Young Family (Chapter 1, page 1 of 4)


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Chapter 1

It was still dark outside when Samantha Young crawled out of bed. She went over to the door of her room and put her ear to the wood. She couldn't hear much of anything over the sound of Prudence's snoring, which was even louder than the growling of Mr. Pryde's pack of dogs had been. Samantha opened the door slowly so the hinges wouldn't squeak.

To her relief she saw the other girls all still asleep. Prudence was on the pallet of straw closest to Samantha, her snoring even louder without the door to muffle it. As Prudence stopped snoring, Samantha paused, her heart starting to thump loudly. Her friend rolled onto her left side with a piggish snort and then resumed her snoring.

Samantha crept past the line of beds, the girls in the beds getting younger the closer she got to the door. As she reached for the door, Samantha sniffed the air. Someone's pallet would need fresh straw later. With any luck it would only be one. Five years ago she and Prudence had been forced to change almost every pallet each morning. Now that they no longer had any babies and very few toddlers that chore was much simpler.

At last Samantha made it outside. She breathed a sigh of relief upon emerging into the air that still had the crispness of spring. Real summer lasted only a month or two on Eternity, while the winters seemed to never end. Did the summers last longer on the mainland? She had wondered about that for the last five years, but still didn't have an answer.

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