Friday, May 17, 2019

Ria's Birthday Gift – Part 1

Good morning Friday Fiction Fans,
It's a lovely morning here. The windows are wide open and the birds are noisy. The sky is clear, and a wonderful breeze is keeping things fresh. It's supposed to get into the mid 80s today. We'll see if we turn the AC on or not. We did yesterday because it was just humid and hot. Neither my mom, nor I do well in heat and humidity.

This week has been slow on the writing side. I wrote some on Monday and Tuesday. But on Wednesday and yesterday I was typing up 24 pages of notes my mom had taken about a book, so I didn't write. But I did finish typing the notes last night.

I got everything out for the Book Release Tour of  "Hymns in the Hills" which was pretty exciting. It will be the very first time I've ever released a novel with a book tour. Always before I've published it, posted it on my blog and said, "Here's another book, readers! Enjoy!" Or something like that. ;) But, after releasing "His Law is Love" with a book tour, and seeing all the wonderful reviews show up, I thought I'd try it on my own. And, in case you were wondering, the tour is the last week of the month.

In chatting with a reader, I discovered that she really wanted another Ria and the Gang story. Well, I can't say that I blame her. I kind of like these characters too. I am writing another story, but haven't gotten very far yet. But I did realize that I had this story written, but had never posted it. Yay! You all get a new story to read. :) Only it really isn't new.
And if you haven't read "Home Fires of the Great War," sorry. Ria is one of the characters in it.

I hope you enjoy this story.

Ria’s Birthday Gift

    “Ria,” Mrs. Mitchell called upstairs to her daughter.
    In a moment, nine-year-old Ria appeared at the top of the stairs. “You want me, Mama?”
    “Uncle Edmund is bringing the boys over to stay for a few days,” Mrs. Mitchell looked up at her dark haired daughter, “so I’m going to need your help to get beds ready for them.”
    Ria couldn’t help a sigh. She sometimes wished that some girls could come over to sleep for a change instead of just boys. The only problem was, there weren’t any girls old enough to spend the night. Anna was not yet one and Lillian was barely two. “Where will they sleep?” she asked soberly.
    Smiling, Mrs. Mitchell replied brightly, “In the boys’ rooms.” She looked up at the half sad expression on the face above her. “Don’t you think you can live with some extra boys for a few days? They are here almost every day anyway. The only difference is that this time they won’t go home when the others do.”
    Slowly sitting down on the top step, Ria propped her chin in her hands. “I know. I just wish Aunt Carrie could come visit and then Millie and Allie could sleep in my room. Mama,” Ria suddenly looked up, “do the boys have to come in my room?”
    With a shake of her head, Mrs. Mitchell answered, “No, Dear. Your room is going to be off limits for the boys unless you invite them in.”
    “Well, okay then. At least I’ll have a place to get away from Dave and Chris and their teasing.” Then she giggled. “And from Jack’s teasing too.” Somehow, however, when Jack teased her, it was a fun tease, a kind she enjoyed.
    Mrs. Mitchell gave a chuckle; she quite agreed with Ria, Dave’s and Chris’s teasing sometimes when a little too far, but Jack was a lot like his father, Emma’s twin: fun but kind. “Shall we get the rooms ready now?” she asked as Ria continued to sit.
    “Now,” and Ria sprang up ready to help. It would be fun to have her cousins over, she decided. Even if they were all boys.

    “Mama.” It was nearly time for Uncle Edmund to bring the boys, and Ed, Chris and the twins were waiting on the porch while Mrs. Mitchell worked on supper and Ria set the table. “Mama, do you think Uncle Edmund will bring my birthday present he and Aunt Louise promised me?”
    “I don’t think he’ll bring it tonight, Dear,” Mrs. Mitchell answered. “He’ll be too busy trying to make sure he has all the boys.”
    The two in the kitchen shared a laugh. Uncle Edmund had been known to forget one or two of his sons before, or to take some wrong boys home.
    A shout from the porch told Mrs. Mitchell and Ria that the extra boys had arrived.

    Lively chatter, teasing and laughter surrounded the supper table that night in the Mitchell home. Little Larry, the youngest of Uncle Edmund and Aunt Louise’s children sat happily next to his Uncle Mitch, delighted to be a part of the gathering. Ria looked rather alone, her mother thought, sitting there surrounded on all sides by boys, but at that moment she was enjoying it.
    “You know, boys,” Uncle Mitch remarked when not another mouthful could be taken by anyone, “the ladies made supper . . .”
    “I’ll wash,” Fred volunteered smiling at his aunt.
    “I think the three J’s can dry and put away the dishes,” Pete began delegating, “and Dave and Chris can sweep the floors. Ed, you and I can clear off the table.”
    Ed nodded. “Let’s get to it then.”
    Dave and Chris didn’t take too kindly to the idea of having to sweep the floor and Chris protested, “There are two of us, how are we both supposed to sweep?”
    Chuckling a little, Mr. Mitchell offered a solution. “One can sweep the kitchen and the other here in the dining room.”
    Delighted that her usual evening tasks were taken away from her, Ria soon had a game of Chinese checkers started with her father and Larry, and the rest of the evening passed pleasantly. Everyone gathered about the radio to listen to their favorite shows before Mr. Mitchell took the Bible from the shelf and read their evening chapter.

    Thursday morning dawned cloudy and rainy. Ria gazed out the window and sighed. “Maybe it will stop raining by the time school is out,” she thought, turning from the window to pull on her school clothes.
    Much laughter was coming from the boys’ rooms as Ria left her own and started slowly down the stairs wishing again that she had girl cousins mixed in with the boys.
    “Good Morning, Ria,” her father greeted her, looking up from the morning paper and his cup of coffee.
    “Good Morning, Daddy,” She replied, dropping down into a chair at the kitchen table.
    “Why the long face? Did the boys wake you up too early?”
    Ria shook her head. “No, I just wish I had a special cousin that was a girl that lived nearby.”
    “Which of the gang would you get rid of?”
    Frowning in thought a minute, Ria looked up and grinned. “No one,” she answered. “But where is Mama?”
    Her father picked up his paper again. “She had to leave, but she should be back before you get home from school. She left breakfast all ready for you,” and Mr. Mitchell nodded towards the counter.
    To have her mother leave before she had even come downstairs in the morning was, to Ria, unheard of. After she had filled her plate and resumed her seat, she asked, “Where did she go?”
    “Hmm?” came from behind the newspaper.
    “Where did Mama go?”
    “Out. Where are those boys?” and Mr. Mitchell glanced over at the clock, folded his paper and stood up. Moving to the bottom of the stairs he called, “Boys, hurry up or you’ll be late for school!”
    A thumping of feet was heard in the hall and then a clatter of steps on the stairs before the six older boys burst into the kitchen with five-year-old Larry trailing behind them.
    “Where are Chris and Dave?” Mr. Mitchell asked, noticing the absence of the younger boys.
    Ed shrugged, “They said they weren’t going to school today.”
    And Jack asked, “Shall we toss them over our shoulders and carry them, Uncle Mitch?”
    Mr. Mitchell laughed. “I think I’ll go talk with them before we resort to that.” And he departed.

Do you have more girl or boy cousins?
Have you read "Home Fires"?
What would you do if you were the only girl cousin?

Friday, May 10, 2019

Ruined Shoes

Hello, Favorite Friday Fiction Fans,
It's a chilly morning in May. Right now it is only 43ºF. And everything is wet from all the rain we've had this week. But the sun is supposed to shine at least some today. So hopefully that will help warm things up again. I'm not ready for summer, but I don't want to go back to cold either.

Let's see, what have I done this week?
On Saturday my mom, sis, and I headed home from my grandparents' and I tried to get some things done.
Sunday was a busy day. We had children's bell practice between Sunday school and church, and then played for church. My sister and I are in charge of setting all the food up for our fellowship meals, so we only got to hear part of the message at church before slipping out and down to set things up. We always have helpers, but this time our help wasn't enough because our visiting speaker ended 20 minutes early! Thankfully several other girls who are on the rotation to help set up, rushed down and help us finish. I got to hold and cuddle a sweet 10 month old baby and she fell asleep on me and slept until her family had to leave. *bliss* :) We had a baby shower after we finished eating, so it was after 2 before we got home.
On Monday I worked on getting this and that done. That evening we went to something my nieces and nephews were in. No writing that day.
Tuesday was more of getting things done. I did get a bit written, and mowed the yard (it needed it!), and talked to my best friend for 45 minutes.
Wednesday was a better writing day. I might have finished writing "By Paths Unknown." I can't promise I have, since I have to wait and see what my editor says, but maybe. ;) I also alpha read a story for someone.
Thursday I had a long list of things to do and work on. Several emails to send, and another book to alpha read. I also started writing a new short story. This one is based on a true story.
Today – Well, today hasn't been around very long. ;) But I have to clean house, but I'm hoping to get more written, and other things done.

This story was written about 8 years ago and started the "Travels of Tracy" series. I hope you enjoy it.

Ruined Shoes
Rebekah M.

For several minutes Tracy Linnet sat silently in her small, blue Road Runner, slowly twisting one of her tawny curls around her finger. “Now what?” she asked of no one, for besides her cat, she was alone in the car. “Here I am, in a small mountain valley with lush green grass, a small stream, which I’m sure is icy cold, a row of tall, green trees, an old looking barn and rugged mountain peaks; not a person or house in sight.” She sighed and, looking at the seat beside her where Madalyn, her only companion, was curled up, made a wry face before adding, “I guess this just isn’t my lucky day, huh, Lyn?”
Thus addressed, the cat, a sweet tempered, long-haired, yellow tabby, opened one eye, stretched her front paws and yawned. Her tail brushed the back of the seat lightly.
“Oh, you’re no help,” Tracy scolded softly, scooping up the cat and cuddling it tenderly. “You couldn’t even get the spare tire out let alone change the flat. Now could you?”
Lyn merely blinked.

The sun shone brightly out of a clear blue sky, and Tracy, never one to give way to utter despair, opened the car door and stepped out, glad to at least stretch her legs. “No doubt Tad will be waiting for me.” She put the cat down and straightened her belt and smoothed her skirt. “Of course,” she added to Lyn with another little sigh, “he won’t really miss me until after five o’clock. Since it is almost three now, it will be at least four and a half maybe even five more hours before he finds me. So much for getting back without any mishaps!”
She thought of her three friends whose company she had left only forty minutes ago after spending a five day holiday together. Now it was back to college, and here she was, stuck.

“Lyn,” Tracy wondered, “do you see a house over there behind those trees?”
Lynn continued washing her face and didn’t even look.
After shaking her head at her companion, Tracy shaded her eyes from the afternoon sun, trying to see through the screen of trees. “I’m sure it is a house. But, how do I get there? I guess we’ll have to cross the field and climb the fence, if there is one,” she added. “How nice of the road to cross this stream before turning away from the house. Come on, Lyn.” She picked up her cat, and set off with a sigh.

The long grass swayed, tickling her legs and grasshoppers jumped on her skirt.
“Oh,” Tracy shuddered, thinking of what her new neon tiger-striped keds would look like, for the ground was soft and squishy, as though still saturated from a rain. “This isn’t exactly the right kind of outfit to venture forth across country in, Lyn. Maybe I should have worn something else.”
Lyn gave a soft mew and set up a purr.
“I know, you’re exactly right. I wouldn’t have had time to change before Tad saw me. And who knew I would have a flat tire. I’m sure you didn’t even think of such a thing.”

At last the field was crossed and Tracy approached the barbed wire fence feeling almost like a trespasser. “What if they don’t like visitors?” she whispered to Lyn. But the cat had closed her eyes and Tracy didn’t think she was listening.

Just as Tracy placed one hand on the fence, a sudden thunderous barking frightened her nearly out of her shoes! She screamed! There bounding towards her was a great, and to her mind, terrible dog! Lyn began to spit and hiss and Tracy held on to her beloved cat lest she leap from her arms into the vicious jaws of the approaching beast.
A shrill whistle from the barn halted the dog and sent it tearing off in a new direction. A door of the barn slammed shut and then out of the shadows a man approached with the stride of a cowboy.
Somehow Tracy managed a tiny, fleeting smile. “Hi.”
“Can I help you?”
“Um, oh yes, . . . I mean, . . . my car--” She could go no further for the door of the house flew open and a crowd of noisy children of all sizes came dashing out helter-skelter. Behind them, with a baby in each arm, came a woman.
Tracy could only stare. Never had she seen so many children at once except at schools. Even Lyn seemed impressed for she turned for a look and then scrambled up to Tracy’s shoulder as though added height would help figure out the situation.
The woman came over to the fence and, after handing over one of the babies to the man, held out her hand with a pleased smile. “Hi, I’m Anne. Brian’s wife. It’s not often we have guests. Can we help you?”
At last Tracy found her voice. “My car has a flat, and I can’t change it. I was wondering--”
“Of course we can help,” Brian put in.
His wife added, “You came through that field? Oh your poor shoes! They look ruined. I’m afraid there is no gate, but if you’re not afraid to climb the fence or go under it, we can give you a lift back in the truck. Tramping back through that would only make your shoes worse.”
At this, Brian handed back the baby, placed one booted foot on the lower strand of wire and pulled the top strand up, thus forming a gap large enough for Tracy and Lyn to squeeze through. Then he bellowed, “Everyone in the truck!”

A blur of movement crossed Tracy’s vision as there was a mad scramble for the truck. In a daze, Tracy soon found herself seated in the back of the pickup with Lyn in her lap surrounded by half a dozen large, middle sized and small boys all staring at her. After a brief moment she asked, “Are the babies boys too?”
“Naw, only one.”
“Nice cat.”
“Bet ya Colonel would swallow it in one bite.”
“Aw, be quiet, Jackie.”
“Where do you live?
“How come you’re riding with us?”
Tracy could neither respond to these bewildering comments nor answer the questions hurled at her. Her brain, so quick in school, was a total jumble.

It took only a short time in the truck to reach her little car and soon the tire was changed, and after declining an invitation to stay for the night, Tracy found herself once more alone with her cat.

As she settled back again behind the wheel, she said, addressing the occupant of the seat beside her, “Did this really happen, Lyn, or was I dreaming? Tad will think I dreamed it all up.” There was a brief pause. “On second thought,” she glanced ruefully down at her ruined shoes, “when he sees these shoes, he’ll know it wasn’t a dream.” Then she sighed and drove off down the road.

Have you ever ruined your shoes doing something?
What did you do this week?
Have you had a lot of rain this week?

Friday, May 3, 2019

On Vacation

Hello Faithful Friday Fiction Fans,
Sorry to do this to you again, but I'm on vacation and don't have a story for you today. I thought perhaps I'd have time to get one ready or something, but that hasn't happened as you can tell.

Camp NaNo ended on Tuesday and since then I haven't written. At all. Well, except in my journal and emails. No story writing though. Since we left for my grandparents' on Wednesday and we'll be home on Saturday afternoon, I figured I'd just take the rest of the week off of writing. But I'm eager to get back to "By Paths Unknown" and get it finished.

What have I been doing on vacation?
My sister and I have been walking everyday, which has been nice.
My mom, Sis and I cleaned Grandma's back porch. It's the kind of covered porch with large screen windows and a carpet. Perfect for eating meals on during the warmer months, or sitting out there and reading. Anyway, the screens needed cleaned, the windows washed, and we even decided to rent a carpet cleaner. (The carpet hadn't been cleaned since it was put in 20 years ago.) After running the cleaner about 5 times, the color changed from grayish-blue, to blue. So we called it good. I'm sure we only got about 5-10 years of dirt up. :) This took most of yesterday.
Today should be a quiet day. Maybe I'll get a few of the other things I need to work on done. Or at least worked on. ;)

We head home tomorrow so we can get things ready for Sunday. We have a fellowship meal and a baby shower after church.

So that's all folks. Thanks for stopping by.

What have you been doing this week?
Have you ever run a carpet cleaner?
Do you like eating on a covered, screened back porch?

Friday, April 26, 2019

The Battle of Life - A Poem

Good morning FFFs,
Sorry, once again I don't have a story for you. This week has been filled with lots of writing. Yesterday I managed to write 3k words! Yeah, my brain was tired after that. But now it's eager to get back to this story. I can see the end of "By Paths Unknown" so I really want to reach it! Can I do it before the end of the month? We'll see. I'm doubtful, but then I wasn't expecting to write 3k yesterday either.

I thought of just giving you an update on life, but I really don't have much for you. I corrected "Grandfather's Mug" but I don't know if I'll publish that on here or not. Mostly though, I've been working on "By Paths Unknown." After a brainstorm with my mom about some things that had to happen in the story, I've been writing, and writing. But normal life has also been happening. Like babysitting my nieces and nephews.

I did a quick search to see what I could find to post today, and I saw this. I wrote it when I attended a 3 week intensive music course. (We pretty much ate, slept, and breathed all things music.) One of our assignments was to write an original song. I can write words to songs, but forget the music! I'm not a composer. :) I trashed the tune I did compose because it was terrible. So you just get the words.

Only 5 days left of Camp NaNo! I reached my goal of 20k last week and am heading to 30k. I think I need 3k more to reach it. Can I go beyond 30k? We'll see. Anyway, here's the poem/song. If you compose music, feel free to try your hand with this one. :)

The Battle of Life
Rebekah M.

The enemy does seem so strong
Our thinning lines look grim
The ground we’re losing to the wrong
Our faith is weak and dim.
Our standard in the dust has lain
Then is this fight in vain?

The Captain now is drawing near
He gives an order clear,
“Stand firm and fight and do not fear
The Lord thy God is near!”

The mighty men of valor rise
With all their armor on.
The foes sharp darts they now despise
The former fear is gone.
They raise the standard, wave it high
And shout the battle cry!

The ground surrendered to the foe
For Christ we’ll take it back
And though the battle’s full of woe
With courage we’ll attack.
March on with Christ, we’ll never flee
From certain victory!

Discouraged we will never be
Nor will we be dismayed
Now in God’s armor clad are we,
With shield and shining blade.
We fight and for the right contend
And stand until the end!
Did you like the poem?
Do you want to read "Grandfather's Mug" on here?
Do you think I can get more than 30k written?

Friday, April 19, 2019

An Addition?

Good morning, FFFs,
It's a sunny morning here. A bit on the breezy side, but it doesn't look too bad. Yesterday was in the 50ºs most of the day, but the rest of the week has been in the 70ºs or over. Everything is green, the flowers are in full bloom, and birds are building nests. We have bluebirds building a nest in the bluebird house, robins built a nest in a bush near the kitchen windows, and who knows who else has built or are building nests around us. We also have a rabbit who lives in our yard. I'm hoping she has a nest and we get baby bunnies again. We've had one baby rabbit last year and he was SO cute!

Anyway, this week has been good for writing. I finished the short story I was working on. (About a broken-hearted dishwasher.) It still doesn't have a title, but it's written and waiting for my editor to get to it. Now I'm back at work on "By Paths Unknown." This story has had challenges. Yesterday I wasn't sure just where it was going and if what I was writing was going to get to stay, but after a brain storming session with my mom, who has read most of what I've written so far, I was happy to know I could keep what I had written. We also were able to get a very rough–outline?–plan?–schedule?–something figured out. Now I think I can reach the end of the story! But not yet. I have several things that have to happen first. :) And just so you know, it's going to be a long story. Hope you all don't mind. ;)

Okay, this is a short story. More like a vignette. It was written when I was teaching some girls several years ago and we were working on creative writing. The focus was conversation because some of them struggled with that. They were given a picture from an old calendar with a baby face, and they had to write a conversation from a family about whether or not they should adopt the baby. This was my story. :) Hope you enjoy it!

An Addition?

    It was family time in the Brown house. The children, Carlin and Owen, never knew what was going to happen during family time. Sometimes they played games, sometimes Mom or Dad would read and sometimes they would just talk. As they hurried into the living room, they noticed Mom was looking in a folder.
    “Hi, Mom,” Carlin grinned, “what are we going to do tonight?”
    Just then Mr. Brown entered the room. “I see everyone is here. Let’s all find seats.” As he spoke he sat down in his favorite chair while the children, Carlin on the couch and Owen in a chair, waited expectantly. “I see you have the folder, Mom,” Mr. Brown smiled as he reached out for it.
    Mom nodded, her eyes twinkling as she handed it to Dad.
    “Children,” Mr. Brown began, “for some time now your mother and I have been discussing the possibilities of adoption. We’ve mentioned it to you several times, but nothing has ever seemed to happen.”
    “Dad,” Carlin leaned forward, “are we going to adopt?”
    Dad grinned. “We hope to.”
    “Oh goody! A boy? A girl? Can we get more than one? Will they be from the U. S. or from another country and how old will they be?”
    “Whoa, Carlin!” Dad laughed. “One thing at a time. We did find out last week that there is a little girl named Melissa who needs a home right now.”
    “A girl!” squealed Carlin, and bounced on the couch.
    “Oh be quiet, Car,” growled Owen, rolling his eyes. “We certainly don’t need another girl.”
    “Are you saying you don’t think we should adopt her, Owen?” Mom asked softly.
    Owen shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess I just never thought much about adopting when you mentioned it before. Now . . .” His voice trailed off and, kicking off his shoes, he wiggled around in the chair until his legs were over one of the arms. It was a favorite way for the nine-year-old to sit and think.
    There was a moment of silence. Then Carlin, the eager, vivacious, seven-year-old spoke up. “Tell us more about her, Dad.”
    “Well, here’s a picture.” He pulled out a snap shot of a dark, curly-haired baby who looked to be about ten-months-old.
    “Oh, Mommy, she looks like she’s going to cry! I wish we could get her tonight! But isn’t she cute?”
    Mrs. Brown chuckled. “She sure is, honey.” Then to Mr. Brown she added, “I think Carlin’s sold.”
    “Oh, I am! I’ll share my room and my dolls and things with her. And I’ll help feed and dress her and I’ll play with her, and—” she paused to catch her breath. “When is she coming?”
    There was a moment of hesitation. Mr. Brown was looking at his son who had remained unmoved during Carlin’s excited exhibition. “Owen,” he said at last, “you haven’t said what you think of it all.”
    Owen shrugged, but didn’t say a word.
    “That doesn’t tell me anything,” Mr. Brown observed quietly.
    “Here, Owen,” Carlin bounced up from the couch with the picture in her hand, “look at how cute Mel is.”
    “You already have a nickname for her?” asked Mrs. Brown.
    “Yep.” She shoved the picture before her brother’s face.
    Pushing her hand away, Owen grumbled, “I can’t see anything when you stick it in my face like that. That’s better.”
    “Well?” Carlin persisted as her brother just looked in silence. “Isn’t she just the cutest thing? And don’t you just want to hold her so she won’t cry?”
    “That’s not very nice,” Carlin snapped.
    “You’re the one who asked.”
    “All right, you two, simmer down.” Mr. Brown nodded back to the couch and Carlin returned to her seat. “Okay, Owen, give us your reasons for not wanting to adopt Melissa.”
    “I don’t know if I really have any, Dad. I guess it just came as a surprise and I . . . I guess I’m just not sure. That’s all.”
    “I can understand that. This was rather a surprise. It was to your mom and me too. But Owen, God tells us in His Word to take care of the orphans and that He sets the solitary in families. Have you thought that perhaps we are the family for this little girl?”
    Owen shook his head. “I never thought of that.” With a wink he added, “But she’s a girl.”
    “Maybe we can get a boy soon so you can share your room too,” Carlin giggled.
    Everyone laughed.
    Mr. Brown looked around the room. “Are we all in agreement? Should we adopt Melissa and make her a part of our family?”
    A chorus of “Yes!” was the answer to that question and Mr. and Mrs. Brown exchanged smiles. “Then let’s all spend some time praying about it and for our new family member.”

    Only two weeks later, little Melissa came to join the Brown family. To everyone’s surprise, Mel or Melis, as everyone was soon calling her, attached herself to Owen right from the start. If she was tired or grumpy, Owen was the person she wanted. To him she clung when something frightened her, and the first baby kisses she gave were to Owen. Carlin didn’t mind too much, for Mel liked her to play with her and seemed to enjoy it when Carlin sang her to sleep each night.
    After a few weeks, no one in the Brown family could imagine life without little Melissa. And together they eagerly watched the mail for news of a little boy that needed a home.

Would YOU adopt this baby?
Are you excited about another long novel?
Are you eager to read about the broken-hearted dishwasher?

Friday, April 12, 2019

At the Foot of the Falls

Good morning!
It's pretty quiet this morning. The oldest niece and nephew are in their room reading. The littlest guy is asleep again on my bed, and the other boys are playing a history version of "Go Fish" while my youngest niece is looking at books with Sis.

I'm not sure what's on the plan for today, but since it's supposed to be today, I'm guessing we'll be reading stories and playing games. And just so you know, I'm not good at Chess. ;)

Things have gotten noisy now. Buster woke up, and Goofball came in to play "Herd Your Horses" with his brothers. I'd better go. Enjoy this vignette. It was one of my first "short stories." I don't know if I've posted it more than once, but if so, it was a while ago.

At the Foot of the Falls

    “Come on you guys, hurry up!” Kelly hollered racing to the middle of the green meadow, her eyes on the cascading water which fell with a thunderous roar down the cliff before her. Never in all her ten years had she seen anything like it. It was fascinating, incredible!
    “Kelly, wait for us!”
    Kelly stopped, her eyes never leaving those falls for an instant as she waited for her brothers. Kyle, though faster than his sister when it came to running, was now going slowly, helping Kerry carefully across the grass towards the open meadow were Kelly now stood.
    “Oh,” Kerry breathed, when at last the two boys had reached their sister. “How ... how... I can’t describe it! Can’t we sit down right here? It makes me dizzy looking up so far at it.”
    With great care and gentleness Kyle assisted Kerry to a seat on the sun warmed earth. For several minutes the children sat without saying a word as they stared mesmerized at the beautiful Yosemite Falls. All three children looked more or less alike: nut brown hair, brown eyes and a sprinkling of freckles. They were all the same height but while the other two looked robust and full of life, Kerry was thin and pale. He had just spent the last five months in a hospital recovering from a serious illness and had only been released a few days ago.
    “Kyle,” Kelly broke the stillness. “What do you think of it?”
    Kyle shook his head. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Can you imagine what the first white man who saw this thought? Maybe he camped right here.”
    “He would have had plenty of water,” chuckled Kerry. “Just listen to it roar.”
    “Sounds kind of like the trains back home.”
    Kelly giggled. “Only this one doesn’t have a whistle.”
    Kerry looked sober “I don’t remember what a train sounds like really. All I got to hear were the sirens, beeping monitors, squeaky shoes on the hard white tiles and voices of strangers. I’m more than ready to go home.” He looked at his thin white hands which he knew were so weak that he couldn’t even hold a full water bottle for long.
    All three fell silent. Birds twittered and sang in the trees, and a bee buzzed around the few flowers in the grass. Kerry picked a small yellow flower absently and looked at it, thinking of all the hot house flowers he had in the hospital and his longing for something real, something that had grown out in the sun and wind, even a dandelion. The bee buzzed closer and alighted on his flower. Kerry didn’t move as the bee crawled around the flower and at last flew away.
    “We missed you,” Kelly whispered softly remembering the ache she had felt each meal time when Kerry’s seat was empty.
    “I wonder,” Kyle began when the stillness had become almost unbearable. “Does that waterfall ever stop? I mean does the river or wherever that water is coming from ever dry up?”
    “I don’t know. Let’s ask Dad when he comes back.”
    Quietness once again descended on the triplets, each one busy with his or her own thoughts. This was the first time they had been alone together for more than fifteen minutes since Kerry had become sick. Now together, they didn’t seem to know what to say. They felt different now, older, more grown up and, though no one would have admitted it for the world, they all felt just a little shy of each other.
    Kerry was beginning to get tired from all the excitement and lay back in the grass. He squinted and finally shut his eyes as the sun’s bright rays shone in his face. Kyle at once moved so that his shadow would fall on his brother’s face. Kerry opened his eyes and smiled.
    “I didn’t think I would get this tired of sitting so soon.”
    “Do you want to go back?” Kyle asked anxiously. “We can if you want to.”
    Kerry shook his head. “No, I like it here.” He paused and looked at the towering cliffs. “Do you think,” he began slowly, his eyes moving to his brother’s and then to his sister’s face, “that I will ever be strong enough to climb something like that?”
    Kelly and Kyle looked at each other. What should they say? They didn’t know what the doctor had told Mom and Dad before they left the hospital.
    Kerry was watching their faces. “Do you?” he asked again.
    Kyle spoke then, “I don’t know. Maybe you will.”
    “You are already climbing mountains,” Kelly said softly. “We all are. Mom said each year has many mountains. Some are higher than others and more rugged. I guess kind of like those right by the falls. You know, where it looks impossible to ever get up. And others are gentle with good, well worn trails. Like the ones we used to climb back home. She said the harder the mountain looks, the more we learn to lean on Jesus for help to climb it. And the higher the mountain top is, the closer we become to God on the top. She told me this one day when... when...” her voice choked a little, and she blinked back the tears. “Well, it was when you were so sick. At the first I mean, and I... I asked Mom why... it all happened, and she said it was a mountain range.” Kelly looked away from her brothers and fought back the tears that threatened to spill.
    Kerry reached out and gently squeezed her hand.
    “Dad told me the same thing,” Kyle added. “Only he also said that there were valleys after each mountain. Some, he said, were dry and like a desert and took a lot of courage to go through, and some were green, like this meadow, and were given so we could rest and gain strength for the next mountain ahead. I think we are in a green valley now.” He smiled at Kerry.
    Kerry smiled back and after a few minutes spoke. “Well, we will rest then in our green valley and then together, with God’s help, we’ll climb the next mountain. Who knows, maybe there will be a thirst refreshing waterfall on it.”
    The three children smiled at one another and then gazed once more at the magnificent scene before them. Though they were young, they were learning to face each mountain before them with faith and trust in their Saviour and Guide. Knowing that if He went with them, there was nothing to fear, and they could climb the highest mountain and cross the driest valley, for the river of life would be there when most needed.

What did you think of the story?
What's going on this weekend for you?
Do you want another short story next week?

Friday, April 5, 2019

I'm at Camp!

Good morning!
I thought (briefly) about finding another story to post, but I didn't do it.
You see, I'm doing Camp NaNo.

Camp started on Monday and I was able to get some good writing done that day. And . . . I got the proof copy of "Hymns in the Hills"! Talk about fun! :D

On Tuesday I spent all day sitting at the polls as an election judge. It was a long day. There are over 1580 registered voters in that precinct and only 68 of them came out to vote. Of course there were only two things on the ballot: School board and a tax continuance. But still!

Wednesday– I got a sprint done in the morning and tried to catch up on all the things I missed from Tuesday. I got 1k written before supper. That was good because I had to go to church to practice music before AWANA. Then I was going to come home, but I ended up staying and working nursery for someone. I did come home a little early, before AWANA was over since the two little ones had been picked up. I got a little more writing done.

Thursday– It was a cloudy day. I got a lot of work done on another project, but hardly anyone was on at the cabin. I did get to sprint with one cabin mate in the morning and got 500+ words written. Later in the afternoon I wrote on my own. Then in the evening three of us sprinted and then wrote and chatted at the cabin and I reached a total of 1,808 words!

And all the words this week have been on "By Paths Unknown" which is really exciting since in March the story was stuck and didn't want to move. Now it's moving and I have more ideas.

I'm trying to get as much written this week as I can since next week I know I'll have 3 days where I won't be writing anything! :)

And that's it this time. Sorry for no story. I haven't had a chance to look and see what I should post. Hopefully I'll be able to pick a story for next week. Talk to you later!

What do you want to read?
Are you doing Camp NaNo?
How has your week been?