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The Roses of May / (by Dot Hutchison, 2017) -

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The Roses of May /   (by Dot Hutchison, 2017) -

The Roses of May / (by Dot Hutchison, 2017) -

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: 1 902
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The Roses of May / (by Dot Hutchison, 2017) -
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2017
:
Dot Hutchison
:
Siiri Scott, Will Damron
:
:
, ,
:
upper-intermediate
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10:10:49
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62 kbps
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m4b, pdf, doc

The Roses of May / :

.doc (Word) hutchison_dot_-_the_roses_of_may.doc [758 Kb] (c: 6) .
.pdf hutchison_dot_-_the_roses_of_may.pdf [1.37 Mb] (c: 24) .
audiobook (MP3) .


: The Butterfly Garden

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To the dangerous girls with sharp-edged smiles Her name is Darla Jean Carmichael, and she_s your first. But then, you don_t know that yet. What you know, on this fine spring day, is that it seems even God himself has gone out of his way to make her look more beautiful. She_s all innocent beauty, no artifice or vanity; it_s why you love her the way you do. Her shining blonde hair hangs down her back in heavy waves and she_s wearing her old-fashioned white Easter dress again, even has the lace gloves and starched lace hat on. Have you ever seen anything so wholesome? So pure? Even nature agrees with you today. Along either side of the bare, dusty path to the church, the grass is thick with jonquils, all yellow and white, like they could never aim higher than to match Darla Jean. Even the wild daisies are yellow and white, and most years they_re ribbons of pale lavender through the fields. This year there_s only Darla Jean. Except . . . not just Darla Jean. Her hand is looped through the arm of a young man, tucked into the crook of his elbow like it belongs there, and it doesn_t. Her hand doesn_t belong there because he isn_t you. Darla Jean is yours. Has always been yours. She_s never needed you to tell her before; she_s always just known it, the way she should, because the two of you are meant to be together, whatever others would say if they knew. Furious, heartbroken, you follow them to the small brick church, set against such an explosion of flowering trees it looks like a needlepoint. Somehow, despite the rush of emotions pounding in your ears as another heartbeat, you notice other things. In his free hand, the young man carries the basket of treats her mother asked her to take to the church, each individually wrapped for sale because the church needs a new roof before storm season. He leans into her every time she laughs. She_s laughing a lot. But that sound is yours, just like the rest of her is yours, and how could she share it with someone else? That laugh has always soothed you, teased you away from the rage that stays far too close to the surface. Now each time you hear it_high and soft, like the wind chimes on the back porch_you feel a sharp pain in your chest, a throbbing echo in your skull. They walk together into the church, and it takes you a minute or two to find a window that lets you see them clearly, without being seen in turn. She shouldn_t have to know you_re there to know what she owes you, how she ought to behave. The interior of the church is dim, full of shadows and starbursts after the bright sunlight, so you don_t immediately realize what_s happening. And then you do. All you see is blood. He_s kissing her, or she_s kissing him, faces tilted toward each other_s, the rest of them nearly a foot apart. It might be his first kiss. You know it_s hers. The first kiss that was supposed to be yours_that you_ve been waiting for all these years. But you_ve cherished her instead, knowing she_s too pure, too innocent to be sullied with such things. She was too pure. Was too innocent. You slide down the outer wall of the church, the bricks rough and painful, scraping and digging through your clothing. You_re shaking_you might be weeping. How could she? How could she do this to herself, to you? How could she let herself be tarnished? She_s worthless now, just like all those other whores out in the world, always flaunting their bodies and their smiles and their cruel, knowing eyes. You would have worshipped her to the end of your days. You love her, though. How could you not, even still? You love her enough to save her, even if you have to save her from herself. You hear the boy leave, an apology tumbling from his lips_he has to help his brothers get ready. You hear the pastor greet Darla Jean with good cheer. He tells her he has to run into town to buy cups for the lemonade_will she be all right alone? But of course she will. She_s grown up in this church. It_s never been anything but a safe place. She can_t imagine a world where that won_t always be true. As you watch the pastor walk down the path_away, and farther yet_you hear her start to sing. Her songs are yours, too, and there_s no one else to hear them now. She greets you with a smile and a laugh when you walk inside, her eyes bright. You can_t call them guileless. Not anymore. Not now that she_s lost her innocence. Her smile falters as you approach. She has the nerve to ask you what_s wrong. You know you don_t have much time_it_s less than two miles to town, and the pastor walks there and back frequently_but there_s time enough to show her. You show her everything. You promised her a life together, that you would always be there for her. You promised her the world. She threw it away. This is all her fault. You leave at a run, still seething with hurt and betrayal. Darla Jean stays behind, sprawled on the stone, her Easter dress just tatters and rags soaking up the pool of red. The jonquils you_d picked for her_a gift, and look what she_s done with it_lie scattered around her. Her eyes are wide and empty, an echo of confusion, and you_ve given her a jagged smile she can share with the world if she wants to. She can_t laugh anymore, can_t sing, can_t taint what_s yours. She can_t do anything anymore. Perhaps you didn_t mean to. Perhaps your hunting knife slipped and cut too deep. Perhaps you forgot there_s so much blood so close to the surface. Perhaps you did exactly as you meant to. She_s just another whore, after all. Now Darla Jean is dead. You didn_t know she_d be your first. You don_t know yet, but she won_t be your last, either. FEBRUARY Paperwork will, if left unattended, multiply exponentially, much like rabbits and wire coat hangers. Scowling at the newest stacks on his desk, Special Agent Brandon Eddison can_t help but wonder how they would look on fire. It wouldn_t take much. Just a flick of a match, the snick of a lighter, the corners of one or two pages in the middle so it would catch nice and evenly, and then all the papers would be gone. _If you set them on fire, they_ll just print them off again and you_ll have all of it plus the paperwork about the fire,_ says a laughing voice to his right. _Shut up, Ramirez,_ he sighs. Mercedes Ramirez_his teammate and friend_just laughs again and leans back in her chair, stretching into a long, slightly curved line. Her chair creaks in protest. Her own desk is covered in papers. Not stacks. Just covered. If he asks her for any specific piece of information, she_ll find it in under a minute, and he will never understand how. In the corner, facing their angled desks, is the lair of their senior partner, Supervisory Special Agent in Charge Victor Hanoverian. To Eddison_s disgust and amazement, all the paperwork on that desk seems to be done, sorted into colored folders. As the leader of their intrepid trio, Vic has more paperwork than either of them, and he always has it finished first. Thirty years in the Bureau does that to a person, Eddison supposes, but it_s a terrifying thought. He looks back at his own desk, at the newest stack, and grumbles as he reaches for the top pages. He has a system, one that baffles Ramirez as much as hers unnerves him, and despite the height of the pile, it doesn_t take him long to move the papers to the appropriate columns at the back of his desk, sorted by both topic and priority. They align neatly with the back edge and corners of the surface, alternating portrait and landscape within each stack. _Has a nice doctor ever talked to you about that?_ asks Ramirez. _Has A

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