Sunday, February 13, 2011
Big sister Arabella tries to get her little sister Elizabeth to listen to reason, stop her silliness, and go home.
Reader's review: 'I can see the room, the sisters and the lover in your poetic words and phrases'
The Way Of It
Dawn's light sneaks through a wood-framed window. The light reveals a humble but practical kitchen--warmed by a wood stove. A table with two coffee mugs and a vase of flowers stands in the middle of the room.
Two women enter the kitchen and find sturdy wooden chairs. Liz, in humble dress, picks up her knitting. Her hands fly masterfully through the stitches.
Arabella is in silk and lace, her hands bejeweled. "Only say the word and I will rescue you from this...this... place."
"Elizabeth, you can't be happy here. We were not born for this."
"He's so very course...uncultured...crude--an awful man. I can't believe he brings you joy. He labours in the fields. In. The. Fields." Her voice pierces. "His clothes smell of it. You deserve better." Her words tear down the humble cabin setting it ablaze.
Liz lays her knitting on her lap. Her eyes are full of love when she looks across the table at her sister. "Dear Bell, I know you want the best for me, but your ways are not our ways."
"What?! Now you enjoy poverty. You're deluded."
"Please, listen. I know our way of life must seem strange to you. You know fancy dress balls but not the passion of a kiss shared under the harvest moon."
"Like a common labourer. I would not stoop so low."
"I'm proud to work side by side with my man in our fields."
"What has this man's work brought you? Look at your hands--hands which once danced over ebony and ivory. Look at them. They're...they're gnarled and...and..."
"We work hard. We are building a future. You think he is crude, but you don't know him. The way he makes me feel. I am free. I can breathe. He wakes me early to share in such delights: the birth of a wee lamb, the tuneful singing of the birds, the sweet smell of fresh cut hay, the warm glow of the first light. He gives me gifts of finery--the wild flowers that grace our table. He is faithful, kind, hard working and he loves me. You should find such joy, such love."
"If you won't listen to reason. I can't help you." Arabella storms out of the room.
Liz bows her head. The needles click and the yarn dances.
Rewritten February 24, 2021