Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Words on Wednesday ...

Words for Wednesday is provided by a number of people and has become a movable feast. This month, prompts can be found here: Elephant's Child. Essentially the goal is to encourage us to write. Each week we are given a choice of prompts: which can be words, phrases, music, and/or an image. What we do with those prompts is up to us: a short story, prose, a song, a poem, using all or some, or ignoring them.

My storyline this month has been partially based on actual historical facts. My great-great-etc-great-grandfather, George Soule, came over on the Mayflower as an indentured servant and kept the log on the Mayflower. Elinor Billington did spend time in the stocks for slandering John Doane. Doane was married to a woman named Ana, but the affair is fictional (as far as I know anyway). John Billington (the elder) was in fact hung for the murder of John Newcomen and claimed before his hanging that he was an innocent man even though there was bad blood between the two men. Last week we met Francis Billington, son of John and Elinor Billington, and his wife Christian.  Today we meet Constance (Hopkins) and her husband, Nicholas Snow.  Constance was the same age as Francis when they started new lives after Mayflower landed.  Time has moved on from Francis and Christian, however.  It is now mid-September 1677.


Constance sat up and lit the candle at her bedside.  The sun wasn't yet up, but she could hear the sound of her grandchildren stirring in the room next to hers.  She pulled her linen cap over her ears against the cold and wondered how long it would be before her daughter, Mary, started the fire in the kitchen that would warm the house.  She pulled her cat under the covers to keep her legs warm.  Lizzy began purring at the unexpected privilege of being under the wool blanket.

"Don't you pretend to expect this all the time, ye puny girl!  'Tis just 'til me feets warm."

Lizzy kicked at her softly as if to ask who was fooling who.  Constance sighed tiredly.

"Lord, I knows thee had plans fer me when I was a young lass, but I's 71 now and I miss me Nicholas so immensely.  We was blessed with 12 beautiful children and 72 grands, but this past year since he's been with thee has been so lonely fer me.  I knows thee is invincible and I's not questionin' thee's plans.  But please, Lord, I's tired and ready fer home."

Hearing the whispers and giggles from some of her grandchildren behind the curtain that separated their rooms, Constance stopped praying.

"What are ye little ragamuffins up to now?!?!" she spoke harsher than she had intended.  "Don't ye be stirrin' up the devil this early in the morn' or I'll set yer tails on fire fer 'em!"

The curtain parted and her oldest daughter came in, shooing the children off.  "Go outside, all of ye and don't be wanderin' too far.  Get ye mornin' chores done and see if the biddy hen has any fresh eggs for breakfast."

"Mother, how are you feelin' this morn'?"

"Tired, love.  Tired.  I miss yer Father and was jus' prayin' that the Lord in all his supreme wisdom would jus' take me on home."

"But what would I do without ye, Mother?"

"Oh hush now, Mary.  Ye knows I's just a burden on ye.  But I knows ye loves me just the same."

~*~

Connie woke with a start.  Nick reached over in his sleep and patted her shoulder as if to comfort her, but she knew he was still sound asleep when his snoring didn't even slow.  She slipped from under the covers and tiptoed to where her laptop was sleeping on a desk across the room.

"At least you don't snore," she whispered as the screen came awake.  Her fingers zoomed across the keyboard as she made the latest entry in her dream journal.
29 November 2017 2:12am ~ I dreamt about her again this morning.  Nick thinks I've gone all goofy in the head, but I swear ever since I found Mary's November letter to her brothers about their father's land, I think Constance is trying to tell me something.  I know Nicholas's will divided the land up between the sons, and some to her for the remainder of her life.  But I have to wonder what might have happened to her children after she died in October of 1677?  Could she be wanting me to heal old family rifts this Thanksgiving that started 340 years ago?  I have to find out where the rest of their decendants are now.  Maybe they are the family I always wanted but never had.

8 comments:

  1. Lovely. Poor tired Constance.
    Tears here and hopes that Constance's message is heard.

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    Replies
    1. I can't wait to see where next month's words take it!

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  2. What a lovely thing if she could find those rifts and heal them.

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  3. Very nicely done,I really like how this story is going, so well written.

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