Deathly Secrets, Chapter XVII

After spending some time just praying and thinking, Alina felt much better in the morning. She began her work with a lighter heart, trusting that something good would come of this mess. 

Because she felt less anxious than before, Alina found herself able to concentrate on her work far better today. As she sat and sewed, the birds sang outside her home. The trees swayed in the gentle breeze, and clouds rolled by on the roads in the sky.

Even throughout heartache, life goes on, Alina mused. She stopped for a moment to take in the beauty - and the normalcy! - of the outdoors.

But her thoughts were interrupted in the form of Mrs. Quincy, a pleasantly plump, somewhat elderly woman who was notorious for gossiping. Alina groaned inside, though she greeted Mrs. Quincy with a smile on her face.

"I just knew I could talk to you," Mrs. Quincy exclaimed, sitting down on a chair right beside Alina's tailoring table. "At least you have a decent head on your shoulders! What is going on? Why did Evan and Molly go to the square and just let out their biggest secrets? Do you think the Good Lord finally got to them? Can you believe what's happened yesterday? I never thought Evan Blanson a gambler. Maybe that's why he went 'out of town' so often. And did you see the look on his face when he confessed? I thank the Good Lord I'm not Marge!

"And did you hear what Molly had to say? It wasn't as bad as Evan's confession, of course, but still. Can you imagine the guilt she must feel? May the Good Lord have mercy on her soul. I'd hate to be partially responsible for my brother's death, wouldn't you? Poor girl. She's never had a very easy life, what with her parents dying and all.

"You know Molly fairly well, don't you? What do you think, Alina?"

Grateful for a pause in Mrs. Quincy's rant but saddened by her words, Alina shook her head. "I don't know what I think, Mrs. Quincy. But I do know the Good Lord wouldn't like us to be gossiping - especially not meddling in other people's business like this. Have you got anything to be altered, Mrs. Quincy?"

Rattled by Alina's words, Mrs. Quincy made some sort of farewell, and though she probably didn't try to be rude, she left with hardly a word. Alina paused in her work. As soon as the door slammed shut, she rubbed her eyes and sighed wearily.

"May the Good Lord help us all," Alina whispered. And she meant it. 

The End

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