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Chapter Two

"I [the Lord] was a stranger, and ye took Me in... I was in prison, and ye came unto Me... Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me."
~ Matthew 25:35, 36, 40 ~

The next morning, Abby woke up to the sound of activity coming from the kitchen. Groggily, she turned over in bed and squinted at the clock on her nightstand. Seeing that she had slept in, Abby put on her robe and went to the kitchen.

There, she found John holding a medium sized cardboard box, while Izumi was collecting things to stick into it.

"Plates, cups, utensils, paper towels," said Izumi, verbalizing her list out loud. "Shampoo, toilet paper, soap... am I missing anything, Dear?" she asked John.

"You have everything in here but the kitchen sink," he laughed.

"I just want to make sure he'll have everything he needs," remarked Izumi, seriously.

"Who'll have everything he needs?" asked Abby with a yawn.

"Good morning, Sweetheart," greeted John, shifting his load to the other arm. "Your mother and I are letting someone rent the little yellow house."

"But," protested Abby, now fully wide awake, "I thought you said I could turn it into a studio!"

"Someone else needs the house more than you do," said Izumi. "Maybe you could set up your easel in the living room," she suggested.

"I suppose so," sighed Abby, disappointedly. "Who am I losing out to?" she inquired, fixing herself a bowl of cereal.

"His name is Jake Murphy," said John. "When he arrives here next Monday, your Mom and I want you to leave him alone."

"Why?" asked Abby, munching her cereal.

"Jake has spent the last nine years in the state penitentiary," answered John, soberly.

Abby choked on her breakfast.

"You mean, an ex-convict?" she exclaimed, disbelievingly.

"He'll be out on parole," explained Izumi, placing a handful of clean dishcloths into the box.

"What did he do... rob a bank?" asked Abby.

"He killed his father," replied John.

Abby sank into a kitchen chair and buried her face in her hands. She couldn't believe what she was hearing.

"You're going to let a murderer rent our sweet little yellow house?!" she cried.

"To be fair, it sounded like it was self-defense," added John.

"And Sheriff Peterson said that Jake became a Christian while in prison," said Izumi, consolingly.

"Mom," argued Abby, "that kind of person will say anything to get out!"

continued on next page...
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One of my longtime readers, Myra Valcourt, has created a Facebook group just for you! "The Works of Judith Bronte" offers a forum to discuss the stories and characters, and a way to get to know other readers. I hope to see you there!