Title: As I am so will you be
Char-- Mistress Smith
Word Count 275
As I Am So Will You Be
Kneeling was no problem. And Margery
didn't notice it while she was down. The trouble was the rising. Her
body had a memory of rocking to her heels and lifting thoughtless,
with grace and strength. Even carrying, she had not felt like this.
She had been a foolish lumbering thing, but she had not ached. Her
hands had not been swollen and red, her knees had not spoken so
So now she heaved herself up. The wall
was rough under her palm. She had checked, as always, for spiders.
She paused a moment, to allow for the cresting of the pain in her
knees. It came, it went.
She took a deep breath, shook her
skirts out. Her apron was stained where her knees had pushed. Bits of
straw clung. She brushed those carefully back where they belonged,
covering earth cool underneath. She saw in her mind, the riches
buried there. Apples, carrots, turnips, safe in winter, future
Years of making food, proud and glad,
to take it from the fire, and set it down. A pewter plate, a tired
man. There had been the slump of shoulders, the feel of whiskers,
days end. Three husbands, and all had had the same slump. And
children of three husbands. Years of unfolding little hands, to see
if they were clean. Years of hands lifting food to mouths. Mouths
laughing, talking when they shouldn't, eyes shining. And all the
time, herself, Margery, getting older.
Those who saw her now could not see the
foolish strength of the girl she had been. Sometimes she heard young
laughter on the street beyond, and she had to stop and breathe a
moment. All gone now, one place or another. But she was here, and the
bright flag of strange laughter shook her hard.
So she didn't mind feeding Mr Kyd, or
his young friend Marlowe.