Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

The Storm

Graphic by Tessa Kassoff

For the month of May, The Lasso is featuring a collection of short stories submitted by seventh grade students at Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School. You are cordially invited to take a break from reality and take a ride into the vivid world of short fiction!


The Storm
By Caroline Flasjer



The forest grew darker and darker as the storm drew near. Isabella could tell that something was wrong just by looking at the Elders’ faces. She lived in a village of nymphs called Varelia, deep in the Starship Woods. Storms didn’t normally pass through these parts, so they weren’t prepared. Their homes, made of sticks and moss, could hardly withstand a light drizzle, let alone a full-blown storm.


“Gather ‘round, gather ‘round!” the Chief, a nymph named Whitley, called. The village gathered in the Great Circle to hear what she was saying. “I hate to bring bad news upon you, but we can deny it no longer. Soon, we must face a storm.”


The villagers began to whisper among themselves, nervous for the times ahead. The laststorm they had faced had been over eighty moons ago, and they still hadn’t fully recovered.


“There is no need to worry,” Whitley said reassuringly. “We can get through this together. Elders, I call on you for tactics to fortify our homes. You braved the last storm, and you survived.” Whitley bowed her head in remembrance of those who hadn’t made it through the last storm before continuing. “All you who are able, I need you to carry out these plans. Secure the homes, and gather food to last us through this time.” Isabella wasn’t sure if she counted as “able”. She made a mental note to ask Whitley after she was done talking to the village.


“Mothers and fathers of young children, please make sure they know the Procedure for the upcoming storm. We will brave this storm together, and we will ALL come out on the other side with just as many limbs as we have now,” Whitley announced, glancing down at Isabella. Isabella’s cheeks grew bright red and she ducked her head to let her hair hide her face. She’d hoped that Whitley wouldn’t mention the last storm that had taken Isabella’s left leg and forced her to use Silversnap rods to support herself.


“Support each other, support yourselves, come together. Varelia will prevail!” Whitley called. The village descended into a frantic rush, everyone running around. The Elders were giving instructions and mothers and fathers were attempting to corral their children.


“Whitley, ma’am?” Isabella approached Whitley hesitantly, not wanting to disturb her. Whitley jumped into the air. She spun around, looking stressed. Once she saw Isabella, her face melted into a smile.


“What is it, honey?” she asked.


“Uh- well . . .” Isabella started, not sure how to phrase it.


“Do you need help? Or- oh, did we run out of the balm for your leg?”


“No- I mean, well, we’re close to running out but that’s not what I was going to ask. Uh .. . do I count as ‘able’?”


“Oh! Um . . . do whatever you think you can safely do. Don’t put yourself in danger, and don’t push yourself too hard.”


“. . . Okay. I’ll go talk to the Elders.”


“Talk to Ashlynn. She’ll help.”




Oh, I wish I could help Whitley, Ashlynn thought, staring across the village. She had been there, fifteen sun-cycles ago when Whitley sprouted from the ground along with her twin sister, Lily. Two other nymphs had taken them in, becoming Whitley and Lily’s parents. Whitley had been named Chief seven sun-cycles ago, right before the last storm. Lily had been so proud of her until she’d passed on. She had still been out collecting food when the storm hit, and she didn’t make it. Whitley had been devastated, but she chose not to step down as Chief, saying that the people of Valeria needed her.


“Um . . . excuse me . . . Ashlynn?” she snapped her head to look where the voice was coming from. She saw Isabella, a nymph about eight sun-cycles old who had lost her leg when Lily lost her life.


“Yes?” Ashlynn asked.


“Uh- so, you fortified the houses for the last storm, right?”


“I did. I can’t say that I’m happy with the results, but I did.”


“Oh- well, um . . . I’m not sure what I can help with, because, well-” Isabella broke off, glancing at the ground. Ashlynn felt bad for the girl.


“Well, I would recommend not collecting food, since the terrain near the berry bushes is pretty uneven. You might be able to help weave grasses for the roofs of the houses, though.” Isabella’s face lit up at the idea that she might be able to help.


“That’s a great idea! Thank you so much!” Ashlynn smiled and pushed herself to her feet.


“You know, I might help too.”


“Ashlynn, you really shouldn’t. You’re an Elder. We’ll take care of you.”


“Honestly. I’ve only seen twenty sun cycles, I’ve got about ten left to go. I’m not going to waste all of them by sitting around and letting everyone else do all the work.”








Isabella smiled, silently glad that Ashlynn had agreed to teach her. She hadn’t been ableto do anything useful for Valeria in a long, long time, and weaving grasses was perfect.


“What do we do first?” Isabella asked.


“Well, first we need to get the grasses.” Isabella’s smile dropped. She knew she wouldn’t be able to navigate the rough terrain near the river where the grasses grew. Someone would, once again, have to help her. As Ashlynn walked towards the outskirts of the village, Isabella hung back.


“Well, what are you waiting for?” Ashlynn asked.


“My Silversnap rods only work on flat terrains, like the village. There’s no way I’d be able to get all the way down to the river.” Isabella answered defeatedly.


“Who said anything about going to the river?” Ashlynn led Isabella the back way out of the village, away from the river. Ashlynn quickly stepped over rocks and logs, but Isabella began to fall behind.


“It gets better,” Ashlynn promised. Isabella wasn’t sure this was going to work. Just then, one of her rods got caught in a low-hanging branch, and she fell to the ground. She began to cry. She knew that she just wasn’t as useful to Valeria as all the others. She couldn’t even collect grasses, a task that even the youngest nymphs could manage. Ashlynn sat down next to her.


“Hey, hey. What are you crying for? Are you hurt?”


“No,” Isabella said. “I just can’t ever do anything to help!”


“There’s always something to cry about. You just have to pick what you want to focus on. We’re almost out of the forest if you want to keep going. Or, you could go back to the village, and I’ll get the grasses.”

“I’ll keep going,” Isabella said insistently.


“Well, then, it’s just down this path.” Isabella struggled through the rest of the forest, and they came out at a wide field that Isabella had never seen before.


“Where are we?” she asked.


“Well, we’re in the easiest place to get grasses if you can’t go to the river, of course!”


“How come I’ve never heard of this?”


“No one really knows about it. Some of us found it last-” Ashlynn stopped, glancing at where Isabella’s leg used to be.


“You can say it. I’ve lived with it almost all my life. It’s fine.” They sat down, leaning against the last trees of the forest.


“It’s not fine. We should have protected you. You were only fifteen moons old.”


“But I survived. That’s more than we can say for Lily.”


“You remember Lily?”


“Of course, I remember her. Not much – the way she smiled, how she smelled like moss and flowers – but I remember more about what happened after. Her name floated around the village for a long time.”


“You shouldn’t have had to deal with that. I’m sorry.”


“It’s not your fault. Sometimes things happen. I just wish I could’ve helped more.”


Ashlynn looked at her with a confused expression on her face.


“What do you mean, helped more? You were only a little over a sun-cycle old and you lost a leg.”


Isabella thought back to that time. She remembered the whole village mourning, trying to process what had happened while also trying to repair the houses. And meanwhile, she had been sitting in the shade of a tree, doing nothing. She remembered everyone being so busy, and still having to come over to do everything for her because they hadn’t figured out that they should use Silversnap rods yet. And then when they did, they had to get new ones for her every time she broke them. They had to trek through the forest to get ingredients for a balm to put on her leg. They had to take care of her when they were hardly keeping the village afloat, and she was doing absolutely nothing.


She relayed all of this to Ashlynn, and Ashlynn continued to look at her like she was talking in another language. She reached over and embraced Isabella, hugging her tight.


“Darling, no one thinks about it that way. We had failed you, and we were trying to make it up to you,” she whispered.


“No one failed me. I failed myself. Remember the Procedure? ‘If it comes to this, every nymph is responsible for themself, no matter their age’,” Isabella said. Ashlynn gasped and looked horrified.


“That’s not what that phrase means!” She exclaimed. “That was put there so that if we were able to evacuate, no one would risk their life to get someone else out. We were trying to make sure that everyone saved themself first because we knew the Elders would say their lives didn’t matter anymore. That doesn’t apply to this situation, sweetie.”


“It does, though. It was my fault that I couldn’t hang on to that branch and I got thrown into the wind. It wasn’t anyone else’s fault, but everyone else had to do everything for me.”


“It might not have been our fault that you couldn’t hang on, but it was our fault that you had to hang on.”


“You can’t control the storms, Ashlynn.”


“No, but we can control how well we build the houses.”

Before they could continue their argument, they heard a growl, louder than the loudest bear in the forest. They glanced at each other and shoved themselves to their feet, turning towards the village. The storm was upon them.




The only thought in Ashlynn’s mind was to get back to the village. Another Elder had predicted that the storm would come in two moon rises, but it was early. The houses would have to do, but they needed to count the children and make sure none of them had wandered off. She burst into the village to find pandemonium everywhere. Whitley was in the middle of it, trying to control the chaos.


“Alright! Mothers and fathers, please round up your children! Into the houses! If your house is more stable than other houses, please bring others into it!” Ashlynn ran over to her and put her hand on Whitley’s shoulder. Whitley jumped and spun around.


“Oh! It’s you!” she exclaimed. “Do you need help? You should really be inside-”


“What is it with this nonsense that Elders can’t do anything?” Ashlynn said exasperatedly.


“Oh, okay, well, uh, one moment-” Whitley turned around and gave hurried instructions to a few nymphs who were standing behind her. Another one called from across the village that they needed her help, and a few mothers were motioning for her attention.


“Excuse me for a little, will you?” Whitley asked Ashlynn. Ashlynn nodded, but she watched Whitley worryingly. Whitley was running around, tending to everyone. The rain began to fall, and she ushered everyone into their houses. She looked around and realized that Ashlynn was still standing there. She pulled her hands through her hair and walked over.


“Do you need help, Ashlynn?” she asked, her voice strained with stress.


“Sweetheart, you’re putting too much pressure on yourself.”


“I’m not ‘sweetheart’. I’m the chief. And they’re relying on me, anyway.”


“I was there when you sprouted, therefore you’re ‘sweetheart’.”


“Okay, well you need to be getting inside.”


“You need to be getting inside, sweetheart.” Whitley rolled her eyes.


“I need to do a final headcount. Also, the house where all the children are isn’t safe, so we need to move them. And the Elder house isn’t really safe either, so-” Ashlynn cut her off.


“Nothing is going to be perfect. I know you want to help everyone, but what would we do if you didn’t survive? What would happen if you were out here, trying to fix houses, and something happened? You need to get inside.”


“Are you sure I can’t just-” Ashlynn gave her a light shove towards the houses.


“Hey! I’m the Chief!”


“And I was there when you sprouted. Inside, now.”





The rain slipped off the branches overhead, pounding down on top of her. She shivered, wishing for Ashlynn’s help to get back to the village. Once they had heard the first rumble, Ashlynn had taken off for the village, forgetting that Isabella couldn’t run. She’d had a hard enough time getting through the forest when it was dry, but the ground had turned to mud now. Her Silversnap sunk down the moment she tried to go anywhere, so she’d sat down under some trees for cover. The Procedure said that she shouldn’t be under trees since their branches might fall on her, but she didn’t have a choice.


She heard a growl from over her head and looked up just in time to see the clouds split open. A flash of light streaked down from the sky, hitting a log only a little ways away from her. She knew that she wasn’t safe here, but she didn’t know where to go. She’d never been to this part of the forest before, and she didn’t know any good hiding places. Even if she did know any, she wouldn’t be able to get into them with her Silversnap rods. She wanted to cry, but there wasn’t time.


Light flashed down from the sky again, landing closer to Isabella. She scrambled up, grabbing her Silversnap rods. She was going to have to find a way to get through the forest. The mud was almost water now, rushing down the paths Isabella was half sure Ashlynn had made up. The mud raced down the paths, spilling off and into the woods. Isabella couldn’t see where she should go. Even if she could, there was no way her Silversnap rods would hold against this torrent. She started to struggle through the outskirts of what had now become a river, trying to figure out how to get back to the village.


Her Silversnap rods began to strain as she pushed through the underbrush. They got tangled in vines and poked with thorns until suddenly, they snapped. She fell to the ground next to a huge tree and leaned against it, crying.



Ashlynn huddled against a wall, crammed into a house with half the village. Whitley had declared that most of the houses weren’t safe, so the whole village had gone into two of them. Everyone was whispering worriedly to each other, debating how long the storm would last.


“We only have enough food for a moon rise! There’s no way we can last as long as we did last time,” Ashlynn overheard.


“Last time our food lasted almost a moon, though.”


“Well, last time we had half a moon to prepare!”


“Well, last time it had snowed! There was more food available this time!”


“We didn’t even have a whole moon rise to prepare this time!”


“Okay, okay!” Whitley interrupted, standing up. Everyone turned to face her to the best of their abilities in the cramped space. “Look. I know it’s going to be hard. I know that we didn’t have enough time to prepare. But we will get through this together. This storm will not get the best of us.”


“The last storm got the best of us,” someone called from the back.


“No. It didn’t. It was hard, but we’re still standing here.”


“No we’re not,” they called back. “Some of us are standing here. But not all of us.” No one had a response to this, and the house went quiet. Ashlynn stood up to speak.


“Hey,” she said softly. “The last storm was hard. Not all of us made it last time. We didn’t have as much time to prepare this time. Those are facts. But thinking that we won’t get through this? That’s not a fact. That doesn’t have to be true if we don’t want it to be. So it’s our choice: do we want to get through this together? Or do we want to give in to the storm?”


The villagers rallied, excited at this challenge. Ashlynn knew that they would get through this, no matter what. As she looked around the house, she realized that everyone was jostling each other. It would be hard for Isabella to stand if her Silversnap rods kept getting knocked, so she tried to find her to help. She looked around, but she couldn’t see Isabella! She asked around, but no one could find her. Ashlynn knew that Isabella had probably just gone into the other house, but she had to check.


“Whitley!” she called, trying to get her attention from the other side of the house. She pushed through the crowd, moving towards Whitley. “I need to go outside.”


“What in the- no, you don’t need to go outside!”


“Yes, I do. I can’t find Isabella.”


“Isabella isn’t your responsibility.”


“Isabella’s parents died in the last storm. Someone has to be responsible for her.”


“Sure, but it doesn’t have to be you. You’re an Elder.”


“This is ridiculous! I can still walk, for goodness sake! I’ve still got at least ten sun-cycles left in me!”


“If you’re going, I’m going.”


“No! You need to help everyone here!”


“I’m Chief, so I’m in charge of the villagers. I need to find Isabella.” Whitley started walking towards the door, and Ashlynn ran after her. Ashlynn gave in to the fact that Whitley was coming, and they stepped into the roaring storm to find Isabella.



Isabella was hoping that Ashlynn would realize she wasn’t in the village, but she knew the chance was slim. They were probably spread out in a few houses, so they would all think she was in a different house.


“Why did we have to get those grasses? If I had simply stayed in the village, I’d be safe now,” she murmured.


A branch crashed down next to her, twigs breaking off and hitting her. A larger branch scratched her cheek, and it started to bleed. It fell down her face, slipping onto the forest floor. Another branch fell down in front of her, its scraggly leaves scratched her face which was covered with cuts. She knew that she wasn’t safe here, but she couldn’t move without her Silversnap rods, and they were broken. The only place she knew of to get Silversnap rods was on the other side of the forest.


As more branches fell down around her, she pulled her legs close to her chest. There was nothing she could do but wait.




Ashlynn sprinted through the rain towards the other house. A huge gust of wind ripped through the village, easily pushing the roof of one of the empty houses onto Ashlynn. She fell to the ground, pinned underneath the roof until Whitley rushed over to help her up. The wind continued to throw them around, and they barely made it to the other house before an entire house blew over into the middle of the village.


“Quick! Get in the house!” Whitley screamed over the noise.


“The door is jammed!” Ashlynn screamed back. Whitley shoved her shoulder into the door and it flew open. Everyone in the house screamed, assuming it was the storm.


“It’s okay! It’s okay! It’s just us!” Whitley called as they ran into the house and shoved the door closed after them.


“Has anyone seen Isabella?” Ashlynn asked nervously. The villagers conversed among themselves before one of them answered.


“She isn’t in here!” they called. Ashlynn and Whitley looked nervously at each other, thanked the villagers, and ran back out the door. They secured it behind them and ran out of the village, screaming Isabella’s name.


“Isabella! Isabella! Where are you? Can you hear us?” Ashlynn called. The rain poured down on them, drenching their hair and clothes. The wind threatened to blow them over while chilling them to the bone. The forest was buried in cracks and crashes as branches fell to the ground.


“Isabella! Can you hear us? Please answer!” Whitley yelled. There was no response.


“Isabella! Are you okay?” Ashlynn called. Still, there was no answer. They looked at each other and ran further into the forest, calling her name as they went.

“Oh goodness, I should have kept an eye on her! Why did I ever bring her to that part of the forest? She won’t know how to get back!” Ashlynn exclaimed worriedly.


“Wait.” Whitley stopped in her tracks. “You know what part of the forest she’s in?”


“Well, ye- wait . . .”


“Where is she?”


“That way!” They took off, running towards the back of the forest.




Isabella just wanted someone from her village to come. She couldn’t even stand, so she certainly couldn’t walk back. She didn’t know what she could possibly do to send a message to the village, though. She wasn’t about to start a fire and kill part of the forest. Even if she did, the rain wouldn’t let her.


Could I get out on my own? Isabella thought. No. There’s no way.


All of a sudden, the forest around her filled with crashes and snaps. She looked around frantically, trying to figure out which branch was falling so she could try to move out of the way. To her amazement, no branches fell. The branches around her seemed to be holding strong. Her next thought was that it might be an animal. Her heart started racing. She knew she couldn’t defend herself against animals, especially anything bigger than she was. She was almost certain that the crashes were coming closer. It must be an animal.




Isabella tried to push herself to the other side of the tree, hoping for some cover from whatever animal was pushing through the bushes. Her back was met with a surge of water coming from what used to be the path. She started hearing some sort of voices coming from the direction of the crashes. The rain and wind drowned out most other sounds, but she could catch a few words.


“. . .she . . .”


“. . . sure?”


“Well. . .”


“I . . .”


She was pretty confident that there were two voices. They sounded nervous, even while yelling to each other to be heard over all the noise. Whoever was there crashed through the bushes, and Isabella’s heart skipped a beat.


Suddenly, she was wrapped up in Ashlynn’s arms. Someone behind them was squealing with excitement, but Isabella didn’t care who it was. She honestly was just happy to be safe in someone’s arms.


“How did you ever find me?” she whispered, crying happy tears into Ashlynn’s shoulder.


“Darling, you’re right where I left you. I should have found you earlier.”


“Um- excuse me,” someone behind Ashlynn interrupted. Isabella jolted, having forgotten that a second person had come with Ashlynn. She peeked over Ashlynn’s shoulder to see Whitley standing there.


“Whitley, ma’am, with all due respect, shouldn’t you be safe in the village?”


“Oh, don’t worry, Ashlynn already tried to convince me. It’s the Chief’s job to take care of the villagers, though!”


“No, it’s the Chief’s job to protect herself so that she can protect the villagers later,” Ashlynn said pointedly.


“Okay, okay, okay, we can debate this later. We need to get somewhere safe.”




Ashlynn was so relieved when they found Isabella, but there was no time to waste. They needed to find replacement Silversnap rods for Isabella so that they could get back through the forest. The only parts of the forest that weren’t flooded were densely packed with trees and shrubs, so it would be hard for Isabella to get through. Unfortunately, it was the only way to safety.


“Would those branches work? They look like the right length.” Whitley said, pointing at a pair of sticks on the ground. Isabella nodded.


“They should work,” she said. She picked them up and tried to walk with them. Ashlynn looked on nervously, ready to catch Isabella if she fell. Luckily, she didn’t, so they decided that they were sturdy enough to hold Isabella until they could get more Silversnap rods.


“Okay, are you ready?” Whitley asked, waiting for Isabella and Ashlynn to nod before starting to push through the undergrowth.


Whitley took the lead, finding the easiest paths through the trees. Ashlynn stayed back with Isabella, making sure she didn’t fall.


“Hey,” she whispered. “I know it’s hard. But I’m here, and I can help. You’re not alone.” Isabella smiled gratefully, and they continued walking.


“Ashlynn, come up here for a moment,” Whitley called. Ashlynn looked nervously at Isabella, not wanting to leave her. Isabella nodded her head and smiled, so Ashlynn walked up next to Whitley.


“What do you need?” she asked quietly.


“Look, over there.” Whitley pointed at a spot where a few trees had fallen on top of each other, creating a space underneath that seemed to still be dry.

“Oh, that’s nice,” Ashlynn said, not quite sure what Whitley wanted her to do.


“Do you think we should go under there to wait out the storm? It’s getting worse, and I’m not sure we’ll be able to make it back to the village.”


“I’m not sure we’ll fit . . . but, also, how would we get Isabella under?” A hint of worry was evident in Ashlynn’s voice.


“I don’t know if we have any other options.”


“True. There is no way Isabella will be getting back to the village in this storm.” Ashlynn motioned back at Isabella who was struggling to reach them. One of Isabella’s sticks sunk through the moist soil and she tumbled to the ground. Although tears started pooling in her eyes, she pushed herself up and continued forward. Ashlynn and Whitley glanced at each other and

came to a silent agreement. Isabella would not be walking further than she had to.



Isabella knew that the other two had stopped in front of her a while ago, but she still hadn’t reached them. She had become quite good at maneuvering around the village on her Silversnap rods, but these sticks were difficult to use, and the ground was soft and littered with sticks and stones. Her progress was slow, and she was very much aware that she was slowing the other two down. In fact, if she hadn’t taken so much time complaining about her leg while they were getting grasses, Ashlynn might not have had to come back to get her.


Ashlynn and Whitley were looking over their shoulders, gesturing at Isabella. Her cheeks flushed the color of the roses that grew next to the village. She tried to go faster, but she couldn’t.


When she finally caught up to Whitley and Ashlynn, they abruptly stopped their conversation.


“Isabella, do you see those trees over there?” Whitley asked. Once Isabella glanced at the fallen trunks and nodded, she continued. “We think we might hide under there to wait out the storm.” Isabella sighed.


“It’s because of me, isn’t it?” she asked.


“No! Of course not! We just think it might be safer than trying to get back to the village since we’re pretty far away.”


“It’s because of me.” Isabella groaned. Everyone was always having to do everything for her! The rain started to fall harder, mirroring the tears that had started to stream down Isabella’s face.


“Hey, honey. Look at me. I know you want all of us to get back to the village. I agree that getting to the village might be slightly safer-” Isabella started to interrupt, so Ashlynn spoke louder, “If we were close to the village. It’s better to get under the cover of these fallen trees than to be out in the open for the amount of time it would take to get back to the village.”


“But you two could get back! You could run. It would be safer for you two to be back at the village.” Isabella contradicted. “And Whitley- you’re the Chief! We can’t let anything happen to you.”


“This is ridiculous.” Whitley rolled her eyes. “Just because I’m the Chief doesn’t mean my life is in more danger than anyone else’s.”


“But you don’t have more lives than anyone else, and we need you more than we need anyone else.”


“That’s just not true, though. Everyone here is equally important.”


“But you’re the Chief.”


“That just means I’m here to guide you. This isn’t a dictatorship. We could have a new Chief whenever anyone wanted a new Chief.”


“But we don’t want a new Chief! We want you!”


“Okay, okay!” Ashlynn interjected. “I agree that this is an important argument, but it’s an argument to have another time. In case you haven’t realized, we’re currently being rained on. Let’s get under the trees.”


Isabella stumbled over to the fallen trees and attempted to get under, but she couldn’t crouch down with these sticks. She managed to sit down, but the wet soil wouldn’t let her scooch underneath the trunks. When she glanced over at Ashlynn and Whitley, they were whispering nervously to each other.


Why can’t I do ANYTHING on my own? Isabella thought.



“How should we get her under?” Ashlynn whispered to Whitley.


“I’m not sure. Could we carry her under?”


“Maybe. We can try.” Ashlynn and Whitley walked over to Isabella to explain their idea. They managed to pick her up with Ashlynn holding her head and Whitley at her feet. They crouched down and brought her under the fallen trees, albeit clumsily.


“There are a few leaks,” Ashlynn noted.


“It’s better than out there, though. We can probably patch them up well enough with some sticks if we have to.” Whitley responded.


“Fair point. I think we should wait to see if we really need more sti-” Ashlynn was cut off by a sudden rush of water coming through one of the gaps in the trees.


“Yeah, I think we need to,” Whitley said with a laugh. Turning to Isabella, she added, “I think the best thing to do is for me and Ashlynn to gather some sticks. You could probably thread them through the trunks once we get them, though.” Isabella nodded.


Whitley and Ashlynn ducked out of the fallen trees and into the storm. They gathered sticks and passed them to Isabella, who created a solid roof. When they were done, everyone went back inside.


“See? I was right.” Ashlynn said to Isabella.


“About what?” Isabella asked


“Sometimes asking for help can be good. We’re all safe now, and we will be for the rest of the storm.”


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