Just a little tidbit I wrote when I had a few spare moments:
As she sat against the large grey stone, and looked out over the brilliant green meadow, Trista decided that this was it. She was no longer going to do what everyone thought she should do. She was not going to be the safe, practical, ever-dependable one any longer. She was tired of that role. When was she going to have fun and adventure? Never, at the rate things were going, that’s when.
The clumps of tall grass wiggled in the wind. The sky was a muted, mottled blend of shades of gray-on-gray. It was chilly and she wrapped her bulky knit coat around her tightly and lifted the collar around her neck. Here she was in the most romantic of settings, Ireland, and she was on yet another errand for someone else. Well, she wasn’t going to get this item checked off her list by sitting on this rock, she thought. And she pushed herself up to stand and stretch. She picked up the basket at her feet and continued walking along the path that meandered past open pasture, low stone walls, and an occasional gate.
When she came to the stone bridge spanning the river, she moved off the path, and started working her way down along one side of the bridge to the river’s edge. She spotted a section of ratty looking cattails and squatted down near them. It was autumn, and they were beginning to die back, the perfect time to harvest the root “laterals” for this evenings meal, her foreign exchange mother, Nora, had delighted. And of course she’d gone along with Ben and Emily, Nora’s children, the week before and learned the dirty work of harvesting cattail root, so she felt an odd obligation to offer to collect them for Nora today. She pushed the sleeves of her coat and sweater up above her elbows and plunged her right hand into the muck at the base of the cattail looking for the bend in the rhizome, the point where she was to break them off. She snapped the slenderest part of the root, and pulled back the tuber. Using her pocket knife, she trimmed the root from the plant and tossed the muddy lateral into her basket. She repeated this process until her knuckles ached from the cold and the muscle at the base of her thumb protested when she tried to grip the root bases with her muddy, frigid fist. Grabbing the half full basket, Trista walked to a clearing on the bank and started cleaning off the roots and then her hands. As she used her skirt as a towel to dry her hands, she noticed him for the first time looking down at her. How long had he been there? A while by his appearance, up on the bridge, sitting on the guardrail, long boot-clad legs dangling lazily over the edge, with the slightest of a smile on his face.