Writer In Progress: Trembling Souls; written by Jamie White
May 31, 2015 2 Comments
This month I bring you an excerpt from Jamie White’s novella TREMBLING SOULS, the second in her STAINS series. She chose this excerpt because…
“…this excerpt, more than any other incarnation, this one has had the biggest impact on Fiona’s life now. It has shaped her behavior and fears until this point and might be the reason she once again meets an early grave. It’s also had a huge impact on a couple of other characters in the series.”
Maria sighed as she took her neighbor’s hand. Tears welled in her eyes as she gazed at the lifeless figure in the bed. After taking a moment to compose herself, she turned her attention to the woman’s husband.
“I warned you from the beginning that sometimes a cure isn’t meant to work. I wish I had been able to do more, but it wasn’t meant to be. I’m so sorry.”
He glared at her, pulling his hand away from hers. “Get out of my home. I do not want to see you around here again.”
She nodded. “If that’s what you wish. I am sorry, I wanted to help her… please believe that.”
Maria turned and shuffled out of the modest home, guilt twisting her stomach into knots. The woman’s husband had come to Maria for help weeks ago after the doctor in town told him there was nothing he could do to help.
So many people had become ill in this town the past few years; it was as if they would never know peace again. Maria had lost several friends in that time, and she’d vowed to do whatever she could to help others here. Most of the time, her herbal cures worked beautifully — she’d seen some incredible miracles. Sadly, she’d also seen her share of failures.
Those haunted her, but she tried to remember they were rare. The looks on the faces of those she cured were worth the occasional pain and anger directed her way from a grieving relative. It was funny… When she warned him the cures didn’t work every time, he’d dismissed it. He’d told her he didn’t care; he just had to try. He’d actually sought her out and begged for her assistance.
Maria closed her eyes and once more tried to compose herself before she continued on her way, her shoes clicking against the cobblestone roads. She didn’t want to chance passing anyone who might question her somber demeanor. She’d heard rumors people were getting accused of being in league with the devil and there was the chance her cures could be seen as witchcraft. She scoffed at the very idea. If there was anyone in this town with the powers these creatures were said to have, she had yet to meet them. It all seemed completely ridiculous to her.
As she neared her own home, she pulled her coat tighter to her body and hurried her pace. She opened the front door, and then kicked it closed as she pulled her coat off. “I’m back.”
“How did it go?”
She looked over to see her husband emerge from the bedroom. The waning daylight was offset by the candles he’d lit, casting shadows on the walls that filled her with a vague sense of dread. She longed for the bright glow of day to chase away her dark mood.
“It didn’t work—she’s gone.”
His eyes softened and he approached Maria, wrapping his arms around her. “I’m sorry. I know you were hoping for a miracle.”
She sniffed, wiping a tear that was forming in one eye. “I guess it wasn’t in His plan this time. I just wish I could have made her husband understand… he was so upset, I’ve never felt such hate come from one person in my life.”
“You can hardly blame him at the moment… Once he has some time to think, I am sure he will understand you did what you could.”
“Yes, I suppose you’re right.” She kissed her husband on the forehead and pulled away. “I should probably go lie down.”
“Of course.” He gave her a kiss in return and smiled. “Get some rest and don’t fret too much — things will look much better after you’ve had some sleep. I’ll join you later.”
She nodded in response before walking into the bedroom. She lay down, trying to put the evening out of her mind and get the sleep that eluded her. Between everything she had to do at home and all the time she’d been spending trying to help that poor woman, she’d been run ragged.
Fiona’s eyes slowly opened. She lay in bed, staring at the ceiling with a growing knot in her stomach. In some ways, she found this dream even more disturbing than the one she’d had back home where she burned at the stake. She could still see the pain in the man’s eyes, filling her with a sense of guilt she couldn’t understand.
This is ridiculous. Why am I dreaming about that again?
Where to purchase Trembling Souls: