Friday, August 31, 2012

Alone - The End

A wonderful rainy morning to you, my Faithful Friday Fiction Fans!
Don't you love to wake up with the sound of rain pattering on the roof? And to look our your window as you get your blog post ready and watch the water falling from a grey sky, watch the wind bend the tops of the trees and rustle the leaves, to hear a few birds singing in the rain. Oh, after so much dryness and heat, this is wonderful!

The big exciting news for this morning is that my book Pirates of Rocky Crag Bay and Other Stories is now available for you to order! And since I have dedicated this book to each of you Faithful Friday Fiction Fans, I think it is only right that I should offer you a 20% discount on the book. To order it from now through the end of September, simply go here and place your order typing in the discount code: EVZEUPN9 to get your 20% off! There are two new stories that you haven't gotten to read before in the book along with marvelous illustrations!

And now for a quick update on my week.
Friday and Saturday weren't much different than usual.
But when Sunday came, so also came the business. You see, we had agreed to babysit Pickle Puss (almost 6), Goof Ball (4 1/2), Funny Boy (almost 3) and Doodle Bug (14 1/2 months) so my brother and his wife could go out for their anniversary. We got the kids pretty much as soon as church was over and had them until Tuesday night. It was quite busy as perhaps you can imagine. And added to that, on Tuesday, a friend asked if we would mind adding two of her little ones for a few hours so she could look for a new van. We said sure bring them over. The funny ones were Doodle Bug and J-J. For some reason they don't like each other. (Does it have something to do with the fact that J-J is only a few months older then DB?) Any time I was holding one of them, the other wanted me. And if J-J was playing with one thing, DB wanted to play with it or would quickly sit on my lap. Finally they stared at each other for a minute and then decided to give each other a big hug. When the hug was over they were back to "leave me alone." :)
Wednesday was very quiet and I played "catch-up." The game where you try to catch up on everything you didn't get done before.
Yesterday was another fairly quiet day. The N's came over for Library.

Sorry I didn't get TC Tuesday posted. I was much too busy to even think about it much. But it should be back next week. I wrote last night and Wednesday night and finally reached the end of the "short" story I was working on. Does 9,300 + words count as "short"? I still have to go back and read the entire thing (I was writing so quickly that I didn't have time to reread much) and add some things I didn't think about until later and change a few things here and there. Once this story is done I'm hoping to write some more of TCR and Dr. Morgan.
Speaking of Dr. Morgan, since I'm going to be posting it next Friday, I need to know if you want me to repost the first two parts, post links to them or put them on a new page like I have done for TCR and The Unexpected Request. Please let me know what you think.

Here is the end of Alone. I do hope you will tell me what you think of this story once you read the end of it. :)

Alone - Part 5
Last week . . .

    “What shall we eat for breakfast, Ty?”
    “What are you offering?” Ty asked with a yawn.
    “Bananas or coconuts,” Rone replied lightly.
    “Hmm, hard choice. Could we just have both?”
    That suggestion of Ty’s put an idea into my head and I decided to act upon it. I still had one coconut with me, so I left that and hurried after a few bananas.
    Once my ingredients were gathered, I opened the remaining coconut, poured the milk into one of the now dried coconut shells and, using my trusty pocket knife, I cut the coconut fruit up and placed some of it in another of my bowls. To this I added pieces of banana and mixed it together. Quite a tasty dish it made and I enjoyed my milk from the other bowl.
    The sun was up from its watery bed long before I had finished with my breakfast and it was growing warm sitting out in the sun. “I should go get some new leaves for a new hat before I bake,” I spoke aloud, having grown used to hearing only my voice. “My leaves from yesterday are rather withered and not much good.”
    As I crossed the wide, sandy beach, I again thought it would be a great place for a hot dog stand though I refrained from mentioning it to Ty or Rone. They would have been disgusted that my mind strayed to hot dog stands so often.
    Making a new hat was easy since I knew how to do it and soon I was finished. I decided to go back to the coconut tree and get a few more coconuts so I’d have them for lunch. Along the way I also picked a few bananas. I couldn’t believe I was hungry again so soon after breakfast, but I ate a banana as I strolled along my own private beach enjoying the water, the sand, the sunshine and the breeze. It was quiet. Very quiet. The birds must have been on the other side of the island for I didn’t hear them. I began to think.
    Who was I really? And where did I come from? “How on earth did I end up on a tiny island?” I think better when I talk aloud. At least I thought it might help if my questions and thoughts were spoken instead of just thought about vaguely. “Am I going to have to spend the rest of my life here eating bananas and coconuts? Oh, I hope not. I’ll grow rather tired of them I fear.” How could I let anyone know I was here? “I’ll start a fire! They always do that—” I paused in confusion. Who always start a fire? I seemed on the verge of remembering something, but then it disappeared. I gave a weary sigh. It sure would be nice to remember some things— besides a hot dog stand. But back to my thinking.
    “You couldn’t start a fire, Rone,”
    “Why not, Ty?”
    “What would you start it with?”
    Why did Ty have to be so practical? He was right though. I had nothing to start the fire with. I scratched my head in puzzlement. I hadn’t thought of it before, but life might be rather uncomfortable without a fire if it rained.
    By this time I had reached the coconut tree. I unloaded my bananas and began to climb. I must not have been as careful since Ty didn’t remind me that no one would be there to fix any broken bones, for, just as I was reaching for a coconut, I slipped.

    “Hot dogs! Get your hot dogs here!”
    I moaned. “Rone, cut it out. I’ve got hot dogs on the brain as it is without imagining I hear a hot dog vender.”
    Then I realized that I wasn’t lying in the sand as I had thought I was, but reclining on something. I opened my eyes. Where in the world was I? There was a colored umbrella over my head and in front of me I could see the waves rolling up on a golden beach. I reached down for my bananas, but discovered that they weren’t there. I was completely unarmed as far as Banana Guns went. The noise of voices was all around me and I turned my head. Why, I wasn’t alone! Children raced along the beach and adults followed more slowly. And there in a chair not half a dozen yards from me sat a man reading a newspaper!
    “Hot dogs! Get your hot dogs here!” The cry again sounded and I sprang up.
    Hot dogs!
    “Hey mister!” I exclaimed to the man near me, “There’s a guy selling hot dogs!”
    The man looked up and stared at me. “Yeah,” he sounded puzzled.
    “We don’t have to eat bananas and coconuts! There really are hot dogs!”
    Taking off his sunglasses, the man looked closely at me. “Have you had too much sun?” he asked.
    “Of course not, I have my hat on,” and I put my hand up to my head. There wasn’t anything there. “Well, I did have a hat, made it of leaves and thorns. But I say, you want a hot dog?”
    The man shook head head, scooted a little farther away from me and returned to his paper after a few more quick glances at me.
    “Well, I do!” And away I dashed.
    At the hot dog stand, I grinned broadly to the young man behind it. “Boy am I glad to see you!” I told him. “I’ve been thinking of hot dogs and there weren’t any to be had yesterday. I’ll take two, no four, six—” I paused remembering those six bananas I had eaten. “How about just three,” I decided at last.
    “Coming right up,” the youth replied. “But,” he added as he handed them to me a moment later, “I was here all day yesterday and you bought some then.”
    “I did?”
    I took a large bite and sighed. When my mouth was nearly empty, I asked, “I didn’t by chance tell you my name yesterday, did I?”
    “No, but I did hear someone call you George,”
    “George!” I exclaimed, “Why wasn’t I named Tyrone?”
    “Never mind.” I took my two remaining hot dogs and trudged back to my seat thinking. “George! What a name! Bother, I must have been dreaming.”

Did you laugh?
Was the ending what you had thought of?
What did you think of this story?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Alone - Part 4

Good Morning Faithful Friday Fiction Fans,
The windows have been open every morning now for over a week! We have had to shut the house up later, but at least we get to open it for a while. There is rain the forecast for this weekend. We need it so badly! Everything is brown and dry. It looks like fall outside because so many trees have dropped their leaves.

Wow, this has been a busy week! It didn't start out busy last Friday, but picked up the pace later.
Let me see, on Friday morning Dad and I somehow managed to get an nonworking treadmill down our rather narrow stairs and out of the house. That was hard. It was so heavy and just barely fit. I was at the top trying to keep it from falling on Dad as we pushed, shoved and pulled it one hard step at a time. Mom was at the bottom and S was at the top each telling us to be careful. I would have been glad for a guy right then to help. :) My hands were shaking for quite a while afterwards.
I spend nearly all of Saturday morning working outside. It was quite pleasant and it wasn't until later in the morning that it grew rather warm.
We got to relax on Sunday.
Monday afternoon we had friends over for Library. I love sharing books with others. There are so many that are good but hard to find. Speaking of books, I just finished reading my 76th new book this year. I've reread several but don't count those. How many have you read? (And don't count the little kids books you read to siblings, friends or nieces or nephews.)
Tuesday afternoon another family from church came over. The two oldest girls, Su and LiddyBid, and I practiced our violin special for church while the moms talked about school. That evening Dad and I had two political meetings to attend. Thankfully they didn't last long. One was about 5 minutes. :)
Wednesday came and brought another political meeting in the evening that my brother and his wife had to attend. So we got Funny Boy and Doodle Bug. :) That was fun! We haven't had just the two little boys before.
Yesterday no one came over. There were no meetings. But I did get my proof copy of "Pirates of Rocky Crag Bay and Other Stories"!!! One of my best friends is going to read it and see if she finds any mistakes before I make it available for sale.

Update on my writing. I have been writing. Fri. about 700 words, Sat. about 800, Sun. - 800, Mon. - 900, Tues. - 200, Wed. - 600 and last night - 800. All on a longer short story for my next short story book. Sorry, it wasn't TCR or even Dr. Morgan. I was just in a mood and started writing and the words fairly flew! I have even been able to write some of it in the mornings! It is a lot longer than I first thought it would be because things I didn't know about kept popping up. Once I get to the end, I know I'll have to go back and add a few other things, change some things here and there and make sure it all sounds good since I'm writing so quickly right now. :)

I'm not sure if anyone still likes this story. Perhaps my readers are busy like me and don't have time to comment. Perhaps they are waiting until the end to find out what on earth is going on. If so, I hope to get many comments next week because that will be the last of the story about poor Tyrone and his banana guns. :)

Alone - Part 4

    I set my coconuts and shells on the ground and unbuttoned half my shirt. The bottom half I then brought up and buttoned to the top buttons. This left a pocket like place where I was able to carry my nuts with ease. An ingenious idea if I do say so myself.
    In this way I was able to climb the cliffs. The rocks were quite hot at the top for the sun had been shining full upon them and now, even though it was setting on the other side of the land, they hadn’t cooled off. I sat down and put my socks on, for my shoes were still not dry. They weren’t the kind of shoe that was made for walking in the water and didn’t dry easily.
    As I set off again, I wondered how far I had walked. Perhaps I should have walked the other way. But then again, maybe I was closer to civilization than I thought. Did those footprints back there mean civilization and comfort or did they mean danger and trouble? “The answer to that remains to be seen,” I told myself as I sat down to take off my socks once more, for I had reached the sand again.
    This sand was moist as though the waves had recently been lapping upon them. Since I had a longing to reach some sort of shelter before night set in, I set off at a faster pace than before, having removed my hat from my head being careful of the thorns. The sea to my right was darker and the breeze coming off of it was cooler.
    Catching my breath in sharply, I stopped short and stared. There were more footprints! These too were along the tree line and came down to disappear on the beach. Then I noticed what I hadn’t noticed before. That there were footprints leading to the trees coming from the middle of the beach. This was strange. No footprint could be made without a foot to make them. I knew that to be true, but could not account for the tracks starting and stopping so strangely.
    “Could they have backtracked so perfectly that no other marks are left?” Ty questioned in a whisper.
    “I don’t think so,” Rone whispered back.
    “Maybe we should go closer to the trees and see if there are signs of anyone entering them,” this was Ty’s suggestion and Rone agreed.
    Without thinking, I pulled a banana from my pocket holding it like a pistol and crept closer, eyes darting here and there, looking, searching, watching for any movement in the leafy foliage which might mean a person. There was nothing. I crept closer. Ah, there were some leaves cut from that tree!
    Wait a minute! I frowned and looked again. Yep, that was the same kind of tree I had taken the leaves for my hat from. I looked at the footprints and put my foot in one. It was a perfect match.
    “Oh brother!” I exclaimed aloud. “Here I am trying to sneak up on myself armed with a banana gun and a few coconuts to throw. Aren’t I brave?” I shoved the banana back into my pocket in disgust then I drew it out, opened it and began to eat. All this excitement of strange footprints had made me hungry.
    “It was the high tide, Rone,” Ty chuckled with his mouth full of banana.
    “I guess that means I’ve been around the entire place and it’s an island. Hey, those other footprints were probably mine from when I got these bananas! Aren’t I dumb.” That was not really a rhetorical question and Ty and Rone had the decency not to agree with me. I was rather glad no one else was around right then.
    Sitting down, I ate my remaining banana and being still hungry, opened one of my coconuts and feasted on the creamy milk and delicious white meat inside. Since I had been around the entire island, and it wasn’t very large, I tried to decide where I should sleep. I wasn’t sure just how high the highest tide would be and had no desire to awaken in water.
    Water. That set my thoughts in a new direction. I had not seen any stream coming out to meet the ocean. If there was no stream, didn’t that mean there was no spring of water, and if no spring, then there really was no water on the island. If there was no water, how was I to get a drink? The very idea made me suddenly quite thirsty.
    “Ty, what are we to drink?”
    “Coconut milk.”
    I guessed that would have to do. How long can a person live on coconuts and bananas anyway, with only coconut milk to drink? I figured I’d find, out so with great determination I turned my thoughts to the easier problem.
    Where would I sleep? Since I wasn’t sure about the high tides, I finally decide that the top of the cliffs would have to do for tonight.

    I made myself a little place to sleep by cutting down some softer branches. Of course it wasn’t like a real mattress, but it would do, as long as I didn’t walk in my sleep. The sun was rapidly sinking and I rolled down my pant legs and stretched out on my makeshift bed. The stars became very bright as the sky grew darker. If I only knew anything about the constellations I might have been able to get an idea of where I was, but alas, I didn’t, so I closed my eyes.

    When I next opened them the sun was beginning to rise. Never have I seen anything quite like that sunrise; at least I don’t think I have. I think I would have remembered it. But now that I’ve considered it again, perhaps I wouldn’t have, for I couldn’t even recall my own name.
    I sure was stiff, for my bed wasn’t the softest, though I was so tired that I hadn’t noticed it. I was also hungry.

What would you have done
if you had seen footprints that started and stopped
in the middle of an empty beach?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Triple Creek Ranch - Part 26

I didn't figure anyone got on here before 9:00 anyway, so I figured I could post this later. In fact, I'm not sure anyone gets on here at all. If anyone does, I can't tell for there have been no comments and only a few reactions. Perhaps they are tired of Triple Creek Tuesdays already. ;)

Part 26

    When Orlena didn’t appear for breakfast the following morning, Norman rose from his seat with a frown.
    “Where are you going, Norman?” Jenelle asked, coming into the dining room at that moment.
    “To get Orlena. I told her she was to eat breakfast with us now.”
    Jenelle laid a restraining hand on her husband’s arm. “Let me go, Dear. She could be just late as she was Sunday morning.”
    “I don’t want to push my responsibility on to your shoulders,” Norman began but Jenelle’s soft laugh cut him short.
    “You aren’t. Didn’t you hear me volunteer to go?” Rising to her toes, Jenelle kissed him quickly and slipped from the room. She was feeling much better than she had the night before though when she stopped to notice it, there was still a faint throbbing in her head.
    Knocking softly on Orlena’s door, Jenelle wasn’t surprised to hear no answer. Quietly she opened the door and looked in. Orlena still lay in bed.
    “Orlena,” Jenelle called, as she gently shook the girl’s shoulder.
    A moan was the only answer.
    Placing her hand on her young sister’s forehead, Mrs. Mavrich’s face grew troubled. Slipping silently from the room, she returned to her waiting husband in the dining room.
    “Well?” Norman asked as she entered. “Is she coming?”
    Jenelle shook her head. “I think she’s sick. She feels warm and I only got a moan out of her when I tried to wake her.”
    “Sick?” Norman turned towards the stairs. He couldn’t help but wonder if Orlena was pretending to be sick so as to get her own way. However, upon reaching her room, he no longer doubted. The pale face on the pillow, the hot hands and restless movement convinced him.
    “I’ll have one of the men ride into town for Doctor French,” Norman spoke quietly, turning to his wife.
    Jenelle nodded.

    The doctor pronounced Orlena sick, but not seriously so. She was to remain in bed and he’d be back to check on her that evening.
    Mr. and Mrs. Mavrich followed the doctor downstairs and to the front room.
    “What is it, Doctor?” inquired Norman, his arm about Jenelle’s waist.
    “Well, I’d say it could be a combination of many things. Tell me, has she eaten three meals a day regularly?”
    “Has she had any fits of fright or anger?”
    “Yep,” the doctor nodded his head. “Thought so. Temper, obstinacy and a rather delicate constitution can be a difficult combination. Now I’m not saying,” he hastened to add, noticing the looks on Norman and Jenelle’s faces. “I’m not saying that her every whim must be satisfied, for a city bred girl like her would sooner eat cake and drink coffee then wholesome bread and milk.”
    Jenelle couldn’t hold back a smile at the doctor’s accurate picture of Orlena.
    “Now I’ll give you a list of what she can and should eat and it’ll be up to you to see that she does. Her temper and obstinacy might cause some difficulty in that regard but the Mavrich’s aren’t known around here for giving up during hard times, eh?”
    “I hope not, Doctor,” Norman returned the older man’s smile and held out his hand. “Thank you for coming by, sir.”
    “Not at all, not at all, Mr. Mavrich. Now,” and he sat down at the desk and wrote rapidly for a minute on a piece of paper before handing it to Jenelle and standing up again. “The list of food for the child. I’ll call again this evening, but should she grow worse don’t hesitate to call me sooner.”
    After he was gone, Norman sighed. “Well, I suppose I ought to go and tell Hardrich he’s in charge for the day.”
    “Nonsense!” protested Jenelle. “What would you do if you remained at the house? You would be no help in the kitchen, and I have had more nursing experience than you. I’m afraid you would only worry Orlena by constantly tramping up and down the stairs.”
    “All right,” Norman agreed, reluctantly. “You are right as usual. If you are sure you feel up to it.” And Norman looked closely into his wife’s face. He didn’t like the idea of leaving her at the house with his sister sick, but what she had said was true. “I’ll come back or send one of the hands to check on you during the day.”
    Jenelle agreed to this and handed him his hat. “I’m going up to Orlena,” she told him with a smile, “Have a good day, Dear.”

    The day wore slowly away. Orlena was fretful and cross. She didn’t want any chicken broth and the toast was too dry or too soft and all in all acted as the doctor had said. Jenelle kept her voice gentle and sweet and Orlena never guessed just how tired her sister was. The sun continued to blaze and there was no breeze to relieve the heat of summer. As Jenelle sat bathing her young sister’s face, she wished she could lie down for a bit for her own head ached.
    Norman sent a message to his wife that afternoon telling her that St. John would cook their supper. That was a relief, for Jenelle had been dreading going back to the hot kitchen. As it was, she didn’t feel as though she wanted to eat again.
    When the doctor came later, he said Orlena would come around all right he felt sure, but she should remain in bed for several more days at least. Then he looked sharply at Jenelle. “And what about you? You ought to be in bed yourself.”
    “It’s just the heat, Doctor,” Jenelle insisted. “I’ll be all right once it cools off a bit.”
    “Humph,” was all the answer the doctor gave before he climbed in his buggy and drove off.
    “I wonder if it is just the heat,” Jenelle whispered to herself as she slowly mounted the stairs once more. “It has to be. I can’t get sick now.

Questions that I won't answer?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Alone - Part 3

Good Morning FFFs!
Wow! What a week. And I thought things would slow down after the primaries. :P I should think again.

Friday was pretty normal. I got some writing done that night.
On Saturday one of my Heart-Sisters came down! It was such fun. We went and played tennis. Okay, so we never played a real game, but we had fun. We talked, went out for ice cream, took a walk and talked some more. Then that night Brother and Sis-in-Law came over for supper with the kiddos. After we ate we went up to the parking lot across the alley (for an old church that doesn't get used much) and let the kids ride bikes.
My Heart-Sis spent the night and left in the morning to make it home in time for their church service. We had a full house at church. Everyone was there!
Monday came and that afternoon/evening S and I went to babysit the kiddos so B & S-i-L could go out on a date. It was so nice out that we took the kids out to play. Boy did they become dirty! Pickle Puss got called "Indian" because she had dirt all over her face and arms from making dirt cakes and pies. :) Funny Boy looked like he had a black eye and Goof Ball and Doodle Bug were just dirty.
Then came Tuesday. S & I watched Sweet Pea and J-J for some friends all afternoon. They are so easy and such fun. I wasn't in a mood to write that night since I'd been working on my book.
Well, on Wednesday I uploaded the interior of my book, my grandma and a cousin came down and we went out for lunch. B&S-i-L and the kids came too. We played at a park, then came to our house. I didn't write again that night.
Yesterday. We got a new van!!!! Did I ever tell you that our old one got totaled after it hit a deer? Well, it did. We've been driving (when we had to go somewhere) my brother's suburban that really needs taken to the junk yard, I mean salvage yard. ;) We are so thankful to have a vehicle again that we know is going to start.
And last night I went to my best friend's house and we got the cover for my book done!!! It looks really neat and I can't wait to see the book in print! You can see a bit of what it looks like by checking out her photo-a-day blog.
I ordered the proof copy this morning! That's why this is a little later than usual. (Not that anyone gets on here this early to read it.)

So, I haven't done much writing at all! I'm hoping to get back into the mood for it tonight or soon. I need to write a few more short stories to go in my "older short story" book.
Now that you've read or not what I've been up to, here is the next part of this story. I hope you enjoy this part. :) And don't forget Triple Creek Tuesdays!

Alone - Part 3

    I wondered how I had known that way of opening the coconut. Had I done it before? Did someone show me how or had I perhaps read it in a book? I couldn’t help but think it was the latter, but I didn’t ponder that question long for I wanted to find the tree where this fruit came from so that I could enjoy more later. That wasn’t hard for when I looked up, there hanging over my head was the tree. Well, it was growing nearby but had grown at an angle so that the top of it was above me.
    “Rone, those would make a nice meal later on,” I remarked, eyeing the trunk of the tree.
    “Yep. Suppose I climb up and cut a few off to take along?”
    Then Ty put in a bit of practical advice. “You know, if you fall and break something, there won’t be anyone to set it.”
    “Oh be quiet, Ty,” I told myself. “Of course I won’t fall. Why I’ve climbed hundreds of trees and not fallen more than a dozen times and never broken anything except a couple of ribs.” Suddenly I paused. Had I really climbed trees? Where? When? Had I fallen and busted my ribs? I began feeling my ribs but they felt all right to me.
    I heaved a great sigh and looked at that tree. I wanted those coconuts. Forget about falling, I was going to climb that tree!
    Placing my hat on the sand near the empty coconut shells, with my shoes and bananas beside them, I walked deliberately to the bottom of the trunk and began to shinny up. Since the trunk sloped, it wasn’t as difficult to get started as I had thought. But the higher I went the harder it became and several times I was in danger of slipping off the side. At last, somehow I managed to reach the top and cut two nuts from the tree. Then I slid my way down. Are coconuts fruit or nuts?
    Now I had two coconuts and two bananas and two empty coconut shells. I figured I might be able to use them, so, after tying my shoes together once more, slinging them over my shoulder, putting my hat on my head, stuffing my banana guns back in my pockets, I tried to figured out how best to carry two round coconuts and two shells. At last, by using the shells sort of like cups, I started off again whistling a merry tune.

    I’d walked along for quite some time, at least it felt like quite some time to someone having to walk very erect to keep his hat on while he carried two coconut cups each balancing another coconut. And since I had to be so erect, my poor toes kicked many a hidden rock in the sand. I was beginning to think about putting my shoes back on, but wasn’t sure they were dry.
    “I wonder how far I’ve traveled, I mean we’ve traveled, Rone.”
    “Haven’t a clue,” Rone grumbled back, “but I’m growing tired— ouch! Of walking!”
    “Your toes hurting too?” Ty asked, trying to be sympathetic. “I keep stepping on rocks or— ouch, sharp shells myself. And Rone.”
    “Have you noticed how warm the sand is?”
    It had grown warm or maybe my feet were just growing tender. I moved over to the water’s edge and boy did that water feel nice as it lapped at my feet. I suddenly thought about my pants, stepped back out of the water, placed my precious cups down and caught my hat as it fell.
    Thorns might hold a hat together quite well, but are no fun to catch. I sucked my pricked finger and then rolled up my pant legs. There, now I could wade in the water near the shore, I hadn’t forgotten those sharks I’d seen back down the beach. Picking up my load again and placing my hat gingerly on my head, I splashed my way along.
    Adventure seemed to be following me or I following it, for up ahead I spied something in the sand. No it wasn’t a hot dog stand, though I rather wished it was, for those bananas I had eaten earlier had practically disappeared from my stomach. But the nearer and nearer I came to the place in the sand, the more cautious I became. I even moved out of the water lest I make too much noise splashing.
    Pausing a little ways from the spot, I stood and listened, looking carefully all around. I couldn’t hear a thing except the water lapping on the sand and those strange bird calls. I moved a few steps closer.
    Yep, it sure looked like tracks; almost as though something or someone had come from the junglelike growth and then returned to it. “Or else walked out into the sea and is swimming with the sharks,” I murmured to myself, turning to gaze out into the water; but I saw nothing.
    “Hello?” Rone ventured at last.
    There was no reply, no answer, no sound.
    I swallowed hard and looked closer at the tracks. They were definitely the tracks of a person. And one who wore no shoes. Could it be Friday?
    “Who’s Friday?” I asked myself. I knew it was a day of the week, but why did I think of that as a name when I saw the footprints? I shivered, though it wasn’t cold.
    “Ty,” Rone cleared his voice and tried to appear unconcerned, which was really thoughtful of him.
    Ty hadn’t quite gotten up the courage to say anything so he just grunted.
    “I— well, I think it would be wise if we moved on.”
    To this Ty agreed quickly and moved back to the water so that my tracks would be washed away. I couldn’t help but steal several quick looks behind me as I hurried on my way. It was rather difficult to do, for my hat slid about so when I turned quickly, and since my hands were full, half the time it was over one eye, which if you’ve never tried it, makes seeing obnoxiously one sided.
    At last I reached some more rocky cliffs. There I was stymied. To climb these without using my hands would be a challenge.
    “I have an idea!” I exclaimed aloud, and then quickly looked back. What if someone heard me? Wait, what if someone had heard me? Isn’t that want I wanted? To be found? To be taken back to civilization wherever that was? Of course I did. But still, those tracks bothered me.
    I set my coconuts and shells on the ground and unbuttoned half my shirt. The bottom half I then brought up and buttoned to the top buttons. This left a pocket like place where I was able to carry my nuts with ease. An ingenious idea if I do say so myself.

How would you have carried your coconuts?
Who made those footprints?
What would you have done if you had been Tyrone and had seen them?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Triple Creek Ranch - Part 25

Oops, sorry Triple Creek Tuesday Readers. I thought about posting yesterday and that was the last I had thought of it. I've been busy trying to work on Pirates of Rocky Crag Bay and Other Stories. It's almost done!
But here is Triple Creek Ranch. :)

Part 25

    “It wouldn’t be far away if you moved to the city. You said there were several reasons, what other reasons do you have?”
    Should he, dare he tell her the entire reason? He didn’t want to, for he was afraid. Not of his sister’s temper but of his own. “Always speak the truth, Norman, always!” The words of his uncle Hiram echoed in his mind. Very well, he would tell the truth, but he sent up a swift cry for help from the One who always hears.
    “That is one reason, Orlena. Another is the cost. That school is very expensive, not including the train fares to and from town for vacations and holidays. But the biggest reason is that I have seen graduates from that school and . . .” here he paused and drew a breath. “I have no desire to see my sister act or look like one of them.” There, the whole truth was out. Norman braced himself for an explosion.
    “You would rather see your sister, the granddaughter of one of the most respected families in Blank City brought up as a country drudge instead of an accomplished young lady?” Orlena’s voice had risen to a shout. “I told you you only cared for yourself! All you want is a slave to do your bidding. Well, I won’t be a slave! I won’t! I won’t!” Springing to her feet, the spoiled, pampered, outraged girl hurled her book across the room at her brother. “Bring down my trunk at once,” she screamed, looking wildly around for anything else to throw. “You don’t love me! No one loves me!”
    Norman crossed the room and grasped his sister’s shoulders. “Orlena!” He gave her a light shake to get her attention, “Stop that screaming,” he ordered sternly. “It is because I do love you that I won’t let you go back to that school. Now that is enough. You’re acting like a baby.”
    At that Orlena stopped her screaming and stood still at once. “Did you call me a baby?” she demanded furiously.
    “No, I simply said you were acting like one.” Or like a spoiled brat, he thought to himself.
    Twitching away from her brother’s hands the irritated girl turned away. “I want to go home,” she pouted.
    Feeling exasperated by Orlena’s constant selfishness, Norman knew he had to end this conversation quickly or he would lose his temper. The room was now quite dark, for the sun had set, and after a hard day of work, the master of Triple Creek Ranch was tired. This did not help any.
    Then, into the darkness a light sprang on and a quiet voice spoke. “Aren’t you two ever going to stop talking and get to bed?”
    Norman and Orlena both looked up startled. There in the doorway stood Jenelle. Her light hair was loose about her shoulders and she smiled. Seeing Norman open his mouth, Jenelle gently shook her head and beckoned to Orlena. “Come dear. You must be tired. Would you like a glass of milk before going to bed?”
    Like one in a daze, Orlena nodded and followed her sister-in-law without a word.
    Left alone in the room, Norman dropped exhausted into the chair Orlena had vacated and leaned his head wearily on his hand. Would this be life for the next ten years, he wondered. Why was this job of helping Orlena left to him? And Jenelle wasn’t feeling well, and they needed rain soon and . . . Norman Mavrich groaned.
    “My poor Norman. Why did you try to talk to her now when you were already tired and so was she?” the gentle chiding of Jenelle’s voice sounded sweetly at his elbow.
    “What are you doing up?” he asked, putting out his hand and drawing his little wife to his knees and ignoring her question. “You should be in bed.”
    A soft little laugh was the only answer and Jenelle laid her head on her husband’s shoulder.
    “What did you do with my sister?” he asked at last.
    “She’s my sister too,” his wife quietly reminded him. “I gave her a glass of milk and let her go up to bed. Poor girl, I feel sorry for her, Norman.”
    “Sorry for Orlena?” And Norman peered down into his wife’s face.
    “Yes, sorry. She doesn’t know what she really wants. She thinks she wants to be in society because she thinks that is what is going to satisfy the longing of her heart.”
    “What longings does she have besides for fine things and her own way?”
    “Didn’t you hear her cry?” Jenelle sat up, her face troubled and the tears in her eyes gleaming in the gas light. “She wants love. I heard her from upstairs, Dear. That is what she is missing.”
    The rancher’s face was puzzled. “But Darling,” he protested, “she had Grandmother’s love. She was given everything she wanted.”
    “That is just my point. She had a sort of love. No doubt your grandmother thought she was giving her all her love, but true love doesn’t give you everything you want, but what you really need. The problem with Orlena is that she doesn’t know what true love really is and so when she doesn’t get her way, she thinks that love is missing.”
    “And it doesn’t help if I lose my temper with her either,” Norman sighed.
    Jenelle leaned her head once more on Norman’s shoulder and closed her eyes. Her head still ached and she was tired.
    After a few minutes Norman spoke quietly. “Let’s get up to bed instead of falling asleep here in the chair.”

    Leaving the light off in her room, Orlena undressed quickly and flung herself onto her bed. Never did she remember being so miserable. Her head ached and her heart ached. She didn’t know exactly what she wanted, but she knew she didn’t have it. The lump in her throat grew bigger and at last she let the tears come and cried herself to sleep.

Questions? Comments?
Thoughts or Ideas?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Alone - Part 2

Good Morning Faithful Friday Fiction Fans,
It wasn't in the 100s yesterday! And today it is only supposed to get to the upper 80s! Wow! Cool front! We got a bit of rain the other night. It was so nice to wake up during the night and hear it on the roof and then to awaken in the morning and see a wet ground.

This week! What a week it has been.
Last Friday we put stamps on hundreds of postcards and even had to address about 200 more. But with help we got it all done before lunch.
On Saturday I went out for the first time this year to do lit drops. :) It was rather fun! We finished by 11:00 and before it got too hot.
There were babies at church Sunday! My Princess was there and so was Sweetheart and J-J! Princess took a nap in my arms after lunch. :) I love holding sleeping babies.
Monday. Hmm. Do any of you get restless the day before something big? I do. I went and voted absentee after lunch, then got to see Doodle Bug and Sis-in-Law. That evening was rather crazy trying to remember everything I needed to pack for the day.
Tuesday morning started at 4:10. (Actually it started at midnight like it always does, but I got up at 4:10 :) ) Mom got up to take me to my polling place at 5:15. Helped set things up and then got to work. We had a line of people waiting to vote at 6:00. The morning passed quite quickly with only a few times where we didn't have anyone in there to vote. We took turns going into the cafeteria to eat our lunch. The afternoon always seems to drag by on slow feet that don't want to move. However, about 3:00, the lines came, and they stayed. We had a constant supply of voters for about an hour, got a five minute break and then they started again. That continued until we closed the polls at 7:00. Packing up went very well and the other supervisor and I headed to the courthouse to take the ballots. I didn't get home until 9:00 and didn't get to bed until 10:00. But— Ed Emery won his race!!! And so did Todd Akin! (Thank you for voting for Akin, those of my readers who live in MO.)
We went to Connie's for the first time in a month on Wednesday. I was quite tired that day and didn't do a whole lot.
Yesterday I spent several hours in the morning working on scanning illustrations in for my book. :) It was so much fun! I can't wait to do the rest of them! If you want to see the picture for the cover, you can go take a look on my Reading Books blog. I also got another letter posted on Priscilla's Travel blog.
Today I clean house and see what else I can work on. :)

I've gotten a bit of writing done, but not much. As you can see, I was busy. But here is the next part of last Friday's story. I hope you enjoy it.

Alone - Part 2

    Still pondering the strangeness of everything that had happened, I strolled down the sandy beach toward the cliffs. These I was able to climb with no trouble for they weren’t high and there were plenty of step like places. From the top I could see out to sea a long ways, but nowhere could I see any sign of any ship big or small. Looking in the direction I was heading I could see the cliffs turned a bend and disappeared. What was beyond that bend? Inland was all lush vegetation and the sound of birds whose existence I probably had never heard of before.
    “I’m an explorer,” I murmured to myself and set off once again.
    Rounding the bend I discoverd that the cliffs sloped gently down to another beach. This beach was much wider than the one I had found myself on earlier. “Why it’s large enough to have a hot dog stand!” I exclaimed before I thought. “Oh, bother, Ty. Why do you keep thinking about hot dog stands? Did you used to work at one? Were you eating a hot dog before all this happened?”
    “No more hot dogs, Rone,” I promised myself. “At least not if I can help it. But if we should come across one . . .” I couldn’t help grinning at the thought.
    Striding along, I set up a merry whistling as I swung my still wet shoes trying to dry them quickly. After a time I began to wish I had a hat, for the sun showed me no mercy and beat upon my head with no clouds to take pity on me. “I’ll have to be careful or I’ll end up with a sunburn, or a sunstroke,” I lectured myself aloud.
    “What you need is a hat, Rone.”
    “Where am I going to get a hat, Ty?” I asked myself. “There haven’t been any signs for any store that I’ve seen.”
    “Make one.”
    “Ha!” I scoffed. “Me make a hat?”
    Ty retorted quickly, “You see anyone else to make it for you?”
    I had a good point there. Or rather, Ty did. I knew I couldn’t make it out of sand and the shells I’d seen were much too small, so I trudged over to the trees, bushes and vines which lined the private beach. There, after a little looking, I discovered a tree with rather large leaves. I tried to pick one, but it was too tough, so I pulled out my knife and cut a leaf. The only problem was, it wouldn’t stay on my head.
    Refusing to give up the idea of making myself a hat of some sort, I shut one eye and squinted at the leaf out of the other. Aha! Quickly I cut three other leaves and then started looking around.
    “If only I can find— Ouch! The very thing!”
    My hand had bumped into a thorny tree. Pulling out my knife, I careful cut a few of the thorns off and using them as a seamstress would pins, I pinned the leaves together with the stems all meeting in a little point in the middle. This seemed to work fairly well though it needed a little improvement for it was light and kept blowing off with the breeze off the sea. Finding a shell, I tucked the stems into the hole and once again placed it on my head. It stayed! The shell made it heavy enough to stay still. Of course I couldn’t make any sudden move, but at least I could walk in comparative shade now.
    “Rone, you’re a genius!”
    “Thanks Ty.”

    Walking along the sandy shore was pleasant enough, but I was getting thirsty. That raised a new question. What was I to drink? I couldn’t get a coke from the non existent hot dog stand and I hadn’t seen any drinking fountains anywhere.
    “A snowcone vender would be real nice right about now, don’t you agree, Ty?”
    “Sure do, Rone,” and I looked about and sighed. There wasn’t much I could do except continue walking and hope I’d find a stream or even an old pump would do, or I could sit down there in the sand and brood over my strange situation. I chose the former.

    After walking on the sand for another thirty minutes or so (I couldn’t tell how long it had been for, as I mentioned before, my watch no longer worked), I came to a part of the shore that was more rocky. Large rocks, small rocks and middle sized rocks formed the edge of land and some extra large rocks jutted out from the water which looked quite deep though it was very clear. I could see what I took to be small sharks swimming about and decided that sitting with my feet dangling in the water might not be a good idea. Crossing those rocks was rather difficult, for my feet were tender and some of the stones sharp. Eventually I resorted to slipping my still damp shoes on to save my feet.
    By the time I was fairly across, I was almost ready to drink the salty sea water just for something liquid. I looked at the bananas in my pockets and wondered if I could make banana juice to drink. As I was trying to decide what to do, I glanced ahead and saw some dark, round objects ahead just lying on the ground. Could those be what I hoped?
    Dashing forward, I tripped over my untied shoelaces and fell flat on my face in the sand. My hat went flying and I was treated to a mouthful of gritty stuff. Getting slowly up, I spit out the sand, brushed myself off, took off the shoes and found my hat. It hadn’t been damaged and I replaced it on my head.
    “What’s the rush, Rone?” I growled to myself, still tasting sand. “We’ve got all day to get where we’re going. You don’t have any other appointments, you know.”
    So saying I advanced more slowly and before long reached the round objects. They were what I thought: coconuts. Now I could have something refreshing to drink!
    Pulling out my knife I attempted to cut through the thick outer shell but in vain. Either my knife was too dull or the shell was too hard. “Bother,” I muttered. “That’s not the way to do it.” Quickly I took the laces out of one of my shoes and tied it tightly around the nut, then holding the string tightly, I tapped my knife handle sharply on the string. Behold, the coconut split in two and I feasted on the white fruit inside, savoring the little bit of milk that was there.
    I wondered how I had known that way of opening the coconut. Had I done it before? Did someone show me how or had I perhaps read it in a book?

What kind of a hat would you have made?
How did he know how to open a coconut?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Triple Creek Ranch - Part 24

Welcome to the first Triple Creek Tuesday!
When you read this (if you read it on Tuesday) I'll be sitting at the polls all day long. It will be a LONG day since I have to be there to set up at 5:30 am and then I have to help close the polls at 7:00 pm and then drive to Carthage to take the ballots before I can come home.
But I hope you all enjoy this next part of Triple Creek Ranch.

Part 24

    “Walk with me to the house.” Then aloud, “I need to get some tea and toast made for Jenelle, but—” he looked around rather helplessly.
    “I’d make her some, but tea just isn’t in my line,” St. John apologized.
    “I’ll go make it, sir, if it’s all right.” Lloyd shoved back his chair and stood up. “My mother always told me I made a good cup of tea.”
    “I’d be much obliged if you would, Hearter,” Norman nodded. “I’ll meet you over at the house in a few minutes.”
    “Mr. Mavrich, sir,” Alden said as Norman and Hardrich moved towards the door after the young ranch hand, “Please tell Mrs. Mavrich we’re all sorry to hear she’s feeling poorly.”
    An echo seemed to go around the table at Alden’s words and Norman smiled a real smile for the first time that evening. “Thanks men. I’ll tell her.”
    Walking slowly towards the ranch house, Norman poured out his trouble into the sympathetic ears of his older foreman. Somehow, just sharing his problem and feeling the pressure of his rough hand on his arm and hearing his quietly spoken words, “I’ll be praying for you,” lifted Norman’s spirit.
    “Thanks for listening, Jim. You’ve been a real friend since my uncle passed away.”
    Jim Hardrich smiled quietly. “I may not have the answers for you, but you know where to find them. And don’t think you’re in this alone. We’re praying for you and the missus out in the bunk house every night.”
    There was no time for more words for Lloyd stepped from the kitchen door. “The tray is ready, Mr. Mavrich.”
    “Thanks, Lloyd. I know Jenelle will be thankful I didn’t make it.” He held out his hand to each of the men and entered the house with lighter steps. He couldn’t ask for a better group of hands to work with.
    Carrying the tray upstairs, he quietly entered the bedroom to find Jenelle awake. “How are you feeling?” he asked softly, setting down the tray.
    “A little better. Don’t tell me you made the tea,” Jenelle half pleaded, half questioned.
    “No, Hearter did. Made the toast too. And the men at the bunk house send their regards and hope you’re feeling better soon.”
    Jenelle smiled.
    Neither one spoke much as she ate her toast and drank her tea. Jenelle was too tired and Norman’s thoughts too occupied.
    “Thank you, Norman,” Jenelle whispered as she lay back on her pillow after her simple repast was finished. “Now what are you going to do?”
    “Do?” Norman bent and kissed his wife, picked up the tea tray and sighed. “Go and finish my talk with Orlena. At least,” he added, “if she hasn’t gone to bed yet.”
    “How is it going?”
    “I’m not sure, Darling, I’m not sure.”

    No light had been turned on in the parlor and the light from the setting sun cast a rosy glow on the room. At first glance Norman thought his sister had gone up to her room, but upon a second look he noticed her curled up in the same chair with her face towards the window. He wondered what she was thinking. Could her mood have softened? How should he reopen the conversation?
    Clearing his throat softly, Norman entered the room. Orlena didn’t move. “I’m sorry if I took a while, Sis,” he said gently. “I had to take Jenelle’s tea and toast up to her room.”
    The voice that replied from the depths of the armchair was cool and calm, too calm, Norman thought. “No matter, just fetch my trunk from the attic. And if Jenelle isn’t up to packing my trunk tomorrow, you can ride over or send one of your men to fetch the girl who was here when I arrived. She probably doesn’t know much about packing, but I will supervise. I suppose you have a train schedule?” Without waiting for a reply nor turning her head from the window, the child continued, “Find out when the next train leaves for Stockton or Blank City. Perhaps it would be better to go to Blank City after all, for then I can get my wardrobe refurnished. I suppose all Grandmother’s money is in the bank in my name? I’ll have to use some for my clothes.”
    When she at last paused for breath or perhaps because she had run out of the things she had planned to say, there was a brief moment when the ticking of the clock and the evening twitter of the birds could be heard.
    Sighing, Norman leaned wearily back on the sofa. He wished he didn’t have to disturb the peace of the evening, but— and here he interrupted his own thoughts. It would be far better to interrupt one evening than to disrupt many days because he put off what needed to be said.
    “Orlena, the money Grandmother left you is in a trust fund in my name and you won’t have access to it until you are of age. As for train schedules, there is no need of one for no one is going anywhere and I will not bring your trunk down. I told you once, but perhaps you didn’t hear me. You will not be going back to Madam Viscount’s Seminary, ever.” Norman had kept his voice calm but, as he went on, it became more and more firm and that last word had such a definite tone of finality to it that Orlena turned her head and stared at him.
    “Not going back?” she managed to gasp in surprise. The thought of not going back had seemed so ridiculous that she had never taken her brother’s words seriously, until now. “What do you mean I’m not going back?” She demanded hotly, sitting up swiftly. “Why not?”
    “There are several reasons. One is that it is too far away.” Norman knew he was not giving the real reason, and he felt half vexed with himself. Must he tell her everything?


Friday, August 3, 2012

Alone - Part 1

Good Morning FFFs,
Did you get any rain this morning? We got about two minutes of rain, but it is still cloudy, so I'm hoping and praying for more! It's been dry and HOT here! Yesterday it was 112 degrees and I don't know what the heat index was.

What have I been doing? Politics. I don't remember what I did Friday and Saturday, so it must not have been very interesting. :)
Sunday there were no babies at church and the group was rather small.
Monday was the start of the race to help get 25,000 postcards hand addressed to get in the mail by Friday! That's a lot of writing! They were for Ed Emery who is running for State Senate in another county, so if he is running in your county, PLEASE vote for him! We've known him and his family for many years and my brother is his campaign manager. But the opposition (I think it's another RIO) is awful! He's telling lies and I don't know what all. Anyway, we were helping address postcards.
And as a side note here (I told you I was political this week) if you live in MO, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE vote for Todd Akin for U.S. Senate! He's a wonderful man and I just had to promote him here. :)
Tuesday we wrote postcards in the morning and then after lunch Dad and I headed off to our last election training since we are both working as supervisors at polling places next week.
On Wednesday, Mom, S and I and two neighbor boys went to the Republican HQ to help stuff lit in "door bags." We got it done before we left much to the astonishment of the few older people who were working there. :) Then after lunch we worked on writing some more, but we ran out of addresses and had to wait to get them from someone else.
Yesterday we had to wait for the addresses to come. When they did come after lunch, we found out we had about 500 still to write! So we called on another family who were going to come over for library. Then another friend came by with her finished postcards and several more pages of addresses that she couldn't get finished. Anyway, to make a long story short, we had help and finally got all the ones we had done! We are guessing we have about 4,000 finished at our house now.
And today my brother is coming down with the stamps and our friends are coming back over and we are going to put stamps on all those hand addressed postcards so they can go out in the mail today. Anyone want to come help? :) Okay, it won't be nearly as difficult to put on stamps as it was to address. Even the little guys can help. It should be rather fun.

You may have guessed that I haven't gotten much writing done this week. I've done some, but not a whole lot. However, I counted all the parts of the stories that I have written and I realized that if I were to post one each Friday as I usually do, I'd have enough to last through the end of the year! I know I'll keep writing and the list of things to post will get longer and longer. Therefore, I was thinking of starting to post twice a week. I thought you all might enjoy a "Triple Creek Tuesday," like the "Western Wednesday" I did last year. Then on Fridays I'll post my short or not so short stories and "Dr. Morgan." Of course if I run out of Triple Creek, you'll have to wait until I get more written.
BUT . . . I have to know if you want "Triple Creek Tuesday." And I have to know by Monday morning because I'll be gone from about 5:00 AM to about 9:00 PM I'm guessing on Tuesday. So LET ME KNOW. 

This story that I'm starting today was one I enjoyed writing. I laughed quite a bit through it and I hope you do too. :) Enjoy!

Part 1

    There was something hot against my back. It was my first sensation. The second came a moment later; something hard and rough was pressing against my face. I could hear what sounded like water rolling up on a beach and then receding from it. From somewhere wild bird calls came loud and clear into the strange stillness. Where was I? What had happened? Slowly I turned my head but the light was so bright that it was some minutes before I could open my eyes.
    What a strange scene met me when I did at last open them. I shut them quickly, rubbed them and then rolled over. However, the light was so blinding then that it wasn’t until I forced myself to sit up that I could open my eyes at all. Even then I was forced to squint until I became adjusted to the brightness. Strange, what was I doing lying on a beach? Tall palm trees of some sort towered in lush coolness just to my right while before me a long, sandy beach stretched out to meet some rocky cliffs. To my left was the water; blue-green depths changing to dark blue stretched out until it seemed to bump into the light blue sky.
    This was odd. It sure seemed as though I was on a tropical or at least a semi-tropical land. Was it an island or just a strip of beach? That was my first thought and my second was, “How did I get here?” These were followed quickly by “Who am I, anyway?” I know it probably sounds really crazy, believe me, it felt crazy, but I could not remember my name, where I was from, or recall anything happening that could possibly lead to finding myself on a beach. In fact, I couldn’t remember anything.
    “Well, I guess I should look about,” I spoke the words aloud and they sounded strange, as though the place where I was had never heard the sound of a human voice before.
    “This is really odd,” I mused again into the quiet.
    Standing up, I brushed the sand off my clothes noticing that in some places they were a bit damp. “Hmm,” I murmured, “a clue perhaps.” Next I checked my pockets for any identification. Nothing. No driver’s license, no passport, no letters, nothing. I did find a small Swiss army pocket knife in one pocket that felt familiar in some way though why it did, I had no idea. And that was it.
    My stomach rumbled. “Before I explore much,” I murmured, “I should see if I can’t find something to eat.”
    Standing up I felt the squish of water in my shoes. There is almost nothing worse than wet, squishing shoes. I figured I didn’t really need to wear them since I was on a sandy beach. Pulling them off and peeling the socks off afterwards, I noticed my toes had that “been in the water too long” look, and they were cold. The warm sand sure felt nice.
    After tying my shoes together and slinging them over my shoulder, and with my socks tucked in the belt of my pants to dry, I set forth.
    I wasn’t sure what I would discover. I thought, “There could be a hot dog stand farther down on the beach.”
    “Why a hot dog stand?” I asked myself. “Why did I think of that in connection with a beach?”
    I shook my head. I must be crazy. “Perhaps I’ll find a life guard or a coast guard or even a dock and some boats.”
    Across the warm, sandy beach I strolled. I wasn’t in too much of a hurry even if I was hungry. I was thinking about how strange it would be to find someone who knew me when I didn’t even know myself!
    “Well, if I don’t know my name, I guess I could just name myself. Hmm, I wonder what I’ve always wished I’d been named?” Pausing for a few minutes, I tried out several different names with myself and at last decided that I’d always wanted to be Tyrone. Come to think of it, I believe the only reason I picked that name was so that I could talk with myself; part of me could be Ty and the other could be Rone.
    Once that momentous decision was made, I continued on in my quest for lunch. Or was it supper? I had a watch on, but a lot of good it did me. It must have been in water. As best I could figure from squinting at the sun, it must have been about two o’clock. No wonder I was hungry! I didn’t remember eating lunch. Or breakfast either for that matter.
    “Well, Rone, whatcha hungry for?” I asked myself, squinting up into the tops of the palm trees trying to locate something that might be eatable.
    “Got any coconuts handy?” Ty was talking now. “Or bananas?”
    “Over there, Ty,” I told myself, pointing to a short tree. “See those bananas? Look mighty good to me. What do you think?”
    “Let’s get them, Rone.”
    I’ll admit I did rather laugh at myself for trying to be two different people. I hoped no one could hear me or they might think I was a lunatic escaped from some place.
    After pulling about half a dozen bananas from the large cluster on the tree, I sat down in the shade to enjoy them. The first three were delicious. The next two were still good, but when I started on my sixth one, I began to wonder if I really liked bananas anymore.
    “This might be all we have to eat, Rone.”
    “Yep, Ty. Let’s take a few with us just in case we get hungry before we find more to eat.” So saying, I picked a couple more of the yellow fruit, though the thought of eating more of them didn’t sound appetizing any longer, and stuck them in my pockets.
    “Ah ha! Now I’m armed and ready. I have Banana Guns!” I practiced my quick draws and pretended to fire them. Then I glanced around quickly. I really must be crazy! There I was alone on a strange and deserted beach and I was talking to myself and pretending I had Banana Guns of all things. “Grow up a little Tyrone,” I muttered with a scowl, shoving the fruit back into my pockets.
    Now what? For several minutes I stood looking about me. Nothing looked familiar. I figured I should explore at least a little and see what I could discover.
    “Come on now, Rone,” I directed. “We’ll never get anywhere by standing still.”
    “That’s true enough, Ty. You know, a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Suddenly I was puzzled. I had heard that quote before, I could almost hear the tones of the voice which said it, but try as I might, I could not recall who it was or where I had been when I heard it.

What would you do if you couldn't remember anything?
What would you name yourself?
Continued next week.