Successfully passed on some monster zucchini, so that was good. Mom can deal with the mass of squash and remaining tomatoes when she arrives.
So, snippet? I think so, too.
Frost didn’t rush her. He floated in front of her as if he had all the time in the world.
Gale finally stirred. “I want to see them.” She felt numb as Frost continued on. She dimly realized she was in shock, and as the landscape began to blur, she realized she was silently weeping.
Her parent’s cars were in the driveway. Frost found a tiny crack under the door where the weather stripping had peeled away and flowed into the house, pulling her with him. She shivered at the sensation of becoming wind, but forgot it as she saw her parents grieving on the couch. “Mom! Dad! I’m okay,” she cried, then checked as she realized they couldn’t hear her. Grief stricken, she fell to her knees beside them and hugged their knees. “Mom…” she choked, unable to go on.
Frost remained silently supportive a she vented her grief, telling her parents she loved them, that she was okay. Their grief finally calmed, and she thought for a moment they sensed her.
“We need to call her grandparents,” her mom finally said. “The family needs to know.”
Her dad gulped, swallowing a fresh wave of tears. “Our baby. My little girl.”
Gale hugged her knees, resting her face on them. “I’m still here, Dad. I love you.”
Her dad took a shuddering breath and pulled out his cell phone. He dialed. “Hello, Dad? I have bad news.”
Gale stood up and hugged her belly, unable to bear it, but unable to leave them in their grief. She stayed as relatives arrived full of tears and questions. She took no joy as the ripples of grief spread. She’d known she was loved, and the family was close. Her parents wouldn’t be alone.
But she was. She was an outsider burning from the inside. The pain wanted to bury her, and she finally retreated to her apartment over the family’s company air freight office. Being alone helped (she chose to ignore Frost), but as she looked around at the things she could no longer touch, she felt hollow. The contents of her kitchen, her clothes, her things, were no longer relevant. She couldn’t take a hot bath or eat ice cream. She couldn’t surf the net or watch her favorite DVDs. Her usual coping mechanisms were denied her. Her home, her old life was gone as surely as if a hurricane had ripped it away.
“I wish I could at least take the pictures,” she said, looking forlornly at the framed photos on the wall and trailing her fingers over the photo albums and scrapbooks. Her computer had hundreds of photos, too.
“That I can do,” Frost said firmly. “I’ll have my staff make copies and return the originals. We can even duplicate the electronic files.”
“You can?” she whispered, overcome. At least that was something. She sat on her bed, exhausted. Out of habit she reached for her teddy bear. The fur rippled as she touched it, but she couldn’t pick it up.
Her cat chose that moment to stir. Stretching, she hopped down from the back of the couch and headed for her litter box. Unaware of Gale’s presence, Huntress groomed and jumped onto the bed, leaping through Gale to settle on the bed in a contented heap.
Gale choked, “Huntress?” Her touch ruffled the cat’s fur. Annoyed, the cat jumped on the wide windowsill to watch the planes take off.
That was it. Gale fled, instinctively taking her cloud form and flowing under the door. She had to escape.
“Easy!” Frost said as he caught her shoulders, releasing her immediately when she twisted away. He opened a portal to Nitro’s house and stood aside, waiting.
Gale shot through the portal, grateful to escape. She shook with grief, raging at the Fates who’d stole her future and her family. The cold, clean air helped. She looked back as Frost emerged behind her.
He let her take a last look at her old home. “Your family will still be here,” he soothed. “You need a break.”
She looked away, and he closed the portal.