organ had to admit it was one of the softest landings she had yet experienced. She opened her eyes to a swirl of yellow and brown and then fell into what seemed to be a giant mattress.

Lying on her back in a deep pile of loose straw, she looked up into a blinding shaft of early morning light that swirled with dust particles. Nearby she heard the snorting and whinnying of horses, the mooing of cows, and then a loud, echoing laugh that drowned out everything else. She closed her eyes to concentrate on its message.

Heat and light I give to thee. Life is better due to me.

The clue! One that sounded half way easy. Morgan repeated the words to herself. Heat and light I give to thee. Life is better due to me. She committed the words to memory as she pushed herself into a sitting position and looked around. Courtney and Collin crawled out of the hay beside her, their hair and clothes covered with straw.

"Where are we?" Courtney asked before she sneezed.

"A hayloft in a smelly old barn, I think," Collin said. "Better watch your feet," he added as he climbed out of the hay and down a wooden ladder to the rain-slickened ground. "There's no telling whether that's mud on the ground or something the cows and horses left behind."

"That's gross, Collin," Courtney said as she looked at the pigeons roosting along with chickens and doves on the barn's wooden crossbeams. As she climbed down the ladder, the birds were cooing, clucking and crowing above her. "Better watch your head, too," she muttered to herself as a few fluttered their wings, flew down to the ground and pecked at the soggy hay near their feet.

 
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