Natie wasn’t sure she wanted to be outside when the Cleaning happened, even though that was where most everyone else wanted to be most of the time. While she really wanted to see what new flowers might show up after the Cleaning was over, she wasn’t sure if she wanted to see the Hand take.
The Hand had always given before, every time she had seen it. The great, big Hand descended from above with food or toys or would rearrange something. Patty’s house had been shifted from the left side of her property to the right side when they were five. Natie had thought that was great, because it meant she could see her from her bedroom window.
But this time the Hand might take something. And if it was taken out, there was no guarantee it would ever come back. That was why Mom made her wear a backpack with the things she didn’t want to lose.
Natie became tired of hearing about it though, when the months passed and the Cleaning had not happened yet. Her shoulders hurt from carrying around that book all the time. She really wanted to talk about something else.