Saturday, December 13, 2014

Excerpt ~ She woke...


She woke to the ringing of the bells, heavy rich tones that crossed the miles from town to settle in her chest. They stirred a great feeling of redemption within her as their vibrations worked through her body and shook themselves out her toes. ‘It’s a new day,’ they called to her.

She stretched, feeling the ache of little sleep but refreshed by their familiar song. She climbed from her bed and her bare feet padded across the floorboards as she made her way to Joseph’s room.

He didn’t make a sound from behind the door, though she knew he would be awake and ready for her. She let her forehead lean forward and touch the wood and she closed her eyes as the last notes rang away.

“For whom does the bell toll?” she whispered, her hand pressed against the door as she waited for his practiced response. 

“It tolls for sinners,” Joseph’s voice cut through the lingering echo of the bells and she could hear the shuffle and he changed position inside.

Every time she expected him to say ‘it tolls for you’ and somehow she longed for that because it might finally open the door to honesty between them. For months now, she’d seen it in his eyes - felt his quiet judgement and his wavering trust in her beliefs. She didn’t know what it meant except that some time soon her world would cave in. He wasn’t a child any longer. He might chose to hate her. He might chose to condemn her. He might chose to leave her. Her heart ached at the possibilities that piled before her - an impossible mountain that would surely kill her.

She pulled the key from her nightgown pocket and turned it in the lock. “Good morning, Joseph,” she said, opening her arms to him. He was so handsome now - tall and strong with dark eyes like a storm.

“Good morning, Momma,” and he walked into her embrace, not resisting as she pressed his head against her shoulder and pushed her fingers through his hair. She breathed in the scent of him, something that lingered on the precipice of manhood but still clung to the sweetness of childhood.

“Did you sleep well?” she asked.
  
He nodded against her and she pulled back from him, fixing a strand of hair that had fallen across his eyes. “You’re so tall now,” she said. “You’re taller than me.  Come, I’m making oatmeal.”  She took his hand and turned on bare feet, leading him to the stairs.

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