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from Frienemies by Aleta Kay

Chapter Eight

Of all the days that it could rain why did it have to be today? Fawn stood at the living room window, peering through the parted sheer curtains. Angel’s friend was coming today. They would ride to Pipestem and meet the Wiley family who were in charge of finding a teacher for their holler. How would she ever be able to keep her hair neat in this weather? She was sure to look like a drowning vagrant by the time they would arrive. It would be nice to have some indication of when her escort would arrive. Angel had said his name was Joel.

The sky was a sheet of slate with lightning bolts flashing and thunder crashing. She rushed out to the barn, filled the horse’s bucket with his morning feed, mucked out the stall, and forked fresh hay into it. Somehow she would need to get to town and purchase more feed. Have fun doing that without a wagon.

Back in the house she tidied up and checked her appearance in the small round mirror on the wall beside the stair. She re-coiled her hair and added more pins she had tucked in her apron. Apron. Oh, no, she couldn’t wear that to meet the Wiley's. Angel would swoon at the thought. She would sit with Nana. A sense of unease caused Fawn to shudder briefly. She dismissed it.

She went upstairs to remove the apron and make sure her attire, worn and a size too big though it was, were appropriate for the occasion. Back downstairs she sought Nana’s approval.

“Heavens, child, yer as nervous as a new mama cat. Ya look fine. Go fix us a cup of tea. It’ll help ya relax a bit.”

Fawn did as she was told while she pondered the corks and twine. Jason could not have killed my mother. What reason would he have? But these are his corks and his twine. At least, they look like what he used when we were children. Could someone else have planted them, made it look like he did it? But that doesn’t make sense either.

She brought the two cups of tea into the living room and sat down next to Nana on the couch.

“What’s on yer mind besides meetin’ new folks today, Fawn?”

She almost dropped the cup she was holding. The tea splashed a little on her dress. Setting the cup back on the saucer, she jumped up and went to the kitchen to dab the wet spot with a dishcloth. Fortunately the tea was colorless and didn’t leave a stain. It would be dry by the time she got to Pipestem.

“Nothing,” she answered as she re-entered the living room.

“Don’t you try to fool me, girl. I see those furrows in yer brow. Ye’re too young to have them deep wrinkles. Out with it.”

“It’s nothing, Nana. I just wonder how I ...






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