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[CW] What Comes Next?
Junior Member

18 Posts
1 Thread

Pronouns: She/Her
Age: 22
Height: 5'4"
Registered: May 2021

#1
[cw- Infant Loss]

Iris was tired as she came to a stop at the crossroads, trying to remember which way she was going. Carrying nothing but a carpetbag, the widow made her way down the next road until the farm in question came in sight. Her black gown, one of the only ones that she could fit into anyway, hung slightly too tight on her form, for she had only just given birth days ago. Luckily enough, the walk had not been a long one as she had hitched a ride on the back of a hay wagon as far as a half of a mile away.

She approached the door and gave a rap, then stepped back and looked off to the side some. Her face was pale and drawn, she obviously hadn't much time to recover from the difficult birth that brought her daughter briefly into the world, but if she were to survive... well... she had to do something. Giving her milk to a baby so another life wouldn't be lost was meaningful enough to her that she would be alright doing it. But she would not let herself become attached to the little one, she wouldn't be able to bear the heartbreak of the loss of a baby again.

As the door opened, she shifted mournful eyes toward the person emerging from the house.
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Junior Member

5 Posts
0 Threads

Age: 13
Occupation: Housemaid
Registered: Aug 2020

#2
The two-story farmhouse stood bleakly against even bleaker moorland on one side, and cultivated, but still bare farmland on the other side. To add to its unwelcoming appearance, its walls were made of coarse grey stones and its windows small. Only the cherry trees on either side of the entrance seemed to welcome the stranger with their kind white bloom. Behind the house, larger, mostly wooden buildings could be seen, centred around a court which was mostly hidden from view by the forbidding old house.

A young blonde girl wearing a green cotton dress and a white apron opened the door. “Can I help ye ma’m?... Are ye t’ wetnurse?” She sounded almost desperate. Her eyes moved down to Iris’s dress and the tighter sections, before she caught herself and looked back up.

There was no entrance hall. Instead, the large main room of the house could be seen over the girl’s shoulder. There was a dining table and chairs, as well as a seating area by the fire, suggesting that there was no separate drawing room and dining room, but that most of the living happened in this one space, the staircase at the far end of the room doubtlessly leading up to the private rooms, and the one other door to the kitchen. Most of the furniture was simple, the only trace of elegance being the upright piano - and that was banished to a far corner. In an armchair by the fire sat a hardy woman with a sleeping new-born against her chest. She stretched her neck to see who was at the door.
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Junior Member

18 Posts
1 Thread

Pronouns: She/Her
Age: 22
Height: 5'4"
Registered: May 2021

#3
She merely gave a nod before saying softly, "That I am." There was something tired-looking about the young woman, her eyes somewhat listless. The young widow looked toward the baby and wasn't prepared for the jarring sensation she felt. Her mouth quirked, and she tilted her head toward the girl, "And that is the babe that needs me?" she asked, though she already knew it was so.
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Junior Member

5 Posts
0 Threads

Age: 13
Occupation: Housemaid
Registered: Aug 2020

#4
"Please, come in," the girl said, and she stepped aside to allow Iris to enter. "Aye, tis, ma'm, but..."

"Fetch, Mr. Appleton, dear," said the woman holding the babe.

"Aye," and the girl left the house, closing the door behind her.

The sturdy woman eyed Iris and a small frown appeared on her face. "Eh, ye look fatigued, ma'm. Are y'alright? Please sit down. Mr. Appleton will be 'ere in a moment."

She shifted the infant and a soft noise rose from its mouth.
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Junior Member

18 Posts
1 Thread

Pronouns: She/Her
Age: 22
Height: 5'4"
Registered: May 2021

#5
She nodded, "I am well enough." It was a bald-faced lie, but she wasn't there to talk about the loss of her own babe. She sat down as directed, setting her belongings down at her feet. Iris wanted to reach for the baby, she stared longingly, knowing she would have to keep herself from getting her heart won over by the poor, wee mite.
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Senior Member

504 Posts
11 Threads

Age: 31
Occupation: Farmer
Registered: Feb 2020

#6
The woman gave her a nod, and began to gently rock the stirring infant to calm it.

After a few minutes, the door open, and a red-bearded man entered, wearing an old pair of work trousers, though he had put on a waistcoat and jacket, to cover what was probably a dirty shirt. He was red and sweaty, as he marched over to Iris and extended his hand. "Tobias Appleton. I'm told you're the wetnurse?"

The young girl re-entered and closed the door behind them.
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Junior Member

18 Posts
1 Thread

Pronouns: She/Her
Age: 22
Height: 5'4"
Registered: May 2021

#7
"I am. I am Iris Carpenter," she confirmed as she eyed the man who came in. He looked like he had been working rather hard. The young widow regarded him with her weariness. "I can take the babe now if you wish." And she hoped so... her breasts were extremely painful with the milk she produced that had yet to be suckled. "My own child died not long after birth... I ah..." she looked down then, not asking why he needed a wet nurse. If he wanted to tell her, he probably would, but she didn't want to pry any more than she wanted him to pry about her past. Her voice sounded hollow.
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Senior Member

504 Posts
11 Threads

Age: 31
Occupation: Farmer
Registered: Feb 2020

#8
The man frowned and quirked his head a little. "I'm sorry to hear," he told her. "Are you still able to nurse?" He nodded at the older woman, who stood up and handed Iris the babe. It was dressed in a white robe and a brown woolen blanket. Its thin soft hairs were dark. Now that the woman released it from her warmth, the babe began to stir, opened its eyes a little, pouted, and began to wail. "She's had a few bottlefeeds," said the farmer, "but she wouldn't drink well and she's weak."
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Junior Member

18 Posts
1 Thread

Pronouns: She/Her
Age: 22
Height: 5'4"
Registered: May 2021

#9
She took the babe into her arms and looked down at her, her eyes tearing up a little but she nodded when he asked about if she could still nurse. "Yes..." she said as her lips trembled. The former mother closed her eyes and said, "Where shall I take her? For privacy...?" she asked in a voice thick with emotion. She hadn't gotten to feed her babe. It all seemed so unfair... But there was now another child dependant on her and she was frightened she might fail the little one somehow. She forced a calm on herself and rocked the baby just like she had her own. "Shhhhh, now, little one..."
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Senior Member

504 Posts
11 Threads

Age: 31
Occupation: Farmer
Registered: Feb 2020

#10
"The kitchen," said Tobias. "Jenny will show you."

"This way, ma'm," said the girl, and she led Iris through the one other door.

Meanwhile, Tobias turned to the older woman. "Thank you, Mariann," and he handed her some coins.

The kitchen was spacious, given the modest size of the house. The floorboards were worn, but swept clean. There was a large table in the middle and long benches.

"There ye go, ma'm," said the girl, gesturing towards the bench. She sat down an picked up a shirt she had apparently been fixing in between other chores, but her hands didn't move, and instead, she watched with interest. "We all thought she was goin' to die. Me mam says all this bottle feedin' ain't good for bairns, and 'er bein' so small an' all."
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