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Wednesday? Five-hundred: A Gift

February 18th, 2009

Anna from Too Many Annas has prompted for a short “ficlet” about a character.  The limit is 500 words, although mine is nearing 700.  Just couldn’t cut it down anymore!  The prompt was:

Write an event, a situation, or a scene that involves your character as a child/teenager and has some impact on your character later in life.

I previously wrote a story for Brajana.  This story is about Ferguson and Anabelle, my undead priest and warrior.

As the two military officers walked away from the small cottage, Rebecca slowly closed her front door.  Her eyes were wide, her mouth hung open in an expression of confusion and shock.  She just stood there, staring out the window at the front gate.

“Mom?  I think Anabelle needs to be changed again… she smells.”  Her five-year-old son came into the room carrying the newborn, just barely a week old.

“Um, Mom?  Who was that at the door? I thought it was father… when’s he coming back from duty?  You said he would be back yesterday!”  Rebecca continued to stare in disbelief, until she felt a tugging at her apron which brought her spinning back to reality.  She looked down to see Ferguson holding her crying baby girl.

“Here, take her!  She stinks!”  As Rebecca took the girl in her hands, she suddenly felt no connection to it, as if it weren’t her own, as if she hadn’t spent the last nine months carrying her in the womb.

She was never cut out to be a mother.  She fell in love when she was much too young, and only bore her two children because it’s what her husband wanted.  And now he was gone.  Slain in battle, fighting demons… he was her life, all that mattered to her.  And yet here she remained with his two children.

She knew what she had to do.  She couldn’t care for these children.  She could not live if her love did not live.

After placing the baby in her cradle, Rebecca went to the kitchen and soon returned to the children’s room with a basket of fresh bread.

“Ferguson.  I need you to take your sister and this fresh bread to the Abbey.  Give them this note.  Do not read it, just give it to them.  I’m giving them a gift.”

“But… why do I have to bring Anabelle? Can’t I just bring the bread and come back?” Ferguson said as he put his jacket on.  His mother frequently asked him to make deliveries… but the baby hadn’t left home since she was born.

“Just take her and go, Ferguson.  And make sure the priest reads the letter when you get there.”

Ferguson did as his mother asked and walked the half-mile down to the Abbey with his still smelly sister in one arm and the basket of bread in the other.  When he finally arrived, he handed the bread and passed the note to the priest who answered the door.

“My mother says she wants to give you a gift.” Ferguson waited as the priest read the note and sighed.

“Come in, son.  I’ll see if we’ve got another bed for you and your sister.”

“Thank you, father.  But we should be getting back to mother, before it gets dark.”  Ferguson said.

“You’re orphans now.  You’re father is dead.  By now, your mother is probably also dead.  You’ve nothing left to get back to.”

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3 comments to “Wednesday? Five-hundred: A Gift”

  1. Wow. Very well done.

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  2. Sad, yes, but gripping.

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  3. Intense. Very well written :)

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