Author Topic: Life goes on Short Story 2100 words any feed back would be nice thanks  (Read 583 times)

Offline 7thdaughter

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The woman’s agonizing screams could be heard through the night, no moon in the sky.  The air was crisp, cool, and no movement.  Sound traveled effortlessly through the quiet valley.

Inside of the sharecroppers’ house, shadows flickered like dancing puppets on the wooden walls from oil lanterns that hung randomly.  Pots of water boiling on the wood stove in the kitchen, they needed a lot of water for this birth, and stacks of towels and sheets waited on the counter.  As, Ethel and Rena each held one of their mothers’ legs; Emily bared down to deliver the baby.

Emily felt too much pain this time; worried her baby was going to be born breach. She wished she’d let Gordon call for the Doctor when he wanted too; it was to late now.  They had delivered nine babies before with no issues, maybe it was her age.
She prayed to God that this would be her last.  They were Catholic and they practice the rhythm method for birth control.  Even though she had other options, she chose not to use any. When this baby was born she would teach her daughters differently so they would have a better life.

They ate their dinner a few hours before on the same table Emily lay on now.  Gordon sat on a three-legged stool between her legs at the end of the table and comforted her with soothing words.

“Emily just one more hard push”, Gordon spoke tenderly.  He placed his sterile hand on the top of the babies’ crowned head as Emily pushed; making sure the baby did not come out too fast.

She groaned loudly and with one-last push the baby was born.  This birth took longer then any of the others did; she was glad it was over. “What is it?”

“Emily its a boy,” as Gordon held him up.

Gordon cleaned out Warren’s mouth, then held him up side down and slapped him on the behind to get him crying.  Baby Warren let out one hell of a scream to let them know he was fine.

The children waited in the living room with excitement at having another brother or sister.
Matthew stood at the dining room door, just cracked enough to hear.  He turned around. “It’s a boy.”

“Can we come out?” the children in sync.

“No, not yet,” their Father said. “I'll let you know when”.

Ethel tied a string on the umbilical cord near the babies’ stomach and then cut the cord.  She reached for the baby from her fathers’ big callused hands and wrapped him in a small light blue blanket. She cradled him close to her breast as she checked the water temperature in the sink. 

With the birth finally over now she could get some sleep.  With dark circles under her eyes and feeling like she just ran a marathon she looked out the window and sighed deeply, it was morning.  Realization hit her like a ton of bricks; there would be no sleep until tonight.

“Rena help Father,” said Ethel.

Rena was a simple girl.  She was always day dreaming.  Thinking of the day she would marry and start her own family. Bobby Smithton was twenty-one and Rena was a mere sixteen, even thou, she was ready for him to pop the question; they have been courting now for six months.

Rena helped her father get the after birth out by pushing in a downward motion on her mothers’ stomach. It made a thud right in to the bucket. While Rena washed her Mothers legs and feet she talked the whole time like a babbling brook.

Rena took a clean white cloth and dipped it into a pan of warm water and handed it to her Mother. “Here Mummy use this cloth to wash your face and hands.   “Oh Mummy he is so beautiful” Rena said. “I want to have many babies too.”  Emily was so tired all she wanted was sleep.

“Yes, Rena,” Emily said. Wait till she has her first.  She'll change her mind.  I really must have ‘the talk’ with this girl.

“Rena hand me my night gown,”.  As she put on a clean threadbare nightgown she saw Gordon heading to the front door with bucket in hand.  Matthew following close behind.  Gordon paused at the door and told the others they could go see their mother and new brother.

With happiness and excitement they rushed laughing and giggling into the dinning room where their Mother sat on a chair holding the baby.  “Calm down, calm down,” Emily told them all. “Each one of you will get your turn to hold the baby.”

Gordon took the afterbirth out to the yard and placed it in a hole he had dug the day before. He then placed a small tree in the hole on top of the afterbirth and threw dirt on the roots.

 “Matthew, come get the bucket and fetch me some water,” Gordon said. Matthew with long strides ran to the water pump with the bucket in tow and pumped like crazy to get the water flowing.  He filled the bucket and brought it back to his father “Here Father.”  Gordon then took the bucket and watered the newly planted tree. He now had five trees on each side of the driveway.

Likewise, this tree becomes a patron tree for the new baby. He had done this nine times before.  Gordon thought, what a lucky man he was, he now has five sons to help him on the farm. In addition to five daughters to help Emily in the house and gardens.  Of course it would be a few years before this new son would be able to work.

Gordon down on his knees, he prayed to God for the many blessing he has received. “And God please take care of Emily and the Baby,” he whispered.
He was the fifth son born to Emily and Gordon Bourke. Every time the Bourkes had another boy, it made the Reynolds happy because they knew it was more cheap labor to work their farm.

Emily and Gordon had been working for the Reynolds for nineteen years. Emily worked in the house and Gordon in the fields. As the years passed and the children got older they would be put to work either in the house, or the gardens, and then to the fields. It did not matter if you where a boy or girl; everyone worked.

Next morning Emily lay in their big brass bed with her new baby nestled to her breast feeding him. There was a lot of commotion in the other rooms of the house. She did not care. She knew that in due time she would be back to work telling the others what to do. So for now she was going to enjoy this little bit of heaven by staying in bed.

Gordon sat in the wing back chair across the room with his head on his chest snoring. Emily looked at him with love in her eyes.  After all these years she still felt thrilled when he touched her.  I am a lucky woman to have a man so loving and caring about the children and me.

“Rena, get the kids dressed,” Ethel said.

“I am, I am, come here Emma and Rose,” hollered Rena.

“Breakfast is on the table,” shouted Ethel. “Where's Father? Just then the older children came running in from the living room. “Stop running.”

“Matthew, dish out the eggs and potatoes to the others please,” said Gordon, as he came out of the bedroom. Gordon sat down at the head of the table grabbed a couple biscuits off of the platter and passed it on. “Good morning my children.”

“Father, would you like some coffee,” Ethel asked. “Yes, and please take your Mother breakfast.”

After breakfast Mary (13), Edward (11), Emma (8) and Rose (6) got ready for school and Ethel (18), Mathew (17), Rena (16), George (15) and John (14) got ready to do chores around the house and on the Reynolds farm.  The male children were allowed to go to school until they turned thirteen and the girls sixteen.  After that, they stayed home to work in the fields, barn or the big colonial house on the hill.  It looked like one of the plantation houses in the South. But this was Clearwater Michigan.
In the Reynolds home Martha and James were sitting down to breakfast that she prepared.
“James, have you spoken to Gordon yet?” 

“No, but Mathew came by and said his mother had a boy and they are both doing fine.”

“After breakfast I’m going to go see Emily and the baby.”

Martha loved Gordon and Emily's children like they were hers.  When James was a teenager, he came down with the mumps and has not been able to get Martha with child.  On the other hand, having Emily's children around made her feel almost complete.  She felt like family to the children, like an aunt.

Martha walked around the table and put her arms around James neck from the back.  She whispers in his ear.  “James, lets surprise Gordon and Emily with their own home, so they will stay with us forever,” Martha purred.

He never could say no to her.  “I’ll tell you what, we’ll have the survey done of their house with an acre of land and give it to them this fall when the crops come in.”
After the crops were planted, summer just flew by.

In June, Bobby Smithton asked Gordon for Rena's hand in marriage.  They wanted a September wedding. Gordon approved, but not until he spoke with Emily first.

Gordon and Emily surprised Ethel with college tuition.  She would leave at the end of August, for Marygrove College, in Detroit on the other side of the state.  She was going to miss her sisters wedding.  Ethel would be staying with distant relatives while she was in school. To pay for her room and broad, she would tutor their children.

As promised to his wife, James Reynolds had the house and one acre of land surveyed.  He gave it to Gordon and Emily Bourke when the crops came in as a bonus with their usual payment.
When Christmas arrived the Bourkes household glowed with anticipation.  All of the children would be home.  Martha and James Reynolds would be coming to dinner.  Rena and Bobby would be coming home and Ethel would be home from school for two weeks, and then she would be going back.

“Gordon will you get the children up,” Emily asked.  She had breakfast ready.

Gordon walked over to Emily and put his arms around her.  “You know I am one lucky man, Emily.”  Then he gently kissed her on the lips.

She hugged him back.  “Go get the kids while the food is still warm,” and she gave him that familiar smile he love so well.

After breakfast they opened their presents and Gordon and the children played.  Emily and Ethel cleaned the kitchen and got Christmas dinner cooking.

Rena and Bobby showed up for dinner about one o’clock.  The Reynolds got there a few minutes later.

As they all sat down for dinner but Rena and Bobby stood holding hands, saying they had announcement to make.  She said, “Mother and Father, are you ready to be Grandparents?”

At first everyone just stared at Rena and Bobby. 
Then realizing, “Life goes on”.

« Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 05:31:19 PM by 7thdaughter »
How many times must a heart be broken, the spirit crushed, dreams destroyed before the Soul gives up?