Troubling

Priscilla did not stay asleep long after falling into the darkness of dreamless slumber---her mind still lingered on the thought of the bustle outside and the worry of what was to happen. The image of those men harassing poor Mrs. Williams haunted her.

Opening her eyes, she rolled over to see if her younger sister had drifted off to sleep or she was troubled as well. Priscilla blinked twice, sitting up at the empty sight of the bed.

A flair of anger and anxiety filled her as she tossed off the covers and snatched the shawl at her bedside. She didn't bother lighting the candle, fumbling through the shadows of the bedroom and out into the common room. Arabella not anywhere in sight, she looked in to the rooms of the youngest children, only to find them and them only tucked safetly in their covers. Priscilla grit her teeth and tip-toed to the main room once more, shivering under her thin nightclothes.

She pressed her face against the cold window pane, shading her eyes so that she could perhaps discern something in the obsurity. It did not take long to see the figures of the dispersing crowd, the men and their lights going their separation after what appeared like a very merry gathering. Fury dominated her emotions as she caught sight of two forms coming down the road their way, one holding a fading torch in his hand and the other one nearly glowing in a nightdress of white.

Priscilla moved away from the window, gathering her words about her. Her thoughts raced and grabbed at certain ways to tell Arabella what a fool she was, but half of her was curious of what had happened and a slight desire to have seen it, though Priscilla quickly pushed such frivilous thoughts aside

The door crept open and her sister slipped in smoothly, gently closing the door behind her. Her expression dropped as she turned and caught sight of Priscilla, her eyes heavy upon Arabella.

"Arabella," she began sharply. "Where have you been?"

Arabella rushed to grab at her elder sibling's arm, something of a pleading tone in her voice, "Oh, Priscilla, please do not tell Mother. You cannot! You-,"

"What have you done, Bella?" Priscilla continued, putting her hands on her hips.

"I was so curious," a playful note crept into her voice as she remained a hold on Priscilla. "I went to see, I could not help myself. You know me--I could not resist. Why must all this go on without us knowing what is happening? Aren't you the slightest bit....intrigued?"

Priscilla bit her lip, putting her hands on her hips and slightly turning away. There was a thick pause, holding Arabella in something of a distress. "You mustn't ever do that again. That is the only way I would not tell Mother. But if you do....,"  Priscilla gave a warning glance. "Then I shall reveal it all."

"Oh, Priscilla!" she briefly kissed her cheek. "You are a sweet!"

"Now," began Priscilla, her voice still slow, paced, and serious. "What has happened?" 

~~~~~

".....and she was hung," Benjamin finished telling the tale to the family the next morning, shaking his head. Early morning light trickled through the windows in gold ribbons, though it seemed cold and stark to match the bitter air.

Mrs. Clark did not say anything for a moment, a frown formed upon her face. The other girls remained silent, Arabella most of all. Priscilla took  a look at her from the corner of her eye, the younger stiff and shifting in her seat, her eyes lowered to her hands to hide her expression.

"That is troubling," their mother finally said. "You...were there?"

Benjamin shook his head once more, "No, Ma'am. My cousin Daniel went and told me of the ordeal."

"The whole of it is quite of preposterous," Mrs. Clark pouted. "Is all quiet this morning then?"

"I suppose," he shrugged. "We shall see what happens."

There was a great pause in the entire room.  Mrs. Clark snapped all back to reality, thanking Benjamin for the news and pushing everyone to finish breakfasting so that they may return to work. Priscilla gave Arabella a wary glance. What will happen?  

The End

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