The Girl God Rescued Bonus Stories

Sally lay on top of her bedcovers,
fists clenched and every muscle tense. Her heart pounded, and her brown eyes
widened. She stared through the glass sliding doors and out over the beach to
the ocean, listening. A wave built up before her like a giant wall. It
glistened green in the moonlight, tossed up bubbles and foam, and then tumbled
down upon itself. Woosh! It hit the sand and surged forward, sweeping up around
the cluster of palm trees just beyond her room. She held her breath. Finally
the wave thinned into a sheet of water edged with bubbles and flowed backward
into the ocean.

Sally sighed, thankful that it
hadn’t flooded under the door, encircled her bed and carried her away. Five
seconds later another wave built up. Moonlight shot through the back of it. The
wave trembled and hovered. Woosh! It hit the sand and rushed up the beach.

Her heart pounding, Sally had never
felt so frightened. She sat upright in bed and stared at a new wave forming not
far away.

“Here comes another one,” she cried
into the dark room. Sally glanced over at 5-year-old Alice, who slept soundly
in her bed across the room. She sprang to her feet and ran through the door
that opened into a hall. She had to get away before the ocean swallowed her.

A light shone through the bottom of
the door in the laundry room. Sally opened it and looked in. Janet, the maid,
stood hunched over an ironing board. Her hands worked quickly as she passed the
iron back and forth over a bedsheet. “What are you doing up?” she asked, when
she noticed Sally in the doorway.

“I can’t sleep,” Sally replied. She
wanted to tell Janet that she felt afraid of the giant green waves that leaped
and crashed beyond her glass doors. “I’m not tired,” she said, flopping onto
the floor. Tears threatened to spill over her eyes and splash onto her cheeks.

“Let me iron,” Sally said, wiping
her eyes and standing up. If I help with the work, maybe she won’t make me go
to bed,
she thought.

“Just for a few minutes,” Janet
said, staring at her.

Sally ironed the pillowcase as she had
seen Janet do many times before. She folded it neatly and picked up another
from the laundry basket.

She began thinking about how her
siblings would react if they were in her place. The 14-year-old twins, Glenn
and Lynn, aren’t afraid,
she thought. They jump waves every day. She pictured
Glenn with his red hair and freckles bursting over a wave top and Lynn’s shock
of blond hair flying. Bob, who was only a year and a half older than she, lived
for the high-surf days. Anita spends most of the time in her room with the door
shut like most 16-year-old girls, and Alice and Grover are too young to
understand the massive power of a wave.

“What’s going on here?” Mother
said, entering the room and looking at Sally, who stood folding a pillowcase.

“She can’t sleep,” Janet explained.
“I’m sure I can, however. Good night.”

“Father and I gave you the room
facing the ocean because we know you love the water so much.” Mother reminded

“The waves are so loud,” Sally
mumbled, wiping a tear from her cheek.

“I’m sorry I haven’t been home
evenings lately,” Mother added. “Father has a government contract to make
special airplane parts. He has a talent for this work, but it does take up a
lot of time. You can sleep here tonight,” Mother said, leading Sally to the guest
room at the back of the house.

“Thank you, Mother,” Sally said,
snuggling into the blankets.

The next day Sally hurried home
after school. She dumped her schoolbooks onto her bed and ran into the
recreation room. “Wow,” Sally said, looking at a large stack of books on the

Alice ran into the room, tossing
her blond curls. The girls pulled up a couple of chairs and sat down. Sally
read a note that sat on the table. “Meet your new friend, the ocean. Love,

Sally and Alice leafed through the
books one by one. “The ocean is full of creatures,” Sally said, looking at
Alice. “There are sharks, seals, things that creep and slither, and zillions of

It would be a great adventure to
see them, but the ocean is so big and wild,” Sally said, closing her book. She
picked up another book entitled Ocean Facts. This book was published last year.
It should give me the latest information,
Sally thought. She read for a long

“Supper’s ready,” Anita announced,
poking her head through the open doorway. “Hurry up. Ethel is a good cook, and
she doesn’t like fixing food for people who show up late.”

When the girls entered the dining
room, their four brothers were already seated at the table. As soon as Anita
said the blessing the boys grabbed for the bowls of hot food and filled their

“Did you guys know that there are
two high tides and two low tides every day?” Sally said, smiling at her
brothers and sisters. “God put the sand as a boundary for the ocean. It’s a
barrier that the waves can’t cross.”

“Don’t worry,” Glenn said. “Those
waves won’t reach out and gobble you up. Tides rise and fall in a predictable

“Otherwise this house would be
washed away and you with it,” Lynn added, yanking one of Sally’s braids.

“People feel afraid of what they
don’t understand,” Anita stated, pushing back a strand of her long, black hair.
“When I was 10, I was scared of quite a few things.”

“But now she’s 16 and knows
everything,” Glenn teased. The three big boys leaped to their feet and
scrambled out the door. Sally could hear the basketball pounding the court.

“Better get your homework done
before you devour those books,” Anita bossed. “Come on, Grover, 6-year-old boys
need their beauty sleep.”

“Knowing that the waves won’t wash
us away makes you happy,” Alice said to Sally as they headed for the recreation
room. They grabbed a book each and continued to read and study the pictures.

Two hours later the girls ran to
the bedroom and snuggled into the covers. Outside a wave hit the sand, but
Sally only smiled. It can come only so far up the beach. I don’t have to be
she thought.

Every day, after school, Sally
walked along the ocean’s edge. She imagined creatures crawling and creeping and
zooming through the water. Several weeks later she felt brave enough to wade in
up to her knees. Soon she splashed in shallow water where waves turned to foam.
Before long Bob took her out and taught her to dive through waves when the surf
was very calm. Her fear of the ocean evaporated slowly like the morning fog
beneath the summer sun.

The school year passed quickly. On
her next birthday Sally turned 11. Aunt Ann, her Mother’s sister, came for a
visit. She gave Sally six beautiful Florida shells. Sally spent hours looking
at murex spines, opening and closing clams, and running her fingers over the
slick surface of a cowrie shell.

One afternoon, just before summer
vacation began, Glenn, Lynn, Bob, and Grover burst into the girls’ room. “Get
up. We’re moving. We’re going to live in a tent.”

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