That night after Ma made her scrub the floors, and after dinner of thin chicken soup with scraps of chicken from last night's dinner, the girl lay in her bed thinking about the witch woman. Maybe if she could find the woman again, she could take Papa's rifle and make the woman tell her how to make the rains come. She threw off the hot sheets and tip-toed to the open window even though there wasn't even a hint of a breeze. Staring out at the fields around the house she wondered where the woman lived. The girl hadn't ever seen the old woman before, but that didn't mean much. Marcus would've known. He always knew stuff like that. But then again he got to go into town a lot with his Pa. She only went into town to go to school. Sighing, she was about to go back to bed when she heard her Papa's voice from downstairs. It sounded like he was fighting with Ma again. They fought a lot when the rains didn't come.
She crept to her bedroom door and opened it slowly, then slid out into the hallway. When she reached the top of the stairs, she could hear her parent's voices from the kitchen.
"How dare they!" Her Ma was saying. "How dare they even think it?"
"It's been almost three months with no rain." Her Papa replied. "People was bound to start thinkin'."
"But it's absurd. She isn't even a summer child. She was born in autumn. It has to be a summer child."
"There ain't none left of proper age. Town's gotten too small."
"But can't we weather one dry year? Surely after last year's...after the rains came, the crops were bountiful and people had plenty. If we all share, we can survive one dry year." Her Ma's voice was all sharp and prickly. "And if not, why her? The Rouston's have three. Three! It isn't right."
"They ain't proper age and you know it."
"We should leave. We should've left last year."
"And go where?" Her Papa's voice was tired.
"Somewhere where we don't have to sacrifice to make the rains come."
"Hush now," the girl watched her Papa's shadow move close to her Ma's across the worn wooden floor, "there ain't no place like that. Not anymore."
The girl thought she could hear her Ma crying, but her parents didn't speak anymore, so she slipped back into her bedroom and lay down on her bed thinking about what she'd heard instead of thinking about the old woman.
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