Topic: First Chapter
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He should never have tried to kill Herbert Eversby’s grandson, Travis Pass. It was a mistake he made and regretted the minute he watched Travis fall into the stream at Aggie’s feet. He regretted Aggie’s scream. He regretted the blood that flowed with the water downstream to his boots. He hoped he’d never face regrets again. He wondered if his decision of self-exile to remain free was a mistake too, but it was too late for that. He signed the papers and now he was on his way somewhere, anywhere but General.
Heart Forgotten:It was mulberry season. Plump purple berries hung on healthy limbs of the trees, the branches bowed from the weight of the fruit. “It’s a good year for mulberries,” Karlee spoke aloud to the forest around her. “We’ve had enough rain and these berries are ready.” She spread one of her older quilts on the ground under a couple of branches and began her climb up the trunk.The hem of her dress hooked on a particularly pointy dead stub, where an old branch broke off the tree. She yanked the faded green fabric loose and it tore enough so it would need mending later. “Damn glad I didn’t wear my Sunday best.” Her voice echoed farther than it would have had she been standing surrounded by the rest of the bramble on the forest floor.When she got to the spot she wanted, directly above the blanket on the ground, she edged her way to the middle of the branch, checking for stability. It would do no good for her to jiggle the branch and have it break under her. If that happened, she’d tumble to the ground, land in a heap, maybe break something, and no one would be around to help her. Having no one around suited her just fine. In fact, since Ben died, she’d grown accustomed to the quiet being alone accompanied. She did miss… “Well, that doesn’t matter anymore. “Hear that? It doesn’t matter to me!” she hollered. From her height in the tree, Karlee’s voice reverberated and seemed to carry for miles.She edged her way to the middle of the branch, pushed her full weight on it, and then jumped. At first, the leaves of the branch rustled underfoot with a dusty sound and she jumped again. That time, she heard the plop, plop, plop of a few mulberries as they landed with quiet thuds on the blanket below. Karlee smiled and jumped again. This time, more mulberries dropped and Karlee let herself look to the quilt below to see her catch. “I didn’t realize I was this far up.”She was actually afraid of heights, had been since she found Ben crumpled below the cliff from which he fell. It was the cliff that took him from her and, after she found him, she couldn’t stand the thought of being off the ground, but mulberries were only available once a year and really, she didn’t care if she fell and died.As she jumped and the mulberries tumbled to the blanket, Karlee Dorn allowed thoughts of Ben to enter her mind. She didn’t allow herself to think of her husband very often, it still hurt when she did, and she allowed herself to think even less about Missy, the daughter she lost shortly after Ben died. Mostly, she tried to forget.