Hello, all! It snowed in London today (while I hear it was 56 degrees in Ithaca - oh the irony) which was rather lovely, actually - my flatmate made delicious chicken soup and I made delicious crepes, and it was a good day.
Now, before I go off to write a comparison paper on Les Liasons Dangereuses (excellent) and Valmont (terrible), I give you a teaser! In this, Maire is off to meet her mysterious benefactor (I still need something to call him... any suggestions?), which means leaving her family behind forever.
She crept down the ladder, careful not to make a sound as she moved. The dirt floor silenced her footsteps well, but she could not force herself to simply creep outside without another glance. Everything seemed to be thrown into sharp relief in the moonlight – the dying fire with their cracked plates stacked beside it, her plate still sitting alone on the shelf. The socks still sat where she had abandoned them the day before, still hopelessly unmended, half-hidden in the corner. Her family slept huddled together under their two miserable, threadbare blankets, and Maire forced herself to look at them one last time. She tugged the blanket more securely up over her siblings’ shoulders – it was just big enough for all three of them, now that she was not there. And then – boldly, half-hoping he would wake and make her explain and refuse to let her go – she leaned down and kissed her father on the cheek.
But he did not wake, and the sky was slowly shifting towards grey instead of black. Dawn was coming, and it was time for her to go. And so she did, pushing open the door, hearing the creak of the hinges for the last time, and stepping out into the cold morning air. She thought she felt the breath punched from her lungs, but she ignored it and walked on. That is all that this would take – not thinking, simply putting one foot in front of the other again and again and again.
It was an art that Maire had mastered over the last two years of desperation. Just keep going. Don’t think. Just take one step, and then the next.
And so she walked, one foot at a time, into the morning.