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Strands (Maura's Gate, Book 4)

Chapter 5 The Plate (The End)

Author: FionaR Total hits: 1101 User hits: 2 Date: 08-04-2015

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It was an early afternoon, a month after Devin had left, when Lamar finished the last wood plate he had ever crafted. He coated it with a clear paint twice and set it aside to dry. Then he heard Korina calling him outside. He walked to the side gate and saw her standing there with Philip. The boy was a grownup now compared with what Lamar had remembered. Taller and sturdier. His eyes beamed with sophistication and courage. Was there dark-matter residue inside his body? Lamar wondered.

“We are leaving tomorrow,” Korina said. She was no longer that timid girl. “I can’t wait to go to college.”

“Good girl.” Lamar smiled. Then he said to Philip, “You keep an eye on her for me, won’t you, Philip? She could be trouble sometimes.”

“Don’t worry, Grandpa Lamar. I’ll take care of her.”

“Don’t worry. If others can do it, so can I.” She handed him a necklace made of nestnut seeds. “I still have things to pack, Grandpa. So we’ll see you next summer, then.”

The young people hugged the old man in turn and left. He stood there for a long time after they had disappeared in his view, as if he had fallen asleep. Then he went inside, grabbed the plate, and left for the hill nearby. He wouldn’t be able to see them next year. His day was coming, most likely this winter. If he had stayed on Earth, an ordinary hospital would have been able to extend his life, but … it was okay.

He stopped halfway on the hillside and bent over a stack of loosely packed hay. He brushed off the top layer and uncovered a metal box along with a dish modified from an iron wok. He switched off a knob on the radio transmitter. It had done its job. He then tied the wood plate to the antenna with the necklace. Hopefully it would resist floods, but if it got carried away, no big deal. It was just a piece of wood. One day it would break down and return to what created it. In fact, didn’t every creature belong to its planet? What’s age? All the particles inside our bodies were as old as the universe.

The sky was clear and placid. The sun stood right behind the planetary rings, weaving a mosaic pattern with the countless stones. The colored light eventually fell to the ground, pierced through the gauzy sand, and kindled the plate that had a few words carved in:


(End of Book 4)
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