CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and EIGHTY-NINE
Thursday early-morning — 5:31 a.m.
“Katy’s in her bed,” Jill said to Julie Hargreaves, Paddie’s mother.
“Paddie’s here too,” Julie said.
“So nothing’s happened?” Jill asked, her voice lifting with hope.
“Not that I can tell,” Julie said.
“I’m going to wake her,” Jill said.
“Okay, I’ll wake Paddie,” Julie said.
Jill heard Julie talk to Paddie in the background of their phone conversation. Jill sat down on Katy’s bed. Katy shifted and opened her eyes.
“We’re okay, Mommy,” Katy said. “Does Paddie still have his sword?”
“Katy wants to know if Paddie has his sword,” Jill said to Julie.
“He does,” Julie said.
“That’s good,” Katy said. “They didn’t take it yet.”
In the way of six year old girls, Katy jumped out of bed and went to the bathroom.
“So I guess everything is okay?” Julie asked.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” Jill said.
The women shared a worried moment of silence.
“We’re heading up to the cabin tomorrow night,” Jill said. “Would Paddie like to come with us?”
“Good thinking,” Julie said. “I’ll ask him.”
Julie talked to Paddie. After a moment, Julie told Jill that Paddie would come on the trip to the mountains. The women hung up.
Jill went to the bathroom to check on Katy.
Katy was gone. She looked at her phone to dial Julie back only to notice that Julie was calling.
“He’s gone,” Julie said without greeting. “What now?”
“I wish I knew,” Jill said. Julie began to cry. “I want to tell you that I’m sorry, that Katy gets Paddie into all of this and…”
“That’s just not true,” Julie said. “Paddie loves Katy. She is the light of his life. If they weren’t friends, he wouldn’t be my Paddie. It’s just…”
“Yeah,” Jill’s voice hardened.
“At least we’re in this together,” Julie said.
“We are that,” Jill said. “I will call you when I know anything.
“I’ll do the same,” Julie said. “They’ve always come home.”
Julie hung up.
“They’ve always come home,” Jill repeated into the dead phone.
Wondering if she should call Jacob, Jill looked at the phone for a long moment. She shook her head. Jacob would want to know what Delphie had to say this morning. With a sigh, she went to get her sons ready for their day. She would just have to catch Delphie at breakfast.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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