forsaken sparrows in the garden of winter - excerpt
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DESCRIPTIONIn the bitter, late-winter month of February, 1921, my mother remarried, to a man of honourable name and esteemed profession, James Allen Matheson III. He brought with him a daughter, Laurie, a timid young creature somewhat younger than I, whose radiant golden beauty outshone both sun and stars. How thrilled I was to at last have a sister—to be a sister. Someone to talk with, share secrets with, teach to ride! For riding horses I loved more than anything in the world, no one I’d rather spend my time with than my beautiful horse, Zusza. She was the love of my life. Until Laurie. Oh, my beloved Laurie, my poppet. How could I have known then what you would mean to me . . . what our innocent relationship would become. I could not have imagined the pain we would suffer—the silent misery and torment, binding our hearts in ways only you and I would come to know. For secrets such as ours must never be told. Not to another living soul. Even God has forsaken us. . . .
forsaken sparrowsin the garden of winter
A Visionary Novel
KAREN R. THORNE
VISIONARY FICTION FORGING NEW PATHS BY SHIFTING PARADIGMSAre you game?
forsaken sparrowsin the garden of winter
KAREN R. THORNE
Forsaken Sparrows in the Garden of Winter5TH EDITION 2015
COPYRIGHT 2010, 2015 Karen R. Thorne (Karen Korwal)All Rights Reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced by any means or in any form, in whole or in part (beyond that copying permitted by U.S. Copyright Law, Section 107, fair use in teaching or research, Section 108, certain library copying, or in published media by reviewers in limited excerpts, without written permission from the publisher.
THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION.ANY RESEMBLANCE TO PERSONS LIVING OR DEAD IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL.
PUBLISHED BYVISUALLUSIONS LIGHTSOURCE PUBLISHING
Printed in the United States of America
ThisisabookIneverintendedtowrite.In 2010, after seven straight years of successfully winning
As with all my writing, the underlying message is highlyspiritual(notreligious).Iofferittoyouasinspiration,andhope,howeverpainfullyrawitshonesty,itsbrutaledgeoftruth.
Afinal note is included intheAcknowledgements, after thestoryisdone.
In keeping with the story locale, British English is usedwherever possible. Punctuation, for the most part, followsAmericancustoms.
Anyoversights,omissions,orerrorsinBritishterminology(orotherwise) aresolely theauthors shortcomings, andapologizedforinadvance.
1In the bitter, late-winter month of February, 1921, my mother remarried, to a man of honourable name and esteemed profession, James Allen Matheson III. He brought with him a daughter, Laurie, a timid young creature somewhat younger than I, whose radiant golden beauty outshone both sun and stars, beside whom I was decidedly plain, though I tried my best not to be jealous.
In truth, I was thrilled to at last have a sisterto be a sister. Id known more than my share of loneliness, nay despair, in my sixteen long years as a singular child on a large isolated Kent estate in the south of England. A place of woods and heaths and foxes and sparrows, yet precious few companions with whom to while away the endless hours.
Thus the arrival of my new step-sister opened up a whole new vista: someone to talk with, share secrets with, teach to ride! For riding horses I loved more than anything in the world, and there was no one Id rather spend my time with than my beautiful horse, Zusza. She was the love of my life.
My new sibling was to me both a fascination and a mystery. Quiet, utterly shy, reserved, speaking only when spoken to (with few exceptions), and great liquid sorrowful eyes that reflected some deep hidden pain she wanted no one to know. I could not imagine what could possibly pain her so, as she was but fourteen and not much has happened to a person by such a very young age. Even I, at sixteen, had hardly seen more than the confines of Finchbrook Hall. My father had spent all his time repairing and reconstructing it, my mother arranging the same, which left the family little time for going on holiday.
2 forsaken sparrows in the garden of winter
PaPas untimely death was quite a blow. More so when my mother remarried only nine months later.
My only consolation was my sweet Laurie, with whom I fell madly in love the very first day. Well-mannered, unpretentious, sweet, kind, generous . . . yet so reticent, so barely tolerant of me. For three months I tried to draw her out, to little avail.
Gradually, however, as the weather became warmer, more conducive to horseback rides, I managed to coax her into coming along, an activity she did seem to enjoy.
And so it pained my heart sorely when one lovely Sunday afternoon in late May, barely a week after my seventeenth birthday, me all dressed in my pristine riding habit and mounted on my beloved Zusza (as eager as I to be going), Laurie came striding back into the stable, her polished tall-boots digging into the hard ground as she dragged her gelding Samson to his stall.
The anger in her face alarmed me.Laurie . . . I said in a gentle, questioning tone, I thought you
were riding with me today. Are you all right?Deliberately she tended the huge black horse without looking at
me. You shouldnt have told. Tight, the soft-spoken words. My transgression was known. Oh, poppet, Im sorry, I said, I never meantIt wasnt yours to tell! Slender fingers tugged and jerked at the
snaffle bridle, unbuckling it, releasing the horse from its bit. You should not have told.
Dismounting, I moved towards her. Laurie, pleaseLeave me alone, she muttered, shrugging off my attempt at a
consoling hand.Would you just listen? I insisted, stepping closer.I said leave me alone! Horse still saddled and left standing
outside the stall, she stormed out.For a moment I stood dumbstruck. So quiet shed been, so
unassuming! Watching the petite form pounding across the open field,
Karen R. Thorne 3
riding skirts flying, I felt acutely the sting of her words, worse than any hornet.
Immediately I set out after her. Such a little thing it had seemed at the time. Why on earth should she be so put out that I had mentioned her lovely singing voice to Father Morris? Pure and clear, like the choirboys in Vienna. I was so proud of her, having overheard her during the congregational hymns at services that morningnaturally Id commented to the good father on it. Id no idea it would upset her so.
Twenty paces in front of me, the diminutive figure was nearly at a run. Tearing off the riding hat, she yanked at the wide nape-barrette, freeing the length of her golden blonde hair. I felt a wee stab of envy: what Id give for such beauty. One of the angels, or the cherubim, a seraph perhaps, with her soft brown eyes, smooth well-shaped features, delicate hands, and that exquisite cascade of golden silk. Mine was a coarser look, brown eyes a little too sharp (in more ways than one), too much angle to my chin, dark unruly tresses the colour of dirt, with far too much curl to behave properlyalways a hassle to pin back for dressage. Half a glance and anyone would know Laurie was not my blood relative.
The fine, silken handfuls of that shining spun-gold lifted and fell as a groomed show-horses mane, dancing past her shoulders with each frustrated step, a determined increase of the distance between us. I ran to catch up.
LaurieWhat will you say? she demanded, halting abruptly beside the
shallow rocky stream that flowed in from the wooded eastern perimeter of the estate. What can you possibly say that will make me feel any better?
Hazelnut trees shimmered above us in the slight spring breeze, a handful of sparrows pecking about on the ground. Perhaps no