One evening of late summer, before the nineteenth century had reached one-third of its span, a young man and woman, the latter carrying a child, were approaching the large village of Weydon-Priors, in Upper Wessex, on foot. They were plainly but not ill clad, though the thick hoar of dust which had accumulated on their shoes and garments from an obviously long journey lent a disadvantageous shabbiness to their appearance just now.
My father was a major in the army who, at the time this story begins, had lived in Longueville-sur-mer for fifteen years, to which place he had come, after my mother’s death, bringing me with him. I was then seven years old. He put me to a good school in the neighbourhood, at which I remained until I was sixteen; and was then let free. Considering myself a man, I worked hard to grow a mustache, in which I very ignominiously failed; for it was not until I was one-and-twenty that nature condescended to favour me with that very elegant and martial decoration. I also took to colouring meerschaum pipes, in which art, before I was nineteen, I was considered by my companions to excel, though I did not succeed in establishing my reputation in that line until I had dealt such an injury to my nervous system as I fear I shall never recover. I also became, before long, an expert hand at billiards, though up to the last Bob Le Marchmont could always give me twenty points and beat me comfortably. But I was his better at whist, and was indeed a match for several grave old gentlemen who were members of our English Club in the Rue des Chiens.
As Brently Mallard walked down the path to his home, he couldn't help but gaze at the "tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street a peddler was crying his wares." Brently began to sing. His voice was rich and melodic, wafting through the streets. The "countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves," harmonizing with his sweet song. He had been away from home for so long, too long... and it felt strange going down the pathway home. The freedom of being away was refreshing, and the space he had gotten had been desperately needed. However, Brently did miss Mrs. Mallard, somewhat anyway. He hoped that she was in satisfactory health and that all was well. Inhaling the fresh spring air, he couldn't avoid the cloudy thought of the symbolic drought that he knew he was walking towards.
My jaw ached from the cold as I pushed through the snow, my legs threatening to give out from under me. My joints were so stiff that I felt them crackle and snap with every step forward. I wasn’t built for the cold and neither was my light attire. Tree branches slapped me, stinging and going numb time and time again against my face- the only thing that reassured me I was still alive. I didn’t even know where I was anymore. All I knew was that every step took me another step farther from home. I felt my horse’s breath against my neck. She was my only companion now. I let out a sigh and stopped searching for any sign of another living thing in the dense forest.
Life is full of surprises; I can still remember that phrase that my grandmother used to say. I miss her so much. She was a definition of a woman warrior, she went through a lot, and she never allowed it to torture her. Instead, she went after her dreams. Breaking free from my abusive grandfather, she moved back to her hometown; my grandmother always had a passion for cooking. In 1960, she opened her restaurant. Mother used to spend time in winter with my grandmother, and summer with my grandfather. At first, my mother didn't see my grandfather for almost five years until he went to rehabilitation and proved that he could take care of a child. My grandfather, on the other hand, he was born to be a businessman. It ran through his blood. In 1970 he created his clothing line. He was good at it; he designed multiple dresses for famous actresses. Sometimes I wish my grandmother gave a second chance to grandfather; they were high school sweethearts. They went through a lot together, it wasn't fair throwing everything to waste, but what happened is in the past. My grandfather used to say that he was never able to move from my grandmother's breakup. He admitted that he did wrong, but he wanted it to fix it. He tried to show grandmother that he was still the man whom she fell in love with deep in the heart and that he just needed a second chance to prove it.
If anyone had asked me, I woulda told them I ain't do nothing wrong. I got up, made my bed, ate breakfast, and brushed my teeth like I was supposed to. I mean I mighta argued a little when getting dressed. You woulda too if you saw what Momma laid out. The pale pink dress stared at me, taunting me. I wasn’t one to let things go easily, so I stomped my foot at it and stuck my tongue out as far as it would go. Without even looking at me Momma spoke in a hushed tone.
Shannons’ mum used to work in an aquarium. That’s why she loves fish and crabs and dolphins, but mostly, sharks.