Rays of Hope: Chapter 15

close up photo of brown sparrow bird Photo by Chris LeBoutillier on Pexels.com

My brother and sister-in-law came to visit this week. If you read Once a Little Girl, you know him as Loren-dee-dee-bopper.

We had such a good time that it felt like I was on an extended weekend.

I did get a little behind in writing. Still, by Thursday, I met my goal to review a plank of each Party Platform,

Plus, Eldie, Dallas and Ephraim have confided over 45,000 words of their life to me.

If you’re interested in starting at Chapter 1 of Rays of Hope, click here.

Chapter 15

Ray could no longer see Taedan, completely obscured by Marla who stood like a cyclops, unmoveable and ready for battle.

“How could you?” Marla put one hand on Ray, keeping her in place behind her.

“I knew you would come after her,” Taedan’s voice remained low and steady. “You never believed in my work.” He paused. You need to see this.”

Marla took a step forward, reaching her arm behind her, but letting go of Ray, so she could still feel if Ray moved. Ray stayed motionless. The effect of Marla’s movement allowed her to see Taedan and the birds.

Birds. Yes, not the one bird Ray hoped to one day see. But birds. Small black bodies bobbing on the rooftop surrounded by bright light.

At first Ray was too focussed on the birds that she forgot to wonder about the light. Where was it coming from? Taedan stood like a black cut-out against the light coming from beyond him.

“You never believed in my work,” Taedan said, his voice muffled by his Outsider.

“Your work is what got us to this point.” Marla’s voice sounded as cold as what Ray imagined would come from a cyclops imagined in her head. For a moment, she wondered if Marla’s two eyes had melded into one large eye behind her Outsider.

Birds bobbed closer to Ray’s feet, picking at seeds on the rooftop. Ray bent to salvage as many seeds as she could, glancing up at Marla, still standing firm.

Why would anyone be so wasteful of precious seeds? These looked like the wheat seed Ray remember from the Visual Dictionary. Marla doubted there was any wheat left. If there was any left, the seeds were hoarded and protected. Wheat grew fast, even the sprouts were filled with nutrients. Wheat was one of the first dominoes to fall. And here they were scattered on the rooftop. Maybe Ray was wrong and these were some other kind of seed. Marla would know.

“Look around you,” Taedan said. “I’ve made progress.”

“At what cost?”

“Some of us learn from our mistakes, Marla,” Taedan’s voice broke. “Some of us want to make amends.”

“You can never fix what you’ve done.”

Marla grabbed Ray’s hand, spun her around and dragged her to the door leading to the stairwell. The two of them descended, floor after floor, side by side, shadows from the light in front of them leading the way, until they rounded the third landing into grayness.

Floor after floor. Down down down, With nothing to think about but everything under the sun.

As I thought about Ray and Marla this past week, I knew that Taedan and Marla worked together sometime in the past. But he caused their current situation? What did he do?

Until next Friday, when we’ll both learn more.