Schicksal Excerpt

Here is a small sample from Schicksal. I hope you enjoy the scene.

“For goodness’ sake, woman, what do you expect me to do?” he shouted in exasperation. “He is your son. You do something with him.” She looked at him briefly, but swift feet carried her out the door to the base of apricot tree.
Stefan sat in the tree, huddled into a ball, and looked down in amazement as his mother nimbly began to climb up.

Image result for apricot tree creative commons

“Move along a bit, and make some room for me to sit,” she gently asked her son. Stefan felt quite cold but resolute. She sat near him and said nothing for a while. Her sweater kept her warm as she painstakingly searched for the correct timing to resolve this tense situation. Ideally she would have loved to take him in her arms, wrap both of them in her jumper, and offer him a solution—let him go to school in Subotica. After ten minutes or so, she moved closer to Stefan and wrapped his cool, shaking body in her pullover. She felt his body instinctively yield, grateful for the warmth and maternal comfort. When he warmed a little, she began to speak. In his mother’s voice, Stefan heard the distress she felt about their predicament.

“I know you want to keep going to school,” she said. “For four years I have watched you daily drawing in the dust, mud, and snow. Baka can now write and read some things, thanks to your barnyard lessons. I love you and know you have potential, but I don’t know how we can get you to school in Subotica.”

He looked across and saw his mother’s sense of hopelessness. Putting his small hand into hers, he simply said, “I know, but I just want to go to school.” One after the other, they descended the tree. She led her son back into the house, looking her husband full in the face, ready to deflect any anger or frustration he still felt.

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