Monday, 21 January 2019

Chapter 25: The Verdict

That afternoon, Elle asked Neith to hang back from the garden – saying she’d had enough work experience for one day.  Neith wondered if she’d been missed earlier.  Was it wrong to hope she had?  Amos’ hug revealed his opinion.  She read to him while Elle began preparing dinner. 

When Ruthie came home from gardening after school, she bee-lined for Neith, “There you are!” She softly slugged Neith where she sat.  Neith was attempting to stave off Amos’ late naps, at Elle’s bidding.  She was reading with greater animation, regularly checking his consciousness status on page-turns.  “I have something for you!”  Ruthie’s voice spiked with a tone of playfulness.  She drew out a piece of folded paper from her satchel and handed it to Neith.

Neith turned to ice.   She knew that paper.

“It’s what we here in Nydia call folded, Nee.  Open it!”

“I’ll open it later.”

Ruthie pulled an Are you kidding me? face. She sent Elle an appeal for back-up in an expression.  She received none.  Neith was glad.

When it came time to wash up to eat, Neith excused herself briefly.  She crackled open Ruth’s delivery.  With furrowed brow, she read it again, and again. 

Miss Cole,

The council met again.  They have returned their decision.
Come see me after classes are out, tomorrow.

Mr Flynn


The note was from the teacher-man.  And he wanted her to come to the school.  She now saw the neat handwriting had no semblance to the other note’s – Tai’s hand?  It took Neith time to appreciate the full pleasure of the news.  She’d had to shake off the initial alarm that had engulfed her, seeing another note.

Back inside, paper stowed, Neith saw Amos was setting the table.  Davey was sitting on the floor by the front door, his hand hovering over the space between the floor and door’s base, concentrating.  The lumpy cloth tube (or “nake” for snake, in Amos-speak) that usually blocked the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor had been removed.  It lay limp across his lap.

“What’s that draft?”  Elle spun towards the middler.  “Davey, block that back up – it may be Spring, but I’m not heating all of Nydia tonight.” 

Davey was applying his lessons. 

Neith bit her lip and squeezed the paper in her hand.  Neith was going back to a real school.