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Posts Tagged ‘fiction’

The horse and rider paused at the crest of the hill.

“Should we take the wagon trail home or cut through the coulee, Mari-bell?” Sarah asked unsure of her own mind.  If they took the wagon trail, it would take her another 5 miles to reach the ranch, an easy ride in good weather like it had been that morning but potentially deadly in the inclement weather which had suddenly appeared.  She wasn’t prepared for this.

It had been unusually mild weather for January, like a spring day – they called these warm winds Chinooks she’d been told. They were “snow eaters,” that lasted from hours to days.  Water had been dripping from the barn roof forming streamlets and pockets of water on her path to the barn.  She side-stepped numerous puddles on the way to retrieve her little golden mare with creamy mane and tail.  Mari-bell had nickered her usual soft greeting when Sarah opened the barn door.

She had loved Mari-bell from the first moment she’d laid eyes on her.   Her father had threatened to sell her at first.  “Too small for any of the ranch hands,” he’d said but Sarah rallied for the little palomino.  “The horse has a huge heart,” he’d admitted after seeing the girl and horse work cattle.  “She won’t quit until the job’s done and did everything and more that you asked of her Sarah!”  The girl and horse had an unnatural bond he figured after seeing how the two responded to one another. In the end, he relented and gave the mare to his daughter. It was a rarity not to see the horse and girl together now-a-days.

Mari-bell perked her ears forward and arched her neck over the edge of the stall as Sarah approached.  “Too warm for this thick woolen sweater Mother knit for me at Christmas that’s for sure Mari-bell,” Sarah crooned to the horse as she shed her jacket then removed the heavy sweater and hung it on the peg by the stall.  “A long sleeved shirt and jacket are all I’ll need today.”  She grinned as she pat the horse on the side of the neck, led her to the door of the barn, mounted and trotted away from the ranch toward the school.

How she wished she still had that sweater now! (more…)

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Spark of Life

“I’ll not be left here.”

“She speaks and, with stern words at that, Chin!”

Xheng’s eyes widened.  It was the first sentence Amarelle had spoken. The Captain relieved Amarelle of her abusive captor, the Preacher, almost a fortnight ago but she’d fallen into a mute silence after being rescued. He noticed a spark of life in her eyes.  Stiffness in her stance fore told a stubborn determination to have her way in this discussion.

“You are still too weak for a voyage over the ocean to the Canada’s, Amarelle,” Chin spoke his words softly and carefully so as not to cause the girl duress.

“I’ll not stay!” Amarelle stated with forceful intent.

“Well, she’s correct in thinking she can’t stay Chin!  The moment we are gone the Preacher will be claiming her once again and we can’t have that.  Gather up what tinctures you can for her and all the cheese, fat meats and bread makings you can to get her weight up while we journey.  Then procure some proper foot wear and clothing for the girl. She will be relegated to the Captain quarters while we sail.”

Smith gave Amarelle a quick once over.  The girl, although healing, was frail.  Outward bruising had disappeared but she had not overcome the trauma she’d endured at the Preacher’s hands.

“Deny her nothing Chin. Take her with you to gather her needs.  I suggest you hurray we leave on the tide come morning light.” (more…)

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Vultures

Vultures – Chapter 2

Vultures – Chapter 3

Vultures – Chapter 4

Vultures – Chapter 5

Whispering Leaves

 

Vesta sat cross-legged near a grove of red willow and weaved a basket from their flexible stripped branches.  In this basket, she would carry any collected red bark back to the settlement.  The medicinal properties of the bark were much needed to subdue fevers, aches and pains during the outbreak of the springtime influenza which the colonies residents were now suffering. (more…)

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Amarelle

Amarelle’s eyes filled with knowing and fear upon hearing disembodied words that intoned those of Nell.  She shrunk from the sound of her kind mentor’s out-of-body voice as it spoke to her and her alone – words unheard by others who were not gifted at hearing the spirits beyond.  To Amarelle, Nell’s soft sounding voice seemed like a merciless sting.  One could only feel a stab like that if they had conscience then acted against it.   Guilt’s vice like grip clenched at Amarelle’s stomach causing her to lurch forward.  It made her feel sick.  (more…)

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Earlier, he’d pursed his lips, tossed the newspaper aside and decided that even though the state of the world was depressed, he could still improve his grammar.   The word of the day was weltscherz; a noun meaning sentimental pessimism, sorrow that one feels and accepts as one’s necessary portion in life. (more…)

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