Friday, May 2, 2014

Responsibility - Part 1

Good Morning Friday Fiction Fans,
It looks like it's going to be a beautiful sunny day. I hear it's supposed to be warmer today than it was most of the rest of the week. Since the storms on Sunday it's been cooler. In the 50's during the day and 40's at night.

Here's an overview of my week just in case you are interested. If not, you can skip down to the story. :)
Friday was pretty typical. We cleaned house in the morning, but then after supper there was a bit of excitement in the neighborhood. We saw 2 firetrucks heading up the street. We weren't sure where they went, so I got my shoes on and headed out to see. Some friends down the road joined me and we walked down to see what was going on. This was after one truck had left leaving two others and we could tell they were finished with whatever they were doing because they were putting their hoses away. It turns out that an older lady had left something on the stove and left the house. (No one was sure where she went.) Smoke was billowing out of the house and the firemen kicked the door in and took care of it. They said there was only smoke damage. So, don't leave anything on the stove if you are going to leave the house!
Saturday came and brought some rain in the morning and cool temperatures. I did some yard work, mowed the yard and then helped Dad plant 3 trees.
On Sunday we had everyone at church except one family! Plus we had two other couples. It was full and fun.
Monday started out the same but then I got a message from CreateSpace telling me one of my book files was corrupted and I would need to reload it. Well, that was the book I had been wanting to edit again and fix some of the layout. (My first book I published on my own.) So I spend a lot of time that day going through my book and marking places that needed fixed. In the evening I started making corrections.
Tuesday morning found me back at work making more corrections and finally uploading the new file. That night S and I babysat the kiddos. Do you go "camping" in your living room? We did. Not for real, but they all got their sleeping bags out, turned out the lights and I told stories. :)
Wednesday was full of usual things. I did start writing in the evening again. Something I haven't done since I finished TCR-3. This time I worked on "Dr. Morgan."
Yesterday I went shopping in the morning, read in the afternoon, wrote in the evening. I did do other things, but you probably wouldn't be interested in a complete telling of each day. :P

After much thinking and debating between Me, Myself and I, it was decided that I should post part of of this 3 part story since I will be out of town next week at the Arlington, TX convention. This way I can have part 2 ready to post ahead of time without having to figure out what to post. :) So I hope you enjoy this first part. And, if any of you are going to be at the Arlington home-school convention, be sure you stop by the Light of Faith booth and look me up. :)

Part 1

    Preston drew rein at the Perry ranch and climbed down from the buggy. “Hi, Raymond,” he greeted his younger brother.
    Raymond strode over. “Hello. How are things in town?”
    Shrugging, Preston turned to unhitch the horse. “Just fine. Lend me a hand here, will you. Mr. Birks—”
    “Preston!” a new voice shouted from the stables and both brothers turned. “Did you see Dani anywhere when you drove in?”
    The eldest Perry son shook his head and straightened up a moment. “No, Levi, I didn’t see any sign of her. Why?”
    Pushing his hat back on his head and looking disgusted, Levi approached the buggy with his quick stride. “She went for a ride right after lunch, isn’t back yet, and she has chores waiting. This is the fourth time this week she’s been late, and Raymond, when she does get back, don’t help her with her chores.”
    Preston finished unhitching the horse as he said, “Well, I wouldn’t worry yet, Levi. You know how she is when she is off riding that horse of hers. Give her a little more time.” Having taken over the roll as “head of the family” since their father had died nine years before, Preston tended to be more lenient with his youngest sister than Levi. Still, there was a limit even with him, and seeing Levi’s frown deepen, promised, “I’ll have a talk with her when she gets back. And Ray, Levi’s right, don’t help her. She needs to learn to be responsible.”
    “All right,” Raymond agreed easily. “I’ll let her do her own chores.”

    Several minutes later the three brothers entered the house and were greeted by Mrs. Perry. “Supper will be ready shortly,” she told them as they kissed her. “But you have plenty of time to wash up first. By the way, where is Danielle?”
    “Late again,” Levi grumbled before taking the stairs two at a time as he went to clean up for supper. Raymond followed.
    Mrs. Perry sighed and looked up at her eldest son. “You may have to do something, Preston. I talked to her last time and it doesn’t seem to have done any good.” Sometimes this youngest daughter of hers was more tiring and bewildering to Mrs. Perry then her three sons had been when they were young.
    “I plan to have a talk with her this evening,” Preston assured her. “Don’t worry, Mother, she’ll learn, even if it’s the hard way.” Smiling, he bent and kissed her again. “Now,” he added quickly in low tones, “I’d better hurry and clean up before Natalie comes in.” He had heard his sister’s voice speaking to someone in the dining room and now hurried after his brothers.
    Mrs. Perry smiled after him, thankful for such a strong, clear headed eldest son to lean on.
    “Mother,” Natalie asked, coming in moments after Preston’s form had disappeared up the stairs, “have the boys come in yet?”
    Mrs. Perry laughed, “Yes, Dear, they are just washing up. But Danielle hasn’t returned from her ride yet.”
    “Honestly, Mother!” Natalie exclaimed in exasperation. “Why can’t she learn to be on time?” Natalie’s dislike of anything or anyone unpunctual was well known in the house and had been a source of grief and strife several times not only for Danielle, but also for the boys.
    “Preston has promised to talk to her,” Mrs. Perry remarked quietly.
    “I don’t know what good talking will do,” Natalie grumbled, “but if he promised, he’ll do it.”

    Danielle still hadn’t returned from her ride when the family sat down to eat. Several times Mrs. Perry glanced anxiously towards the window in hopes of seeing her young daughter riding in, but as the minutes ticked by and still there was no sign of her, she began to grow restless and toyed with the food on her plate. Danielle had never been quite this late before.
    Watching the worried frown begin to creep over his mother’s face, Preston placed his napkin beside his plate and stood up. “Stop fretting, Mother,” he smiled. “We’ll go out and find Dani. Come on, boys.”
    “She’s probably not too far away either,” Raymond added, pushing back his chair. “She could be fishing.”
    Taking one last swallow of coffee, Levi threw his napkin on the table and stood. “It shouldn’t take us long to find her, but” he added scowling, “she’s taking care of her chores before she eats her supper.”
    Putting on a brave smile, Mrs. Preston said, “I told her if she was late again she would have to eat bread and butter in the kitchen.”
    “You shouldn’t have told her that, Mother,” Raymond laughed. “You know she’d rather stay comfortable in her dirty riding clothes than get dressed up for table.” Then he dropped a kiss on his mother’s cheek and followed his brothers out of the dining room.

    Out by the stables, Preston, Levi and Raymond were saddling their horses. “Dani better have a good reason for not getting back on time,” Raymond remarked. “She sure has Mother worried.”
    “Not to mention chores that haven’t been attended to. Preston,” Levi eyed his brother over the back of his horse as he tightened the cinch, “if you don’t turn that child over your knee when we get her back home—”
    “Easy Levi,” Preston remonstrated, “I thought I was going handle her.”
    “You are. Just don’t be too soft on her.”
    Mounting his horse, Raymond put in, “Worrying Mother and skipping her chores four days in a week shouldn’t be taken lightly, Preston. If I had tried that even twice when I was her age—”
    “You did,” Preston laughed. “As did Levi.”
    “Hmm,” Levi grunted, “seems as though I remember something about that.”
    As the three brothers were about to ride out of the gate, one of the men from the ranch came into view and Levi called out to him, “Jacobson, have you seen Dani?”
    The man shook his head and cradled the sling his right arm was in a little closer to himself. “Not since she left.”
    “Did she say where she was going?” inquired Preston.
    Scratching his head in thought, Jacobson at last shook his head again. “No, she didn’t say anything to me. Is she missing?”
    “Yes. We’re going out to look for her.” Then struck with a thought, Preston instructed, “Jacobson, tell Hawkins that if we aren’t back in an hour, he’s to get the men into search parties and start looking. If she’s not in the few places she usually goes, there’s no telling where she is.”
    The man nodded and the horsemen rode off. For several minutes they rode together in silence. At last Raymond remarked, “If we’re to check her favorite places, we’d better split up.”
    “I was just thinking the same thing,” Levi nodded. “Ray, head up to the promontory. Preston, why don’t you take her fishing hole and I’ll head over to the south pasture. Fire two quick shots if you find her. If we don’t hear the shots we’ll meet in the meadow near the creek. The sun won’t set for another hour, so there should be plenty of time.”
    This was agreed on and they each set off in a different direction. Preston noticed that he had been assigned the most likely place for their little sister to be, while Levi had chosen the most unlikely place. Smiling to himself, he realized that Levi was not in a mood to deal with Danielle and he sincerely hoped that he or Raymond would find her.

Where do you think Dani is?
Why hasn't she returned?
Who will find her?
Will you be back next week for Part 2?


Jesseca Dawn said...

This is an interesting story! The three brother kinda remind me of Justin, Chad and Mitch in the Circe C books.
I'll definitely be back for part 2!

Rebekah said...

Glad you find the story interesting. Really? They remind you of them? Hmm . . . I wondered if anyone would notice that. :) Actually my sister calls this my "undercover fan story." ;) I was so tired of reading fan stories where no one in the family even seemed to notice if Andi was gone even overnight that I finally sat down and wrote this story. :)