What's going on now? her mother asked. Her mother was sitting at the tiny desk in the motel room while Beth did the spying. He needs to guard his wares, Beth told her. Her mother shook her head just as Miss Dazzle had done. They heard the engine churn over. Beth looked out again. I guess he's leaving. The red brake lights of Harry's truck lit up Miss Dazzle's face. For goodness sake, Miss Dazzle was saying, don't be silly, park here overnight, Harry. She was aflame from the red brake lights shining on her. Magician's scarves appeared to fly out of her hands. Her sweeping gestures left a neon trail of red in the sky. You can help guard the motel, Miss Dazzle told him. The engine switched off. Is this place dangerous? Beth asked her mother. Her mother laughed. Why does Harry need to guard us? Charlie said, She's just trying to make him feel good. Her mother laughed again. Beth turned back to the window and saw Miss Dazzle disappear into the office. She heard the screen door bounce shut. The phonograph came on. The music was turned low but it was that song again and Beth heard a big whoop that belonged to Miss Dazzle's voice. Why do you hate that song? Beth asked her mother. What song? her mother said. I don't hate any song. Beth jumped down on her soft mattress. It felt so unusual to sleep in a bed again, as if her adventure had lasted months rather than a few days. She wondered where the wild tabby went during the night.
From Lucky Strike by Nancy Zafris, pages 26-37 of the hardcover edition. Copyright Nancy Zafris 2005. All rights reserved. No part of this book maybe reproduced without written permission from the publisher, Unbridled Books.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
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