MICHAEL K. REYNOLDS 3
Clare was disappointed to see the task of brushing his hairwas yet undone.Ronan pointed up above and glared at Davin. “Don’t bemaking the Almighty angry when you’re standing next to me.”The seriousness in his command made Clare smile. But howmuch longer would Ronan get to rule over his brother? Withhis lame leg, it was just a matter of time before Davin would bestrong enough to assert himself.Caitlin joined them, her wavy blonde hair draping over thefront of her faded yellow dress. The dress was the one UncleTomas gave Clare as her sixteenth birthday present, and when itno longer fit, Caitlin adopted it as if it were brand new.When her uncle was still alive, he always was kind to them,bringing gifts and sharing fanciful stories of fairies, ghosts, andfaraway lands. For years, Clare didn’t know why this would makeher father angry, but as she grew older, she recognized it as envy.In speaking about Clare’s father and uncle, Grandma Ellahad shared how the two fought since they were boys. “Jacob andEsau had nothing on these ones, I tell you.” Her grandmotheralways saw life through a veil of Scripture.Standing a few inches above Ronan and Davin, Caitlinreached out her arms in expectation and soon they all wereclasping hands in a circle.Clare glanced over her shoulder at her mother, who was in achair knitting the same scarf she had been working on for nearlytwo years. “Ma. Are you going to join us?”“Hmm?” Ida looked up with a weary, troubled face. “What?How’s that?” Her expression darkened. “No. I have no desirefor praying.”“As you wish.” Clare bristled but tried not to show it. Sheheard the same sentiment almost every day since her youngestbrother drowned as a toddler.