Sunny smoothed the hair away from the boys’ warm foreheads. Both were still feverish. This had gone on way too long. When she came back inside she’d try to find a way to get to the hospital. The phone had been off for hours—the storm knocked it out—and the truck was too squirrely to drive on icy roads.
The baby was coming early in the middle of an ice storm that had her isolated on her ranch.
With one last look at her precious boys, she went out and closed the door behind her.
If she weren’t careful, Family Services would take the boys away from her. She couldn’t let that happen. She had to figure something out, fast. Later. Right now, she had to feed the hungry animals.
Taking care not to fall, she held on to the railing and maneuvered her bulk down the snow-slickened steps. Every inch was torture as labor pains burned through her back. Step by step, she slogged her way across the snow-covered barnyard. Dragging herself to the barn took all her considerable willpower.
Freezing wind blew snow down from the peaks, across the valley floor, and into her face as she fought to pull open the barn door. Her scarf came loose and flapped around her neck while she struggled to budge the heavy double doors. An extra fierce gust of wind caught the bright red material and hurled it across the yard. In too much pain to care, she watched it go with listless eyes.
Her long blonde hair whipped across her face, and she shoved it away with a shaking hand. The angry November wind took advantage of her and hurled the half open barn door against her shoulder, sending her spinning like a top. Throwing her hands out to protect her belly, she left her head exposed and it slammed into the frozen ground like a hammer to a horseshoe.