Here’s the seventh chapter of my short story, Sorrel’s Story.
If you haven’t read the beginning yet, you can click the link below.
Sorrel woke up in the morning, not quite sure where she was. Then she remembered the night before and the Hansoms.
The soft bed sheets felt luxurious to her bare feet, and she sat up and stretched lazily.
Soft light filtered through the windows, and the filmy curtains blew in a light breeze.
A bumble bee buzzed into the room, sending Sorrel to her feet.
She watched as the bee buzzed around until he found the window again and took leave.
She heard creaking outside her door, and knew that Mrs. Hansom must be coming up the wooden steps.
Hurriedly, she pulled off the nightgown Mrs. Hansom had given her to wear and dressed.
She hadn’t brought a single thing with her, but she felt no regret. She had run away to start over. She could purchase new things.
Mrs. Hansom knocked softly and waited for Sorrel to reply. Sorrel opened the door.
“Good morning, Sorrel. How would you like it if I showed you around?” Mrs. Hansom asked, her friendly eyes crinkling at the edges.
Sorrel nodded, and she followed Mrs. Hansom down the creaking steps.
Funny how similar the steps were to the stairs at the boarding house, Sorrel thought. She suddenly felt a twinge of hope that the boarder’s might miss her just a tiny bit.
She imagined them looking for her and hoping she’d come back. Then she shook her head. She had been imagining.
That in itself was a miracle. But she knew that the way she had acted warranted no remorse on the boarder’s side when they found her gone.
But she still wished they might feel the tiniest bit sad.
She resolved to treat everyone with the utmost respect.
Unfortunately, old habits die hard, and she still had a lot to learn.
Oh, with the Hansoms she was alright. They reminded her of her grandmother, and she had always had a fearful sort of respect for her grandmother.
But for some reason, she wasn’t the least bit afraid of the Hansoms, though she had just met them and they were strangers to her.
For some reason, her lonely heart wanted to trust them badly. She needed something to hold on to. Something to grasp.
Sorrel shook her head to clear her musings. Mrs. Hansom was leading her outside, to the garden.
“Now, dear, unless you have something against gardening, I could certainly make that part of your job.”
The dirt patch where potatoes were said to grow was infested with springy plants that were obviously unwanted. Sorrel nodded.
“Alright,” she said, though her voice gave a hint of wariness.
“I’ll teach you, and you’ll learn to like it,” Mrs. Hansom promised.
Next, Sorrel was brought to the chicken coop, where she would be asked to gather eggs, scatter feed for the chickens, and fill their water trough.
Mrs. Hansom showed Sorrel to the barn, where she was introduced to three cows.
“Mr. Hansom milks them, dear. Don’t worry,” was the answer to the overwhelmed look on Sorrel’s face.
There were also two horses that were “Mr. Hansom’s.”
“He used to be a coachman for whoever needed to go somewhere. You know, not for one particular family. But he’s taken to farming now.”
Mrs. Hansom laughed. Sorrel eyed the barn for more animals, but there were no more. She sighed with relief.
Mrs. Hansom took it that she was hungry. “Dear me! I got a little over eager. I didn’t even give you breakfast.”
With that, Mrs. Hansom whisked Sorrel into the house to get a bowl of oatmeal. Sorrel didn’t complain, but ate it quickly.
The long walk the night before had left her hungry, and she had had no supper.
Suddenly, she regretted leaving without a goodbye. For one thing, Mrs. O’Keily didn’t deserve to be worried, and who would clean for her? For another, it seemed ungrateful to leave without at least a note.
Sorrel hung her head. It was too late now, she lamented. Too late. What awful, awful words.
Sorrel put her bowl in the sink and hurried upstairs to make her bed and comb her hair, meditating on how horrible she was, and how sad it was that she had wasted her life up till now.
She tried to shake free of such despondent thoughts, but they hung over her all day long. In fact, they hung over her for a long, long time.
Part of Sorrel’s growing up would be to come to grips with things she couldn’t change: death, bad decisions, and fate.
Part of Sorrel’s growing up would be to let go of the things she couldn’t change. To move on.
Thanks for reading! I hope you’re enjoying it so far.
If you’re still reading, I’d like to announce something.
Micah, my groovy brother, got a blog!
He’s just getting started, and it’s based on animation, Lego, and music stuff. He’s pretty genius.
If you have a second and want to leave him a comment, he’d be thrilled.
Have a dazzling week!