Excerpt from Chapter 27
Length of Days – Search for Freedom
Copyright 2016 Doris Gaines Rapp
“Ivy,” I gasped, “you don’t suspect the physician of anything do you? How could she have caused a train wreck?”
“I don’t like to think about it either, Christy,” Jason stated. “But, our main concern is for our safety. We’re soaked. We’ll have to find dry clothes as soon as possible.”
“We can’t all go into the stores,” Ivy stated emphatically. “Oliver, I am sure your poster is all over town. It pops up on mass communication screens every fifteen minutes. But, no one will recognize me. The village is right over there, past the bridge.” She turned in the direction of town. “I’ll go buy all of us some clothes. You might have to wear wet shoes. If I bought six pairs of shoes, it would be too obvious that we just walked out of the river.”
“Okay,” I agreed. But, inside I was scared, for myself and for my loved ones. If I couldn’t trust Dr. Raddin, I doubted my ability to know who to trust.
Ivy looked around the side of the bridge abutment again. “It looks like the building on the left side of the street, just over the bridge, is empty. Make your way there, one or two at a time. I’ll bring the clothes there.”
“All right,” both of my grandparents responded in unison.
When Ivy left, I suddenly felt cold, vulnerable. Maybe my helplessness was because she had taken the sidearm that protected us all with her. I had seen pictures of guns in the books I had read, but had never seen one in person. Could the very idea of a firearm make me feel safe?
Jason took my hand and massaged the soft spot between my thumb and index finger. I felt some warmth return and began to feel safe again. Holding my hand tightly, he stretched up tall and looked past the bridge. “It looks safe—but then, we thought the train would be safe too.”
Grand-père squared his shoulders and reached out for Grand-mère’s hand. “Connie, hold your head up high. Walk with dignity and not like your drawers are soaked.”
We all laughed as they started up the little hill to the pavement. I counted to twenty. Jason kissed me and, with my hand still in his, we walked up the little embankment to the street above.
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