Tony looks bad

Tony looks bad

Marty removed the stethoscope from his ears. “Encourage fluids and keep him comfortable. There’s nothing else we can do.”

The news was grim, and Madie felt a surge of determination rise within her. She couldn’t bear the thought of losing her best friend, not now, not ever.

“I don’t care what it costs,” Madie declared firmly, her voice unwavering. “I don’t care who you have to bribe or what you have to steal. Tony can’t die. We won’t let him.”

With a nod of acknowledgment, Marty said,”The girls and I will do some research at the main library,”

Madie’s heart was heavy with worry. She knew that time was running out for Tony. With a heavy sigh, she retrieved her diary from the crate next to Tony’s cot, her thoughts swirling with fear and uncertainty.

“I’m going to get some sleep,” Madie announced, her voice tinged with exhaustion. “If anything changes, wake me.”

As she made her way down the dimly lit hallway toward her room, Madie’s mind drifted toward the promise of slumber. Fatigue weighed heavily on her limbs, and she walked with her eyes half-closed, lost in a haze of exhaustion.

But her journey was abruptly interrupted when she stumbled into the water fountain, her knee colliding painfully with the unforgiving metal. “God dammit!” Madie exclaimed, her frustration bubbling to the surface as she rubbed her wounded knee.

Feeling disoriented and irritable, Madie’s attention was drawn to the community bulletin board nearby. Her eyes landed on the fliers Evan and JT had posted, the words “Fall Festival” in bold red letters across the top.

If circumstances were different, Madie might have felt a surge of excitement at the prospect of the upcoming festival. It was a cherished tradition in Bear Country, a time when the community came together to celebrate and set aside their differences.

Lost in her thoughts, Madie failed to notice JT’s approach until he spoke, his voice startling her.

“Are you going?” JT inquired innocently, reaching out to touch Madie’s shoulder.

Startled by the unexpected contact, Madie reacted instinctively, spinning around and throwing a punch before realizing who it was.

“Hey! It’s me!” JT exclaimed, ducking to avoid another blow.

Feeling a wave of embarrassment wash over her, Madie apologized profusely, her cheeks flushing with embarrassment. “I’m sorry, JT. I didn’t mean to.”

JT waved off her apology, his tone lighthearted despite the unexpected assault. “It’s okay. No harm done.”

As they both turned their attention back to the flier, Madie couldn’t help but smile at the thought of the upcoming festival. “I love Fall Festival, don’t you?” she asked, her voice filled with genuine enthusiasm.

“Yeah,” JT agreed, glancing at his watch and realizing he was late. “I gotta go. See you later, Madie. And no more sneak attacks, okay?”

Madie nodded, watching as JT hurried off to meet Evan. As she turned her attention back to the flier, a glimmer of hope flickered in her heart. Perhaps, amidst the chaos and uncertainty, there was still room for a moment of joy and celebration.

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