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To the Lonely Seas and the Sky -- Part 15a

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SoldierNurse22 SoldierNurse22 (Member)

SoldierNurse22 is a L&D Nurse.

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My sincere apologies for the half-month delay in this installation. This last bit has been tough to write for reasons unknown. But the point is, it's coming, and easier now! Hoping to have the next installation out within the week. Thanks for your faithful reading! It is my continued pleasure to tell you the story that seems to tumble in pieces from my wandering mind.

To the Lonely Seas and the Sky -- Part 15a

Ellie and Liesl took care to walk at a regular pace through the hallway, down the steps and a fourth of the way up the tower until they broke into a sprint. It felt like the great adventures they used to play as children in Germany, Liesl thought as she followed Ellie up the tower steps.

Before Johann and Maidie were born, Ellie and Liesl used to run barefoot through their small village and in the cold mountain streams. Some days, they were brave explorers, seeking out new land. Other days, they were sailors, discovering the secrets of the seas. Each day was a new story, acted out together with laughter and the thrill of the unknown. It had been so long since Liesl had felt that kinship with Ellie, but as she ran up the steps behind her sister, she knew that she was experiencing in reality the culmination of the stories that they as children had only imagined.

When they reached the top, the sisters paused, both of them immediately noticing the eerie silence.

Liesl opened the door to the balcony and inhaled the wind, gazing out at the misleadingly still night.

Ellie was behind her; Liesl could hear her soft breath over her shoulder. "What is it, Liesl?" She asked.

Liesl shook her head in disbelief. "A lull in the storm," She replied as a warm, balmy breeze filled her nose.

The hair on Ellie's neck stood on end. Instinct warned her that the danger was far from over. "Does this happen often?" She asked, wondering how she did not know the answer herself.

"Sometimes," Liesl replied, "mostly in the fall. Sometime tonight, the rain will turn to snow, the lake will begin to freeze, and we will move into yet another winter."

Ellie knew Liesl was right, but it was still hard to believe that within a few hours the weather could change so drastically. She followed her sister's eyes over the lake and took in the sweet, musty scent of the nighttime air for what would likely be the last time that year.

Liesl stepped onto the balcony carefully, noting that the wind had dried the exterior of the tower, to include the balcony floor. Ellie continued after her, pausing next to Liesl at the railing as the women gazed out over the dark lake.

"We may not be able to see anything until the storm resumes." Liesl said, wishing she hadn't had to waste time finding a distraction to keep Mr. Nichols' prying eyes from making a potentially perilous situation worse. Perhaps they'd have arrived in time to catch a glimpse of the distant water, courtesy of the lightning.

"Aye, that occurred to me. 'Tis well. I'm certain the weather will resume its display in due time." Ellie replied, her stomach in knots. She knew Samuel was right--she had to tell her sister the truth. Liesl especially deserved to know. But she wouldn't force it. She would wait until the time was right.

From a few inches away, Liesl could sense Ellie's anxiety and the cold stiffness that kept Ellie's back rigid as if in a brace, though she didn't understand its source. "At least it's a pleasant night. I have seen many a storm such as this one pass us by, and this is certainly the last we'll see of summer on the wind until next year."

Ellie nodded, closing her eyes in the embrace of the breeze. The wind was coming from every direction--first south, then north, then west. Thankfully, it wasn't half as gusty as it had been before, and the light seemed unaffected by the shifting air currents outside. "It could easily be a less agreeable evening."

Without thinking, Ellie sat down, leaned her head against one of the wrought-iron rails, and felt herself slip into yester-year, blown back into the memory on the warm breath of the gusty wind...

Ellie sat against the side of the farmhouse in the dimming evening light, two stories below an open window. She had been hurried out of the room above her just as a physician had come running in, his eyes narrowing with concern as he observed her father's form, lying motionless in bed. Her mother hovered over her father, hope returning to her exhausted eyes as she gazed up at the physician. A few seconds later, a nameless assistant brusquely pushed Ellie from the room and closed the door.

Ellie stood in the hallway, too stunned to move. Minutes later, a rising cry bid her feet descend the steps and retreat to the breezy evening outside.

I am a first lieutenant at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

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I hope all is well with you, my friend. Keep this story coming when you can......I'll be here waiting for more. :)

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