Rays of Hope: Chapter 30

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Yesterday the advisory panel voted in favor of Emergency Use Authorization of one of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. In the meantime we continue to lose about as many people every day as we did on 9/11. As of today, the leading cause of death in the United States and two real people every single minute.

Here’s a link to the tool developed by professors at Georgia Tech. Maybe it will help you make the decision to stay home.

I need a little help with May His Tribe Increase. If any of my readers are in a mixed Catholic:Jewish marriage, please send me a message. Also, if you know a Black person who was in WWII or remembers stories, I could really use your help. Ephraim and his brother, Thomas will be forever thankful for you helping me get it right.

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

Chapter 30

“Let’s take a breath, here,” Trumble pulls Marla to a seat at the lab bench. He sits beside her, eyes to eyes, breathing in and out slowly. Marla’s breath slows to match his before her forehead collapses against his collar bone.

“But, why now?” Ray covers Taedan’s threaded hands with one of hers. “Why?”

“I promised Alice I’d always take care of you. That I’d keep you as close to your aunt as she was.”

“I heard you the first time.” Ray’s anger surprises her. She takes a deep Yujjaya breath, the way Marla taught her. She feels her heart thump hard against her sternum; she takes another deep breath and wills her lungs to exhale slowly and deliberately.

“You look so much like Alice,” Taedan says. “I promised.”

“Did you fix things?” Trumble says. He tightens his arms around Marla and kisses the top of her head.

“We may all be in danger of arrest.” Marla’s wrests herself from Trumble so hard that she bumps her head against his chin, causing him to bite his lip. “We must leave now.” She reaches for Ray’s hand.

No, no, no richochets off the benches and ripples across the aqua garden in bass, treble, and soprano as Trumble, Taedan, and Ray each register their dissent.

“We can’t,” says Ray. She leaves Taedan and circles her arms around Marla’s waist. “We can’t.”

“We can,” says Marla in a tone that Ray recognizes. “You know we can.”

“We shouldn’t,” Ray corrects herself, pausing to find the words that best describe why they should stay. “I want to stay and find out more about my mother.”

“We must go,” Says Marla. “It’s getting late. We can come back another time.”

For the first time in her life, a tiny bit of trust peels away from Ray’s heart. A trust that was unblemished and true. Marla never told her about her father. Was that the same thing as lying to her? She never told her what happened to her mother, just that she was gone and she was sick. Was that the whole truth?

“Marla’s right,” says Trumble. He stooped with his elbows between his knees and took both Ray’s hands in his. He sucks at his swollen lip. “You have a long way to go. I have even longer. We should go.”

“No one knows I’m here,” said Taedan. “You are perfectly safe. Stay the night. I can answer all your questions.”

“We won’t come back if we leave.” Rays thoughts burst out of her lungs before she knows they are fully formed. She pushes against Trumble’s hands and he rolls like a tall Humptey Dumpty, breaking his balance and crumbling any sense of control he had moments ago.

Ray feels laughter swell up below her stomach build in a wave over her lungs that she can’t swallow. She tries to hold it back with a hand over her mouth. Trumble scrambles to his feet, brushing off invisible dust, his eyes dancing. When Marla lets out full-throated laugh, Ray allows absurdity to take free rein.

“I can answer all your questions,” Taedan says. “All.” Even he can’t help but smile.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. I skipped last week and made tons of candy instead.

Interesting that Trumble was the first to step forward.

Wow! Lots of drama this week. I hope you are enjoying Ray’s journey.

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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