Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash
Esi walked down an unknown road in the gray shadows of twilight. Were was she? How had she gotten here? As soon as she’d put on this soft, comfortable blue dress and soft leather shoes she’d been cast from her previous home.
She hadn’t wanted to leave, but Esi knew the homeowners were tired of finding broken dishes three times a week. She hadn’t broken the dishes on purpose. They just seemed to slip from her fingers.
Where was she? She’d never seen a road like this before. It was hard and dark in color. A rumbling noise caused a knot to form in her stomach. Then the ground vibrated beneath her feet. What was happening?
The rumbling noise grew louder and came from behind her. She turned and two lights, bright as the sun, struck her eyes. She shielded her eyes with her arm and screamed as the large rumbling thing with two lights, like eyes, nearly ran over her. Just before reaching her, the thing screamed, louder than she, as it whizzed by her, the force of it knocking her into a ditch.
What was that? Esi obviously wasn’t in Schroomville any longer. She stood, brushed herself off, and continued down the road, trying to find a house that might welcome her. She hoped she’d find a house before the darkness fell like a blanket over the land. She didn’t want to encounter any more monsters like the one that had passed her.
The moon peeked over the horizon and revealed a dirt road on Esi’s right. A wooden fence surrounded a meadow on the right side of the dirt road. Surely, this must lead to a nice house. Esi pulled her shoulders back and marched up the path—the kind of road she was used to. The dirt road was longer than Esi anticipated. Weary from walking, her pace slowed. But there, on her left, stood a little brown house, a stream of smoke billowing from the chimney. A small red barn sat next to it.
Esi stepped onto the wooden porch, careful not to make any noise with her new shoes. She tiptoed to a window and peeked inside. Relief flooded her chest as she saw a woman scooping soup into bowls and placing them on the table before eight small children. The woman brushed a strand of hair from her face with the back of one hand.
A large man with brown hair and beard stepped into the room. Esi shrank from the window, but after a minute or two, she, once again, touched her nose to the windowpane. The man had kind eyes, and he scooped soup into a bowl in front of the woman, who now sat with the children.
Then he scooped soup into one last bowl, kissed the woman on the top of the head, and left the room, returning a moment later to take his own place at the table. The family bowed their heads and the big man’s lips moved. When his lips stopped moving, everyone raised their heads and began to eat.
Delight filled Esi’s heart. These people needed her. The woman needed her.
She sat on the porch floor, her back against the house, and waited for the house to grow still. Then she rose and tested the doorknob—unlocked. Esi opened the door, willing it not to squeak. She tiptoed inside and flinched at a growling sound.
Her heart skipped a beat. Her eyes adjusted to the darkness, and she noted the large bed beyond the kitchen. She stifled a giggle. It wasn’t a growl, but a snore she had heard, coming from the large man.
Esi moved through the doorway the man had gone through earlier. Just as she’d expected—the dirty dishes were piled on the counter. Esi found a bucket and stepped out the back door. There she found the pump and pumped water into the bucket.
Back in the house, she heated water on the stove, then washed all the dirty items, dried them, and put them in the cupboards, without breaking a single item. She found a basket of mending next to a rocking chair near the woodstove, along with needles and several colors of threads. She set to work and by sunrise, the mending was complete. Esi folded the items and placed them neatly in the basket, then rose from the rocking chair and hurried out to the barn where she climbed the ladder to the loft and fell asleep in the hay.
The next night she entered the house to look for more chores to do. She found a bowl of cream on the table. Esi smiled and savored the delightful treat. This may not be Schroomville, but she was going to like it here.
Can you guess: what is the monster that almost ran Esi down?
What is Esi?
Leave your guesses in the comments.
5 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Friday: Esi’s New Home”
Kelly, I thoroughly enjoyed Esi’s story. It reminded me of Sir Gibbie. He too did the things a brownie would do so, though I did read your answer, I would have guessed brownie. And I suspected the monster was indeed a car. Sorry I missed this earlier. Thanks for moving into the realm of ‘fantasy’ 😉
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I’m glad you were able to visit and see this fantasy story. It’s fun to try some fantasy with my flash fiction. I don’t know if I’ll ever write a full-length fantasy novel, but I am reading more fantasy now and enjoying playing with it in my flash fiction.
My first love is still my historical romance, though. 😉
I’m sorry for those of you who’ve been looking for the answer as to what Esi is, but I wanted to wait a bit longer to see if anyone else would make a guess.
Esi is a brownie. A brownie is a creature of both English and Scottish folklore. The Scottish brownies prefer farming over household chores. In England, they were considered to be household spirits who worked diligently for farmers and within houses. In exchange for their tireless labor, brownies expect gifts of food, such as porridge and honey. If they are treated well and given a small dish of cream, they will enthusiastically perform whatever work the peasants are too tired to complete. They don’t consider their gifts as payment, but simply tokens of appreciation.
Also, the “monster” that nearly ran over her was a modern day car.
Oh Kelly! How wonderful … the best yet!! Is Eli an angel? Fantastic fun thinking about what answer might be … fanatastic TOTALLYNEW READING EXPERIENCE —TY
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Glad you liked today’s Flash Fiction story. I decided to try my hand at Fantasy since I am currently reading a lot of fantasy. I had a lot of fun writing this. However, no, Esi is not an angel. Good guess. I’m going to wait until end of day tomorrow to reveal the answers so that others have time to offer their thoughts.