Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Wednesday's Words on a Friday



On Wednesdays, Delores, from Under The Porch Light, has a meme which she calls

“Words for Wednesday”.

She puts up a selection of six words, (sometimes twelve) which we then use in a short story, or a poem.

I’m hopeless at poetry so I always do a story.

It’s a fun challenge…why not join in?

This week's words are:

1. marksman
2. stellar
3. blindsided
4. indelible
5. crazed
6. imbecile

or we could use this phrase: spinner of tales, teller of dreams.

I've chosen to use both this week.

Here is my story:

 Reina McDaniels had dreamed far above her station since she was eight years old. That was the year her Mam had taken her along to the big house to begin helping in the kitchen and wash house. She'd warned Reina to behave, and to be polite if the Mister or Mistress Baldwin should say anything to her.

Reina did as she was asked and completed her work quickly and satisfactorily, but inwardly, she rebelled fiercely. She would not be just another kitchen maid, just another serving wench!
She fought inwardly against her family, against their way of life.
She, Reina McDaniels, was better than that! 
She would learn to read and write, learn to do her sums. 
She would get an education. 
Reina McDaniels would be a person of worth!

Reina had a half hour to herself everyday after the lunch dishes had been washed and put away and she used that time to play in the back garden near where young Master Adam walked and played with the young Mistress Catherine for their daily exercise. Being close in age, the three soon became fast friends and Reina dropped hints every day about wanting to learn to read. 

Soon enough, Adam and Catherine spoke of this to their mother. In the evening of that day, the matter of a young child wanting to learn to read was discussed with Mister Baldwin, who decided it really couldn't do any harm, surely? 

At the end of the week, Reina was summoned into the day parlour, to speak with Mistress Baldwin.
Her Mam was mortified. "what you been up to Reina? what trouble you been causing? I hope you don't lose your position here..." 

Reina knew her Mam counted on that sixpence Reina earned every month, but she also knew she hadn't done anything wrong. 
She cleaned her face and hands, combed her hair and presented herself to Mistress Baldwin with a short curtsy. 
With relief, Reina saw that Mistress Baldwin was smiling at her and with great joy heard that she, Reina, was to attend the schoolroom with Adam and Catherine starting next Monday. For four hours a day, five days a week, Reina would be educated. 

Her Mam was pleased, but pleaded with her to continue doing her work here in the kitchen when time permitted and not to get big-headed. 
Reina agreed, but resolved to learn quickly so she could get a better job, she certainly didn't want to be washing pots and pans all her life. 
Just look at Mam's hands, all red and cracked, Mam spent several minutes every night smoothing in a little of the beef tallow used to make candles, in an effort to ease the dryness and reduce the cracking. 
That was not for her, Reina decided. She would get a better job, with more money. Then her Mam wouldn't have to wash dishes anymore. 

In the schoolroom the next Monday, Reina wore a clean white apron over her dress and  was introduced to Mr Pearson who would be teaching her to read and write. 

Master Adam, at nine, could already read and write, even Mistress Catherine who was only seven, could write her name and read the easy books on the shelf. 
With near crazed determination, Reina paid close attention and soon was reading as well as Catherine and writing her own name as well as copying words from the books she was learning to read. 
She was resolute in wanting to never be indelibly marked as an imbecile just because of a lack of education. She was smart, she knew she was. 

The months and years passed and Reina's stellar rise through the academic grades became the talk of the house, even cook was impressed and her Mam spoke of her successes in the marketplace every Monday. 

When young Master Adam was fourteen years old and Catherine twelve, Adam was sent away to continue his schooling. Mistress Catherine would now stop her lessons and learn from her mother the art of properly managing a household. Catherine would now also learn music and embroidery and begin sewing items for her hope chest. In four more years, Catherine would be presented to society and hopefully make a good match in marriage.

This meant the end of Reina's education too, but she had learned enough to be able to apply elsewhere as a teacher herself. 
She found a position in the small town, in a house with two small girls aged six and seven. Reina being only two weeks shy of fourteen herself, the small children, Mary and Colleen, quickly grew to like the fun she brought to lessons and missed her on weekends when Reina went home to see her Mam. 

With the extra money Reina brought home, her Mam was able to go to the big house only three days a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Her life was easier, Mam was less tired and her hands much less red and cracked now. 

Reina herself enjoyed her weekends now that she was older and had more freedom. After visiting her Mam, Reina would visit with friends she had made in town and on Saturday evenings she would go with them to the firelight dances at the gypsy camp down by the river. 
There was often a visiting story teller too; a spinner of tales, a teller of dreams. The younger gypsy children would sit entranced around his feet and listen until they fell asleep and were carried away to bed by their mothers.

Reina loved to dance around the fire to the sounds of the drum and violins, sometimes there would be a mandolin too. 

And there was always David. Reina had smiled to herself whenever she thought of David. Almost seventeen,with glossy black curls, and laughing black eyes, David made her feel warm inside. Just holding his hand as they twirled around the fire together made her happy.
One night, while the dancing continued, Reina and David stole away to the long grass just around the bend. That night, Reina learned a new type of bliss and from then on she and David were together often.

One sunny summer day, realisation came to Reina, and her dreams of a more prosperous future were shattered. 
David had been a marksman, his aim had been true. 
Blindsided now by fate, Reina was pregnant. 
Not quite fifteen years old and a baby was on the way. 

Reina's hopes of one day being a well respected teacher, perhaps even teaching the children and grandchildren of the two she now taught, were over. 
As soon as Mistress Cresswell discovered her delicate condition, Reina would be banished from that house. She would be considered unsuitable as a mentor for two small girls. 

Reina's heart was heavy in her chest as she told David the news, they went together to tell Reina's Mam that there would soon be a gypsy wedding and a baby.

8 comments:

  1. Oh River. Sometimes life isn't fair.
    I hope Reina never loses her determination and there is unexpected happiness waiting around the corner for her.

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  2. Lots of ambition...no common sense. Ah well, such is life.

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  3. Tsk! Tsk! That'll teach her to cavort with a marksman! He should've left his arrow in the sheath!

    Cuddles to Angel. :)

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  4. Elephant's Child; she marries David, but teaches her children and makes sure they go to school. Things turn out well.

    Delores; plenty of common sense but swept away by love and lust as so many have been since time began.

    Lee; in the late 1700s what teenage boy or girl would think of such things? But life turns out well for David and Reina.

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  5. With her determination I am sure Reina will find a way that they will all have a happy ending.
    As Phil's dad used to say "If you pull the ropes you have to expect the bells to ring" and they certainly did in Reina and David's case.
    A beautiful story again.

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  6. Mimsie; Reina's determination sees her children all go to school, even the girls.

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  7. Oh no! That broke my heart. But then read your comments above and am happy once more. Yay Reina!

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  8. Jackie K; all my stories have happy endings, things always work out well in the end.

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