The Daughters of Warring, Part 7
People looked at her oddly as she walked through town. Some nodded and said hello. She noticed others that smiled knowingly.
It angered her. Isabel awaited execution, and yet, the family still suffered because of her.
Father had been very clear about what he wanted. There would be no celebrating in their own house, but he expected that she and Margaret would cook as much food as usual, to help feed the poorer parishoners. Even with the help of the two maids her family employed, Suzette expected it to be a mammoth task. She couldn’t depend upon margaret to participate, and Mother was no help. She cried and slept, barely coming out of her room.
Suzette pretended to ignore the people around her. The list that she carried were all simple items: potatoes, corn, an extra bag of flour. She almost forgotten the cinnamon, but turned back and plucked a box of it from a table of spices at the back of the store.
Suzette almost jumped. Standing close beside her was her old friend, Paula Borden.
“Paula,” she said, glancing around. No one seemed to be looking their way. No one was near them. “Nice to see you.”
“Is it really?” Paula said. “Looks like you’re going to be doing a bit of cooking this year.”
“Yes, seems that way.”
“I do hope that is the only thing you’ll mix up,” she whispered, and gave her a smile. “You should know by the way, Katherine is back in town.”
Suzette blinked. “I hadn’t heard that.”
“Yes. The other girls and I wanted to be sure that you knew.”
Suzette dropped her voice to a whisper. “ I don’t see how that should matter now.”
Paula smiled. “You’re an intelligent young lady. Surely you know what Katherine wants.”
“I protected us all,” Suzette said. “The method does not matter.”
“That’s where you’re wrong,” Paula replied.
“You give Katherine a message, then. I’m not afraid of her.”
“Oh. I don’t think you want me to say that, when you’ve already displeased her.”
Suzette shifted the basket, the weight pulling at her arm. When she looked up, Paula’s figure disappeared out the door and onto the street.
“Will you be finished with that soon?” the guard questioned. He pointed at the stack of papers on her cot Isabel tried to hide the fear in her voice. “Yes.”
“There’s only four days left for you,” he said. Devoid of any emotion, he might have been speaking of the weather, or any trivial matter, not affirming the upcoming date of her death. He picked up her empty food tray and left.
Once the door was closed, and his footsteps were gone she cried. Cramming her fist into her mouth , she bit into her knuckle to keep from screaming. Her body trembled. She couldn’t be sure how long she sat in that position, but after some time, she stopped crying.
Drying her face with the edge of her blanket, she wiped her hands and picked up the paper. She would write down the rest, if for no reason than to have the truth spoken, even if it were only in ink. She breathed deep, trying to steady the shaking of her hands. Later, when the confession was finished, she’d notice that there were drops of blood soaked into spots, quickly absorbed into the pages.
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