An Answered Prayer

Kingwell By Kingwell, 18th Mar 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3cokusmv/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

An elderly lady is disturbed about another of her premonitions.

A Feeling of Apprehension

It was early April of 1937 and a cold northeast wind swept along the rocky shores of the South East coast of Newfoundland, coupled with a steady downpour of rain that had been falling unrelentingly for three days. Tucked away in a great bay, was the Island of pigeons and the community of Strickland Bight, boasting a population of eleven families and 89 souls. “Aunt” Martha Styles, as she was known to everyone in the tiny outport, had risen early that morning with a feeling of apprehension. She had known that dread before, and always before a calamity had befallen someone in the bight. Not wanting to upset her pregnant daughter with whom she had lived since the death of her husband the previous fall, she tried to appear calm as she came downstairs and took her place at the kitchen table. “Good morning Gran”, chimed the four year old twins Obadiah and Jonathan, looking up from playing with the small wooden boats that their grandfather had carved for them just weeks before his death. “Good morning boys”, smiled their grandmother thinking of the hours her husband had spent carefully carving each of these boats, resting only when his arthritic hands could take no more. Her daughter Ada was baking bread and there were toutons with black molasses for breakfast. Martha, who had always loved the fried dough left over from that used for the bread, ate heartily despite her gloomy thoughts.

"Let me know what I can do"

Martha had always wondered why she had these premonitions if there was nothing that she could do to stop the upcoming disaster. “Lord“, she prayed silently, “if someone up there is trying to tell me something, let me know what I can do.” As morning turned to afternoon and evening, the howling wind gave way to a slight breeze and the rain to a drizzle. Ada had prepared a salt beef and vegetable stew for supper and as her husband Sam was finishing his meal, he suggested that they ask Fred and Ethel over for a game of cards. “This may be the last time we’ll get to play before the fishin’ season starts, everyone has their lobster pots ready now“. Ada agreed, Fred Andrews had come to the tiny community to teach school fourteen years earlier and married Sam’s sister, Ethel. They lived at the bottom of a hill at the end of the row of houses that made up the small town. “I’ll have Roger tell them to come over he’s still playing with Frank next door but will be going home any minute now”. “Tell them to bring Roger with them” Martha suddenly blurted out, almost it seemed without thinking. Sam gave her a quizzical look, “now Gran” he said using his children’s term for his mother-in-law, “Roger’s almost thirteen now, he won’t want to follow his parents around, besides what will he do here“? Martha, although not sure why she made the suggestion in the first place wasn’t about to give up now. “I’m sure Jim and Ida won’t mind if Frank comes over, they can play checkers on the little table in the spare room upstairs”. Ada nodded, “You’re right mom the boys would probably enjoy that”. Sam smiled as he went through the door, “okay I’ll tell them now, before Roger leaves“.

"Thank You"

Fred, Ethel and Roger arrived shortly after eight to find Frank already there waiting for his friend, checker board in hand. Martha didn’t play cards but sat in her rocking chair by the stove, listening to the conversation at the table and the occasional muffled laughter from the boys upstairs. It was nearly eleven before the last game was over and Ada quickly cleared the table and made ready the usual “cup of tea” which always included Ada’s home-made bread with butter and jam and molasses buns. They had just begun eating when a rumbling followed by a great crash sent everyone scrambling outside. The other residents of Strickland Bright were also outside shouting to each other in the darkness. Children were heard whimpering and being comforted by their equally stunned parents. Soon a half dozen lanterns lit up the short, narrow road that led through the community and loud shouts could be heard from the men now gathered where Fred and Ethel’s house lay shattered beneath a pile of rubble. The melting snow of the past winter followed by the drenching rains had loosened the earth at the top of the hill sending tons of debris and large boulders crashing into the house. Anyone inside would have been killed instantly. Standing alone in the doorway as the others ran towards the now half buried house, Martha thinking of her insistence that Roger accompany his parents that night murmured a soft “thank you”.

Tags

Apprehension, Checkers, Disaster, Imagination, Kingwell, Kitchen Table, Landslide, Newfoundland, Prayer, Premonition, Teenage Boys

Meet the author

author avatar Kingwell
I am 75 years old and retired.I like writing short stories, poetry as well other articles of interest.

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Comments

author avatar Songbird B
18th Mar 2014 (#)

A powerful and moving story indeed Kingwell, and an enjoyable read too my friend as always with you..\0/x

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author avatar Kingwell
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank You Songbird

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Nice and interesting post!

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author avatar Kingwell
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you Fern

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author avatar spirited
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Our prayers are always answered like this, but this time it was obvious to all.

good one Kingwell!

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author avatar Kingwell
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you spirited.

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author avatar M G Singh
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Nice post, thank you

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author avatar Kingwell
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you Madan

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Tough to explain such premonitions. Gripping and touching post, Kingwell, thank you - siva

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author avatar Kingwell
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you Siva and it just goes to show how little we really know.

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author avatar writestuff
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Great post.

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author avatar Kingwell
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you writestuff

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author avatar wonder
19th Mar 2014 (#)

A great experience wonderfully described.I loved reading this.

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author avatar Kingwell
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you wonder

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author avatar Delicia Powers
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Perfect title for this amazing page...thanks Kingwell... beautifully shared...

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author avatar Kingwell
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you Delicia

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Good morning, Kingwell, well done. I like your descriptions of people, they are fleshed out in a few words, and I can conjure an image in my mind. Good job. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Kingwell
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you Marilyn

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author avatar Funom Makama
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Thanks for the motivational, lovely and inspiring piece. God bless you!

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author avatar Kingwell
19th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you Funom

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
25th Mar 2014 (#)

Ditto on the comments about the piece being motivational and lovely. Well done.

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author avatar Kingwell
25th Mar 2014 (#)

Thank you Phil - both for your comments and for being such a loyal follower.

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