Tuesday, 8 February 2011
A little fiction...
Just getting started. We'll see where it goes. Any of my fellow writing friends care to take the next part? Might be fun....
She looked out, her breath fogging the cold glass, obscuring her view of the outside world, and wished it were so simple to hide the emotions threatening to overtake her in that moment. She wished the rain she watched could wash away the dysfunction of the last seventeen years as easily as it washed the debris away from the porch outside.
Leaning heavily against the wall she clutched her oversized sweater, pilled from overuse, tightly around her as if to shield herself from a chill. But, the cold she felt wasn’t coming from the air. The little wood stove, crackling as if it were filled with dancing fairies and delighted with the day, saw to that. With a sigh she let the tears come and, sobbing heavily, dropped to her knees. Finally, she was ready to grieve a loss that happened weeks ago.
Oh, her precious angel, with his little rosebud mouth and glowing pink cheeks. How she loved these times with him; times when the house was quiet and she could rock with him and hum the little tune that lulled him into sleep.
Sometimes it was the only thing that worked and she’d find herself in that chair for hours. The boy was a screamer but, he was hers and she loved and protected him with a fierceness that couldn’t be rivaled.
She knew how lucky she was. Lucky to have a husband who seemed to understand when he came in from the fields at the end of the day and the morning dishes were still in the sink and there was no supper on the stove.
“That’s a fine man ya got there, Tressie,” her momma had said. “You shouldn’t be ignorin’ him the way you do. It ain’t gonna hurt nothin’ for ya to let that baby cry a little.”
But, she couldn’t. He was so small and helpless. How could just leave him lie there to scream because a dish needed to be washed or a floor swept? And, he was certainly more important than feeding those darn filthy chickens Bill insisted on having. As many farms as there were around here…
It was there he found her, humming the same sweet tune she always used to lull the boy to sleep. She seemed to have aged in the last few weeks. Perhaps though, it was the grief that made her seem that way. Standing in the doorway, feeling helpless, he internally kicked himself for thinking she was ready to be alone. How long had she sat there rocking and humming?
He wiped his sweaty palms along the sides of his jeans and looked skyward. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do,” he whispered.
Slowly, so as not to startle her, he made his way across the room and knelt beside her. He gently reached out to smooth her hair from her face and remembered a time when those sparkling green eyes used to smile at him, a time when she wasn’t broken.
She looked up then, wearing an odd expression that didn’t fit the moment.
“Oh, Bill. You’re home,” she said with a smile as she stood up. “I was just about to go fix dinner. I finally got the baby to stop cryin’, you know. Laid ‘im down for a nap and ain’t heard a peep outta him for bit now.”
“Tressie? Honey, you a’right?”
“Well, course I am silly. Why wouldn’t I be?” she replied as she smoothed her skirt and removed that favorite frumpy sweater she loved so much.
“Sweetheart, Billy’s not here. He’s been gone near six weeks now.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Bill. He’s in his cradle nappin’. Now, go wash up and I’ll have supper ready in two shakes.” With that, she marched off towards the kitchen, as if it were the most normal thing in the world.
Posted by Erica Tomlin