That said, I thought maybe you all would like to see some once in a while, so here is one I wrote a week ago or so.
She squeezed her eyes shut, hoping that the crowded railway platform would vanish when she wasn't looking.
Slowly she opened one eye. Her shoulders dropped. She was still waiting on the bench, sandwiched between a large woman in an ostrich plumed hat and a grubby man with a greasy mustache. He kept scratching his knee, his saggy threadbare trousers making raspy sounds against his leg.
A group of people whooshed past, and she felt a cold breeze come against her cheek. She almost chattered her teeth at the unexpected chill, but caught herself in time.
Suddenly she found herself studying a rose speckled skirt, not realizing someone had stopped in front of her. The green piping trim on the dress looped up and down across the front, and unconsciously her eyes followed it.
"Excuse me, are you Claudia Raymond?"
Her head snapped up, as if the words from the woman's mouth in front of her formed a string to pull her view up. "Yes, ma'am."
"Good." The woman's mouth curled into a smile. "Come with me, then."
"You're not--" Claudia gasped, her mind dizzy, as she stood up and reached for her bag. "You're not my grandmother?" It shouldn't have come out as a question, it was so obvious.
The woman laughed, turning to zigzag her way through the crowds. Claudia followed as best as she could, though her vision came and went in flashes of bright light and she still had her sea legs.
They stopped outside of the train station, on the other side. Claudia sniffed, her eyes watering. The sunlight bore down on her brightly, now that there was no canvas covering over her.
She sniffed again, curious. What strange smells this continent had. She couldn’t place many of them.
"This is our carriage." the woman spoke, directing Claudia to a small black device on wheels, two horses hitched to it.
Claudia stumbled to it.
"We already fetched your trunk." The woman continued. "I had Jameson inquire after it with your name."
"Thank you." Claudia coughed, setting her bag down outside the carriage as the driver hopped down off his front seat and came to her.
"I'll take that miss." he announced, bending over to pick up the bag that had dropped from Claudia's grasp. "You must tell me miss," his grin reached across his face as he climbed onto the side of the carriage to tie her bag onto the top. "How it is, over there--"
"Over where?" Claudia murmured, confused.
"Why, you know, over in China or wherever it is you're at."
"Oh..." Claudia nodded. "Burma." Her eyes lit up a bit. "It's--" she stopped, her voice faltering. "I-- I suppose I can't really explain it just yet." A wave of homesickness crossed her, and she had not even set foot in America for one day.
The driver, Jameson, shrugged. The woman motioned for the girl to climb into the carriage.
As they began to wind down the crowded roads, dodging other carriages, Claudia became aware of the plush seats beneath her. She rubbed a finger over the fabric, wondering.
The woman shifted along her seat, leaning over to touch Claudia's knee, tentatively. "I'm Francis," she explained. "Your aunt."
"How do you do?" Claudia bobbed her head, courteously. "I'm pleasured to meet you."
Francis sat back, smiling. "I suppose you're tired." she finally ventured.
Claudia closed her eyes without thinking. "Yes, ma'am." she mumbled.
"It's been a long trip for you, I suppose," Francis went on, her voice soft and soothing. Claudia nodded, opening her eyes. "After the ship docked, I had a bit of trouble finding the train station, and therefore missed my train to here. I apologize for any disconvenience."
"Nonsense." Francis waved her hand in the air. "That doesn't matter a bit. It's all new to you, isn't it, here?"
"Yes ma'am." Claudia agreed. "It makes me rather tired just trying to remember everything and take everything in, here in America."
"What's there to remember?" dimpled Francis.
"Oh, plenty," Claudia heaved a big sigh. "My parents schooled me in it all before I left to come here, but I am afraid I have forgotton a great deal. Some things that we do in Burma are not proper here, they said--"
"Well, I'm sure that's so," Francis pursed her lips together, then twinkled. "But you needn't worry about it so much, now, Claudia. We expect you to do things a bit differently in the beginning. We'll understand."
The corners of Claudia's mouth began to turn up a little. "I just don't want to embarrass you." she admitted. "And I'm dearly missing my family and home already."
"I know you do." Francis glanced out the window. "And I am quite determined, along with your grandparents, not to be too embarrassed by anything you do or say. Customs will be different, to be sure. However, that is of little consequence to us. We're proud to know that you and your family has lived all of your sixteen years as missionaries for the Lord in Burma. We're quite pleased that you are able to come stay with us the rest of your schooling."
Claudia's shoulders sagged in relief, and her face brightened a bit. "I'm so glad you understand!" she exclaimed. "I was so afraid you wouldn't and I would displease my family here."
Francis turned back to view her niece, her eyes sparkling. "Well, take that worry off your mind, now. We'll soon be home."
Claudia smiled, her eyes wandering to the grey buildings flashing along outside the carriage.
She may be on the other side of the world, but kindness already proved that it can cross barriers.
Let me know in the comments below what you think! :)
You all have a lovely day!