Welcome to another installment of Rubies – Escaping the Curse – The Beginning.
Our series begins as a young Norwegian girl leaves her home seeking work in America.
Kaja’s father cursed her on his deathbed for her disobedience when she married a vagabond musician. Abandoned by her husband and without a means to support her two daughters, Kaja leaves them with her mother in Norway and travels to America in 1913. When she accepted a job as a housekeeper for Norwegian Emigrant, Hans Berlund, Kaja fully intended to return for her daughters as soon as she was able. Unfortunately she was unaware that her housekeeping duties would include providing sex to her employer as well as being a mother to his two children.
When she became pregnant with her employer’s child she was forced to marry him. His son, William, accepted Kaja as his mother, but his daughter, Sophia, hated Kaja and did everything she could to make her new mother miserable.
Hans didn’t approve of Sophia’s treatment of her step-mother and eventually after the birth of Kaja’s daughter, Sophia was sent away to live with her uncle in Mooreton. Sophia’s wrath towards Kaja would never be abated and she would hate her step-mother until the day she died.
By this time Kaja had given up any hope of returning to Norway for her daughters. In today’s excerpt we discover how Kaja’s anger towards Hans was all consuming and was exacerbated when she became pregnant with a second child. Her new daughter, Martha was only 18 months old and Kaja was soon to deliver another child. Kaja felt her life was shattered. It was more than she could endure until a tragedy brought everything to a new light.
Rubies – Escaping the Curse Dakota 1916
Cursing her life, Kaja stood by the stove and rubbed her back. She tried to smother the bitterness she felt for her husband, but his insatiable lust fueled the fire within her. She was much larger with this baby than she had been with Martha, and had spent most of the first three months vomiting day and night. Even though the war was still raging, Kaja was overcome with anger when she realized another baby would make a trip to Norway impossible. Her passion destroyed, she vowed after the child was born her husband would never touch her again.
Smiling down at the eighteen-month-old child playing at her feet, Kaja murmured, “When you become a woman, you, too, will learn that men only think of their own pleasures.”
Pouting, Kaja walked to the window and gazed out at the cloudy sky, wondering how soon Hans and William would be through with the milking. She wished just once the sky could be blue like the clear skies of Norway in the daylight months. Her only consolation living in America had been her baby girl and the new son she seemed to have acquired. Thoughts of William made her smile. He had been so kind to her those first months, helping her with dishes, even doing the laundry. She wondered how long it would take before he becomes a selfish pig like all the other men in the world.
Kaja rubbed her stomach, silently thanking God the horrible nausea was past. She was even feeling hungry herself this morning. She had already fried the bacon and kept the grease hot to cook the eggs. So deep in thought, she neglected to notice the stillness of the room.
Suddenly sensing a danger in the silence, she spun around.
Kaja watched in horror as the child’s hand reached for the hot pan of grease. Screams of pain echoed through the room as the scalding grease poured onto the baby’s hands and arms.
Grabbing the child, Kaja rushed to the wash basin, trembling as she listened to Marty’s shrill cries.
While fighting the child’s flailing arms, Kaja frantically ripped off her tiny dress. Hot tears stung her eyes and rolled down her cheeks. “Please, God, don’t punish me anymore. Don’t take this child, too.”
A familiar hand touched her shoulder.
“Kaja, move away,” Hans commanded. “William, get me some egg yolks while I hold the child.”
With one hand Hans held the screaming baby and with the other he opened the reservoir and scooped some water into the basin. “Kaja, a towel — quickly!”
Hans carefully dampened the towel and wiped the residue of oil from the child’s body. “William, go for the doctor,” Hans said as he turned to Kaja. “Woman, come help me hold the child.”
William kissed Kaja on the cheek. “Don’t worry, Momma, I will hurry with the doctor. Martha will be all right.”
Kaja’s eyes flooded with tears. It was the first time William had called her Momma and she didn’t deserve to be one.
“William, go quickly!” Hans repeated.
As William ran out the door, Kaja stood speechless, watching her husband apply the raw egg yolks to Martha’s burned skin. She vowed to God that if He spared her child she would never have hateful thoughts about her husband again.
Don’t miss the continuing saga on Grandma’s Blog Posts next week to discover the after math of Martha’s accident as Kaja’s curse continues to wreak havoc on her life.
Book One can be purchased on Amazon at the attached link: Rubies – Book One