Give Me Your Tired...

Author: Brenna <tkeefer6[at]>

Rating: PG for now...may go to R

Summary: Response to Kyle's back story challenge. Just how did Mikki and her family get from Mexico into New Mexico and why? Was she already alone when the Darynville Klan tried to lynch her or did they die in Darynville?

Author's Note: Normally I don't beg for feedback, but this time I'm going to just because I'm not too sure about this story yet.

Chapter 1

Mikki watched hidden in the shadows of the door as her parents sat at the kitchen table arguing in whispers. She couldn't really hear what they were saying, but she already knew the topic of their discussion, north or south. Their family was leaving their home. The rancheros de los ganados were destroying the jungle that surrounded their small village faster than ever before. Papá wanted to move their family south into the deep jungles in Brazil where many others of their kind had fled to avoid the advances of modern civilization and the possibility of detection, but Mama wanted them to move north into the United States. Mama had had a difficult time giving birth to Isabel, the youngest of the Mirri children, and Mikki had heard the doctor tell her papá that Mama would have no more babies. It made Mama and Papá very protective of Isabel who had remained a sickly child even now that she was two years old. Mama wanted to go to the United States where they could blend in with the hundreds of thousands of other illegal immigrants. Mama's family had gone to Texas before Mikki was born. They had moved even further north into Utah in the past few years. Their letters described the anonymity they found in the United States. Mama wanted that safety and the presence of her family, but even more she wanted the modern lifestyle they would be able to enjoy including modern medicine for Isabel.

On the other side of the doorway, her brother Paolo watched as well. Mikki turned to look at him and saw the same fear and uncertainty in his face that she felt in herself. Mikki knew that Paolo wanted Papá to win, but she couldn't decide. To Paolo living so deep in the jungles sounded like an adventure, exciting and fun. Like all of their kind, Mikki loved the jungle, but she was old enough to know that going so deep into the jungle would be hard especially on Isabel. Mikki, like her parents and siblings, was protective of Isabel, and like her mother, she worried that if the family moved to Brazil it would cost Isabel her life.

"¡Vaya a dormir!" Mama hissed as she suddenly appeared in the doorway startling Mikki and her brother who quickly scrambled back to their pallets on the floor. Their mother watched from the doorway silhouetted in the light from the lantern on the kitchen table. She stood for a minute glaring her displeasure at them before returning to her discussion with their father. Mikki and Paolo stared at each other in the dark listening to the quite mumble of words from the other room. Slowly her eyes drifted shut into the deep peaceful sleep only children know lulled by the sound of her parents' voices.

When Mikki woke the next morning it was to the smell of breakfast cooking on the stove. She could hear the sounds of pots and pans clanging together and her mother issuing orders to her older sisters Maria and and Pilar. Mikki scrambled from the blankets and quickly stored them away before joining her sisters in the kitchen. From the old sideboard cabinet she got the dishes and began her morning chore of setting the table. Alejandro, at sixteen the oldest of the Mirri children, was milking the family's lone milk cow. It was Paolo's task to collect the eggs from the hens in the chicken coop. Juan, just a year younger than Alejandro, brought wood to feed the fire in the wood burning stove on which their mother cooked.

After they had all eaten their morning meal, Mikki's papá pushed his plate toward the center of the table as he pushed his chair back from the table. He laced his hands across his stomach showing without words his enjoyment of his wife's cooking. "Your mama and I have decided," he said knowing all of his children were aware of the discussion that had consumed their parents over the last few weeks. "We will go north," Ramón Mirri told his children.


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