Elise Zimmermann is at her brother's funeral at the Altstadt cemetery. She meets up with her friend, Jacob, and talks about running away with him from her family and her cruel father. She then rides home with her family to her home, the Zimmermann Farm.
Her father, in grief, knocks over the dinner table and rushes out of the room, leaving the rest of his family in fear. Elise wanders to an old oak, where she has an assortment of items hidden. She decides to run away. She sneaks into the kitchen to steal some provisions, but is caught by her father. She runs away, but her father catches her. Believing she is a "changeling", he raises his axe, intending to kill her. In the last moment, he changes his mind. Elise gets to her feet and starts running towards Altstadt. At that moment, she is filled with hope as a carriage approaches their farm.
Waiting for the Rain - Full Short StoryEdit
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Elise watched the digger fill the grave of her brother
Friedrich. He had been sick for almost a month before he
finally passed away. Typhoid fever was not something she had
heard of before, so it meant nothing to her, and at the same
time, it meant everything. Watching her brother die, had made
her realize that she was miserable. Not because of this
particular tragedy, it was her life and the people she shared it
with, which made it so.
He loved his only son desperately and his death was nothing
he was prepared to handle. This was something which had
become painfully clear to the entire family as they had
watched Gustaf fall into despair.
muscle. Her father had pulled at her arm just before the
funeral, as she wasn’t moving quickly enough.
to his wife Agathe. They all heard him, but said nothing.
Agathe just stood there cradling her youngest child in her
arms with a faraway look in her eyes. Tears ran down
Margarethe’s cheek. She was the oldest child now and she
tried to stay composed, but hearing her father wish something
so terrible made it impossible.
away. She looked over to the church and the town square
digging in the dirt with his hands. She carefully removed
herself from the funeral, knowing well she wouldn’t be missed.
studied Jacob’s effort. Elise stroked the black cat which arched
from discomfort. The humid weather was already making the
thick fur unbearable and he certainly didn’t need anyone
rain soon, you know? Best time to sow – before rain.”
struck her cheek. She prepared for the rain to come crashing
down, but it didn’t.
she loved apples.”
mind was preoccupied.
the life he lived. He had a good stable where he could sleep,
and a master which kept him fed and clothed. He looked at
Elise, the sad girl in her Sunday dress, a friend he cared deeply
with the motion, holding on to the side to keep herself on
board. Gustaf mainly used the wagon to transport hay for the
cows, but it worked well for the family when visiting Altstadt.
As Elise watched the landscape pass by, she found herself
entertaining the thought of escape. Is it really possible? Could
she find another life for herself?
She imagined showing up at the stables next to the Inn, the
surprised look on Jacob’s face as she tells him that she has run
away. She played the scene over and over in her head. Jacob’s
reaction was always the same, a surprise turned into absolute
joy. Then they would pack his things and head out, probably
joining Gabriel on a journey to Königsberg or somewhere
reality. Elise abandoned her daydream and sighed. Up ahead
she could see her home – Gustaf Zimmerman’s farm.
utensils and plates scattered over the floor.
some damn respect, Agathe!”
baby crying in the crib. Gustaf pulled at his hair, not knowing
what to do with himself, and stormed out. Margarethe helped
her mother up on her feet.
after all. I think it would help out with the money.”
girl. Something I wish all my girls would be,” she said while
pasture, zigzagged between the cows, and continued towards
the great oak. The cows never did go all the way up to the
trunk of the tree, as the ground was covered in knotty roots.
She used to do a bit of climbing when she was younger, but
now it had become a place for hiding the things which
bundle, unwrapped it and revealed; several pieces of burned
wood, a button carrying a decorative insignia, and a broken
flintlock pistol. They were all things she had found around
father’s land and she used to look at them and pretend they
belonged to her. The things told so many stories. Sometimes
she was the soldier helping a young maiden from a burning
house. Sometimes she was the one being saved. It didn’t
matter anymore. She didn’t need to live her life through an
event which had happened years before even her grandfather
was born. She was going to have her own life now. Realizing
she no longer needed the things, she wrapped the bundle, and
put it back in the hollow tree trunk.
clothes in an empty potato sack and was waiting for the right
opportunity to fetch provisions in the kitchen.
where the family members and the two farmhands were. It was
important that no one knew about her plan, because they
would stop her – and punish her.
hear it echo across the farm. The two farmhands were loading
pails of fresh milk into the root cellar. Her older sister pumped
water from the well.
to her sister. This is it. Hurry! she thought. With steadfast
determination she entered the house. She opened the pantry,
grabbed half a loaf of bread, and a couple of potatoes.
As her mother and sister returned with the water, Elise flung
herself out of the window. She quickly got to her feet, picked
up the sack of provisions and headed towards the pasture.
She threw the sack over the pasture fence and began to climb
it. Gustaf’s hand grabbed her shoulder and yanked her
backwards. She hit the ground hard – her head was spinning
and she felt nauseated. Her vision slowly returned. Gustaf was
standing beside her. He still had his axe, it was hanging from
his gripped right hand.
not good enough for you anymore?”
like she needed to vomit. It didn’t matter, he wouldn't let her
stomach and she fell backwards.
Changeling. You had us all fooled, didn’t you?”
thunder, the sky opened and the rain began to drain the land.
rain smothered her. Gustaf, her father, pushed his foot down
on her throat.
Gustaf, raising his axe. As he looked down into his helpless
daughter’s eyes, he felt his madness slowly escape him. What
am I doing, he thought.
her throat. Elise scrambled onto her feet and began to run
across the yard and down the muddy road towards Alstadt.
sack of clothes and provisions, but it would be all right. If only
she could make her way to Altstadt and Jakob.
would kill her, maybe not today, but eventually.
looked back at her father, he had stopped further up the road.
He was staring in her direction, but beyond her. She looked
back at the road and in the distance she could see a carriage
coming this way.
someone is coming to help me. I just know it.