I spent last week alternately languishing after being vaccinated and editing. No progress at all, alas. Yesterday I was priming the pump–rereading, rewriting, and inching forward in The Value of Pity, and also reading more about women on the autism spectrum, like Athena. This Wednesday I offer a crumb from The Tender Flood, my story in Storm & Shelter. It seems appropriate for recent weather across the United States.
The stableyard, partially sheltered, held off the wind, but it provided only a small bit of protection from rain that seemed to grow fiercer by the hour. It soaked the cloak she tossed over her head and wet her cheeks while she grappled with one handle of a large hamper containing the boys’ lunch and sped across to the carriage house with Walter, grateful when they ducked safely inside. Stump took her side of the hamper so she could shake off the rain, and wipe her face on her damp handkerchief. She reached to do the same to Walter, but he jerked away.
“Where are the others?”
“Peter went to the smithy with Mr. Ryman and didn’t come back. The others are with Sergeant Newell.”
“Even January?” She rarely saw the little one far from Stump.
“Stories, Miss Patience. Couldn’t keep him away.”
She skidded to a stop at the back of the coach house. Norb sat cross-legged, bent over a book. Froggy, January, and Millie listened with rapt attention while he read.
Millie? Maybe not. She and her puppies were snuggled up next to Norb at least, and he had one arm over her.
What put Patience’s heart in her throat though, was the man overseeing the proceedings. Sergeant Newell rose from his place on the bench at her approach. “On your feet, gentlemen. A lady has approached.” He put a finger in his own book, the one he had been reading while he watched Norb and the others.