The Second Bridge, Coda, pt5 (end)

Short?  Sure it is.  Abrupt?  I don’t think so.  Lampshade hung?  I thought I did, both in the main story and this coda.

Consider:  the “short” story of ‘The Second Bridge’ came in at 11.4k words.  This “little” bonus ending is 4900 words.  Sometimes, no matter how interesting these people are, I need to walk away for other projects.

To wit:  my copyeditor has returned the 2nd edition of ‘Echoes of Family Lost.’  This weekend shall be spent implementing those changes.  I tell you:  no matter how you might prize your storytelling, when an editor hands back a manuscript – that you thought was fine – essentially bleeding red ink… it’s an incredibly humbling experience.

Thanks, everyone, for reading about Henge and her families.  I hope you love them all as much as I do.  After this weekend’s editing, we’ll be off again!

Lauren and Henge coasted their bikes to a stop just next to the mailbox of the Hartmann farm. Henge put her feet down and looked to her friend before dismounting.

“You’ve an odd look on your face, friend Lauren,” she observed.

“Was thinking about when we met, over a year ago now!”

Henge’s smile was small.

“That was an… active two days!”

“Yeah!”

Now Henge swung her leg over and made to push her bicycle up the gravel drive.

“Need help?” Lauren called.

Henge paused and looked back.

“I’m not an invalid.”

“Didn’t say you were,” Lauren countered. “But…”

She looked pointedly at the slight bulge to Henge’s belly.

“She’s fine, friend Lauren. Both you and my husband fret far too much!” She slowly blinked her golden eyes. “Once inside, I promise we’ll rest for a bit. We will dream together.”

Lauren didn’t even pretend she understood that phrase.

“I know how busy your mom is with your kid brother. If you or Faustina need anything, let me know!” She gave a small wave and pushed down on the pedals, headed home.

Henge watched her trail off east into the emergent twilight. She took her left hand from the handlebars and touched below where a human would have had a navel.

‘We’re home, Aurelia,’ Henge felt, not thought.

‘Mama…’

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