Momma did not press Ella Ruth to accompany her on the day's visits, and Ella Ruth retired to her room. Lula had a cold cloth waiting, and Ella Ruth sank into slumber, fending off the painful headache until she remembered no more.
Bye and bye she found herself struggling in the candle-lit parlor with a bolt of lavender cloth that unwrapped above her head, swirling her into its folds until she was caught tight, arms pinioned to her sides. She tried to fight, to wriggle out of the binding fabric, but it held her fast, until she fell in a heap and dissolved into tears.
She awoke then, screaming and thrashing against her encumbering bedclothing.
Lula bent over her, trying to sooth her with soft words as she tugged at the bedspread and sheet.
When she felt the bedclothes release her, Ella Ruth sat up, panting and whimpering, until the her panic subsided.
"Missy, it was a bad dream, no more. You be fine soon."
Will Ella Ruth really be all right, as Lula promises? She has vowed to remain in mourning in honor of her husband, Ben Owen, but will her parents force her to abandon the secluded life she wants to live?
Stay tuned. While you wait, be sure to pick up a copy of my new novel, The Zion Trail, available at all major online retailers.