Five hours later, just before dawn, Aggie was still sleeping as Rhea, clenching the spider loosely in her hand, snuck back into her bedroom through the window. She tiptoed over to Aggie, whose sleeping body was twisted in dream. She pulled a Kleenex from a box by the bed and settled the spider into it.
“Stay there.” she whispered, “Stay there until my sister wakes up.”
Realizing she was talking to a spider, she shook her head and folded the tissue over the spider and tucked it next to Aggie’s pillow. She went to bed. She fell right asleep.
The spider wriggled out of the tissue and wobbled to the corner of the bed where Aggie’s green jacket hung from a post.
Five hours later, just before dawn, Aggie was still sleeping as Stel put the green jacket on her and tucked her into the back seat of the family’s Acura. Rhea snuggled into a pillow in the front passenger seat. Stel loaded them down with pop tarts, peanut butter, a thermos of orange juice, Triscuits and a jelly jar full of water and a ziploc baggie of kitty kibble for Poo, who was asleep in Aggie’s lap. Steve started the car. Stel leaned in and kissed him. “Try and get back by four.”
“We’ll make it by then, easy.” He kissed her back.
Stel shook Rhea a little, this was important, “You Dad’s going to be busy so watch your sister.”
“I will.” Rhea promised then Stel added, “And bring back some of Joe’s rellanos.”
“OK.” Rhea promised again.
Stel kissed her fingers then touched the Saint Christopher medal that hung from the rear view mirror. She waved as the car drove off.