Sarah rose with the sun, her body and mind clearly tired of resting. As she dressed, she wondered how far away bath day was. A quick shower, even if it was cold, would be a treat right now, she thought. Of course that was just one more thing that hadn’t been invented. Maybe Sarah could invent it.
Laughing at the thought of trying to invent between cooking, cleaning and washing, Sarah made her way to the well. She pulled up a bucket of water and washed her face and hands as best she could. As she wiped the water from her face she caught sight of the figure underneath the Willow tree. A low groan came from the man as he shifted.
“Mathew,” she whispered, remembering his plight from last night.
Sarah pulled up another bucket of water and took it over to him. He looked up at her with bleary eyes.
“Rosa?” he spoke softly as he struggled to sit.
Sarah shook her head, at the same time as he did.
“Sarah,” she replied.
“Of course,” he mumbled his face frowning.
“How’s your head?” she asked, pouring water into the cup that was still next to him.
“Better than expected.” Mathew replied, looking up at the Willow.
“Have some more water. Alcohol is dehydrating, which is part of what causes hangovers.”
Mathew looked back at her, his expression blank.
“Never mind,” Sarah smiled as she shook her head. Setting the bucket beside him she continued, “I’m going to see what I can make for breakfast. I’ll make sure to save you some.”
Standing, Sarah left a puzzled Mathew under the Willow tree. He’d be in when he was ready. She’d be sure there was food left for him. If he was anything like her brothers he’d want food as soon as the pounding in his head subsided. Sarah had just drawn another bucket from the well when Martha’s voice interrupted her.
“What are you doing out of bed?” she scolded.
Sarah turned from the well, full bucket in hand. There was a vaguely familiar woman with Martha who was wearing white. A sudden headache kept Sarah from thinking about where she’d seen such a white robe before.
“I woke up and wanted breakfast.” Sarah responded with a shrug. “It’s not like I was mortally wounded or anything.”
Judging by Martha’s expression, Sarah had been, but the woman with her laid a hand on Martha’s shoulder before she could respond. Continuing to the house with her bucket Sarah passed them. The woman in white followed her, while Martha muttered something and went back to her house.
“How are you feeling child?” the woman asked as they stepped inside. The warm motherly voice awoke memories in Sarah’s brain.
“Tired of being treated like an invalid,” Sarah sighed as she set the bucket on the counter.
“Your survival is a singularity.” The woman smiled at her. “We don’t know exactly what is required for your recovery.”
“Food,” Sarah said as her stomach growled. Then she smiled at the woman. “I’m sorry, I know I’ve met you once before, but I can’t remember your name.”
“Forgive me,” the woman bobbed her head slightly. “I forget you are not of this land. I am the current Moyther assigned to tend River Bend’s Temple. You may call me Moyther Mary.”
“Ah,” Sarah remembered Bear’s children calling her that.
Hunger drove Sarah to continue her breakfast preparations, despite the headache and thought that she might be considered rude. The woman watched and smiled at her, as if Sarah was her child. It bewildered Sarah a bit since Moyther Mary didn’t look much older than herself.
“Do you feel fully recovered?” Moyther Mary asked.
“Pretty much,” Sarah stopped chopping potatoes to look at her, “except for random headaches.” Like the one threatening to turn to a migraine right now, she thought.
Moyther Mary nodded and patted Sarah’s hand gently. “Grand-Moyther Magdalene mentioned you might have those.”
Sarah chopped some more before looking back at Moyther Mary. “Will they stop eventually?”
Moyther Mary looked thoughtful. Her eyes looked up as her hands clasped. Just like someone praying to God for guidance. At last she looked at Sarah. Her answer was slow, as if she was choosing her words with care.
“Until the task before you is complete you must keep your own faith. Lord Phoenix shall be all the connection you need to our faith.”
“What does that mean Moyther Mary?” Jason asked as he appeared in the hall. He smiled and nodded to Sarah, but moved no futher than the kitchen door.
“Have you not talked to Fayther Joseph?” Jason shook his head. “He was supposed to explain it to you. Probably got side tracked at the Scout gardens.” Moyther Mary sighed. “The Gods,” she began, then she looked at Sarah, who’s head was now pounding. “Sorry child, I must tell him without your presence.” She patted Sarah’s hand, then led Jason from the room.
Until the task before me is complete, Sarah wondered. Highly unlikely that task was breakfast or Moyther Mary would have said just that. And what did that have to do with their faith? But just thinking about those questions made the pounding in Sarah’s head increase frequency.
‘Oh God,” Sarah whispered to the ceiling. “What the hell have I gotten into?”
She swore someone chuckled and say that it was nothing she couldn’t handle. Sarah shook her head. Now she was certain she was going crazy. Sighing she made her way outside and to the Scout center’s chicken coop. She collected Griffon’s share of the eggs. Mathew, she noticed on her way back, was no longer under the willow tree. Once inside Sarah went down to the root cellar and rummaged around until she found some cheese.