This week we’re going to try a bit of Flash Fiction, more words, still short.
Lost and Found
I don’t know my name. I’m called Grace. They say it’s my way of walking give me that name.
But I don’t know.
I bin told I’m in my 30’s or thereabouts. I couldn’t tell ya my birthday if my life depended on it.
That’s just one more thing I don’t know.
The folks here say when they found me I was near bout dead. I’d been beaten and stabbed a few times. I don’t recall.
I sit by this here window many long hours ever evening wondering xactly where I come from, wondering if I got any family or friends.
James tells me they’ve put up signs and made inquiries in the near town. He says it’s called Hendersonville. He says no one seems to know me. No one seems to be missin’ a wife or mother, a sister or aunt.
James wife, Laura, give me a dress and some underthings, a sturdy pair of boots and a shawl. The dress is a little big but it’s a pretty light muslin with sprigs of pink flowers on it. Sometimes when I go to walk around the yard or to her vegetable garden for onions or cabbage, I borrow her bonnet.
Laura’s real nice. She’s offered to make me one of my own soon.
I do chores for her. It’s the only way I can repay the kindness the folks have given me. I feed the chickens and peel potatoes and clean the cobwebs and dishes.
And then I sit at the attic window near where they’ve made me a bed, wondering.
Most of the cuts and bruises have faded now. There’s a couple of stab wounds they say will scar right bad. One is on my shoulder. T’other is on my side. The doctor told James I was lucky none of them stabs hit anything important.
I bin here for two months. I bin awake for 6 weeks.
James found me. He said I was lyin’ in a lump in a ditch near the creek where Laura goes to do the washin’. He was looking for her that day to give her a new hankie he got her at the general store in Hendersonville. It was her birthday he says.
He carried me to their cabin and went to fetch the doctor.
Sometimes, when I’m lookin’ out this window, I get a powerful feeling of dread and fear come over me. I kin feel hands on my throat trying to choke me.
Sometimes, when I’m lookin’ out this window, I hear a man growling, raging and feel a clenchin’ in my stomach like I fell over a chair.
And sometimes tears jist fall outta my eyes. It’s like a thunderstorm in my head. And the rain just falls.
James and Laura say I can stay as long as I like, forever if that be my way.
I ain’t got nowhere else to go fur’s I know.
I don’t know my name. I’m called Grace.