Challans, France, 1895
The June morning felt surprisingly warm as Juliet set foot onto the stone porch, expecting it to be cool under her feet. Instead it was hot on her toes and she jumped back into the kitchen. Her mother looked up and frowned before returning to scrubbing the pot. “Hurry back. Don’t wander.”
Juliet stepped lightly onto the porch and found it not so shocking on the second attempt. She glanced at her mother and then ran full speed down off the slab steps and onto the warm wet grass. The rain from last night clung to the grass, and it squeaked under her feet as if she were scrubbing each blade with the shift of her weight. She held her bucket out as she ran, cautious not to drop it. Her path to the well took her past Monsieur Marchant’s house. She stopped before the high stone wall and stretched up on her toes. Although she was taller this year, she still couldn’t see over the fence. Juliet contemplated the bucket for a moment and then turned it over and stepped on it for a better peek at the property.