Time Changes Hearts – Excerpt

By Jocelyne Immell

The war had been wagging for four years now; she had heard rumors that it might end soon the thought of him coming home soon made her shiver. Standing on the veranda Clymen pulled her thinning shawl closer about her upper body, the air seem to have more of a chill to it today then is normal for the low country this time of year. Though it was the holiday season, she didn’t feel very festive lately especially now that people could tell she was with child. The peace that Clymen had once found in the beauty of the grounds and gardens of her husband’s family plantation was gone, not because it was winter. Winter in the low country was still green and had a beauty about it, it wasn’t brown like up North, but this year it wasn’t to be. The ground showed signs that the union army had camped all over; the gardens were trampled there were burn spots from their fires. Being in this ruin down plantation house with her husband’s elderly mother and his spoiled daughter didn’t help her mood either. Hearing the crackly voice of Langdon’s mother brake through her thoughts, calling her, she knew things were not going to go well today.

Inhaling deeply the brunette let the crisp air fill her lungs before heading back inside, turning she took the few steps inside to face whatever the nightmare that was her life had in store for her today. Moving through the room that she share with her husband 20 years her senior and down the hall to the stairs, stepping onto the top step she heard more than just Langdon’s mother’s and his daughters voices drifting up the stairs. Tightening her grip on the railing that was covered with scraggly pine garland waiting to see who were in the house with them worried that it might be union soldiers. Stealing her nerve and pushing her fear of who those voices might belong to away and any thought of Langdon away as well, Clymen started down the stairs.

Setting his daughter down Langdon smiled, the house had a festive feel to it, even though it didn’t look like it had when he was growing up or when he married his first wife. “House looks good ma. Where is Clymen?” He didn’t miss the look of hatred on his mother’s face, “now ma you know Lucile needed a mother. You needed someone to help you to run this house especially now that the war took all our slaves. The least you could be nice to her.”

As she almost reached the bottomed of the stairs, she saw him come into the hall and look her over. Placing a smiled on her face she tried to act like the wife that was happy he was home.

Climbing the few steps to where she was Langdon hugged her. “This is the best holiday gift ever,” as he held her close to him with a smile.

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