Reluctant eight-year-old Serada Salston sifted through bedroom clutter, tasked by her mother to restore order.
She last occupied the space months before, the night Grandma Anita whisked Serry and older sister Addison away just in time. Much transpired since, from their interstate hide and identification of its reason, to protective custody on a naval vessel. By agreement, the government released the family and allowed return to Henna, on condition they remain home.
A box of crayons half-covered an incomplete sketch, a replication of the view beyond bedroom windows. Using a book as support, the re-inspired Serry wielded forest green to add foliage, her eyes capturing detail out-window for transcribing onto paper.
A shimmering object streaked the sky beyond the trees. Serry watched, fascinated by the rapid approach near their home. “Addie, come see the helicopter!”
Her task the bath, fifteen-year-old Addison rounded the corner and followed her sister’s point. She bolted for the staircase, Serry trailing, both trumpeting a call for their mother.
“Mom,” Serry said. “Look at the helicopter!”
Addison demurred. “I don’t know what to call it, not a helicopter. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Ronnie needed a glance to confirm her intuitive perception. She said nothing and instead made her own mad rush, out the door and downward, past the grove of trees toward the field beyond.
In the midst of tall grass, a sleek, bus-sized vehicle cracked open and allowed egress to two individuals. The children caught up with Ronnie, and all watched.
What Addie discerned shut down the question. The physical appearance of the two women who climbed their way, one looked so much like…just older. The other, she of midnight-black hair fire-lit along temples with scarlet and white highlights, carried herself with natural grace, a person who captivated attention not by demand, but through immediate respect.
Addie understood what Serry knew not. Never acquainted and from a home an unimaginable distance away, Addison’s grandmother and stepmother arrived to close the family circle. In the process, they intended rescue of another dear to all their hearts – and to an entire world.