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   Chapter 28 No.28

The WeatherMaker Hearts Desire By Lady Lilium Characters: 5259

Updated: 2018-07-10 12:04

'Can Gracie come with us?' Amaia asked her mother as they went.

'Of course' Ramana giggled, snuggling her. 'Whatever you want. My precious treasure.'

A short time later, Alice answered the knock at the door, seeing Ramana standing there with Amaia.

'Can Gracie come out to play?' Ramana said to her.

Amaia who was clinging to her mother's back like a monkey peered over her shoulder at Alice.

'Of course she can' Alice smiled. 'Gracie! There are visitors for you!'

A short time after that, Ramana was walking through the woods behind the two girls who raced back and forth ahead of her like excited spaniels.

'Catch me if you can!' Amaia squeaked. She darted away as Gracie began to chase her. Despite being nearly a year older, Gracie's shorter legs couldn't keep up.

'You can't catch me' Amaia sang teasingly. 'You can't catch me.'

'Come on Amaia' Ramana said firmly. 'Play nicely.'

She sat and watched as the children played, resting at the foot of a large tree.

She sighed contentedly, leaning back against the bark and closing her eyes. She tilted her head back, glancing up then at the tree above her. Ramana stared at the two large branches that grew outwards above her head, positioned almost perfectly horizontal and running almost perfectly parallel to each other with a gap between them.

An idea slowly dawned on her as she continued to stare.

'Amaia!' she called suddenly. 'Gracie! Come here, we're going home!'

'Awww' Amaia immediately began to whine. 'I haven't finished playing.'

'Neither have I' Ramana retorted with a smile. She opened her arms wide; Amaia as if by instinct ran to her mother and embraced her.

'Come Gracie' Ramana said, offering her hand for the girl to take. 'We're going home, but we will be back.'

Ramana walked home with the two girls, one hanging off her shoulders, the other holding her hand. They helped her, as Ramana rummaged throughout the entire house, looking for materials. They found much wood and rope, and even brought paints. Ramana and the girls managed to haul all that they needed, through the town, and back to the same spot in the forest where that particular tree had caught Ramana's attention. It took several trips and more than a few strange looks from some of the people in the town. Arlen watched from a distance, standing in the same spot he saw the three as they headed in one direction carrying several pieces of wood, then the other direction carrying nothing, then back again in the other direction carrying more wood.

Once Ramana decided they had everything they needed, she tied the skirt of her dress up,

tied her hair back, and got to work.

The two young girls ran all around her, helping her as she worked and fetching anything she asked for. Ramana climbed the tree, Amaia and Gracie with much effort, managed to stand up a long piece of wood between them. Ramana reaching down was just able to grab it and lift it up to where she sat balanced in the tree. She laid the plank on its side, resting between the two long and thick sections of branches that ran parallel. She began to nail the piece of wood down.

Once she was done hammering several beams of wood into the thick branches to create a platform, she began to work on a ladder, so that the children (who by that point were running around the base of the tree impatiently) could climb up. Once the ladder was finished, she built a short wooden wall around the platform she had made. Then she made a rope swing, then another, and then hammered more planks of wood into the tree to create another ladder so that they could all climb higher in the tree. And then they began to paint the tree itself.

The day began to grow late.

'Have you seen Gracie?' Alice asked Farrell back in the town.

'No' Farrell replied. 'I was about to ask you if you'd seen Amaia.'

Alice giggled. 'Well this is a funny predicament. I know Gracie is with Amaia playing, but its time for her to come home now.'

'I am also missing my wife' Farrell mused. 'It doesn't take a genius to figure out that they are all together.'

'Maybe Arlen knows' Alice suggested. 'Guess where he might be?' she asked Farrell.

Farrell smirked.

'Praying' the two of them voiced simultaneously.

'So have you seen them?' Farrell asked Arlen when he and Alice had entered the temple and found Arlen.

'I have' Arlen replied, rising to his feet and turning away from the idol he had been praying before. 'It was the strangest thing. The three of them were running back and forth between your home' he nodded to Farrell, 'and the woods.'

'Why?' Alice asked raising an eyebrow.

'They were carrying wood' Arlen shrugged. 'And rope. And paint. I guess they were building something.'

'We should go find them' Alice said to Farrell.

'I'll come too' Arlen said. 'I'm curious also as to what's going on.'

It took only a short time to track the three fugitives. By that time Ramana, Gracie and Amaia had forged a clear path through the woods, so they were not at all hard to find. When they had been located, all three were amused by what they saw.

Farrell craned his head back as he stood at the base of the tree, eyeing curiously what was now a small fortress above their heads.

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