They stood under the great, old pine tree, mother and daughter and son, and stared at the conspicuously empty spot amongst its roots.
“He was there,” Gail insisted. “He was lying right there!”
There was no impression on the ground, no scuffs in the dirt or depression in the pine needles to give testament to her story, but Keely believed her nevertheless. Gail was her daughter, after all, and as frustrating as the girl could be, she was no liar. Nolan’s hand flexed in her own and she closed her fingers tighter around it. Guilt gnawed away in her belly; her baby boy had been so quiet yesterday, abnormally withdrawn, but she had been focused entirely on Gail. Teenagers had a way of doing that to you, sucking up all of your attention. Poor Nolan. Poor, sweet kid…
Gail kicked the pine needles in frustration, scattering them uselessly. Keely held up a hand. “Stop it,” she said wearily. Gail subsided with a scowl, shoving her hands into her pockets and stalking around the tree like an animal. So much energy, so much pent-up anger. Just like her father. “I believe you, Gail. Don’t ask me why, just accept that I do.”
Gail’s mouth shut again, her question forbidden, and they all stared at the ground, wondering where to go from here. Deep in the woods somewhere, a crow cackled to itself. It seemed unearthly to Keely, the cry of some spirit creature, and it sent chills up and down her spine.
“There was that other girl,” Gail said slowly. “The one that said we shouldn’t tell anyone.”
“She said he was an angel,” Nolan said. Keely’s hand tightened on his so hard that he squirmed, and she let up a little and guilt ate her away inside. “But he wasn’t. Angels don’t die.”
“Well, obviously he’s not dead if he just got up and walked away,” Gail answered. Her voice was full of lofty teenage scorn and it took all of Keely’s considerable willpower not to snap at her daughter.
“Maybe the other girl took him away,” she suggested mildly. Gail shook her head emphatically.
“No way, she was smaller than me and no way could I pick that guy up. He was huge.” She was staring at the spot on the ground again, her brow furrowed in frustration. Keely felt a deep surge of love for her, this irascible child of hers who took after her in height only. Perhaps in temperament as well; Keely could remember being Gail’s age only dimly, but she still had those flashes of temper, that streak of stubborn hatefulness that kept her going. She didn’t doubt for a second that Gail could have moved the body on sheer spite alone, but the way she’d described the mystery girl, Keely was inclined to agree with her judgment.
“So he got up and left,” Keely said slowly. “Or someone helped her move him.” She thought for a moment of Gabriel, but this was not his style. If he’d wanted a body moved, he would have commanded her out here to do it, or else dug Davey Moore up out of whatever drunken hellhole he’d landed in. And the thought of Davey stabbed her right in the fucking heart so she let go that train of thought. He hadn’t been in town for almost seventeen years anyhow and Gabriel would have a hell of a time dragging him back. Davey didn’t have her steel; what they’d done had almost broken him.
“Why don’t we tell Daddy?” Nolan asked.
“Yeah, can’t the cops find this guy?” Gail said, narrowing her eyes at her mother.
“I don’t think so, sweetheart. I think we’re on our own.” She caught her daughter’s eye and they shared an understanding in that moment. “This is our little secret, okay?” A woman’s secret. Yes, there were men involved. Nolan, and Davey. And Lee, peripherally, but he had never really known what had happened last time, and she didn’t intend that he should know this time either, for all that he was her best friend and only confidante. But this was a woman’s work, subtle and intuitive. Gabriel told her that Gail had inherited her gifts. She hoped so, fervently. Gail would need all the help that she could get, and Keely was badly out of practice.
Gail’s eyes flickered to her brother for just a moment, but Keely understood and nodded, just a little. Nolan was old enough now to understand the importance of secrets, young enough to treasure strangeness as something separate from the world of grown-ups. He wouldn’t tell Lee. He hadn’t wanted to tell Keely, had tugged at Gail’s hand, trying to drag her away from her crying mother. He would keep the secret. They all would.
“Should we look for him?” Gail asked softly.
“No,” Keely answered. “He’ll find us when he’s ready, I’m sure.”
“It’s Okay to be Neither,” By Melissa Bollow Tempel
Alie arrived at our 1st-grade classroom wearing a sweatshirt with a hood. I asked her to take off her hood, and she refused. I thought she was just being difficult and ignored it. After breakfast we got in line for art, and I noticed that she still had not removed her hood. When we arrived at the art room, I said: “Allie, I’m not playing. It’s time for art. The rule is no hoods or hats in school.”
She looked up with tears in her eyes and I realized there was something wrong. Her classmates went into the art room and we moved to the art storage area so her classmates wouldn’t hear our conversation. I softened my tone and asked her if she’d like to tell me what was wrong.
“My ponytail,” she cried.
“Can I see?” I asked.
She nodded and pulled down her hood. Allie’s braids had come undone overnight and there hadn’t been time to redo them in the morning, so they had to be put back in a ponytail. It was high up on the back of her head like those of many girls in our class, but I could see that to Allie it just felt wrong. With Allie’s permission, I took the elastic out and re-braided her hair so it could hang down.
“How’s that?” I asked.
She smiled. “Good,” she said and skipped off to join her friends in art.
- It was bound to happen. The movie is over-stocked with big name characters as it is, and obviously the new-to-the-franchise, lesser known characters aren’t going to get as much screen time. Thank god they decided to leave out any others.
- But on the other hand, I get the feeling Renner understates a lot of things. And hey, at least Clint is in the movie, full stop! Still. Kind of sad to see fears confirmed in writing.
“I will also aggressively defend the constitutionality of DOMA in federal and state courts. I will support sending a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification. I will also oppose any judicial, bureaucratic, or legislative effort to define marriage in any manner other than as between one man and one woman. I will support all efforts to reform promptly any uneconomic or anti-marriage aspects of welfare and tax policy…I also pledge to uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others”—
Newt Gingrich, adulterer, serial-divorcee and sanctity of marriage spokesperson. (via reallyfoxnews)
Given that man’s record, that is one of the most appalling things I’ve ever read.
“Gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights. It is a violation of human rights when people are beaten or killed because of their sexual orientation, or because they do not conform to cultural norms about how men and women should look, or behave… To LGBT men and women worldwide, let me say this: wherever you live and whatever the circumstances of your life, whether you are connected to a network of support, or feel isolated, and vulnerable, please know that you are not alone. People around the globe are working hard to support you, and to bring an end to the injustices and dangers you face. That is certainly true for my country. And you have an ally in the United States of America. And you have millions of friends among the American people.”—U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton • Giving vocal support to the plight of oppressed LGBT persons worldwide, at a meeting of diplomats in Geneva. Clinton’s speech is being hailed as a landmark event in terms of U.S. foreign policy towards LGBT rights, and dovetails with the Obama administration’s memo earlier today pledging foreign aid support for the same cause. After her speech, she received a standing ovation. This could well be worth marking down on your calendar for future reference, everyone; this could be a big, big deal, whether Rick Perry likes it or not. source (via • follow)