Story #5 Moon Dust and Shadows
Moon Dust and Shadows
Mrs. Shrock was mortified when she witnessed Estelle staring down the crow through the dining room window, and it suddenly dropped to the ground. She had a bigger issue on her hands which was Estelle’s father, but she had not forgotten it. She helped Estelle’s father up off the ground and into the living room chair and she summoned Margie to run back to her place so that Mr. Shrock could fetch a doctor.
The doctor came, but not without a price, and Estelle’s father was confined to bed for several weeks. Her mother, just having a baby could do light things around the house if necessary, but it left the shoulder of the burden on Estelle and Margie’s shoulders to run the household. Margie would have to cook and clean and watch the two younger sisters, her mother would take care of the baby, and this left Estelle to do all the outside work. For a nine year old girl, this would prove to be quite a responsibility.
Estelle woke up at the crack of dawn to milk the cow and to feed it and the horses. She was responsible for harvesting all in the garden, as well as maintaining it. Margie washed the clothes, and Estelle hung them and took them down and folded them. Her life had become one of necessity for the sake of the family.
The whole ordeal with the crow confused and scared Estelle. Although she lived through what had happened, comprehending exactly what transpired wasn't as easy for her nine years of understanding. Had she really killed that crow with her thoughts? Could she kill anything with her thoughts? Is her punishment having to do all this work? If all life is sacred as she’d been taught in church, was she evil?
There was absolutely no one to turn to in this situation. Her parents would whisper once in a great while about her “condition” but it wasn’t spoken of aloud. To bring it up would upset them and get her in trouble. Mrs. Shrock had already been rumoring to more than one neighbor about her evil powers according to her sister Margie, who believed it all was a coincidence. Estelle was left to her hard work and all her thoughts as she pondered what all of it meant.
Why couldn’t she just be a normal nine year old?
That night, she prayed fervently that God listen to her and take away the evil inside her. She wasn’t convinced that trading the crow’s life for her father’s life was evil, but she would gladly do it again, whether it be evil or not. Exhausted from the manual labor, she fell asleep mid-prayer and woke up late the next morning.
Thankfully, it was raining and most of the chores would be put on hold as she just had to concentrate on getting the animals fed and the cow milked. As she finished that up in the barn, she found an old dusty box. She lifted the lid to look inside and there were lots of books. She noticed some bugs had eaten away some of their pages overtime, but they were still in a readable condition.
The box seemed to beckon her to pick one and open it and start reading.
The the first paragraph of the first book almost jumped off the page at her, figuratively as much as literally. Reading was something she was still struggling with learning, but the way the letters seemed to dance mid-air, understanding slowly and steadily came together for her.
The book was a collection of stories on mythical creatures, which was seemingly written for someone about her age. She needed to get back inside the house, so she slid the book up under her dress and took the milk bottles with her. Fighting the rain across the yard, she made it inside, putting the milk in the icebox and heading straight to her room to put the book under her mattress.
After supper, she went to her room to lie down early. There were no questions asked, as her parents knew she had worked hard all week. She fell asleep early, only to wake when her sisters crawled in bed. It was then that she woke up, slid the book out from under the mattress and began to delve into the world of mythical beings.
The words on the pages were like dust spilt from the moon, lighting up the images and the stories of another world. Gods and goddesses, men and women, animals and monsters, dwarfs and giants, they all entertained Estelle as she read more and more about them. There were fascinating tales and frightening tales, and tales she didn’t quite understand. She had found a new love of the written word and the art of telling the story. And through most of the night, with the moon as her lamp, she filled her mind with a world that seemed so unfamiliar yet so enchanting.
She fell asleep with her head upon the book. She jerked awake at the crack of dawn as the sound of something boomed in her ears,
“You are MINE! YOU are finally MINE! ”
Estelle's stomach sank as she realized that the man in the window had found her once again.
**Estelle Photo (c) 2011 Vintage Duffee, All Rights Reserved**
***Norse Mythology Chart found through Google Search. You may click on the image to be taken to the original author and see it in his original content***
****This was part of the BFF (Blogging For Fun) group challenge write based on the picture shown above. You may click on the picture to be taken to the facebook group where the picture was initially posted.****