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Hide & Seek: Chapter 3

Bracha Rosman

Mrs. Renard exhaled sharply though her nose. “Don’t lie to me, girl. Where did you hide the eggs?”

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A crate was on its side split in two, onions strewn on the frozen, muddy ground. Jacob stood to the side, his eyes filled with fear.

Mr. Renard held his upper arm and moaned as blood oozed through his coat and onto his fingers. “Fay, bring me a rag!”

Fay’s face paled, and she froze.

“Can’t you see I’m hurt?” her father hollered. “Bring me a rag!” Fay didn’t move. Idy spun on her heels and quickly ran back into the house. She couldn’t help but notice the ruined bread on the floor as she entered, and a fresh pang of regret flared through her. She grabbed a washcloth from the cupboard and dashed back outside.

“Here, Mr. Renard.”

He snatched it from her hand and wrapped it around his wounded arm. “Fay, go get Ma.” Fay stiltedly turned toward the house then slowly broke into a run.

“What’s everyone looking at?” Mr. Renard shouted. “Get back to work.”

Idy hurried to the barn to collect the eggs, and Jacob followed close behind.

“What happened?” Idy asked when they were alone inside.

Jacob removed his cap and ran his hand through his hair. “He was telling me how lazy I am. Said I’m too slow.” He placed his cap back on his head. “Then he picked up two crates at once to show me how it’s done. The dog came outside and Renard started screaming to it to stay away from the barn. He lost his balance and the top crate slid off and cracked.” Jacob shuddered. “The nail sliced straight through his arm.”

Idy winced. “Ooh.”

Jacob went behind the chickens and pulled a burlap sack from a peg. “He deserved it, Idy. Maybe he’ll stop being so mean to us now.”

Idy didn’t think an injury, no matter how serious, would change the man’s character. “Maybe,” she said anyway, for Jacob’s sake.

“You’d better get going, Jacoby. You’ve got lots of onions to pick up.”

Jacob swung the sack over his shoulder and marched out of the barn. “See you at lunch,” he called to her.

Idy gathered the eggs from the hens, and placed them in a basket. She knew Mrs. Renard would be dissatisfied with the day’s meager quantity. “Please,” she whispered, her eyes skyward, “help me.” So heartfelt and encompassing were those three words, Idy needed utter nothing more.

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