Chapter 2: Getting Away

"Mama, what do I do?" Moira cried out. Oh Lord, anything but that! I'd rather be a barmaid than have to sell my body so Da can get more money!

Katie looked around quickly, and said, "Hush your voice, child. I won't let anyone sell you anywhere, especially to be a- that. Just help me clean up the dishes, and let me think."

Mother and daughter washed the dishes in silence, and only after Paddy had left to join the boys in the barn, working with the horses, did Katie turn to her daughter and tell her of her plan.

"Child, there's nothing I can do to stop your Da from doing that. But… you just might be able to do something."

Moira looked at her questioningly. "What do you mean, Mama?"

Katie sighed. Does the girl understand nothing? "Run away. It's your only chance of ever escaping him, Moira dear."

Mama's right, but… "Mama, I have no money."

Katie bit her lip, as she always did when she was concentrating very hard. "There's… over the years, I've hidden what money I could from your father, in case I needed it someday. I haven't counted it in years; I have no idea how much is there."

Moira knew what her mother was planning. "Mama, that's your money!" she scolded.

Katie looked at her with tired eyes. "I can't escape now, Paddy would find me no matter where I went. Besides, what sort of future would I have if I did? You have your whole life ahead of your, Moira Kathleen. You can use it. It's hidden in the back of the pantry, in an old metal school box that used to be my grandmother's, back when they still used the old one-room schoolhouse. Go get it, Moira."

Moira sighed. There's just no arguing with Mama sometimes… She went up and found the box. After Katie had checked to make sure the boys and Paddy were occupied in the barn, they opened it.

Moira gasped. There must be a thousand dollars in here! "Mama…"

Katie split the money into what looked like two even piles, handed one to Moira, and told her to start counting. Moira did as her mother asked.

After she finished counting, she looked at her mother, who was just finishing. "Mama, there is $576 here." She said hoarsely, completely shocked at the amount of money she held in her hands.

Katie nodded. "Good. I have $617 here… so that's a total of…" she added it in her head. "$1,193. That's enough to get you started, Moira dear."

It was real. She was really going to leave home, she was really going to run away from her father. "Where will I go, Mama?" she asked, trying to figure out what she would do.

Katie thought for awhile. "There are many small towns around here you could probably hide in, but your da… well, he'd find you. Go to the city, somewhere he'd never find you. You can call a cab from town, and have them drive you there. But whatever you do, don't stay in the town that the cab takes you to, your father could trace you there easily. Go to another big city."

"When?" Moira asked. Lord is this a dream?

Again, Katie had to think before answering. "This afternoon. Your father was planning on taking the boys to town… you can leave while they're gone."

Moira sighed. "All right, Mama."

"Now, put your money back into that case, and put it where you found it. We'll get it back out before you leave."

Katie was right, Paddy went to town in the late afternoon, taking Patrick Jr., Sean, and Kevin with him. As soon as the truck was out of sight, both she and Moira ran up to Moira's room to back what little clothes she had, and essentials that she would need.

They stuffed everything they deemed important into and old leather bag that used to belong to Katie's mother. Katie rushed Moira out the door, shoving the tin into the bag at the last minute. "You can do this, Moira dear." Katie said when she saw the look of fear and uncertainty in Moira's eyes. "Hide in the woods between here and town, and wait until you see them drive back by, then head straight to town. Hurry! Have a cab take you to the nearest big city. After you're dropped off there, find a bus to take you to another city, farther away. You'll be safer that way… I love you, Moira Kathleen O'Kearn, never forgot that. Don't write, just… send the occasional postcard, so I know you're all right, OK? Send them to your grandparents, though; they'll make sure I hear about them."

Moira nodded to show that she understood, then hugged her mother. "I love you, Mama," she whispered softly.

Katie sighed. "I love you too, Moira dear. Now hurry."

Katie stood on the porch, and waved until Moira was out of sight. I'm rushing away my only daughter, just so that her no-good father doesn't sell her away…Lord, watch over her… and help me to deal with Paddy once he gets home and finds that she's gone. I can only hold him off for so long before he realizes what we've done, and I won't be able to keep him from hurting me.

After leaving the O'Kearn farm, Moira walked down the road until she was only about ¼ of a mile from town, and then she hid in the woods. She sat there waiting for what seemed like hours before se saw her father's truck go back down the road to the farm, but according to her watch it was less than one.

She rushed to town as soon as the truck was out of sight, and from there found someone who was heading to Cork. I'll be safe in Cork, at least for awhile. Then… who knows, maybe Dublin; I've always wanted to go there.

She was silent all the way to Cork, which took almost an hour. The driver, who was an older woman, seemed to notice her need to silence, and didn't say anything to her, and asked no questions. She probably thinks I'm just another poor farm girl who wants to experience city life, Moira thought wryly. Well, she'd be partially right, at least.

Only after she'd arrived in Cork, and found a hotel room for the night, did she think of what Moira would be doing right then. Most likely, Mama's cleaning up the supper dishes right now… I wonder how she's doing without my help? And then it hit her. Oh Jesus! What'll Da do to Mama when he realizes that Mama helped me to get away?

But Moira forced herself to push those thoughts away. Paddy had never been one to hit Katie too much; he'd always just hit Moira instead. But without me there, will he hit her more? Moira asked herself, wondering if she'd just put her Mama in more danger. No! I can't think that… I need to get to sleep, tomorrow will be a long day, and I have to get up early so I can get out of here.

She lay down in the musty hotel bed, but it was a long time before sleep overtook her, as tired as she was.

Author's Note: Well, what do you think of this chapter? Awesome, OK, or should I be locked up for even writing something this horrible? (OK, I don't think it can be that bad, but what do you think?) And I want your HONEST OPINION! (Yes, that means you get to say what you really think, and I promise not to be angry about it! lol.)

Note: I have no idea what currency is used in Ireland, and since I am an American, I'm just going to use dollars. I'm familiar with that, so I can be sure not to screw it up. (It is me though, so you never know.) However, if anyone would like to tell me what currency is used in Ireland (and how I should use it- like what's a lot, a little, etc.), please email me at darkangel_326 , and I will forever be grateful to you. :)

Thanks to NiK for reviewing! (More of you should follow her example and REVIEW!)



I better not hear a single complaint that this isn't long, cuz on MSWord it says that it's 1,256 words, not including the author's note or chapter title; and that's pretty damned long!