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TITLE: Marta (working title) 2nd chapter chapter
By Karie Spiller

Same as the first
Chapter 2
A few hours later Marta woke to a gentle nudge. When she opened her eyes she saw a set of blue eyes staring back at her. They looked very familiar. They were gentle and kind and they had a twinkle in them that made her feel safe. She had seen those eyes before, but she wasn’t sure where.

“Where am I?” Marta asked as she tried to sit up.

“Let me help you, Marta,” the man said as he helped her sit up and propped some pillows behind her head.

“You are in the Ranger’s station. You were being chased by a wolf when I found you,” he said.

“You called me Marta. How do you know my name?” she asked.

“Don’t you remember?” he said.

“Keith,” she said.

“Yes, it’s me. What are you doing in the woods?” he asked.

“Running away again,” Marta said.

“From what?” he asked.

“I’d rather not talk about it,” Marta said.

Just then an older man came into the room.

“Ranger John, she’s awake,” Keith said.

“So I see. Welcome to the station,” he said.

“Thank you,” Marta said.

“Are you hungry,” Keith asked as he dished up a bowl of stew.

Her stomach growled as she took the stew that Keith offered her. As she ate she looked around the room. A mounted deer head hung over a large fireplace and a table and chairs stood in the corner. She looked up above her and saw a loft bedroom. Leading up to it was a beautiful staircase. A layer of dust lay over everything and there were dishes piled in the sink. She could feel the breeze from the open window and could smell the wonderful outdoor smell of the woods.

“Keith, we need to go down the mountain trail this afternoon and remove some debris from the winter storms. Marta you are welcome to stay if you’d like,” Ranger John said.

“Thank you, I do still feel a little woozy,” Marta said as pain coursed through her head.

“You have quite a bump,” Keith said as he got her some ice.

“But the swelling has gone down considerably since you brought her in,” Ranger John said.

“Yes it has. There is more stew in the pot if you’d like and there are extra blankets in the trunk under the window if you get cold,” Keith said as he grabbed his coat from a hook on the wall.

“Thank you, but I am full and warm enough,” Marta said with a yawn.

“You get some rest, okay,” Keith said as he followed Ranger John out the door.

Marta tried to stand up, but her head ached so she fell back on the pillows. Pretty soon she was asleep again. She was woken up by the sounds of Keith and Ranger John coming inside. She sat up and tried to stand. As she did she held on to the arm of the couch.

“How are you feeling?” Keith said as he came over to her.

“Better, thank you,” she said.

“I’m glad to hear that,” Ranger John said as he came over to her.

“Well now that I’m feeling better, I think I’d better move on,” Marta said.

“No you should stay here. You still have that bump and besides there’s supposed to be a thunderstorm tonight. I wouldn’t want you to get caught in another storm,” Keith said.

“Thank you, but I’d better be on my way,” Marta said.

“No, you stay here for the night. I am responsible for this forest and anyone or anything that is in it and I can’t let you go out in the woods when we are expecting a storm,” Ranger John said.

“Please Marta, at least stay for the night,” Keith said.

Marta looked into his eyes and could see a gentle look in them.

Marta walked over to the window and looked at the dark clouds outside. She did not want to face another storm.

“Okay, but first thing tomorrow, I am gone,” Marta said.

“Okay,” Ranger John said.

Keith showed Marta around the cabin and then took her up to the loft.

“This is my favorite room in the cabin. It reminds me of my parent’s tree house,” he said.

“I like it. It’s so peaceful and breezy up here,” Marta said as she looked out the open window at the woods below.

Marta went over to the bookshelf in the corner and looked at the books.

“I remember this one,” Marta said as she pulled out a worn copy of “Princess Bride”.

“We read that one while your ankle was healing,” Keith said.

“I remember that,” Marta said as she recalled the pleasant memory.

“Me too. It was so nice to have someone my age to explore and do things with,” Keith said.

“That was the best two weeks of my life,” Marta said.

“You said you’d write me,” Keith said.

“I was passed from one foster home to the next. Whenever my foster family was tired of me they would start to beat me and I would run. Finally I was put in a Children’s Home and remained there until I turned 18. Then I lived in a little roach filled apartment. I worked two jobs to pay for it,” Marta said.

“Wow it sounds like you have a hard life. I’m sorry to hear it,” Keith said.

“You get used to it after a while,” Marta said.

“No one should have to get used to being beaten,” Keith said.

Marta hid her arms behind her back so he wouldn’t see the bruises.

“I just want to leave it all behind,” she said.

Marta went downstairs and sat down on the trunk under the window. She watched as the rain came down and lightning flashed through the sky. She shivered as she felt the draft from the window and jumped as a loud clap of thunder pealed through the sky. She started to cry as she thought about her life. Keith helplessly watched as her tears flowed. She sat there for hours watching the rain. Keith and Ranger John retired for the night, but she still sat there looking out the window. Finally she felt tired and went over to the couch to sleep.
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