Forever Young (Chapter 2, page 1 of 5)


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Chapter 2

Eternity wasn't much of a town. The village consisted of ten low cottages with rough, wood-shingled roofs, each with the same whitewashed finish. Samantha peeked through the windows of a couple, but saw no one inside. "Doesn't anyone else live here?" she asked.

"Just Reverend Crane, Mr. Pryde, and the boys," Prudence said, her voice as low as a whisper.

"The boys?"

"You'll see them later. They live in the other dormitory."

"There are only three adults?"

"Yes."

In the center of the cottages stood a square building made from blocks of granite. From the steeple with a cross on top, Samantha knew this must be a church. "Is that where the reverend lives?"

"No, Reverend Crane's house is near the caves." Prudence took Samantha's arm to steer her away from the church. Samantha followed Prudence obediently down a dirt path leading into a forest of ancient pine trees so tall they blocked out the sun. The shadowy forest reminded Samantha of the dark beach and the dogs howling. When a breeze rattled the tree branches, Samantha dug her fingers into Prudence's arm hard enough to make her yelp with pain.

"I'm sorry," Samantha said.

"It's fine. We're almost there." After a fork in the road, the trees thinned to reveal a wide, swift stream. Samantha took a step back at the sight of the water.

"Is it safe?" she asked.

"We all bathe in here." Prudence set Samantha's new clothes-a gray dress and white apron like Prudence's-on a rock. "Do you want any help?"

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