While the Northern Flock had to be quiet to survive, the herd played music in order to live.
Caleb’s hand found mine. “Dance with me?” he asked, but I hated my answer.
“I can’t.” My confession came with my wrecked knee. With one gesture, Caleb seemed to understand, but as he turned his eyes to his herd—to Britney prancing around with Plato, to Kat covering her ears, to Yasir holding Hanna with his protective gloves between them—Caleb pulled me up to my feet.
“Let me do it for you,” he said, and then, he lifted me up and placed me on the tops of his boots.
As he swayed, I saw the sunburn on the tops of his cheeks, the sand in his hair, the sea salt on his skin. Then, his chapped lips as he managed a shaky smile. For once, Caleb looked disheveled, and I had never liked him more.
“That’s some crew you have,” he said, but I hadn’t noticed anyone else in the world around us until he spun.
Life-sized shadows—dozens of them—danced all around us, and I recognized their shapes as people I would always know. Blake and his teddy bear. Floyd’s stretched limbs, and Ami’s swinging braids. Even Adam’s speed.
Alive or dead, the shadows of every member of my own flock joined in on the dance of a herd, and my heart fluttered at the sight.
Losing control had never felt so great.
Neither had a storm descending down upon us.