Sunday, October 01, 2006
New Beginning 132
Kurt stumbled to the door of his little one-room school. The silver essence in the gas was choking him and making him want to claw at his eyes. He could hear his students whimpering inside.
When he shoved open the door he smelled hot metal, blood and the beginnings of a fire. The framework of the little building was creaking. The rocket must have cracked a beam. He couldn’t tell how many children had survived. They needed to hurry before the roof caved in or the Cardinal’s men got too close.
Barely able to see, he reached for the closest child. “Shh, don’t rub your eyes; it will make it worse,” he told her. “Follow me. We’ve practiced this before. Remember our drills.”
The child moaned but straightened up. “This way. Hurry,” he called softly to the rest. He heard the children crawling and scurrying toward him.
When they were all gathered outside, coughing and choking but safe from collapsing beams, he stood over them in his teaching pose. "What do we learn from this terrible event?"
Charlie spoke first: "To pray for the Cardinal?"
Margaret added, "To put our lunch money in the Cardinal's collection plate?"
"Come on," Kurt demanded. "What else?"
"To never, ever say out loud," Elsie whimpered, "that we don't believe the Cardinal really dines with God."
Continuation: J.E. Barnard