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May 29, 2020

Kids

   Karen swept her front porch, swinging the broom aimlessly back and forth. She wished for a hair tie; she was sweating buckets now. Her mother had made her do a bunch of chores, just because some random people that she worked with were coming over for dinner. 

Come on! Karen thought madly. Why should I be stuck doing a bunch of chores for random people I don't even know?! She angrily finished the porch, leaving behind more twigs and leaves than before.  

   She stomped inside and threw the broom in the closet. Then she stormed upstairs and dramatically huffed as she flopped onto her bed. She grabbed her phone from the bedside table, glaring at the screen as she wasted time playing a game that she didn’t even like very much.  

   "KAREN!" Karen's mother's voice loudly exclaimed from downstairs. Karen huffed and rolled her eyes, almost dislocating her eyeballs.  

   "WHAT, MOM?!!" She screamed back, not moving an inch.  

   "Come here, please," her mother yelled a few moments later, obviously surprised by Karen's rude response. Karen groaned, trying her best to make it audible to her mother. She rolled out of bed, stomping her feet as much as possible. She stood at the top of the stairs, glaring down at her mom.  

   "What?" Karen asked curtly, narrowing her eyes and folding her arms.  

   "I thought you were going to sweep the front porch," Karen's mother said, trying to keep her temper with her teenage daughter.  

   "I did," Karen said, emphasizing 'did' with a ferocious glare. Her mother squinted at her, an expression mixed with hurt, surprise, and disapproval.  

   "I think you need to go and cool off in your room for a little while," her mother said quietly and patiently.  

   "FINE!" Karen exploded, spinning on her heel and storming back to her room. She jumped on her bed, pummeling the pillows and stuffed animals that smiled up at her from her bed. Angry tears flooded her eyes, and she painfully pressed her knuckles into her eye sockets. She wasn't even sure if she could've explained why she was so mad, but it just felt good to be angry at someone. She crossed her arms and her legs, sitting against the wall next to her bed, glaring into blank space. 

   Suddenly, there was a knock on her window. She glared at it so hard that she hurt her eyes. Karen ignored the noise, turning away from the window. A moment later, another knock sounded. Karen shoved her face in a pillow, more angry tears flowing, a slight shiver running down her spine.   

A third knock sounded, and this time, the sound chilled Karen's bones. She shuddered and hid under her comforter on her twin bed. A fourth knock, and she plugged her ears as hard as she could, her heart beating wildly. Then, she stayed silent, not moving a muscle, hoping the knocking would go away. For a second, she thought it had, so she stood up, and crept toward the window. She was bravely hoping to catch a glimpse of whatever must be on her roof, scaring her. She crouched down, right under the window, and jumped up in a flash, ripping open her blinds and flinging open the window. First, she looked left, so she didn’t notice the white animal that crawled into her bedroom on the right side of her window. Then she looked right and saw nothing but rows of houses and trees. She chuckled lightly to herself, feeling silly and having not noticed that the knocking had distracted her from her anger. 

    She shut the window and turned around, ready to flop back into her bed. Then, she froze. She couldn’t flop onto her bed, because there was already something sitting on it.  

     Karen’s eyes widened to the size of tea saucers and she stared at the white creature on her bed. Its soft eyes stared back at her, unblinking. Its fur was very fluffy, and it had large ears and boack hooves on the ends of knobbly-kneed, scrawny legs. It was a lamb. Lambs normally were seen as meek and cute, but this one had a strange, majestic aura to it.   

    Karen slowly approached the gentle creature, holding out a shaking hand. She got close enough to touch it, and then gently pet its head. Its soft, silky fur was unlike anything she’d ever touched before. She stepped closer to her bed and sat next to it, petting its head. It continually looked up at Karen, its eyes gentle but somehow calculating. Then it did what animals only do in stories. It spoke. 

“Greetings, child,” It said. Its voice was deep, but not strangely deep. It was warm, like you could grab it and wrap yourself up in it like a blanket. Although it was kind, it frightened Karen.  

“Do not be afraid,” The lamb instructed. 

“Who are you, and what are you doing here?” Karen asked, her voice shaking. She was shocked and scared that she was talking to a farm animal in her bedroom. 

“I think you know the answer to both those questions, Karen,” It said after a moment, looking at her knowingly. Under normal circumstances, she would’ve been terrified that he knew her name, but instead she just looked back at it guiltily.  

“Speak your thoughts, child,” It said, not unkindly. 

“I... I don’t know. I was just...Ugh,” she stuttered, pushing her face into her pillow again.  

“You were just mad, and your temper got out of control?” It asked, as if reading her mind. Karen nodded; her face still buried. "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits,” the lamb said.  

I’ve heard that before... Karen thought. But where?  

    She turned to ask her newfound friend about what it had said, but it was already gone.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

    Karen’s mother walked up the steps, praying she could talk and get through to her daughter. Then she walked into Karen’s room and found her sitting on her bed, staring at the wall.  

“Karen?” She asked quietly. Karen jumped slightly and turned around. Karen’s mother had expected an angry face, tearstained and hurt. It was tearstained, but her eyes were soft and there was a slight smile to her lips. A moment of tense silence passed, then Karen jumped out of her bed and ran to hug her mother.  

“I’m so sorry!” She cried, burying her face in her mother’s shirt. “I never should’ve been mean to you! I was just grumpy, and I’m very sorry!” Karen said softly. Her mother stroked her daughter’s head, surprised at her change of heart.  

“It’s alright, honey. I love you,” She whispered. Karen choked a little and said,  

“Love you too, Mom!” 

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