The woman we called Mam shivered like she did, not from cold, but more like it was a thing that crept along the edges, fearsome in ways me ‘n Sammie ne’er could comprehend.

Not by a lick.

What Pa seen in the ole hag escaped me, even with my newfound knowing the way of things. Pa’d made do but I wasn’t him, I had standards now.

Sammie, well I wasn’t sure about her, not being right in the head ‘n all.

“Your chores done, boy, or do ya think ya gots all day long to tend to ‘em?” She brandished the willow stick, the one what cuts sharpish. We both had our fair share, Sammie more on her behind than me, her being broad beamed, like our boat useta be. Back when we lived by the sea and Pa still laughed and joked and teased.

I asked, like I did most days, “Will he be home soon, do ya think?” That got a shrug. The ole bat didn’t much care. She had a roof and a fire and us to tend to her whims, of which she had aplenty.

I’m coming seventeen so they’d be after me next. Cannon fodder Pa’d called it, but he’d gone to do his duty, leaving me to see to my sister.

Our ridge was prickly with skinny shadows that laced the fresh snow, dark, light, dark. Sammie was at the rear window, looking out to the sun like it was a promise.

She smiled so bright it hurt to look and nodded to the tracks.

He’d come again. To give her hope and that gentle bulge to her belly.

I fingered the blade, content now that he’d see to her, mayhap bring back light to her eyes.

For that, I need do just this last thing…

About Nya Rawlyns

Crossing boundaries, taking no prisoners. Write what’s in your soul. It’s the bass beat, the heartbeat, the lyrics rude and true. Nya Rawlyns is the pseudonym of a writer who cut her teeth on sports-themed romantic comedy and historical romances before finding her true calling in the wilderness areas she has visited but calls “home” in that place that counts the most: the heart. She has lived in the country and on a sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay, earned more than 1000 miles in competitive trail and endurance racing, taught Political Science to unwilling freshmen, and found an avocation in materials science. When she isn’t tending to her garden or the horses, the cats, or two pervert parakeets, she can be found day dreaming and listening to the voices in her head.
This entry was posted in Spindles and tagged , short fiction, Spindles. Bookmark the permalink.

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