farming area surrounding Connors Station. We also had a Jewish family who settled here about the same time, opening a small grocery store.

The town continued to grow as history and culture dictated, until it reached its current population of 15,000. Everyone attends school together and I do not believe there has ever been any racial discrimination. Citizens interact socially as daily lives dictate. Everyone goes downtown on Saturday, to the Christmas Parade, and the Summer in the Park celebration. We call each other by name, first or last, depending on age and relationship.

Most of the houses in Connors Station are old. The Mills family began a hosiery mill in the 1930s. Our house, originally a factory home, no longer looks like a cookie-cutter house. My late husband, Henry, and I purchased our cottage from a young couple who did an excellent renovation. They hated leaving their “first home,” but with the arrival of a second child, needed more living space and wanted a larger yard. It has real shutters, which Henry put in because of the threat of tornadoes. He experienced one as a child in Oklahoma and never forgot it. Predictions of bad storms triggered his ritual of shutter closing that would not save the house but made Henry feel safer. I never close them now. Still, something about having genuine shutters just seems right.

My house sits directly across from the park and the front faces north. Therefore, both the front and back yards are ideal for gardening. In the front yard, a series of stone and brick walkways wind through my flowers. I also have two fruit trees, an apple and a plum. Along the sidewalk, a white picket fence supports my peonies and keeps the neighborhood children from running through the yard or riding their bikes too close to the flowers. Henry tried planting roses, hoping the thorns would discourage trespassers, but that just guaranteed thorn-scratched knees and elbows.

The backyard, where I sat having my coffee, matches the front in size and shape. A small brick patio, the first improvement we made on the property ourselves, contained a small, wrought iron, table and two chairs. Not only was it a favorite place I the morning, but I often grilled fresh vegetables and either fish or chicken on my small, gas grill. Pots of colorful seasonal flowers attracted butterflies, and hummingbirds hovered around the liquid filled feeders. A small patch of lawn provided room for a birdbath. I frequently think of my late husband when I look down at the bricks we laid together in a herringbone pattern.

My husband, Henry, served as a local attorney before his death from an unexpected heart attack ten years ago. Henry always took a walk in the morning. A very early riser, he would leave the house quietly in case I wanted to sleep late. Most mornings, I would get up immediately after he left and start our coffee and breakfast. If the weather was nice, we would eat on the front porch. I enjoyed listening to the birds as the sun came through the trees lining the street.

One morning, Henry did not arrive home as expected. I waited awhile and decided to meet him as he was returning. Henry always went right for his walk, so I walked left at the end of our walk. It was a beautiful morning and I thought Henry had taken his time or stopped to talk with a neighbor.

I didn’t see him at first as he was in the shade under a tree leaning against the trunk, looking up through the leaves. My first response was, “Henry, what in the world! You’re late for breakfast.”

Henry did not respond, so walked up the path to the nearest house. I blurted out that I thought something was wrong with my husband. Apparently, I collapsed, as to this day I have no recollection of the time from when I first spoke to the woman who answered the door to waking up in my bed later with Doctor Daniels hovering over me. I assured him I was fine, but he gave me something to help me sleep.

We pre-planned for our mutual demise, so there was not a great deal to take care of prior to the funeral. I felt as if I was in a fog for a few weeks, but my daily routine provided a sense of comfort and normalcy. I had to admit, I was glad Henry went the way he did. He looked so peaceful and happy sitting under the tree.

The sign we bought at a craft store the first year of our marriage declaring “The Wilson Family” still hangs by the front door, as it did throughout all our forty-year marriage. We had no children; never knew why or cared. We were still “The Wilson Family.”  Our world revolved around each other and our friends in Connors Station.

Unfortunately, I found out that an attractive, fifty-something widow did not make for a foursome in cards, table games, or even Sunday after church dinners. To fill my days, I used our savings and Henry’s insurance to open a card and gift shop, a dream of mine. Eight years after opening, a small mall opened at the county seat with a Hallmark Store. The competition did me in. I have no regrets. Those were eight fulfilling years and my business helped me stay busy instead of clinging to loneliness.

I finished my breakfast and realized my annuals needed dead heading. I glanced around my garden with, I admit, a bit of prideful pleasure. I have Carolina jasmine, red cardinal vine, and hollyhocks against the five-foot chain-link fence on the left side, backing my rose and annual flowerbed. On the right fence, I have one grape vine, raspberries, and two blueberry bushes. My vegetable garden is at the back of the yard. Peas twine up the chain link bean trellis in early spring, replaced by green beans in summer. I grow only what I enjoy eating. I have asparagus, a variety of lettuces, spinach, beets (because I like the leaves in salads), and, of course, tomatoes. Henry use to plant an excessive number of tomatoes. I plant just four – plenty for freshly sliced and I can freeze enough to last me until the next harvest. One eggplant, two banana peppers (one hot and one sweet), and a green poblano pepper for stuffing complete my garden.

My thoughts turned to Calvin and Courtney Connor. As a widower with a child, Calvin Connor needs job flexibility and plenty of time to raise Courtney and the job of sheriff works well for him. On-call twenty-four-seven, he spends less than six hours a day on duty.

Cal left town after high school and met his wife, Catherine, in college. A big-city girl, she tried to adjust to small town life, but missed the bustling energy of a metropolis. I knew Cathy from the card shop I used to own in town. She sent cards to her relatives on birthdays and holidays. In our mutual loneliness, we became friends. I gave her fresh vegetables and some of my favorite recipes, and she gave me a listening ear and hugs.

Courtney was about three when Cathy died. Rumors of what happened to her circled for a few years, until everyone got tired of speculating. Some said she ran off with another man and others said she was dead. There were those who even mentioned Cal as a suspect at first, but nothing ever came of the investigation. Cathy’s death remained a mystery. I knew her well enough to know whatever happened, she had not gone willingly. Courtney arrived at 6:30 Thursday morning, breathless from her bike ride. I fixed cinnamon rolls, hoping I had enough milk for both of us.

“I spotted the Missouri license plate right away. The parking places have motel room numbers and the Parkers are in 24, the end room on the second floor. I wanted to make this look legit, so I knocked first on 22. I knew no one was in that room, because no car sat in the assigned parking space. I knocked on 23. Below, an old pickup with a Confederate flag on the front bumper sat in the numbered space. A crusty old coot answered the door, growled he was a day sleeper, and told me to disappear. I moved away from his door as he slammed it. Room 24 answered immediately, probably due to the noise produced by the guy in 23!”

Courtney found herself suddenly face-to-face with grief. Mrs. Parker mumbled a tentative “Yes?” through a tear-soaked tissue. Her reddened eyes made Courtney’s guilt kick in immediately. “I almost mumbled an apology and left,” she confessed.

Had I gone too far? Should I have sent Courtney to intrude on this woman’s solitary sorrow?

“Mr. Parker broke the silence,” Courtney continued. His anger appeared as intense as his wife’s sorrow. His gruff, “What do you want?” brought Courtney back to the reason for her visit.

I spoke real fast. ‘Sorry to bother you folks. I work for the local newspaper and would like to offer you a free paper since you are out-of-town visitors. Here’s your complimentary copy.’ I held out the paper, rolled up so they would not immediately see the front page with the lead story about the death of their daughter. I thought they would read it later, but Mrs. Parker unfolded the paper, and started crying again as she turned to her husband and pointed out the story, ‘Frank, look, on the front page, all about Nancy’s murder.’    

“I blurted, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry!’

“Mrs. Parker stopped crying and said, ‘Oh, my dear, how could you have known? She was lovely, wasn’t she? Frank, here’s that picture of Nancy as Miss Corn. Isn’t she beautiful?’” 

“Her husband did not respond. I couldn’t tell if it was grief over his daughter or anger at me. It was totally silent, and I stood there wishing I could just disappear, but I remembered you and for some reason did not want to disappoint you, so I stumbled on. ‘Yes, she was. Everyone in town is terribly distressed over this tragedy. We haven’t had a murder in Connors Station within my lifetime, although I’m only twelve years old.’ I called it a murder, because Mrs. Parker did. Looking back, I wonder why they assumed her death was not accidental or anything like that.”

“And then Mrs. Parker began talking and I didn’t think she would ever stop. ‘So young! It seems like just yesterday Nancy was your age. I just can’t believe she’s gone. Come in dear – I need a distraction.’ As I stepped in, her husband closed the door. She seemed out of it at first, but when she began talking, it was if a floodgate opened. It is surprising what I learned in only fifteen minutes.” 

Mrs. Parker’s obviously slanted account portrayed their “princess” who did no wrong. Her daughter was intelligent, beautiful, and talented. If she lived, it was obvious her mother thought Nancy would have been a rich, famous actress.

Courtney told me she escaped the Parkers when I called her with a fervent explanation that her dad expected her home. The television was blaring from the from the room next door when she left. The silent Mr. Parker offered to walk her down to her bike. Remembering the antagonism of the day sleeper, Courtney jumped at his offer.

Mr. Parker finally spoke to her when they left the room, “You’ll have to take what Irene says with a grain of salt. Nancy did no wrong in her eyes. She was my daughter, but she wasn’t perfect. Boys, that was her problem; boys and then men. I don’t know why. She liked their approval – their attention. If you ask me, she was in Connors Station because of a man. They find out who brought her here, they’ll know who killed her. Sorry for going on this way. I can only listen to that woman so long. Everything Nancy did was always perfect. She is so loving and so blind!” Leaving Courtney at her bike, he went back upstairs shaking his head and mumbling.

Courtney certainly found out a good deal. After she left, this time with cinnamon rolls, intended for her father, wrapped in foil (though I was sure he would never taste them), I thought over what I learned the past hour. If Nancy’s father was right, a man brought her to Connors Station and then killed her. But who and why? My mind began spinning with possible scenarios explaining Nancy Parker's presence in Connors Station and her death.
 


Comments

01/19/2017 8:47pm

Thanks for sharing this short story. I must say that you are a great writer. Your grammar is smooth and lyrical. You must continue writing if it is your passion. Keep that fire burning. Don't let anyone hinder you from doing what you love.

Reply
07/20/2017 7:24am

What is this story? Is this some form of a horror story? I've always wanted to read thriller stories. They excite me. I want something that would trigger my adrenaline. I hope this is a good story. I am having high expectations for this story.

Reply

Awesome post! Really enjoyed this post. But I want more information on such valuable topic.

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03/11/2017 2:38pm

Instead, you have to talk usually, just like you tend to be casually dealing with individuals within a regular dialog.

Reply
03/11/2017 10:43pm

in order to guideline the night time 16b C'.

Reply

The components are usually thouroughly tested.

Reply
03/12/2017 4:05pm

Vata governs almost all motion in your body, such as the motion associated with neural urges through the entire nerves.

Reply
04/01/2017 10:49am

I am very impressed with this chapter right now. Can't wait to read the whole book. Good luck!

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Susan Box Mann, Writer