Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I was Awarded Again

I know it's not my usual day to post, but I was awarded by my friend Breanna and I'm supposed to answer her question, tell some things about myself and ask questions of those I'm awarding.

I'm not sure what the last award is or where it came from. I don't think this blog fits the "Irresistibly Sweet" award since I like to leave my readers hanging. :)

Here are the random questions Breanna asked me!!
1) What is your favorite pastime? - Reading or writing probably
2) How many are in your family? Counting in-laws and their kids there are 10: Dad, Mom, Brother, Sister-in-law, 1 niece and 3 nephews, Sister and me. :)
3) Do you like to travel? Yep
4) Do you like cheese? I LOVE cheese!
5) If you had a choice between sky-diving or hang- gliding which would it be? I'd go with Hang-gliding. I don't think I'd like the free falling from the plane. :P
6) Have you ever had to share a room with someone? How about all my life.
7) Would you prefer to clean or sew? Clean
8) Do you like to shop? Only if it is at a used book store. :)
9) What's your favorite time period in history? Hard question. I don't know.
10) Do you check your email more than once a day? Yep
11) What's your favorite candy? Okay, you'll probably think I'm really strange, but I LOVE frozen gummy bears. :)

Now, I'm supposed to tell you 11 random things about myself. Hmmm.
1. I can't stand caves!!!!
2. I enjoy holding snakes and tarantulas.
3. I really like hats.
4. I dislike talking on the phone.
5. I love sign waving during political campaigns.
6. Not many people could call me quiet.
7. I attended a Citizens Police Academy a few years back and got to shoot their hand guns. :) 
8. I'd like to fly an airplane sometime.
9. I will hold any baby I can get my hands on.
10. I am very blunt about some things.
11. I strongly think that children should spend more time playing pretend, being read to and acting out the story and building forts, houses and such things instead of watching movies and being entertained.

There, eleven things. I'm not sure who I'll pass the awards along to, so I'll wait and think about it.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Lost in the Dunes - Part 2

Good Morning Faithful Friday Fiction Fans!
Since I'm using my new laptop and sitting at my desk in my room instead of in the office, I can look out on the sunrise. The sun is coming up; a flaming ball of fire. The sky, except for the very edge of the eastern horizon, is pale blue. The pine tree outside my window is bending and swaying in the wind though the flag is only rippling. I expect it is slightly cooler than it was yesterday. :) Yesterday was in the 60s and beautiful. Today is supposed to be in the 40s.

This week has been ah, so delightful. I've gotten to stay home except for a brief trip to Connie's to check on our booth yesterday. :) This is the first time this month that I've stayed home and had no one coming over for more than two days! I've enjoyed it. My proof copy of the "being republished" Home Fires is on its way to me. I can't wait to see how it looks. :)
I've gotten to catch up with a few friends, catalog more books and read. :) Except for the craft and cook books, downstairs is cataloged!!! Now we can get to work on the books up here. I have done some of them, I just am not sure which ones since it was a long time ago when I did them. Oh well.
Next week looks a little busier, but not too bad. It is the following weeks that are crazy again.

My writing. Why is it that when I have the change to write every evening, I either can't think of a thing to write or I don't want to? I know the book I was reading had something to do with it. :) It was hard to put down. But, I did manage to get some written. I've started a longer short story that I think you all will like, but I'll wait to post any of it until I have it all written.
Now, speaking of writing, here is the last of last weeks story and the picture. Sorry for the black spot on it. Something got on or in the camera. :(

Lost in the Dunes - Part 2
Rebekah M.

Last week . . .

“Now,” I panted, “will you please be quiet and quit scaring all the common sense out of yourself and Libby?”
    For a moment he looked at me, then to my surprise I saw his eyes fill and he half whimpered, “I’m sick of this sand. And I’m hungry.”
    I knew how he felt. All we’d seen for hours was nothing but sand, and our lunches were still packed on our bikes back at the Nature Center. Standing up, I gave him my hand and pulled him to his feet. We looked about. It was a fairly large, flat plain dotted here and there with clusters of coarse plants.
    “Maybe a helicopter could land down here,” I told Chad. I didn’t really know, but neither did I want to climb the slope again. So, I shouted up to Libby to come down. As she slid down, Chad limped over and sat down near one of the bush-like plants.
    “Are you okay?” I asked. “Sorry if I hurt you.”
    He gave a slight shrug. “I’m okay.”
    His face was pale under his freckles and several scratches on his face, neck and arms were bleeding. “You don’t look so good,” I told him.
    “You don’t either,” he retorted, eyeing me almost as closely as I had been eyeing him.
    I glanced down. My jacket was torn even worse and my shirt wasn’t in much better shape. Putting a hand to my face, I pulled it away when I felt blood. I tried to smile, and realized that my lip was cut and swollen. “I guess that will teach us not to fight on a sandy hill again.” I attempted to grin, but don’t think I succeeded very well.
    “Yeah,” Chad mumbled.
    Soon Libby was running over to us. “What were you two doing?” she demanded. “You could have been killed.” She glared at us both and then sat down near Chad and her temper died. “I want to go home.”
    “I know you do, Lib.”
    “So,” Chad asked dully, “what do we do now?”
    Why was it all up to me to decide things? I didn’t know any more than they did. I thought again of Elliot. He had told me to be a man. I guess that meant I had to be responsible, but I still didn’t know what we should do. Should we stay down here? Should we keep on going? Then something Dad told me once came to mind. “If you ever get lost, don’t wander around. Stay put! We’d find people a lot faster if they would only stay in one place.” Since Dad worked as a ranger for this state park, I figured he knew what he was talking about.
    I sat down. “We’re going to stay here.”
    No one spoke for several minutes. The sun continued to sink and a gentle, slightly cool breeze sprang up. It was very mild, like a tiny kitten caressing your face with her tongue, in striking contrast to the fierce winds which had stung our faces and torn our clothes like a ferocious tiger and attempted to bury us with sand. Still, I knew it would get colder, and with our torn clothes we would feel it even more.
    “Here,” I said, “let’s all sit together in the last of the sunlight and try to keep warm.” I sat down on the other side of Libby and silence again fell on us. We watched the shadows lengthen on the scrubby bushes. “Guys,” I exclaimed as a sudden thought struck me, “we haven’t prayed!”
    “Oh Devin, pray right now, please,” Libby begged.
    Chad said nothing. He didn’t go to church much and never talked about God or Jesus. I didn’t even know if he was saved. Without waiting for him to say anything, if he was going to say anything, I bowed my head and prayed.
    “Dear Heavenly Father, we sure are in a mess right now. We got lost in that storm and now can’t find our way home. Mom and Dad will be worried and so will Mr. and Mrs. Osborn. It’s growing dark now and we’re, well, we’re a little uncertain about things. Please send us some help. Let Dad be able to find us soon. And please, God, don’t let Mom get too worried. In Jesus Name, Amen”
    Beside me Libby gave a sigh. “I feel better,” she said, “but I’m still--”
    “Don’t say it, Lib,” I told her. “You have to be brave.” But I wasn’t feeling too brave myself. The sun had all but set and the stars were out. There was no moon and it grew cooler. We scooted closer to each other and listened to the silence.
    A far off cry from some nocturnal animal at last broke the silence. I didn’t like it and I had to clench my hands to keep from shivering.
    “Devin,” Chad spoke low. “What animals roam about sand dunes at night?”
    “I don’t know.” I had been to the nature center more times then I could count, but right then I couldn’t remember anything I had seen. All I could picture was Dad in his park ranger uniform with his hat on and his friendly smile. Would he find us? My head ached and my lip didn’t feel like my own. I knew Chad at least, was in the same state.
    The silence was growing oppressive. Any little noise caused us to jump and Libby was squeezing my hand so tightly that her fingernails felt like they were cutting into my flesh. We had to do something or we would all scream.
    “Let’s sing,” I suggested.
    “I can’t unless I get a drink,” Libby whispered.
    “All right,” I agreed. “Let’s each get a drink and then we’ll sing. But don’t drink too much,” I knew we had to save some water in case we weren’t found until morning. I cringed at the very thought.
    We sang song after song until our throats were so dry and our voices so hoarse that we sounded worse than a flock of crows.
    We must have all drifted to sleep after that. I know I did for the next thing I knew, there was a blinding light all around us and a loud noise. “Great!” I cried, not quite awake. “A thunderstorm is just what we don’t need.” I could feel a strong wind.
    Then the light was gone, but the noise and wind remained. I rubbed my eyes. That was not a storm, it was a helicopter! And it was setting down at the other end of our little plain!
    “Hey, Libby! Chad!” I croaked, “They did find us!”
    “Devin! Libby! Chad!”
    It was Dad. I could see him running towards us followed by a few more men. Then his arms were around us and I heard him whisper, “Thank you, Father!” as he hugged us.
    We had blankets wrapped about our shoulders and Dad picked up Libby. One of the other men picked up Chad because he couldn’t stand and a strong arm was put around me. “Can you walk, Son?” a deep voice asked.
    “As long as I don’t have to climb any more sand dunes,” I grimaced, wincing as the rough blanket rubbed my sand scratched neck. We were found and we were going home. I wasn’t the one making the decisions now. I whispered my own prayer of thankfulness before I was helped into the warm, lighted helicopter.
The End - At least for now
Did you like it? What did you think of it?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Lost in the Dunes - Part 1

Good Morning FFFs,
This was a strange weather, busy days, exciting moments week. :) Where should I start?
The weather is always a good place, right? Well, on Monday we got snow! It ended up about 2 inches. Enough to cover most of the grass and great for packing. "Priscilla and Amy" went out and had a snowball fight. :) I'm sure that will be mentioned when "they get up north this winter." Only a bit of snow remained on Tuesday and then Wednesday it rained. Yesterday it was sunny and in the 50s. Told you it was strange. :)

Busy days. Well last Saturday I spent nearly all afternoon down at my best friend's house working on the new cover for the soon to be republished "Home Fires of the Great War." It looks really nice. On Tuesday we baby-sat two little ones (Sweet-pea just turned 2 and J-J is nearly 1) for some friends from 7:15 am until 4:15. They were such fun and so easy. Around lunch time we added Pickle Puss, Goof Ball, Funny Boy and Doodle Bug. We were glad we could take them outside to swing and play. Then we added the 5 N. children to the mix and things got lively. :) It was a full but fun and busy Valentine's Day. On Wednesday I had two writing classes to teach and I didn't get ready for them until that morning. :} I had to write a paragraph about "problems with toothbrushes." :) This afternoon some families from church and some other friends are going bowling.

Exciting moments - One was on Saturday when I came home after working on my book cover. I had some mail. I had stumbled across a world poetry contest a few weeks back and just because, I decided to enter one of my poems. Well, I found out that my poem had made it into the semi finalists and they wanted to publish it in a book of poems! I didn't think the poem was that good. :) Last night I just about finished getting my book ready to publish except for the cover which has to be finished!

Well, that has been my week in three short paragraphs. I did get some writing done as well.
This story was so delightful to write. Anna gave me some great instructions and after starting it once in one place and getting stuck before I was very far, when I started it in another place it flew along and now Mom and I are both rather wishing it was longer. :)

Characters: 3 (including Narrator) (I had to let a few other people get in at the very end or you wouldn't have liked the ending.
Tense: First Person
Length: Two Friday's Worth (approximately 2,000 - 2,500 words)
Special Instructions: Portray fear through narrative, without saying "I'm afraid."

Oh bother! I don't have the picture for you! I would take one now but my sister-in-law has the card reader. I'll try to get it up by next week. Let me know what you think of this first part.

Lost in the Dunes
Rebekah M.
Everywhere was sand; mountains, hills and more mountains of the gritty stuff. No matter which direction I turned, the golden dunes were to be seen. Libby had sunk down, exhausted, and waited for me to point the way home. Even Chad, when he slipped coming up that last slope, hadn’t made a move to get up. I could still see him almost to the top, but not quite up to us. We didn’t have much water left, for none of us had any idea that we would still be here, far from any sign of civilized life this late in the day.
“Come on, Chad,” I called down to him. “Get up here.”
“Can you tell which direction to go?” he hollered back without stirring.
What should I tell him? If I admitted I had no idea, Libby might panic, but I couldn’t lie. I decided to compromise. “We need to have a conference, and I don’t want to have to shout.”
Slowly, as though he didn’t really care if he ever moved again, Chad climbed the rest of the way up. It is hard work climbing sand dunes. If you’ve never tried it, you haven’t a clue just how tough it can be, for you slip and slide with each step.
“I’m here,” he panted at last. “Now what?”
I sat down too, noticing the stark contrast the setting sun made on the dunes; one side was black while the other golden. The ripples in the sand made by the recent winds were clearly visible.
“What are we going to do, Devin?” Libby looked at me confidently.
“Well,” I began, not quite sure what to say. “We know which way is west . . .”
“Duh,” Chad snorted, “we know which way is east too, but what good is that going to do us?”
Chad was a great friend, though he could sometimes be exasperating. He did have a point though. What good was it going to do us to know the directions? We still didn’t know which way to go to get back home. We had wandered so much during that storm that I was completely mixed up.
“Devin?” Libby’s voice broke my thoughts. “What are we going to do?”
Chad spoke before I had a chance to reply. “Hey, see that grass stuff down there?”
Libby and I nodded.
“Why don’t we go down there. It sure would be easier to walk than on these hills.”
“But what if--”
“Oh, Devin, let’s,” Libby pleaded. “I’m tired of fighting my way along and up and down these things.”
“But--” I began again.
“Aw, quit trying to act like you know so much,” Chad complained. “We all know we’re totally lost in the dunes and it will be dark soon. Let’s at least get comfortable.”
“That’s just my point,” I tried again. “We are lost and--”
Libby clutched my arm with a slight scream. “Lost! Oh, Devin, I want to go home!”
“We’re going to, Lib,” I told her, glaring at Chad. Why did he have to start her thinking about our being lost? Of course we really were, but if Libby, who was only eleven, didn’t think about it, she would continue to think this was just a great adventure. Now, however, I wondered if she would go hysterical on us. She did last year when she, Elliot and I got twisted around on the trails at Yellowstone. Elliot had to slap her to get her to calm down. But Elliot was nineteen. I wished he were with us now. He’d know where to go or what to do, but he was off in the army. The last thing he said to me was, “Devin, you have to be a man now.”
“Well, are you coming or not?”
I blinked and looked up. Chad was starting to slide down the golden side of the dune.
“Chad, wait!”
“For what?” he scowled, “So you can tell us you know which is your right hand now?”
I said Chad could be exasperating. He was just barely thirteen, ten months younger than I was. One thing I knew, we had to stay together. It would be much harder to find three people by themselves than it would be to find three people together. “No,” I replied, “I just think that when the helicopter comes, it will be easier to spot us up here than down in the valley.”
“What helicopter?” he snapped back. “You know there hasn’t been a single one in sight. Not even a glimpse of one all day. They won’t ever find us here. We’ll have to spend the night out here and be eaten by who knows what kind of wild creature. We’ll be dead long before they can get any kind of helicopter or plane way over here to find us!”
“Devin!” Libby cried, “Take me home! I want to go home now!”
For a minute I didn’t know who to take on first, Libby, who was growing more terrified by the second, or Chad who kept going on about how no one would find us and if we weren’t eaten we’d starve to death. Neither one was helping my feelings any. “Libby,” I ordered, pushing away her hands that were clinging to my torn jacket, “stop acting like a baby. We’re going to get home!”
An almost hysterical laugh came from Chad. “Yeah we’ll get home, for our funerals.”
That was it. I knew I had to stop Chad from making himself and the rest of us more nervous than we already were. “Stop it Chad!” I hollered at him. “We are going to be okay. Now cut out that kind of talk.”
“And what are we going to do when the sun sets all the way, huh? No one can find us in the dark. There aren’t even any helicopters in the sky anywhere. You can see for miles and no one--”
“Shut up!” I half slid and ran down the steep slope and slapped him good and hard across the face.
It stopped his words but it also made him mad and we were soon wrestling and fighting as we continued to slide, stumble and roll down the mountain of sand. I knew if I could get somewhere with something solid beneath us I could overpower Chad, but on that constantly shifting surface we just rolled over and over, now and then striking into rocks hidden by the sand.
I could hear Libby shouting something from somewhere, but we were moving too quickly to tell what she said. At last we reached the bottom and I quickly rolled Chad over and knelt over him, pinning his arms under my knees. We were both gasping for breath. “Now,” I panted, “will you please be quiet and quit scaring all the common sense out of yourself and Libby?”

Think it is worth coming back
for the rest of it next week? 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Wishing for Sherbet - Part 2

Good Morning Friday Fiction Fans,
I don't know what it's like where you all live, but here it is cold, cloudy and wet. No snow just wet.

Wow! What a week. Did I say that last Friday? Here is the short version of my week. Last Friday night S & I babysat the kiddos. We made a train and went for a train ride but when one of the passengers fell off (on purpose) as we were going over a "canyon" we ended up playing "hospital."
Saturday was fun because I got my own laptop in the mail! Now I can get to work on laying out my books to get published!
Sunday was the usual things only Mom didn't go to church because of her cough.
Monday came and you know how Mondays are, don't you? You can't seem to get anything done that you were going to get done. Dad & I had to go vote absentee. Then that night we went to the roller skating rink with a bunch of friends from church and others. It was so much fun! I hadn't been to a skating rink for years and years! (That makes me seem old, doesn't it.) And in case you are wondering, I managed to not fall down once. :)
Tuesday was one LONG day. Dad & I had been asked to be election judges. So, we had to get to our polling places by 5:30 AM! And since it was a really poor turn-out, and we had to stay there until the polls closed at 7:00 PM, it was long. It was the kind of day when you have been sitting there waiting for someone else to come vote, and you think it's been at least 15 minutes since you last looked at the clock only to discover when you look again that it's only been 5 minutes. :} Oh, well. There were some fun times.
On Wednesday I got to stay home! I helped Mom catalog more books. We finished World History and over half of American History.
Yesterday I was busy in the morning, worked on my book in the afternoon, babysat the kids for a little while until we ate, then Dad & I left with J & M, Doodle Bug, Mr. N and Mr. Cov. and headed to the JCRCC. This meeting usually lasts an hour. Well, last night it was over 2 hours! I did sell a book. :)
And now here it is Friday again. We are not babysitting. I'm hoping to get more of my book laid out after I clean house. 

So, all of that said, I now give you the end of Wishing for Sherbet. Enjoy! And tell me what you think of it.
Wishing for Sherbet - The End

Inside all was quiet as the song ended, but before any of the quilters could think of anything to say, another song started. This one was more lively than the first and done in fine style though off key as the first one had been.

“A capital ship for an ocean trip
Was the Walloping Window Blind!
No wind that blew dismayed her crew,
Or troubled the captain’s mind.
The man at the wheel was made to feel
Contempt for the wildest blow-ow-ow,
Tho’ it often appeared, when the gale had clear’d
That he’d been in his bunk below.”

Then came the chorus where the singers broke into parts, and the old song was sung as loudly as could be managed.
Lila knew they sounded terrible and could hardly keep from laughing as she and Dottie tried to sing alto.
The singers weren’t allowed to get much beyond the start of the second verse for the front door was flung open and the quilters appeared on the porch holding their ears and begging them to stop.
“What’ll you give us if we stop?” Perrin demanded.
“Yeah,” put in two or three of the other singers. “We came to sing, so you’ll have to pay us to stop.”
There was a hurried consultation among those in the doorway and Amy Boatright offered, “Would some sherbet and coconut pineapple cake do?”
“I’ll quit for sherbet,” Lila laughed, thinking of her clouds and her wish of the day.
Before long the nine serenaders were standing, sitting or lounging around the room with their cake and sherbet. Lila had asked if there was any strawberry milk but none was to be had, so she ate her raspberry and pineapple sherbet. There wasn’t any other flavor, but she didn’t mind.
After several minutes had elapsed since the singers had received their pay, Cami, glancing around asked, “So, why did you all decide to come entertain us?”
“And who’s idea was it in the first place?” Janice Henrick added.
Lila grinned. “Perrin thought of singing,” she volunteered.
“That’s because we wanted to get in the house.”
Sil and Cami looked puzzled. “Then why didn’t you just go on in?”
“Door was locked and no key was to be found.”
“Did you try the front door?” Sil asked.
Perrin looked at Lila. She shook her head. “I never thought of the front door. We never use it,” she admitted licking her spoon. “But that’s okay, this sherbet was worth it.”
Everyone laughed at her expression then Perrin demanded to know where the key was.
“I took it to use as a quilt pattern,” Cami explained. “I didn’t know Sil would lock the back door.”
“I left the front door unlocked. At least I didn’t lock it, so it should be unlocked.”
Yawning, Perrin stood up and stacked his plate and bowl on the table with the other dishes. “Well, since you quilters will probably be here all night, I will take the moonlight singers and depart. Farewell, and thanks for the delightful snack.”
“Yes, thanks Amy,” Lila echoed along with the others.
Laughing, Amy replied, “You’re welcome. Good-night.”
Pausing on the porch, the nine friends held a short whispered conference, then, as they began to move slowly away from the house along the sandy shore, they began to sing:
“In the sky the bright stars glittered,
On the bank the pale moon shone
And ‘twas from Aunt Dinah’s quilting party
I was see-ing Nellie home. . .”
After bidding the Davidsons and Henricks good-night at their homes, Perrin and Lila continued across the dark island to their own house. The moon was casting a silvery light on the bay and the sound of the waves lapping on the sandy beaches nearby was the only sound to be heard.
Lila gave a small sigh as the black shape of their house loomed up before them. “Perrin,” she whispered in the hushed quietude which surrounded them. “Do you think the front door is unlocked?”
“I assume so,” he replied, turning into the picket gate which led to the front stoop. “I don’t think they would have kept the key if the front door was locked as well.”
Lila wasn’t too sure for she remembered locking it the first night their parents had been gone and knew that she, at least, hadn’t unlocked it. Her thoughts were interrupted.
“Oh brother!”
“It’s locked.” Perrin dropped to his hands and knees and began to feel under the doormat to see if the key was there, for the shadow of the palm trees blocked the moon’s light quite well.
Standing still just off the stoop, Lila waited. What would they do if they didn’t have a house key? She really didn’t want to walk all the way back to the Boatrights nor did she want to sleep outside.
“Well,” Perrin sighed at last, slowly standing up and turning towards his younger sister. “I can’t find it.”
“What do we do now?” Lila demanded.
For a few minutes Perrin remained silent, thinking. “I don’t really want to walk across the island again. We could go stay at the Henrick’s but if Cami and Sil come home before morning and don’t find us, they’ll be pretty worried. If there was just some way to get in to the house . . .” his voice trailed away as he slowly began walking around towards the back of the house, Lila trailing after him.
“Lila,” he suddenly exclaimed, “did you leave your window open?”
“Yes,” she replied, wondering what her brother was thinking of.
“Stay here,” Perrin told her when they reached the porch. “I’m going to climb up the lattice work and take your screen out. Then I can get in and come unlock the door.”
“Are you sure it is strong enough?”
“We’ll soon find out,” was the cheery reply as Perrin began climbing up the rose trellis.
Scarcely breathing, Lila watched the dark form moving steadily upwards, heard the sound of the screen being moved and then a thud followed by a moan.
“Perrin?” Lila called, anxiously wondering what had happened.
“Your window doesn’t stay open very well,” came a muffled response. “Just hang on, I’ll be there in a minute.” Sounds of banging, scuffling and muttering disturbed the peaceful night but soon the kitchen light flashed on and the door was unlocked.
Hurrying inside, Lila gave a sigh of relief. “I really didn’t want to stay outside all night waiting for the girls to come home.” Then she added with a giggle, “but at least I got some sherbet.”

Comments? Thoughts?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Wishing for Sherbet - Part 1

Good Morning FFFs,
I hope you all had a wonderful week. Mine was a bit overwhelming, a faster pace, busier than it has been but I did have some fun. :) What do you do when you are feeling overwhelmed, discouraged and tired? Me? I go and buy a hat. Yep, I did. It was delightful. Of course I'll probably only wear it a few times, but I still like it. It is a "5th Avenue" hat. :) But that was that.
Last night Grandpa came down again and he and I went to a wonderful concert! It was a string quartet with a guest pianist. Wow! They were good and you could tell they enjoyed it. The first and second violinists were very enthusiastic. They would sort of stomp their feet (quietly) and then at times they would look at and lean towards each other as though they were saying "I can play this part better than you can!" "Not a chance!" And other times their look was, "Can you hold this note as long as I can?" "Longer, just watch." :) Everyone was on their feet within 30 seconds after they finished the last song. They had to play an encore.
I did get some writing done this week in spite of the busyness. I can certainly tell it is not January any longer. Our life became full of this meeting, that meeting, doing this, helping with that, babysitting now, babysitting again. Next week I am losing three of my nights to write, but I'll tell you about that next week. :) This week I lost last night and tonight. I'm babysitting the kids tonight.

This story was written for a friend. Christah gave me these instructions:
Characters: 4 main
Words: 5 pages or so
Special Instructions: Really Happy and with a beach in it. She also wanted "raspberry coated clouds" in the story. :)
Sound interesting? Well, here is part one. What do you think of it?

Wishing for Sherbet
Rebekah M.
“I guess I should be getting back home,” Twelve-year-old Lila Mattison thought, reluctantly moving away from the little store on the island where she lived with her family. Giving one last longing look at the cartons of sherbet for sale in the ice chest, she sighed and, shoving her hands in her pockets, trudged out of the store into the blazing, hot afternoon sun. All day long she had wanted some sherbet, but there wasn’t any at home and she didn’t have any money to buy some. Her favorites were raspberry and pineapple.
At a slow pace, Lila started homeward wondering what she would do with herself the rest of the day. Her parents had left the day before for a conference on another island leaving Lila home with her older brother Perrin and two older sisters Sil and Cami. They weren’t expected back until Friday which meant it would be no use waiting and asking Dad for some money to buy sherbet. Her thoughts were interrupted just then.
Turning her head, Lila caught sight of her friend Dottie Henricks waving from a hammock stretched between two palm trees.
“Hi!” Lila waved back, going over to chat.
“Can’t you stay and visit for a little while?” Dottie wondered. “I’m tired of reading.”
Lila shrugged. “Cami and Sil are both gone and I don’t know where Perrin is. I’m sure I can stay as long as I get home before it is too dark. Mom and Dad don’t like me to be out alone after dark.”
“Mine don’t either,” admitted Dottie, clambering out of her swing.
Soon both girls were busy organizing Dottie’s collection of sea shells while they chattered gaily together as girls will.
Thirty minutes later, Dottie’s sister, Lou, came upstairs to say that Lila could stay for supper as Perrin was at the Davidson’s and Cami and Sil were already at the Boatrights getting ready for the quilting bee. Both girls were delighted.
Having enjoyed their supper to the fullest extent, they went back to sorting. At last Lila looked up and noticed the sun was setting.
“Oh, Dottie, I have to go. Maybe I can come over tomorrow and we can finish.”
“Do, Lila, that would be fun!”
“Tell Lou thanks for letting me eat here. I probably would have been stuck eating a peanut butter and banana sandwich,” and with a final wave Lila skipped down the path and started for home glad the sun wasn’t so hot.
Her path lay along the bay which reflected the glory of the sky. Near the edge of the beach grew a row of palm trees. Etched in black, silhouette against the pineapple, tangerine and raspberry coated clouds which floated in a sky of strawberry milk, they stood, silent, slender sentinels, guarding the bay; guards with spiked feathers for hair. Lila always felt like passing on tiptoe when they looked like that. Their leaves made no noise though they waved slightly in the light breeze coming off the water. Giving a shiver, though it wasn’t the least bit chilly, she ran lightly, her feet making hardly a sound as she flew across the sandy beach, rounding the bay, not stopping until she reached home.
All was quiet when she arrived. The sherbet colored clouds were reflected in the windows, causing the white curtains to appear colored and causing her to wish again for her favorite dessert. Pressing one hand to her side, Lila gasped for breath, shivered and gave a nervous giggle.
“I don’t like the looks of the palm trees when they are so black,” she muttered, reaching for the doorknob. “Especially when the sky is so pretty.”
To her surprise, the door refused to open.
“Why in the world is it locked?” Lila snorted. “We hardly ever lock the doors here. And if they do get locked, the key should be here under the door mat.” As she was talking to herself, she had lifted the doormat and discovered no key.
“Maybe it fell,” she continued her one sided conversation. “But if it did, why can’t I find it? It isn’t on the porch and there is no crack it could have slid into, and it’s not caught on the rug,” as she carefully inspected it by the fast fading evening light.
For several minutes she silently searched in every conceivable place where the key might have disappeared to, but nothing came of it. The key was just not there. It was gone, had vanished, poof, into thin air leaving not a trace of it behind.
Sighing, Lila sank down onto the porch step, propping her chin in her hands and gazing gloomily into the dusk about her. She wasn’t scared, for she knew all the neighbors and any strangers coming to the island would have to come by way of the bay, which she could see from where she sat.
“I guess I’ll just have to wait until Cami and Sil get finished quilting at the Boatright’s. That could be a while,” she muttered. “But,” and she sat up and looked about her, “I wonder where Perrin is? I thought he was going to be home?”
“So I was,” a voice startled her, and there before her was her brother.
“You scared me!” she scolded, standing up.
“Sorry,” Perrin replied, “didn’t mean to, but you know sitting outside on the step talking to yourself is bound to make the neighbors think you’re crazy.”
Lila wrinkled her nose at her brother’s teasing. “You can open the door then,” she offered, stepping aside.
Perrin tried, but found, as his younger sister had, that it was locked. “Where’s the key?”
“Don’t know. I couldn’t find it anywhere.”
“W--e--ll,” Perrin dragged out the word as he turned to look at Lila. “I guess we’re stuck here till the girls get back.”
Lila groaned, “We could be here all night!” and then the two of them laughed. They both knew their older sisters well enough to know that they reallly might stay quilting at their friend’s house all night.
“I suppose we could go over there and wait,” Perrin suggested.
Lila sat back down on the step while Perrin perched on the porch railing. “I suppose we could . . .” she sighed and looked about at the darkened sky. The sherbet had disappeared from above, along with the strawberry milk, as though eaten by some giant, leaving only a dark bowl behind.
Suddenly Perrin jumped up, “I know,” he exclaimed, “let’s go serenade them.”
“Just us two?”
“No, we’ll get the Henricks and maybe the Davidsons. You know their parents went to the same conference with Mom and Dad.”
“And the older girls are probably all quilting,” Lila put in eagerly. “Let’s go!”
Knowing their way around the darkened island as though it were daylight, for they had grown up on it, the brother and sister hurried over to the neighbors’ houses and soon the nine friends, with much giggling from the girls, were making their way among the palm trees to the Boatright’s house where the quilting bee was in full swing.
Halting everyone before they reached the house, Perrin gave a few whispered instructions before gliding softly across the sand to stand under an open window where the muslin curtain blew in the soft evening breeze coming off the bay.
Lila could see the silhouettes of the quilters gathered around the large quilt frame and caught snatches of conversation and laughter from the girls inside.
Silently Parrin gave the signal and nine voices, slightly off key, began to sing:
“In the sky the bright stars glittered,
On the bank the pale moon shone
And ‘twas from Aunt Dinah’s quilting party
I was see-ing Nellie home.
I was seeing Nellie ho--me,
I was see--ing Nellie home.
And ‘twas from Aunt Dinah’s quilting party
I was seeing Nellie home.”

Come back next week to read what happens.
Will you be back?