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Chapters 8-14 Excerpts
Johnie's storie, Ch8: 
The expanded pocket inside Johnie’s bomber jacket was once used for concealing and stealing. Now it was going to be used one last time. The old dog was elfin enough to fit right inside his hidden pocket. He was stealing her to save her. Right at noon, the end of Johnie’s shift, he made his break. Johnie was caught at the exit door. His supervisor thrust his hand inside Johnie’s jacket. He grabbed the delicate dog by her tiny head and yanked her out of hiding. Her neck snapped. So did Johnie ❂The House Master was none too pleased with the judge’s ruling that the state had no right to force Johnie to cut his hair unless – there is always an unless – Johnie’s hair became a health or safety concern. Johnie would not allow his hair become a health concern but a safety concern was another problem. Johnie suspects that the verbal attacks, a few inmates trying to make a name for themselves, were instigated by the House Master. Because, the House Master made it clear that he did not like being told by some pansy-ass liberal judge what he can or can’t do in his House.
The Mission Ch:9:
As I rushed about with my assigned duties, and she hers, Johnie laid there, not moving, like he really was dead. He wouldn’t have to act at all. Allie removed the heart monitor patches from Johnie’s chest but not before disabling the warning alarm. I found an assortment of sheets in a small supply cabinet. The sheet I chose, of course, was the perfect size for covering a corps from head to toe with some left over draping on all sides. We should have ridden nonstop to the basement, but the elevator slowed to a complete stop one floor below. Allie and I looked at each other, stunned and speechless. The code should have kept the elevators doors closed! The doors parted from the middle. 
TM: Secrets Revealed, Ch10:
I took another look at Johnie. He didn’t look like he was breathing. Panicked, I yanked the pillow from under his head. His head hit the area rug with a thump. First thing, I checked for a pulse and couldn’t find one. I grabbed the front of Johnie’s hospital gown and ripped it open and put my ear on his bare chest. There it was, his heart beat; it sounded normal. In fact, it was speeding up. I put the small pillow back under his head and covered him back up. So relieved, I flopped back down on the floor.Wrapping my arms around my legs pulling them close to me, I lowered my head to rest on top of my knees and cried. A week’s worth of anticipation and frustration poured out of me. I was not about to stop these tears from flowing.
A Sad Day, Ch11:
Coming out of a deep dreamless sleep, I tried to focus my eyes and gather my scattered thoughts. It was a struggle to sit up. My stomach muscles tender. Allie was still sleeping curled up in a tight ball under a blanket at the other end of the couch. Glancing out of the office window, the sky was dusky. It was early evening, already. The last thing I remembered was coming into the office and sitting on the couch. I don’t remember taking off my shoes. Allie’s dad must have done that and covered us with a hospital blanket.
ASD: Truths Told, Ch12:
My mom explained that every year Allie parents had signed papers stating that they decline academic testing for their child, choosing to have Allie tested at a private clinic. The Department of Education received the results that Allie’s parents wanted them to receive. However, this last school year, the school tested Allie against her parent’s wishes. They took advantage of Allie’s trusting nature and tricked her into taking some test by disguising them as challenging assignments. As expected, Allie tested off the charts. 
Allie's Story, Ch13:
It never occurred to Allie that grandparents were allowed a name preference for themselves. She thought it was the grandchildren who decided what to call their parents’ parents, so she asked Sophia about it. Sophia shrugged her shoulders because she never heard the word, either. So, she explained to Allie in her childlike words that she thought it was an unspoken agreement between grandchildren and grandparents. That each set of grandparents had slightly different names to set them apart from one another, but all had the word grand, or some variation of that word, in front of the parent part. After all, that’s what indicated their hierarchy in the family: Grandpa and Grandma were the boss of Mom and Dad. 
Sophia's Education, Ch14:
My grandma was from a long lineage of powerful French Cajun women with Christian tribal beliefs and superstitions. Her beliefs in the divine and metaphysical waned the farther north in Louisiana her family settled, away from their ancestral lands in the deepest part of the Louisiana bayou, lands that were swallowed up over the decades by the encroaching ocean. As far as superstitions go, my grandma had a few, but bad luck was not one of them.Unlike most, my grandmother’s family can trace their female lineage back to their greatest grandmother who was sold to a Choctaw slave buyer at the start of the nineteenth century.
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