Ann and Anna, (serial short story, Part 14): Words

      …  Parts 13 (Interruptions)12 (Gifts)11 (Punishment),  10 (Warmth),   9 (Found)8 (Lost)7 (Rock)6 (Believe), 5 (Naming), 4 (Home), 3 (Trust), 2 (Hope), and 1 (Nightmares) have posted on previous Sundays…

 

Part 14: Words

 

     Anna looked back at me, shaking her head ever so slightly.  Now was not the time for questions.  Apparently the state of things was more delicate than I had surmised.

 

“Well, no decisions should be made on an empty stomach.  Young Tilly has helped me to prepare dinner, and there is to be pie afterward.  Then, and not a moment before, we will find some manner of resolving this situation.”

 

The doctor’s wife had spoken, and not an objection was there to be heard.  The doctor placed the sheaf of papers upon the writing desk by the bedside, nodded at both of us, and left the room, his wife having already gone down to see to dinner.  The smell of pie was now being joined by that of what seemed to be a collection of roasted vegetable smells, as though it were Sunday after church.

 

The three of us shared a basin to wash up and dress for dinner, only just sitting in a row on the bed by the time the doctor’s wife arrived carrying a larger tray than usual.  Anna and Tilly helped her arrange our place settings, while I made sure that all remained in equilibrium, seated as we were upon the bedside.

 

“I must return and dine downstairs with my husband, in case any curious neighbors look in, but I shall come back up shortly to collect the dishes.  I do wish you all a good meal.”

 

We each nodded our thanks, and she gave a gracious nod in return before closing the door behind her.  I looked at Anna, nodding toward little Tilly’s plate.  Anna turned to the child, encouraging her to eat, but the little girl shook her head.

 

“Grace.”

 

By all the heavens.  At last!  I was overjoyed to finally be able to say grace without seeming to be a troublesome patient.  Anna smiled, and all three of us bowed our heads.  Tilly looked up at me, and I decided to give some small thanks to the good Lord for getting us here safely.  Then, our hearts more at ease, we ate with less worry.  It was still plain that each of us feared this new development, but things suddenly seemed just a little bit better.

 

After clearing about half her plate, seeming to be absorbed in her thoughts as she ate, Anna looked up at me.

 

“Miss Willow?”

 

“Yes, Miss Anna?”

 

“How do you feel about your reading, now?”

 

My heart sank.  I had been sure that this question would come soon, and equally sure that I would not be up to the challenge which the question was meant to represent.

 

During the time I spent convalescing at the home of Dr. H., we were not idle.  The doctor’s wife spent every spare moment, it seemed, showing me a new eye chart, with diverse characters of the alphabet.

 

This served two purposes.  First, in checking my vision after each meal, we could all see the progress of my recovery.  Second, and most urgently, Anna and I were learning our letters.  We would need to know how to read if we were to make sure our escape, for many papers and postings made mention of our evasion, and according to a certain Mr. Bacon, knowledge was power.

 

Little did we know how soon the need for such power would arrive.

 

       This is the continuation scene in my historical fiction series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that this series will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools.

  Part 13 was last Sunday, and Part 15 will be next Sunday.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this story may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Peace   

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Shira 

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25 thoughts on “Ann and Anna, (serial short story, Part 14): Words

  1. I was going to ask about their clothes. Did they have spare sets? Where was it kept? There’s no mention of luggage as such, only Willow’s sewing basket? Because in this episode Willow mentions about washing and changing for dinner. Don’t think I missed something?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, you didn’t miss anything (and good to see you back here, by the way! Glad you are safe and sound!!), I’ve just neglected to explain how the doctor’s wife always keeps a spare few sets of clothes around for their ‘guests’ at the Station.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. No, no, that was the custom in those days, (well, ok, yes, Willow did get covered in dirt while lying on the ground watching those “lightening bugs” when she hit her head, but still…) and all classes tried to at least change into a fresh smock/apron for dinner. The upper classes dressed quite well for dinner, and both Anna and Willow were servants to high class families, so they’d be very familiar with this custom.

          Hmmm, probably another detail that I need to add backstory for…

          Liked by 3 people

      1. Aqui doy el comentario dejado por usfman en me ReBlog de este capîtulo de la historia: parece que su comentario refiere al anuncio del hombre que esclavisaba a Anna Marie Weems…

        “Interesting word choice for her – “quite likely” as well as the fact that the word ANN is written in bold caps.”

        Liked by 2 people

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