One day at the end of November, Martha thought she could not endure the brutal work in the dump any longer. The next morning, as soon as the bishop’s son had dropped them off, she would run away. She would make a dash to the nearby forest and run and run until she would find shelter somewhere. She would probably not survive for very long, but anything was better than this life. Even the thought of being damned by the Lord for all eternity could not deter her, her decision was made. How much worse could the dark abyss be, compared to this!
That very evening, a miracle happened. After supper, Marion told her that she could go back to kitchen duty. Martha secretly wondered if the Lord had decided to spare her or to punish her. The kitchen was much, much better than the dump, it was always warm in there and smelled so good, but working there might also mean that she was being prepared for her husband again. He didn’t like smelly women.
Since the weather had changed so dramatically four weeks ago, it had snowed a little every single day, gradually increasing the layer on the ground until it was nearly half a meter deep. As Martha never lost her fear of being noticed by her husband, she was always hugely relieved when she could leave the main house after she had finished her kitchen duties and wade through the deep snow back to Anna’s hut. Lately, the bishop always picked Anna.
She had looked forward to working with Anna, hoping for more of those brief moments when they had shared little stories about the sister-wives as well as the occasional giggle, but Anna had changed. She constantly gave Martha orders. How to perform her duties in the kitchen, how to look after her hut, how to take care of her little girl when she had to spend time with the bishop. Anna was always bad-tempered and nagged about everything.
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