“Looks like rain,” Emma’s Grandma Frances said, looking up. Emma squinted up at the vast blue sky, then at her grandmother. “Where?” she asked. “On its way.” Grandma Frances nodded. “Let’s you and I find a place to wait it out.” “A place to hide?” Emma asked, excited by the idea of a new game.
There were bends in the road she could never have anticipated.
The only thing she can do is focus on her breath. Try and slow it down, try and make it come from deeper in her lungs. Forget the pain in her knees and feet. Forget that her right hip has gone numb. Keep her eyes two feet in front of her. On the asphalt. On
Further along their walk to the park, Emma pointed out the “Dr. Suess tree” to her mother. “Oh, yes, I see that all right,” Emma’s mother smiled. “It’s dancing!” Emma laughed, skipping ahead. Emma’s mother laughed. “Today, the whole world is like a Dr. Suess book,” she said, and soon found herself skipping along with
It was late at night two weeks after the funeral when Phil released Henry into a nearby park. “Be healthy little guy, and stay away from the road,” he called, taking a video with his camera. Henry scampered into a thicket of salal without a backwards glance. Wiping unexpected tears from his eyes, Phil reached
That night he couldn’t sleep. He slipped out of bed and got dressed to go outside. He had intended to just go sit out on the front steps, but his feet took him down the street as his mind went over the night’s events again. Tammy had felt like their experiment hadn’t worked. The small
“Mister?” Tammy tugged on his shirt sleeve. “You okay?” He stared at the skinny opossum in the box as an idea formed, and looked at Tammy. “Do you want to help me save this little guy?” “Yeah!” Tammy smiled. Phil nodded, smiling, too. “We’ll bring photos to my Mother, let her know that the opossum
“But,” he began, wondering how this little girl knew so much more about his own mother than he did. “Why did she, I mean why was she out at that time?” “Why?” Phil nodded. “Why was she out walking in the middle of the morning?” Tammy shrugged. “Looking for something to save, maybe?” Phil nearly
“She wanted me to save them,” the girl cried, “but these two died while I was at school.” She lifted the used paper towel to show two dead baby opossums. “And I don’t know how to save this one.” “Okay, okay,” Phil said, clumsily patting her shoulder. “What’s your name?” “Tammy.” “Okay, Tammy, it’s okay.”
The girl didn’t move as he came closer, and it looked like she’d been crying. Whatever questions he thought he was going to ask her about what happened to his mother vanished. “Can I, uh, help you with something?” he finally said, not knowing what else to do. She nodded and held out the box.