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30,000 Feet Above The Old Enemies

Chapter 1
"Mr.Anyufeng, please hurry to carry the fly F718.Mr.Anyufeng, please ... ..."

Has become empty terminal, the few passengers sitting idle waiting for customers area. Faint sun quietly walk in the air, only the mechanical and repeatedly broadcasting anxiety filled with eardrum.

烦死人了! Security checks have been going to the bar to stop, I do not know who it is so not the brain! Even by plane will be late!

If ... ... the boys, this guy unpunctuality absolutely unforgivable!

I am the one hand and murmured in his heart闷闷while推了推sunglasses, did not forget the pace of marching to the beautiful 3 sections down the boarding gate.

Fall through the tall windows of the airport, flight A2101 Boeing could see the apron静静地等候. Soon, it has a white bird wings I would fly with me the most uneasy place.

Three minutes after a smooth check-in I sat in the window, his left hand to help托着腮, fiddle with the right hand subconsciously has been worn on the wrist of the crescent-shaped bracelets, two big panda eyes through the sunglasses, wistfully outside the large glass windows at large unlimited extension of the gray cement floor, lost sight of the focal length, but the mind can not help but become more and more clear --

"Students, an annual international exchange activities is about to begin, I will send students to school with his brother Dominic School alumni at the University for a 100-day exchange of learning. This is the day to demonstrate our good image of Ze Institute of Clothing Technology was an important opportunity to I hope that student representatives must be selected to play well ... ... "

The main hall of a large pool of poll, the教导处Director未落voice, "University of Dominic," these four words, as for many pebbles falling into the hands of my mind to sleep in!

Whole person to wake up immediately!

If you can get this opportunity, I will be able to朝思暮想Hui of sworn followers of Mary Help of Christians, as well as meet the shadow knows! Dominic returned to the province, however, it would mean that - I will be met only "bad monkeys"! He is now ... ... will certainly together with the known video ... ...

Ming ... ... in such an embarrassing position of "reunion" will be more than my heart load, or you scrap the whole idea as early as possible.

I gently exhaled breath, leaning back on. This has been super boring meeting lasted for two hours 56 minutes 39 seconds! Following the adjournment, I have to buy a most expensive ice cream, to appease some of the physical and mental trauma! Although the ice cream there, far from happy house angel street so delicious ... ...

"Now - I speak on behalf of the school announced! The Institute of Clothing Technology Amasawa places of exchange students is -"

"White - Su - Hee!"

What? ! White! Su! Hee!

The three泣鬼神simply to let the three characters are secretly yawn, I have surprised even his chin fell on the floor!

I never have heard do not know the full names of eighteen years has owned the less powerful of mass destruction!


How could that be? ! I must be behind!

Since the days of Ze Institute of Clothing Technology, no-you Xiao-hui and the accompanying video, as well as to purely to forget the only rear its ugly head at the end of the "dead monkeys"! I have been very low-key is not it? I just want to spend a slowly time four-year university and realize their dream - to become the world's top fashion designers! Completely adjusted in their own mind, I have never thought any different from "bad monkeys" to meet possible!

But ... ... This is a deliberate joke you God? The final list is just me!

Is this the so-called "sirens born unlucky" it?

But a done deal, everything can not be changed!

Have stubbornly chosen to stay away from a city Dominic University, would like to experience the growth of taste alone, but also those who would like to forget the embarrassment and make it difficult to face all this! Who knows God is like this teaser. Unprepared in such circumstances, I have to advance the City Back to Dominic.

However, Dominic universities you have my sworn followers Hui, and Xiao-Ying! We have the famous "three-Marie Johnson," close the world's most good sister! ! Does not meet such a long time, I have to miss them, miss, we spent the most happy moments!

Therefore, since such an arrangement heaven, I ready to woo Ying Xiao Hui and one of the world's most luxurious surprise you!


A relentless call the middle of the night, left my beautiful fantasy, became an instant numerous debris ... ...


12:00 midnight, I was to visit the Queen's profile Prince Charming No. 135 candidates, suddenly the phone rings a rapid interrupted my dreams.

"Hui-you ... you know ... What time is it? Storm Oh well ... ..." I pulled the迷迷糊糊to two, we should hang Tel.

"Suu Kyi!" But you are facing the phone screaming-hui, the "Golden River that bubble gum! The student council election I vote for him poor!呜呜呜! Li Yu had also advised me not and his struggle, and say that I am learning to do more for members! "

I can not stand, the three enemy began拉拉扯扯joy, and love such a simple formula for making my "love guru"白苏Kyi, has long been solved. However, Hui-you from the heart or her own to solve it.

"But this is not the focus of it! Suu Kyi, do you know?哈哈哈哈... ..." call came那头familiar苏佑Hui-style "贼笑", "This time, I, the Li River plume have also been selected as the exchange of Health, will be by plane tomorrow to Chanel States Institute of Clothing Technology Amasawa three and a half months to learn it! Oh we can meet! "


Hui-you will be tomorrow to their country of Chanel? ! However, tomorrow ... ... I'm going back to Dominic, ah!

Bang when --

Tears paintings of "reunion" scene immediately reduced to ashes before my eyes, I suddenly sat up from the bed, fingers of a loose, rolled in床角side of the handset,晃晃荡荡, which also kept Biography to the voice of a一惊一乍... ...

Suu Kyi! You are not happy you fainted!"

What pleased fainted ah! People is a major boost by the good!

I thought back, to look the other way round怔怔windows ... ... Two hours later, the aircraft will be able to reach their destinations. But at this moment, You-hui, Kim Yu Li River is also working with my back and visit! Dominic was a trip to rekindle the flame of my heart all the way down to the bottom! Not a good friend of Dominic University, for me, is no longer imaginary big stars.

Out the window, the large flowers of white clouds flowers swaying in the side, as if a large and fluffy of quilts, I really wanted to jump out, eyes closed, perhaps so do not think anything of.

Chapter 2
轰隆隆rumble --

A slight shock, I ascend to an altitude of 3000 feet, but did not feel all the way up. Absence of eyes will be blue sky from the window in the back after I bored a small bag from the fine saw video of one of the most popular network in the "heart of love magic book." The book is said to be able to accurately notice the United States and the girl's love fortune, although the prices are too high too far off, but I still bought teeth bite down!

Now that the "friendship" temporary encountered obstacles, it can only predict the future fortune of love!

Opened a "heartbeat of love magic book" the first page of满纸peach pink heart, this should be a symbol of "Peach Blossom opened after another," you ... ...

Ha ha! Really a lot of types of prediction does, then I started from the constellation! No. ... ... ... ... 23

Leonid the girls may have to pay attention to Oh!

Although the weather in February is still cold, but spring has left you a close.

Recent travel plans if there is, then we must pay close attention to the surrounding ... ...

Love coordinate XY (3,4)

It is certain that there is a deep fascination with the man for you!

哦呵Ha ha! What sort of predict it! Ji白苏I received to declare thousands of letters to be more numerous and handsome guy want to scream, in order and I had dinner, and willingly in the cold wind waiting for 6 hours! ! Obsessed with my man, you can see it!

But ... ... now see no harm!

I like physical activity, and subtly backbone straight, elegant and slightly raised his chin, usually in accordance with the "Love coordinate" search!

No. 3 ranked No. 4 ... ... ... ... ... ... should be that person is him!

But! God! What I see? !

Not distinguish whether it is a gorilla or a "biological", is sitting in, "said God," the seat! Zhang was greatly right nostril, the one actually flying fingers, happy to keep doing the "rotation"!

哗啦啦you --

All of a sudden my head cut off, together lightning, goose bumps all down the one place.

Too sick of the ... ... almost! Almost came out!

I倒抽a breath, about to remind the body back quickly closed the book, Who knows, but瞥到Yu instructed the other ... ...

"Magical Guide" quality papers

Infatuated with the man you can not necessarily satisfy you, because you are a fashion trend enough grade girl,

If you want to find a perfect match with their lover, then draw your attention to the surrounding ... ...

Love coordinate XY (5,2)!

Ah ah ah! Go! Earlier said! Like me girl, how could all comers ... ... hoot, do not have to! Think of it is just a nightmare. This time, I care a lot, only half a head out, looking back across the front seat, looked carefully search ... ...

Sure enough, the fifth seat on the second row, seated, wearing a wide sunglasses, with a pair of long legs man!

Cool ah! All of a sudden, I have just been pouring out of passion and flames to burn up!

Unexpectedly, my eyes quickly, "handsome" to capture sharp, and he looked at me straight愣愣, even flight attendants are aware he is not around!

Ha ha ha ha! I proudly dragging the jaw with the back of the hand, and then slightly raised eye, fired him, "Marilyn Monroe •" Invincible radio-style!

At this time, pushing a cart that flight attendants, slowly blocked sunglasses men, across the soon to move around him to continue.


Flight attendants on that mission arm dark, furry, What is this?

"Ah ... ... my hair!"

Suddenly, the screams sounded撕心裂肺saw panic-stricken men sunglasses扯住an arm of the flight attendants! And he was the head ... ... "barren"!

Bald ... ... bald! %$^&%$ ... ...

All of a sudden my back out on a cold, many fell back on their own,大口大口to take a deep breath!

How unlucky so today! Is it from the You-Hui Wong them to leave the moment, I am doomed to bad luck on it? May be hard to adjust well in my breath, prepared to close their eyes while a good rest when, suddenly, Yu glance!

Shame on you will be it!

秀逗is a! Ji白苏how could I commit such a low error above! Has been found that their seats on the next sitting of a "best"!

Beautiful light gray knitted T-shirt, paragraph 80's classic double-breasted suit jacket, and then your son with a style full of beige casual trousers, upper body and lower body of a low-key luxury of lazy with the effects of co-operation between the unexpectedly good !

Bingo! I can not help but learn from the teacher's Institute of Clothing Technology POSE, referring to himself caught ring.

Looking to move further ... ...

Thin slender fingers slightly curved轻扣in the chest, then it is naturally pure. Perfect sharp jaw, with charming pink arc thin lips, straight nose and thin, short hair golden wanton and down in his former volume, but also added a few handsome.

Although he covered the eyes of a navy Department of the eye, the entire people are quietly sleeping against the seat. But I, with many years of experience, we fully sure that this guy --

Must be a US-type guy!

Wow ah ah ah ah! Really did not expect the guy on my side! While I feel an upsurge of emotion, but also did not last two seconds, feeling like the pendulum is becoming aged slow!

Because, just two "chain case," once again come to the front.

Setback is not terrible, terrible making the same mistake twice!

灵灵before the water of the "handsome guy", the eye will not be processed only after the "special products", such as take off the goggles, will play a live version of "Prince of change monster"!

Thought here, I a tense, subconsciously the lower body, pick up the "heartbeat of love magic book" and then quickly opened a page.

Light green only to see the central pages, wrote his eye-catching characters --

If the first two paragraphs of "encounter" can not satisfy you, then do not worry, a husband's profile in the final game is always the next one will be your ... ...

3, 30,000 feet above the old enemy

"You! You! Have you! All for me to go over there, can not let go of each centimeter!"

I was eyes wide open, look below attentively, suddenly, a hot-tempered voice over the cabin炸响. Voice faded, the burly 78飞扑from Men in Black looked like a hound-like article, the head into every corner of the cabin in search of what non-stop.

My fingers are顿了顿book, surprise and raised his head and saw a very long front teeth, like "beaver" aggressive guy calling the shots after a sudden 180-degree transformation, submissive and down, arms stretched forward respectfully , and fixed in a "Please" on the position.

"Master! You rest assured that just must be the plane landed, and will be found."

"... Ah ..."

That was known as "master", dressed in white apparel, slender boy, another group of black people in the crowd, the ring with their arms against the bulkhead and the lazy hum of dignity to say! Taking an eye-catching black, scattered to hide his face white, but can not block like obsidian eyes bright and blue suit of. Light smooth thin lips, it seems that the world ignore everything. A diamond on the left ear from time to time Earing dazzling light shining out. White and black interwoven light, the sun is more handsome, he adds a mysterious and unruly.

His tall, aristocratic atmosphere full of the people, but the clothes they wear服帖so casually, people have forgotten the existence of his body. It seems no matter what the clothes are a result of his shine, and he do not have any decorations on the background.

School teachers with the selection of clothing models of "jargon" is - is a natural-born clothing rack! Therefore, only a set of simple sportswear, clothing in his possession also is particularly pressing British Gas!

He not only "养眼" and style big ah! Flight attendants were all hiding in the corner, the atmosphere of a dare. Even the cabin air pressure is low all of a sudden a lot! He lost what should be a precious thing it, alas ... ... away from home, how can so be careful not to do ... ...

Has been no resistance to the handsome young man, I can not help but碎碎念in mind, the next point to begin rotating the wrist bracelet. Although it is only 50 months only to spread the money, goods, but since the Chanel, I put it as fortunate carry objects.

Ding dong! All of a sudden, my head is very good one.


Create Date : 18 กรกฎาคม 2552    
Last Update : 18 กรกฎาคม 2552 23:55:52 น.
Counter : 307 Pageviews.  

One Step Short of Crazy (ภาษาอังกฤษ)

Fiction Rated: K+ - English - General/Friendship
Web site: //

They were there. They had to be. As she stood up in front of her class, Morgan knew they were watching. But she couldn’t think about that. She arranged her note cards and took three deep breaths. Their professor looked up expectantly from the speech he had been grading. Morgan’s roommate smiled encouragingly. After one last glance out the window, Morgan began.

“It was a damp, murky day in mid-October, 2001, almost seven years ago today.” Seven years. Had it really been that long? Yes, it had, she realized, and it seemed like longer. Sometimes it was hard to imagine life before that day. “I was only eleven years old.” Only eleven. She had observed a class of eleven-year-olds only a few days before. It was hard to imagine that she had ever been that young.

“I was standing on a hill in the woods outside our house. The leaves of the oak trees were beginning to change color. Beautiful shades of red and orange stretched across the horizon.” She spread her arms as wide as she could. Not that that was as far as some people could; Morgan was rather small for her age. In fact, most of the sixth graders she had observed earlier that week had been her height—or taller.

“It was raining lightly, and a wind was blowing in from the southwest. The rain began to grow stronger. In fact, I was about to go inside when...all of a sudden...” An exaggerated, over-dramatic pause. Morgan swept her gaze across the room, reading their expressions. Curiosity. Puzzlement. Her roommate smiled; Morgan had practiced this the night before. Morgan leaned forward dramatically and said, as quietly as she could, but still loudly enough to be heard, “...nothing...happened.”

All tension in the room deflated immediately, but curious looks still filled her classmates’ faces. Morgan grinned playfully. “Well, that doesn’t make a good story at all, and it’s probably not what you were expecting. But even thought nothing actually happened, what didn’t happen that day...” She glanced outside quickly. Still nothing. But they were there. “...changed my life.”

Another deep breath. So much depended on this. “Since then, I’ve been writing stories about a girl named Ariel Gordon. Ariel had an experience similar to mine...except, of course, that something happened. Ariel was attacked by flying monsters called Gleems and rescued by an old man named Peter,” Morgan explained eagerly, as an eleven-year-old would have. “Once they were safe, Peter explained that the Gleems are trying to take over the world, starting with a small, unknown island in the Pacific Ocean—southwest of here—an island that the Gleems’ leader is more than a little obsessed with.”

“Then Peter gave Ariel a choice,” Morgan said slowly, and all hint of the eleven-year-old vanished from her voice and bearing. “She could go back to her safe, normal life—forget that anything had ever happened.” She looked around, from one face to the next. “Or she could fight by his side.” Another face. “And probably die.” Another. “But maybe—just maybe—buy a little time for the world to be ready for the day when the island finally falls.” Silence. Dead silence. This wasn’t a fairy tale she was writing. The island was going to fall. The end was going to come. It was only a matter of when. Her story was not going to end with the words ‘happily ever after.’

“Ariel chose to fight.” With that single statement, Morgan reaffirmed her choice, a choice that she had slowly come to realize was a death sentence. “That was seven years ago.” There it was again. Seven years. An eternity.

“After seven years of writing these stories, it’s sometimes hard to tell where Morgan Baker ends and Ariel Gordon begins. Some of the changes in my life have been small. Years ago, I taught myself to mini-golf, bowl, and play tennis and baseball left-handed, because when you’re fighting all the time...well, it helps to be ambidextrous.”

Laughs. They laughed! A surge of triumph rushed through Morgan. She had done it. She smiled along with them, sharing the joke, and continued. “Whenever I’m outside—especially in an open area like a field—I’ll periodically glance up at the sky, looking for flying monsters.” More laughs as she frantically glanced up at the ceiling, ducking down a little, as if she had seen something.

“I end most of my letters with the word ‘Godspeed,’ a habit Ariel picked up from Peter, whose faith has encouraged both hers and mine.” A few smiles, acknowledging that at least she had gotten something good out of it along with her paranoia.

“When my younger cousin came down with pneumonia, I dealt with my feelings on my own, because I didn’t want to share my thoughts about death—thoughts colored by Ariel’s experiences.” So many thoughts she had never been able to express, except in writing, because teenagers didn’t think that way. Normal people didn’t think that way.

Morgan fixed her gaze on one person, then another. Silence. They were ready. Ready to see deeper. “Largely because of Ariel’s experiences, I’m strongly opposed to anything even remotely resembling torture—something that I can, admittedly, take a little too far. One time, my sister decided to play a joke on our little brother. She threw a blanket over him and pretended that an amoeba was slowly devouring him.”

Morgan’s arms loomed over some invisible prey in front of her, and the feeling returned. For one moment that day, however brief, she had understood. She’d had a glimpse of what it was like to derive pleasure from another person’s pain. Despite her sister’s assurances that it was only a joke and did not in any way constitute torture, the memory continued to haunt her.

“I yelled at her to stop—and when she wouldn’t, I yanked the blanket off him myself.” And she had. But only after laughing alongside her sister. Laughing, while her brother had screamed in terror. But they weren’t ready to hear that. No, they were still amused. They still thought it was a joke.

“Whenever I give blood or get a shot,” Morgan continued, “I watch. I have to. Otherwise, my mind makes the pain worse than it actually is.” Morgan forced steadiness into her voice. She had given blood a couple weeks ago. It had taken all her effort not to struggle against restraints that weren’t there. Only her first-hand knowledge of how precious blood was had kept her in that chair.

Silence again. They’d heard enough. They wanted the joke back. So did she. Morgan smiled. “I’ve even been known to have conversations with my characters—conversations that come out sounding like a Smeagol/Gollum conversation—except we’re usually not arguing.” A few smiles. She had lightened the mood.

But only for a moment. She looked around. “But maybe the biggest change is that Ariel has brought out my quieter, secretive nature. Ariel hides the truth from her family because the Gleems have threatened to kill them if she ever tells them what’s really going on. It’s a secret I’ve learned to keep, too. Only shortly before coming here to college did I finally work up the courage to give my parents a small collection of stories that I’d written—including one about Ariel.”

“They haven’t said anything about it.” And they hadn’t. They’d called several times, and she’d called them, but it had never come up. “Maybe they think I’m crazy,” Morgan shrugged. “Maybe you think I’m crazy—or at least schizophrenic.” A few laughs.

“But I’m not crazy.” Morgan smiled. “There’s a scene I love from National Treasure. Ben Gates asks, ‘One step short of crazy, what do you get?’ ‘Obsessed,’ suggests Riley. Ben answers, ‘Passionate.’ This is something I’m passionate about, so as long as Ariel plans to keep fighting, I plan to keep writing.”

Something moved by the window. Morgan glanced over, then back at her cards for only the third or fourth time during the entire speech. “And whenever a southwestern wind blows, I’ll always remember what happened—or what didn’t happen—on that October day seven years ago.” A slight pause, then she opened her arms wide and added, “Godspeed.”

Applause. They meant it, too, Morgan could tell as she scooped up her cards. As she handed them to her professor, he suggested that she save her notes for a speech contest in the spring. She barely heard him. It didn’t register. Spring wasn’t even a reality yet. But she smiled and nodded. “Okay.” Okay. If she survived today, then maybe she could worry about spring.

They handed back their evaluations of each other. The professor gave a few closing words, then added, “Godspeed.” Morgan smiled, gathered her evaluations into a pile, stuffed everything else into her backpack, and left with her classmates.

“Where’re you going?” her roommate asked.

“Class,” Morgan answered automatically. They’d ended earlier than usual; she didn’t actually have another class for more than half an hour. But it gave her an excuse to break off from the group. As soon as she could do so without being noticed, she doubled back and headed for the theater building.

She ducked around a corner, and there they were. Waiting. Two men. One middle-aged, or so he appeared. Taller, with shoulder-length hair in patches of brown and black, and a look of obvious confusion. Athos had no poker face. But that didn’t matter, because he was holding all the cards.

The other man was older, his hair also long, but grey, like his short beard and his long cape. His deep brown eyes mirrored Morgan’s own, his expression an acknowledgment of what had happened, nothing more. After seven years, Peter could practically read her mind. Her intentions couldn’t be clearer to him. He would never have thought of it himself—deception was still rather foreign to him—but he knew her well enough to know that this was second nature to her.

Morgan opened her mouth to speak, but Athos held up a hand. “Not here. We don’t exactly blend in.” He cast a glance at Peter, whose cape and walking stick were rather conspicuous. Morgan shrugged obligingly. Peter could’ve walked across the entire campus and only received a few raised eyebrows. It took a lot more than a funny costume to faze college students.

But she closed her eyes, anyway. After a moment, Athos told her to open them. They were on a trail in the woods that led to the next town. Morgan cocked an eyebrow. “We could have walked.”

Athos shrugged. “We could have flown, too, but that’s not the point, is it? You’re trying to gather support.”

Morgan smiled faintly. Not only did Athos have no poker face; he didn’t waste time trying to be subtle—not when something was this important. “No,” Morgan said simply. “I’m not. If I was trying to, that would certainly be a lousy way to go about it. They thought it was funny, nothing more. Here—take a look.” Without having glanced at them herself, she handed him her classmates’ evaluations.

Athos looked them over, and his expression softened to the one of gentle understanding that she was accustomed to. “They thought it was a joke.”

“No. They thought it was exactly what I told them it was—a story. A fantasy. And not a very probable one, at that. I didn’t expect them to believe me, Athos. I wouldn’t believe me.”

“Then why tell them?”

“For the same reason I gave my folks those stories. To protect them.”

“Protect them?” There was no skepticism in Athos’ voice—only genuine confusion.

Morgan nodded. “If I do anything out of the ordinary now—something that might have given me away, or at least given them a hint—now I have an excuse. If I glance up at the sky, they won’t think it’s anything unusual. If I get back to my room late at night, I can say that I was out fighting flying monsters, and they’ll let it drop, because they’ll be laughing too hard to wonder what I was really doing. I can tell the truth, and they’ll assume it’s a joke.” She smiled faintly. “The best way to hide a weapon is to hang it above the mantle and tell everyone it’s a decoration.”

She looked at Peter, who smiled sadly. He understood. But there was also pity in his eyes. Morgan looked away. Peter understood the way she thought, but he was always grateful—and so was she—that he didn’t think the same way. He didn’t need to say anything. She knew. Peter was an incurable optimist. He would never have assumed that people could be so blind.

But Athos wasn’t completely convinced. “What if some of them actually believed you?”

Morgan had been ready for this. She glanced around at the trees. A few branches stirred. Morgan smiled. Peter’s protectiveness was touching, if a little misguided. “All right,” she nodded. “Cards on the table. Everyone, come out; we all know you’re there.”

One by one, they obliged. A man named Eric stepped out from behind a tree, sword drawn. Five smaller figures—Elves—dropped to the ground, landing perfectly on their feet, forming a small group beside Morgan. Peter and Eric joined them by her side. Several dozen Gleems flew down and stood behind Athos, waiting.

Morgan nodded. “All right. Good to know where we all stand. But you’re much more worked up about this than you need to be.” She looked around. “All of you. They didn’t believe me.” She glanced at her watch, then turned to Athos. “I’ve still got half an hour before my next class. I know you’re having my classmates watched, so I’ll make this very simple. If any of them—any of them—say a word about what happened, anything that even remotely indicates that they believed a word of it, anything that might suggest that they’re even thinking of asking me whether or not what I said was real—then kill me.”

Peter started to object, but Morgan turned. “I know what I’m doing.” Peter nodded. He wanted to protect her. But, after seven years, they had also learned to trust each other's judgment.

For a moment, there was silence. “You’re not bluffing,” Athos realized.

“No. I’m not. I can, but I’m not. Not this time.”

“You really did this just to keep them safe.”

“No. I had another reason—a rather selfish one, I’ll admit. I’ve been dying to tell somebody—anybody—for seven years. Whether or not they believed me was irrelevant. I needed to tell somebody.”

“And now that you have?”

“I don’t know. But it’s not something you need to worry about.” She shrugged. “But, if you want, we can sit her for half an hour and wait. After that, I’ve got class, and I might be pushing my luck if I suddenly disappear after giving a speech like that.”

Athos nodded. “We don’t have to wait. The fact that you made the offer tells me what I need to know.” He handed her papers back and climbed on the back of one of the Gleems. “For whatever it’s worth...I would have believed you.” They flew off, soon only dots against the light blue sky.

Peter breathed a sigh of relief. Eric smiled and sheathed his sword. “That was quite a gamble.”

Morgan shook her head. “Only a little. I knew, back in the classroom. The first time they laughed, it was over.”

Peter nodded. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. Now they’re safe.” She turned to go.

Peter followed. “I’ll walk you to the edge of the woods.”

Morgan nodded. “All right.”

“There was another reason,” Peter said softly after they’d gone a ways.

Morgan looked up. “For what?”

“Another reason you told them.”

Morgan hesitated, then nodded resignedly. She couldn’t hide anything from him. “Yes. There was.” She looked up. “We both know what’s eventually going to happen, Peter. Short of a miracle, eventually the Gleems will win. The island will fall.”

“I still believe in miracles,” Peter said gently.

Morgan smiled. “Peter, it’s a miracle we’ve lasted this long. I’m not holding my breath waiting for an angel with a flaming sword or a vision that’ll convince Athos to change his mind. If it happens, it happens, but I’m not counting on it. And, short of that miracle, I will die in this war. We all will.

“That’s the reason I told them, and why I gave my parents that story. Oh, they don’t believe it now. But if I suddenly disappear, or my body turns up unexpectedly, they’ll begin to wonder. And when the Gleems begin attacking, they’ll know. My parents. My classmates. My roommate. My professor. They’ll know what I was fighting for. What I died for. And then maybe they’ll be able to forgive the secrets, the lies, everything I’ve done to keep the truth hidden. Maybe they’ll forgive me.”

The path ended, and they stopped. Peter wrapped his arms around Morgan. “They will. They’ll forgive you.”

Morgan held her friend close. “I wish I was so sure.”

“You did what you had to do.”

“No. I did what I chose to do.” They both let go, and Morgan smiled. “So here’s to high treason.”

Peter looked down, puzzled, but amused. “High treason?”

Morgan laughed. “National Treasure. Ben makes a toast to high treason—to people who did what was considered wrong in order to do what they knew was right.’s to you...and here’s to me.”

Peter smiled. For a moment, neither of them spoke. This was where they would part, each going to a vastly different world. But maybe—just maybe—their worlds had just grown a little closer.

Morgan smiled. “Godspeed, Peter.”

“Godspeed, Morgan.”

As Morgan turned and headed down the road, a gust of wind blew. She turned. Peter was gone, but the wind was still blowing—a gentle, southwestern breeze. “Thank you,” Morgan whispered, fingering the cross around her neck.

Maybe there was still hope.


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