Thursday, September 23, 2010
Scene 26, Lilies...Anne and the children.
Anne ignored the stomach pains that reminded her it was well past lunchtime. She had forgotten to eat breakfast. What hurt could be done in missing lunch as well? After all, how much nourishment could half stale bread and milk actually provide her with?
As she rhythmically plunged her spade into the earth, she could practically hear her hands screaming at her to stop.
Around her, in the yard, are all the Breslyn children who, since having moved in with Anne, have adopted chores of their own and taken to running her home quite industriously. So industriously, in fact that couldn’t help but quietly smile to herself, as she understood the benefits of a large family.
Tom, Sylvia’s eldest, is chopping wood on the side yard of the house. He wears a cap and has his suspenders up over his white tee shirt. Sixteen now, he has become quite intrigued with himself. A few years back, he used to hate it when his mother prompted him to chop wood. But now he seemed eager to do it. He set up the chopping block further off from the house and closer to the road. He liked to watch the street as he worked. Especially when school got out down the way. He always made sure he was out, working in the yard when the girls walked by on their way home from school. He would of course pretend not to notice then at all save for a casual glance up, in between logs. He would stop chopping and begin stacking, when he saw an especially pretty one. He would fill his arms with weight enough to make his arms to flex, causing his still blossoming arm muscles bulge under the weight of the wood he carried. Locking gazes with the girl for just a moment he would carry the wood to the pile and unload it. Before he went back to chopping, he would glance back at the girl to see her, hopefully still looking at him. He liked this form of unspoken affirmation. He enjoyed feeling able and strong. His body had changed from what it was. Girls were starting to notice him when he walked down the street. He was already eager to find conquests, and establish his own territory.
Mary and Margaret (Called Maggie) were always together. They were presently hanging the wash on the line to dry. They gossiped and teased one another back and forth. They bickered like old ladies and laughed like little girls.
Maggie was the fiery of the two. She had orange red hair and light green eyes that switched and flashed and never missed a thing. She was currently interested in nothing more than the opposite sex and weather or not they noticed her. She had a slender waist and a still developing full bosoms. Her cheeks were round and she seemed to be ever smiling.
Mary was graceful and had the beauty of a little mother. Her face was angular with high cheekbones. Her mouth was small and modest with a slight upward curl on either side that made her look both regal and contented. Her long straight hair was chestnut brown.
By nature she was quiet, but Maggie brought out her Mick. They would banter back and forth until blushing, red cheeked and hot Mary would smile and laugh, frustrated and delighted at having lost her composure.
Windy was a grand matter. Nine years of age, average height and very wiry he has the light blue eyes of his mother. He is uncommonly kind and thoughtful for a boy his age. Windy is not his birth name. His real name is Andrew. His family calls him Windy affectionately because he is an unusually energetic boy. He runs through the house with such haste that he truly blows by those he passes and runs outdoors closing the door with a great SLAM!
“Who was that?” Sylvia would yell from the kitchen. Having already leapt off the porch and half way down the walk, far out of earshot, Sylvia resigned herself to the idea that it had been the wind. Once she learned whom it had been all along, she had believed it had been the wind with such conviction that she was surprised to find that it had been Andrew all along. So she began to call him Windy.
Windy suffers from an unnamed illness. First comes the exhaustion, loosing his breath easily and simple things become harder than they usually are. Next comes the coughing and wheezing when he breathes. He looses color in his face and seems almost gray. . Some days he suffers from exhaustion so great that he is unable to get out of bed. His skin becomes pale and cool to the touch. His breath becomes shallow and he is listless. During times like these he seems frustrated that his body can’t keep up with his spirit.
Of course then, down the line were the young ones, Michael, Gabriel, Sara, and little Molly who was not yet two. The young ones provided the joy in the eclectic mass of things at Anne’s house. Having been from a family with only one other sibling, she delighted in the goings on of a large clan, and marveled at what a tight ship Sylvia ran, in spite of the chaos.
Seeing Molly toddle around grabbing and naming things for the first time, she was grateful and felt the honor of be a guardian to her in her most impressionable days.
Michael and Gabriel, being twins and four, were always together and seemed to be not quite like-minded but complimentary to one another. In mornings when they thought they were alone, they would dare one another to urinate out of doors and compare whose steaming stream could reach the furthest.
Looking on from the kitchen, Anne only laughed, shook her head and took note at how early such nonsense began for young boys.
As for Sara who was just seven now, Anne took to her like a young sister, and in return Sara took to her in the same regard.
Sara had a love for the outdoors and seemed to understand the rhythm of the seasons as they pertained to growing things. There was a great peaceful stillness about her, though she was not lacking in the curiosity of youth.
Having the Breslyn clan was no burden to Anne. On the contrary, she was enriched by their presence in her life, especially during such dark days. Each attended to his own task, and took ownership of Anne’s home, making it run far more smoothly than it had before their presence there. She marveled at their harmony, learned their songs, how to fight according to their rules, and slowly became one of them, in her own right.
Weather she was a younger mother or an older sister, she knew not, but their presence became essential to her, and hers to them.