Young Family (Chapter 4, page 1 of 6)

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Chapter 4

Dinner was the same stew as the day before and the day before that and the day before that. Phyllis's repertoire didn't have much variety. It wasn't entirely her fault as she had to work with the limited ingredients provided by what they could grow or forage on Eternity. The stew was an improvement over winter's fare of salted meat and even saltier vegetables.

Samantha at last found herself with an opportunity to talk to Prudence, who sat in her usual place in the corner. Prudence stared intently at her bowl, as if she were divining some prophecy from its contents. As she usually did, Samantha took her bowl over to sit down across from her friend. "Hi."

"Hello," Prudence mumbled into her bowl. She spooned some of the stew into her mouth to avoid saying anything else.

"I'm sorry about this morning. I didn't mean to snap at you."

"Did so."

"Prudence, please, I didn't mean anything by it."

Prudence put down her spoon and then looked Samantha in the eye. "Yes you did. You don't want me around anymore. You're too important now to have the little fat girl around."

"That's not true. You're my best friend, Prudence. That's why I wanted to tell you before anyone else."

"Tell me what?"

"I'm leaving. Tomorrow I'm going down to the beach and take Mr. Pryde's boat to the mainland so I can find my family."

"Congratulations," Prudence said and then took another spoonful of stew.

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