Author's Note: I had to write this for my class a couple months ago. I haven't made any changes to how it was written, but if you're interested in the rest of the story being posted, I'd love to hear it!
Kit swept the doorway of her small house, keeping the dust in a neat pile, as she tried to ignore the bitter air freezing her face and hands. It was a beautiful January morning; the sun was just above the horizon, and the clear sky was bathed in rosy pinks and fiery oranges. She was but a few minutes into her work, when she began to see her fellow Salem villagers starting their mornings as well.
“Good day, Mrs. Good!” she called, waving her free hand. The irascible woman scowled at her, and muttered something about bread as she led her young daughter down the cobblestone road. Kit laughed quietly to herself. “What an odd woman,” she said, to no one in particular. “Sometimes, I wonder if she has the ability to smile.”
With that peculiar thought, she swept up the remaining dust into her dustpan and stepped inside. She had just barely crouched down to dispose of the dustpan’s contents in the unlit fireplace, when she heard someone cry out. Kit hastily dumped the rest into the kindling and rushed towards the next room over.
“Betsy!” She cried, taking in the scene before her. Her younger sister appeared to have dripped hot candle wax onto her thumb, and was cooling it in a pitcher of water. There were broken candle wicks scattered around the table, and globs of half-dried wax everywhere.
“I- I dunno w-what happened, Kitty,” she whimpered, tears forming in her large brown eyes. “I was just g-getting the candles set to be dried and I- and it-“ she paused to wipe the wet tears off her face with the unburnt hand. Kit clicked her tongue at the irresponsible girl as she stepped closer to examine the injuries. She gently reached into the pitcher, and nearly gasped when the icy water touched her fingers. She gingerly lifted her sisters hand, and sighed when she saw the damage. There was a large red burn where the melted wax had hit it, and she could see a small amount of blood. It wasn’t until she’d finished bandaging Betsy’s hand that she’d realized just how cold the pitcher’s water had been. Kit sighed, and turned to face her sister.
“Was that pitcher filled with fresh water?” Betsy jumped a bit at the question, then seemed to shrink as she avoided Kit’s gaze.
“Yes. I woke early this morning to fetch well water so you wouldn’t have to. You’ve just been working ever so hard since mother fell ill and…” her voice trailed off as she gazed sadly down at her feet. Their mother had been sick for nearly a year now, and nothing they or the doctors did seemed to help. Both girls’ eyes lingered on the floor for a moment, drinking in the sorrow. Then, as quickly as it struck, the sense of ennui disappeared.
Kit snapped out of her daze and turned to smile gently at her younger sister.
“Well, while I appreciate the gesture, you shouldn’t have to handle my share. Especially when you have your own work to focus on. Which clearly,“ she made a wide gesture to the wax covered floor, “Still requires some attention to detail. Now, clean up this mess before any more accidents happen.” Betsy’s tearstained cheeks twitched with a smile, and she began to carefully scrape the wax off the table.
While her sister was fixing the candles to be dried again, Kit continued her sweeping inside the house, dumping each full pan of dust and grime into the fireplace as she went along. Once she’d finished, she lit the fire, and settled into a small chair. As she let the flames warm her body, Kit picked up the embroidery she’d been working on, and started to sew.
It wasn’t long before the sun had risen high in the sky, and she drew back the simple white curtains to let the bright morning light into her dark, unfurnished home. She finished making sure every window was open, and crept silently up the stairs to her mothers bed chambers.