Friday, August 27, 2010

Meleah's Western part 20

Good Morning Friday Fiction Fans,
This week has been another one of "those weeks" which fly by before you are really ready. Of course the wedding was last Friday, Saturday was rather relaxed though we all slept in.:) Church on Sunday and then Monday. I spent almost all morning preparing for the two writing classes that were starting this week. Tuesday I did something I'd never done before. Okay, all of you who live in the country have done this times beyond count, but for me, a city girl, it was a first. I went over to help Megan make and can salsa, and can tomatoes. I had never canned in my life.:) It was rather fun. Just don't ask me to do it by myself.:) I spent most of that morning outside cutting up 16 onions, 2 green peppers and a bowl full of jalapeno peppers. :) At least I could wash my hands with salt afterwards so they didn't smell like onions. Did you all know that if you wash the cutting board, knife, your hands and anything really that had onions in or on it, it will take the smell away? Megan didn't. But I can tell you from trying it many times, that it works.:)

But that was only Tuesday. On Wednesday I taught two writing classes. One was for two high school boys (We started on essays.), and the other was for six girls. We had fun.:) Yesterday we went shopping, and I didn't remember until the evening that today was Friday.
Anyway, I'm posting. So before you go crazy ready this, I'll post the next part of Meleah's Western.

Part 20

The roar had turned into a thunder of sound now as Ty grasped the bridle strap and pulled the struggling animal’s head back to the top of the ridge. For a moment the horse seemed to lose its footing, for it stumbled, but the next it was plunging up the rocks with no regard to the trail. Sally clinging in white, terrified silence wondered what was happening.

Then without warning, a veritable wall of foaming, rushing, swirling water came sweeping down the ravine right over the place Sally had been but seconds before! It came so swiftly that had not Ty almost dragged the horse back up the slope, no doubt both horse and rider would have been swept away.

Sally screamed as her horse gave a desperate leap over the last of the rock to safety thereby knocking Ty nearly off the edge into the roaring river below!
Terrified, both horses reared and tossed their heads. Ty’s mount raced away in fright while Sally’s would have followed but for the hands on its reins. Sally couldn’t move, her face was ashen. She clung fearfully to the reins of the nervous animal. Would it lose its footing and go plunging to its death in the cold river that had so abruptly formed? Or would it too make a dash for some distant place of safety? And where was Ty? The movements of her horse prevented her from looking for him.

In a moment, Ty was beside her, calming, soothing the frightened beast until it stood still long enough for Sally to slide weakly to the ground. Her knees gave way, and she sank onto a log.
“Sally! Are ya all right?” Ty had both arms about her trembling form. “Are you all right?” His voice could scarcely be heard for the rushing of the water below them. It was several minutes before Sally could answer.
“Oh, Ty!” and Sally burst into tears. She was shaking like a leaf and clung to her brother as though she would never let him go. “Ty, Ty!” was all she could get out between her sobs. Never in all her life had she been that frightened.
For several minutes Ty held his sister close and tried to soothe her distress. “Sally, it’s all right. Yer safe now. Yer safe.”
Gradually her sobs lessened and giving a last convulsive shudder, she looked up. “Ty, what was it?”
“Some ice dam must’a broke farther up the mountains. I reckon this here nice weather’s melted lots a snow.”
Together they sat in silence eyes focused on the raging, roaring, rushing torrent as it swept by just below their safe retreat.

“Oh!” Sally cried out.
Ty looked at her sharply. “What is it?”
Sally raised eyes so full of anguish and distress that Ty could only wait for her words.
There were only two words and they were spoken low and with trembling lips and quivering chin. “Uncle Bob.”
“What about him?”
“Ty, I saw him down on the bottom as I started down. Could he--?” Sally couldn’t finish the sentence.

There was no answer. Ty’s eyes didn’t seem to be seeing anything before him. Presently, as one in a daze, he rose and walked towards the water. For a long time he stood there, staring out over its heaving surface, then slowly, with a hand that trembled visibly, he reached up and took off his hat.
Watching him with tear dimmed eyes, Sally slipped to her knees and buried her face in her hands. Her mind was in a whirl. It had all happened so fast, so quickly, yet it seemed to her as though years must have passed since that morning when she had shot that rabbit. Uncle Bob, gone! Swept away in that mad, terrifying wall of water. It wasn’t right! Everything was hopeless. All seemed black. They couldn’t go on without him, could they?

“Sally,” Ty’s hand was on her shoulder.
She looked up.
His face was haggard and drawn as though in pain. “Come. We must get the horses.”
Silently she rose and allowed him to lead her away from that horrible place. Without a word they walked, the roar of the water growing fainter and fainter until it became only a subdued hum.

The two horses, recovered from their fright and grazing contentedly, looked up at Ty and Sally as though to say, “What took you so long? We have been here ready and waiting for some time.”
Carefully Ty readjusted the harnesses and saddles and made sure the packs were on securely. He felt as though he must be dreaming. Carson just couldn’t be--. He wouldn’t let himself even think it. Now, they had to go on, alone. How could he undertake this journey with only his sister? Feeling strongly tempted to turn around and ride back to the friendly home of the Jakobus family and forget the entire thing, he set his jaw and drew his brows together in a frown. His father’s dying words rang in his ears. “Ty will do what I couldn’t.” He would go on! He would leave Sally at the first friendly cabin if he had to, but he would continue! These thoughts along with many others drifted in and out of Ty’s mind as he worked.

At last he turned to his sister. “Let’s ride a while ‘fore we stop for the night.” He held out his hand to help her mount.
“Ty!” Sally exclaimed, noticing for the first time, his cut and bleeding hands. “Yer hurt!”
Glancing down, Ty realized why it had been so difficult tightening things. He didn’t protest as Sally washed and bandaged them, though he muttered something about not being able to hold the reins.
This delay over, the two mounted and rode quietly away. Neither one speaking.

Above, a few wisps of clouds floated lazily along in the blue sky. A gentle breeze fanned their faces and a mountain bird hidden somewhere in the trees sang a bright melody which neither one noticed.
To be continued at a future time.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Meleah's Western Part 19

Good Morning Friday Fiction Fans,
I doubt that many of you will be reading this post this morning. Not with the wedding this evening. :) But, welcome whenever you do read it.:)

I thought I was done with politics for a while, but I had two political meetings this week. They both went well, and now maybe I can be done with that until American Government Camp at the end of October. (Or at least for a few weeks.:)) I also got two writing classes scheduled to start next week. I have one for some older boys I have taught before, and now a new class for girls which should be a lot of fun.:) I can't say I've done much in regard to writing this week except correcting a few things I wrote last week, but that is okay. I do promise I'll get back into it.:)

You may have noticed that I now have few pages on my blog with the first 10 parts of the Western on one and the next 9 parts on the other. Now if you want to go back and read it all, it is in order and just a click away.:) Or if you are new and have never read any of the Western, it is all there for you. At least all that has been posted.:)
But I don't want to keep rambling. And I'm sure you don't either. So here is the next part of Meleah's Western!

Part 19

Day followed day, each one warmer than the last as the trio rode steadily on. After all that riding, Sally was growing almost as used to the saddle as Ty and Carson and no longer dreaded mounting each morning as they once again set off.

The nights, still chilly with cool breezes, were spent for the most part in the open with only the trees for shelter, for now they were far from habited areas save here and there where a lonely cabin of a trapper or hermit appeared. To the men, who had spent the last two years out in the wilderness, the nights were common and ordinary. For Sally, to whom all such experiences were new, they were intriguing. Everything was different when the sun sank out of sight in the west with the sounds of the night animals as they began to stir, the biting wind and the warmth of the campfire competing for mastery, the thousands of glittering stars which came out in the darkening sky and the hard ground on which to sleep. All combined to give Sally a feeling she had never felt before. As she lay each night in this, to her, new environment, she often thought of her mother, touching her locket with its picture and wondered what it must have been like for her to leave the city to come out into an untamed land far from those she knew and loved. Her unknown sister also claimed a large portion of her thoughts. What was she like? Would they find her and what had she had to live through? These and various other questions, Sally never could answer, for she always fell fast asleep only moments after lying down.

“I tell ya, Ty,” Carson remarked in admiration as Sally’s quick and accurate shot brought down a rabbit for their breakfast. “We’ll make her inta a trapper yet.” The sun was shining brightly and the fire was just right to roast this choice piece of meat.
Ty chuckled and slid his pistol back into its holster. “She might be a good shot, Carson, but I reckon she ain’t goin’ ta be doin’ any skinnin’ of it.”
“What, ya mean we’re eatin’ rabbit fur stew this mornin’?”
Sally’s cheeks grew pink with blushes from their teasing, yet she smiled. It wasn’t very often she could beat Ty on a draw. And she knew Carson would skin the rabbit for her even if he did tease.
“I think yer aim’s improved since I was home, Sis. I reckon if’n ya were ta try ta beat me in a contest, I’d walk away in defeat.”
A merry laugh rang from Sally’s glowing face as she reloaded her gun. Praise was sweet to her ears even if it was far from the truth.
Breakfast was partaken with great relish that morning for fresh meat was rare to these travelers. “It was well worth a delay,” Carson grunted stretching out once more as though to catch another forty winks.
Ty gave him a kick. “Well it sure ‘nough don’t call for more sleep. This here ought ta’ve been jest right ta keep ya movin’.”
Carson snorted and sat up. “Ya mind yer manners, Ty Elliot. An’ don’t ferget I’m old enough ta be yer pa.”
Ty grinned. “Ain’t forgettin’.”
Still grumbling good-naturedly under his breath, Carson joined in the packing up of camp. Saddling the horses and loading the pack horse with most of their supplies took some time, though now that they were more accustomed to the task, it was shorter than at first. When all was ready, Carson set off with the pack horse following while Ty and Sally brought up the rear.

The trio had ridden for several hours and the sun, in a cloudless sky, was nearing midday. Carson, up ahead with the extra pack horse, called back that they’d have to cross the ravine just up ahead. Ty waved in answer and turned to answer Sally’s question. The two of them rode slowly onward. The sun was pleasant, and they didn’t want to push their horses up the rather steep slope. Carson soon had disappeared before them.

On reaching the summit of the hill, they paused to look at the ravine before them. A faint trail led down one side. The farther side was covered with trees and rocks. The ravine was wide, and Sally thought she caught a glimpse of Carson’s horse near the bottom.
Suddenly, Ty’s quick ears caught the sound of a low roar. His head turned and rapidly his eyes darted over the landscape. What was that sound? Where was it coming from?
Not noticing her brother’s rapt attention, Sally had started her horse down the trail, carefully watching for loose rocks. She had lost sight of Carson but believed him to be down at the bottom, therefore she kept going.

The roar was noticeably louder, and Sally’s mount gave a whinny of alarm and began to prance and toss its head against the restraining reins which Sally held.
“Easy, girl,” Sally tried to calm the horse. “Its all right. Ain’t nothin’ to be afraid of. Easy now!” for the horse was beginning to plunge in a fearful manner.
Just then, Ty, still sitting his horse and listening, knew exactly what it was. When he turned to Sally, he found her already part way down the ravine right in the way of danger! His face paled and his heart seemed to stop. For an instant, only an instant, but to him it felt like years, he couldn’t move. He couldn’t even cry out! And just as suddenly strength came rushing back.
“Sally!” he shouted. “Get back here!” Flinging himself off his own frightened horse Ty half slid, half scrambled down the steep side of the ravine, not noticing the rocks that cut his hands nor the brambles which tore at his clothes, to where Sally was trying desperately to keep her seat on the plunging, rearing animal.

Should I post the next part next week?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pirates of Rocky Crag Bay - The Ending

And once again, welcome to Friday's Fiction,
I have had a wonderful time this week. I actually got some writing in! It was such fun! I worked on the Western, so all you Western lovers can come back soon for another part or two.:) I also rewrote the short story I had written before but didn't like. This one is much better. The other one just lacked a spark of something. But I think this second one has it.

I hope my new readers will feel at home here and will feel free to read any and all things on here. Of course that might take a little while as I started this blog some time ago, but-- Do feel free to leave me a comment or two or more.:) I love comments!

For those of you wondering, yes, I will be posting next Friday morning. Would you rather have a Western or the other story? Let me know. And now, the last part of:

The Pirates of Rocky Crag Bay
Part 5

The captain took a step forward. “You dare to say me nay?” he roared in a voice like thunder and his face turned red with rage. “You will tell me or you’ll walk the plank!”
There was a gasp among some of the crew and the captain turned on them. “Silence, you cowards!”
Instant silence prevailed. Only the gentle waves lapping the ship’s sides could be heard in the stillness. The sun, which had been shining brightly only moments before, disappeared behind a cloud. Ned felt cold dread creep over him and he could hardly breathe. How he wanted to run to his sister and rescue her from the clutches of these evil pirates. Suddenly he realized as he never had before just how terrible true pirates really were. They stole, kidnapped and murdered all without the slightest regret.
The Captain’s voice broke into his thoughts. “Now, lass, I’ll give you one more chance to save your life. Tell me your name and where you live.”
Kim turned defiant eyes on the man before her and retorted, “I won’t tell you anything even if you killed me for it.”
“First Mate Harvey! Get out the plank!” Captain Frightenaft thundered. “Treb!” to one of the pirates near Kim, “Tie her hands and then blindfold her! We’ll send her down to Davie Jones’ locker for her impudence.”
“No!” Ned called, but there was too much noise to hear him except by the large pirate beside him. “No!” he called again and started forward, but a heavy hand was laid on his shoulder and he was pulled back struggling.
With tears nearly blinding him, he was forced to watch his sister walk the gangplank! As she neared the end, he closed his eyes and moaned. A sudden shout, followed by a splash of water and Ned’s eyes flew open. Kim was no where to be seen!
“Let me go!” he shouted pulling himself free from the pirate’s grasp. Rushing blindly to the railing, he tried to peer down into its depths, but was pulled back. Turning in a rage he struck out with hands and feet and thus fighting, he made his way to the captain who was watching him in surprise.
“How dare you! How dare you! How dare you!” Ned screamed. “That was cruel! Only cowards and bullies would act as you all act! I don’t ever want to be a pirate again! I’m leaving! Now! Take me to shore this instant!” Ned was nearly beside himself with grief and rage. Hands were laid on him but he fought them off like a wild tiger.
How it happened he never was quite certain, but however it was, he found himself in the boat being rowed to a point of land sticking out into the sea. Hardly had the boat touched land than he was literally dumped out and the boat hastily rowed back to the ship.
Crawling up onto a rock Ned sat and cried. Great sobs shook his small body. He cried for his sister, for himself, for his family. So overcome with emotion was he that he failed to notice footsteps approaching.
He jerked his head up. There before him, dripping wet yet alive, stood Kim.
He could only stare at her for a moment before rushing into her arms and bursting into tears anew. “How . . . did you . . . get here?” he gasped out at length.
Kim squeezed him. “The pirate tying my hands didn’t do a very good job.” Ned didn’t see the slight grin on her face.
“I have practiced getting my hands out of ropes with Rob, and this wasn’t very hard. Once they were off it was easy. I pulled off the blindfold and seeing this piece of land, started swimming toward it. But what about you? Where did you come from, and what are you doing here?”
With shame Ned told her and then together the two of them set off for the long walk home.

Two days afterwards, Rob arrived from his camping trip, browned and jolly. He sat and listened to the tales told about the pirates and shook his head.
“I have heard about those pirates of Rocky Crag Bay--” A knock at the front door interrupted him.
It was the town police chief.
“Well, Mr. Jones,” he addressed Dad. “Since you turned in your report about those robberies, we’ve kept our eyes open and have just apprehended a gang of pirates.”
“Pirates?” Ned questioned with eyes as large as saucers.
The police chief nodded. “They called themselves the Pirates of Rocky Crag Bay. Pirates are a bad lot, Ned. I wouldn’t try to follow them, if I were you. Anyway, we found your stolen goods, Mr. Jones. Even your safe. If you’ll come to the station, you can pick them up.”
“Sure thing, Jack,” Dad said. “And thanks.”
“Mr. Parsons,” Ned questioned the police chief.
“What will happen to the pirates?”
“Jail for now, then trial and--” he shrugged. “They won’t be out roaming the high seas any more, that much is certain.”
Ned shuddered. What if he had been with them still?

About a week later, after Ned was quite recovered from his experience with the pirates, Rob and Kim came around the corner of the house with fishing poles. Pausing beside the open window near Ned’s cave Rob called,
“Ned, I’m going to go fishing, want to come too?”
No answer.
Rob and Kim looked at each other and then peering through the open window saw their young brother deeply lost in a new book: Thrilling Gunfights of the Wild West.
Exchanging glances of dismay, Rob and Kim groaned.

Anyone want to be a pirate now?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Pirates of Rocky Crag Bay - Part 4

We WON!!!!
That was the big exciting thing that happened on Tuesday evening. All our hard work paid off in a 71% win over our RINO opponent. (that is Republican In Name Only) The sign waving last Saturday and on Mon. and Tues. was a blast! Lots of good response and honks. Oh, and we did manage to get all 10,000 postcards addressed. We called that project "Operation Polar Bear" which made our opposition puzzled as to what we were doing. (The postcard stamps had Polar Bears on them.:)) But that is now over. We won't be starting work for the general election yet. And I don't think it will be quite as bad and hard as the primary was. At least I hope not!

But now I can get on with other things. I need to send out an email about writing classes, get my Scribbler assignment finished :), catalogue our books on, start quilting again, write once more and the list goes on.:) At least I'm not sitting around twiddling my thumbs and wishing for something to do. But now I must post the next part of the story or it will never get finished.

Part 4
The Pirates of Rocky Crag Bay

Approaching the house in silence, Ned led the way to the window that opened to his “cave.” As he figured, it was not locked and in only a moment or two, the First Mate and one other man were inside as well. Nervously, with timid steps, he led the way to his father’s study. There with trembling hand he pointed to the safe and watched, quivering with shame as the two pirates, carrying it between them, took it back to the window by the cave.

The walk back to the boat was quiet. Ned was filled with thoughts of his family and what they would say and do if they only knew who had helped to rob them. “But they would have made me walk the plank if I had refused,” he argued with his conscience.
“That never would have happened if you had stayed at home,” Conscience replied. Ned argued all the way back to the ship and to his berth. He didn’t sleep well that night.

When Ned came on deck the following morning, he discovered the ship was already out of sight of land. He breathed a sigh of relief and refused to listen to the small voice inside of him. He told his conscience it was too late to do anything about it all now,.

“Ned,” First Mate Harvey called, “the Cap’ain wants you in his cabin.”
Trembling slightly, Ned knocked on the Captain’s door and was ordered to enter.

Looking up from his table on which lay maps and charts and lists, Captain Frightenaft beckoned him in. “You did well last night, lad,” he growled in his low voice. “I think you’ll make a fine pirate in spite of your young age. Now, tonight I’m goin’ to send you ashore on the island to help bury some treasure.”
Ned’s eyes shone with excitement but all he said was, “Aye aye, Sir!”
“Be ready to enter the boat about sunset.”
“Aye aye, Captain!”
With that, the captain dismissed him.

“Here we are, men,” Captain Frightenaft growled as the small boat grated softly on the sandy beach. Springing out swiftly, two of the pirates pulled the boat well up and the others clambered out. Several lanterns were lit and set around giving an eerie light to the dark forms who with shovels and spades were beginning to dig. Ned took his turn, but when the shovel brought up what looked like bones, he dropped it, recoiling and shaking.

“What’s the matter, boy?” one of the pirates taunted him. “Scared of a few human bones?”

It was all Ned could do to keep from screaming and running back to the boat. As it was, he face was pale and his eyes wide in horror. Human bones? Why would there be human bones here? How did they know they were human bones unless, . . . A long shudder ran over Ned’s frame, and he wouldn’t even let himself finish the sentence. He closed his eyes and scarcely noticed when someone pushed him away. Unsteadily, he stumbled toward the boat, but before he reached it, his knees gave way and he sank down onto the sand. This was awful. It wasn’t at all like what he thought pirates would be like.

He was still in somewhat of a daze when the men came back. He was jerked to his feet and shoved to the boat. Once back on the ship he went directly to his berth and lay there staring into the dark until the gentle rocking of the ship on the waves lulled him into an uneasy slumber.

The following days were busy ones on board the pirate ship. The crew worked hard, and even Ned was put to work scrubbing the deck. Try as he might, he couldn’t get the thoughts of those two nights out of his mind. They seemed to haunt his every move. Even the scrubbing of the deck couldn’t rid him entirely of the feeling of revulsion and disgust he had felt.

It was the sixth day after his departure from home when, towards evening, he was again called into Captain Frightenaft’s cabin.
“Well, Ned Lad, you’ve done a man’s job these last days. I know you’d like to be going ashore with the crew tonight, but this time you are to stay aboard.” The captain’s one dark eye were fixed so keenly on the boy that it felt as though it could see right through him.
Ned shivered slightly, relieved not to be going, yet wondering if the pirate captain thought he was too chicken to go.
As if to answer those thoughts, the Captain added, “We can’t have you running about too many nights, you need your sleep. Besides,” he smiled a bone chilling smile. “You won’t want to miss the fun we’ll have should the trip tonight be successful.”
Somehow Ned managed to say, “Aye aye, Sir,” before he was dismissed.
So it was with a trembling heart and full of many misgivings about what the captain meant, that young Ned Jones watched the ship’s small boat pull away toward the shore.

A rough shaking roused Ned from slumber the next morning and a voice called to him, “Get up, Boy! The fun is starting. You’ll miss it all if’n ya don’t hurry. On deck, lively now!”

Scrambling up to the deck with the large dark pirate behind him, Ned thought he heard a familiar voice. At last on deck, he beheld a sight that he never forgot. There in the midst of two or three pirates stood his sister, Kim! She was not tied in any way and when one to the men tried to hold her hand, she slapped him in the face and cried,
“Get your hands off of me, you beast!”
A roar of laughter went up from the crew at that, but the Captain’s deep voice from his cabin had the effect of quieting the men. Out he came. To Ned’s eyes he had never looked more fierce and cunningly clever than now.
“Ah, yes, I see they have fetched us quite a pretty wench this time.” His voice, that deep growl that Ned was beginning to dislike, was soft, yet commanding. “Come here, girl, and let me look at you.” He took a step closer.
“Don’t you dare touch me,” Kim ordered bravely.
The Captain growled for the First Mate.
“Aye, Sir.”
“Fetch the paper and pen.”
“Aye aye, Sir.”

Ned stood as though he had been nailed to the deck of the pirate ship. This wasn’t happening. It was all a dream. He would wake up any minute. Kim wasn’t there. She couldn’t be!
The paper and pen had arrived.
“Now Lass,” Captain Frightenaft ordered, “What is your name? And where do you live?”
Kim tossed her head in defiance. “Why do you wish to know?”
“What is it, Girl?”
“I won’t tell unless I know why you are wanting to know.”
The audacity of the girl seemed to surprise everyone, for they stared in silence. Even the captain looked at her a moment before replying.
“We are going to send a ransom note for you. Now,” his voice grew harsh, “answer my questions!”
“I will not!”
The captain took a step forward. “You dare to say me nay?” he roared in a voice like thunder and his face turned red with rage. “You will tell me or you’ll walk the plank!”

To read the rest of the story, come back next week.