"No, ma'am, Mama. No, ma'am, Mama." Tears met snot above my lips. Tiny streams blended at my gasping mouth, and droplets flew into the air. The room swirled and rocked. Floorboards, chair legs, my own legs and feet swept in and out of my view. The white blouse I was wearing lost its backbone, got damp and limp. "No, ma'am," I said, as she let me fall to the floor, wet and red and shaking.
from This Side of the Sky: A Novel by Elyse Singleton, Copyright © 2002 Blue Hen Books, a member of Penguin Putnam, Inc., used by permission.
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