I started this story just because it began in my brain and instead of just thinking it like I usually do, I decided to write it and see what happenes. I had thought I'd just write the whole thing, but as it was 2,000 words long and no where near done (it may end up a book), I thought I ought to post part of it here and see what you Friday Fiction Fans think of it. Mom liked it.:) I'll only post the first 1,000 words this week. Next week will be the next thousand.
I hope you tell me what you think of it. And any questions would help to keep it going.:)
P.S. My spell check isn't working, so sorry for any typos.:}
???The fire crackled brightly in the fireplace of the Morgan cabin. Nestled in a hollow of the mountains where it was sheltered from many a fierce winter wind, the large, two-story house had stood for years. It wasn’t really a cabin, but the Morgans loved to call it one since the outside was all logs. Inside was every modern appliance including electricity. However, tonight only a few lamps burned in addition to the fire.
It was a pleasant group sitting about the rustic living room with its high vaulted ceiling and large picture windows. A walkway running from one side of the upstairs to the other looked down on either side of the large, stone chimney into the living room. On the other, the dining room was seen below. Everywhere the house was dark save for the lamps and fire where the family had gathered. Outside all was black, for the sun had long since set, and the air had an autumn chill to it. To those about the cheerful fire all was warm and peaceful.
“Well, Justin, are you all settled in town?” Mr. Morgan, with his feet on a footstool, regarded his eldest son with a smile.
“I think so. Now that the water and electricity are hooked back up, the ‘hospital’ seems to be all set.” Justin laughed as he said the word hospital.
“Hospital, yeah right,” eighteen-year-old Adam scoffed. “It was an old hotel and still looks like one. It even has the old name above the door.”
“On the outside maybe,” Justin countered good naturally, “but have you seen the inside?”
Adam shook his head.
“I haven’t seen it either, Just.” Sara settled herself more comfortably on the couch opposite her older brother. Her nut brown hair was loose about her shoulders and made her almost look her nineteen years. “But it will be nice to have one in town now, so we don’t have to go all the way to Jackson.”
“Since when have you ever been to a hospital?” Justin couldn’t resist a little teasing.
Sara tossed her head. “Never. And I don’t plan to go just because you are a doctor in this one.”
“Oh come on, Sis!” Justin pleaded. “Wouldn’t you come visit me with a hot pie when I have been slaving away and am exhausted from all my multitude of patients?” He could be dramatic when he chose.
Pursing her lips, Sara pretended to give it some thought. “Maybe,” she finally said, adding, “but I’d have to think about it first.”
Justin threw a pillow at her which she promptly tossed back.
“But really, Son,” Mrs. Morgan spoke softly when the pillows had ceased to fly, “I’m glad we now have a medical facility even if it does look like a hotel. As long as the personnel know what they are doing, that is what we need.”
“Don’t worry about that, Mom There may not be many of us, but I think we’re ready. At least we’ll do our best.”
“That’s all that needs done.” Mr. Morgan agreed and then stared into the fire, and all fell silent.
The loud barking of their collie, Captain, broke the silence outside.
“What is he barking about?” Justin turned to try to look out the window behind him but could see nothing but the reflection of the fire and lamps.
“It’s not his ‘wild animal’ bark nor is it his company coming bark--”
Adam had stood up as Sara spoke and grabbed his shotgun from a rack nearby. “I’ll go check.”
“Be careful,” Mrs. Morgan called.
In silence the rest of the family waited, listening to the barking which seemed to have a different tone to it than usual. Suddenly they were startled by Adam’s cry, “Mom! Dad! Justin! Sara!”
The four sprang up and rushed for the door. There by the light of the front porch which Mr. Morgan snapped on, they could see Adam supporting someone out in the yard! It was a girl, and she was carrying something! In an instant the Morgan family were around them. The girl had two young children in her arms and was clearly exhausted.
“Here, Sara, take that one. Mom can you carry this one? Dad, steady her on this side. Get them inside while I grab my bag from the truck.” Justin threw his orders rapidly and the next moment was sprinting the short distance to his pick-up.
Moments later, he was back in the house. Turning the lights on in the living room he found the girl sitting in a chair by the fire. Her eyes held a glazed look while dark circles under them gave added proof that she hadn’t slept for a while. She seemed on the verge of collapse.
Justin turned to find Sara holding the small child in her arms while tears trickled down her cheeks. She looked pleadingly at him. Motioning her to sit down, he jerked out his stethoscope. As he pulled back the tattered shirt the child was wrapped in, he noticed the bluish tint to its lips and the thin little arms. A quick check showed it was still alive.
Pulling a flannel throw off the back of a nearby rocking chair, he quickly wrapped it around the child. “Mom, I want some warm milk as quickly as possible.”
With a nod Mrs. Morgan placed the other child in Adam’s arms and hurried off.
This one, a child of about three years of age, began to cry whether from cold, hunger or fright, no one knew.
“Danny,” a dry hoarse voice called, “its going to be okay.”
The girl in the chair seemed to have been roused from her stupor by the crying and now held out her arms. “I’ll take him.”
“Let me keep him a little longer,” Adam urged gently. “See, he has already quieted.” It was true, as soon as he had heard his name, Danny had quit crying and now lay motionless in the strong arms that held him.
~To be continued next week.