The Handmaid: A Short Story

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DEAD LEAVES SCRAMBLED ACROSS THE FOREST ROAD, scraping across the hard dirt like fingernails desperate to escape from a coffin. Young Scarlet Ryder skipped among those leaves, stomping on the strays and kicking her sturdy boots through the piles where they gathered. The bold eight year old girl had lived in the small village near the woods all her life. Despite the whispers of her neighbors and the tales from the other children, she had never been afraid of the shortcut to the town on the other side. She enjoyed traversing the old wood road alone.
On that particular autumn day, Scarlet was on a quest of significant importance. A quest that would change her entire life forever. She had been charged to deliver a basket of honey cakes to her
…show more content…
An eerie stillness fell over the forest. Time seemed to stop and all Scarlet could hear was her own breath. The distant cry of a bird broke the spell and Scarlet bolted. Her feet flying for the road that now seemed miles away. Hard pounding footfalls told the young girl she was pursued. Wide eyed and panting, Scarlet ran down the road, too afraid to look back. Cloak billowing out behind her, lungs burning and her poor little legs begging for a rest, Scarlet saw the most welcome sight she could imagine: Grandmother’s house at the end of town. of town. With an extra burst of speed born of desperation, Scarlet flew to the wooden house. She ran through the heavy door, thumping it closed behind her, locking the scary man outside. Only to find herself in a much more horrific …show more content…
More than anything she hated being called Foundling. She smiled for his sake though.

"It's fine Luke, the doctor did all he could for me," She busied herself pouring the tea.

"I hate it when you call me Luke, you know," The London officer growled.

Scarlet grinned. She knew.

"Are you just getting in?" Scarlet asked, deftly changing the subject, "Where have you been?"

"Working. Another body. We think it's the same man from last week. " The tone in Lucian's' voice told his adopted daughter just how tired he was.

"Another? That makes three in a month," Scarlet set the tea on the table, but didn't drink. "How many will he kill? Will he stop?"

Lucian shook his head. "Not until we Make him stop. Hopefully by the twentieth century. "

Scarlet chewed her lip. "That's another two years. Will it take that long?"

Lucian shook his head. "Caldon and I will catch him by your birthday. Only two weeks away now. " He smiled, obviously changing the subject.

Scarlet smiled and pushed her wild curls out of her face. "Twenty one, then I only have one year of finishing school. "

"Provided you pass," Lucian said darkly, "The headmistress said you still talk out of turn and swear like a sailor.

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