Rays of Hope: Chapter 22

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It’s so nice to have people reading along while I have fun with Ray and Marla. 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.

Two weeks ago, I committed to 3,000 words each week toward completion of May His Tribe Increase. I’m almost there. Writing every day really helps me stay connected to the story.

Now that I’m finished with all my Platform analyses, I can get back to some author interviews. Waaaaay more fun to talk get insight from authors.

“Did you find anything?” Marla sighed. She shed her Outsider and gloves before folding herself into a chair beside a cold fireplace. “We’ve got enough fuel for at least 24 hours. That should be enough.”

“I’m hungry,” Ray said. “It’s pitch dark out there. I lost track of where you were.”

Marla found a can of diced tomatoes and some chickpea pasta in one of the cabinets. The tomatoes had blackened and some of the pasta had turned to dust. Thorough heating would inactivate any toxins, even if the oxidation did leave a slight metallic taste.

“Do you remember tomatoes?” Marla asked.

So many questions flooded Ray’s thoughts. She willed them to the back of her mind until a time when she could take them out and put them in some sort of order. In the meantime, she tried to put a description to to her meal.

The taste like garbanzo beans soaked in a bit of vinegar. The tomatoes added a smokey sweet flavor that tickled Ray’s memory center.

“Did the sun shine here?” The question was out before Ray had a chance to censor it.

“Do you remember that?” Marla leaned forward almost lifting out of her chair.

“I guess so,” said Ray. She made figure eights in her food and watched the paths melt together.

“This is where the birds snatched your teething biscuit.”

“You told me my mother wasn’t here when that happened? Did she live here? Did you live here? What are we looking for? Is this you?”

Ray slapped a photograph onto the table, tumbling the chair to the floor behind her, she almost went with it.

Marla combed all ten fingers through her hair, temple to crown and linked them together at the back of her neck.

“Where did you find this?”

“In a drawer.” Red heat creeped up Ray’s neck and flushed across her cheeks. “You told me to explore. Who are these people? And where are they?”

“We worked together,” Marla said. She pointed to each white-coated person and recited a name, each one beginning with Doctor.

Ray pressed her tongue to the roof of her mouth and narrowed her eyes, waiting for the identity of the last four to confirm what she suspected.

“Doctor Richard Trumble. Doctor Taedan Sommers. Doctor Regina Waterstone, and me.”

“Regina Waterstone. That’s my mother?” Of course it was. Ray had her own photo of her mother.

“Yes.” Marla righted Ray’s chair, sat down and pulled Ray onto her lap. “Yes, Dr. Waterstone is your mother. She’s my sister.” Marla felt her heart thud against Ray as she wrapped her arms tighter around her. “I’m Dr. Waterstone, too.”

“But Waterstone is not our last name.”

“I changed our names to Rivers.” Marla took a long cleansing breath and loosened her grip so she could see Ray’s face. “To protect us. So many people were so angry. I was afraid.”

“Afraid of what? Why are we here? Did you all live here?”

“Only Taedan and your mother lived here,” said Marla. “This place was like Union Station back then. Scientists coming and going. Breakthroughs so promising that everyone wanted to be here.”

Marla’s voice trailed off in a nostalgia that Ray couldn’t tell was wistful or regretful.

“What are we looking for?”

“Finish your dinner.” Marla pat-patted Ray’s knee and turned her toward her cold tomato-pasta. “We’ve got lots of work to do before we run out of fuel. But first we rest and restore.”

Tomorrow, Ray promised herself, I will ask only one question at a time. That way Marla won’t be able to pick and choose what she answers.

I wonder what Marla is looking for. Will they find it?

Looks like Taedan might be Ray’s father. Will she find out?

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

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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