Elisa accompanied the midwife outside.
– It’s grown pretty cold, she said.
The midwife noded.
– This is going to be a harsh winter. The insects are very annoying. They can already sense that it slowly comes to an end. My best to Thome, and don’t work too hard, alright! You have to take it a little easier. At least a little.
– Just some gardening, she said. Before the frost comes.
The midwife sighed and climbed on her bike. Elisa looked after her. With every meter she got further away, the fear came back stronger.
– Turn around, please turn around, she whispered to herself. There’s still time, i’m begging you.
She got a few little wooden boxes out of the shed and walked over to the garden. She filled the bottom of the boxes with compost, put carrotes in, then again poured compost over them, then the next layer of carrotes, until the boxes were almost full. The soil was moist and damp, and Elisa couldn’t even picture anymore, that not long ago the sun was burning so hot from the sky, one could only endure it in the shadow. She had to work on all fours, because she couldn’t bend down anymore due to her enormous belly.
When Thome would come home from work, she would ask him to carry the boxes down to the cellar. It had been a good year. With many sunny days, but also enough rain.There had been plenty of fruit. The apples and pears were already cooked into marmelade. Cherries and Plums Thome had prepared, to destill Schnaps out of them.
Niko didn’t make the work in the garden easy for her. Upon every careless move, he sturdily kicked against the abdominal wall, as though he would claim a right for peace.
-Instead of kicking you should rather turn around, Elisa said reproachfully.
The intense wind of the passed days had covered the meadow around the little house with a layer of leaves.
Thome worked at a sawmill and the work never stopped. Sometimes he even had to march out on sunday. With the first monthly paychecks he had bought himself a bike, so he didn’t always have to take the route on foot. Ever since a work accident, in which he had broken his left leg multiple times, he had a limp, and it started to hurt when he had to walk longer.
The foreman of the sawmill, a small brawny guy named Leschke with a red fullmoon-face – Thome called him only the brute -, had forced him to drag a tree trunk from a pile with a picaroon. Another trunk got loose and crashed down on Thome’s leg. He could hear the foreman scream – You idiot, you damned idiot –, then he fainted.