“Alright, it’s my turn - watch this.” Dibz elbowed to the front. He worked his mouth and pushed with his tongue and a burst of breath and forced a glob of liquid froth from his pursed lips.
It gained momentum as it dropped through the air then slapped the surface of a flat rock baked hot in the sun - and there it sizzled.
“Yeah!! Listen to that! Do you hear it? My spit’s sizzling on that rock! Look, you can see it dancing!” Dibz was full of himself. He taunted the others. “Who can top that? Can you Gallio? Ha! You know you can’t.”
“That’s what I heard as I came upon that no good group of boys,” Evelyn recounted the story to the women walking with her. “So I raised my walking stick, I figured what they needed was a good thrashing and I said to them, ‘I’ll show you how to do a sizzling dance!”
“Evelyn, you didn’t!” Bosmat exclaimed.
“No,” Evelyn let out an exasperated sigh. “For two very good reasons. First, we were about to get going; and second, I thought - why stop them? They are just proving what I knew all along. It is too hot, too brutal to live long out here. What was he thinking, this Moses? He has brought us out here to die.” She angrily smacked her walking stick on a rock as she passed it.
“Evelyn, you may be right, do you see what’s ahead? It’s the sea - the Red Sea!” Noa trembled as she spoke.
“Why? Why are we moving toward the Red Sea? Are we supposed to swim? I do not swim! Who else? Who else will not swim?” Evelyn bitterly demanded.
A chant began with the women in Evelyn’s group and steadily grew. “We will not swim. We will not swim. We will not swim!”
People joined hands and pulled away from the sea.
Then their death knell sounded. Evelyn heard it at the same time that she saw - horses - with angry Egyptian riders, a whole army of them! “What now? We will surely die now! Look, they come for us!
The frenzy set off by her words was paralyzing. Other words reached her and her group, “It’s a miracle, we can move forward, the Sea has parted!” But she could not hear, comprehend, or move.
There was no time, how would Evelyn and her group be made to move?
Then Evelyn heard a voice. “Hey, Miss Evelyn, why don’t you show me that ‘sizzling dance now?” Dibz made as if to grab her stick.
“Why you disrespectful...I’ll get you!” Evelyn took off after him.
Then she and her cronies and followers were chasing those boys, praise be to God, right into the dry sea bed. When they were safe on the other side, Dibz let Evelyn catch him. They turned to see the wonderful, horrible sight of the sea closing its walls. And they fell to the ground and worshiped.
Then Evelyn grabbed Dibz by his shoulder. She pulled him around to face her and she said, “I am a foolish old woman. Thank you, boy, and thank God, you have saved me. And now I will show you something! She worked her mouth to gather what saliva she had and then spewed it hard and far.
A whoop went up from Dibz and his friends as the real victors of their contest were realized.
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