General Fiction posted August 1, 2010 Chapters: -Prologue- 1 

This work has reached the exceptional level
a life in the Ozark Mountains

A chapter in the book Little Camille(A novel)

Little Camille,( The Book )

by Realist101

The tiny kitten struggled to reach its mother's teats, her fragile claws reaching desperately to gain purchase past her much larger and stronger siblings. After a time though, she gave up, too weak to survive and the tiny calico died under the warm body of her mother, who purred contentedly, unaware of the dead baby beneath her.

And as one life left the world, another came to be. Inside the cabin on Helton Mountain, a baby girl was born to Mary Louise Brushy, her third child in as many years. She lay exhausted and her little daughter cried, with strong, and very healthy lungs. The new baby was fine; there would be no need of a mid-wife on this day. News of the birth spread, but it was an ordinary event in those days, with little celebration. Life was hard, energy was spent on work and survival, so Lillian Brushy's first day eased by, quietly and with an uneventful entry into the world. She and her mother slept soundly, while the crickets sang them a lullaby.

That summer fell upon the region, soft and warm, not hot and humid as had been the norm so many years before. And thus, the new daughter Lilly, was a gurgling joy of an infant, always smiling and easy to please, which was a blessing for Mrs. Brushy and her brood.

Little Lilly's disposition was one of contentment and ease. She was unafraid to bestow her toothless smile on anyone who gazed in her direction and there was an unending line of babysitters, young and old. Lilly grew famous in the neighborhood, like an angel that God had sent from the clear blue, her blonde curls grew quickly and by her first birthday, she had a virtual halo of golden hair. Lilly fast became known as Sweet Pea, or just Pea which she answered to quicker than her Christian name of Lilly.

Around the porch in front of the Brushy cabin, the children of Henry and Mary Louise, played all day, laying the area bare and void of any grass that may have chanced to try and grow there. The sounds of laughter, and too, the arguments between the five children, were Mrs. Brushy's gauge as to their well-being as she went about her chores. She hung the clothing on the rope across the porch, her thoughts rambling happily, a woman who loved her family and her life, content with what she knew she was blessed to have.

As she hung the last pair of dungarees, a small voice spoke softly, "Momma" and at the bottom of the step, Lilly was sitting, gently cradling a newborn kitten in her hands. She looked up at her mother, tears rolling down her cheeks.

"Dead? Momma, kitty dead?"

Her mother sat next to her and took the little calico from Lilly's hands.

"Yes, baby, this one is gone. It wasn't strong enough I reckon."

Lilly was still crying and Mrs. Brushy comforted her little girl, telling her Jesus would take care of the kitten for the rest of time. This soothed the child and she crawled down off the step to rejoin her brothers and sisters in the dusty yard.

Mrs. Brushy sat and sighed. She would bury the tiny creature out beneath her wild roses, say a prayer for it and life would go on. There was little time to grieve for a lost cat. But she sat an extra minute and watched Lilly playing. Her daughter had a penchant for the creatures around her. She loved them all and this made her proud of her daughter. She stood, gently holding the kitten, wondering where the garden shovel was. There was much work to be done before suppertime and no time to waste.

"Boys! Come help me here now!" She employed the two eldest to help with digging the small hole. They were supposed to be hoeing the tomato's, but had lapsed into a game of tag with their sisters. They were good boys, taking after their father, both were honest and hard working. She couldn't mind them taking a break once in a while.

"What happened Momma?" Lewis was the oldest. At twelve, he was wise for his years. And he was the hunter in the family.

"Old Camille lost a kitten, can youin's bury her out 'neath the roses?"

"Okay." With that, he and his brother John Robert took the kitten and disappeared around the cabin. It would be okay, these things happened. It was just the way of the world.

It was almost dark, when lanterns appeared down the lane. There were several of them, which meant Henry was coming home with company. Mrs. Brushy put the last plate on the table, wondering if the others would want to eat with them. She was sure everyone would be tired and hungry. They had been off to the railyards working to lay down tracks. She knew it was back-breaking and was happy they were home for a while.

"Come on you kids! Wash up, and git in here! Mary, you put water in the glasses for me now."

She went to stand on the porch to greet her husband and saw too many people coming. And he wasn't riding his big mule, as was his custom. Her brow furrowed with worry at not seeing her man. She stepped down off the porch and it was then that she saw the pine box in the back of the buckboard, with Red tied to the side of it, his saddle empty.

Mary Louise Brushy fell to the hard dirt, as her children came running to meet their daddy, their smiles of anticipation shattered and their world turned upside down ... .

Write the first page of your novel writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
If you decided to start writing a novel, what would the first pages look like ?


Thank you for reading. And any hints about historic accuracy and grammar are very welcome. And thank you to Lorac1 for the use of "Sissy" once more.
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