11/27

Prompt 23: Re-write the fairy tale, Snow White, from the point of view of Bashful, one of the 7 dwarves.

Bashful

This is as far as i got on my blog for yesterday.  so, instead of getting caught up on this FAILURE, I am just going to skip it and move on to today.  In its place i am going to post a small excerpt from my book “Black Dolphin”, the story about Rani.

1

Outside, the air rushed gently over the streets of Ortec. The water rippled just slightly, creating a soft melodic song. The sun warmed the tops of the buildings, leaving them glistening with a simple beauty. Ortec was strangely quiet though, besides the wind and the water, not a sound was heard. Not a single child played, nor a single woman talked and laughed with her neighbors. The men were not going about their work that day.

The only activity in all of the villages was in a small room located in the council building, on the very bottom level. The inhabitants of the safe room knew nothing of the silence on Ortec. They awaited anxiously the day they would rejoin their beloved city.

The grey walls of the safe room were not much to look at. Each of the four walls bore the same dullness. The thick door remained locked, as it had been for the past eighty-nine days. It remained a steady barrier between them and the outside world. The room itself seemed to be getting smaller. After three months of being in one space with the same people, everyone was ready to open that door.

Eight people considered the small space their temporary home. They had been shut away, hiding from the sickness that had claimed lives. The eight remained healthy, but the confinement was baring heavily upon them. Why would just one day make a difference?

“We’ll open it tomorrow,” Constantina wasn’t budging. She held her arms tightly across her chest. She looked kindly at Sonya and Angali, but her expression was tense. She pushed a wisp of her grey hair back behind her ears. No one would dare question her authority, but it didn’t sit well with her to have to make all the decisions. She had never taken well with the role of leadership. She had always left her husband to decide for her, and she was missing that comfort more with each passing day. He had given her strict instructions to wait ninety days, then open the door. Never did he say to wait only eight-nine days. She would not disobey him. It was up to her to remain the voice of authority and reason, despite her own desire to open the door early as well.

“What difference will one day make?” Sonya nearly whined in her frustration. Her features pinched up in her tiny face, creating a look of a spoiled child. Sonya had always gotten her way by emphasizing her child-like looks. She knew her small structure and large eyes could work well in her favor. It always had in the past. She stomped her foot in aggravation.

“Really Milady,” Angali chimed, “We are all very eager to meet our family again.” Angali set her lips in a pout. The young beauty was used to getting her way as well. Her brown eyes were opened wide and she shot a pleading look to Constantina.

Constantina shook her head firmly though. “Three months, that’s what we agreed on.” She looked at the doctor for confirmation. He nodded his head just slightly, not wanting the attention of the two women to be turned on him. He knew he wasn’t good at telling them no, especially Angali. Even when she was a girl, men fell over themselves to please Angali. “Yes, tomorrow is the day. We have to make sure the sickness is gone,” Constantina continued. Her eyes softened at their looks of distress. She really did not want them to start crying. It wouldn’t be good for their condition. “We’ve waited this long, surely one more day wouldn’t hurt.”

The women gave a small smile, what choice did they have? “It’s ok,” Constantina continued, “we have to give them every chance to be healthy.” She patted Sonya’s protruding belly. It would be time soon. Her wizened eyes sparkled at the thought of a new baby to hold. They had not had a good year for babies on Ortec. Of the seven pregnant women, five had got the sickness and lost their babies. The year before had only yielded two babies, both male. There was a great deal of importance placed on these two women, who were still with child.

Two other women sat by the wall not saying anything. They watched the women arguing, but knew already who would be victorious. They often sat like this, close to their people, but not important enough to be a part of the group. A child played nearby. He didn’t play with toys, but he was able to entertain himself. Rani thought back three months ago to when the sickness had first started.

There had been such a sense of panic. The only two pregnant women had to be protected. So they had been sealed into the safe room, a room that hadn’t been used in years. In the early days following the great wave, the wise men of that time had added the safe rooms to all of the cities. They had feared that another wave would wipe out the human race entirely. The men from those early days still remembered what life had been like before the wave, they still thought with minds of technology. They had built a room made of a strong metal where nothing could get in, or out. In the early days, they used the safe room often. During a storm the waters would rage and flood the cities, and so the leaders would lock their people in the safe rooms. As time passed the rooms became to small for the people, so only the leaders and members of the council would go to the safe room. Now, though, the safe rooms were not used at all. Many had been torn apart completely.

Ortec kept theirs in tact though, in case of an emergency. An emergency had indeed happened to their small city. A sickness had come to the people, it infected an alarming amount. The five pregnant women infected, lost their babies. The leaders had ordered the safe room to be reopened in an attempt to save the others. They would wait three months and then rejoin Ortec.

There were eight of them all together. Sonya and Angali were both with child, although Angali was two months further along. They also brought along their ladies maids – Rani and Sasha, who took care of them while they were pregnant. Even before the sickness the pregnant women of Ortec lived in the council building and were given a ladies maid until their babies were a year old. Only then were they fit enough to join the village life. Constantina was also there, she was the leader of Ortec, along with her husband. The doctor Gauri, and his nurse Betna, were there to care for Angali and Sonya in case anything went wrong. And then there was the child, Dais. Rani’s child.
Rani swallowed over the lump that always formed when she thought of Dais. They had almost not let him come with her to the safe room. “He’s not important enough,” that was their argument. “It is strictly for those we don’t want getting sick. There are only so many supplies.” He was only a child. Their hatred was misplaced, but she held her tongue. They had always hated Dais. He was different. He wasn’t one of them. Rani had fallen from their graces when she had Dais. It was clear that he was not her husband’s child, and no matter what the circumstances were, there would be no forgiveness.

She had prayed fervently to the God that Nanny Grace and her grandfather had taught her about. They told her of His great love for all the people of the earth and how much He wanted them to love Him back. She had clung tightly to God during her exile from her people. Awkwardly, but eventually she had found a place in Ortec where she could be content with her life. Most of the people of Ortec did not share her belief in God, they shrugged off the stories of the elders as merely that, stories. Sasha was one of the few exceptions to the normal thinking. Rani knew there were others in her village, but after she had been moved to the council building, she very rarely spoke to her people.

Her heart only began to beat again when they came to her in the night and informed her they had changed their minds about Dais. “There is no one else willing to care for him. He is your burden, he will go with you.” He had been her burden all these years, and she was thankful for that burden. Alone in her room that night, she had cried as she praised God.

Rani and Sasha sat by the wall, not saying anything. They glanced often at each other, both seemed to understand their silent communication. Sasha’s eyes were lit in amusement as Sonya whimpered. Sonya always whined, no matter the situation. She was like an overgrown child, trying to get her way. There really was no point to argue with Constantina about opening the door, she wouldn’t change her mind. Besides, what difference did it make to them if the door remained closed. Life was the same for them, in or out. They were ladies maids, with no family outside of the safe room. Their life consisted of taking care of the pregnant women of Ortec.

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