Broken Magnolias | To Market, To Market, To Buy A Nightmare

My brother was sent away back to his squiring. My father thought glad that I had his protections was afraid of what his anger would cause him to do. He will be a great knight one day. Doing something rash now could spoil his future. I am glad he went. I don’t want his destiny tainted by my mistakes. I want him and my sister to be free. Away from this cage I have made of my home.

Unfortunately my mother has grown sick. I had twice the work I normally have, and am glad of it. It keeps the nightmares at bay. Then the reality hits, that if she is too sick to do chores she is too sick to go to the village. I take a deep breath, and hitch up our pony Ramsey, and head to the shops. I can feel the eyes of the town’s people as I moved through the cobbled streets. The whispers and giggles by those who were wedding the ones I turned down. My face schooled into an impassive mask though my heat was screaming inside. I jumped at every brush, and cringed at every touch. Confirming for them, at least in their mind, that my nose was too high in the air.

The old woman who lived on the other side of the village came into town. The dogs barked, and the children ran to scream and push at her. They tore at her clothes, and throwing clods of dirt at her legs. I couldn’t stop myself from going over, grabbing a stick and beating them away. I couldn’t take the splintering image of my mirror being treated so. I received dirty looks from the mothers of the children, which I ignored. The old woman could easily be any of them. It could easily by me.

I try to brush off her clothes, but she shakes me off. Not that I could blame her. I hated being touched, but I hated pity even more. So instead I moved to gather her things while she collected herself. Putting her parcels into the cart besides mine. I waited till she was standing, and helped her into the cart. Not a word passed between us. None was needed. We both understood each other perfectly.

There was one more stop to make. I shuddered as we approached the mill. Ignoring the shrewd knowing look the woman gave me. I didn’t want her pity any more then she wanted mine. Besides, I had to focus on steeling myself, and schooling my features for when I entered the mill. The miller’s son ran it now. If I were to do business at all it would be through him.

I slid from the cart carrying in the wheat my father produced on his land. We needed flower for the coming winter. The leaves were all ready starting to turn, and the summer had just ended. The deep breath I took helped at all. I stepped in, and he was there. Same blue eyes, and same cold smile. Moira was there visiting the her husband, and I went over to her wrapping her in a hug. She was one of the few things I missed about town. Despite her choice in husband.

© SL. Williams 2015


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