TITLE: Broken Beyond The Meadow
GENRE: YA Historical Fiction
Closing my eyes, I could hear my mother saying, “Just pray, Clara. Pray, and it will all work out."
Maybe this time she’d be right.
There was no light in the sky when I made my way over the familiar stones to the Dunlap’s wagons. The newly-covered prairie schooners were near the family's barn, but my heart pounded like a drum in my ears. The air was thick with the promise of rain, pressing my best cloak against my cotton dress, sticking it to my skin.
Dear Lord, please don’t let them send me back.
A light swung near one of the wagons. Catching my breath, I froze in the middle of the damp grass. The silhouette waved, the light going at the same frantic pace. With a relieved sigh, I recognized my best friend Nancy.
I quickened my steps, holding my bundle of one extra dress, a blanket, and a likeness of my parents. I hoped fear didn’t show on my face. This had been Nancy’s idea, but now I felt courage draining out of me.
“This isn’t a good idea,” I said in a low whisper, just a foot from Nancy. “I should stay—“
“We aren’t doing this again, Clara.” She lowered the light near my face. “Do you want to see the West and have a real adventure, or do you want to stay here taking care of your ungrateful aunt and uncle for the rest of your life?”
I bit my lip. “This better work.”