I'm off to try and find a theatre to see a play for my Shakespeare class tonight, but in the meantime, happy Tuesday! I sat down and wrote a bit last night, and hopefully I'll get to write more this week; I think this story's finally growing wheels and is ready to go along apace.
Maire's mysterious benefactor (who, have I mentioned? is NOT a love interest!!) has left her alone at the top of a hill and told her that someone will be waiting for her at the bottom. And then she turns around and is a bit startled by what she finds.
Maire made herself turn, slowly, to look down the hill to see what he had been talking about. The sight all but froze her feet to the ground. There was indeed a fence and a gate just below the crest of the hill – and behind that fence there was a herd of sheep, and beyond the field of sheep was a field of what she thought might be winter rye, and beyond that, another field where there were people sewing crops.
There was food. Right there, right in front of her. Enough to feed her family and her neighbours, perhaps half her village – perhaps the whole village. How was this here? How could so much be here, when everyone she knew was starving?
What manner of beautiful, wonderful, hellish place had that man brought her to?
After several minutes of gawking, Maire forced herself forward. She had to know if it was real – and whatever was in store for her there was better than wandering lost under the eternal expanse of the sky. Whatever her future was, she was going to face it. She would take it. And so she walked down the hill towards the gate and the sheep and the rye, all the while working hard to keep her marvelling from showing on her face.
As she got closer to the gate, she could see another figure moving towards it too; a woman, older than her mother, she thought, with lots of grey in her hair. Her clothes were well worn but not worn through, and her arms and shoulders looked thick and strong – the mark of any woman who lived on a farm. Any well-fed woman, at any rate. They both reached the gate at the same time, and Maire straightened up as tall as she could, refusing to flinch under the scowling scrutiny of the woman on the other side of the gate. Maire knew she was taking in her tattered and threadbare clothes, her skeleton of a body, the dirt all over her face, but she did not care. Whatever else lay on the other side of that gate, there was food, and she meant to find out why – and she meant to have her share for once.