CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and EIGHTY-ONE
“What if it’s embarrassing?” Teddy asked. “Like period stuff.”
Abi looked at him for a long moment.
“I always forget how fragile modern males are,” Abi said.
“I’m not fragile,” Teddy said. “I just don’t want to … Oh. Never mind.”
“Edie? Blane?” Abi asked.
Edie, the fairy, and Blane came up to Abi.
“Would you …” Abi looked at Ivy.
Abi gave the girl a soft smile and touched her index finger to Ivy’s forehead. The girl fell backward. Blane caught her and gently set her on the ground.
“Sit at her head,” Abi instructed Blane.
Blane sat cross-legged and put Ivy’s head on his lap.
“Edie? At his shoulders,” Abi said.
“I can continue ineptly explaining this to you,” Abi said. “However, the more words I say, the more the point is lost.”
“The only question you should ask is ‘Am I willing to share this child’s burden?’ whatever that ends up being,” Abi said. “I can tell you that in my long life, I’ve never seen anyone become overwhelmed by the emotions of another. There are so many of us who love Ivy. We can do this.”
Abi looked each person in the face.
“Do you agree?” Abi asked.
Everyone nodded. While Abi had been talking, Wyatt had gotten up from where he was seated and gone to sit with his father.
“Sorry,” Heather said, getting up to get Mack.
“Leave him,” Abi said. “We must trust the wisdom of the child.”
Heather sat back down. Abi nodded to Blane.
“She should be back into the fear,” Abi said.
Blane nodded. Edie touched his shoulders.
As if by a movie projector, a black and white flickering blurry image appeared at the end of Ivy’s feet. A man was yelling and a crowd was cheering.
“He’s a liar,” a whisper of a child’s voice said.
“Who is?” Teddy asked in a low tone. “Who’s a liar?”
“No one,” Abi said. “Everyone.”
Aden put his hand on Teddy to keep him still.
“He will destroy us all,” a whisper of a child’s voice said.
The image shifted. They were now looking at adults marching in the streets with burning rag and tallow torches. They wore heavy clothing — long woolen jackets, leather boots, hats, and scarves. They were yelling and chanting at the top of their lungs. Snow drifted and caught on the shoulders of them.
“I know that,” Nelson said in a whisper.
Abi looked at Nelson.
“This is a real thing?” Abi asked.
Nelson nodded. Abi nodded to Nelson.
The image changed to young people, possibly children, were prying up cobblestones and throwing them at police officers. The buildings on either side of the street were on fire.
“Days of peace are over,” a whisper of a child’s voice said. “Days of safety are over.”
The scene shifted. Time seemed to have passed as it was daylight and no longer cold. A line of women were shuffled out of a dark building. A blindfold was tied over their eyes. Their hands were tied behind their backs. They were made to stand against a brick wall.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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