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Historical Fiction
Hiren's Journey
by Rebecca Onkar


The wails of mourning reachedHiren’s ears long before the news of her husband’s death did.

Brightly clad women, their faces covered in grief by thelong colorful folds of their sarees, stumbled their way on to the open groundin fro...

Chapter 1

September 1835

Bram Armstrong wandered the dirty side streets of King’s Port for over two hours before finally giving up and going into a tavern for a drink. As a pastor of a small congregation, Bram thought twice before entering the tavern doors but he...

Chapter 2

“Well boys, looks like we got ourselves a new bidder out there.” The auctioneer quickly recovered himself and resumed. “That’s two hundred and twenty-five dollars, do I hear two hundred and thirty?” he said pointedly looking at the bi...

Chapter 3

Thinking of Thea always brought a smile to Bram’s face. She had been his wife for the last six years and she was more than he deserved.

Still, he wasn’t sure how she would respond to him bringing home a strange girl. Normally Thea would be overjoy...

Chapter 4
The Long Walk

It was only a short walk to Abel’s shop but it felt like a hundred miles to Bram. He could feel the eyes of all of King’s Port upon him and he didn’t like it. For a man who had spent most of his life unnoticed it was terribly uncomfortable to sudde...

Chapter 5

Maybe things won’t be as bad as I’ve imagined, Hiren thought as she leaned against the building behind her and soaked her aching feet in the warm water. She could feel relaxation sinking into her body like water into soft earth. Tension, her constant com...

Chapter 6

Bram rose, ladled a cup of water, squatted down next to the girl and waited for her to take it. She paused only a moment before reaching out with both hands to accept the cup. She poured the entire amount of water down her throat without ever letting her lips touch ...

Chapter 7

Abel’s hand stopped in mid-smack on its way back to his older brother’s chest.

“Hiren,” she said again and lightly tapped her own chest with her fingertips.

“He–ren.” Bram recovered his tongue first and repea...

Chapter 8
The Bath

Hiren looked at the woman standing over her with fear in her eyes.

“Stand up missy, time for your bath. By the smell of you, you need it.”

Hiren didn’t move and neither did Mrs. Ivins.

“I’m not going to stand here...

Chapter 9
Gone and Back Again

Hiren woke in the middle of the night to sounds of heavy breathing and the occasional grunting snore.

“They’re asleep,” she thought. She had meant to stay awake all night to keep on guard against any advances on their part. Just thinking ab...

Chapter 10
Love at First Sight

When Bram and Hiren reached Abel’s small house Bram was surprised to find Abel gone. Not pausing to wait, Bram gathered up his few belongings, and the trunk of clothes Abel had given to Hiren, and loaded them into the buckboard wagon he had borrowed from Curti...

Chapter 11
Unfamiliar Territory

“Good morning, Abram. We saw that you returned. How was the journey?” Sarah Chellings asked as she walked in the door with Charity by her side. She was wearing a faded and much washed gray and green gingham dress that was nearly worn through in the elbow...

Chapter 12
Introducing Hiren

“Now let me get this straight, Reverend,” August Sweet stood from his seat on the pew and addressed Bram after he had finished explaining the circumstances of purchasing Hiren instead of the bell. “You went into King’s Port to buy the bell b...

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