Most people, when asked to define the ultimate in loneliness, say it's being alone in a crowd. And it takes only one slight difference to make one forever alone in the crowd....
n the hillside. She was trudging toward it, humming under her breath, when the worry thoughts began to reach her. (... only a little creek so I don't think she could have fallen in ... not really any bears around here ... but she never gets hurt ... creek ... bear ... twisted ankle ... dark ... cold....) She had veered from her course and started in the direction of the first thought, but now they were coming from all sides and she had no idea at all which way to go. She ran wildly then, first one way, then the other, sobbing and calling.
"Lucilla!" The voice sliced into the night, and the dark mountainside and the frightened child were gone. She shuddered a little, reminiscently, and put her hand over her eyes.
"Somebody found me, of course. And then Mother was holding me and crying and I was crying, too, and telling her how all the different thought at once frightened me and mixed me up. She ... she scolded me for ... for telling fibs ... and said that nobody except crazy