This is a snippet from my current work in progress, which works great for a Thursday Threads entry. (The title was The House of Scarlet Lane, for a minute Blind Sorrow, Blind Fear, then Demon of Ashcroft, changed again to The Ashcroft Chronicles, and now I’m toying with The Women of Ashcroft or maybe The Witch of Ashcroft. It’ll know it’s name when it’s done.)
“Sylvie, fetch sheets and towels from upstairs.” Petula glanced at her, then moved her attention to Elise. “Would you like privacy while you undress him?”
Elise shook her head as her trembling fingers unbuttoned her husband’s shirt, finding sweetness in the quick assessment of the woman’s normal gruff exterior.
“If you’re unafraid of seeing mortal wounds and a nude man,” Petula said to Daphne, Minora, and Felicity. “Stay, otherwise…” None moved. “Felicity, fill the pot on the stove from the well.” Fear flickered in the young woman’s eyes; she didn’t blame her for not wanting to go outside alone. “Daphne, help her.” They disappeared from the room. “Minora, his boots.”
Petula’s husband and Dr. Avery burst into the house, then the room where Conrad laid on the table, blood oozing from him.
“What the hell happened?” the doctor asked.
“Bear attack,” Petula answered, confident with the lie. “The girls and I had finished our bible study when we heard a rumble of growls, then screams.”
“Pretty late for that, isn’t it?” Dr. Avery glanced at Elise.
Petula gave him a sharp look, continuing, “They’ve been awful this year.”
Once he’d stitched up Conrad, and told Elise how to care for the wounds, the doctor left the house as the clock struck three.
“Your families must be worried sick,” Elise said.
“We told them we’d be late with Petula at church,” Minora said.
“You’re staying the night?” Elise stared at the woman, the group had serious problems with the truth.
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