PHOEBE RECOVERS FROM HER VISIT TO THE FOREST
The next day, Phoebe was astonished to find herself back working at the toy store. It hardly seemed possible that something so intense, so strange, as her visit to the forest, could happen without disrupting the routine of her universe. Yet there she was, sitting behind the cash register.
She knew something had happened that was beyond her understanding, but her intuition told her that it was good -- very, very good. Yet even in her happiness Phoebe was worried. “I’m supposed to be doing things,” she thought, “but what exactly? I don’t really understand the woman in my vision. Calling her Sophia doesn’t help me much. What did the old man say?”
She thought back to the conversation in the cave, and remembered the old man had replied, “Yes, that’s Her, our leader in this great struggle, the crisis of our time. We have a leader when we need one the most, a champion for the earth.” And he had advised Phoebe to bring her questions to Reverend Tuck. “I need help,” Phoebe thought. “I’m in over my head. I’m supposed to have some special talent, but I don’t know what to do next. I can’t even find Abby a job or a safe place to live.”
She was aware that Jeremy too was focused on himself. They’d smiled at each other, but had barely spoken that morning as they followed Chi Chi out of the forest. They bid each other good-by with a warm hug, but without a word. Phoebe had expected something more from Jeremy, some curiosity about her experience, some effort to get together and talk; but she supposed he felt as overwhelmed as she did, and would take a few days to return to normal. She longed to follow up on their idea of creating a team of detectives to help Abby and defend Middletown and the forest from what looked like a hostile takeover. But all that would have to wait for another day.