The burden poor Charity had to bear proved too much for her. My author has written the tale, and following is the opening to the Charity's Burden, which will be published on the eighth day of Fourth Month (what you might call April). She'd like to give away a signed copy, too!
The painfully thin woman bent into herself, her arms crossed over her emptying womb. “Am I dying, Rose?”
I silently prayed she wasn’t. I stroked her hair back off her damp brow. “Of course not. But I need to have a doctor see thee.” I am a skilled and experienced midwife, but this was too much bleeding for an early-term miscarriage. I opened a drawer, looking for more cloths. A pamphlet printed on red paper lay half buried in a stack of neatly folded linens.
I glanced around the threadbare bedroom where a note from my client had summoned me this frigid Second Month morning. “Does thee have a telephone?” I was certain she didn’t. My modest home a mile away had acquired one of the new devices only a month ago.
She shook her head without looking up. “But I’m going to put one in. When I get the money.”
The money? What money? Maybe she meant her husband’s next pay from the boat shop, but surely that would go first to food, clothing for the children, and paying off debts. He had been working for Lowell’s a scant few months.
“I won’t let Ransom say no.” She smiled sadly. “When we first married, he said yes so very often. He was always sweet with me, Rose.”
“I am sure he loves thee very much.” I hadn’t seen him be publicly sweet with her, but one never knew what went on behind closed doors in the life of a married couple.
Readers, what burden - small or large - have you been able to overcome? Did someone help you? Edith will send a signed copy of the new book to one winner, so please include your email address.
Maddie Day creates the Country Store Mysteries and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. As Edith Maxwell, this Macavity- and Agatha-nominated author writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries, the Local Foods Mysteries, and award-winning short crime fiction.
Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau and two cats, and blogs here and with the other Wicked Authors. You can find her on Facebook, twitter, Instagram, and at her web site, edithmaxwell.com.