"There was never a more perfect time for this than now." This was a trip to Wisslerite country and now was the time that Virginia 'Ginny' Lane was spending with Mary Wissler, wife of Asa and one half of the founding couple. After the Climate Wars a new phrase began to circulate; Goodnight, John-Boy. This phrase was the new way of saying goodbye to the past. Ginny had, for several weeks now, been saying Goodnight, John-Boy to more of her past than she cared to. And that's what had brought her to Lowery, new main home of the Plain People group gathered from the remaining remnants of the others.

"I agree," Mary responded, "this is a perfect time. Have you been enjoying your stay here?" Ginny smiled broadly. This had been like a trip back in time, a trip back to her childhood days in Quincy and the summers spent swimming in the pool at Callaway Park. The simple pace of life among the Wisslerites had brought joy to Ginny's heart and a smile to her face. And now, rocking on this porch, she felt a connection with Mary that rivaled that of very close friends. She was glad that she'd come during the fall as the wood smoke from the maple sugaring shacks wafted through the air and colored her memories with a sheen of nostalgia.

"I love this place."

"Then stay on!" Ginny looked at Mary. Asa and Mary Wissler had been Common Baptists before the Climate Wars, and now they were the founders of their namesake group. The group had been what truly piqued Ginny's curiosity. And now she was here. She thought the idea of staying didn't sound half bad. "We're having a meet and greet with the citizens of Lowery County. Stay, and see their reaction."


"Well," Mary began "did you enjoy the meet and greet?"

"I sure did," Ginny replied with a smile, "more beards than you can shake a brush at. It reminded me of my years as a cosplayer." At this Mary threw back her head and laughed uproariously.

"Didn't it though! Asa and I used to cosplay all the time when we were younger, that is before the Climate Wars."

"What made you two decide to start this whole thing?"

"A field trip we took in 4th grade to Mennonite Meadows. There we were introduced to all of the Plain groups and we fell in love, with the idea of creating our own group and with each other. Once home we both sought out a similar group and that's how we became Common Baptists." Ginny smiled. Common Baptists were an offshoot of German Baptists and they held to much of that groups beliefs. However, there were some differences which led to more people wanting to be Common than German.

"There were quite a few folks there who thought Wisslerite women were doormats."

"I know. There are so many people who misunderstand what it means to submit. To submit is to allow the head of the house to make the final decision and trust that he'll do it right. It's not to be a punching bag. We frown on domestic abuse just as much as the outside world does."

"I have a question myself." Ginny began. "When do your women begin wearing the scarf?"

"Not until marriage. You know that we, as a group, use three translations; KJV, NKJV and the ESV. Well, the ESV, while not a perfect Bible in our eyes for its need to leave parts out, does help clarify many parts that the KJV and NKJV leave a little muddy. In the ESV it shows that it's the wife who should cover her head. Thus, its the Wisslerite wife who does."

"I just cannot walk away now." Ginny replied. "I've grown too attached. What do I do to stay?"

"You see the 4 elders."


The next day the sun was shining brightly on the glass jar full of water and tea bags. Sun tea was a Wisslerite staple, and was often served at the Wisslerite themed restaurant chain 'Coventry Acres'. These restaurants were everywhere, including Granger Falls, and they were a major source of income for the group as was the coffee brand 'Freedom's Choice' which consisted of Americano coffee beans grown on hillsides in Arkansas. These two streams of income helped keep the group afloat during lean years. Now Mary and Ginny were joined by the 4 elders, the two married couples who were between 60 and 75. Thus Kevin and Brittney Miller and Duke and Deborah Savage were sitting calmly and waiting to hear Ginny's answer to why she wished to join the Wisslerites.

"I've had a good life in the world," Ginny said slowly "but it's time to move on to a new phase. And that phase would be life among the Wisslerites."

"Will you be making fun of us, Miss Lane?" The deep baritone of Duke Savage rumbled from his place on the porch. Ginny smiled.

"Never. I am here to begin again, to renew my spirit and start all over as a woman of God." This seemed to please Duke and he motioned for the rest to follow him. They headed into the kitchen to decide Ginny's fate as a potential Wisslerite. Mary reached over and patted Ginny's hand.

"If they weren't won over by your sweetness and true self then I don't know the elders." As if on cue the elders returned and all greeted Ginny warmly. "I knew it!" cried Mary, and Ginny basked in the glow of love for the first time in years.


The sun shone on a changed world. The porch had gone through several remodels over the years and was now the place to be while waiting to eat at the newest Coventry Acres, which was in the old Wisseler home. Actually, it was attached to the back as the home itself had become a museum that was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places (12-25-2075). In the house was the guide who treated you like one of her great grandchildren; Virginia 'Ginny' Lane. At a spry 100 she was still going strong (a Kosher vegetarian diet will do that to you) and she was a wealth of information of life before, during and after the Climate Wars. She looked around and sighed. Seeing so much of what she'd known as everyday life now being treated with kid gloves made her more than a little sad. She greeted another line of customers then excused herself and headed to the porch. Under the warm glow of a soft white halogen bulb, encased behind a Plexiglass shield, sat the rocker that had been enjoyed by Mary those long years ago. She had passed away in it, while knitting booties for her youngest grandbaby. Now it sat in mute honor, a relic from a bygone time. Ginny was feeling more and more like a relic herself, but she still had some good years left. Sighing deeply she turned to enter the house. She paused, however, looked back at the rocker and said, to it as well as her memories,

"Goodnight, John-Boy."

April 24, 2020 23:09

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Ari .
00:10 Apr 30, 2020

An interesting read! However, I do think there's a bit of an issue with paragraph breaks. Remember: every time the scene shifts (when the 'camera' moves), the new point of focus should have its own paragraph. Also, I would like to point out that the transitions were a bit choppy because of how often you include time skips. Normally this wouldn't be a problem since it's so well-written, but since there really wasn't a main conflict in the story, the plot didn't really go anywhere. Other than that, it was a good read and I'm happy to ha...


Scott Smock
12:14 Apr 30, 2020

Thank you for your input. These characters and ideas have been rolling around in my head since my high school days.


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