I’m posting on a Sunday in order to finish with everyone else tomorrow—blogger bungled up a scheduled post (the only story in the challenge I had managed to pre-write), and I’ve been lagging behind by a day ever since!
Today’s prompts (the story starter in bold at the beginning of the story below) and the picture prompt are from Siv Maria.
Yesterday morning was different, a lifetime away. She was certain something remained of her earlier life, somewhere, but she was unsure– it seemed a different beast altogether.
For starters, in the twelve years of her life she remembered and the four she did not, she had a home, a town, a place she belonged to. The sun shone upon acres of dark green, her friends chased her around trees in the orchard, limber girls giggling and squealing, faltering in their long black habits, but not falling, as they ran up the hillside, hair flying from their plaits come undone.
Girls, apples are sinful fruit, the nuns said, and as she’d run among the low-hanging fruit, as always, she’d imagined them as little monsters with sharp teeth and frothing tongue. Apples, and men, girls, keep away from both, and you have nothing to fear. She had laughed, as the voice of the matron rang in her head, and she wondered about the boy who kept staring at her as she walked from one lesson to another, and he picked apples or swept the yard, the gardener’s new assistant.
This morning– if at all this hazy dawn filled with the tortured cries of the wounded, the whinnying of frenzied horses, the strange but now familiar smell of blood-soaked earth, could be called a morning– all she felt were the kicks on her sides every time she stopped, the chafing of her wrists in leather bonds, the blisters under her unshod feet as the shackles on her waist dragged her along.
If apples were sinful, what were these men who had her bound?
She stumbled on, her hair in her eyes, till they caught a movement in the trees, a furtive, bird-like thing that followed her through the hillside forest. She darted glances at it, till she glimpsed the face of that gardener’s boy– grimy, determined, undeniably reassuring.
Perhaps, something remained of her earlier life after all. Changed, it is true, but something she could go back to. Maybe not all men were sinful.
If you liked this story you might like some of the stories I wrote for my A to Z last year.
You can tell us what you thought were the highlights of your April Challenge, what you learned, what changes you might make next time, or what surprised you most. Let us know about special bloggers you met in your A to Z journey or about a post or posts that especially moved or impressed you. There are no limits as to what your Challenge experience might have been so tell us in your best way how you felt about the April A to Z Challenge of 2012.