Friday, February 15, 2013

A Slip on the Ice - Part 1

Good Morning Friday Fiction Fans,
It's partly cloudy out an there's some light breezes blowing from the north. The sky is light but, since there are clouds on the horizon, there was no lovely sunrise. At least not here where I can see it. :) I'm sure there was somewhere this morning.
We had a bit of snow this week. One evening we had big, fat flakes falling and they were sticking. Alas, however, they were already starting to melt by morning and never got more than a dusting on the ground. I would so like one really good snowfall before spring comes. What about you? Do you like snow and cold? Or would you rather just skip to spring?

It was rather a busy week, though not much more than others. I taught writing classes on Tuesday and then went to the dentist on Wednesday. The days before were full of getting things on my list done. I'm really trying to get my next book "The Lower Lights and Other Stories" all together and uploaded so I can get the proof checked and order books before conference season starts again. S and I go babysit the kiddos this evening. That is always an adventure. :)

I find the poll I set up on the side of my blog to be quite interesting. Especially since someone clicked that they always comment and when that showed up, there were no comments. :P
     This story that you get Part 1 of, was supposed to be the first story for "Project 12" but when I was almost finished with it, I realized that the story didn't match the instructions. Therefore, I wrote another story. After giving them both to my best friend/photographer/illustrator for the book to read, she said she liked the second story best. So, now I'm going to let you all read this story. And for those of you wondering what "Project 12" is, let me tell you.
     I thought it would be fun to have a calendar with a story as well as a picture for each month. So one of my best friends and I are working on it. She is supplying the pictures for each month and I'm writing the stories. They will all be in a book when we're finished and we're hoping to also do a calendar. Another friend gave me instructions for 12 stories so that's what I'm using to write these stories.

But I have other things I need to get to work on, so I will end now and let you read Part 1 of

A Slip on the Ice

    Snow was falling heavily. Already the ground was covered with snow and the large, thick flakes continued to tumble from the heavy clouds overhead, promising to add several inches to what was already on the ground. A light but bitter wind blew with winter’s cunning, penetrating anything it could, seeking and finding cracks in walls and windows, discovering faces not sufficiently masked by scarves, sleeves which were too short, and holes in old shoes.
    A car, it’s top securely fastened to keep out the chilling white snow, drove carefully up to a large, three story, white house whose front steps were guarded by two fierce marble lions and stopped. Quickly the driver hurried out and around to assist someone out of the back seat. This figure, muffled carefully from head to toe and leaning on a cane, began to carefully make his way up the icy walk. The driver, dismissed by a wave of the hand, hesitated and watched the muffled form while ignoring the biting wind in his face. Suddenly he started forward with a slight cry. The figure had slipped and fallen before he reached the second step!
    The stately home’s front door opened as the young driver stooped over the figure. “Felix, is he much hurt?” It was obviously the housekeeper who hurried out with only a light shawl thrown over her shoulders.
    “I don’t know. He’s unconscious. Let me just carry him inside, Mrs. Collins, while you call for Doctor Taylor.” Gently the man was lifted in the strong arms of the driver and carried inside the house, up the stairs, and into a lavishly furnished bedroom.
    Soon he lay upon white pillows, still and nearly motionless except for his irregular breathing. With his wraps off, one could see that he was an older man; his hair and mustache grey and his face bearing the marks of many years. He appeared frail and thin and it was with an anxious face that Felix watched beside him until the housekeeper came.
    “The doctor is on his way,” she whispered.
    Felix nodded but hesitated to leave the bedside of the unconscious man.
    A ringing from the front door brought a surprised exclamation. “The doctor can’t be here already!” Felix hurried down the stairs and flung open the door.
    A young man, only barely out of boyhood, stood there. “Excuse me, but I saw the gentleman fall. Is there anything I can do to help?” He spoke respectfully, holding his hat in his hands.
    A rapid glance showed Felix much. The boy was as neat and tidy as he could be, though his clothes were too small and had been well worn and mended many times, his eyes were honest and his voice clear with the sound of a careful and thorough education. Beckoning him in, more to shut out the cold snow than because he needed him, Felix closed the door.
    “Thank you for your concern, but the doctor is on his way.”
    The young man nodded and stood twisting his hat uncertainly. At last he spoke with some hesitation. “This is Mr. Ashwell’s home, isn’t it?”
    Felix nodded. “Who are you and why do you ask?”
    “My name is Thomas, sir. Trenton Thomas Jr. I am looking for employment and was told that perhaps Mr. Ashwell could help me. I have references,” he added hastily, reaching into his jacket pocket. “Reverend Sadaro is an old friend of my mother.”
    Without a word, Felix took the papers and glanced over them. They were good references and Mr. Ashwell’s personal assistant, for so Felix was, took an immediate liking to the young man. “Tell me, Trenton, what do you know about Mr. Ashwell?”
    The young man shook his head. “Nothing, sir, except that he might help me. Is he much hurt?”
    Before any answer could be given, the doorbell sounded again and the doctor entered. Not wanting to leave the boy alone in the entry way, Felix instructed him to follow them upstairs.
    Pausing discreetly at the door of the bedroom, the young man waited. He was curious, who was this man he had been instructed to see? What was he like? That he was old, he was quite certain, though how he reached that conclusion, he wasn’t quite sure himself.
    The man on the bed was regaining consciousness as the doctor bent over him. “Doctor, what are you doing here?” The voice was rather weak, but demanding.
    “It was such a chilly day, I thought I would come pay a call,” was the cheery reply from the middle-aged doctor as he placed knowing fingers on his patient’s pulse.
    “Huh,” Mr. Ashwell grunted. “You did nothing of the sort. Quit fussing over me. I’m getting up.”
    “Indeed you are not,” quietly answered the doctor. “You managed to hit your head on those steps of yours and you will stay in bed the rest of the day.”
    “Rubbish! I will not!” Turning to the housekeeper he ordered, “See Dr. Taylor to the door, Mrs. Collins. Harrington—” He attempted to sit up, but was firmly pushed back down. “Bring me my cane.”
    “Calm yourself, Mr. Ashwell,” came the doctor’s soothing voice. “Excitement of this sort will keep you in bed for a week. Remember your heart.”
    “Oh bother my heart! I’m not going to lie here like a package of seeds waiting for spring planting. Let me up, I tell you.”
    In the doorway, Trenton smiled to himself. This man was acting worse than his neighbor’s grandfather had; indeed, he was more like his little sister when she was sick. In his interest he had unknowingly moved slightly into the room.
    Suddenly Mr. Ashwell caught sight of him. Leaving his complaining sentence half finished, he stared at him. “Who are you?” he demanded sharply.
    Before Felix could say a word, the young man came forward with an easy manner and a bright smile. “I’m Trenton Thomas Jr., sir.”

* * * *

    “Trenton!” The voice rang out across the fields startling a flock of crows and causing several of the cows to look up. Nothing else moved. “Trenton Ashwell!” The voice came again, more sternly this time. “I know you are there. You had better start home this minute before I tell your father!”

Will you be back?
Questions or comments so far?


Grace Mae said...

Good Morning Bekah!

I finally found some time to comment. It has been a busy couple weeks but I am thinking I will be back to normal.

I liked this story and can't wait to read the ending.

Love you girl, Grace Mae~

Anott Amos Kowerd said...

The last paragraph leaves me confused. I guess I'll have to wait for next week. I didn't push a button this time; I don't know how to rate it.
Why is that man so ornery?

Abigail in WI said...

Sorry for not commenting much lately! sounds like this story will be interesting :)
I'm about ready for can have some of our snow! ;)

Rebekah said...

Three comments! Delighted. :) I hope you'll all be back on Friday for Part 2. (By the way, this does have 5 parts to it.)

I'd love some of your snow, Abigail! Can you mail some? ;)

Abigail in WI said...

Sure, Bekah, I'd gladly send you some snow if I could figure out how!! ;)