Things are slowing down a bit from the hectic pace I kept through Christmas. I do have a New Year's party coming up, and that should be it for awhile.
In case I didn't already say it, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
This snippet follows right from last Friday's.
First draft. Please do not quote or repost anywhere. Thanks!
The carriage ride back was mostly quiet. Hedi maintained a sulky silence and would not look at Sabri. Mother looked but did not speak, her face full of sadness.
Sabri recalled the fascinated stares of the Miller children. Only Winn had seemed nonchalant. Mrs. Miller’s elderly mother had said, “It is a gift from God, sent to us in our need.”
And Mother, grabbing Sabri by the sleeve and pulling her toward the door, saying, “God does not gift the disruption of lives, and the pain and confusion of children.”
Hedi had attempted to sit by Mother instead of Sabri, but Mother had been fierce. “You will sit by your sister!”
“She is not my sister.”
“She is as much your sister as she ever was, despite the poor soul she now carries within.”
And silence reigned within the carriage.
When they came within sight of the house, Hedi sat on the edge of the seat as if anxious to be out of the carriage as soon as it stopped moving. The carriage jolted to a stop, and Mother put a restraining hand on Hedi’s shoulder.
“We cannot keep this from getting out, but you will refrain from speaking about this to anyone. We will live as normal a life as we can for as long as we can.”
“My life is ruined and you want normalcy!” Hedi burst out. “I can’t have my coming out party. Surely you see that!”
Mother’s grip tightened, along with her lips. “Not everything is about you, Hedegrine Shiana. Try for a little compassion and understanding.”
Hedi tore from her grip and jumped from the carriage, nearly knocking over the driver who had come around to that side. Mother and Sabri faced one another for an instant before Mother took the driver’s outstretched hand and descended from the carriage. Sabri jumped out as she had before. Hedi had already disappeared within the house.
Mother paused, looking up at the house with pensive gaze. Sabri stopped beside her. The sound of the carriage moving off broke the silence first.
“I know you must have many questions, but I beg you will not ask them in front of others,” Mother said.
Many questions did indeed swarm in Sabri’s mind, but only one emerged. “Winn Miller knew when I touched his hand. You knew. How did you know?”
“To some of us, the touch of a Vagabond is unmistakable. There is a jolt, and a quick sense of disorientation.”
When no other questions came, Mother moved away slowly. Sabri looked out over the ground and into the distant fields. The wind had switched while they were at the Millers, and now it blew from the north with Autumn’s chill.
Sabri shivered, and hugged herself to stay warm.