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Story With the Water
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Thread: With the Water

  1. #41
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    The morning came in silent calm, the thick air heavy with moisture lacking even the promise of a breeze. In the east, a ruddy horizon heralded the rising of the sun with a dire warning in the sky. In uncharacteristic quiet, great flocks of birds flew inland distancing themselves from the ocean. The bayou waited, holding its breath in the stillness.

    “Look, look..., still they come!” Ma-ma Boudreaux pointed with a gnarled finger towards the ground around the dock. Thibault and Claire gaped as literally thousands of crawfish emerged from the water to crawl across the ground like a living carpet.

    “You have seen this before, Ma-ma?” Thibault asked incredulously.

    “Only once,” she replied thoughtfully. “Before Carmen, in ’74, I think it was. The Creole have always said mudbugs can hear an approaching storm in the water, so I could kind of relate, if you know what I mean,” she laughed dryly. “I believe they are just moving to higher ground by instinct, but no one can know why all of them move at once.”

    Claire shivered involuntarily watching the ground seeming to undulate from the countless crustaceans and she hid her face behind Thibault’s shoulder.

    “They’re harmless, Claire. Don’t be afraid,” Thibault soothed rubbing her back reassuringly.

    “I am just worried they may know something that we do not,” Claire responded before turning away to go inside and check on Jamie.

    Ma-ma Boudreaux and Thibault stood marveling at the strange spectacle while the crawfish continued their slow advance from the water unabated.

    “What do you think it means, Ma-ma?” Thibault asked softly.

    “Well, I hope it means the crawfish king is finally going to make good on a promise he once made to visit me, but I suspect that is not the case,” Ma-ma Boudreaux said with a chuckle.

  2. #42

    7

    Thanks FMJ. I am enjoying your story Even though my grandmother lived in the mountains and not the bayou Ma Ma reminds me of my her.

  3. #43
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    FMJ,

    Thanks for the chapter....

    Animals have a sense that tells them when storms are coming....

    Deer can sense when a hunter is around.... Have seen it many times from a hunting stand even when I made no noise....

    Now, with that many crawdads, wouldn't it be the opportune time to collect some for eating????

    Texican....

    Texican....

  4. #44
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    Thank you FMJ.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  5. #45
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    Just got caught up. This story is absolutely fascinating. Looking forward to the next chapter.
    Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
    President Theodore Rooseveldt

  6. #46
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    Just found this and am looking forward to MOAR!!!

    Thanks for the interesting story!
    "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
    In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."
    Proverbs 3:5-6

  7. #47
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    A heavy four-engine turboprop based on the C-130 cargo plane, had just begun the first alpha pattern to locate the center of the hurricane and obtain vital storm data. Initially entering the storm at 10,000 feet on the heading called out by the weather reconnaissance officer, the pilot immediately encountered unusual turbulence and powerful cyclonic winds. Crabbing the aircraft into the right-angle wind to hold course, the pilot maintained trim until the hurricane hunter emerged from the eye wall into bright sunlight. The brilliant blue dome of a cloudless sky capped the white stadium-like walls in the relative calm of the hurricane’s eye.

    “Dropsonde away,” confirmed the loadmaster checking the empty barrel of the chute. The device, slowed by a small parachute, would transmit storm data back to the weather officer until it landed in the ocean below. The storm data up-linked by satellite to the National Hurricane Center in Miami for rapid analysis indicates an increase in wind speed and a marked drop in barometric pressure.

    “A barometric pressure drop of this degree over such a short time-frame is unusual..., maybe even unprecedented,” the weather reconnaissance officer onboard the WC-130H commented comparing the storm data progression from two earlier hurricane hunter missions. “I’ll bet it’ll be a long night at the NHC,” he added soberly.

    Three more passes through the eye at lower altitudes provided additional “fixes” on the hurricane’s position while comparison to the earlier missions gave direction and speed. When the barometric pressure indication within the eye continued to fall, the hurricane was upgraded from a Category 1 to a Category 2 at 310 nautical miles south-east of the Bahamas.

    An ominous prediction called for the hurricane to skirt the Bahamas and strengthen to a Category 3 before making landfall on the tip of the Florida peninsula. Barely weakening before crossing into the Gulf of Mexico, the hurricane would intensify over the warm gulf waters to become a large Category 4 hurricane before making a second landfall at New Orleans.

  8. #48
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    FMJ,

    Flying through and chasing a hurricane is not one of the more safer jobs a person can have....

    Now just where will the hurricane land????

    Thanks for the chapter....

    Texican....

  9. #49
    Thanks. Now what is the wind telling them?

  10. #50
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    Thank you, hope they have a good place to ride it out.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  11. #51
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    A good story, thank you!

  12. #52
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    Two uniformed officers of the Region 4 LDWF shut down the engine on their patrol boat and glide the last few feet to the side of the little dock below the shack. One officer carefully steps down onto the dock and secures a mooring line before kneeling and reverently bowing his head.

    “What are you doing?” the other officer asks in obvious confusion.

    “Showing a little respect,” the kneeling officer whispers. “Marraine! Are you here?” the kneeling officer calls out. “It is I, Arnaud Fontenot! Marraine, are you okay?”

    Ma-ma Boudreaux’s face lit up as she recognized the voice and name. Clapping her hands together with glee, she walks quickly out to the porch beaming. “Arnaud! Your mother told me you graduated from the academy! She is so proud of you! You do the agent’s uniform proud my dear godson.”

    “Thanks to you, Marraine. Are you well? Do you need anything?” Arnaud asked rising to his feet.

    “I am as well as can be expected, Arnaud. Thibault and his wife, Claire and their son, Jamie have come to visit. We are well stocked here, although I am running a little low on RPG’s, thank you for asking.”

    “Wait..., what!?” the other officer whispered from the patrol boat.

    “Marraine, we are conducting wellness checks along Little Bayou Pigeon. You have heard about the storm, haven’t you?” Arnaud asked ignoring Ma-ma Boudreaux’s dry humor. “The hurricane is expected to make landfall at New Orleans tomorrow night. The storm surge and the high tide will be together, maybe ten feet or more before you add in the rain.”

    “We have heard much about the storm,” Ma-ma Boudreaux admitted crossing her arms defensively. “You have not come here to tell me I should evacuate, have you, Arnaud?”

    “Anyone else, I might, Marraine. You are probably only twelve feet above the water here. If I have learned nothing else, come Hell or high water, I know you will not leave this place while you still breathe.”

    “Stay safe and God speed, Arnaud, my dear godson. May the Lord watch over us all,” Ma-ma Boudreaux called out as Arnaud stepped over the gunwale into the patrol boat. The powerful engine started and the boat backed carefully away from the little dock.

  13. #53
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    Thank you FMJ

  14. #54
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    FMJ,

    A storm is coming and the family will ride it out....

    What will be left????

    Another chapter will reveal....

    Texican....

  15. #55
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    An ancient wooden pirogue slid silently up to the dock, its gunwales worn dark and slick from hard use. A frightfully thin black man looped a mooring rope over a cleat and lifted a sputtering oil lantern high to cast a circle of pale-yellow light across the little dock. His single passenger stands and he obediently lends a thin arm to help her alight.

    “Someone is here,” Claire said standing at the window with frightened eyes.

    The old woman raised her head and called out from the dock, “Adrienne, mwen renmen anpil, I know you are here.”

    “Priestess Miriam,” Ma-ma Boudreaux answered coming to the porch. “It has been some time since last we spoke. What, pray tell, brings you so far from your black altars this dark night?”

    The old Haitian woman leaned heavily on a stockman’s cane for support as she limped to the foot of the stairs and looked up to return Ma-ma Boudreaux’s puzzled gaze for a long moment. “Is it possible you do not know why I have come, Adrienne?”

    “No, I don’t know..., why should I?” Ma-ma Boudreaux replied shortly.

    “Don’t be rude, Adrienne. You must know! The wind here is so thick with her pain, I can barely stand it. You have a sensitive here and she is suffering. For the good of us all, this must end!”

    “Nonsense! There is only one other sensitive here and he is my grandson,” Ma-ma Boudreaux replied.

    “The sensitive is male?!” Miriam asks incredulously. “You expect me to believe this?”

    “He is Andre’s grandson,” Ma-ma Boudreaux states defensively.

    After an astonished pause, Miriam nods, “So He returns, I might have guessed. I must see it.”

    “You will not harm him,” Ma-ma Boudreaux warns blocking the old woman’s path.

    “As you wish, it is blood,” Miriam concedes.

    From a tiny bedroom inside, Claire screams shrilly.

    “Quickly,” urges Miriam as they all rush inside.

    Claire stands over Jamie who lies sprawled across the narrow bed, her anguished face streaked with tears. Jamie’s face is drawn in the rictus of a seizure; his eyes are open wide showing only white.

    Quickly examining the boy, Miriam produces a long thorn and a dark ball of wax compounded with belladonna and elderberry.

    “For the spasm,” she explains when Ma-ma Boudreaux again protests.

    She touches the sharp point to the waxy ball and just pierces the skin on both of Jamie’s temples leaving tiny purple dots. Instantly, the seizure is halted, his fearful grimace abates and he slowly relaxes as his eyes close.

  16. #56
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    FMJ,

    The plot thickens....

    Texican....

  17. #57
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    Really, really, really enjoying this story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  18. #58
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    Thank you...I am enjoying this very much.
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  19. #59
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    A battle of good and evil is forming......

  20. #60
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    I wish ya'll could hear it in the Cajun accent.

    As I read, that's how it comes into my head. (if that makes sense)

    Probably the closest you will hear is Troy on Swamp People.

    There is a distinct difference in the dialect from NOLA to Houma, New Iberia and father west to Lake Charles.

    It is slowly being lost.
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

    Member: Nowski Brigade

    Deplorable


  21. #61
    Thank you. Here, we're getting another view of the world as it is. The accents remind me of a bit of my past as well.

  22. #62
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    Wow! This kind of life is something I know nothing about. Very interesting. Looking forward to another chapter. Thank you!!!
    Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
    President Theodore Rooseveldt

  23. #63
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    Placing the thorn and ball of wax in Ma-ma Boudreaux’s hand, the old woman cautions, “No more than once a day, Adrienne. Two places only and always on opposing sides, or it will go violently mad.”

    “This is not the houdou then, no gris-gris?” Ma-ma Boudreaux asks cautiously.

    “No houdou, just hedge witch herbals to ease suffering.”

    Claire sobs, hovering over her son, “Thank..., thank you, Priestess Miriam. I am forever in your debt.”

    “Ha, I’ll not hold you to that one, ti bebe,” Miriam laughs. “But you Adrienne, you may already owe me the blood debt. How long have you known it was a sensitive?” she demands.

    Ma-ma Boudreaux meets the accusation and chooses her words with care, “I admit I suspected it the night the babe was christened, but my suspicions were only confirmed two days ago when he spoke to me of voices in the wind.”

    “I knew it! Your Andre was a powerful sensitive and a vocal advocate for the controls needed to shield the sensitive enclave here in the bayou. He willingly practiced a close restraint in all things,” Miriam continued without pause. “You should have known better. You have witnessed the power He could wield.”

    “I, know,” Ma-ma Boudreaux replied, her fists tightly clenched.

    “Hear me then, Adrienne, if you, know. The descendant is often a better version of the ancestor. This one is as yet unknown. It may be capable of truly great..., or truly terrible things. Without the limit, this one is a threat to any sensitive within miles of this place,” Miriam warned.

    “And you would have me believe you are better suited to decide if this limit shall be placed upon him, Miriam? More than likely, you would harness him to further your own dark purposes? I will have you know that this one is my own blood; my only grandson and you will do no such thing to him,” Ma-ma Boudreaux states through gritted teeth.

  24. #64
    Thanks, enjoying the story.

    D.
    Dosadi

    III


    My family & clan are my country.

  25. #65
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    The gauntlet is thrown...If I thought I was interested before, I now am in serious need of MOAR!

    Thank you!
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  26. #66
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    Discord in the sensitives....

    The clouds become thicker....

    Thanks for the chapter FMJ....

    Texican....

  27. #67
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    Thank you FMJ!

  28. #68
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    “And why should I not? You have shown you lack the will; you have no intention of doing what must be done! Once this one rises to power, the opportunity will be lost! What then, Adrienne? Who then will have the power to strike it down?”

    Claire realizes with a jolt that her young son is the object of their heated discussion and backs away placing herself bodily between them and the boy; her face an anguished mask of disbelief. Thibault stands, wire taunt at his mother’s side, awaiting the outcome.

    Ma-ma Boudreaux’s eyes blaze in barely suppressed fury, “You will leave this place now, Miriam! We have no need of your herbals or your houdou or your vile controls here. Take your things and go, now!”

    “Alright, I’ll go, Adrienne, but you know what I have said is right,” Miriam acquiesced pausing as she turned. “Time will prove the truth of my words and you will have only yourself to blame for denying me this!”

    “Enough! GO!” Ma-ma Boudreaux shouts raising her gnarled black cane threateningly.

    “I believe you have made a terrible mistake, Adrienne,” Miriam grumbles as she descends the steps.

    Outside, the thin boatman tends a greedy fire on a tiny altar blackened by greasy smoke. He glances skyward in uncertainty, the white skull motif on his upturned face a stark contrast to the gathering clouds as an ill wind sways the treetops. The dark ritual is not yet complete when the first fat raindrop lands in the bed of coals to hiss and steam and the thunder of distant lightning echoes across the bayou.

    Every hair on the boatman’s body abruptly stands on end as a strange chill wind fans the embers of the altar fire. He starts and stares uncomprehending as tongues of violet plasma suddenly appear and skitter along the edge of the cruel blade and the brass corners of the tiny altar.

    A lightning bolt erupts from the ground below the altar with a dazzling white flash and the huge return stroke flings the trappings of his ritual to the winds as it roars down from the heavens. The odorous blemish summarily removed, the massive bolt is instantly followed by a deafening crash of thunder.
    The shack rattles to the foundation from the powerful concussion and Priestess Miriam grasps at the sturdy stair-rail for support. Stunned to silence, she gapes open-mouthed at the smoking ruin of her faith. A wide circle of shattered debris is all that remains of the dark altar and the thin boatman is nowhere to be seen.

    Alternately cursing first Adrienne, then her Danballah and then the ouragan in her native Haitian, she limps to the little dock where the pirogue is still tied within the flickering circle of yellow lamplight.

    “Miriam!” Ma-ma Boudreaux calls out derisively. “It would seem your dark gods may not share your belief!”

    Still spitting vile curses, the voo-doo priestess is reduced to poling her own pirogue through the building storm and Ma-ma Boudreaux maintains a cautious watch till the light of her lantern fades in the distance.

  29. #69
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    Well, that was rather definite. Thank you!
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  30. #70
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    FMJ,

    The Power has a say in what us mortals try to do....

    The intensity increases.....

    Thank you for the chapter....

    Texican....

  31. #71
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    As the hurricane made landfall at New Orleans, the powerful storm lashed the coast with 140 mph winds and spawned multiple tornadoes. Torrential rain bands inundated the city and the storm surge pushes water many miles inland flooding huge areas and over-washing U.S. Highway 90 to a depth of ten feet.

    Seventy miles west of New Orleans, Little Bayou Pigeon suffers less damage from the wind, but the storm surge riding the high tide is raising the water levels in the bayou steadily.

    Ma-ma Boudreaux sits in her rocking chair and smokes her pipe fuming over the audacity of the voo-doo priestess, Miriam. The very idea, coming here with such an evil intent! She pauses to listen to the storm for a moment, gauging the wind by the creaking of the timbers in the shack’s sturdy walls. From the window, she sees the water crest over the top of the little dock. The flood water seems to rise even as she watches.

    Worrying and watching over their young son consumes Thibault and Claire to the point they can think of little else.
    “Thibault!” Ma-ma Boudreaux calls. “Tend to your boat! Bring in everything that could be lost. Tie your mooring line to the heavy post on the porch. The storm surge is here and the dock is going under!”

    “Yes, Ma-ma, I..., I forgot,” Thibault admitted wringing his hands.

    “Shush, Thibault. That boy is our link to the future so your priorities are in order. You’ll just have to pardon my shortcomings when I tell you your mother has developed, in her later years, a certain aversion to wading through water that is over her head.”

    “Yes, Ma-ma,” Thibault replied chuckling as he headed for the door.

    Ma-ma Boudreaux tapped the live coal from her pipe into the ash bucket and tucked it into an apron pocket to cool, although she feared there would be little time left for contemplation over a quiet smoke this night. She wondered how her godson, Henri was faring tending to his father’s injury in the storm. She worried too, about her godson, Arnaud, the new LDWF agent, standing in the gap to perform his duty in the storm.

    Thibault came in the door with a double arm load of things from his boat; life preservers, oars, a lantern and a heavy canvas tarp he piled in the corner. To a sturdy peg by the window he carefully returned a worn leather gun belt and holster containing a heavy revolver.

    “I am very proud to see you still have that,” Ma-ma Boudreaux said as she nodded toward the weapon and smiled.

    “Only you, Claire and Jamie are more precious to me than that pistol, Ma-ma. I have tried to take very good care of it,” Thibault added soberly.

    “Somewhere, he is smiling, Thibault,” Ma-ma Boudreaux whispered. “That weapon served him well and he would have been so proud to know a Boudreaux carries it still.”

    “Always, Ma-ma, I promise.”
    Last edited by FMJ; 02-09-2019 at 06:50 AM.

  32. #72
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    I also have developed an aversion to walking in water over my head. Thank you!
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

  33. #73
    Thank you FMJ.

  34. #74
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    Good story! Thank you!
    Visit me on Etsy: ModernMaille

  35. #75
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    Buttoning up....

    Thanks for the chapter FMJ....

    Texican....

  36. #76
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    As the water rose steadily to the foot of the steps, Ma-ma Boudreaux paced, the floor boards creaking old familiar voices with her every step. With a sigh of weary resolve, she walks to stand by the door.

    “I can’t just stand here and do nothing. The least I can do is make the effort, no matter how small the result,” she whispered as she straightened her back and picked up her gnarled black cane. “Andre, if only you were here.”

    Lightning strobed behind the clouds racing on before the howling wind, driving the continuous rain sideways in its fury. At the foot of the stairs, the black water swirled as she slowly descended the maelstrom to be closer to the water. Ma-ma Boudreaux stood precariously on the last step still above water and held tightly to the rail and her cane. Closing her eyes and concentrating to try shutting out the keening wind was nearly impossible.

    The parts of the water she could hear screamed of confusion, desperation and an almost visceral fear driven before a relentless power.
    Slowly reaching past that thick emotional oil slick riding the surface of the swirling tide to the vast undercurrent below, she sensed the on-rushing surge of the powerful storm.

    Taking a deep breath, Ma-ma Boudreaux braced herself firmly upon the step and slowly attempted to bodily resist the rising surge. Pausing only for a moment, the undercurrent divided to flow around the intrusion, laughingly mocking her best efforts as the water rose higher around her feet.

    “Merciful Father, God in Heaven, help me!” she cried clinging tightly to the rail in the storm to hold her concentration. Lightning flashed across the heavens and the roar of the wind rose higher as the torrential rain soaked her to the skin and the water rose above her ankles.

    Ma-ma Boudreaux is startled when Jamie appears out of nowhere to stand at her shoulder on the step above. “Grand Ma-ma? I heard you call. Let me help you,” Jamie pleads as he places one hand under her elbow and the other on her thin shoulder.

  37. #77
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    The contact is electric and Ma-ma Boudreaux gasps as Jamie’s touch opens a floodgate to a power she has never known. Even as the storm winds still rage in the distance, the air around the shack gradually becomes still and then calms to a whisper. The flood waters rush away so quickly that Little Bayou Pigeon is drained leaving the little dock high and dry with fish flopping helplessly on the muddy bottom. The relentless rain slows and then stops completely as the brilliant pinpoints of stars appear in the night sky above.

    Claire slowly awakens from a fitful sleep in the straight-back chair beside the boy’s bed, groggy and confused. Reaching out to check on him, she is alarmed to find the bed empty.

    Stumbling, she quickly searches the other rooms but finds only Thibault asleep in the rocker by the stove. In a state of near hysteria, she shakes Thibault awake babbling something about Jamie and Ma-ma Boudreaux being gone.

    Together, they rush to the door only to find the missing boy and his grandmother standing statue-like outside on the front steps. Defying the might of the storm by the sheer force of their combined will, the pair stand side-by-side, every sense drawn inward, enveloped within the embrace of a softly glowing blue corona.

    With sightless eyes, they gaze across the empty expanse of an impossibly silent bayou. Thibault and Claire are frightened to find they are unable to interfere or even touch them. Feeling a need to be close, they are drawn to them and maintain a silent vigil throughout the long night.

    As dawn slowly brightens the eastern sky, water trickles back into Little Bayou Pigeon and Jamie abruptly collapses in a heap by his grandmother’s side. Thibault scoops up the boy and carries him back to his bed where Claire can dry and warm him. As the catatonic trance ends, Ma-ma Boudreaux slumps to the steps in exhaustion. She will sleep for two days unaware of the passage of time and remember little of the astonishing events Thibault and Claire witnessed the night of the storm.

  38. #78
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    WOW!

  39. #79
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    I suspected that the boy had been overcome by what he was hearing on the wind, and that is why the old priestess showed up, the boy is a threat to her in some way, I suspect part of the battle of good and evil. Excellent story FMJ!

  40. #80
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    Thank you!
    The word Bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out. George Carlin

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