Rays of Hope: Chapter 39

dandelion grayscale photography Photo by Jack Hawley on Pexels.com

My state has almost 17% of the population vaccinated! Next week I get my second shot. Poor Loved-One, he’s in the group of men most likely to die from COVID-19 (over 50,) yet in almost the last group to be eligible for vaccination.

My county had a decreasing rate for about two weeks. Now it’s going back up.

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

Chapter 39

My progress on May His Tribe Increase is floundering. Eldie and his brothers are so upbeat, I’m having a hard time keeping up with them.

Today is my birthday! I wonder how my real world experiences will impact my distopian world.

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

“Nothing is the same and yet some things are constant.” Taedan empties his satchel onto the work bench.

“I’ve seen lots of dead stuff,” says Ray.

“Look closer,” says Trumble.

Marla pulls Ray to her side and points. Tiny hairs emerge the base of one of the fronds. “It’s the beginning,” she says. “The promise of a seed.”

“Perhaps we can coax it along,” Taedan tweezers the hair into a Petri dish with mycelium laced soil.

“Tell the grass to grow,” whispers Ray over the dish. “Abracadabra, please and thank you.”

The adults smiled at each other over Ray’s head. Her simple phrase reminds them of their own childhood punctuated by a quiet Captain.

“Now we wait.”

Marla and Trumble volunteer to fix a lunch of dandelion tea and bean curd salad while Ray and Taedan check on the birds.

“Why are their heads red?” says Ray. “They look like the sparrows in the Visual Dictionary, but with red head feathers.

“I’m not sure,” says Trumble. “I think it’s just an artifact.”

Ray turns the word over in her head. She sucks at the corners of her lips, holding her questions back. With Taedan, she realizes, it’s often better to leave quiet space, rather than blurt out questions. He fills the air with his thoughts; thoughts that are often beyond Ray’s understanding. Still, she picks up threads of meaning and hopes understanding will come.

“I think a bird survived that happened to have red cap feathers. She passed the characteristic to her hatchlings along with her ability to survive.”

Ray watches the sparrows peck at the seeds scattered on the floor.

“The way your mother shared her ocean-blue eyes with you,” Taedan tilts Ray’s head to look into her eyes. “They came along with her curiosity.” His own grey eyes look glassy.

“After I had a few hatchlings, I let one, and then another, out into the wild.” Taedan points to the ceiling.

Ray shades her eyes and looks up at the brightness and gasps. For the first time, she realizes that the blinding light is coming from outside a glass ceiling. She swallows hard, fighting back the questions that swirl in her head and threaten to interupt.

“In the beginning, I knew it was too hostile out there for them to survive, and sure enough, the birds returned. My hope was that some of the seeds they carried in their guts would take root and grow.”

“Did they?” The question escapes before Ray had a chance to bite it back.

“I found a dandelion,” Taedan says.

Ray’s heart leaps into her throat. “My dandelion?”

“I brought the head back here to nurture the seeds,” Taedan says. He sucks in his breath and goes stiff. “Wait. You have a dandelion?”

“I found one with Marla,” says Ray. “Trumble was there, too. In a crack. But the next day it was gone. I never saw a head.”

Taedan’s eyes move under closed eyelids, his lips press into a straight line, as he squeezes Ray’s hand so tight, she tugs away.

“Is that how you get the greens for teas and salads?”

“You must show me where,” says Taedan.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

That’s right, they did find a dandelion pushing up out of the sidewalk. I wonder if it’s from Taedan’s seeds.

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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