I am almost out of instructions for calendar picture stories. If ANYONE is willing to help, just leave a comment with how many characters I can have, how many words or pages my story should be and what "special instructions" you want me to use. You will not see the picture, and I will not pick the picture. The first comment with directions will go to the next calendar picture.:) Anyone want to help?
Or, if you have an idea for a story or want me to write more of some other story, or more poems or what have you, let me know. I would love some feed back about what you want.
And now, here is the story. It is almost twice as long as a Western, but I'm going to post it all. Let me know if it is too long. And by the way, the family in this story all have names that have something in common. Can you figure out what it is?
Characters: a family (While writing this story, some other characters suddenly jumped into the story and I couldn't get them out. I checked with Anna and got permission to leave them in.)
Word count: up to 2000
Special Instructions: Use creative metaphors / similes
Fishing for a Little Peace and Quiet
The grass covered hillside, sloping down almost to the waters edge, looked like a green velvet carpet spread for their especial benefit as the River family emerged from their car.
“This is the perfect place to have a picnic,” Mrs. River declared starting for the trunk where the basket and various other lunch items had been stowed.
Everyone lent a hand and before long a blanket was spread on the smooth turf and Mrs. River and her daughters, Lena and Savannah, were unpacking the baskets.
The three youngest boys raced down the hill towards the water shouting and hollering like Genghis Khan and his Mongol hordes.
“I declare Dad, it is a good thing we stopped here for lunch. I was beginning to think I’d have to hog tie and gag them to get a little quiet.”
Mr. River laughed at his son’s face. “I had a feeling those three monkeys were almost out of hand.”
“As long as they don’t fall in the water--” Mrs. River remarked, “because the rest of their clothes are all badly in need of washing. But,” she added, “the food’s ready. Niles, won’t you go get your brothers?”
“Maybe we should eat first, Mom,” Niles laughed as he started down the hill calling over his shoulder to add, “and they can eat what is left.”
It was with hearty appetites that the River family, especially the four boys, fell upon the dishes of delicious food like starving savages. In twenty minutes there was not a scrap of food remaining.
Leaving the girls and Niles to pack things up, Mr. and Mrs. River strolled away while the boys dashed here and there with the energy of youth.
Niles groaned as he stretched out on the grass beside the blanket.
“Did you eat too much?” Lena paused in stacking up the plates to tease her older brother.
Another groan was the only answer, and both girls laughed.
“Isn’t this a lovely spot?” queried Savannah settling herself on the blanket and gazing down the sloping hill across the dark blue water and over to the town on the other side.
“It looks like the village I used to have that went with my train set when I was young.”
“What happened to it, Niles?” Lena asked. “I don’t remember seeing it in a long time.”
“You probably haven’t because one of the boys completely destroyed it when he was little. I don’t remember who it was.”
Silence fell on the hillside, for the boys had raced off after their parents, leaving their older siblings to the quiet of the sunny, summer day. The lapping of the water came faintly to them and now and then calls from those on the small vessels rocking in the inlet could be heard.
“It is nice here, but I’ll be glad to get back home again,” Savannah said.
“I know,” Lena agreed. “Vacations are fun, but getting home is the best part.”
Niles yawned. “Only about five hours more, girls. And I hope Dad lets the boys run off enough energy so that they’ll sit still for a little while at least.”
“We ought to let you sit up with us, Niles. We don’t wiggle and chatter non stop,” Lena chuckled.
Niles opened his mouth to reply, but before he could say a word, a shrill scream pierced the stillness.
The girls and Niles were on their feet in an instant, eyes darting about for the cause of the scream. About a hundred yards from them they spied a young girl of about eleven or twelve. She was standing on the bank by the water and screaming.
It was obvious that something was wrong, and Niles sprinted down the hill as though running in the Olympics. Had anyone been watching the time, Niles would have undoubtedly beat the standing record for the hundred yard dash. The girls raced as fast as they could after their brother. Arriving panting and gasping for breath, they were only just in time to watch Niles fling off his outer shirt, kick off his shoes and dive into the cold waters of the inlet.
The young girl’s screams had ceased when Niles had appeared, and she stood watching the sure strokes of the swimmer. Lena and Savannah were too breathless to speak as they gazed after the form in the water. It was then that they noticed another form, almost motionless, seemingly floating just beyond Niles. In another moment Niles had reached the form.
“Lena, he can’t swim back!” Savannah’s voice was full of fear.
She was right. Niles was a great swimmer, but having just eaten a large meal only a quarter of an hour ago, and then swimming as he had never swum before had caused severe cramps. He had reached the victim and was struggling to keep both their heads above water. The cramps were so intense that at times it was all Niles could do to keep his grip of the victim. He knew he wouldn’t be able to last much longer, and his heart set up a desperate prayer for help. And then, just when he felt it was all over and everything was going black, a strong hand gripped his arm, and he felt himself being hauled out of the water.
On shore, the three girls watched with bated breath as a sailboat stopped and pulled in the two lads. Seeing it then start across the bay to the dock, with one accord they set off at a run for the road.
“Here!” panted the young girl. “Get on the bikes. I’ll ride behind one of you and tell you where to go.”
The next moment Lena and Savannah were pedaling down the road as fast as they dared while the girl clung to the back of Savannah. It seemed like hours later before the girls at last reached the docks, though it really was only fifteen minutes or so. The sail boat was docked, but no where could they see their brothers.
“Where are they?” Lena gasped jumping off the bike.
“I don’t know.” The girl slipped from her place and dashed down the dock. “Oh, please,” she almost sobbed to the first person she saw. “Where are the two boys you rescued from the water?”
An older gentleman looked up. “Why Lyda Monroe, was that your brother? I declare I didn’t even notice. They just took the both of them to the hospital. Want I should take you there too?”
Lyda could only nod.
On seeing Lena and Savannah’s looks, the older man told them to come along too. “I don’t got room in the cab, but just hop in the back. And don’t fret, we’ll be there lickety-split.”
“Come on boys!” Mr. River called his three younger sons. “Time to head back to the car.”
“The girls are probably wondering where we are,” Mrs. River remarked as she and her husband rounded the bend and spied the car in the distance.
“Hey, Dad, where did they go?”
Jordan pointed to the lonely blanket and basket. “No one is there.”
“Well, I’m sure they didn’t go far.”
Mrs. River thought perhaps they went for a walk, but wondered at their leaving everything out.
Jordan, Clyde and Murray dashed off to look under the branches of a large tree, “just in case they are hiding,” Clyde hollered up to their mom and dad. Not finding them there, the three lads explored along the water’s edge. It was Murray who discovered Niles’ shirt and shoes. Waving them excitedly he began to shout. Jordan and Clyde joined him and before long Mr. and Mrs. River were with them.
“Those are Niles’ all right,” affirmed Mr. River. “But what are they doing here?”
“And where are the girls?”
“Maybe they went swimming, Mom,” Jordan offered.
Mr. River shook his head. “Niles knows better than to go swimming less than an hour after he ate. And he certainly wouldn’t have let the girls go.”
“It was pirates, Dad!” Clyde exclaimed.
“Yeah,” Murray put in. “And they took the girls, and Niles had to swim out to rescue them.”
Mr. River only half heard his sons’ nonsense. He was gazing out in perplexity across the water. Where could Niles and the girls be? They wouldn’t have just run off. Had something happened? He saw a sail boat at the dock and noticed a pickup truck driving away from it, but since it was on the other side of the inlet he was only vaguely conscious of it.
Jordan began to sense that his parents were growing concerned. “Maybe these aren’t Niles’ things.”
“I’m sure they are,” Mrs. River stated with conviction.
“I think we need to go find the police and notify them. Come on boys,” Mr. River took his wife’s arm and they started up the hill. “And since Niles has the keys to the car, we have to walk.”
“Oh, Niles!” Lena and Savannah exclaimed when their brother came out of a doctor’s office supported by the doctor. “Are you all right?”
Niles nodded and was helped to a seat. His face was pale, and he looked exhausted.
“He’ll be okay. Just make sure he takes things easy for a day or so.” The doctor smiled at the trio and then turned as Lyda caught his sleeve.
“Dr. Black, my brother?” she faltered.
“Raymond? Suppose I go check for you. Dr. Emerson had him in charge.”
Almost before he had finished talking, another door down the hall had opened and Dr. Emerson appeared. “Lyda?”
Lyda sprang to her feet, but didn’t move. Her breath was coming in gasps, and her face was as white as the sails on a sailboat.
“Raymond is going to be fine, Lyda,” Dr. Emerson told her. “Thanks to this young man who managed to keep both their heads above water.” The doctor placed a hand on Niles’ shoulder. “Raymond is resting. Do you want to see him?”
“Oh yes, please.” Lyda turned to Niles, but couldn’t say anything. Her eyes, however, spoke for her.
As Lyda and Dr. Emerson disappeared down the hall, Dr. Black spoke. “Their parents are on their way here. But what about your parents? You are in no condition to walk beyond the front doors, young man. If you give me their phone number, I’ll call them.”
At that the girls gasped, and Niles clapped his hand on his pants pocket. With a sigh he pulled out a cell phone. “Water doesn’t improve these too well.” was all he said as he looked at it.
“We don’t live around here, sir,” Savannah put in, “and that was Dad’s cell phone.”
“We were having a picnic on the other side of the bay.”
“And here are the keys to the car,” Niles groaned pulling them out of another pocket.
Dr. Black chuckled. “I see. Then no doubt your parents have contacted the police and the quickest way to bring them here is for me to also call the police. Now,” he addressed Niles, “don’t try to go anywhere.” With that he disappeared inside his office.
It was only ten minutes later when both the Rivers and Lyda and Raymond’s parents appeared at the hospital. All was confusion and talking for several minutes. Niles was praised and hugged by both mothers and had his hand shaken until his arm felt like a pump handle. Dr. Black finally put a stop to things by saying that Niles needed rest. After good byes were said, the River family left the hospital and loaded up in their car which had been towed to the hospital for them. This time, Niles got a seat with Lena and Savannah.
Twenty minutes down the road Mr. River noticed a sudden silence, and glancing in the rearview mirror he saw Niles sound asleep with his head on Savannah’s shoulder. In the back were Jordan, Clyde and Murray sleeping like tops. All was quiet and still. Mr. River smiled at his wife. “Well, Niles certainly managed to wear out his brothers this time.”
So, what did you think? Did you figure out the names?