Friday, April 22, 2011

Ranch - Part 1

Happy Birthday FFFs!

Oh, wait. It's not your birthday, it is my mom's, my aunt M.'s and
mine! Yep, we three all share the same birthday. :) It is rather fun.
Most of you who read this blog know how old I am, but if you don't
know, you are welcome to guess.

Since it is my birthday, I decided I didn't want to post yet another
Western. Too many Westerns is like too many chocolate kisses. (Can you have
too many chocolate kisses? Hmm.) Or let's put it this way, variety is
the spice of life.:) And I like/am variety. So I guess that means I'm
some of the spice in your life. I can't decide if I like being called
spice or would rather be called nuts. There is another saying that fits
my family: Families are like fudge, mostly sweet with a few nuts. :)

But whether I'm spice or nuts, I do like to do things differently. And
since I've given you Western after Western this year (Did you realize
that I have already given you more than half as many Westerns as I
posted for two years total?), and it's my birthday, I wanted to start you on a new story. Like the Western, it also is going to be written and posted 1000 words at a
time. However, unlike the Western, they don't talk "like they ain't got
much learin'.":)

I started this story for Scribblers, but only got 3 parts posted. I
think I have 5 written and am working on 6. Now that doesn't mean I'm
leaving Meleah's Western behind, I just didn't want to post it this
week.:) If I get another part written for it, maybe I'll do another
Western Week. At least if there is any interest in that.:) Let me know
if you would like another Western Week.

I do need some help with this new story, however. I can't figure out a
name for the Ranch. If anyone has any suggestions, ideas or anything,
please let me know! I can name people, but I guess I'm no good at
ranches.:) But here is the first part of the "Ranch Story." Let me know
what you think?

Part 1

The blazing sun was well past mid day, and the air was hot and
heavy. The fields were green with rows of fast drying hay turning
golden brown. Soon it would be time to load the hay wagons, and Jenelle
shook her head at the thought of the long, hot days before them. A
knock on the door interrupted her thoughts and opening it she found a
neighbor boy.
“Pa and I were just in town and picked up your mail for
you, Mrs. Mavrich. Pa didn’t think you’d be getting there this week.”
Jenelle smiled. “Why thank you, Ted. I’m sure we won’t. Not with Norman
trying to get the fences fixed so they can move the horses. Tell your
Pa we’re much obliged.”
Waving, Ted ran back to the wagon which was
waiting for him at the end of the lane.
Thumbing quickly through the mail, Jenelle paused and looked at the last envelope with a frown.
“This looks important,” she murmured dropping the rest of the mail on
the table and stepping out into the heat.
“Norman,” Jenelle called.
Norman looked up from the fence he was mending. Wiping the sweat from
his face with his handkerchief, he straightened his back.
“This just came.” Jenelle waved an envelope. “It looked important, so I brought it
A quick glance at the postmark and Norman was tearing the letter
open. Rapidly his eyes scanned it before he spoke. “Grandmother is
“Oh Norman,” Jenelle’s voice as well as her face was full of
sympathy. “That letter is from--?”
“Her lawyer.” His face grew
“Is it your sister?” she asked softly. “Yes.”
“Well?” Norman looked up from the hole his boot was making in the dust. “I’m her only
kin. Darling, Orlena is only eleven, yet she was such a terror the last
time I saw her, I’m almost afraid of her.”
Jenelle didn’t speak but waited in silence for her husband to continue.
“The lawyer says that she was in boarding school last year, but since I am now her legal
guardian, I have to decide what to do with her.” He sighed as though
suddenly weary.
“Why don’t we bring her here?”
“You aren’t serious.”
“I am. I’ve only met her once, but if what you say of her is true, she
needs help. Can’t we try to help her?”
“Sweetheart, you’re an angel!” And he kissed her. “You know, don’t you, Darling, that I have to go to the city for at least a few days to get Grandmother’s affairs settled.”
“And bring Orlena home,” his wife added sweetly.
Norman smiled. “And that.” He frowned thoughtfully at the fence post. “Let me finish this
here and then I’ll be in to make plans. You had best get in out of this
sun.” He gave Jenelle another kiss and returned to work.

Early the following morning found Norman and Jenelle at the station in town. The
train would be leaving in a few minutes giving the couple time for a
few last words of farewell. Turning to his wife, Norman asked for the
second time, “Are you sure you’ll be all right with me gone?”
A light, merry laugh was her answer as she turned bright, blue eyes to meet the
grey ones of her husband. “I’ll be just fine. I won’t worry about
anything on the ranch except for the house and the chickens.”
“That’s right. Let Hardrich take care of the rest. He’s the best foreman anyone
could ask for. Uncle trained him well.”
A warning whistle sounded from the train, and the conductor called, “All aboard!”
“I must go, Darling. Be careful driving home.” Norman gave her a tender embrace and grabbed
his valise. “I’ll wire when I know what train I’m returning on. But,”
he called back to her as he stepped on the train, “have Hardrich meet
me if you aren’t feeling well.”
Jenelle laughed and waved her handkerchief. Did he think she would really let the foreman drive to meet her returning husband. And sister. For a moment Jenelle paused
wondering what that sister would be like.
With a blast of steam, a shriek of the whistle and a roar of the engine, the train moved off
down the track toward that distant city, away, each second farther
away, from the young and beautiful wife standing alone at the station
waving her small white handkerchief. Turning slowly back to the light spring wagon after
the train had disappeared, Jenelle started the horses for home.

Norman stood, waiting on the steps. The train ride had given him some time to
think, but he knew he must wait to talk to the lawyer before anything
was decided. Now the door was opened and a maid stood before him.
Silently he handed her his card and after a quick glance at it,
she allowed him to enter the house.
All was quiet as he stepped into the dark hall. The housekeeper was coming down the stairway and upon catching sight of him, gave an exclamation of delight. She had long
been in the service of his grandmother, and when Norman used to come
and visit as a child, she was the one who had made him feel at home.
“Norman, you have come at last!”
“Yes, Mrs. O’Connor, I’m here. I know I should have come sooner, but it is hard to get away from the ranch.”
Mrs. O’Connor nodded. “Of course it is, but where is your wife?”
“Much to my regret, I had to leave her. You see, I only got the letter
yesterday, and I can’t stay long.”
“Well, we can talk later. Mr. Athey is in the library, and I know he is anxious to talk to you.”
Norman started toward the library door, but paused and asked, “Where’s
“I’ll see if I can’t get her to come down to supper. She has
hardly left her room since it happened. I don’t know if her grief is
real or only a show.”
Any questions, comments or observations?


Civil War...and More! said...

When will "PART 2" come out? I am intrigued! You make good use of dialogue. Did you use the Institute for Excellence in Writing program? We absolutely LOVE that program. We began it before the older girls graduated, and involved almost all the younger children as well. Even one son, who was 10 at the time and barely even tolerated writing his name, joined in and in no time became an EXCELLENT writer! The program helped him succeed with a high score on his English Composition and Essay CLEP test he took through College Plus Prep!

We are looking forward to purchasing your book at the CHEF conference!

Civil War...and More! said...

I almost forgot... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! I wonder if you are 22??? And have a blessed Resurrection Sunday! HE IS RISEN!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!!! - hank

Abigail in WI said...

Happy Birthday!! I would enjoy another western week if you do one. :)

Marjo B said...

Rebekah...I enjoyed the comments you left on my blog! Thank you.

I also love red. I recently found out that red is the exact opposite from green on the color ''wheel'', and therefore they look really good together. That explains why both green and red are my favorite colors, separate or together!

Have a great day. :)