Tuesday Tales writing to a word prompt Fun, FREE, Reads #ASMSG #IRTG
Welcome to Tuesday Tales
This week's word is Stairs
Too stunned to protest, she stood there and didn’t
say a thing. Why in the world would this child claim to be hers? Things were
bad enough around here as far as trust went. There was intelligence in Brian’s
eyes and she had a feeling he knew exactly what he was saying.
“Well if you two are done eating, I’ll just get to
washing the dishes.”
Patrick stood and he seemed taller than she
remembered. “I’d like to talk to you, outside.”
“I’d be happy to as soon as my dress is dry.”
He looked her up and down then nodded. “I bet it’ll
be dry soon.”
Swallowing hard, she nodded. “Yes, soon.”
She poured warm water into a basin and washed the
few dishes and finally the pot—taking her time, trying to delay their talk. What
was there to say? He didn’t believe her and it was the end of any conversation.
Her word had always been good enough while her parents were alive, then
suddenly she wasn’t to be trusted. None of it made sense to her at all. Hadn’t
she been through enough? Sighing she dried her hands and grabbed her dress. She
was lucky to be alive.
“Where shall I change?”
He blinked at her and looked around. “I guess we’ll
just turn our backs.”
“Fine.” She waited until they had their backs to her
and quickly changed into her dress. “I’ll need my coat.”
“That piece of cloth won’t keep you warm. Come on we
can share mine.”
Her face grew hot. “I don’t think that would be
“Out here we work with what we’ve got. Come on.” He
put the giant fur coat on and held his arm out for her to get under. “See not
It was much too close but she didn’t utter a word as
they walked outside in accord. He took her to the barn, which was almost as
cold as the outdoors, but it kept the wind off them.
“What’s your horse’s name?”
“Ahearn, it means Lord of Horses in Gaelic.”
“Samantha you must know my confusion and my
exasperation. There are too many things that don’t add up and I’m sorry but you
come out at the losing end. I don’t know you but the child inside says you’re
his ma and I believe him. I don’t know what led to you both being out in the
forest but you didn’t even mention him once while I was rescuing you. What do
you have to say for yourself?”
She tensed and her chin began to wobble. It was all
too much. Her whole life had turned on end and now this. “All I know is the
truth. He is not my son. I have never lain with a man. I have never tried to
steal any woman’s husband and I have never tried to entice a man, ever. I am
from a good, God-fearing family and I don’t understand any of this. If you want
to put me out do it now before I begin to like you or something.”
“There’s not much to like. I’ll not be putting you
out but I’ll not be trusting you either. I expect you to treat your son with
care. Those bruises came from somewhere. Perhaps not from you. My best guess is
they came from your man, Solomon.”
“I don’t know why I even bother talking to you.”
Quick as lightening she unwrapped herself from his coat and ran out into the
blizzard. The light from the lamp led her back to the cabin stairs and by the
time she got inside, she was chilled to the bone. She drew a blanket around her
but she couldn’t get her teeth to stop chattering.
The door slammed open. Patrick looked at her and
began to mutter something about how people don’t use the brains God gave them.
“Let me get you some tea.”
“You have tea up here?”
“I’m not much of a coffee drinker. Brian move over
so I can put your ma next to you.”
Before she could object, he lifted her and tucked
her into the bed next to her supposed son. As soon as she had Brian alone, he
had a lot to answer for.
The gentleness of Patrick surprised her as he
prepared her tea, plumped up her pillow and made sure she was warming up. He
handed her the tin cup and told her to be careful it was hot. He was a strange,
contrary man to say the least. If it was going to be a long hard winter as
Patrick predicted, she’d have to find a way to get along with him. It meant she
was going to have to swallow her pride. She had a feeling it would involve a
lot of tongue biting.
As she sipped her tea, she pondered her quandary.
How had everything gotten so turned around? It hadn’t been too long ago she was
helping her parents pack the wagon for a new start in Colorado. Her father
already purchased land and made a deal with a rancher for some cattle. It was
an exciting time. Then her mother died and she’d thought she couldn’t go on only
to have her father die. She assumed she could drive the team herself and
They all turned on her and no matter how hard she
thought about it, no answers came. It started with Stinky Sullivan and Old
Thomas and ended up with her elderly friend Eunice throwing the bag of food at
her feet. They took her wagon and left her there. She sat up straighter and her
Patrick glanced at her. “What?” His impatience laced
“They stole my wagon and the money.”
Patrick stood up and walked to her side, taking the
cup out of her hands. “What money?”
Running her hands over her face, she tried to take a
deep calming breath. “No wonder Stinky was so insistent I leave with nothing.
He started the rumors about me the second my father died. I hardly had him
buried before others began to snub me. The deed to my papa’s land was in the
wagon.” Her hands clenched and unclenched the fur covers. “Stinky even told me
to be sure any papers weren’t on my papa before we buried him. I’m so stupid.”
“Stinky?” Brian giggled.
Her head ached. “Yes, Stinky Sullivan. He and my pa
were making plans to ranch together. He had his eye on me but they don’t call
him Stinky for nothing.”
Brian laughed louder. “I wouldn’t want that name.”
“He’s a polecat!”
This time Patrick joined Brian in laughing. The urge
to cry left her. There was nothing she could do about it now. “At least I know
why. My hurt by their actions grew daily and I couldn’t figure out what I had
done wrong. Dang, I even cared for their kids when they were sick. We spent a
lot of time together and I grew to think of them as family.” A deep sigh escaped
her and she lay back until her head hit the pillow. It hadn’t been her fault
after all. They had her almost convinced she was a bad person. Peacefulness
filled her soul and she stared up at the log ceiling hoping her parents were
together in heaven and watching over her.
“Are ya all right, lass?” His dark eyes were filled
with compassion and one dark brow rose.
“Yes. Lass? Might you have a wee bit of Irish in
ya?” she asked in her best Irish Brogue.
“My da was born there, County Tyrone. He loved
America but often longed to be back home.”
“My papa had lots of stories from when he was a boy
there in County Mayo. He always had the same longing. He left a lot of family
When he smiled, he looked much younger. His grin was
almost boyish and his eyes had a bit of sparkle in them. What a transformation
from his brooding look his usually had. It was a very nice change indeed.