Atlantic Nights Chapter 12 - The Woman in the Farm House

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Atlantic Nights Chapter 12

“Eventually, when he’d been walking for ages, and gotten himself all turned around, Dad came to a stand of trees — it was almost fully dark by then — and he said he could only really see them looming out of the darkness, that he couldn’t really make out what kind of trees they were. They were all bent inwards, thrashing around in the wind, towards a house at the end of a long driveway. And he was soaked through – he said it couldn’t have been more than a couple of miles, but it was wet snow and his feet – well, he couldn’t even feel his toes. There weren’t any footprints in the snow going up the driveway, but there were lights on in the windows, and when he got closer, he could see that it was a white farmhouse, a big square old one, two storeys high with an old wide veranda thrown out in front of it.

“He looked in the front window, and he could see a darkened front room, and back through into the kitchen, where he could see a woman sitting at the kitchen table, eating soup.”

 “A woman in a farm house, was it? Some things never change,” Helen muttered drily.

“What, Mom?”

“Nothing.”

“So he knocked on the door, and it took ages for her to come out and open it, but when she did, she told him to come in, because the weather was only going to get worse. The phones were down and she didn’t think the power would last, either, so she got him some of her husband’s clothes for the night — her husband wasn’t there, he was in New Brunswick — and got him settled for the night in that front room with a fire in the fireplace. Dad says the last thing he remembered that night was the big hardwood logs in the fire, maple or elm, burning away to embers like long lines of red and teeth.”

The door of Helen’s room opened — Sarah slipped in sideways, pulled a chair in close to her sister. “Sorry,” she mouthed at Donna.

“Hi Mom.”

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Geographic location: New Brunswick

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