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Chapter Six
The Trouble with Clouds

"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."
~ Galatians 6:2 ~

When Abby woke up Saturday morning, she opened her bedroom window and looked out at the overcast morning sky. There was a hint of thunder in the distance, making it improbable that she would be able to do any fishing that day. Abby's eyes followed the horizon of the bay, until they rested on the little yellow house. When she remembered the conversation with Dr. Jacoby the night before, Abby frowned.

"How in the world did I get myself roped into seeing a psychiatrist?" she wondered out loud, and shook her head in disbelief.

After getting dressed, Abby went down the hall to her parents' room and found her mother still asleep in bed. Quietly, she went to the kitchen to fix breakfast.

"Great," she sighed gloomily, after finding the cereal box empty. "Guess I had better run to the store."

The supermarket wasn't far, so Abby decided to walk, instead of taking her jeep. Quietly closing the front door behind her so she wouldn't wake up Izumi, Abby made her way down the walk and to the main road. She glanced at the little yellow house as she passed it, wondering if Jake was awake, or not. Zipping up her parka to stay dry from the light morning drizzle, Abby walked down the side of the road to the supermarket.

Vacationers who had been expecting their stay to be warm and dry, shivered about in hot weather clothing, unprepared for this cool snap. Large pools of rainwater dotted the highway, leveling out the uneven road with shimmering mirrors of the gray sky overhead.

Just as the young woman was taking in all these observations, a clam unexpectedly plummeted to the ground directly in front of her. Abby looked skyward and was greeted by the cry of an angry bird, warning her away from his meal.

"A Herring gull," observed Abby, stepping aside so the bird could claim his meal.

She watched as the gray mantled gull swooped down and greedily ate the smashed contents of the shattered clamshell. Further up the road, Abby saw another gull, dropping a clam onto the hard paved surface, trying to crack open its next meal. As the gull descended to eat its hard-fought breakfast, a car sped by, narrowly missing the bird. With a shiver, Abby inhaled the chilly air and resumed her walk.

Because it was early in the day, the supermarket was fairly empty. After Abby had found what she was looking for, she went to the checkout. To her annoyance, the cashier was Mrs. Kelsey, a local busybody.

"Good morning, Abby," greeted the woman, pleasantly. "How are your parents? I hear your mother is going to have a baby."

Before Abby had a chance to reply, the cashier glanced back to see a lone customer coming through the store doors.

"Here he comes again," announced Mrs. Kelsey.

"Who?" asked Abby, her eyes following Mrs. Kelsey's stare.

"That man," the cashier replied with disdain. "The one your father is renting his house to. Honestly, Abby, I think John should have his head examined for allowing a man like that, to live in our community. Did you know," she asked in a hushed whisper, "that he's a homosexual?"

"He isn't either," replied Abby, flatly.

"He comes from the Watertown State Penitentiary, doesn't he?" affirmed Mrs. Kelsey. "I heard that men go in straight, but come out homosexuals. Do you want this double-bagged?"

continued on next page...
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