Rose after resting through the night woke up to the sound of
sleet pounding against her bedroom window. Though she had slept,
she still felt groggy and exhausted. Her face felt flushed and
there was an almost unbearable dryness that ran from her lips
down into her slender throat. She did not feel well at all. The
fever she had run during the night hours had left her ravaged.
Slowly she placed her feet to the hardwood floor and made her way
into an upright position. Rose felt as weak as a premature kitten
might feel. After making sure she had stabilized her wobbly legs
she made her way into the kitchen. She began by drinking several
glasses of water. This seemed to clear her head somewhat. She
cautiously made her way to the cook stove and after lighting it
set water down to boil.
The wind had started howling again, enough so that her front door
seemed to come to life. A slight jiggling noise could be heard
each time the force of the gale would hit the wooden structure.
Rose shivered. Would this nightmare ever end, she asked herself.
She flipped on the radio to listen for news updates regarding the
storm, but it seemed the weather was interfering with the radio
station's broadcast. She walked over to the telephone hanging on
the kitchen wall. There was no dial tone. Rose wondered what, if
anything could go wrong next. It seemed she was here isolated
from the rest of the world. Her teapot began screeching
signifying that her water was ready. She unceremoniously prepared
her tea and gulped it down. The hot liquid upon hitting her
irritated throat caused her to gag slightly. She rummaged deep
into the medicine cabinet and found the bottle of aspirins. She
took two of the small white pills and gulped them down. Thank God
for aspirin, she said to herself.
After finishing her tea Rose changed into warmer clothes and once
more donned the heavy rain coat, hat, and her father's boots. She
was astonished at how deep the water was in the yard outside her
home. Where the day before only a few spots had water standing,
now there seemed to be at least a half an inch of water. A wave
of nausea hit her as she crossed the distance to the barn. She
shivered uncontrollably as she unlatched and entered the barn. It
seemed she was ill with some strange ailment, but the animals
still needed their feed and water. What we all need right now,
she thought, was for this infernal rain to stop.
As she walked into the barn Rose noticed where water was starting
to advance into the barn and she shook her head sadly. She most
likely would have to turn the animals out so they could make it
to higher ground. Anger and resentment invaded her mind and Rose
with a new found zeal and vigor began to distribute hay, feed,
and water to her livestock. Daisy still seemed extremely agitated
and Rose stroked her neck and ran a brush across the horses back
and hind quarters. This action helped soothe the animal and it
gave Rose something to do as well.
"There, there girl," Rose crooned to her steed, "it has to stop
Daisy nuzzled Rose's arm and gave her a playful nip as if to say,
thanks so much for caring for me and the others.
Having tended to her animals Rose made her way back to the house.
The wind howled about her and pushed against the young woman. It
seemed as if nothing was going very well. Rose stopped once to
catch her breathe. White wisps of smoke escaped through her
nostrils and mouth. She bent over double from the exertion and
weakness which she felt.
After several minutes Rose made her way to the front porch. She
paused for a moment and looked around. It seemed as if an
opposite hell had come to the land. It was not a hell of fire and
brimstone as outlined in the Bible, but rather one of water,
cold, and relentless wind. Turning to enter her home Rose picked
up what firewood she could carry and made her way inside.
Rose carried the wood to the pot belly stove and began loading
more logs into it. The fire had almost extinguished itself
through the night and the house had grown cold. After loading the
stove Rose went back to her bed and stretched out. She could
still hear the frozen rain striking the windows and door. The
wind seemed to be dying down a little and Rose smiled. Might just
make it through this one after all, she thought to herself.
Rose wrapped the quilt her mother had made years ago around her
slender body and immediately fell fast asleep.