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Standing in the Tide 

"She is not getting any better," Father Donnelly said once he had closed the door to the bedroom. Susanna closed her eyes. Hank clenched his fist.

"It's time we do something," Hank said. 

Susanna could feel the storm that was about to break in the hallway of the cottage. She mumbled something about checking on the children outside and headed for the stairs.

The reverend knew this argument was due. They had reviewed the options already, two days ago, when Alice first got sick. They couldn't risk going back to the city, or calling help to come here. Any doctor in the nearest town would only send her to the hospital; she clearly needed treatment of some kind. 

Fevers, vomiting, hallucinations. Strange bruising would appear and disappear all over her body.

They couldn't take her to a hospital, though. Max had been clear about that when the plan had been made to come here. No contact with the system in any way. Even Max didn't know their exact location. He said he would call when it was safe. 

Hank knew all of that, but Donnelly knew they were still going to argue about it. Because of Max. Donnelly trusted him, Hank didn't. And now Alice's health, maybe her life, hung in the balance.

He already knew everything Hank was going to say, most likely yell. He also knew that Hank used to have problems with anger; he hoped nothing bad was about to happen. He would let Hank have the argument though, because even though everything had already been said, even though nothing would change - the group had decided to wait - sometimes you still needed to have the fight anyway. 

Hank looked at the reverend, eyes hard and cold.

Johannesberg called up from downstairs. "Father! Milligan says there's a vehicle coming up the lane!"