Rays of Hope: Chapter 28

COVID-19 is raging. Over 1,700 deaths yesterday. Ten deaths this week in the mostly rural county I live in. Here’s a link to the tool developed by professors at Georgia Tech. Maybe it will help you make the decision to stay home.

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

It’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and I intentions to finish the first draft of May His Tribe Increase is falling a little short. Why is it I always think I can accomplish more than I actually do accomplish?

As for Ray and Marla, isn’t it time we found our their relationship to Taedan.

Chapter 28

“I promise you, I’m not doing anything illegal.” Taedan’s palms extend, V-shaped, like a beggar boy.

“How then?” Marla whisper-shouts, bent at the waist to examine the phantom fish swimming among the roots of Taedan’s auqa-garden.

“I promised her I would only nourish the changes nature gave us.” Taedan’s hands continued to beg. “We always meant to help. I still do.”

Ray’s knees buckled a little. Who? How? What? The questions spun so fast, that the connection between her brain and her tongue froze. Brown fish with green and red bellies. Where did they come from? How did they get here? Wait, there’s something else in there. A black speck almost too small to see, wriggled in against a root. As soon as she spotted one, it was as if her eyes found a new focus. Thousands of black specks wriggled against the roots. What are they? The cyclone of questions pushed the most important question into the eye of the storm, hiding it away from the tumult.

“What do you do with the fish?” It was Trumble, pen still poised over his open notebook.”

“What do you mean?” Taedan said.

“What do you mean, what do I mean? What do you do with the fish? They don’t live forever.”

“Was my mother part of your plan?” The question ejects out if the eye of the storm. “How did you know her? What happened to her?”

Marla put criss-crosses her arms across Ray’s chest from behind and pulls her close. A familiar protective move that Ray recognizes. It’s as if Marla’s preventing her from running into traffic.

“The fish waste help fertilize the plants, the plants support the polliwogs, the fish eat the polliwogs. It’s a balanced ecosystem,” explains Taedan, choosing to answer the scientific question posed by Trumble. “I eat some of the fish, grind the bones for the birds. They need the calcium for strong eggs formation.”

“My mother?”

“Alice would have wanted me to try to fix things.”

“Leave my sister out of this,” Marla no longer tried to contain her emotions which oscillated between anger and sorrow at such a high frequency that it was impossible to distinguish between the two.

“She would be proud of what I’ve accomplished.”

Ray tried to remember the last time she heard her mother’s name. Alice. It was always, ‘your mother’ or ‘my sister,’ almost as if she didn’t have an identity of her own.

“Alice wanted to fix things. We both prayed this would work,” continued Taedan. “You’re not the only one who misses her.”

“Prayed?” Marla’s emotional oscillation stopped and anger flared forward. “You prayed? I prayed, too. Just not for this.” Marla pulls Ray to her so tightly that it hurt.

“I’m sorry. We’re both sorry. I wanted to save her. There just wasn’t enough time.” Tears run ragged down Taedan’s cheeks, plip against the pens in his shirt pockets, and ricochet to the floor.

“Tell me about Alice,” Ray whispers. “Please.”

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Is Taedan Ray’s father or her uncle? I’m not sure. What do you think?

I’m pretty sure I’ll find out next week. He better more than Alice’s coworker.
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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