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Fell Fire
Jan 29, 2012


What the hey, I'm in.

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Fell Fire
Jan 29, 2012


Waking (375 words)

When light filtered through the windows, she roused. The bed was cold, even with all of the old woolen blankets piled on top. She reached over drowsily, but the other half of the bed was empty. That woke her. Sitting up, she took a few deep breaths, then rose and pulled her robe around herself. Her entire body felt sore and stiff, muscles aching, joints locking as she straightened her legs and rubbed her hands against the cold.

Quietly, she walked the few feet to the crib in the corner near the door. Inside, the baby squirmed, little eyes peeking open. He was crying, although she had only just now noticed it. She picked him up in her arms, holding him gently against her breast. His scrawny frame hugged against hers, taking in a little nourishment from her breast. Slowly, he quieted and fell asleep.

Pushing through the thin curtain dividing the bed from the rest of the homestead, she came into the small kitchen-cum-parlor. She lit the wood stove, smiling slightly as she felt the heat begin to radiate. Picking up the rusty pail near the door and, bracing herself, she stepped out into the Autumn morning.

There was still dew on the grass; her breath froze in the air. She walked the thirty-four steps to the well, primed the pump, and filled the pail. Looking over, she could see her husband sitting on a stump at the edge of the field they had so struggled to clear, watching dawn rise over the mountains, wisps of breath rising from him at small intervals. She walked over next to him, brushing off a place for her to sit on the stump.

His eyes were bloodshot, dark bags hung below them. He was stooped, his hands weather-cracked. Still, when she smiled at him, he smiled at her. She brushed her fingers through the holes in his tattered overcloak, worn and patched with years of use. She shivered. He pulled the cloak off one of his shoulders, wrapping it around her. They hold each other, keeping each other warm, watching the beginning of a sunny day. At last, she spoke:

“Come on, I'll make you a pot of coffee and we'll get started on the day.”

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