How’s your week been so far?
I’m back with another chapter of my short story, Sorrel’s Story.
If you’d like to read the story from the top, you can click on the link below.
It was a humid, muggy day, towards the end of August. Sorrel was sitting in the garden, weeding among the potatoes. She paused to slap at a mosquito.
“Ouch!” she said, exasperated.
She leaned back over, pulling the tough plants up by the roots.
The sun beat down on her neck and arms, and her back was aching and hot. She sat up and stretched.
“That should be enough for today,” she said to herself.
The potato vines were brown around the edges because of the heat. Sorrel felt rather brown around the edges herself.
She got up and dusted herself off. Mrs. Hansom stood in the kitchen, watching Sorrel.
“My, is she growing!” Mrs. Hansom muttered to herself. She had given Sorrel one of her own dresses, but Sorrel was certainly going to need more.
Her green smock was growing tight, and getting shorter by the day.
Sorrel looked up, and gave Mrs. Hansom a little wave. She stretched again, and headed inside to mop the kitchen.
“Mud everywhere,” she breathed to herself as she swept. Down on her hands and knees, her dress looked even smaller.
Mrs. Hansom made a mental note to take her to buy more.
“Dear, what if we went and got you some new dresses later this afternoon?” she ventured.
They had gone to town many times since Sorrel came, but the girl always seemed hesitant. Sorrel thought for a moment.
“Alright. I’ve got money saved up,” she said finally. Mrs. Hansom smiled at the girl’s practical tone. Sorrel was silent, staring at her sorrowfully.
Mrs. Hansom’s smile was the same kind of smile Mrs. O’Keily used to give her. Sort of a fond smile, Sorrel thought.
She gave her a half-hearted smile back. She bent to pick up the bucket of soapy brown water, and lugged it out to the garden, where she hastily emptied it on the potatoes.
Mrs. Hansom set about making lunch, musing about how pretty Sorrel would look in pink ruffles, and calculating how much it might cost to carry out.
Sorrel, on the other hand, was pondering how to go past the boarding house without being seen, and wishing she had never acted the way she had.
She never would have had to leave if she had just behaved. Of course, she wouldn’t have met the Hansoms if she hadn’t run away.
Silently, she thanked God for letting her find them.
Then she thought of Willie and his mother, and her brow furrowed. Oh, how cruel she had been.
Sorrel bent her head to hide a tear. What a complex riddle her life was. She sighed and returned to the house.
At two o’clock, Mr. Hansom had the buggy hitched and waiting. Sorrel and Mrs. Hansom appeared at the door.
They were dressed in clean clothes, Sorrel in a blue smock of Mrs. Hansom’s, and Mrs. Hansom in lavender.
“Don’t you look nice,” Mr. Hansom said, and without further ado, they set off.
Sorrel was wearing a bonnet of Mrs. Hansoms, and she kept her head down as they neared the shops.
Slumping, she eyed the boarding house and yearned to go back. But she wouldn’t. She couldn’t. Not after everything she had said.
They would never forgive her, Sorrel decided. So she would never go back.
Mrs. Hansom noticed Sorrel gazing at the old building, and decided that it must be the boarding house she talked of.
She watched as Sorrel sat a little straighter once they passed, and looked straight ahead.
Soon, they found themselves dropped off on a bustling sidewalk, and they went inside a promising looking fabric shop.
Mrs. Hansom discreetly bought four yards of rosy pink taffeta while Sorrel shopped.
Sorrel bought cotton, perhaps because she was planning on gardening in it. It was yellow, with a flowered print. She purchased it with her own money, and followed her employer out the door.
Mr. Hansom picked them up with a pleased look on his gentle face. “You were fast,” he said cheerfully. He drove them home in silence.
During the next week, Mrs. Hansom and Sorrel poured over patterns and began their work.
Sorrel was charmed with the pink dress Mrs. Hansom was sewing, though she thought Mrs. Hansom was sewing it for herself.
Sorrel’s yellow dress took more time, because Sorrel had never in her life sewn anything, except a few samplers.
Mrs. Hansom was patient, and spent many an hour bent over Sorrel’s work, helping to rip out or add in stitches.
It was the beginning of September now, and the lovely warm winds that caressed the world put Sorrel in a restless state.
She put the demanding dress aside on a lovely afternoon, and went out into the yard.
She had to figure something out. She had to piece her life back together somehow.
So she did the only logical thing she could think of. She set off at a fast pace down the road, and started at the beginning.
Thanks for reading!
What’d you think of Chapter Nine?
See you again next week, folks.