A Christmas Star Blitz

As Althea reached up
to touch Betty’s arm, her long

sleeved shirt
revealed a bruise on her forearm.
“Yes.”

“What happened to
your arm?” Noelle asked as calmly as she co
uld while suspicion rolled through her in a wave of
unease.
Althea glanced at
Betty.
“She’s fine, just a
little clumsy, that’s all,” said Betty, waving away Noelle’s concern.

“You hit Nana
there,” said Silas, moving closer to Noelle. “I saw you.”
“Why, you little …
You know that didn’t happen. That’s where I helped her up from another fall.”
Silas clasped
Noelle’s hand and shook his head. “Adults aren’t supposed to lie.”
Noelle knelt down in
front of Althea’s wheelchair and spoke softly. “Althea, you can trust me. I’m a registered nurse
who helps the elderly where I live in New
England. Are you being hurt?”
Althea looked at
Betty, turned back to Noelle, and nodded. Then she lift
ed her shirt. Bruises were
everywhere.
Noelle scrambled to
her feet and faced Betty, her hands fisted.
The burning desire to attack the awful woman was
almost overwhelming. Through gritted teeth, Noelle said, “I would suggest you pack up your
things and leave now, Betty, or I’m calling the authorities.”
“You wouldn’t
dare!” snarled Betty.
“I would, I can, and I
will,” said Noelle, flexing her fists. The abuse of the elderly wasn’t new, but each time she saw
an example, it made her sick to her stomach.

Noelle turned to
Silas. “You stay here with your great

grandmother. I’m going inside to make sure Mrs.
Wickstrom leaves.”