Today’s post is about Abigail, the title character from my short story The Orphan.
“Thanks to you two, my morning prayers are going to take twice as long from now on!”
Abigail Elizabeth Franklin was born in freedom on June 18, 1840 in Boston Massachusetts to Lewis and Betty. Her father was a pastor, her mother a teacher and suffragette. Both of her parents instilled in Abigail a great love for books. But when Abigail was twelve, her mother passed away, and Abigail’s father took her and her older brother Arthur out west for a new life.
Along their journey, they were attacked and kidnapped by slavers. Her father was killed, and Abigail and her brother were sold south to a plantation owner in northern Texas–Nathan Reeves. Arthur was sent to the fields while Abigail was kept locked away and abused by Nathan in his house. One year later, Arthur disappeared, seemingly abandoning his sister, and Abigail hasn’t heard from him since. But she fears he didn’t make it out of such dangerous country…
Isolated and lonely, she’s speaks to no one… until the day she sneaks away to the creek with one of Nathan Reeves’ books, and meets Jack Callahan. Jack begs her to teach him to read, and a friendship begins. (Click here to read more about Jack and Abigail)
Eventually, she is rescued from Nathan Reeves–but not freed–when Jack’s father Colin convinces Nathan to sell her to him. (You’ll find out more about this in Firebrand). Jack begs his father to give Abigail her freedom, but Colin dies, and Jack’s uncle Brian inherits the estate… along with Abigail’s papers. Influenced by the manipulations of Reeves, Brian also ignores Jack’s pleas, and Abigail continues to wait for a freedom she’s not sure she’ll ever see again.
But despite her situation, she cares deeply for the hurting Callahans, especially for Jack and his cousin, Saoirse. She spends her days cooking and cleaning, and worrying about the trouble Saoirse and Jack are getting in to. Her nights are spent following in her father’s footsteps, leading a small group of believers in secret prayer in the woods, and praying for God to rescue them all, and soon.
Here’s a little more I’ve discovered about Abigail…
- 5 words to describe her: warm, faithful, pragmatic, anxious, (can be) inflexible
- Best friends: Jack and Saoirse
- Favorite book: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
- Hobbies: when she has time–embroidery and reading
- Favorite quote: “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” —Matthew 5:44
- Wishes & Dreams: freedom, finding her brother again, healing for the Callahans
Now, if Abigail were a modern young adult:
- Favorite YA novel: The Book Thief
- Favorite app/site: Facebook
- Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw
- Fandom: Harry Potter
- Superhero: Storm
- Video game: The Sims
- Disney/animated film: Toy Story
And finally, on her iPod:
For some reason I picture Abigail being a fan of musicals, movie soundtracks, 1940’s jazz, and Josh Groban.