The wind seemed to howl out a warning on this cold, dark night, as the brisk days of fall had turned into the bitter days of winter. The plague was upon many villages near and far, and we had not been spared. Booming thunder shook our cottage as it was pelted with hail, sounding as though someone was pounding on the door. The constant drip of water from the thatched roof created a rhythmic beat, and I opened my sleepy eyes in time for lightning to briefly illuminate Sundiata tending to the fire, and also to William and Millie, who were both gravely ill.
Most of us were sleeping, but I could only toss and turn, so I climbed out of bed, wrapping my blanket around my shoulders, and joined Sundiata. William and Millie had never seemed old to me, but now in sickness they seemed very old and frail. I watched their labored breathing, and prayed that nothing would happen to either of them.
“How sick do you think they are?” I asked Sundiata.
“Pretty sick. I don’t really know what else to do for them, other than keep them warm and nourished. Vivi has been making them healing potions that seemed to help a bit at first; but I feel like they might be getting weaker.”
We had all taken William and Millie for granted all these years, and I now realized how alone we would be without them. I quietly voiced my fears to Sun. “How would we survive without William and Millie? Who would take care of us and teach us our lessons?” Then I shared with Sun my biggest fear of all. “What would we do if Judoc and the Night Invaders ever came to our cottage?”
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