Fear not little lambs

Other Foy Davis stories can be found at FoyDavis.com

December 2021 at a church somewhere in South Texas. The date is near Foy’s birthday, and he has just turned sixty years old.

Foy arrived about 30 minutes before the service. He was wearing nondescript tan pants made of a material falling somewhere between jeans and slacks. His shirt was a solid blueish gray. It was untucked and his sleeves were rolled up. He wore plain brown leather shoes that were old and worn but clean.

Katherine was waiting for him in the Narthex. She moved toward him briskly with a beaming smile and introduced herself.

Father Foy, we’re so glad you’re here.

Thank you. It’s good to meet you after all the emails. I should clarify that I’m no longer a priest. I haven’t been for quite a few years now.

Katherine seemed surprised and a bit thrown by this news, but she recovered quickly and flashed her smile.

Oh, I didn’t know. Well, Father Carson says once God calls someone into the priesthood, they’re always a priest in one form or another, even if they aren’t serving a parish.

Foy nodded solemnly. Yes, I too have heard people say that. Continue reading

Letting Stanley

Foy drove his car down a narrow lane on the north side of San Antonio. Fifty years ago this was farm country, 15 miles outside the city limits. In half a century the city had flowed around and beyond the houses on this street, but the neighborhood retained its country flavor. The yards were large, the houses old-fashioned, and many of the backyards still had rural outbuildings – chicken coops, large sheds, and detached one-car garages. He turned into a driveway and heard his tires crunching on caliche and gravel. Foy got out of his car and paused to look with appreciation at the narrow wooden garage that had been meticulously maintained. The white paint was fresh and the tin roof gleamed. Next to it was a shed in the same condition.

He knocked on the door. From inside he heard a faint voice.

Come on in Father Foy. I’m in my chair.

He pushed the door open and stepped inside. The house was old and small. Some might call it a cottage. An elderly woman sat in a recliner with a walker beside her. She smiled at him.

Hello Stanley. I’m Foy Davis. It’s good to meet you. Continue reading

A question of grace

When the doorbell rang, Foy looked over from his chair in front of the TV. He inhaled, held his breath a moment, then exhaled loudly. He got up and went to the door. He stood with his hand on the doorknob for a few seconds. His face was slack, with no expression on it. Then he smiled and jerked open the door.

“Hey you! Get in here. It’s just us for the whole weekend!”

Grace pushed past him. She dropped a duffel bag on the floor and said something that sounded like “yope.” She went straight into the kitchen, pulled open the fridge, and scanned its contents. Foy followed her but stopped outside the kitchen at the counter by the bar stools.

“I got Dr. Peppers in there. The ones from Dublin. And candy corn.” He reached over to the bar and jiggled a glass bowl filled with candy corn. “And Nacho Cheese Doritos.” He tilted his head toward a door by the refrigerator. “In the pantry.” Continue reading

I buy thirteens

Foy pulled his car into the driveway and shut off the engine. He could see Joyce on the porch watering flowers. He got out and waved to her. She waved back. He walked by the side of the house and opened a gate to the backyard. A dog ran up to him. He rubbed its head and said, Rico, that’s a good dog. He headed toward the back of the yard, figuring Raymond would be in his shop.

Raymond built the workshop himself. It was made of stone that perfectly matched the house. Foy laid his hand on the side of the shop and dragged his fingers along the stones. He looked back at Raymond’s house and whispered, Jesus.

There was a door to the shop, but it was always locked and even if it wasn’t Raymond kept a bunch of boxes piled up behind it. Foy unlatched the large sliding door and moved it a few feet to the right. It was heavy, but it slid easily. He slipped inside and closed the door behind him. The shop smelled like wood, machine parts, and leather. It was a great smell.

Raymond, you in here?

I’m in the back. Continue reading

Personal Savior

The first part of this story was published yesterday here.

“Well, you gotta do it. You just have to say the sinner’s prayer. And then you’re saved for sure. And then we can just play catch and ride bikes and stop worrying about this all the time. Don’t you just want to maybe just do it? Can’t we just say it? It’s real quick. And I know it by heart on account of my family always goes to church and I’ve heard it a million times.”

“Yeah, you go all the time. I don’t like church. Do you just hate going but you have to, so you just go anyway and everything? And just have to sit there?”

Foy saw a stick and picked it up. He wanted to bang it on the fence the way Mickey did. He stepped in front of Mickey and whacked his stick along the chain link fence three times as hard as he could. Continue reading

Untitled Foy Story part 1

Apologies to those of you who like the Foy stories, but get disappointed when I post them in parts. This one will be two or three parts. And I don’t have a title for it. If you prefer to wait, hopefully it will be done by the end of the weekend. When it’s finished I’ll decide on a title and move it over to FoyDavis.com.

This scene from Foy’s life will make more sense if you read “Bearing Witness.”

Fort Davis Texas

On Monday morning Foy cut across his block, through the neighbors’ yards, past Fort Street, to Davis Street, where Mickey lived. The Wallace family lived in a sagging home on a double lot. Buddy Wallace had erected a ramshackle metal building that served as his workshop and garage. Two small sheds about the size of outhouses were attached like hermitages to one side of the workshop. Indeed, they may at one time have been outhouses. Cars in various states of disrepair filled the workshop and spilled out into the yard, where their rust was slowly bringing them into harmony with the colors of the rocks, the earth, the washtubs, and the old tractor engine that also lay in the yard. On the Wallace property, things sat in the yard until they became part of the landscape, sinking into the ground and changing colors slowly over the years. Above these things flew the colorful flags of the Wallace laundry, flapping in the West Texas wind on two parallel lines that ran from the side of the workshop to a laundry pole set into concrete near the only tree on the property, a scrubby juniper that Alice Wallace watered and cared for as if it was the only thing of beauty in her life.

Continue reading

What a Fool Believes

Foy Davis driving up highway 1 north of Los Angeles in a red Mustang convertible. His left hand is on the steering wheel and his right hand is holding a half-eaten In-N-Out Burger. On the passenger side floor is a cooler filled with Diet Cokes. On the seat beside him is a computer and a bag of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. He’s listening to the Doobie Brothers Greatest Hits CD and has it turned up loud. A range of steep hills are on the right; the Pacific Ocean is on the left.

He sees a hitchhiker on the right side of the road. As he passes the man, they make eye contact. Foy turns his head, watching the hitchhiker until he is looking at him over the back seat. He looks forward to check the road and then into the rear view mirror. The man is still watching Foy’s car.

“Holy shit, that guy looks just like me.” Continue reading

Say words over me

If you are not familiar with my Foy Davis stories, you can read about him and find links to the other stories here.

Foy parked his car in a clergy spot in the hospital parking lot. When he got out he patted the breast pocket of his blazer to see if his New Testament was there. He patted his pants and felt his wallet. Then he looked at the keys in his hand and said out loud, “Keys.”

He walked quickly through the parking lot and into the hospital. He turned several corners without looking at the signs on the walls and ended up a a volunteer’s desk.

“Hello Sabrina.”

“How are you, reverend Davis?”

He handed her his parking ticket and said, “You can call me Foy.”

She stamped his ticket and handed it back to him. “You always say that.”

“And you always call me reverend Davis. Why is that?”

“I don’t know. You’re a minister.” Continue reading