Friday, July 26, 2013

Graham Quartet - Part 5

Hello FFFs,
It's a lovely, cloudy morning here. It rained a little bit during the wee hours of the morning, but I didn't bother turning over and looking at the clock. Now it is cloudy and still. Not much air is stirring and things are pretty quiet. The windows are open which is not usual for late July.

Let me see if there is anything of interest to tell you?
Oh, when my brother's kids were over Friday & Saturday, we had some funny Doodle Bug experiences. :) He's the family comedian and even if he's not trying to be funny, his chattering and ideas crack us up. I've been calling him "Doodle Bug" or "Doodles" since he was really little (he's 2 now) and he won't let his siblings call him that, only me. But recently he began to say, "Where Doodle Bug?"  "Hi, Doodle Bug." Yep, he was looking for and talking to me. So now we are both "Doodle Bug" to each other. :) It's pretty cute to hear him say it. After supper on Saturday, he was standing on the counter so he could look out the window and playing with my sister. He had two key chains he was playing with and would put them on S and giggle when they fell off. Well, he put one on her head and hung the other on her ear. Then he looked at her with his head tipped to one side and said, "You big Indian." We have no idea where he got that idea, but we all burst out laughing. And he wasn't even trying to be funny.

On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I got to stay home and work on things. I've been writing every evening. Mon. & Tues. nights I worked on "The Graham Quartet" and let me tell you this is going to be a long story. I already have 9 parts of it and I'm still not sure where the end is. So readers, I'm hoping you'll keep asking questions and making suggestions.
Wed. & Thur. nights I worked on Triple Creek Ranch Book 2. I now have 2 parts written and a start of Part 3. Keep praying for inspiration for this book.

Now, I'll get this post up so you all can read the next part of this long story which may end up a shorter long story. :P Hope you enjoy it!

The Graham Quartet - Part 5

    For a brief moment the man’s eyes closed as a look of pain flashed across it. The look was gone in a minute, however, and he replied, “I reckon I’m just not that hungry right now. Besides, I feel like I should do a bit of talking.”
    No one said a word, but Tim leaned forward in his chair and rested his chin in his hand, his eyes never leaving the sick man’s face.
    “I told you my name last night, so just call me Guy. I’m not quite sure where to begin.” He paused. “Matt, will you hand me my wallet. It’s over in that drawer. Thanks.” After rummaging through several papers that were stuffed in it, he pulled out one and passed it to Matt. “That’s my identity.”
    Matt gave a low whistle and passed the card to Elsa. When it at last returned to Guy’s hands, each sibling had seen that their visitor was a detective for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “I don’t flash that thing around everywhere,” Guy said. “Especially when I’m on assignment. But with the way things are right now, I figure you might as well know. I talked to your dad this morning though I didn’t tell him much. He didn’t want to know. I don’t think I can say the same about you four though.” He flashed a brief smile.
    “I can’t tell you why I’m here, but I’ve been watching many people for quite some time now and I know I can trust you four.”
    “How do you know that?” Tim asked, always eager to know more.
    Again there was a brief smile. “In my line of work you get to be a pretty good judge of character, Son.”
    “I guess so,” Matt agreed, then added, “but how did you get hurt?
    “Fell and caught my leg in a trap. I was able to get it out, but knew I’d have to get to shelter so I used your barn. I must say though, I was sure praying for help when you all came in.”
    “You sure scared us,” Elsa broke in.
    “Sorry about that,” Guy apologized. “I had to be sure it was you and not—” He stopped abruptly and toyed with his fork. “I don’t want to alarm you . . .”
    “You won’t sir,” Matt replied. “We’ve been involved in a few dangerous situations ourselves and we don’t frighten easily. Unless, of course, you startle us when we least expect it,” he added this with a grin at his sisters.
    “I like your courage. You may need it. Let’s just say that there are a few around these parts that would give anything to see me dead.”
    Selena gasped but didn’t say a word.
    “I don’t want to put you all in danger, but I’m going to need your help. At least for a while. If you don’t want to help or think it might be too dangerous, just say so, and I won’t hold it against you.”
    There was a minute of silence as the quartet exchanged looks. At last Matt spoke quietly. “Guy, we stick together through everything. We watch out for each other and what one of us does, the others do. We’re ready to help. Just tell us what to do.”
    A look of relief flashed across the man’s face and he visibly relaxed. “I was hoping you’d say that.”
    Before he could say more, Selena interrupted. “We shouldn’t stay much longer. You need to get some sleep or the doctor won’t let us come back to see you.”
    “Selena’s right, sir,” Elsa put in, rising.
    He nodded. “I know. But let me teach you a secret knock. You can use it anytime you come to the room. That way I’ll know it’s you and won’t have my hand on my gun.”
    Tim’s eyes opened wide and he gasped, “You have your gun with you?”
    For answer, Guy pulled from beneath the blankets a small handgun. Then he slipped it back. The knock was learned in no time and then the sick and exhausted man was made comfortable and left to rest.

    The rest of that morning found the quartet often in huddles talking in low voices for a few minutes before they hurried off to attend to their chores. How thankful they were that it was Saturday and there would be no school that day or the next.
    “Perhaps there’ll be so much snow that we’ll get to stay home Monday too,” Tim whispered in one such huddle.
    “Maybe, but don’t count on it,” Matt cautioned.
    “I wonder what he wants us to do,” Elsa mused.
    The others nodded in agreement. That seemed to be the question they most wanted answered though others continued to float in and out of their minds nearly driving them distracted. What if they knew the men who wanted to kill Guy? How does he know they want to kill him? How long has Guy been in these parts? How could the Graham Quartet help the FBI?
    It was a maddening morning and lunch was eaten rapidly so that they might take lunch to Guy and have another talk.
    At last they stood in the hallway. Elsa carried the tray and Matt gave the secret knock.
    “Come in,” Guy called quietly.
    “We brought you some lunch,” Elsa said softly as they entered the dim room. The sun was still behind the clouds and the curtains were drawn most of the way.
    “Should we turn on a light?” Tim asked.
    “If you’d like.” Guys voice sounded feeble and tired.
    “The lamp, Tim,” Selena whispered and Tim turned on a small lamp on the dresser.
    By it’s light the siblings could see the pallor of the sick man’s face. “You don’t look very well, Guy,” Matt said softly.
    A wave of pain seemed to sweep over the man, and he moaned. “Sorry,” he gasped, and then pressed his lips together tightly while his hands clenched.
    “Does your leg hurt?” Selena asked, moving to the bedside and placing a gentle hand on the suffering man’s head.

What is the FBI doing in the area?
 Any suggestions for the Quartet in helping him?
Any idea for me, the writer? :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Nighty, the Rooster

If you are coming to this post from Circle C and you are wondering if I'll ever post something new, just click on "Home" in the top tab and it will take you to the newest post. Hope you'll enjoy all you read!

Here is my rooster story. It is a true story told to me by a friend. I only changed the names, time in history and place so as to fit in my book: Home Fires of the Great War

Time: April 1919. The Great War was over but many of the soldiers had yet to come home including the father of this family.
Place: A farm near Codell, Kansas
Family Info: The one telling the story is 17-year-old Emma. Her twin brother is Edmund. Emma is writing a letter to her cousin, Maria, who lives in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Nighty, the Rooster

         Oh, I must tell you about Evie. It would have been laughable if it were not so pitiable. We have, or rather did have, a black rooster whose name was Nighty. I believe Georgie named him, not that it matters. Nighty was mean. His favorite past time seemed to be terrorizing any person, with a few exceptions, who was outside. For some reason he never chased David, Edmund or Karl. Any of the rest of us were fair game as far as he was concerned. He was treacherous. If you turned squarely around on him and started walking toward him, he would turn tail and leave, but the moment your back was turned, he would be running straight for you. It got so bad that the younger ones wouldn’t go outside without one of the older boys. That rooster was the only one Kirsten couldn’t tame. Evie loves to be outside, but was terrified of Nighty. She would run screaming to the house or to the nearest person if he so much as looked at her. Finally Edmund had enough of it. One day he caught Nighty, who had just chased Evie inside, grabbed his legs and snapped his head against a fence post before tossing him behind the barn.
         When Evie heard the news she ran outside at once and shouted, “Nighty’s dead! Nighty’s dead!”
         Kirsten and Rosalie were much quieter upon hearing the news but also took immediate advantage and spent the rest of the day playing happily outside.
         A day or two later, Evie was outside playing and singing, “Nighty’s dead! Nighty’s dead!” I was in the kitchen with the older boys when a sudden, shrill, terrified scream came from outside! The boys sprang to their feet in an instant, knocking over their chairs as they did so.
         “Nighty’s comin’ af’er me!” Evie’s holler sent us all into action. At once we rushed for the door. Edmund was first. Leaping off the porch he sprinted across the yard and scooped up Evie in his arms. I stared from the safety of the porch. There indeed was Nighty. His head was hanging down at a grotesque angle from a broken neck, and he was staggering straight for Edmund.
         “That beast!” Edmund exclaimed. “Here, David, take Evie, and I’ll deal with him.” That was easier said than done, for Evie refused to let go of Edmund. Try as they might, they couldn’t get Evie to leave Edmund. Meanwhile the rooster was coming closer and closer. Evie’s screams again rent the air, and Edmund gave up to the inevitable and said, “One of you can do it, and make a good job of it!”
         David caught the luckless rooster and Karl grabbed a hatchet. In another minute, the rooster was without his head. Unlike the other butchering of chickens they do, the boys didn’t let go of this one for some minutes after his head was off. If you don’t know chickens, they run around like crazy for a little bit after their heads have been chopped off. Nighty would most certainly have headed straight for Edmund and Evie.
         Evie was still clinging in terror to Edmund’s neck and crying, saying over and over, “Nighty’s af’er me! He is!”
         “No, Evie,” Edmund soothed. “David has him, and Karl is chopping off his head. He won’t be after you any more.”
         “But he comes back!” Her face was buried against his neck while her legs were wrapped tightly around his waist. She was shaking and trembling.
         Mama and I hurried over, but even with our combined effort, it made no difference. Edmund was the only one she wanted then, and it took nearly a quarter of an hour for him to just get her calmed down enough to raise her head.
         He took her to see that Nighty was really dead, and then they watched as he was buried. Still, it was almost a full hour later before Evie would let go of Edmund’s neck. She refused to go outside alone for two days after that, and will never go anywhere near where Nighty is buried, probably fearing that he will somehow come out of the ground and chase her. She has regained most of her courage by now, though she still looks warily at the barn when she passes it. The other way she was affected is that she dislikes any and all chickens. No longer will she go with Kirsten to feed and gather the eggs. She wants nothing to do with them. I can’t say that I blame her, can you?

 Would you have wanted to go play outside after that?
What did you think?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Graham Quartet - Part 4

Good Morning Faithful Friday Fiction Fans!
 It's good to be back in the U.S. again where the Stars & Stripes are seen from flag polls and the speed limit signs are in miles not kilometers. :) But it was a delightful time spent across the border in Canada, and I'd be happy to go back for another visit some day.

I arrived home Tuesday late afternoon and after an early supper I went with my dad and sister and a friend to pick blueberries. That was fun even if I was really tired.
I spent yesterday trying to unpack and put things away. I also took a nap. That was wonderful. :)
Thursday my sister and I cleaned the house since my niece and three older nephews are coming over this morning and will be here until after supper on Saturday night. Should be fun. :) I've missed them when I was gone. But I know I'll sure be tired after they leave!

As you may have figured out, I haven't written much. Nothing while I was gone and only a little last night. If you left a comment on my blog and I didn't reply to it, sorry. I have been rather busy. :) I'll try to do better now that I'm home again. I've got lots of writing to work on and many other projects as well. Life shouldn't be dull.
And now, I hope you enjoy this next part of

The Graham Quartet - Part 4

    Matt nodded and his father slipped from the room. Matt might not be the eldest of the Graham Quartet, but Elsa was more than happy to follow his leading most times.
    As the door shut, the man on the bed opened his eyes. “A fine mess I’ve made of everything,” he murmured with a slight smile.
    “Don’t try to talk much now,” Elsa told him gently. “We can talk tomorrow.”
    Another brief smile crossed the man’s face. “I like you four. I think I can trust you.”
    Tim leaned forward with wide eyes, but spoke not a word. It was Matt who asked, “What’s your name?”
    Hesitantly, the man gazed into the face of each one gathered by the bed. “Promise me you won’t tell anyone . . .” he paused. “Except your parents if they won’t mention it.”
    “They know how to keep secrets,” Elsa said quietly.
    Wearily the man nodded. “It’s Guy Fox.” His eyes closed.
    Matt touched Elsa’s arm. She nodded and Matt whispered softly, “We’ll be back tomorrow. Rest now.” Then the quartet slipped silently from the room more excited and puzzled than before. Who was this man whose name was “Guy Fox” and where did he come from? Why was he so worried about others finding out his name? And how did he get hurt? Did he know them? These thoughts and a host of others churned through the four young minds as they quietly bid their parents and each other good night and went to bed.

    They were still thoughtful when they gathered for breakfast the following morning. The snow had stopped though it was still overcast and looked like it might being snowing again. The kitchen where the Graham Quartet were gathered was warm and cozy. Mr. and Mrs. Graham were elsewhere and the four siblings had the room to themselves, except for the family cat.
    It was Tim who broke the silence. “We still don’t know who or what that guy is!”
    “Sure we do,” Matt retorted, slathering butter on a large, thick piece of toasted bread, “he’s a fox.”
    “Matt!” Elsa begged with a grin. “Don’t make fun of the poor guy’s name!”
    At that the entire quartet burst into laughter, for the excitement, fright, wonder and bewilderment which had so filled their minds needed an outlet. Once the laughter had subsided, a silence fell upon them.
    “Tim’s right,” Selena spoke quietly. “We really don’t know anything about him except his name and that he’s hurt.”
    “There’s only one way to fix that problem,” Matt declared. “Let’s have a talk with him.”
    “We’d better wait until the doctor says we can. He said he’d come by again this morning. Perhaps he’ll give us the okay before he leaves.” Elsa looked across the table which was tucked in an alcove of the large kitchen and beside a large window. “There’s his truck now.”
    “I’m not done eating yet,” Tim protested, shoving a huge bite of eggs in his mouth.
    Elsa laughed. “Don’t hurry so, Tim, the doctor has only just arrived. I don’t think we’ll be allowed in the room until he’s seen him. Besides, such large bites aren’t very polite.”
    Tim just shrugged his shoulders.

    When the doctor came out of the sick room, having finished his call, he found Elsa, Matt, Selena and Tim waiting for him. “Well, well, you look like a delegation or a firing squad. If you’re wanting to visit your friend, I see no reason why you can’t. As long as,” he held up his hand to halt the sudden rush for the door. “As long as you are quiet. He needs rest, and some breakfast wouldn’t do him any harm either. Don’t wear him out! I will warn you that he does have a slight fever, but it’s not contagious. Selena, see to it that the rest of your siblings don’t cause my patient to have a relapse.” The doctor smiled at the girl as she blushed at the unexpected compliment.
    “I’ll fix him some breakfast,” Mrs. Graham offered. “After I show the doctor out.”
    “Oh, don’t bother with me, Hannah, I know my way,” and the old doctor departed down the hall.
    As eager as the quartet were to discover the answers to their multitude of questions, they all hesitated outside the bedroom door, uncertain if they should knock or just enter. Before they could decide, the man’s voice, sounding stronger than it had the night before, called.
    “Quit standing out there whispering, you four. Just open the door and come in here.”
    Somewhat sheepishly the four siblings entered the room. The man lying in bed looked better than he had last night. He wasn’t as pale though he still looked sick. “Come on in and find yourselves some seats,” the man directed waving a hand. “Is it still snowing?”
    “No sir,” Matt replied. “It stopped during the night, but it looks like it could start again soon.”
    The man nodded.
    There was a light tap on the door before it opened, and Mrs. Graham entered with a tray bearing the man’s breakfast. Selena propped the pillows behind the sick man’s back and head while Elsa set the bed-table up. “Now,” Mrs. Graham said when all was situated. “I’ll leave you all here. Children, see to it that he eats and don’t wear him out.”
    “Yes, ma’am. No, Mom, we won’t,” Matt assured. “Selena will see to that.” Matt grinned at his little sister who, though quiet, was known as the family nurse.
    For a few minutes after the door shut behind Mrs. Graham, the quartet sat in silence watching the man eat his breakfast. He must not have been very hungry for he ate slowly. At last he looked around the room with a slight grin on his face. “All right, I know you’re dying to ask me the hundred questions which have been running through your minds. To save time, let me just answer some of them now.”
    “But you should finish your breakfast,” Selena urged.

So what are you thinking now?
Should I continue this story?
What do you think the man will tell the quartet?
And what will happen next?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Graham Quartet - Part 3

Geographical Center!
Hello Friday Fiction Fans!

Greetings from Canada! This week has flown by! I've been busy! On Friday my best friend and I arrived safely in Canada after a quick stop at the Geographical Center of North America. The crossing from the U.S. into Canada was very quick and easy. It is strange to see the Maple Leaf flying from polls instead of the Stars-and-Stripes!
It's been lovely, breezy weather!

The Sunset Over White Water Lake
Let me see, we've torn all the wall paper from Best Friend Two's kitchen. Haven't started the painting yet. We've visited a lake at sunset (and the sun doesn't set up here until around 10:30). It was really pretty.

Here I am!
The four of us also went canoeing! It was my first time to be in a canoe and out on a lake. On Sunday night we traveled from Deloraine, Manitoba to Melville, Saskatchewan for three days. While there we shopped, cooked and even recorded a song together. That was a new experience and quite fun even if it was late.

Coming soon on a CD near you: The Four
On the way back to Deloraine we had ourselves an adventure. We took a gravel road (most back roads here seem to be gravel) and drove off through the countryside to see what turned out to be a Hungarian Catholic church and a few other old buildings. The views on the way there were really lovely though and we enjoyed ourselves. :)
Busy fixing and painting the kitchen now. We head back to the U.S. on Sunday! It's been a lovely trip out of the country and though I've enjoyed it, I know I'll be glad to get back home. (And back to writing.)

And now enjoy your story for today!

The Graham Quartet - Part 3

    “Turn the light on, Selena.” Tim urged. “I can’t see a thing.”
    Selena did and then gave a gasp.
    “What is it, Selena?” Matt asked quickly, turning around.
    There was no reply. Selena just stood as though rooted to the spot, her eyes wide and her face pale.
    “Selena,” Else urged, moving up beside her, “what’s wrong?”
    “Look,” Selena whispered so softly that it was scarcely audible. The hand holding the flashlight had started to shake and Matt quickly grasped it with his free hand.
    In the steady beam of light, a dark spot on the floor became noticeable. “Blood,” breathed Matt, bending down for a closer look.
    “What—” Tim began, but Elsa quickly hushed him.
    All listened intently, straining their ears to catch the slightest sound. So intently were they listening that the falling of the snow outside seemed to be heard. Then it came. A slight rustle and a low, half suppressed moan.
    Silently, Matt lowered his box to the floor and motioned the others to do the same. Taking the flashlight from his sister, he beckoned the others to follow while putting his gloved hand over the light leaving only a faint glow to follow. Tim gripped the back of Matt’s coat while Selena held Tim’s scarf and Elsa kept a hold of Selena’s hand.
    Slowly, quietly the Graham Quartet moved forward through the barn in the direction of the noise. They scarcely dared to breathe so intent were they on listening for another sound.
    Suddenly, when they least expected it, came a click as though as gun had been cocked and a voice called in low tones, “Stop where you are.”
    Everyone froze. Who had spoken?
    The voice went on. “I can see your light, so don’t try to make a sudden move. Now who are you?”
    “It’s the Graham Quartet,” Matt replied in a steady voice though his heart was pounding against his ribs. “This barn is on our property. Who are you?”
    A sigh sounded and the voice replied softly. “Oh, is it just the four of you?”
    Another sigh, very much like a suppressed groan came before the stranger spoke again. “All right then, you can turn the light on.”
    Instantly Matt flashed the full beam of the light towards the voice revealing a middle aged man lying on some straw. His face was white and his eyes closed.
    “He’s hurt!” Selena exclaimed, darting forward to kneel beside the man whose left pant leg was stained with blood.
    Elsa quickly joined her sister and after a quick glance looked up at their brothers. “One of you is going to have to go get Dad and call the doctor.”
    “No!” the man gasped, raising his head and looking wildly about as he clutched Elsa’s arm while dots of perspiration beaded his forehead. “Can’t let others know I’m h—” His voice stopped, his eyes closed and his head dropped back onto the straw while the gun which he had clutched in his right hand fell to the floor.
    “Is he dead?” Selena whispered.
    Matt hastened to undo the man’s coat and leaned over him, feeling for a pulse. After putting his ear to the stranger’s chest a minute, he sat up.  “No, not yet. But he might be soon if we don’t get help. Tim, run to the house and get Dad! Have Mom call the doctor!” This last was ordered loudly for Tim was already on his way to the door where the snowshoes had been left.
    “But, Matt, he said not to—” Elsa began.
    “I know what he said, but if he doesn’t get help he’ll die. I think he just doesn’t want lots of people to know he’s hurt.”
    “Or it could be that he doesn’t want certain people to know he’s here.”
    Matt and Elsa looked at Selena with surprised expressions. Selena didn’t talk much but when she did, the others listened.
    “But Matt, Elsa, we have to stop this bleeding.”
    By the time Mr. Graham arrived with Tim, the bleeding of the wounded leg had been checked, but the man, whoever he was, hadn’t regained consciousness. After checking him over carefully, Mr. Graham, with the help of his children, carried the man in a blanket to the house where he was established in the spare room.
    “I wonder who he is and what he was doing in the barn,” Tim said to the others as they waited in the dim hallway for the doctor to come out of the room.
    “He was hiding,” Selena replied.
    “But from who, and—”
    “Whom, Tim,” Elsa corrected.
    “Whom then,” Tim repeated. “And how did he get hurt?”
    Matt shrugged. “I can think of all kinds of answers to those questions and a host of others such as where did he come from, why did he have a gun, why was he hiding and why did he not mind when I told him who we were, but who knows if they would be right.”
    “I hadn’t thought of that before,” Elsa mused. “He did suddenly seem to turn sort of friendly when you mentioned it was us.”
    Sitting in silence for several minutes, Selena at last spoke. “I think he looked like a friendly man and I want to help him.”
    The others nodded and then they waited for the doctor to come out.
    When at last he did, followed by Mrs. Graham, the children sprang up eagerly.
    “How is he?” Elsa asked.
    “Plenty weak from loss of blood. Has a bit of a fever, but he’s conscious and wants to see the four of you. Wait!” The doctor halted the rush for the door. “What he really needs is rest, so make your stay as quiet and quick as possible. You can talk tomorrow. He’s not going anywhere for some time.”
    Softly the four make their way almost on tiptoe into the room and to the side of the bed. “Don’t stay too long,” Mr. Graham whispered to them, looking at Matt and Elsa. “Doc said he needed rest.”

What do you think this stranger was doing?
Who is he?
Any thoughts, questions, comments?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Graham Quartet - Part 2

Happy Day-After-Independence Day FFFs!
 Right now I'm in a hotel room with my best friend. We're in Grand Forks, ND. Before long we'll head out and begin the last leg of the journey to Canada!

If you are feeling in the mood to read some patriotic things, you might want to try "The Medford's Independence Day" or my poem "Liberty."  

Let me tell you a bit about our trip so far. We've had enough "excitement" for the trip before we even started. My dad, best friend and I went to pick up our rental car this morning, but they wouldn't give it to us. :P It was an invalid deal because I didn't use my own credit card (I don't own one) to make the reservation. And if I wanted to do any of the driving, I had to have a credit or debit card in my name. (Don't have either.) So. . . It was a good thing Dad was there or there would probably been tears in the office. :) As things ended up, we are taking my mom's van now. But it was crazy! And not much fun for a while.
We arrived safely in KC after driving through some heavy rain. Spent the night at Grandparents. 

Neither my best friend nor I slept very well Wednesday night which made a long day of driving rather daunting, but we started off at 5:53. (That's when we left the house.) After dropping off BF's younger sister who had hitched a ride with us to visit some friends, we continued on up north. We drove and drove and drove. We did have a little friend who came along that we named "Del."

This is Del

The "Sergeant Floyd"

We had several stops and some were more "picture friendly" than others. :)

I loved the tall grass and wind in SD!
Our original plan was to drive all the way up to the northeast corner of ND, but we were so tired of driving and another couple hours in the car just seemed too much. So we called home. My mom got to work looking for cheap hotels and then got my brother going. Soon he had us a nice room in a nice hotel for the price of a cheap hotel room. Wonderful brother! We'll have an extra hour to drive tomorrow, but what's 4 or 5 hours when you've spent 12+ hours in the car the day before?
Me and Best Friend - Lovely room!

If you didn't take my advise last week and read "The Graham Quartet and the Lonely Cabin," take some time and do it right now or this next part won't make much sense. And if you don't like how or where this part ends, come back next week and then the next week and the next. Right now I have 5 new parts written and I haven't seen the end yet. But I was told to make it as long as I wanted and that longer was better. So . . . Enjoy!

Graham Quartet - Part 2

    As heads nodded, Matt stood up. “Then we’d better get going. The sun’s going to be going down soon and with it any warmth it may have offered.”
    “Matt,” Tim suggested, “maybe we should check all the windows and see if we see any signs of life out there first. If Selena thinks we were being watched—”
    “Good idea. But, if we were, whoever it is knows we’re here. How could they not with a blazing fire going and tracks all around the cabin?”
    The Graham Quartet looked at each other.
    “Perhaps,” Elsa began slowly, “they’ll think that Guy is still here and won’t follow or bother us.”
    Matt, glancing at the sky which now held a hint of pink, said, “It’s not likely anyone will bother us now, but if we don’t get back soon, we’ll worry Mom. Come on. Tim, make sure that window is securely fastened. You didn’t try the windows in the loft, did you?”
    Tim shook his head. “Not when I checked upstairs earlier. I’ll run up and check.”
    Meanwhile, the girls had been getting their coats on and preparing to leave the warm cabin for the bitter outdoors as Matt carefully put out the fire.
    “Matt!” Tim’s excited, but low voice came from the loft and everyone froze. What was Tim excited about? “Someone is outside spying on us!”
    “What!” In a flash Matt was up the ladder while the girls waited breathlessly at the bottom.
    “Right over there, behind those bushes. Don’t you see that dark object?” Tim pointed.
    The waiting girls couldn’t hear Matt nod, but they heard Tim continue. “I looked out and saw him move from that tree. Do you think there are any more?”
    A long moment of silence followed Tim’s question. Then Elsa said in a low but distinct voice, “Selena, check the windows on the west for any sign of life. I’ll check the east. Tim, keep an eye on that one figure and Matt, check the north side.”
    Soon every eye was scanning the silent snowy lands surrounding the cabin and remembering how it had all started.

*        *        *

    The snow was rapidly falling from the leaden sky and a cold wind blew down from the north. Seventeen-year-old Matt Graham picked up another log to add to his younger brother’s load. “You sure you can carry one more, Tim?” he asked.
    “Sure I’m sure,” and Timothy, who was five years younger than Matt, grinned as the last log was placed onto the stack he was ready to carry to the house. “See.”
    Matt merely grinned back and picked up a large armful himself and then together the brothers headed back towards the side door of the house. It was the perfect night to enjoy a blazing fire in the large fireplace. No doubt Dad would tell a story, Mom would sing and Elsa had said something about popcorn. Reaching the door, the boys stamped the snow off their boots and then looked at each other. With their arms full of wood, neither of them could open the door.
    “Kick it,” Tim suggested, and Matt did.
    A moment later fourteen-year-old Selena answered their summons. She didn’t say anything, but her laughing brown eyes told of her amusement at her brothers’ predicament.
    Soon a blazing fire was crackling, snapping and hissing in the fireplace, casting strange and fantastic lights and shadows on the walls and faces of the Graham family settled about the cozy family room in their home deep in the northern woods of Minnesota; a room filled with the wonderful smell of burning pine and oak mingling with that of golden popcorn which danced and jumped in the wire popper Matt was shaking briskly over the flames.
    It was an evening full of warmth and comfort and one the children remembered for some time because of the events which followed it.
    The Graham Quartet, as the four children of David and Hannah Graham were called by all who knew them, were much alike except in ages and therefore sizes; all had brown hair and eyes, rather square faces and could nearly always be seen in the company of at least one other sibling. They were a fun loving yet helpful group, always seeming to stumble upon some adventure or another.
    When the last of the popcorn had been eaten, Mr. Graham stretched himself and yawned. “I’d say it was about time to turn in.”
    “Dear, did you get those boxes taken out to the barn?” Mrs. Graham asked.
    Mr. Graham gave a groan of dismay. “I completely forgot them, Hannah. I’m sorry.”
    “What boxes, Mom?” Matt asked. “How many are there? Where do they go?” Matt always liked as much information as possible at once.
    “There are three boxes and they have the Christmas decorations in them so they need to go back in the storage room of the barn.”
    Glances flashed between the quartet and then Elsa, the oldest, said, “We can take them out, Mom.”
    “Yeah, a walk in the snow when it’s dark will be fun!” Tim added with excitement.
    Giving a sigh of relief, Mr. Graham smiled. “Three boxes for the four of you?”
    “Someone has to carry a light,” Matt replied and scrambled to his feet. “Come you guys. Let’s get our coats on.”
    “You all might want your snowshoes,” Mrs. Graham called after them.

    Fifteen minutes later, bundled in coats and hats, the four siblings made their way over the snow towards the barn, thankful for the reminder to use their snowshoes. All around them snow fell silently and in the stillness the noise of their footsteps seemed extra loud. No one suggested Selena turn on the flashlight she carried though it was dark; it was more enjoyable without it.
    At last the dark shape of the barn loomed up before them and Matt shifted his box to one arm as he reached for door. With a loud creak of protest, the door slid open enough for them all to slip inside. It was pitch black inside.

So what did you think?
What do you think happens next?
Any suggestions, questions or comments?