I struggled to set up Father's tent, hurrying to have everything ready before nightfall; the clean blankets, tiny clothes and a little glass bottle of milk I'd hastily coaxed from the goat. I hoped it would be enough until I could get her back to mother. I arranged everything neatly and sat with my arms wrapped around my bent legs, waiting.
Finally, it was dark enough to begin digging.
I used my bare fingers, not wanting to harm her with a spade. I started softly, cupping handfuls of soil and discarding them, until a sizable hole dipped in front of me. Where was she? I probed into the ground with my fingers, feeling only sticks and bits of leaves.
I became frantic, breaking my fingernails and wildly tossing clumps of earth. Dirt rained down all over me, baptizing me in the cold of my sister's resting place. "Where are you?" I muttered, pulling at the ground with my bleeding fingers, until, a triumph. I felt her; five warm little toes.
Carefully freeing her from the ground, I wiped the dirt from her face. She didn't cry, only silently blinked up at me with eyes bright and black. I cooed to her, "Shh, darling. Sister is here."
I wasn't allowed in the room as my mother labored. Hearing her screams, though, and my father's weeping, I dragged a chair under the window and watched as a violent gush of blood delivered forth my sister. The midwife cried as she lifted the blue-black body of the baby into the light.
I was prepared, though. I visited Margarete in her cottage and told her of the birthing troubles. She said, "Go child, fetch the placenta and the cord and bury them in the honeysuckle clearing. Sprinkle the ground with this. Do it before dark." She handed me a folded packet, ordering me to hurry. "Go now, if you want your sister to live."
I wrote this piece as my entry in the final round of the big 33rd Trifecta Writing Challenge. Wish me luck in winning!
My prompt was to write a 33-333 word piece that includes the third definition of the word triumph.
Click here to read the other winners responses, and see the sizable competition I'm up against.