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The Miracle Worker (standard:drama, 2591 words)
Author: Ian HobsonAdded: Feb 28 2005Views/Reads: 3559/1834Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
It was just an ordinary summer's day; or so Verity thought, as she walked along with her woollen shawl around her shoulders and an arm through the handle of her woven basket...

The Miracle Worker 

©2005 Ian Hobson 

It was just an ordinary summer's day; or so Verity thought, as she
walked along with her woollen shawl around her shoulders and an arm 
through the handle of her woven basket.  She rarely travelled alone; 
but now and again, if her mother didn't feel well enough to accompany 
her, she would walk by herself to the market town of Colgate to buy a 
few essentials like candles or salt.  Behind her, as she left the 
village, the sun was barely showing itself above the eastern hills, but 
other villagers were also on the road.  She stepped off the track to 
let old Joseph Shepherd go by on his horse-drawn cart. 

'You going to market?' he enquired, as he passed.  Then as Verity nodded
he pulled on the reigns and slowed his carthorse to a stop, to let 
Verity catch up and climb up onto the seat beside him.  'Plenty of room 
for two,' he said, taking Verity's basket from her and stowing it under 
the seat before jiggling the reigns to encourage the carthorse to set 
off again.  'Git along there!' 

He smiled at Verity, noticing, not for the first time, how pretty she
was.  Verity smiled back, thinking how foolish she had been as a young 
girl, to be frightened of the old farmer, just because his face looked 
a little odd. 

'So how are you, Verity?  Keeping well?'  Verity smiled and nodded her
reply, pushing a strand of long dark hair back from her face.  'And 
your mother?'  Verity tilted her head and frowned and pointed to her 
knees.  'Ah... bit o knee trouble, eh?  Get a bit o' that myself.'  As 
they travelled on, Joseph continued to chat, and Verity replied with 
smiles and nods and the occasional hand sign. 

Verity hadn't spoken since she was seven; since the time she saw her
father killed by a stampeding bull.  A passing physician had examined 
her the day after her eighth birthday, concluding that there was 
nothing physically wrong with her, but that the loss of speech was 
obviously caused by shock and that it would surely wear off in time.  
But almost ten years had passed since then. 

Soon they reached the crossroads, and needing little encouragement, the
carthorse made the left turn towards Colgate, just as a horse and 
rider, coming from the north, overtook them.  The rider was a young 
man, well dressed and well mounted, on a black stallion.  He was a 
stranger to both Verity and Joseph, but he turned in the saddle and 
greeted them with a smile and a nod.  'How far to the next town?' he 

'Bout two miles,' Joseph replied.  Verity nodded her agreement; suddenly
wishing she had worn her best dress and shawl.  The young man held 
Verity's gaze for a moment, wondering how such an ugly old farmer could 
have such a beautiful daughter.  Then he waved his thanks and rode on, 
leaving the horse and cart behind. 

The rider's name was Daniel Brook, and he was the son of a clergyman;
though he had no ambition to follow his father into the church.  In 
fact he had little ambition at all, having inherited a tidy sum of 
money from a rich uncle on his mother's side of the family.  The money 
had been held in trust and he'd only been able to spend a little of it; 
but now that he was twenty-one, it was his to spend as he saw fit.  
There was a time when he would have thanked God for his good fortune, 
but he had a mind of his own, and, perhaps as a reaction to his 
upbringing and his pious father's unyielding faith in God, he'd come to 
believe that faith was a waste of time and energy. 

He knew his money would not last forever but he planned to have a good
time while it did, despite pleas from his family to do otherwise.  He 
kicked his heals into his horse's flanks and leaned forward in the 
saddle as he went into a gallop. 

Daniel had been riding since before dawn, having stayed the night at a
roadside in.  Rising early was one habit he'd picked up from his 
father; though unfortunately the innkeeper's routine didn't include 
making breakfast so early.  So Daniel had left without any and was 
feeling very hungry; and his mind soon turned from how beautiful the 

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