She sat on a small wooden stool at the foot of her mother's bed, brushing her doll's beautiful rust-colored curls, designed after her own. The girl's father was in his chair next to the fireplace, worriedly puffing on his well-worn pipe.
"Daddy? When'd you say Mommy's waking up again?" the girl asked softly. She was told that her mother was taking a nap for a few days because of all the hard work she was doing around the house. The man struggled to meet his daughter's eyes, reluctant to tell her the truth.
Her mother was the sort of ill that a family like them had no money to treat properly. The medicine in the city they lived in was amongst the priciest in all of the county, and the next city that had the herbal blend they needed was over a hundred miles away. They had no cart, so the man would have to make the trek on foot, which would leave him somewhere in the middle of his journey when his wife finally succumbed to her illness.
"Herbert," the woman croaked. "Herbert,