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Words had become useless over time. My response to Jodah aka John Hansen's writing challenge.

Updated on July 29, 2015

I underlined the part I used for John's Challenge.

When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love she struggles to survive and grow, a year of catastrophe becomes instead annus mirabilis, a "year of wonders.”

Inspired by the true story of Eyam, a village in the rugged hill country of England, Year of Wonders is a richly detailed evocation of a singular moment in history. Written with stunning emotional intelligence and introducing "an inspiring heroine" (The Wall Street Journal), Brooks blends love and learning, loss and renewal into a spellbinding and unforgettable read.

Boundary Stone

Boundary Stone. Boundary stone between Eyam and Stoney Middleton. When the villagers of Eyam underwent self-imposed quarantine in 1665-6 to stop the Plague from spreading out of their village the stone was their only point of contact with the outside
Boundary Stone. Boundary stone between Eyam and Stoney Middleton. When the villagers of Eyam underwent self-imposed quarantine in 1665-6 to stop the Plague from spreading out of their village the stone was their only point of contact with the outside | Source

annus mirabilis means year of wonders

Words had become useless over time.

As she lifted her head in order to look closer at the elderly woman hunched over in front of her, she inquired one more time “annus mirabilis? Are you sure?”

The elderly woman dressed in no better rags than she motioned for the young woman to follow her.

Neither woman acknowledged the death that had wrapped itself around the arms of those most precious to them.

They slipped along the path now run over with briars with the elderly woman using a stick as her cane swiping at the tall thorns giving the younger woman a chance to follow while making the younger woman think to herself- in another time and place, she would have been the one clearing the way.

The year started off like any other year with most of the men living in the dark, working in the mines, arriving before sunrise and not getting home until after sunset only to get up and do it all over again.

The women doing their best to run whatever farm life the couples had managed to pull together.

The village had a tavern, a church and a family who considered themselves to be of greater stock living in the big house up on the hill.

But by the end of the year, catastrophe just did not seem strong enough a word to describe what had happened.

When it had become clear the devil and his army of soldiers had arrived, the family living in the big house packed up believing they could leave behind the struggles, and go somewhere safe foolishly thinking they could survive the wrath of the devil. Most did not have the means to go anywhere, and realized by doing so, they would only be caterers for the devil. Thus, a village decree was decided. Instead of leaving, the villagers would stay and not allow the devil’s seeds to spread and grow.

Surely, this unselfishness would be rewarded and their strong faith would protect them.

And often what becomes a group decision deteriorates once those most revered as the truly faithful fall victim to the devil’s claw of relentless pain and despair.

The younger woman considered herself neither faithful nor in any way lucky to be alive. She had watched as villager after villager, child after child died from the hideousness of this demonic disease.

She had watched as her husband, and then her own children fall victims to this hellish fiend with its poisoned talons.

Still, the elderly woman urged the younger woman to follow her.

No words were needed; words had become useless over time.

Sometimes, words are not what we need to hear. Sometimes, it is our hope that becomes the only sound we seek.

The younger woman was desperate. She had been fooled so many times into thinking she heard her husband or one of her children only to run outside and realize it had only been a dream.

But now, she was sure she could hear a sound, a soft lullaby, a memory from another era. She closed her eyes so she could concentrate. She could not be fooled again. Her heart could not take it.

When she opened her eyes, the old woman was no longer stumbling ahead, just sitting on a stump a short distance ahead of her. She began to put one foot in front of the other in order to move herself closer.

In her heart she knew the truth, yet she could not stop herself from believing once again if she got close enough, she would hear the sweet, sweet sound of wonders.

Hush Little Baby

Source

© 2015 ocfireflies

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    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 19 months ago from North Carolina

      Thank You for going with me...

      Kim

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 19 months ago from australia

      I love this story and book. Fascinating place. Thank you for taking me back there...

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Shyron,

      Please forgive the tardiness of my response. Lost my mom on May 14th so my time and energy has been elsewhere. Thank You. Thank You for your support. I truly appreciate your willingness to read and share.

      Blessings,

      Kim

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      Kim, this is awesome, voted that way and shared.

      Voted up, UABI and shared.

      Stay Blessed

      Shyron

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Genna,

      Please accept my apologies for such a late response. I enjoyed writing this one, and it makes me so happy how you are so good at acknowledging my efforts. Thank you for responding. Thank you for being you.

      Blessings,

      Kim

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      "Sometimes, words are not what we need to hear. Sometimes, it is our hope that becomes the only sound we seek." Beautifully written, Kim.. you are a very talented writer.

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Audrey!

      Kim

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Your prose is beautifully written! I love the story of this small village!

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Suzette and Bill,

      Thanks for always supporting me.

      Blessings,

      Kim

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      As they love to say in Great Britain.....brilliant!

      bill

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 2 years ago from Taos, NM

      Beautiful story, Kim. I like the sentence you chose to respond to this challenge. I haven't heard of this novel before this, but I am intrigued to read it now. What a heroine your character is.

    • ocfireflies profile image
      Author

      ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

      John, Jackie and Faith,

      The novel is so worth the read. Thanks for your kind words, votes and shares. You folks are the best.

      Blessings,

      Kim

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Fascinating read, Kim! I love your response to the challenge. It is very dramatic all the way up until the end.

      Your imagery choices are perfect.

      Up and more and away!

      Brilliant and creative.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Voted up and sharing and love the last photo! Really fit with your story.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      What a wonderful response you have come up with here Kim. "Year of Wonders" sounds like an enthralling story and you chose a great passage to use as your inspiration. This was certainly worth the wait. Thank you for taking part in my challenge.