JANO PROJECT – First Page
her sense of smell. She wrinkled her nose when she tried to move. A sharp jab of
pain traveled up her hip. The floor where she sat was compacted dirt. Even in
the dim light that seeped through the ragged covering over the window, Tessa
knew she was no longer home. But where was she? How did she get here? Why were
her hands tied with something that looked like baling twine? Her eyes felt
puffy. Did she have allergies or had she been crying? She tasted salt as her
tongue ran across her lips. They were dry, maybe cracked.
people cowering along the wall near her? Something hard and round moved on her
shoulder. Tessa flinched away in panic as the downward movement landed a small
child in her lap. The little one smiled up at Tessa before snuggling back
against her shoulder.
skin was neither tan nor white but something in between, as if she’d spent a
great deal of time outdoors. She smelled liked boiled onions or was it cabbage?
The overpowering scent of wood smoke confused not only Tessa’s sense of smell
but her ability to piece together the events that led her to this point in
her heart accelerated. Even though her arms and legs felt cold, sweat beaded up
on her neck and forehead. Her hands sensed a sticky covering. Lifting them, Tessa
adjusted them so that the ribbons of light could fall across her palms.
Blood. Her hands were covered in blood.
Whose blood? Was that why her body ached? With urgency she rubbed her hands
against the torn robe she wore. The fibers, rough and shaggy pulled the blood from
her hands as she frantically rubbed them back and forth. The child’s head grew
heavy against her shoulder. Tessa wanted to check herself for open wounds.