A General History, Ch 1:
On the eve of the new year, people all over the world were preparing to say goodbye to the old millennian and cheer in the next thousand years. Doomsdayers prepared for the worst: religious zealots readied their souls for God’s wrath upon a sinful world; the techno nihilists predicted computer systems all over the world would collapse because of two missing digits not hard coded into the mainframe’s operating systems; militia survivalists stocked up on water and ammo to protect themselves from both sinners running from God’s wrath and the cataclysmic collapse of the corrupt federal government.
The implosion. The Intra-National Compromise convention was held in an impressive hotel which was completely closed to the public so security could be at a premium. It didn’t matter. The bombs were hidden and wired throughout the structure in such a way that not even the dogs were able to sniff them out of hiding. The explosives detonated at the peak of the most important meeting of the convention. No one survived inside the building. Death was instant for some and brutal for others. Every side lost. An official Declaration of Independence listing justifications for the separation from the Union was hand carried to the nation’s capital. The messenger was arrested for treason. Blood was to be shed.
It was unnerving sitting across the desk from Allie, not because she was making me uncomfortable, but because my legs were twitching. I had to get up and stretched them. I knew every step of the mission. It seemed pointless to be rehashing what we already knew. There were other things out there to contemplate – things that were just as diabolical, things going on in the world, in our world. But thinking about something you can’t do anything about is like asking for something you cannot have. Pointless. Anxious, I stood up and looked down at Allie. Her eyes flicked up at me, gave me a weary smile, and then dropped her eyes back down to the blueprints. I smiled back, but she didn’t see it.
Family Tree, Ch3:
My family comes from a long bilineage that managed to endure some of the worst national and global crises in modern human history. My grandfather’s family, truth be told, benefitted from ecological and geographical location, economic privilege, and most important, a high regard for learning, logic and reasoning. My grandmother’s side believed their survival came from divine fate.❦It was no secret that the neighbors thought Greatest-grandfather was eccentric, maybe even a wee bit dangerous, suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and all. He was a political refugee who had fought and lost. The neighbor kids called him the Crazy Asian behind his back.
The Tree House, Ch4:
The tree house was my mom’s dream, but everyone in my family including my grandad and my grams (my dad’s parents), and that would also include Allie’s family, contributed to its creation.❦When the tree house was completed, my mom cut the green ribbon and declared to the world that this was the greatest tree house ever to be built. We all cheered! My great-grandpa the loudest of all because he had been there for all the previous tree forts and houses since the first that many years ago.
Sophia & Alilie, Ch5:
From the window, I looked back over my shoulder at Allie sitting on the edge of her cracked leather office chair. Her fine delicate hands cradled her small chin, elbows resting on the ancient wooden desk. Her brilliant green eyes stared at my handwritten notations, no expression on her face. Notes scribbled on several scrapes of paper littered the top of a set of old blueprints. The blueprints were of the hospital where Allie’s dad was a doctor and chief.
S&A: In Contrast, Ch6:
Allie is in no way limited tinkering with plant life. By age ten she knew how to use all sorts of medical equipment, even knew how to take blood and give injections. She took to doctoring injured suburban wildlife, mostly squirrels, birds, an occasional raccoon, and once a skunk. It sprayed me, not her, but we both got a tomato bath. And, once PJ came to my backyard and yelled up to the tree house to tell us that a dog was hit by a car and was still alive. His dad didn’t stop because the dog was thought to be feral and rabid. PJ had no knowledge about Allie’s hobby, but he knew she’d care. Everyone knew that.
The Mornign of, Ch7:
This morning, I did not want to face this wise-old-soul. However, it was a necessary task so as not to arouse suspicion. My dad was someone to whom it was difficult to lie to or to deceive. Not because he saw through it, which I am most certain he could, but because he was such a nice guy and nonjudgmental. Also, my dad never asked questions he already had the answers to, or if he thought he would get a lie for an answer. He never put me put on the spot to lie, so I had little experience at it. My dad did say once that if a lie is worth telling make sure it’s worthy to tell. This lie was worthy, but it did not ease my conscience.
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