Forever Young (Chapter 9, page 1 of 3)

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Chapter 9

Samantha left Reverend Crane's house skipping until a voice echoing Prudence's warned her she shouldn't. She settled instead for walking briskly, the rocky path now as soft as clouds beneath her feet. She still couldn't believe what had happened in the reverend's kitchen. When she pinched her arm, she winced and then smiled at the realization this was no dream.

The sun was beginning to set when she returned to Eternity. As she approached the dormitory, she heard a growl behind her. Then came another one to her left, followed by one to her right. She saw Pryde's dogs all around, closing in on her. Samantha raised her arms, closed her eyes, and shivered from head to toe. "Mr. Pryde?" she called. "Are you there?"

"What're you doing out here?" he rasped.

"I was visiting the reverend."

"Don't let me catch you out here after curfew again."

"You won't. I promise." The growling stopped and Samantha opened her eyes to see the dogs had gone. She waited a moment to collect herself and then dashed into the girl's dormitory.

Inside, she found the girls kneeling beside their beds, whispering a prayer. She squatted down next to the doorway, mumbling a prayer of thanks for the gifts Reverend Crane had given her. When Miss Brigham looked in her direction, Samantha held up her arms. By now the angry red streaks had faded to a pink blush; the reverend's potion had cured her.

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