Friday, May 28, 2010

The Emancipation of Chester Reginald Donavan, Esquire

Well Fabulous Friday Fiction Fans, Friday has come again and with it the first part of the story I promised you last week. There is a difference, however, because Mom didn't like the title I had given it, and so gave me a new one.:) It is the same story though. When I first saw this picture and read my instructions, I thought of an entirely different kind of a story. But the more I got to thinking and talking about it, the more I liked this idea better. And I did do a lot of laughing while I wrote it.:) I'll keep each post under 2000 words for the convenience of my busy readers.:)
I do wish someone or someones would give me some instructions for more stories. I only have one left to do. (That is a hint if you didn't know.) Anyone can give me instructions. Just tell me how many characters I can have in my story, how long or short it should be and any special instructions (i.e. don't use the word "said," a mystery, a silly story,) and I'll try to do it for you. Or, if you have a picture and want a story written about it, I'll try that too.:)

Okay, here is part one of:

main character, up to 4 minor
6+ (I did 10)
Special Instructions:
Focus on creating a rounded character (That meant someone who changed because of something that happened.)

The Emancipation of
Chester Reginald Donavan, Esquire

“Hey, um, do you know where we are?”
“Well,” there was a slight laugh. “I know we are on a mountain in the Mosquito Range in Colorado, but just where, I’m not sure.”
“That’s what I was afraid of.” Chester Reginald Donavan, Esq., hitched up the straps on his gear and frowned. This vacation was not turning out to be what he had planned. Here he was separated from the rest of the group with this guy whose name he never could remember. If only his best friend and lawyer buddy hadn’t broken his leg last week! Chester was a tall and well built young man who looked to be in his late twenties, having about him a definite high class air in spite of or maybe enhanced by his top-of-the-line outdoor clothes and gear.

“Aren’t you coming too?”
Chester jerked out of his misery to notice his companion had begun to climb some more. Taking a deep breath he set off after him.

It was slightly chilly even with his windbreaker on, and Chester glanced at the little man before him. He didn’t seem to be bothered by cold, and his jacket looked warm. The man was only about five feet three with dark hair streaked here and there with gray. Slight in build though he was, the man walked briskly with no apparent fatigue.
Chester was soon gasping for breath, and it was all he could do to keep his aching feet and legs moving at all. His shoulders sagged, and he bent his head against the wind staring at the ground beneath his feet.

“Say, why don’t we take a breather. You look just about done in.”
Unclasping his pack Chester lowered it to the ground and sank down beside it with a sigh. For several minutes he didn’t say anything. He couldn’t talk, for he was still trying to catch his breath. Finally he managed to ask,
“Hey, what is your name again? I don’t recall.”
“Oh yeah.”
Silence again fell. Chester eyed his companion rather as he would have eyed a strange, little dog. He certainly didn’t look like his other friends. He wondered what he was like. Chester found the silence oppressing and sought for some way to break it. He blurted out the first thing that came to his mind.
“So, where did you get your jacket?”
The little man turned his eyes away from the mountain peaks before them. “On E-bay.”
“Oh sure. You do know what E-bay is?”
Chester nodded with a look of surprised skepticism. Who would ever buy something like that on E-bay?”
The little man went on, not seeming to notice Chester’s look. “It is a great jacket, warm yet lightweight. I got it for a great deal. I think it was only $10.00 counting shipping.”
Chester stared. “You spent $10.00 on a jacket?” his tone implied that that was absurd.
“Where did you get yours?”
“New from the online store, 66* North. Probably never heard of it. It was top of the line Edlgja and only $332.00 not counting shipping.”
“Oh.” The monosyllable was full of disbelief.

Once more silence fell on the two men. Chester was thinking of all the money he had spent on getting ready for this trip. Of how he and Michael had discussed different brands and prices. It was only the top of the line, high dollar brand items that would last the rigors of such trips, Michael had assured him. And after all, Michael should know, for he had been on such trips all his life. What would he have said to the little man about his E-bay jacket?

“If you have recovered your wind, we might want to head on. Who knows, we could catch a glimpse of the others at the top.” The little man had stood up and was waiting for Chester.
“What? Oh yeah, sure.”
Struggling up the side of that mountain was the hardest thing Chester had ever done. His feet were killing him, for his boots, high dollar though they were, hadn’t been broken in and his feet felt covered in blisters. The thin air was making breathing difficult for him, and he wondered for the seventh time that day why he had ever agreed to this hike in the first place. He knew why; it was because he had worked and pushed himself so hard that his doctor told him to take a few days off or he would break down. So, when his friend had mentioned this trip, he had agreed.

At last the summit was reached. Though this was one of the lower mountains, they could still see for miles. The clouds hung low to the south and west while a cold wind from the north bit at their faces and fingers.
“Wow! Quite a sight, isn’t it? I never get tired of looking out over the mountains. Everything is so quiet and peaceful here. Of course in the summer things are even more lovely with the flowers blooming, but I couldn’t get away then, so this late camp out was perfect. I wonder if we’ll get snow while we are here?” The little man gazed in delight at all he saw.
“Hey, why don’t we call the other group and um, find out where they are?” Chester asked, adding with a mutter to himself,. “Why didn’t I think of that sooner?”
The other man gave a little laugh. “That’s not a bad idea, but I can’t get reception up here with my phone.” He drew a rather old looking cell phone from its pouch and looked at it.
Chester’s lip curled at the sight of it. He couldn’t help asking “Where did you get that?”
“On E-bay. It was a package deal.” The man laughed again. “I know it isn’t the newest phone, but it works for me. And it was cheap.”
“I’ll bet,” Chester mumbled. “I’ll just use mine,” and he reached for the side of his belt where he kept his i-phone. The pouch was empty! “What!” Chester gasped “How could it have gotten lost? I mean this pouch was latched!”
“Are you sure you didn’t use it and set it down some place before we set off?” his companion was trying to be helpful.
After thinking hard for several minutes, Chester suddenly let out a groan. “No! I left it in my new, black 2009 Hummer! How could I be so stupid! I had called Michael and must have forgotten to put it back. Great! And if anything happens to me way out here in the middle of no where, no one is going to be able to contact anyone!”
“Can’t someone just get it out of your car when we get back? Not that anything is going to happen,” the little man hastened to add.
“Get something out of it? Yah right! Hey man, this is a brand new 2009 Hummer! Man, no one can get in that thing unless they know the right stuff!” Chester rolled his eyes at the ignorance of his companion. Doesn’t the guy know anything except E-bay? Suddenly a new and to him dreadful thought struck him, and he slapped his head with a cry that made the little man beside him turn in a hurry and stare. . . .

Come back next week to find out what happened!

Friday, May 21, 2010

An Apologie

Friday is here again though I really don't see how it could be. I mean I just posted something a day or so ago, wasn't it? And I think only one person read it.:) Thanks, Hank for leaving a comment. And just to let you know, Carson's Sunshine is Ty and Sally's little sister.
Last week it was cloudy and rainy all day. This morning there is blue sky and sunshine! I am more than ready for it! I do like rainy days, but only for so long.

Okay, here is a sneak preview of a few pictures for my book "Home Fires of the Great War."

I just love how these pictures turned out. These are just two of the fifteen that will be in the book. I am supposed to get the last picture today! I can't wait to see it!

Okay, so I didn't get a story ready to post, but here is a poem instead. I haven't posted a poem for a long time. Enjoy!

To all my deepest apologies
I beg you let this not appease
Your wrath at nothing else to read
For I have tried, I have indeed.

I am writing, never fear
A story long, but the end is near.
It is such fun, I often laugh
Though it contains no tall giraffe.

I'll tell you a secret, I nearly cried
For I laughed till I got a pain in my side.
So come next week prepared to see,
Part one of a story written by me.

And now you know I haven't time,
To keep on working to finish this rhyme.
So I will end it abruptly now,
By simply stopping my pen, somehow.

And do come back next week. The story is quite different than any others so far. I wanted to have it done, but the story was supposed to be 6+ pages long. Well, I am up to page 8, and I think I'm half way done.:) I will get at least part one posted next week unless strange circumstances prevent me. But, how long should I make the post? The last story was about 2000 words. Was that too long? Please tell me what you think. Should I do 1000, 2000 or 3000 words? The title of next week's story is:

"Chester Reginald Donovan; Esquire and the Little E-bay Man"

And now I will end this rather rambling post. I don't know if anyone will even read it especially if I don't remind anyone.:) Ah, well, at least I posted something. :) My record still stands.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Meleah's Western part 16

Welcome back all you Friday Fiction Fans to a fabulous Friday. It is dark and rainy here. The perfect kind of a day to enjoy a good book, story or something like that.

I mentioned last week that I had started a Western, but didn't seem to be able to get it written. Well, I finally figured out what was wrong. I was trying to write something that wasn't supposed to go into the story. At least not at this point. Once I got that figured out, and knew where I was supposed to be going, I was able to write this part in an hour. And yes, I did do it on Sunday afternoon. :)

I haven't really done any writing since then, so I guess I had better get to work so I have something for next week. And maybe the week after that.:) But, I won't keep you any longer. Most of you probably just skipped this part anyway and went straight to the Western.:) Hope you enjoy it.

Part 16

For several long, weary days Carson, Ty and Sally had been riding. Over rough mountain sides, down steep slopes through wind, clouds and sunshine they had traveled. Spending nights at some hospitable cabin only to set off again at dawn. Sally was tired. Tired? No, when she let herself think about it, she was exhausted. Every muscle ached from the constant horseback riding. To Carson and Ty, already used to days in the saddle, sleeping out in all kinds of weather, and eating in the open every day, this little trip was nothing. Thankfully spring was arriving bringing warmer weather with it, or Sally would have faired even worse. As it was she hardly talked anymore, and each move she made off the horse was slow.

On the fifth day after leaving Uncle Matt and Aunt Leah’s cabin, Carson, who was riding in front, pulled up his horse at a fork in the road.
“Well, I reckon we got a decision ta make here,” he remarked to his companions as they pulled rein beside him. “If we was ta keep goin’ straight, we’d go right by my old cabin, if’n it’s still there.” Then he added in a lower, husky voice, “That was the last place I seen my Sunshine.”
Ty and Sally exchanged glances. Neither of them spoke but sat on their horses in silence waiting for Carson to continue.
After clearing his throat Carson jerked his head to the trail on the right. “An’ if’n we was ta take that trail, we’d be goin’ right past yer old cabin,” adding quietly, “If its still standin’.”

A shiver ran up and down Sally’s spine. They were that close to the cabin where she and Ty, yes and this unknown sister, were born? Would it still be standing? Mechanically, without even thinking about what she was doing, she turned her horses head towards the latter trail.

Ty also had a pull to that spot down in the woods before them. What was it, he wondered, that tugged at his heart so forcefully to go back to the place of his beginning? Could it be his mother’s grave? Or were memories which flickered through his brain like some hazy dream drawing him onward? He didn’t know. The only thing that mattered was that he go.
His voice was quiet as he turned to Carson and said, “I reckon we both be aimin’ ta go this way.”
Carson nodded. Deep in his heart he was relieved. He wasn’t sure he could handle going back to the old home knowing that Aunt Kate and Sunshine wouldn’t be there to welcome him. With a sigh he too turned his horse onto the old familiar trail and followed his younger companions.

For several minutes the trio rode in silence, each lost in thought and full of mixed emotions.
At last Carson called up, “Jest round this here bend an’ to yer right is where the cabin was.”
Sally gasped. Would it be there? Instinctively she slowed her horse and allowed Ty to pass her. Everything was quiet save for the steps of the horses and one little bird singing brightly, hidden in the trees above her.

At last the bend was turned and there, before them, stood a cabin. Smoke came from the chimney, and a well worn path led to the door. Ty dismounted and dropped his reins. Carson too swung off his horse and left it ground hitched. Only Sally remained on her horse, too overcome to move until Carson nudged her foot. Then almost in a daze she followed the others and dismounted.

As Ty gazed about him, the door opened and a young, pleasant looking woman with light hair stepped out. “Why, afternoon. You all strangers in these parts?”
Ty pulled off his hat and stepped forward. “No ma’am, the truth is my sister and me,” he looked at Sally, “we was born here, an’ our mama was buried nearby. We was hopin’ ya’d jest let us look around for a spell.”
“Why of course!” the woman exclaimed in sympathy. “I can show you right where ta find yer Mama’s grave, I reckon. When I first came here, I found it all neglected like, and though I didn’t know who it twas that was buried there, well, I just sort of took care of it ever since.” As she spoke the woman led the way to a small, well kept area enclosed by a rail fence. One simple cross stood inside marking the last resting place of someone dear.

Carson bowed his head and held his hat in his hand as Ty, with Sally clinging to his arm, knelt beside the cross. The woman, with great kindness, quietly slipped back to the cabin murmuring to herself, “The poor things. All this way to visit the grave of their mother. I wonder where they came from? The man they are with doesn’t seem to be their father. I wish I could help them.”

“An’ so we’re lookin’ fer a trace a their sister. Come all the way an’ aim ta stop in town jest ta make inquiries.” Carson wrapped up their tale to their hostess and glanced at Ty. “Reckon we ought ta be gitt’n on ‘fore it gets dark, Ty?”

There was no answer. Ever since Ty had come into the cabin an hour ago, he hadn’t said more than two words. His eyes had roamed about the cabin taking in every detail, and then, overcome with memories, he just sat and let them take him where they would. He heard nothing going on around him. Even had a band of Indians or outlaws come in with shouts and guns, Ty would have been completely unaware. Had those who were threatening his very life galloped into the yard, he wouldn’t have stirred. His mind had taken him far beyond these four wooden walls and his companions. He saw none of it as he gazed vacantly before him.

Any questions for next time?

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Graham Quartet and the Lonely Cabin

Good Morning Friday Fiction Fans,

I wonder how many of you are ready for this story? No, it is not the Western. I tried writing the next part last Sunday, but I just couldn't get into it. I'll try again this Sunday. Thankfully I didn't have to rely on the Western for something to post nor did I have to scramble around to get something. I have a Scribbler assignment that I just finished, so I decided to post that as it is a story. So, if any of you readers are Scribblers, don't read it unless you have your assignment done or almost done. :)

Yes Abigail, each of the names of the children last weeks story were rivers. Did you figure out just where they were? They were from, U.S., Africa, Australia, U.K., Middle East and another from Asia. Of course they don't go in that order.:)

Some of you may notice a new feature on my blog. I now have just to the right, a list of all my labels. (I started putting labels on my posts.) Now, if you want to read all the Western at once, just click on "Western" and it will pull them all up. Same with poems, children's stories, etc. So, I hope you can use that new feature sometime.

I want to give you a quick update on my book. :) I have had several more people give me some feed back and so far, they all say to publish it. :) My photographer has only one more picture to take for the book. Should I share some of them here on my blog? And another question for those of you who are reading or will read my book, should there be a "family tree" in the front to help keep everyone straight?

And now the story. This story had to be 2000 words or under. I just got it under by five words or so.:} I also had to use four characters only in my story. I could mention others, but only four were to be in it. Enjoy!

The Graham Quartet and the Lonely Cabin
Rebekah Morris

Snow lay everywhere. Every branch of every tree was laden with the white stuff just waiting to drop down on some unsuspecting head. However, not a person was to be seen. Nothing but snow was visible all around the cabin. Nothing moved. Nothing could be heard. Not even a bird sang or a squirrel chattered. Though not a breath of breeze blew, the air was bitterly cold, the type of cold that penetrates through coats and scarves to the very bone. All the shining of the mid day sun in the clear blue sky couldn’t add warmth to the day, but rather only enhanced the freezing air. There was no sign of life in the cabin. No light, no sound, no smoke. All was still. Still and intensely cold.

This sense of quietness was broken at last by the faint far-off creaking of snowshoes. Closer and closer they came. In the quiet the sound seemed louder, more obtrusive. Drawing nearer and yet nearer the cabin, the steps continued. Now two distinct sets of snowshoes were heard. Behind a clump of pine trees the intruders halted. Silence once again prevailed.

After several minutes of watching and listening to nothing but the stillness around them and feeling the bitter cold penetrating their layers of clothing, one of them, the oldest, spoke in tones scarcely audible.
“I don’t see anything. Perhaps we should move up.”
“Not until we know Elsa and Tim are in place.”
“They could be there waiting for us.”
The smaller form shook her head. “They’d have given the signal.”
“I suppose you’re right, as usual.” Seventeen-year-old Matt’s eyes smiled down at his younger sister.

For several more minutes they waited, hearing nothing but quiet. Suddenly the stillness was shattered rudely by the sharp crack of a twig breaking. Then another. Matt and Selena looked at each other questioningly. Was this the first part of the signal? As if in answer two more snaps were heard almost immediately. That was it! The signal they had waited for. Now it was time to advance.

Slowly, with great caution, the two slipped from their hiding place. Matt was in front while Selena followed closely. They approached the cabin from the front. All was hushed save for the squeaking of their snowshoes. Selena, pausing for just a moment and listening hard, thought she heard a similar creak coming from behind the house.

Then without warning, another crack of a twig breaking startled them both. They froze in their tracks hardly daring to breathe. What was that? Another crack followed by two more was heard. How could that be? The signal had already been given. Was this a trap? Had they just imagined the first signal?

Slowly Matt turned his head to look at his sister. Her eyes were wide and questioning. What should they do? There was no place to hide; they were half way to the cabin. Should they risk going on or should they wait? Matt made gestures, asking Selena what she thought. He didn’t dare speak even in a whisper now. He thought they could go on, but knowing Selena was not reckless, he wanted to know what she thought. To his surprise, Selena motioned forward and nodded. It was too risky to wait out in the open. Better to be right next to the cabin.

With twice as much caution the two continued their way, eyes and ears tuned to anything that might mean danger. Each creak of their snowshoes was as a shout to their taut nerves. They hardly dared breathe. When a small shower of snow fell with a soft plop without warning in front of Selena, she started and just barely managed to choke back a scream. As it was, her sharp intake of breath alerted Matt, and he turned quickly. For an instant they stared at each other then slowly lifted their eyes to the branches above them. There was nothing there. All it had been was a branch shaking off its blanket of snow.

Selena shivered and once again they set off stealthily. When they reached the cabin, they paused. Matt carefully, cautiously pressed his ear to the door and listened. Nothing. Not a sound could be heard behind that wooden partition which separated inside from out. Leaning close to Selena he breathed,
“Should we go in?” Matt was not at all fearful, yet he had learned that though his sister was only fourteen, she often had more caution and wisdom in tight or dangerous situations than he.
He was not surprised therefore when she shook her head and replied equally low,
“Not yet.”

Meanwhile on the hill behind the lonely cabin, nineteen-year-old Elsa was holding a conference with her youngest brother. “I don’t see any smoke, Tim. Do you?”
Tim had been gazing down at the cabin. “Could be it is only a small fire. You know,” he added, “wouldn’t want to give it all away.”
Elsa nodded. The boy’s keen brain and quick thinking were constantly amazing her. Now, with great care they began their decent. By keeping close to the trees and using them as walking sticks they managed to make the decent without any mishaps other than breaking some twigs now and then.

At last the level ground was reached. Both paused a moment and listened. There was nothing to listen to. All was still. Before them lay several yards of open ground where the sun shone in dazzling splendor on the carpet of snow. Elsa shaded her eyes with her heavily gloved hand and peered in the direction of the cabin. Not a sign of smoke could be seen from the chimney.

Tim turned to her with a frown between his eyes. He gestured towards the cabin and shrugged. Elsa also shrugged. Should they go on? The cabin looked uninhabited, but suppose it wasn’t? Suppose someone really was there, maybe hurt or sick? With a slight nod she started forward only to pause suddenly and look back up the hill. Was anyone watching them? They would be easy to see in the open. Satisfied that all was clear she once more set off. Their snowshoes made easy going over the drifts of snow. When at last they reached the shelter of trees once again, they gave an inward sigh of relief.

Elsa motioned for Tim to give the signal. Feeling around in his pocket, Tim frowned, pulled off his glove and felt again. At last he turned to Elsa. The look on his face and shrug of his shoulders told her that what he was to use as a signal had been lost. What should they do? Should they go on? She hesitated. They were so close, and yet, if Matt and Selena weren’t ready . . . She shivered, and Tim put a hand on her sleeve.
“We’ll freeze if we just stay here. I think we should go,” he whispered so low that had his mouth not been next to her ear she would not have heard the words.
Feeling the cold penetrating her coat she realized the wisdom of this, and together they started forward. Reaching the cabin from the rear, they halted, listening. Tim thought he heard a sound, faint but there. With gestures it was decided that they would each go a different way around the building, looking for signs of life and of Matt and Selena.

Crouching under the window against the wall, Matt and Selena waited. Each minute added to the growing numbness each was beginning to feel. They had heard no sound from inside. It seemed as though it had been hours since they had first heard the signal. How long did it take to get to the cabin? Suddenly Selena stiffened and grasped her brother’s arm. Had she really heard something? Footsteps perhaps. Was it from outside or in the cabin? Her breath began coming quicker, and she felt she would scream. She almost did when suddenly around the corner beside her Elsa appeared. Then around the other side came Tim. At last they were all together.
“Hear anything?” whispered Elsa.
Matt shook his head.
“There was no smoke and no light,” put in Tim. “What should we do?”
“Did you see any other signs?” Matt questioned.
Elsa and Tim shook their heads.
“Then let’s give the signal knock.”
Holding their breaths, the Graham siblings waited as Matt gave five quick raps on the door followed by two slower ones. They waited. Silence. Not a single solitary sound was to be heard. Selena shivered. She was cold. Matt knocked again, but still no answer.
“Perhaps he didn’t come,” Tim murmured.
“I think he would have let us know if he hadn’t,” Elsa answered.
After a moment of silence, Matt said softly, “I think we should just go in.”
Gasps came from the girls at the mere thought. But though they gasped, neither of them protested as Matt grasped the doorknob and turned it. It was locked.
“Search for a key somewhere,” he whispered.
They all looked. Even Selena who felt as though she was about frozen. It was no use. If a key was hidden somewhere abouts, they couldn’t find it.
“You know what that means,” queried Tim, wild excitement in his eyes. “It means,” he continued as the others looked at him, “that he is inside but is in dire need of help. He must be hurt and can’t get to the door.”
“Or it could mean he has gone and taken the key with him,” Matt observed.
“Or maybe he never came in the first place,” Elsa put in.
Selena didn’t speak. She was trembling from cold and excitement.
Matt glanced at her. “Well, we just have to get in, with or without a key.”
He nodded toward Selena.
Elsa put an arm about her younger sister. “Get in then,” was all she said, for at that instant she began to realize that she too was freezing cold as the excitement began to wane.

Matt and Tim began trying the windows. The ones on the front were locked or jammed, either way they didn’t open. On the side Matt at last found one that seemed loose. He pried and pushed it until at last he was able to raise it about twelve inches and there it stuck fast. Cautiously he moved the curtain and looked in. The room was empty. No one was there. It looked completely deserted.
“Tim,” Matt called quietly, “Do you think you can get in that window?”
“Sure thing.” Tim was game to try anything.
“Just remember,” Matt added, “you have more layers on than usual.”
For answer Tim pulled off his heavy coat, scarf and hat and shoved them inside the window first. Then with a boost from his brother he managed to squeeze through the window. It was with relief that the girls, waiting in the front, heard the door unlock and then saw it open.

A blazing fire had driven out the last finger of cold from the room leaving it cozy and warm. The four siblings sat about the table discussing the note Matt held in his hand.
“Read it again,” Elsa requested.
Matt read:

“Graham Quartet,
Sorry I couldn’t wait for you as planned. I just discovered I had to catch the next train. If I leave now I should make it. You probably won’t see my tracks as it is snowing. If you read this note that means you found the window I left unlatched. Thanks for all your help and hope to see you again. Take care and be careful.
Your friend,
Guy Fox”

“Well, that’s that,” Tim said.
“I just hope he’s safe,” murmured Selena almost to herself.
Matt and Elsa exchanged startled glances. “What do you mean?”
“I don’t know, but I think we were being watched. If whoever it was knows Guy isn’t here, then--” she stopped significantly while the others stared at her.
“Perhaps we should head back and talk to Dad.”
The End