This story was supposed to be 4+ pages long. It ended up being 6+ pages. I am not really good at math, but that last I figured, 6 was bigger than 4, so my story fit in the assigned length. Right? Mom really liked this story. And I'll admit it was interesting to write. I tried to follow the instructions, but to be honest, I really couldn't tell much difference in the samples I was given of it. Hope you like it anyway. Because it is so long, (three times the length of a Western) I'll give it to you in parts. (That will also give me time to get something else written.:))
Characters: 3 or more (I used 4)
Pages: 4+ (ended up 6+)
Special Instructions: Use dialogue meaningfully
In the Father’s Embrace
The blinding glare of the sun on the snow had given way to a softer glow as the sun slipped farther down into the western sky. The clouds becoming first tinged and then fully colored with pink, contrasted beautifully with the deep blue sky of the east. Everywhere the snow lay in a great blanket of white crystals. The distant crunch of footsteps and the murmur of voices, muffled by scarves and coats, could be heard in the stillness of the coming night.
“I don’t think I can go much farther,” moaned a voice from the folds of a gay red scarf which matched her coat.
“You have to keep going,” came an almost harsh reply from a gray clad figure. “I can see a building of some sorts ahead. We’ll stop there.”
A small brown coated, brown hooded morsel of a person sighed, “Oh, I hope it is a house.”
“Shawn, I’m beyond cold, I’m freezing!” The demanding voice was clad in a royal blue coat. “I won’t go on in this cold! I’m stopping right now!”
“Stay and freeze then.”
“You don’t care--”
“Oh, don’t start to argue,” pleaded the peacemaker in brown. “There is a building up ahead. Can’t you at least wait until we are there out of the wind?”
The blue coated figure started on again, grumbling and muttering.
For several minutes silence fell over the little group staggering and struggling through the snow. Only the crunch of their footsteps were to be heard as the sun sank lower.
With an anguished cry, she of the red coat and scarf stumbled suddenly, lost her footing and fell. For a minute she lay still. Then with great effort she tried to rise, only to fall back with a groan. “I can’t do it,” she whimpered. “I just can’t. Go on and leave me.”
Gently the brown morsel dropped down beside the red heap and wrapped an arm around her. “Of course we won’t leave you. Can you stand at all if Shawn helps you?”
Through the folds of the red scarf came a faint, “I’ll try.” And when a gray arm reached down, she grasped it and pulled herself up.
“Now,” coaxed the brown petite figure, “try to walk.”
Valiantly, yet with hesitation, the try was made only to find that had the gray arm on one side and the brown one on the other not held her fast, she would have fallen. As it was she gave a sharp cry of pain and nearly fainted.
“Would you all hurry up!” exclaimed the blue clad figure in exasperation. “It’s freezing,” and seeming to forget its former declaration, went on, “and I won’t wait any longer!” A few stamps were given as emphasis that the words spoken were not just show.
No answer was returned, however, for all the attention of the others was focused on the red coat.
“She can’t walk, Shawn, and I believe she’s going to faint!”
“I think I can carry her a little ways though not the whole way.”
“What will we do--”
“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” the reply snapped the sentence off unfinished as the gray arms lifted the form in red and set off once more across the seemingly never ending snow.
With red mittens clinging to his neck a faint voice came to his ears. “I’m sorry.”
His own tone softened as he whispered back, “It wasn’t your fault.”
On and on the exhausted, chilled, and tired travelers trudged. Not talking now, for all their energies were focused on reaching the building before them. Several time the gray clad figure had paused, set down his burden, and stood gasping for breath. And as often as he paused, he started on again. But each time was harder than the last.
The sun which had cast such a glory of pink, gold, purple and blue into the sky, now seemed to have decided that it had had enough of the day and, almost without a second thought, had slid behind the mountains, leaving the group to the glimmering stars and a sliver of a silver moon.
“It’s dark, and there’s no light in the house,” fretted the blue coat.
The brown morsel gave a little laugh albeit it was not full of mirth. “That’s because it is an old barn.”
“A barn! I won’t stay in a barn! I say, it was mean of you, Shawn, to bring us out here just to stay in a barn,” and the petulant blue coat sat down in the snow with crossed arms and a scowl.
“Stay there if you want,” was the cutting retort. “It wasn’t me that led you here. It was your own foolishness. I--”
“Oh, sure, blame it all on me. You’re the oldest and know so much. How was I--”
The argument was cut off by a sweet voice protesting, “Oh, do stop. We are all to blame, but that won’t help matters now. I’m sure the barn will be a very pleasant place to stay out of this wind.”
The blue coat arose and followed after the others though not without disgruntled mutterings.
Soon they came to a barbed wire fence which surrounded the barn. The gate was with some difficulty, because of the tall, frozen grass and the drifts of snow about it, opened enough to let them all pass through.
Come back next week for Part 2