Rays of Hope: Chapter 20

It’s so nice to have people reading along while I have fun with Ray and Marla. Thanks for reading. And, thanks for the comments.

If you’re here for the first time, and you’re interested in starting at Chapter 1 of Rays of Hope, click here.

Although my novel’s word count is rising slower than I’d like I feel like I’m making progress.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a book club in Millington. All the discussion about Eldie, Dallas, Cecilea, and Ephraim got me reinvigorated for the sequel, May His Tribe Increase.

I see my novel as having lots of tornado activity; inside the characters and out in their environment.

Jim and John’s Big Adventure is moving along and bringing smiles to my face.

Chapter 20

“Where are we?” Ray bent over and rubbed her calves.

It seemed like they’d walked for days. Marla woke Ray just so early, she was sure it was still night time. They donned their Outsiders, locked the door and headed for the Pedal-about stop.

Ray stole a look in the direction of the Tower where she knew, in her heart, that Taedan worked tirelessly to undo a sin. Ray worked it all out in her mind’s eye, except she failed to fully form what that sin might be. She imagined that it had something to do with her mother and why she died.

“Don’t dawdle.” Marla pushed her palms between Ray’s shoulder so she nudged toward the Pedal-about. Ray realized in that moment that she had slowed near the sidewalk crack where they had seen the dandelion, now gone and all but forgotten except somewhere in the hidden parts of her brain.

The two pedaled silently, each lost in her own thoughts, until they reached the end of the line. Ray had never been that far.

Marla took Ray’s gloved hand in hers and bent to adjust her Outsider.

“I’m okay,” said Ray. “Where are we going?”

“Back into history,” said Marla with a wink. “Keep your eyes peeled and your mind open. You will have lots to write in your journal before we stop.”

Ray felt an invisible knot loosen around her heart and her she let out a long ragged breath. She felt as though her eyes grew bigger as she began to observe her surroundings. Streets overgrown with grasses and small brush, turned to the browns and tans of death. Dilapidated buildings with collapsed roofs and faded paint, some with nothing left but chimneys.

As the day wore on, Ray’s sense of adventure faded into fatigue. The buildings were further apart and the street nothing but a path of heaved concrete and dead vegetation. She felt her stomach growl in discontent. She felt a complaint bubbling up inside and swallowed hard to keep it down. She’d never been on such a long adventure and she didn’t want to ruin it.

“What is the world is this?” Ray saw what looked like a miniature shack on a pole. What looked to be dead grass engulfed the pole. Ahead, almost covered in dead brush and rotting remains of what Ray thought were trees, she thought she saw a life-size version of the miniature. She bent to examine the grass more closely.

“What is this? Where are we?”

“This is where your mother lived.” Marla knelt and took both of Ray’s shoulders in hers and looked her in the eye with more seriousness than Ray could remember. “Before you were born.”

Wait a minute! Why are we here? And where is this? I’m guessing what is now Evanston.

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


Reading is like food for the soul. u003cbru003eWriters like to eat biscuits, too.

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