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''Survivor'' part 16: A Secret No MoreI feel like I had grown more of a bond with Vladimiria after she told me something she promised herself never to talk about. We kept quiet from Helter, who Vladimiria said was even more of a wreck about it than she was. I could understand him, though, and could see him really being eaten away by sadness with something like that for so long and still acting happy to the outside world.
I decided to try to see the happier sides of things and try to push the thought of my parents out of my mind, but it was hard when I’d see them every night in my dreams. The hallucinations didn’t help either.
One morning, Hama came up to me and tapped on my shoulder when I had my back turned to her. When I turned around, I felt my heart stop for a moment and jumped with a start when I saw Hama’s skin melting with spiders crawling out of her mouth when she spoke. I blinked a few times and she stood as her stunning self again. She looked at me for a moment like she was unsure of what to
''Survivor'' part 15: Reveal My Hidden PastVladimiria's POV
As soon as we got home, Hama smothered her father with questions.
"Daddy, when are we going to Nowatake?" Hama squeaked, pulling on her father's shirt.
"It's Noatark, Hama," Helter replies. He peels his daughter's hands off of the shirt's rough fabric and holds them for a moment. "I don't know," he says softly. Hama's eager smile slowly faded to a small, broken-hearted frown. "Okay?"
"But Dad, this is this could possibly be our only chance to get help for Tak!" Hama argues, sounding ready to cry.
"No," Helter said with a tone, "Noxer said this will get him the therapy Tak needs. And Noatark is so far away, Hama. It's going to be I'm guessing what's going to be a month-long trip if we go by boat, which you know is the only way we can travel."
Hama said nothing else to argue and slowly walked off to her room. I looked over the couch, where I had laid Tak to sleep for a few hours. He was snuggled up into a ball, his face dug into one of the embroidered pillows
PetalsThe grass tickled between her toes as her father toiled away with the roses by the letterbox. She watched his fingers weave between the thorns to pat the soil around each bush, humming to some John Lennon song she couldn't put a name to. Despite the sun just tipping the horizon, she saw sweat prickling his brow and his eyes squinting against the light. The fine lines on his face were suddenly accentuated by shadow, and for a moment, she swelled with wonder.
'Maria, come here,' he said, waving her over. 'You're not going to learn anything sitting all the way over there.'
Excitement sparked her limbs into motion, and she crawled over to sit next to him, careful to tuck her skirt beneath her thighs to avoid the dirt.
He picked up a pair of clippers from beside him. 'Now, you need to snipe back these diseased parts here and there from the base of the plant. It helps it grow better.'
Snipping off two pieces of wood with ease, he deposited them in Maria's outstretched hand. Their rough textu
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