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Until The Snow Melts

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When Orlaith, leaves her home in Newburyport MA, due to her husband's abuse, she never dreams of where she will end up. A journey out of hell, into a storm, leaves Orlaith, and her small daughter broken down in a tiny farming town in central MA on their way to California seeking an escape from an abusive home life. The farm is full of mystery, beauty, death, life and sorrow. Can Orlaith get her feet back under her? Can she face her husband again? Does she even need to? Will she ever know love again? And can she help her hostess, make peace with the past? Can these two very different women who faced so much of the same find a way to connect and move on? or will the snow melt too fast outside in the farm yard and inside in the human heart?

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Through The Storm

Until The Snow Melts

Chapter 1 Through The Storm

Did he feel the wet fists of the sky falling in a torrential down pour as she had felt his fists raining down on her creating tiny lakes of black and blue and rivers of red on the surface of her body, breaking the bones that lay within her. No, of course he couldn’t feel the rain. Because he was sky back then… The source of the battering droplets of rain.

Annikki, stood in the glow of the little old oil lamp gazing through her kitchen window into the woods behind her house. The forest was just a shadow under the night sky further darkened by the rain clouds hiding the crescent waxing moon. She looked deep into the shadow forest thinking to herself of the spot under the shadowy trees where his body was hidden beneath the earth she had laid on top of him.

He was calm now, even gentle. The rage that had defined her life and his behavior finally quenched. He was beyond feeling now, She had taken his ability to feel that dreadful evening so many years ago. He had stopped feeling when she had hit him in the back of the head with a pitchfork. Even before his body had hit the ground, before she had dragged it off into the forest and covered him over.

A part of her was dreaming of going outside and bringing him in, digging him up, finding him alive and well and ready to stop drinking. How she wished the forest could produce such magic….

Annikki, wanted so badly to sit him at the old wooden table that had been her great grandfather Olaf’s. She wanted to serve him a hot drink and listen as he played his fiddle as he had done on the good days smiling and laughing… At one time they had wiled away the evening that way….. With him playing and her dancing around to the beautiful music he produced till exhausted she would collapse on the couch to close her eyes and just listen.

But, she knew. The forest was just a forest. There was no magic there. No power to bring her victim back to life. There was no magic in the rain beating down either. Only water that would be good for her vegetable garden. When the storm let up she would head out to weed it.

Annikki, looked into the storm feeling a sense of regret. Not for victimizing Peter, but for the ruination of her family, for what she had become in taking a human life. For the greatest loss she had ever known.

She saw Saga, everywhere, even now, so many years later. Saw her in the garden running and playing. Saw her at the edge of the forest picking the wildflowers the farm was named for. All different kinds and colors poked up through the ground, Saga dancing around picking them, collecting them in a small bouquet.

The wildflowers came in waves. One wave hit in the early spring, one more broke against the green grass farm shore in the late spring followed quickly by a large summer wave of blooming color, followed finally by a calmer autumn wave that would lap at the farm while the leaves of the trees would be changing to bright colorful hues. Saga’s smile put them all to shame, for it was more beautiful than the prettiest wild rose and brighter than the reddest most fiery maple leaf.

Then the flowers would fall to their death right along with the colorful leaves that would fall to the ground and lay over them like a light sheet until the snow came to finally blanket them as a big thick down blanket. The winter would settle in and there would be the long separation…. Each day of winter the sun would beat down wishing for just a sight of it’s children, the blooming wildflowers, that in spring would once again dance proudly in the wind.

Annikki, recalled Saga, in the spring collecting the eggs from the chicken coop giggling in a sun dress her blond hair falling down her back and her blue eyes on fire, carrying one brown egg in her left hand and a white one in her right. She remembered her playing with the goats, while wearing adorable rubber rain boots. It was Saga’s ghost that haunted the old farm, not Peter’s.

Annikki’s only consolation in life was knowing, though she had lost Saga, Saga, was still alive and building a life of her own, gracing more adult things with that beautiful bell like laugh she had had as a child, somewhere where Annikki, could not be part of her life. When they had taken Saga, they had told her nothing about where she would be living and though she had called many times seeking information on what had become of her, Annikki, was never given information about Saga.

Annikki turned from the window not wishing to give Peter, a second thought. Not wanting to relive the pain he had caused while writing on her body in reds, blacks, and blues. She turned on the kettle and in the quiet of the torrential down pour and the rising winds of the autumn storm. She waited in the silence that had become her life years earlier with the burial of Peter. Soon enough her tea was hot and boiling. She poured it into an old mug with a tea bag in it.

Chamomile, for comfort on an ugly night like tonight, Annikki turned back to the window to brood about the life she might have had if she had never married Peter. She looked through the window again, towards the forest with the deepest hate in her eyes and heart. A deep bitterness still lived on the old farm. The kind that comes from the death of a dream.

Most people would have seen a shadow forest and a lot of rain through the window.... What Annikki saw, was horrifying and ugly, disturbing, wicked, and painful. The rest of the world would have just seen a beautiful historic New England farm near the forest surviving a bad autumn storm.

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