Quickly, he started to copy her actions. "Sorry." He said very very quietly. So quietly, his voice was almost lost.
Max just sighed, she kept working, not paying attention to South. She didn't mention last night though from how he looked it appeared both of them had had bad nights when it came to sleep.
Max was just glad she didn't have all that work to do before school, she'd still smell of manure, sheep, goats, pigs, mud, and sweat by the time chores were done, but she didn't care. The onlyy draw backs were she'd have to check over South's work to make sure he did it right and she wasn't alone, chores were her alone time, the rest of thed ay she had to be at school or with her siblings or step father doing chores. Night time and morning chores were her alone times, now she had none ebcuase she ahd to share a room with South.
South quietly did his work as best as he could. He was better at house chores, things like cleaning and even a little cooking. But he was quiet.
He wished he could be alone. That he would be left alone.
He was sent here because they were trying to help him, but he just wanted to be alone. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't shake the past. People could hurt him. Alone, he was safe.
The wheelbarrow was full, it was a very large wheelbarrow, it would be a pain to empty. Max checked over South's work, scarping some bits he'd missed off the floor. She took all the tools and put them outside. She looke dat South froa few moments, realizing she had to speak to the boy again.
"In the loft there is straw." she siad pointing to a ladder,
"Toss down five bales after you cut the threads, teh sheep will spread it out. Then go to the pig sty. I'll be tehre." she said.
Max reache dinto her back pocket and pulled out a pocket knife, she tossed it on the ground for South to pick up and use to cut the strings that held the hay bales together. Max grabbed the wheelbarrow handles and satrte doff on the long walk to the composte used for hay. She also had to pick up the pigs food after this so she should be back to the pig sty around the same time if not a bit llater than South.
South flinched when she threw the pocket knife down, backing away several steps. But then he recovered, taking a deep breath and heading to do as told.
He climbed the ladder carefully, then strugled with the bales.
The wheelbarrow was heavy and large. Max was covered in sweat by the time she mad eit across the property to the composte pile. She dumped teh wheelbarrow and satrted back, she stopped by the grain house, a small building and picke dup a bucked of bad grains and some spoiled food they couldn't eat. She dumped that in the wheel barrow, it wa sthe pigs slop.
Max started back towards the pig sty, when she remembered,s he hadn't brough the tools to the sty! She put the wheel barrow down outside the sty, since South wasn't there he was probaby having a hard time with the hay bales, theyw ere pretty big, Max usaully used her foot to move them and didn't carry them unless really needed.
Max started to run back to the sheep barn to pick the tools up.
South grunted, finally managing to get one single bale. He wasn't very well muscled. and he had worked up a flush in his cheeks.
He gritted his teeth and moved onto the next one, struggling with it slowly.
Max arrived and noticed South couldn't seem to move a hay bale. She sighed in frustration and she climbe dup the ladder. She grabbe dteh knife from him and using her feet moved the hay bales close to the edge of loft platform, she cut the ropes and then kick it over so it hit the ground. She shoved teh knife into South's hand,
"I'll move them you just cut the rope and kick it over the edge." she muttered frutsrated, this was a waste of time! She started to move the hay bale to the edge. Max wanted to hurry, she wanet dto finsh her chores, eat breaak fast, move the laundry and hopefullys ower before school, which she and SOuthw oudl have to walk too. The younger kids were picked up by a bus, but the highschool's only bus had borken down so they ahd to make around aone hour walk to the highschool.
He flinched and nodded. Lowering his head even more, seeming to shrink a little. He quietly started to do as told, cutting the ropes and pushing down the bales.
He didn't look at her and tried to pretend she wasn't there.
Max finsihed moving the bales and climbe dout of the loft, she grabbed the tools and just walked quickly towards the pig sty. The pgs were harder ebcuase you had to be carefully while cleaning the sty, she just needed to scrape up the sleeping place adn replace the food. She'd probably have South clean up the pigs sleeping shack and she'd put the food in and make sure the pigs didn't charge South while he was cleaning.
"I'm sorry for being worthless." South said very quietly when they finished. He kept his head lowered, but he looked out through his hair slightly.
Max grunted. They got the pig sty,
"Stay here." she told South before jumping into the sty, she ducked in to the sleeping area and shooed the pig out, careful to not get charge. She then pulle dteh bar gate over teh enetreance after getting out. She pointed to a pitch fork,
"CLimb in threw teh window, you're skinny enough." she told him, pointng to the window of the shack. Max had parked the wheel barrow outside on eo fthe windows so South coudl dump the stuff in it. She got out of teh sty and grabbed the buckets of food. She then ha dto climb back in and pour the buckets of food into the troph,
"DOn't justs tand there." Max muttered as she worked. She satrted to pick up thinsg the pigs hadn't eaten and scoop up soem manure with a shovel around tehs ty, keeping a close eye on the pigs.
He scrambled to climb in through the window, biting his lip and holding his breath. He reached to lightly push his hair out of the way ever so slightly so he could see enough to clean.
The sleeping house shouldn't be that hard to clean. They had three pigs, more technicely, they had piglets in in the house in the family room, the mother had died so the younger chidlren were being taught how to care for the piglets while Amos worke don firguing out how to sell them.
Max shoveled the manure out of the pigs sty and jumped out of it,
"I'm going to go get fresh hay." she said simply,
"Climb out when you're done cleaning and take the wheelbarrow to teh composte heap." she called. It's over at tehc orner of our property...nothing else iss around it so even you should be abel to find it." she snapp rather udely as she left to get some hay.
He lowered his head more and closed his eyes.
Stupid and useless. Stupid and useless.
The words started to thump out a familiar old tune in his head as he worked.
That's all he was, stupid and useless. He kept quiet as the words burned themselves at him, reminding him how worthless he was.
Max walked to the supplie barn and got a dolly to help her manage the hay, the pig sty was far away and she needed two bales of haya dn neede dto get them there on time. It'd be slow enough with the dolly that had a busted wheel but faster than if she had to carry them.
Max loaded the dolly up and started to head back.
South was quietly wiping at his eyes, finishing up cleaning and starting to take the wheelbarrow away.
It was slow going for him, and he had to keep both hand s on the wheelbarrow.
His tears welled up freely as he started to wheel it away, unable to wipe them away.
Max got back to the pig sty, she threw teh hay into the sleep house after cutting teh ropes, then she got in and opened the gate to the sleep house. Max grabbe dthe tools and starte dto head back to the barn, she glanced at her watch. It was 7:00...they were going to be late for school! She groaned, this was so stupid, she have to ste her arlarm back tomorrow ebcuas ethey'd have different chores, she'd probably have to ste it to 3.
Max put the tool away, wash her hands, moved teh laundrya dn then started to run for the composte piel to get South, she had her back pack on her back and South's, or actually Mace's old on in her hand. SHe needed to get SOuth and get tos chool.
South trudged along in stinging silence. He emptied the wheelbarrow, then started to take it back.
Finally, he wiped at his eyes, trying to hide his emotions, trying to go back to his silence.
Max ran up to South. They were at the pig sty again. She grabbe dthe wheel barrow from him and put it next to the sty, they could pick up in the evening,
Max shove dteh backpack into South's arms.
"Come on." she siad impatiently,
"We have to go, we're late enough already." she snapped. Max turned and started off across the fields. They'd take teh short cut which would get them dirtier, but that didn't matter at this point.
((Gotta go. Good niight, GOD bless you!))