Sunday, 10 July 2011

At the River

The voices of the women hemmed her in. Senna longed to escape the sun and the slap of wet cloth of stone. Most of all, she wished she could get away from the river. The water held dangers for her. She focused on the bed linen in her numbed hands. She went through the motions of washing but her mind was elsewhere. By the bank Cora washed their father's shirts, her small delicate hands were much better at getting the dirt out of the complicated embroidery. Senna tried not to compare herself with Cora the way everyone else did. Besides, Senna always came off worse.

The sun glinted off the surface of the water and Senna froze. Seconds passed and she released the breath she held. Nothing happened. This was good.
“Stop lollygagging, girl.” Mara's sharp tones echoed over the river. The other women fell silent.
“Sorry Mara.” The apology was automatic and just as heartfelt. She bent to her task meekly in hopes of avoiding the lectures on the value of hard work. She shoved the sheets beneath the water and light flashed in her eyes, blinding her.

She blinked and saw the deep green eyes of the laughing child. She knew those eyes, they reminded her of her own. He stood on a grass bank playing. She walked towards him and smiled. He opened his hands to show her his new toy. Flames danced in his palms and he giggled. She reached down and the flames moved into her hand. She gasped, expecting pain and feeling only a ticklish warmth. She gazed as the tiny fire in wonder, turning her hand this way and that.

Her head swam and she stumbled. Tripping on the sheets in the water. Another vision. She had to get away. The boy needed her. She didn't know why but he did. Panic skittered up her spine. She had to leave. Picking up her skirts, she ran from the water. The women scattered from her path as she ran. There would be hell to pay later. If there was a later.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Intriguing! Sounds like this is an excerpt from a longer WIP?

Sgnr.Perceval said...

Yeah, I love these little fragments you do, drawing up characters so vividly in just a few paragraphs, great stuff. And extra points for using the word "lollygagging" :D

Kitty said...

They just sort of appear in my head like a scene from a movie or something. I just have to be with it enough to scribble it down. :)

Thanks for your comments.