Sunday, March 11, 2012

Anne DeCuir, Gen. 4, Chp. 1, 1766

     The bumpy ride seemed never-ending, especially to a child.  A child who desperately needed to relieve her uncomfortably full bladder.  A child who was afraid to ask if the carriage could stop, just for a minute.  She tried to ignore the urge to wet herself, though it was getting especially difficult.  Her big blue eyes filled with worry and she pouted, staring at her father.
     Her father took no notice, did not even hear his three-year-old daughter whimpering, did not even see the pool of urine surrounding her.  He did not even see the wet stains on the child's dress.  He had too many other things on his mind.
     The horses trotted ahead, and the child's heart was gripped with the fear of a three-year-old who was afraid to tell her father something.  The father sighed, and the child held her breath.  Nothing.
     "Papa?" The child asked, in a high-pitched chord.  The father did not stir.
     "Papa? I wet myself."  She could see her father's jaws clench together tightly.
     "Anne, what did I say about this last time? TELL me when you need to go!  I will stop the carriage if you tell me.  Now you're going to have to sit in that wet dress until we arrive." Melatiah scolded, not even trying to hid the anger from his voice.
     Anne's eyes filled with silent tears.  She did not believe her father.  He would have gotten angry if she had told him she needed to go.  He did that one time, and Anne had decided never to say it again.  Now, Anne decided to remain silent for the rest of the day.  Maybe even for a few days.

     They were getting near, and Anne was excited to get out of the carriage.  The trip had taken two months and Anne did not dare ask her father how close they were.  He might become angry again.
     Melatiah was anxious to arrive too.  He was beginning to regret not remarrying -- but not because he wanted another lover.  Only because he did not know how to raise his young daughter.  He had a feeling that he was doing a terrible job, but every time he laid his eyes upon his daughter's face, it hurt.  Anne had Aphrodisia's nose.  He felt that pain in his heart every time he saw that nose.  It was a terrible, terrible thing to feel, and what was worse was that Anne would never be able to understand it, especially not at such a young age.  Melatiah often tried to avoid looking at his daughter.  Tried to avoid talking to her, playing with her.  

     He knew that he needed to push past these emotions -- for the sake of his daughter, but at the moment, he was just not strong enough.


     At the moment of the arrival, Melatiah nearly leaped out of the carriage.  Anne's worry-filled blueberry eyes watched her father as he grabbed their belongings out of the carriage.  Eyes filling with tears, the child looked at the ground, which was a long way down for a tiny girl. 
     Melatiah was about to walk up the path of the house without her, but when he heard her whimpering, he turned around.  Picking her up in his arms, Melatiah tried to avoid touching the damp dress.
     Once they were at the front door, the father dropped the suitcases of belongings and tried to open the door with one hand, Anne being held in the other.
     The door would not budge.
     "Hold on, Anne.  We've got to break it down."  He kicked it with a bang.  No success.  A second kick and the door gave way to the house and a screaming woman inside.

     Screaming and shrieking, the woman asked, "What in the name of our earth are you doing?  Is it money you are after?"

     Melatiah, shocked, gasped.  "No!  Of course not!  I am moving in here.  This house used to be my mother's, and before her, it was my grandmother's.  What are you doing here?  Are you readying it for me?  Why was the door locked?"
     The woman glared with such rage that Melatiah was worried that she would scream again.  "I LIVE HERE!  How dare you?  This is my home!  My grandmother lived here, then my mother did.  And now I do.  Whoever you are--"  The woman stopped.  "You -- you said your grandmother lived here?  And your mother?  Who -- who are you?"
     "My name is Melatiah DeCuir.  I'm Emilie DeCuir's son.  Who are you?"
     The woman looked at him with awe.  "I'm Abigail Beaumont... My mother was Hettie Beaumont.  You are my cousin."
     The two cousins stood there staring at each other in silence.  
     "Well, uh," Melatiah faltered, "I had no knowledge that you lived here.  We've come from Charles Town, South Carolina... Now we've got no place to stay."

     Anne squirmed slightly, and Melatiah winced when he felt the wet portion of the dress.
     Abigail looked at her feet.  "Well, it's just me living here; feel free to stay for awhile.  At least until you can find a new home..."
     Gratefully, Melatiah nodded, trying to hide his eagerness.  "That would be splendid.  How can I ever thank you?"  
     Abigail gave her cousin a tiny smile.  "There's no need.  Who's this?" She said, smiling at Anne.
     Anne stared at Abigail, not saying a word.  The silence stretched on.
     "Uh, this is my daughter, Anne.  I apologize for her rudeness...  Someone had a little accident in the carriage."  Melatiah grimaced.
     Abigail laughed.  "Oh, not to worry, Anne!  I would be more than happy to give your dress a nice cleaning!"


     Anne felt an immediate liking to Abigail.  Abigail seemed like someone who could fix every single problem.  Abigail had gotten rid of the stinky, wet dress and had turned it into a fresh dry dress.  Anne couldn't be more thankful.

     Night had come.  Shadows filled every corner of the house.  Anne felt the shadows sneaking up around her and felt frozen with fear.  Where was the light to scare the shadows away?  The house was cold and unfamiliar in the dark.  Anne wanted to cry.
     She wanted to cry for Papa, to yell out.  But she could not.  She could not say a word.  Her voice was frozen, as cold as an icicle.  Sniffling, the three-year-old pushed back the bedspread and placed a single foot on the cold wood floor.

     She slid to the floor, biting each teeny fingernail, not trusting what she could not see in the dark.

     The child sat in the dark, wanting to move, but being unable to.  Wanting to speak, but being left speechless.  Needing Papa -- being desperate for Papa, but being afraid of him at the same time.  Afraid to see his angry face.  Afraid to be the cause of his anger.  Afraid to be yelled at.  Afraid to be unloved.
     Anne wanted her father to laugh and smile and hug her tightly.  She wanted her father to sing her to sleep.  She wanted her father to tuck her in and tell her not to be afraid of the dark.  She wanted her father to be happy.
     But there in the dark, Anne felt alone.  A small child sitting on the floor.  A small, lonely child, just wanting her Papa.  Or just wanting someone to care.

     Like magic, Anne found a surge of strength to move.  She stood up and wobbled over to the room her father was sleeping in.  Anne could not open the door.  It was closed and Anne was too small and the door was too tall and it was too hard and Anne was not strong enough.  Anne returned to the spot she had started from and plopped down to the ground.

     Bursting into tears, the child screamed and wailed, as loud as she possible could.  No one heard her.  She cried herself to sleep.


     Abigail awoke at dawn.  She entered Anne's room and was surprised to find the child on the floor.
     "Anne, dear?" 

     But the child did not stir.  The child looked peaceful, but Abigail did not believe this appearance. 
     "What are you doing out of bed?  It's cold on the floor," Abigail whispered, not intending Anne to hear.  Abigail walked over to the girl and looked down upon her.

     As if out of nowhere, Melatiah came up behind her.
     "I'm so sorry about Anne.  I'm not sure what has come over her."
     "Oh, don't apologize for her.  She is fine.  I've always wanted a child but never did meet anyone I liked well enough."

     "You're very lucky to have such a beautiful young girl, Melatiah.  You don't know how lucky you are."
     Melatiah frowned.  "I'm not lucky.  Her mother died the day she was born.  Every time I look at my daughter I wince.  Every time she touches my arm or tries to hug me, I nearly pull back.  She has many features of my wife, and I cannot bear it."
     "That is very sad, cousin.  I am grateful for whatever I receive.  I hope you can still give your child love.  She deserves to be loved.  If you will not do it, I will."
     Yet another silence separated the three.

     "Uh, cousin," asked Abigail, embarrassed, "would you mind fixing the lock on the door?  You see, when you, uh, entered, it broke completely, and I do not know a thing about locks."


*The Antique Legacy*
Anne DeCuir


  1. Wow what a powerful start. Poor Anne! Poor Melatiah... I hope his heart opens soon.

    I love Anne <3

  2. Thanks, Serin :) Since Melatiah is still hurting because of events in his previous life, his eyes and heart are closed off to his daughter. It's up to him to really grasp the situation and to actually see his daughter.

    Hehe, me too <3 This was one of my favorite chapters to write. I love three year olds :D

  3. I loved it! I can certainly relate to little Anne.

    1. Thanks, Deb! Anne is definitely an interesting little girl, but hopefully things will improve for her... Thanks for commenting!