Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Blood is Thicker than Water: Abby's Resolve

Benjamin had taken Abby outside. “Will they be safe?” Abby asked.

“As safe as God will allow them to be,” Benjamin said.

“But the house? Won’t Mr. Forte set it on fire or something?”

“No. I think Mr. Forte will be most careful. They should all come out fine.”

Abby moved back toward the house. “I think we should go back in. They need us.”

Benjamin motioned her back. “Miss Raintree, I promised your aunt I’d take care of you.”

The moon highlighted Abby’s face and her forehead creased with worry. “I feel the need to take care of my aunt, Mr. Stewart. I’ve done a poor job of looking out for my own up to this point. I’d like to fix that.”

Benjamin’s face also softened in the moonlight. “There’s nothing you can do for your aunt now. She’s dead. She just doesn’t realize it.”

“That’s not true! She’s very alive! Look, you know a sort of magic. Father Stewart says you do. Is there a cure for this? I don’t believe Mr. Forte that we’ll have to kill her.”

“What would you do to return your aunt to normal? Would you take her place?”

“Would I have to?”

Benjamin’s face was blank. “Perhaps.”

Abby was quiet. The sounds of the swamp reasserted themselves. “Yes, Mr. Stewart,” said Abby, with resolve. “I would trade places with my aunt.”

“Then,” said Benjamin, “how could I be expected to do any less. With a flourish of his cape, Benjamin returned them to the house. “Come, Miss Raintree. Let us fine your aunt.”

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