The Writer's Hole is having a Rainy Day Blogfest. Here is an excerpt from my ms.
Mrs. Smelt sat at the dining table with a tea tray that held smoothly molded cups in front of her. Anne sat opposite her and poured herself some tea, listening to the morning rain that fell from the now darkened sky.
“She will die,” her mother said, not taking her eyes off of the cup she held in her trembling hands.
“Yes,” Anne replied
“Is it wrong for a mother to feel relieved?”
“No, it is merciful,” Anne replied.
“I love her.”
“I know. She knows.”
Mrs. Smelt looked up, eyes red but no tears.
“When she dies do not cleanse the body. Wrap her up in thick cloth right away and bury her the same evening. Her only fear was to infect her family and I want to make sure that doesn’t happen. We will have service for her in the morning.”
“Yes. That would be best,” Mrs. Smelt spoke softly.
“The room will need to be cleansed. You will need to make a new bed and bedding. Everything should be replaced.” Anne swallowed hard.
“Yes,” Mrs. Smelt said.
“I can give--“
Mrs. Smelt took Anne’s small hands in her own. Anne could feel the rough skin of a woman who labored for her family atop her own smooth ones. “There is no need child.” The woman’s voice was even. “She always enjoyed your company.”
Anne nodded. Forcing a smile, she stood up, gently placed the cup on the tray, and went out into the cold rain. She lifted her face to the cold drops. A semblance of awakening and sensibility swept through her. Anne had never understood how she was able to help those who fell ill and know when they would eventually die. Yet, she did know, and it drained her immensely. She kept this particular gift hidden from her family. She reasoned that the skill stemmed from her knowledge of herbs and remedies, but in truth, the skill came from her very essence. No one but Richard knew of it. She wrapped herself in her cloak, went to her steed, and rode home, thinking that she would blame him for her ruined shoes.