• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 04
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Beside Him

She blamed him.

Her only son, gone, fleeing a whirlwind of angry words, running with his dreams held close to his chest so they would have a chance to see daylight. So they wouldn't be shut up in this backwater, being strangled slowly, like she was.

Thomas was the only reason he had ever given her to smile. That little bundle of joy she had birthed and held and nursed and loved to strong hopeful manhood.

And now he was gone. Gone and she would likely have to wait until the old coot died before she could see him again.

Cora was mad. And wracked with grief. And tired of the way her mean-spirited husband trampled every frail shoot of joy her heart dared to tend.

But there was planting to do. Or there would be no harvest. And there was no living without a harvest. Nothing to eat and nothing to trade or sell. No, this was the time to plant. Time to dig in and do the necessary.

She would sit by the window that night and weep bitter tears, praying and asking God to protect her boy out there in the world. She would give in to the hurt and the anger and cry over how unfair life was as she stared up at the sky, the multitude of bright stars bearing witness.

But now, she would plant. Beside him. As she had promised to live beside him under that old oak tree all those years ago.