Hello, all! Below are my results to the #Blogbattle, hosted by blogger and writer, Rachael Ritchey! To check out her blog and future Blogbattles, visit her blog by clicking HERE! This week's word, "Blonde." I hope you enjoy my results!
OUT OF THE STORM
“I haven’t taken a shower in years!” The sound of elation could be heard over the weak patter of the lukewarm rain water that funneled its way through the shower head. “I mean I’ve bathed and such when I came across enough water too, but this,” There was a pause. “This is fantastic!”
Ella smiled as she listened to the young man shouting out to her from her bathroom. She was glad to see he was up and strong enough to even go and bathe himself. He’d been out cold for three days, and then took himself another two and a half to even get enough food and drink inside him to communicate.
He was a mess when she pulled him out of the storm.
God was good the way He’d spared the kid’s life, even when He didn’t see fit to spare others. The boy couldn’t have been any older than 17, wondering outside in the dust of Plymouth. Ella shuddered at the thought. It was bad enough out there for full grown, hardened adults but for a kid….
She wondered what had happened to him out there. She could only guess at the worst. He was so banged up, bloody and bruised, so exposed to the sun and elements that his black goggles had dug themselves into his skin so deep it seemed that his flesh bled each time she tried to pull them away.
She left them in place and told him before he showered and shaved that if he got them free she would tend his face right and good when he was freshened up. Having raccoon scars wouldn’t be so bad. It could’ve been a lot worse for him.
“At least, he isn’t blond,” She whispered, folding his fresh washed clothes that she’d pulled from the clothes line in her attic. There was too much dust to hang them outside. That was apparent by the mud that she’d scrapped off of the boy when she was nursing him back to health.
She cleaned him up well enough to tend to him and to tolerate his odor, but not so much that the water would have been a waste.
By the dark hairs of his eyebrows, and the poor excuse for a man’s beard that sprouted from his chin, she reckoned the young buck was brunette through and through. Just like she had once been.
That was before she lost her Caleb, before the Lupine raid in Gareth’s Fork snatched her four-year-old son and his good for nothing daddy away. There was so much blood that oozed from the side of her baby’s face that she knew he was gone to her.
Folks got crazy when the famine hit and even worse when the drought came. They didn’t recover when it mostly ended. Instead, many of the folks near Garth’s Fork became savages, called themselves “Lupine,” created for themselves a god who said the rain was gone because of the pale ones. Anybody with blonde hair, no matter their race, was marked for death by the Lupine. They were the root of the curse.
Ella’s family was doomed because of such foolishness.
Ella didn’t mind losing Roy to the Lupine. She’d never wanted him in the first place, didn’t give a lick for his apple green eyes or his pale blonde hair. The man was wretched. But Caleb, she loved her son even if he had taken after his father by way of color. Caleb had his daddy’s green eyes and all. But he was gone now.
Having the thought made her shoulder’s sag and the wound upon her heart that, only God could see, ache. Her boy would have been 17, just like the young man in her shower.
She brushed a tear from her cheek once she heard the water stop pumping. She should make herself busy instead of dancing with ghosts. That never ended well. “If you want,” She called towards the bathroom, “I can scrap you up a bite to eat, put the kettle one for some Dandelion tea?”
The young man’s deep voice hollered back, “You’ve gone through enough trouble as it is, Ma’am. Please don’t bother over me anymore,” There was a hint of guilt in his voice. “I ain’t got nothing as it is to pay you back for saving my life. Heck, I ain’t even got my own clothes no more.”
She could hear him closer now, could tell he was hiding behind the door frame. “There’s a blanket to dry yourself off with on the shelf in the cupboard. Your clothes are in the room you were in. I’ll fetch ’em for you in a sec.”
“Why are you being so nice?” The boy asked, suddenly leery.
Ella understood him, as well as her motives. Caleb.
She waited until she heard the blanket sweep the floor and knew the boy was covered before she turned to answer.
Her heart seemed to stop upon sight of him and she stumbled back against the counter. No, God it couldn’t be! The boy looked stunned as she for her reaction. He didn’t understand, but she did.
Wild, apple green eyes stared back at her. Hair as pale blonde as the day that she believed him dead, dripped wet against a clean shaven jaw that revealed a nasty scar that traced his cheek.
Feeling her legs give way, she screamed his name, “Caleb!”
His green eyes flashed again, this time with confusion. “H-how’d you know my na-”
His panicked question lost its audience as Ella fainted to the ground as her own words escaped her lips, “My baby has come home.”