CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and FORTY-TWO
Friday morning — 10:01 a.m.
“What do you see?” Katy whispered to Paddie.
Taller than Katy, Paddie stood on his tiptoes to look out the window of Jill’s office.
“They are still out there,” Paddie said with a nod.
“Don’t worry,” Paddie said. “They won’t notice. They’re doing what they’re doing.”
“My daddy’s out there?” Katy asked.
Paddie stood on his tiptoes again. He nodded.
“He notices everything,” Katy said.
Paddie turned around to look at his best friend. Katy crossed her arms and scowled.
“Are you okay?” Paddie asked.
“No,” Katy said. “We have to get out of here!”
“Why?” Jill asked.
Katy and Paddie gasped in unison. They looked very guilty.
“Katy?” Jill asked. She knelt down to her daughter. “Are you needing an adventure?”
“We’re worried about our horses,” Paddie said, instantly caving to pressure.
Katy gave him a hard look but Paddie shrugged.
“She saved me when I was sick,” Paddie said. “I could have died!”
Katy’s eyes filled with tears, and the children hugged. Moved by the children, Jill picked up Katy and Paddie.
“Oh Mommy,” Katy said, as she cried into her mother’s shoulder.
Jill let Katy cry for a while before kissing Katy’s forehead and set her on the couch. She kissed Paddie and set him on the couch.
“Now,” Jill said. “Why are you worried about the horses?”
“We don’t know if they got sick!” Katy said. “They can’t wear masks!”
“And a lot of people aren’t as careful as us,” Paddie said.
“They don’t know about bones and crypts and plagues and. . .” The air crackled with Katy’s anxiety. “They’ll get our horses sick.”
“They’re horses!” Paddie said. “I don’t want my horse to be as sick as I was!”
“Well, you bring up a valid point,” Jill said.
“We’re really careful with Sarah and Buster,” Paddie said. “We wash our hands and make sure to wear our masks and. . .”
“We don’t want the dogs to get sick!” Katy said.
They looked so worried that Jill gave them a soft smile.
“I’ll tell you what,” Jill said. “Why don’t we go see our horses? Your daddy is working on the house, so he can’t go. But I know that Paddie’s Aunt Alex and her team are here. She can probably spare someone to help us. Should I call?”
Nodding, Paddie jumped up and down. Katy thought for a minute.
“Do we have to bring the other kids?” Katy asked.
“I was thinking that we would,” Jill said. “Would that be a big deal?”
Adorably, Katy tapped her lip while she thought about it.
“I think everyone wants to break out of here,” Jill said.
“Just the middle-big kids?” Katy asked.
“If you’d like,” Jill said. “Máire and Joey have horses, or they share horses like we do. I’m not sure. I don’t know if Jackie and Eddy have been riding, but I bet they’d want to go.”
“We’ll help!” Katy said brightly.
“Sounds good,” Jill said. “Maybe we can stop for some fancy food on our way home? We can get it to-go.”
“Like we used to?” Katy asked.
Jill nodded. Katy cheered so Paddie joined her. Katy and Paddie ran out of Jill’s office to tell everyone.
Jill remembered that Athena had been working with Heather on something Olympian. She bet that Athena could teach their kids a thing or two about horses. Smiling to herself, Jill began to make calls.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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