This is my first attempt at writing...so please review but be gentle! :)
Upper Canada, August 1709
The day Katherine was born was dark and stormy. The rain poured down unrelentingly and the air sizzled with electricity. Waves of thunder rolled around the sky. It was if the Gods themselves were angry.
Her mother lay on the blood soaked bed, pale and sweating. The midwife hovered worriedly above her. She knew that this day had started out with bad omens. It had been too long already. The child was probably dead and its mother would soon follow. She had lost too much blood.
The midwife sighed. She hated days like these. This woman had just come here from the old country less than 2 years ago..young and healthy.
Outside her husband stood alone staring out at the storm, his mind in the same torment as the skies above him. Why on earth had he insisted that they come to this God forsaken country? The nearest hospital was days away. If they had been home in England they would have a doctor right away and this would not be happening. This was all because of him and his plans to get rich in the New World. Now he was going to lose the only thing he ever valued and it all due to him and his greed. It was more than he could bear.
In the bedroom his wife s eyes opened, pain racking her body. She looked into the face of the midwife and knew the truth.
But then she felt the baby move inside her. She almost cried out in joy. Her child lived! She knew what she must do. She held out her hand to the midwife trembling with the effort.
"Help Me" she said.
Outside her father heard the first cry of his daughter Katherine. His heart leapt in hope and joy. He rushed into the room and was met with the sad face of the midwife. She held the child in her arms red and squealing. She saw his hope and shook her head.
"I m so sorry" she mumbled and turned away from his grief. He looked past her and saw his beloved Beatrice lying in a pool of blood on the bed. It couldn't t be…but it was. When her daughter had taken her first breath…she had breathed her last.
He looked at her and was dazed. Dead and gone and it was because of him. His mind struggled to come to terms with this…many thoughts fighting each other to be recognized.
His fault…his fault…his only. What would he do without her? How can he raise a child alone? Good God how can he explain this to her family back home?
He remembered the face of his mother in law when he saw her last…at the port just before they boarded the ship for the New World. It was strangely resigned. It was in the way she held her daughter as they said goodbye. As if she knew that they would never see each other again.
Her family had begged and pleaded with him not to risk going to Canada. It was so dangerous and uncivilized! And so far away. The war had just ended and there were Indians everywhere….not to mention the French!
But he was determined to make something out of himself and his family. There was land in the New World …cheap land. He would make a life for himself without his rich family s help. He didn't t need their money. He would prove to his father…just what kind of man he was.
He remembered the reaction of his wife…his sweet Beatrice to his plans. He knew that she didn't t want to leave her home and family but she had always supported him. When he had asked her that last night at the port if she was sure she was doing the right thing by coming with him, she was angry. She had said quietly, "Wherever you go I will go with you..that is my place…by your side".
He had promised himself then that he would give her everything she wanted and deserved…everything that she already had and was giving up for him. And he had done that or was at least was starting to do that. They had a house and land. When she had gotten pregnant he was ecstatic. Finally they were going to be the family that he knew she wanted desperately. Perhaps it would make her miss her mother back home less when she had her own child to take care of.
It was all going so well…and now this.
He felt a tugging on his sleeve and looked around at the old midwife. She held the child in her arms.
"Your Daughter", she said.
Reluctantly, he looked at the bundle in her arms…dark hair and gray eyes, and felt a strange feeling of dislike well up in him, suddenly like dark water in a well. He was surprised at the bitter taste in his mouth. Why should this…this creature live while his Beatrice had died?
He looked at the child and she regarded him solemnly, suddenly quiet. He saw his guilt, his shame , his foolishness reflected in her eyes. He turned away from those eyes.
"Take her away" he said to the midwife.