By now, Earl and Marie had noticed Florine’s absence.
“I don't like it, I don't like it one bit.” Marie stated, adding to the ongoing conversation about the
“Something just feels wrong; I don't know her that well, but she seemed like the type that
would tell a person where she was going.”
Earl gripped her slightly gnarled hand with his own, leaning over in his saddle so the horses
didn't touch. “Now darling, I'm sure everything is fine. We'll just go to Arnold's Creek and wait—
but I do admit it's strange. She gave us no inclination that she needed to leave.”
Armaila shared her aunts concern. Since she noticed her missing, she noted about a half hour
had passed. Perpula had stayed quiet, but she sensed the lively little Dragon felt something was
wrong too. It bothered Armaila that there was so little traffic along the tiny, haphazard dirt road.
I've never been here myself, but there is normally at least ten people or so a day coming into
town from this way.
“I can think of one thing we can do though,” Earl said, releasing his wife’s hand. “we can all
pray. We can pray that your sister and her dear husband don't go to jail, or worse, Marie, and
we can pray that wherever she is, God will keep Florine safe.”
“Yes, that is really the only thing we can do—aside from waiting at Arnold's Creek which won’t
help.” Armailas aunt added, agreeing with her husband.
Bowing his head and clasping his hands together, Earl began to speak:
“Dear Heavenly Father, I know I don't have to explain our situation to You; You know everything
—so, I pray that You will help clear the name of Armaila's parents, Mike and Jennifer. I pray that
You will help the court to find them innocent; I know they would nev...
... middle of paper ...
...ning out—becoming sparser
and sparser with each step of Perpulas powerful legs. The only sound Armaila could hear was the
steady beat of Perpulas' paws on the ground. Armaila slid half way down the Dragons back as she
halted abruptly. This was the closest she had come to falling off Perpula yet. And hopefully the
last time, too. She thought.
Something in Perpulas voice caused Armaila to immediately follow her gaze: They were in a
clearing; encircled by trees. All but one. In front of them was the largest tree Armaila had ever
seen. Compared to the tree, they were no more than ants on a tree—a regular tree. Armaila knew
this had to be the one Florine had mentioned. Although it was incredibly thick, it was no taller
than the other trees. “Perpula, all that is left—our one and only hope—is to go left.”
Another roar erupted from behind them.
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