October 21, 2010

More chapter 2

Coming back to the present, she moved around the fire. Taking a blanket from the packs, she spread it over Philip. His sleep seemed more peaceful now. He'd be alright and if he followed her instructions, his hand should be good as new in a few days. When she was sure that he was resting comfortably, she tiptoed off toward the path. As she turned to look back, she saw Dynny looking at her wistfully. She waved and whispered, “He's all yours, now. Take good care of him.” After taking one last look at the huddled figure lying beside the fire, she disappeared into the bushes.

For a couple days she stayed near the cottage fearing that she might meet Philip again if she wandered further into the forest. Something about him haunted her like a reoccurring dream calling her back to a time in the past. Had she seen him before? Was he a farmer from one of the neighboring farms? She just couldn't figure it out. Why couldn't she remember?

Time went on as usual with daily chores and visits from folks needing remedies from her stores of salves and teas. She was glad she had something useful to offer her friends. They often relied on her to help them heal their families when they were injured or taken with illness. When the plague had threatened to steal the lives of a few families further down the valley, they had come to her. The silver cross pendant that hung from her neck was a stark reminder of just how quickly things could change. The tea that she had made from rainwater steeped with the silver cross had stopped the disease from claiming the lives of entire families. How had she known what to do? She wasn't sure.

The following morning, she felt sure that Philip would have returned to his home and it would be safe to go into the forest again. She gathered a few herbs to dry for winter and even found a patch of tubers that she could prepare like potatoes. When she returned, she was surprised to find that her berry basket, filled to the brim with blackberries and a bouquet of wild flowers were waiting near the back door. Looking around, she found herself quite alone and was surprised to notice that she felt a little pang of regret. Then, chiding herself for her foolishness, she went inside.

Thoughts of Philip and his inquisitive steed kept her company that evening as she sat close to the small fire in the fireplace. It was the first of the autumn season. The nights had been warm enough so far but there was a chill in the air that made her shiver. She wondered if he had a warm place to sleep. Was his hand healing properly. Had he been able to go on with the hunting that he'd mentioned? She began to nod in her rocking chair. The warm blankets on her bed were a welcome comfort as she slid underneath their weighted protection. She drifted into sweet daydreams in which she saw herself in a sea of tall grasses; laughing and dancing through endless flowers...their heady scent...filling....the warm....sunlit......field. Sleep.

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