By Enola Jones

Reading words written on a page was getting easier every day. Buck's friend Patrick sent Ezra an entire trunk of books, and Vin had an entire trunk to practice on.

Shakespeare had given him fits until Ezra had stumbled onto a paper that said they were plays meant to be performed. Reading Shakespeare out loud was much easier.

Chaucer was also easier out loud. Read to himself, they were just a pile of letters. Out loud, they were transformed into unexpectedly ribald poetry.

Vin had laughed out loud more than once at Chaucer and at Ezra's, "What does that mean? -- No, know what? I don't even want to know!" and "The man's spelling is atrocious...."

Reading was getting easier all the time. But writing that was something he struggled with terribly. He wondered often if it wasn't because he was an adult, and just not used to making his muscles work that way.

But whenever he felt like giving up, Ezra would be there encouraging him. Not letting him despair.

And slowly the bud of desire and ability bloomed and Vin learned how to write.

A notebook Patrick had sent slowly became filled with Vin's original and hauntingly beautiful poetry.

In Vin's own spidery handwriting.


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