Friday, May 20, 2011

Triple Creek Ranch - Part 5

Good Morning Friday Fiction Fans,
This morning is slightly cool, cloudy with no rain yet and lots of birds chirping and singing. I don't know about you all, but our weather has been so crazy. One day we'll have the AC on and the next the windows open followed by having to turn the heat back on because it is so cold.:} Ah, well.
I was hoping to have a new story I could post this morning, but I haven't transferred it to the computer yet or gotten it proofed. So, hopefully next week.:) I could post another one of my old Scribbler stories, but since some of my faithful readers have already read them, I think I'll save them for another time. Are you tired of reading about Norman and Orlena yet?
I have several other stories that I need to write. Maybe I can get them worked on soon. And I still need to get to work on the sequel to Home Fires. I've been tossing around ideas for it, so if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!
Okay, here is the Triple Creek Ranch. Enjoy!

Part 5

“I’ll do nothing of the kind!” she fairly shouted. “I wouldn’t go to that old place if you paid me all the gold in China!”
Norman’s quiet voice was a marked contrast to Orlena’s angry one as he replied, “Good, because no one is going to pay you anything. Just the same, you are coming to live with Jenelle and me on the ranch.”
“Who says so?”
“I do.”
Orlena glared at her brother. “I won’t go. You can’t make me. I’m going to Madam Viscount’s Seminary.”
“Orlena, I’m your legal guardian and you are coming to the ranch.”
Then Orlena gave way to a tantrum just as she used to when as a five-year-old, her will had been thwarted. She screamed and cried, stomping her foot and throwing whatever she could lay her hands on is her anger until Norman, grasping her shoulders, pushed her into her chair and held her there.
“Orlena, that is enough!” Never had Norman’s voice been that stern.
The screaming stopped, but Orlena continued to cry and struggle. “I didn’t get a sister, I got a wildcat,” muttered Norman between tightly clenched teeth. His temper was roused and it was all he could do to keep from shaking the girl before him. All he could do was silently pray for help, for he had no idea what to do. Had it been a brother instead of a sister, Norman would undoubtedly have administered a severe chastisement.
It was several minutes before Orlena quieted down enough for her brother to draw up a chair before hers. “I know you don’t want to go with me,” he began slowly, searching for the right words, “but I’m afraid you have no choice. Jenelle is waiting for you, and I think if you are willing to give it a chance, you will learn in time to like it.”
A glare was the only reply he got.
“I can’t leave the ranch, I have too many responsibilities, and I can’t leave you by yourself.”
“Why not?” she demanded.
Norman’s eyebrows rose. “I think you just showed a good display of why not. If you can’t control yourself from exhibitions of that sort when something doesn’t suit your fancy, then you are not old enough to stay by yourself anywhere.”
“What about school?” The question was petulant.
“That hasn’t been decided yet.”
“Well, I’ll have you understand one thing here and now, Norman Mavrich,” Orlena’s voice became that of a haughty princess, “I am going to attend Madam Viscount’s Seminary as I did last year. Nothing you can say or do will prevent me.”
Wisely, Norman held his tongue and refrained from replying. He hoped desperately that she would forget about that place before school started again, for one thing he knew for certain, she was not going back to Madam Viscount’s Seminary!
Finding no reply coming from her brother, and assuming that he had surrendered to her in regards to school, she yielded to her curiosity and asked, “What else is going to change?”
“Well,” he longed to say, ‘your clothes’, but wasn’t sure if it would be wise yet, so he merely said, “Those are all the major changes. We will be packing a few trunks to ship out to the ranch, but we don’t have room for everything. Mr. Athey along with Mrs. O’Connor, will take care of the details of the house. I think we had better stir ourselves so that the necessary packing can be done before we have to leave.” Norman rose from his seat as he talked, then, looking down at his sister, he added gently, “I hope you will enjoy the ranch, Orlena. You and I haven’t spent much time together and don’t know each other all that well; perhaps that is mostly my fault for not coming to visit much. Now we have a chance to fix that and I hope we make the most of it.” With those last few words, he quietly withdrew from the room, leaving his sister silent.

How Norman ever lived through the rest of that day and the following one was never quite clear in his own mind. He knew he was constantly busy helping pack, answering hundreds of questions, trying to keep his temper with Orlena and a multitude of other things, but at last he was seated beside his sister as the train pulled away from the station. They were heading home.
The thought of seeing Jenelle again and getting away from the noise and bustle of the city kept Norman quiet and, though he kept a careful watch of his sister’s comforts, his mind was occupied. What would Orlena think of the ranch? What would Jenelle think of Orlena? Perhaps that was a more important question. Norman knew his sweet wife was longing to be a sister and friend to Orlena, but if she knew what she was really like-- He never let himself finish the sentence, partly because he had no idea what he would do if Jenelle decided that Orlena was beyond help, and partly out of a longing that Orlena had only been putting on an act when he used to visit. That last was a vain hope, and deep in his heart he knew it was, yet how anyone could be so selfish and stuck-up was beyond him.

Sitting beside her quiet brother in a traveling suit of the latest style, Orlena pouted. She had done nothing else it seemed since she had first been told she must go live on a ranch. If she had to go, she would at least make it very clear to everyone that she did not like it. Since Norman was either ignoring her on purpose or hadn’t noticed her disgust, she fell to wondering what her new, well, she wouldn’t call it home, was like. She would only be staying there for a few months before going back to her boarding school. What would it be like living in the country that she saw only through train car windows?

Any questions or comments?

1 comment:

Abigail in WI said...

Know what you mean about the weather-ours is supposed to be in the 70s for a couple days and then back to the 50s. :/
What will Orlena be doing once she gets to the ranch?