TITLE: Stoking Hope
GENRE: Adult Women's Fiction
She slipped, the steamer trunk falling from her grasp. Marie righted her bonnet and looked at her husband.
Karl Kraus grunted and pointed to their trunk’s corner, a fresh dent marring the smooth tin.
“Es tut mir leid,” Marie apologized. A hand on the trunk’s lid, she dragged her boot along the bricks, scraping horse droppings from her sole. Raised on a farm, she was used to manure, but there was so much of it here. So much of everything. Buildings. Horses. And people, pushing and yelling their way across the city that was dark in mid-afternoon.
“Englisch,” Karl said.
Marie spoke little English. She grew up believing she would never leave Germany, believing she would never need another language, but when she accepted Karl's proposal, he announced they would be emigrating to America. Eyes closed, she pictured home. Verdant meadows surrounded by dense forests. Dark birds wheeling through a sapphire sky. Tears threatened and she fought against them. Married three weeks, she already learned her husband loathed weeping. Loathed any weakness. Marie was tired of holding back her tears. Her father frowned upon them the day she married. Her mother scolded her for crying the morning after her wedding. And Karl forbid her tears when she said goodbye to her family for the last time and climbed into the back of the wagon that took her to a train station in Dusseldorf for the journey to London.