Divided We Fall

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 9 (v.1) - Chapter Nine

Submitted: September 14, 2019

Reads: 30

Comments: 2

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Submitted: September 14, 2019

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“Over here. See these grasses that are taller and thicker? They’re not grass. They’re roots. This is where we dig.” 

Raquelle followed and sat beside Emilia. Erik was hunting, and her and Emilia were digging roots. 

“No, like this.” 

She looked over to see the way she carefully dug around the bulb, then picked it up. “You don’t want to damage the root.” 

Raquelle nodded and tried the next one. “So, Emilia. Tell me about yourself. We haven’t got much of a chance to communicate.”

Raquelle watched closely as Emilia thought. “I grew up on a farm,” Emilia said. “I played with the cats.” 

Raquelle nodded and waited for more. 

“I always liked reading, I guess. I wrote a lot of poems. I never had many friends. I was taught to read and write and do math at home by my mother.” 

Raquelle noticed something change in Emilia’s eyes, as if she were lost in space. But unlike most people when they’re lost in space, Emilia’s eyes looked frantic, like she was trapped, desperately trying to escape whatever thoughts had her trapped at their mercy. 

“What happened to your mother?” Raquelle asked softly, hoping to get her out of the trance. 

Emilia instantly went back to normal. Her eyes darted to Raquelle. “She died,” Emilia said. “A long, long time ago. When I was no more than eight.” 

“I’m sorry. That would be a terrible time to lose a mother.” 

Emilia looked down at the dirt. “She drowned in a well.”

Raquelle knew there was more to the story, more that Emilia wasn’t saying. But she didn’t think it would be right to ask.

“And now I’m an orphan, like you.” Emilia looked up at Raquelle. “No offense.”

“None taken.” Raquelle didn’t really have a problem with being an orphan, most of the time. She smiled a little, sadly, at a memory that popped into her head. 

Raquelle held the candles carefully, making sure not to drop them. If she dropped them, they would hit the ice and break, and Ani would send her out to get more. 

She heard a noise, and turned around. It was coming from the house behind her. She stepped a little closer, so she could see in the window. 

A family around the table, eating dinner. There was a father and a mother, two little girls and a little boy. They were smiling and talking with one another, looking so happy in their warm, safe house. 

Raquelle felt a sudden longing in her chest, so powerful it forced her to take another step. She extended a hand, as if she could reach inside and become one of them. 

One of the children looked out the window and locked eyes with her. Raquelle watched as the child turned to her mother and said something, and pointed out the window. As the mother leaned across to look, Raquelle bolted, away from the house and the family. Away from the things that filled her with an overwhelming longing. Tears dripped down her cheeks as she ran. She slipped on some ice and fell. Her knees made a sickening cracking noise as they hit the ice. The tears only fell faster. 

The candles. Raquelle turned, looking for them. There was the little paper package. She looked inside to discover all but two of the candles had broken. She started bawling, there in the middle of the street, at six in the evening. Darkness had already fallen. 

Raquelle forced herself to stand, wincing at the pain in her knees. She picked up the candles and walked the rest of the way to Ani’s, her tears making her cheeks ice cold when they hit the wind. When she reached the house, she was flushed and teary, holding a wet package of broken candles. 

Ani had held her, telling her it was okay, not to cry, that it didn’t matter. Raquelle was too full of tears to tell Ani the real reason why she was crying. That seeing the family had triggered something in her, an unbelievable force that had made her cry. 

 

Raquelle looked down at the root in her hands. That was the day when she

 vowed never to long like that for anything again. Never to want friends, or family, or toys. To be content, so she would never feel it again, that ache in her chest that controlled her body. 

She shook off the memory and looked back to Emilia. “The key to being an orphan is to act like you’re not an orphan. Like you’re not a sad, pitiful, broken human. If you show them an orphan is like any other kid, they’ll treat you like one.”

Emilia looked at her. “Good to know.”

Raquelle dug up a couple more roots. “Do you think we have enough?”

Emilia looked at their piles. “About twenty more and we should be good.”

Raquelle nodded and dug some more, pushing all her memories away.

 


© Copyright 2019 Rachel Stone. All rights reserved.

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