Hey, everybody! Charli, here. I haven't posted in a while because I don't think my books should be up where everyone can see them, but this is my boredom book. The book that I write when I have no inspiration for others. The book that I will never rewrite. The book that I will never publish. The book that I didn't plan on letting people read. But, here it is. This book follows the life of a girl, from her birth to her death. And she does die. But who knows when? Me. Muahahaha... :)
Once upon a time, there was a faraway land called Tyrone, a land of mountains and valleys, rivers and grassland, conscious creatures and naught but animals, sands and seas, cities and towns. In one such town, a town called Hilo, there were just two hundred people, distributed into twenty seven families. One of these families consisted of two people, a husband and wife, and their family was about to grow.
Brenton Kalone paced anxiously behind the two-room house, along a well word strip by a curtained window, just as he had been doing for the past forty two hours. He hadn’t slept a wink, or eaten a bite, during that time. If his wife, Metta, must endure her pain, he felt he should suffer, as well. After all, it was his child, too.
He stopped long enough to try to peek past the curtain. They were too poor to afford glass, but a tightly hung screen kept him from seeing in. Brenton stepped back, running a hand through his thick red hair. Metta was fine. She had to be. Brenton’s sister, Anemone, was assisting the doctor. Metta would be fine.
Brenton returned to his pacing, keeping an eye on the house. It was small; the smallest in Hilo, with only two rooms. The larger frontal room served as the kitchen, eating, and sitting room, and they slept in the tiny back room. Its walls were wooden and uninsulated, for Brenton had built it in a hurry as a bachelor. He married Metta with the promise that it was temporary, yet their first child was here, and a new house was not.
“Brenton!” Anemone’s soft, high voice was unusually shrill, coming from the front door. He hurried around to where she stood; her auburn hair was pulled into a messy ponytail, spots of deep red on her pale cheeks, but her brown eyes were shining happily. “It’s a girl. Oh, you must come see her, Brenton!”
He did not need to be told. In an instant, he crossed the tiny room and flung the bedroom door open wide, and by the time Anemone entered, he was kneeling over his wife and daughter. He seemed oblivious of the room, which had not yet been cleansed. The sheets were sodden with blood, and the soil ground was slowly turning the runoff into clumps.
All Brenton could see was his wife. Metta’s long, curly blonde hair was dampened to a light brown, and her brow shone with exertion, but her blue eyes radiated pure delight as she gazed down at her arms, her lips parted in a delicate smile. With an effort, Brenton’s eyes left her face and traveled down to the infant that lay sleeping in her embrace.
She looked nothing like either of them. Her eyebrows were sharp, casting shadows on her closed eyes. Her long, curled eyelashes extended the shadow to her high, rosy cheeks. Her nose was small and sloped, and turned up ever so slightly. But the biggest difference was her full head of hair. It was jet black with a boyish part; all of it swirled in circle to the right. It curled ever so slightly at the ends, except for one strand in the front that stood in a cowlick.
Brenton never once questioned Metta’s faithfulness, and as he lifted the child in his own arms, he could not. The father and daughter shared one physical feature. Both of their hands were large; strong, capable builder’s hands. Brenton smiled faintly as his daughter’s eyes flickered, then her face squeezed, as if the light hurt her.
The doctor cleared his throat and stepped toward the door. “Kalone, we used the last bit of water to bathe the child. You’d best go to the well and fetch some more.”
Brenton started, and at the look on his face, Anemone smiled. “No, let me go.” She stepped forward, took up the bucket’s handle, and hurried out.
Metta watched her leave, then the doctor. “I asked her to be the godmother,” she told Brenton.
He nodded absently. “What’s her name?” he asked, still captivated.
Metta chuckled, though the weariness showed through her voice. “Well, she doesn’t look like an Elizabeth, if that’s what you’re wondering.”
Brenton frowned. They hadn’t decided on a backup name.
“I was thinking Tyronaya,” Metta sighed, shifting to a more comfortable position. “That was my grandmother’s name.”
As he considered, his daughter opened a single eye and peered up at him. He smiled and stroked her cheek with his thumb. “Hey, sweetie,” he whispered. She gurgled slightly, as if she were trying to tell him something. “Do you like that name? Tyronaya?” Her eye shut and she sighed, long and loud.
“I guess that’s it,” Metta murmured.
Anemone knocked softly before she entered and put the empty bucket back on the floor.
Brenton held the baby out with a grin. “Would you like to hold Tyronaya?”
Her eyebrows winged at the name, but she accepted the offer. “She’s a cutie,” she announced bluntly.
“Don’t we know it,” Brenton answered, taking Metta’s hand.
Anemone combed her fingernails gently through Tyronaya’s cowlick and adjusted the maroon swaddle. “Yeah, but you’re biased. I had to say it.”
“You’re biased, too; you’re her aunt.”
“And godmother,” Anemone added with a nod. She didn’t say so, but she wanted this child with all her being, as she was widowed and had no desire to be remarried. But the only way to get her would be for Brenton, her only remaining family, to die.
Suddenly, Brenton sniffed the air. “Annie,” he asked, “did you forget to open the chimney flue?”
She shook her head hesitantly. “I used the basin stand instead of the fireplace.”
“Well, it doesn’t normally smoke this bad,” he said slowly.
Anemone was unfamiliar with the basin, but she agreed with her brother on the smell. The bitter, woody smell of smoke was growing consistently stronger. But before she entered the other room, an invisible force had her fold the excess cloth over the infant’s face. Then the room was suddenly ablaze. “Brenton!” Anemone shriek as a driving impulse led her to open the door and sent her through the house, guiding her bare feet safely through the front door and into the grass.
Brenton hefted Metta over his shoulder and attempted to kick out the screened window with no luck. The only escape was through the front room. So he ground his teeth, held Metta tight, and shot through the blazing inferno. A floorboard gave way beneath him, and as he went shakily down on one knee, the roof above him collapsed.
Anemone watched in frozen horror as the small house fell inward and consumed itself, clasping her niece to her chest.
On that mild spring afternoon, Hilo welcomed its second hundred and first resident, but within half an hour, it was back down to one hundred ninety nine.