So... I have another teaser for you today! I do hope you guys are enjoying these. This story is kind of tricky for me to write, but I'm liking it all the same, and I hope you are too.
This is from right after Maire's accepted the stranger's job offer, and after she's been told that her acceptance of it means that she must leave her old life, including her family, behind her forever.
Maire sat beside the road for what seemed an eternity. Once she had shaken the strange man’s hand, he had told her to run along. She had not needed to be told twice, but when she turned only a moment later to look back at him, he was simply gone, with no sign of him on the road in either direction or in the fields beyond. He had vanished, a puff of smoke on the breeze, leaving nothing but his strange mix of promises and threats.
She had to meet him there tomorrow at dawn. And when she did, she would never see her family again.
Staring straight ahead, she sat and watched the empty road and the few people who traversed it now and again without really seeing anything. Her swirling thoughts could not be contained, and she felt as if her head would burst from the confusion of it all. How was she to think of this? Was it a miracle or a curse? It seemed to be both at once – a strange man had appeared from nowhere and had offered her the chance to escape, the guarantee she had been lacking to make her leave home in search of a better life, but it came at the cost of her family. Here was exactly the opportunity that they needed to save them, but it would not help them, not in any way. Maire was not certain why she believed what the strange man said, but something about him made her quite certain that he would have a way of enforcing his cruel restrictions. She had no way of knowing how he might go about doing that. She had no way of knowing what sort of work he had in mind for her.
She had accepted a job from him and had not even thought to ask his name.