Friday, September 3, 2010

The Garden Plot

Here it is a nice, slightly chilly Friday! Just the perfect kind of day to read Friday's Fiction.:) (But then I don't know what day isn't the perfect kind of day either.)

Thanks Abigail and Hank for leaving me comments! :) I miss it when there aren't any.:) By the way all boys in WI, I want to know what you all think too.:)

I did get more writing done this week. And it is probably a good thing too, since I was running out of things to post again.:) Now I have added to my supply. I don't like Thursday evening showing up and realizing that there is nothing to post! This week wasn't quite as busy as last week, but it seemed to fly by much faster. I am working on cataloging all our books! When we are finished, anyone who wants to should be able to search our books online! How does that sound? The only thing is that I am only in the 400's out of 5,000 or so.:} Anyone want to come help?

Okay, this story was one I had written, didn't like, gave to Mom, she thought it wasn't "quite right" either and there were some major problems in it. Well. After leaving it sitting for several weeks, I started it again. I kept the main story plot, but changed nearly all the rest of it. So, what do you think of it now?

Characters: children (Since the picture had a young lady in it, I decided that "children" meant anyone unmarried.:))
Word count: 1500 - 2500
Tense: 1st
Special Instructions: Child's journal spanning at least two weeks.

The Garden Plot
Rebekah Morris

August 1, 1860
Dear Diary,
I have never written a diary before. It always seemed such a grown up thing to do, and I never expected to have one for years to come. However, before Papa left on his business trip, he gave this little book to me, and I am to write in it so that he can read all that happens when he returns. I’m afraid it won’t be interesting, for what does one write about when nothing exciting happens? Perhaps if I keep my eyes open something will come.
The garden is in full bloom right now. It is all pink, orange, red, yellow and green. With some other colors too. I miss walking through it all with Papa.

August 2, 1860
I do have something to write about, only it isn’t exciting. A man has called on Leah. Ward said they met at Mrs. Balsom’s party last week. I saw him this morning, and I must say I don’t like the looks of him. I’m sure Leah would call me silly, but I can’t help it.

August 3, 1860
That man is here again. Why is he suddenly calling when Papa isn’t at home and poor Mama is sick in bed? I asked Ward that, and he shrugged. Of course the man has an excuse. He said he was bringing a book he thought sure Miss Leah would enjoy. Clara and Sophia came to me for sympathy because that man called them infants, and Leah told them to run away.

August 5, 1860
I didn’t write yesterday because it was Sunday, and we spent time in Mama’s room. Besides, there wasn’t anything to write about. This morning I went out to the garden with the little girls, and we found Leah on the seat by the water. She looked so pretty in her pink dress. Sophia wanted to sit in her lap, but Leah wouldn’t let her for fear she would get dirty. Leah didn’t use to be like that. I was going to say something that wasn’t very nice, but Ward called us and we skipped over to see what he, Travis and Douglas were doing. They had found a little hiding spot in some bushes, and when we crept in, we found we could go nearly all the way to the water or to the path from the house. We were enjoying ourselves when I saw him. He had gone to the house, but now he was coming down the walk towards Leah! One of the slaves must have told him she was out there. From our vantage point we could watch without being seen. Ward wouldn’t let any of the younger three go near for fear they would be discovered. The man stayed for an unusually long length of time before departing. I don’t know what they talked about for we couldn’t hear them.

August 6, 1860
It is evening, and we’ve had a perfectly dreadful day. In the first place it rained and so of course we were forbidden to go out. The six of us children were holding high carnival in the parlor. Travis and Douglas had nearly all the floor covered with their engines and tracks while Clara and Sophia had at least a dozen dolls and their wardrobes spread across the furniture. Ward and I were both deep in our books. Mama always lets us take our toys and play in the parlor on rainy days as long as we don’t break anything, since only very good friends call in the rain. But Mama doesn’t know him.
Not one of us knew he had even arrived until he walked in the room and exclaimed,
“Well upon my word what is all this?” And he raised his eyeglasses and looked at us all with great disdain.
Just then Leah entered. She scolded us all for being there, telling us that we had no business to be in the parlor and ordering all our things out at once or they would be disposed of. I looked over at Ward and for once neither of us could think of a thing to say. It was Travis who spoke.
“Why do we have to go? Mama always lets us play in here when it rains.”
“Children should be seen and not heard,” Leah said. “And you shouldn’t question your elders.”
“She does let us, Leah,” Clara asserted gathering up the dolls in a blanket.
“Yes she does!” Travis stamped his foot. “And I won’t leave, ‘cause no one’s supposed to call in the rain.”
I have never seen Leah that angry. She ordered Travis to his room adding that he would get no supper. Travis wouldn’t go.
Sophia walked across the room and stopped right in front of him. Planting her little hands on her hips she said quite loudly and distinctly looking directly up at him, “No gent’lman would tum talling on a lady in da rain. Not less she ‘vited him.”
Leah was horrified. She rang for Aunt Lucy and had us all hustled off to our rooms in disgrace. I heard him tell Leah that a taste of a birch switch might help our manners. I didn’t hear Leah’s reply. But the idea that he would even venture to make such a remark doesn’t say much for HIS manners.
I have spent the rest of the day trying to comfort the girls who are certain they will never see their dolls again. Oh I wish Papa were here.

August 7, 1860
Leah has hardly said a word to any of us all day. I feel we are still in disgrace. We did find all the dolls and trains in the nursery this morning, but no one felt like playing. We spent time out in the garden not talking much, just being dismal. Even the bright flowers and butterflies didn’t cheer me up today. He came briefly today. I wish he wouldn’t come at all.

August 8, 1960
I feel like rejoicing. He didn’t come at all today! It is so late now that I’m sure he won’t come now.

August 9, 1960
I was supposed to go to town today with Leah to match some ribbon, but she wouldn’t let me. She said I had been too naughty. And she drove away without me. Ward was in a terrible fume because of it all, and I had a perfectly awful time trying to keep him from doing anything rash. How I wish I could talk with Mama about it all. But she is too sick to be bothered. When Leah came home he was with her. Oh how I detest him!

August 10, 1860
Things really must be dealt with soon. He actually slapped Douglas for “being impertinent” when he had simply told him that his constant presence was growing tiresome! Leah didn’t see it. What would she have done if she had? Ward is ready to go on the war path.

August 12, 1960
It was a huge relief not to have him around at all yesterday. Sunday is now a wonderful day. Mama was feeling better, so we spent some time with her though she is not well enough to deal with him.
This morning, instead of coming to the house, he walked directly out to the garden where Leah was. I saw him from the nursery window. I didn’t tell anyone because they were all happy. Later when Ward mentioned to me that he hadn’t come, I told him. He said we must do something. We just can’t wait for Papa to come home. But what can we do?

August 13, 1960
We are concocting a plan. Well, Ward, Douglas and I are. This is the second morning that he has gone directly to the garden where Leah was waiting. This time we know it was deliberate because Ward was in the bushes watching, and he heard them say that this way was working out much better for the peace of the children. Ward wouldn’t tell me what else they said, but he looked unutterable things at him when he rode away.

August 14, 1960
He came to the garden again. I think our little plan will work. At least I hope it will! Now if we can only keep Leah in the house tomorrow morning, all will be well. It is evening and everything is ready. We had to tell Travis and Clara, but dared not tell Sophia for fear she would spoil it.

August 15, 1960
He came and then went away in what looked like a towering passion. If he will only stay away. We kept Leah in the house by getting Aunt Lucy to call her for instructions about Sophia’s new dress. And then Mama help out wonderfully by asking for her. But I will tell what we did, now that every hint of it has vanished.
Clara and I managed to smuggle one of Leah’s dresses to the boys who had gathered pillows, rags and anything they could lay their hands on. Clara added her large rag doll saying she would gladly part with it for good if it would only get rid of him. Very early this morning, we went to the garden. All but Sophia who had to be measured for her new dress. With everyone helping, it didn’t take long to arrange the dress, stuffed with the rags and pillows so that it appeared to be sitting on the bench by the water. Clara’s doll occupied a prominent place with its head covered by an old bonnet of Leah’s. Unless you were actually quite near it from the side or the front, it did look like Leah. We left a note pinned on the dress saying if he wished any further friendship with Leah then he must speak with Father. Until Papa’s return he was ordered to stay off the premises of Monarch Estate because he was disturbing the peace and harmony of the family with his ungentlemanly behavior.
In the afternoon, Leah sat out in the garden for a long time. Perhaps she was waiting for him. I don’t know. She is out there now.

August 16, 1860
He didn’t come at all today, and Leah hardly talks to us. Ward assured me it wasn’t because of what we did because she don’t know about it.

August 17, 1860
He came today. He rode right up to the house this morning and demanded to see Leah. Sophia, Ward and I were with Leah when the slave brought the message. I think Ward was very polite when he stood up and told Leah that he didn’t think Papa would want him calling on her when he wasn’t home. Before Leah could reply, Travis, Douglas and Clara burst into the room shouting that Papa was home! We all rushed like mad things down the hall and stairs to surround Papa and almost smother him with kisses. I don’t think any of us except perhaps Ward and me even saw him standing almost in the corner with a scowl on his face. Leah must have forgotten him entirely while we were there. At last Papa sent us all out to the garden so we wouldn’t disturb Mama.
After the younger ones were in bed this evening, Papa came in with Ward to my room, and we told him all about that man and what we had done. Papa’s mouth twitched several times when we told about our plot in the garden, and he had to cough. He didn’t scold us at all. He did tell us that he has sent that man away for good. I knew he would. But, I must stop writing, for I’m going to give this to Papa to read in the morning. Oh I am so very glad Papa is home! Good night.

The End
Please tell me what you thought of it.


Abigail in WI said...

This was a interesting and cute story!
Definetly sounds like a younger sibling's perspective. :) I might not want to let my brothers read it; they might get some bad ideas.. :)
Love the names you used!

Anonymous said...

I definitely agree with the kids! I may be doing that someday..:)
-Noah Steffes (from WI) :)

Anonymous said...

I don't know if I would do anything like that, I'd probably do something else.
Joseph Steffes

emcharpist said...

I liked it! I like they way you wrote it!