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[CW] Hold on to me
Senior Member

385 Posts
16 Threads

Age: 15 (4 November 1879)
Occupation: Fisherman's daughter
Height: 5'1''
Registered: Sep 2019

#9
For a moment, Anne stared up at the man with an equal amount of shock. Then she found her voice. “Help! Please!” she wailed. She tried to climb back up to her feet.

The man reached down to take her arm. “God! You’re frozen solid, child!” He quickly put the gun down and lifted her up. “Let’s get you in!” He carried her to the house with large strides, but Anne protested:

“No! No! Please, my sister!”

But the man carried her into the house and put her down on a sofa in front of an unlit fireplace. He walked over to a table and lit a candle. “Jenny!” he shouted to a young blond girl in a night gown and a woollen shawl, who stood on a flight of stairs in the back of the room. “Heat some water! This child’s been out all night!”

“Aye, ser.” The girl ran down the last few steps and disappeared through a door near the stairs. The man knelt down in front of the fireplace.

“No please, my sister is out there!” Anne tried again desperately. “She’s dying!”

The farmer turned his head sharply and looked at her as if in disbelief. “Out on the moors?”

“Dying!” she cried, struggling to get the sound past her throat. “Please!”

"Where?"

Anne sobbed. "I don't know exactly."

The man rose. “Do you know how to make a fire?”

“You have to help her!”

“Jenny!” The man shouted. The girl rushed back into the room. “Get a fire going!” The man himself hurried upstairs.

Anne’s heart was racing as she stared after him. Had he understood her? Where was he going? They needed to find Alice! The servant girl knelt down in front of the fireplace and began to light it. Anne wanted to ask her for help, to tell her to speak to her master, but she was so upset that she couldn’t find any words and she curled up and cried silently instead.

After a minute or so, the man returned downstairs, dressed and carrying several woollen blankets and clothes that he tossed on the sofa beside her. “There’s dry things for ye to change into,” he said, and he made his way towards the door.

“My sister!”

“Working on it! Put on summat dry!” And he was gone

The servant girl cast glances in her direction, but didn’t say anything. Anne searched among the pile. There were blankets and lady’s clothes, but she didn’t take anything.

“I won’t look,” the younger girl reassured her. “Put summat on ye. Or ye’ll catch yer death.”

But how could she make herself warm and comfortable, when her sister was still soaking wet and out in the cold? Still, she was improper, and so she found a dress, though she put it over her wet underclothes for penance. She refused to get warm just yet. She had abandoned Alice. Once again, a sibling was suffering and possibly dying, and she couldn’t do anything. Poor Alice. Oh God save her!

By the time she was done, the girl had a fire going and disappeared into the kitchen. Anne slid down onto the floor, closer to the heat, for she could not resist it, guilty though she felt thinking of Alice freezing to death. She wrapped her arms around her legs and put her wet face on her knees. Was Alice still alive? Was the man looking for her? But how would he even find her? It was hopeless.

Suddenly the door opened again, and the farmer returned. He walked over to the couch and took a coat from the pile. “Put this on,” he handed it to her and she dared not disobey. “Can ye walk?”

Anne nodded though she wasn’t sure whether she could. Now that she was getting a little warmer, her entire body was aching. She crawled up to her feet. The man picked up one of the woollen blankets. “Jenny!” The girl stepped back into the room “Have soup ready when we come back and stoke up that fire as big as you can.” He turned back to Anne. “Come.”

He strode out. Anne rushed after him, though her legs were weak beneath her. By the lantern light she could see that a horse stood saddled and waiting in the yard. “Here. Hold this,” said the man and he handed her the blanket. Then he lifted her up, and Anne, stiff and sore though she was, managed to swing one leg over the saddle. She had never sat on a horse before, but she held on tight to the saddle, clinging the blanket between her body and the horse. The man took the lantern and then climbed up behind her. “Which way did you come from?”

Now despair struck again, for Anne wasn’t sure which way she had come from. She didn’t even know how long she had run before she had found the house and whether she had come in a straight line. She hardly remembered anything since she had left her sister.

She looked back at the house, trying to remember from which angle she had approached it. Then she turned. “Somewhere around there.” She said, pointing.

The man took the reigns and clicked his tongue, and they started moving in the direction Anne had indicated, hardly as fast as she had hoped. She held on tight. It seemed a little less dark than before, but perhaps it was because of the lantern that cast a circle of light around them. Still, she could hardly make out the dark hills against the almost black sky. How were they ever going to find Alice in this dark and vast expanse?

“There was a cliff!” she suddenly remembered. “We fell down a cliff or a steep hill or summat. And there was a pond in front of us.” Instantly, the man pulled the reigns and the horse made a sharp turn. They picked up the pace. “No! Not that way!” Anne shouted.

“I know! But we’ll be faster by road.”

And indeed, when they reached the road, they began to gallop. Anne held on tight, her body tense. We’re coming, Alice. Hold on just a little longer.

They passed a crossing and turned right at some point. Anne had already lost all sense of direction. The land slanted upwards and they rose steadily. Then they went down again. Then suddenly the they turned again and left the road and made their way into a patch of moorland, slower now. After a few minutes or so, something glimmered on the ground ahead of them, and Anne realized that it was water reflecting back the light from the lantern. The pond! And there…

“Alice!” Anne shrieked. Her sister lay curled up on the ground, huddled against the hillside. Anne wiggled to try and get down from horse, but the man was quicker and caught her. As soon as her feet hit the ground, she rushed over and dropped down to her knees, wrapping the woollen blanket around her sister. “Oh Alice!” She put her hand on Alice’s cheek. She gasped. Her sister was so cold! She moved her hand down to Alice’s neck and felt for a pulse. It was barely there.

“Move!”

She scurried out of the way to let the man lift her sister and carry her to the horse.

“Take the lantern!”

Anne did so and ran after him. He put her on the horse behind Alice and took the lantern from her. Anne wrapped her arms around her sister, trying to give her all the warmth she could. “We found you, my dear. We’re goin’ to save you. Stay with us.”
Reply


Messages In This Thread
Hold on to me - by Anne Ward - 01-28-2020, 09:34 PM
RE: Hold on to me - by Anne Ward - 01-30-2020, 12:54 PM
RE: Hold on to me - by Anne Ward - 02-15-2020, 07:15 PM
RE: Hold on to me - by Anne Ward - 05-19-2020, 08:56 PM
RE: Hold on to me - by Anne Ward - 05-21-2020, 11:32 PM
RE: Hold on to me - by Anne Ward - 05-23-2020, 11:01 AM
RE: Hold on to me - by Anne Ward - 05-24-2020, 07:46 PM
RE: Hold on to me - by Anne Ward - 05-31-2020, 10:37 AM
RE: Hold on to me - by Anne Ward - 03-16-2021, 10:32 PM

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