Friday, January 30, 2015

Dr. Morgan - Part 22

Hello Friday Fiction Fans,
I'm not sure what's going on with my computer this morning, but I guess it wanted to sleep in because some things are being really slow. But I didn't think you'd want that to stop me from posting a new part of "Dr. Morgan." :)

We've had spring this week! Monday it was in the 60s and Tuesday it got to 74ยบ! But there's a chance of snow tomorrow. :P Such silly weather.

This week has been busy with my grandparents coming down to see the new baby, a political meeting last night, trying to catch up on some things, writing, and cutting hundreds of flannel quilt squares for "Blanket Day" which is tomorrow. (Several girls from church are coming over and we are going to sew flannel ragged quilts for children in need.)

My writing has been going well. I think I can reach my weekly goal of 5,000 words this week. It has been fun to have a goal and to meet it each week. At least so far. If I can keep this up, I might be able to actually get the rest of "Dr. Morgan" written in just four more weeks. Should I try? I'm putting a poll up on the side and I hope you will all vote on what you think I should write next month.

And now, the next part of the story so many of you have been waiting for . . .

Dr. Morgan
Part 22

    The family was almost ready to sit down for supper when the front door opened and Adam’s voice was heard talking to Captain.
    “Hurry up, Adam,” Sara called, stepping from the kitchen into the hall. “Supper is ready.”
    “Be right there.”

    After supper the family gathered in the front room where Mr. Morgan, Adam and Sara helped Danny set up an elaborate train track for an old wooden train which used to be Justin’s. Firewood was stacked up for a mountain and a footstool became a tunnel. Jenny was also interested in the train building, but her interests lay more in the destruction of the tracks. At last Mrs. Morgan carried her off to the kitchen where she was allowed to play with the pots and pans.
    Amy, still pleased with her success in the cookie icing department, watched with interest the building of the tracks and at last suggested they use an old shoe box for a train shed. A box was quickly found and soon Amy was busy cutting out windows and a door which opened and shut. With this new addition Danny was pleased and spent at least ten minutes opening and shutting the door, driving his train in and out and looking through the windows.
    “Honey,” Mrs. Morgan said some time later, stepping into the room with Jenny in her arms, “do you know how late it is?”
    Glancing up at the clock on the mantel, Mr. Morgan looked astonished. “I had no idea it was so late. Well—“ He stood up and brushed his hands on his pant legs. “Let’s have an evening song, some prayer and then call it a night.”
    Only one song was sung that night and when Amy heard it was her favorite of the evening hymns, she shyly joined in.
    For some time after she had gone to her room, Amy sat in the chair beside the window and gazed up at the bright moon and twinkling stars. Everything was so quiet and peaceful. She thought back over the day and wondered if perhaps, just perhaps, it might be possible to live a life in the here and now instead of trying to force the past into a mind that didn’t want it. “Dr. Morgan said my memory might come back, but it won’t help to worry and fret over it. Well,” she sighed and rose slowly to her feet, “I’ll try to do what he said. But it won’t be easy, I’m afraid.”
    She crawled into bed, settling herself so that her face was in a pool of moonlight, drew a long, deep sigh, then relaxed and lay blinking in the soft glow until her eyes closed of themselves and she fell asleep.

    There was a change in the atmosphere of the Morgan home the following morning when Amy limped into the dining room. The table showed signs of breakfast, but no one was around. Had she slept longer that she thought? Had something happened? As the last idea entered her mind, her muscles tensed and she looked wildly around the room. Gasping for breath, she gripped the back of a chair.
    “Amy? What’s wrong? Here, sit down.” A chair was pulled out and Amy felt herself gently forced into it. It was then that she noticed Mr. Morgan’s concerned face looking anxiously down at her. “What is wrong, Amy?” he asked gently, seeing her start to relax.
    “I . . . I don’t know. I didn’t see anyone and . . . I thought something had happened, and I guess I panicked. I . . . I . . .” A shudder swept over her slight frame and she closed her eyes momentarily.
    Mr. Morgan placed a gentle hand on her arm. “Everything is just fine. Today is Sunday and the others are getting ready for church. Mom is going to stay here with you today as Justin has forbidden you to go out just yet.”
    A slight look of surprise swept over Amy’s face. “Sunday? I—“ The sentence broke off suddenly. She thought she heard the deep tones of the church bells ringing from the tower of the old stone . . . It was gone. The sound, the picture, she shook her head with a sigh. “It’s gone.” Her words were listless.
    “What’s gone, Amy?”
    “Church bells ringing, but the picture is gone.”
    Mr. Morgan frowned slightly. “You could picture the bells?”
    “No, I could hear them.” She put her hand to her head as though it ached. Why had the bells been ringing? Was it Sunday? Or were they ringing for— something else?
    The sound of steps and voices were heard on the walkway above and Danny cried down, “Hi Grandpa!”
    Mr. Morgan cheerily returned the greeting and then said softly, bending down so Amy could hear his voice, “I wouldn’t fret over it, Amy; they’ll ring again for you.”
    All was confusion for a few minutes before those headed for church were out the door leaving Mrs. Morgan and Amy alone. A hearty breakfast was fixed for Amy and she ate it without much enthusiasm and almost in complete silence. The echo of the bells seemed to repeat themselves over and over and over in her mind.
    It was a long morning for Amy with her usual distractions gone. Mrs. Morgan tried to interest her in talking, or reading and Amy did her best to appear interested, but it wasn’t until the others arrived back home that she was able, for a time, to forget the bells.
    “Amy,” Mrs. Morgan said, as Amy finished washing the last of the lunch dishes, “everyone takes a nap on Sunday afternoon. You seem tired today, why don’t you go ahead and lie down. Things will get lively later.”
    Nodding, Amy dried her hands and limped slowly from the kitchen, down the hall and into the cozy room she was growing to love. She felt worn out. But, as she closed her eyes, she heard the echoes.
    Dong. Dong. Dong.

Did you like it?
Any ideas about Amy and the children?
Did you vote on the side poll?
Will you be back if I post another part next week?

Friday, January 23, 2015

A New Life - Part 4

Good Morning FFFs,
Life is busy. My new niece was just born Wednesday evening and her five older siblings spent Wednesday night here and almost all day yesterday. Pickle Puss was thrilled to have little sister after four brothers. This baby girl doesn't have a nickname yet as I've only seen and held her once, but don't worry, she'll get one. :) So, the last few days have been a little crazy. :)

My goal is to get 5,000 words written each week. (That equals 5 parts.) I didn't get anything written on Wednesday night, but last night I got 500 words written. If I can get the 5k written this week and next week, I'll have more than doubled the number of parts for "Dr. Morgan." :) Pretty fun, huh? Who knows, I may decide to keep working on this story and try to finish it before I start into TCR-5. What do you think? I've been so busy writing "Dr. Morgan" that I haven't gotten any other short stories written to post. I'd better get something written before too long or I won't have anything to post except "Dr. Morgan." :)

Now, I got a later start on this post than usual, so I'm going to keep it really short. I hope you enjoy this last part of . . .

A New Life
Part 4
 Last time . . .
    “Dear me, such trouble,” Mrs. Kouts shook her head. “Have you no idea where your husband might be notified? No? Well, then I see no other way but for you to pack your things and I’ll get two of my neighbors’ sons to bring them over to my rooms. Now don’t protest,” Mrs. Kouts ordered. “You are in no condition to even look for a new place right now and you certainly won’t be able to do much work in a short time. I’ve always thought I would enjoy a companion and you can help me with my sewing until you find a new place or your husband returns. Besides,” she added. “You wouldn’t want to be far away where Mr. McKinley couldn’t find you.”
    And so it came about that Mrs. McKinley was soon established in the pleasant rooms of Mrs. Kouts. It was only a few days after the move that Mary Mildred McKinley was placed in her mother’s arms for the first time.

* * * * *

    All those memories from the past, things I hadn’t thought of for months, came back to linger in my mind, putting up their heads at odd moments and interrupting my work. Some memories brought pleasure but others were painful. Such as the day Mrs. Kouts died, leaving me once again with no home; only this time I had a tiny baby and it was winter. Had it not been for the kindness of Mr. Carmichael who found me searching for work and insisted I come work here, I don’t know what would have become of Baby and me. Those were dark days, days it was hard to trust the promises of my heavenly Father, difficult to remember that He is faithful that promised, but He is faithful even when I doubt and my faith grows dim.
    It was several days after my walk home in the snow when Mr. Carmichael asked me to step into the library. The lamps had been lit, for the sun had hidden behind the western clouds early and the shadows were dark. Motioning me to a seat, Mr. Carmichael was silent until he had also seated himself in a chair before me.
    “Mary,” he began quietly, “is something bothering you? Are you happy here?”
    I must have looked startled for he added, “Mrs. Carmichael is growing worried about you. You haven’t been singing about your work and often you appear lost in deep thought.” There was concern in his voice and tears rose in my eyes.
    “I’m sorry if I troubled her. It’s . . . I . . .” I wasn’t sure how to tell it.
    Reaching out, he patted my arm. “Take your time, Mary,” he said quietly.
    I drew a deep breath and tried to collect my thoughts. “It’s memories, sir. They just keep coming to me, things that I haven’t thought of for months and some of them are hard. Oh, Mr. Carmichael, help me know what to do,” I begged. “My father doesn’t know how happy I was with Robert nor about Mary Mildred!”
    “Have you written to him?” It was a kindly put question but I began to cry.
    “I have tried, but they have all been sent back unopened! It is as though I have no father and Mother is dead.” I buried my face in my hands and wept. I don’t cry often, but this time I couldn’t help myself.
    “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.”
    Another promise. I looked up through my tears. The Lord had not forsaken me.
    “Let me have your father’s address,” Mr. Carmichael suggested, “and I will write to him and tell him all about you and that you and Baby are well.”
    I clasped my hands together. “Oh, would you? And might I put a little note in myself? He may not read it, but he may and it might comfort him.”
    To this my kind employer readily agreed.
    The note was harder to write than I had thought it would be. I apologized for leaving in anger the way I had and asked his forgiveness even if he never spoke to me again. I didn’t tell him of Robert’s disappearance for he would have no sympathy. Instead I told him of finding my Savior, of the wonderful promises that I had discovered in Mother’s Bible and of the prayers I offered for him every night. Then I mentioned Baby and signed it, “Your own daughter, Mary Louise.”
    The weeks of January passed by pleasantly for the most part. I enjoyed my new home, the work I was assigned was easy and there was time to take care of Baby. Everyone was pleasant and I learned so much from the godly influence of the Carmichael family. Even Miss Catherine, two years my junior, taught me more about the Book of promises than I had known before, while Mr. and Mrs. Carmichael instructed me in the ways of the One who made and never breaks those promises. Altogether the month was one of growth both spiritually and physically, for in that house on the corner I was never in want of food as I had often been in the previous half a year.
    It was the last day of January. A new snowfall during the night had blanketed the city with the freshest of white coverings. I was busy helping Cook when the doorbell rang. Hearing Miss Catherine’s feet descending the stairs, I knew she would answer the door. It was but a moment later when she called me.
    Hurriedly I dried my hands and went to answer the summons.
    “You have a visitor,” she whispered, pushing me down the hall.
    Wondering who could be calling on me, I moved forward and saw a gentleman standing with his back to me apparently studying a painting on the wall. “Good morning.”
    The man turned at the sound of my voice and exclaimed with outstretched arms, “Mary Lou!”
    “Robert!” I felt his arms tighten about me, felt his lips pressed against mine, heard those loved tones again and could only murmur, “For He is faithful that promised!”

    I couldn’t tell exactly what happened after that. The Carmichaels had to be introduced and Robert had to meet Mary Mildred. The story Robert told wasn’t long. He had become very ill and had gotten off at the wrong station. For weeks no one knew who he was and by the time he was well enough to write me, I had moved. When he came back he started searching. He discovered through neighbors that I had lived with Mrs. Kouts until she died, but after that no one had any idea what became of me. At last he swallowed his pride and went to my father. There it was discovered that the letter Mr. Carmichael had written had arrived but the day before. Father, Robert told me, was waiting at a hotel to see me. Could anything make me happier? There was one more thing to fill my cup to overflowing.
    It was while my Robert and I were sitting in the library alone before supper that he told me.
    “Mary Lou, I have found your God and He is mine. Oh, my Darling, let us walk with Him all the rest of our lives!”
    Tears of happiness streamed down my cheeks as I whispered, “For He is faithful that promised.”

And that ends our story.
What did you think of it?
Are you willing to read "Dr. Morgan next week?
Should I finish "Dr. Morgan" or work on TCR-5?

Friday, January 16, 2015

A New Life - Part 3

Hello Friday Fiction Fans!
The sun is coming up and it's looks like another beautiful day. Probably a little warmer than it was yesterday since it's supposed to be in the 50s today. Now if Baby Girl would just decide to come today or tomorrow the other kids could play outside. But we'll see. I think it's still supposed to be nice the beginning of next week too.

It's been a busy week. Not only were Mom and I working on cleaning out and organizing, I was busy contacting people about reviewing my audio, answering interview questions, going back and forth with a couple who want me to make them a queen size quilt, plus my writing. And, I was asked to be a judge for a writing contest and have been having fun reading the 33 stories that got entered in the age group I'm judging. :)

For those of you who are interested in "Dr. Morgan," :) I have been very busy working on it. Last week I got 5 parts written and this week I have more than 5 parts written. I was looking for some book on writing to read hoping maybe to find a few helpful tips or some marketing ideas. My kindle is a good thing to use for this sort of reading because I was able to read a few samples on Amazon. I tried one book, but it sure wasn't helpful. So I tried another book. Wow! This one has been great! Not only does the author give practical advice about writing, he offers ideas to improve your writing, suggestions on how to get more written and I haven't read the rest of it. :) I've been trying a few of the little tricks I learned from a suggested post (Kindle makes it easy to go read those linked posts.) and wow! This lady had gone from writing 2,000 words a day to 10,000 words a day in the same amount of time! Now, I wasn't going for that big of a jump, but every time I've used these tips, I've about doubled my word count. It sure was fun, but my brain was really tired! Now, just because I'm writing more, it doesn't mean you don't have to pray. This is a challenging story to write and I need all the prayer I can get.

Okay, that's it for today. I'll leave you with the next part of this January story. Enjoy!

A New Life
Part 3

Last time . . .
    Within an hour, clouds had covered the sky and a breeze began to blow. With a smile, Mary Louise McKinley whispered with a song in her heart, “Faithful is He that promised.”

* * * * *

    The quiet crying of Baby roused me from my sleep. Her needs were soon met and she lay in my arms wide awake.
    “Precious Darling,” I crooned, “even your coming was met by more promises. If only your father could see you.” I choked back a sob, for it was during these waking hours of the night that I felt the loneliest. After nearly four months of being without him, the longing to hear my husband’s voice again, to feel his arms about me, his kiss on my lips, to see his smile and bright, honest, blue eyes gazing with a tender love into mine, was often almost more than I could bear. At such times I would pull out my Bible and read until I felt comforted. That night was no different. After wrapping a blanket about Mary Mildred, I turn on the gas and,  pulling my warm dressing gown about me, I settled in the rocker with Baby in one arm and my Bible in my lap.
    I didn’t know where to read, so I opened it up at random and read: “For the Lord has called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. . . . With everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. . . . For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.”
    Leaning back I began to rock. “Even more promises,” I murmured. Sometimes it was hard to trust, often it was hard to wait, but I never had to wait in vain. “He is faithful that promised. It is so true, Mary Mildred,” I whispered to the sweet baby cooing in my arms. “He is faithful, every time.”

* * * * *

    “I’m sorry ma’am,” the young man said, his face flushed and his voice apologetic. “You haven’t paid your rent last week or this and the owner of the place wants you out unless you pay.”
    It was the beginning of autumn. Already the cold nights had wrought changes; the trees had begun to exchange their summer dress of green for the brilliant and much admired dress of fall, large and small flocks of geese could be seen flying south while the last few summer flowers which had dared to bloom so late were gathered to be taken indoors and enjoyed. Mrs. McKinley didn’t notice any of those things, however, instead she stared at the young man before her. “But I don’t have money to pay right now. I’m expecting my husband back from a business trip any day now and then we can pay.”
    “Sorry,” the young man repeated. “Boss’s orders. If you don’t pay by the end of the week you’ll be thrown out.”
    “Oh what shall I do?” Mrs. McKinley moaned, a hand over her mouth as her visitor turned and moved away. “I scarcely have money to keep one room warm and food to eat. Robert, where are you? I need you. We need you,” she amended placing one hand on the front of her dress. “What am I to do?”
    For several minutes she stood in the doorway, leaning against the side and trying to think of a way to earn the needed rent money. At last, with a discouraged sigh, she turned and went into the house.
    Sitting down in the hard chair near the window, she picked up her sewing. The shop wouldn’t give her much more and soon she wouldn’t even be able to do that. “Isn’t there something I can do? Is there anyone I can ask to help me?” In her mind she went over her small list of acquaintances. She could think of no one. Tears began to gather and the sewing dropped from her hands.
    It wasn’t until after her cry was over that Mrs. McKinley glanced about the room to see if there was anything she might sell to pay the rent until Robert came home. As she did, her eyes fell upon her Bible. With a little cry, she started up, her sewing falling unheeded to the floor. “How could I forget?”
    Hugging the book to her heart, she knelt beside the bed. “Forgive me, Lord, for not coming to Thee right away.” Rising, the young wife sat down on the bed and turned the pages reading a verse here and one there until she read: “Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me.” Gently she closed the book and sat for a minute. “I will trust in Thee,” she whispered. “Help me.”

    The following morning dawned bright and clear. A knock sounded on the door before Mrs. McKinley had gotten the meager breakfast things cleared away.
    “Good Morning, Mary Louise,” a cheery voice greeted when the door was opened. “I hope I’m not disturbing you calling this early. You see, I was hoping you had a bit of black thread I might have. I only need a small piece, but I have run out, and I haven’t time to go downtown.” It was one of Mrs. McKinley’s near neighbors, an older woman who rented a few rooms in a large house on the corner. She also took in mending and the two women had often exchanged greetings or offered advice.
    Mrs. McKinley produced the desired thread and Mrs. Kouts proceeded to sew on a button. Somehow, Mrs. McKinley was never quite sure how it came about, she found herself pouring out her troubles into the sympathetic ears of her visitor.
    “Dear me, such trouble,” Mrs. Kouts shook her head. “Have you no idea where your husband might be notified? No? Well, then I see no other way but for you to pack your things and I’ll get two of my neighbors’ sons to bring them over to my rooms."

What do you think happens next?
Next week is the final part.
Will you be back?

Friday, January 9, 2015

A New Life - Part 2

Good Morning Faithful Friday Fiction Fans,
I hope you all had a good week. Was it a productive week? Mine was.

All the decorations got taken down and put away last Friday and the house got cleaned. We babysat the kiddos and had a good time playing with them and building a house in their living room which was large enough for them all to "sleep" in. :) We are all waiting the arrival of the new baby, a girl! Pickle Puss is thrilled to be getting a sister after four brothers. Funny Boy didn't want a sister at first, he wanted another boy to play army with. But I think everyone is excited about the new arrival.

I tried writing "Dr. Morgan" last week and it was terrible! I got about three sentences written and stuck. I couldn't come up with anything and every sentence I tried sounded flat and boring. I tried again on Tuesday (babysat Monday night so didn't write) and got 300 words written. That was better. Still slow, but at least it was progress. Then came Wednesday evening. This time before I started around 5:00, I played the piano a little and did a little exercise. Got a start before supper. Then after supper I did something else I do now and then when my story requires some thinking before I can write again. I lay on my bed with my feet on the slanted part of the ceiling. :) Okay, so I'm rather strange. What can I say, I'm an author. ;) Anyway, all those things and prayers seemed to work and I got 1,400 words written. Yesterday I skipped the piano, but did the exercise and the feet on the ceiling and wrote 1,500 words. This story is really moving along. Some fans had quite a few questions and one of them sparked a new idea and it's really taken off and added a dimension to the story I hadn't thought of. :)

This week I also got some positive feedback on the TCR books. A dad of one of my fans, started reading the series and LOVES it! He placed an order for "the next 6 books." :) He's also made suggestions for things that might happen in later books. If you have ideas for later books, let me know and I'll jot them down on my idea pages. :) I can never have too many ideas.

But I'm going to get on with other things and let you enjoy this next part of . . .

A New Life
Part 2
 Last time . . .
    Laughing, I pulled back and replied, “I’m not cold a bit. Why this snow is very invigorating and I enjoyed every minute of my walk, but I must go tend to Mary Mildred.”
    However, I hadn’t gotten three steps up the stairs before Mr. Carmichael’s voice stopped me. “Mary,” he questioned, “did you have enough money for a car fare?”
    With hand on the rail, I looked back over my shoulder. These people were so good to me, taking Baby and me in when we had no place to go. Somehow I knew they would understand. “I did when I started back, sir, but there was a young girl who didn’t have a warm house or plenty of food and well . . .” I didn’t have to finish, for Mr. Carmichael smiled and nodded. He understood.
    I had reached the upper hall when his quiet voice came floating up to me, “The Lord loves a cheerful giver. Catherine, she is one of the Lord’s loved ones and no mistake.”

    That night, as I sat in a little rocker which Mrs. Carmichael had given me when I came, and cuddled my sleeping daughter, I looked out the window at the snow covered branches and the bright twinkling stars above and thought about what Mr. Carmichael had said. “One of the Lord’s loved ones.” A year ago it never would have been said.

* * * * *

    “Here ma’am,” a bright voice caused Mrs. McKinley to turn. There was a neatly dressed young lady standing beside her in the aisle of the streetcar. In her hand she held out a bit of pasteboard. “I do hope you will join us at the meeting tonight.”
    Politely Mrs. McKinley took the pasteboard and read “Gospel Meeting at 7th and Broadway. Free admission. All are welcome.” When she looked up again, the girl had gone, so young Mrs. McKinley tucked the notice into her handbag and prepared to walk the last few blocks to her house.
    As she and her husband sat together before a small stove, Mrs. McKinley produced the invitation and added, “Would you like to go, Robert?”
    After a quick glance at the printed words, Mr. McKinley laughed. “No thanks. I don’t feel in special need of their religious meetings. You weren’t thinking of going, were you Mary Lou?”
    Mrs. McKinley shook her head. “Only if you wanted to go.”
    The meeting was forgotten and the young couple went about their daily lives with never a thought for the One who made them and loved them. All was forgotten until one spring day, late in the afternoon. Mrs. McKinley was coming home with a basket of sewing to do when a sudden spring shower commenced to fall. Seeking shelter from the downpour that had begun so quickly, she found herself inside a church where a meeting was going on. There she heard of the Savior’s great love and such a longing came over her to be one of His children that, when the meeting was over, she made her way up to the minister. A long conversation was had between those two, the elder, grey haired minister and young, eager wife. When at last she left the church, Mrs. McKinley had a peace which she had never felt before.

* * * * *

    I gave a sigh as I rose to put Baby in her little bed. “Your papa didn’t understand what had happened to me that night, Baby,” I whispered sadly. “He didn’t understand and didn’t want to. If it had not been for the precious verses I found in Mother’s old Bible which had been buried deep in my trunk, I don’t know how I would have continued.” Quietly I prepared for bed, turned out the light, and in the shimmering, silver glow of the moon on the snow I knelt down to pray.
    “Oh Father in Heaven,” I murmured, “I thank you for this new home for Baby and me. For providing for us when we were in such need. Now I ask you to bless my Robert wherever he may be. Oh Father, you who said that if we ask in faith believing we shall receive, grant your salvation to my Robert! Faithful are you who have promised. You have never failed me even when times were hard, when difficulties seemed to almost overwhelm me, yet you were faithful and delivered me from them all.”
    How long I knelt there praying for my husband, I don’t know, but the peace of God filled me and at last I lay down and slept.

* * * * *

    “Listen Mary Lou,” Robert said one night in early summer, “I don’t mind if you want to be religious, but don’t preach at me.”
    Mrs. McKinley nodded. How she longed to have her husband one with her in this new experience, but he wanted nothing to do with it. His heart seemed hardened
    With a sudden change of subject, Mr. McKinley remarked, “I do wish, Darling, that you could get out of the city before summer’s heat is fully here. I’m afraid you’ll get sick.”
    “Where would I go?”
    “That’s the problem, I don’t know.”
    Mrs. McKinley laughed brightly at the expression on her husband’s face. “Don’t worry about me,” she assured him. “I’ll be all right.”
    Summer came and with it intense and oppressive heat. There were days when the young Mrs. McKinley felt wilted and listless. “I can’t go on,” she murmured to herself one especially hot morning. “This heat is just too unbearable. It seems to have drained nearly every drop of energy from me.” Picking up her Bible she opened it and read, “The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.” Flipping over a few pages her eyes caught the words: “The Lord is my strength and my song.”
    “Father, be my strength and my shade. I’m so tired and weary. Help me to have strength that Robert might not worry about me. Be Thou my song.”
    Within an hour, clouds had covered the sky and a breeze began to blow. With a smile, Mary Louise McKinley whispered with a song in her heart, “Faithful is He that promised.”

Do you like this story?
Will you be back for the next part?
Any idea for "Dr. Morgan" or TCR?

Friday, January 2, 2015

A New Life - Part 1

Happy New Year, Friday Fiction Fans!
You know, if it weren't for the faithfulness of you fans coming back each week to read something new, I probably would have quit blogging quite a while ago. So, thank you all for reading and commenting.
I hope you all had a good transition from 2014 into 2015. I did. I slept. :) I remember staying up one time till mid-night and that was the end of 1999-2000. Nothing exciting happened. A few fireworks went off, but everything looked the same, and I went to bed. I haven't stayed up till mid-night since.

After spending the earlier half of the week at my grandparents', we are back home and undecorating. We got a start yesterday, and should be finishing it up today. As much as I love decorating the house for Christmas, enjoying the soft glow of the white Christmas lights in the doorways, on the little trees and elsewhere in the evenings, I enjoy putting everything all away and getting the house back to "normal." I'm ready to get back to doing "normal" things. Like writing.

I probably won't start "Dr. Morgan" until next week, but I'm looking forward to it. I haven't any new ideas for it, so if you do, let me know! Perhaps I can also finish a few other short stories so I'll have something to post when this story ends. Or should I post "re-runs"? :)

This story was written for "Project 12" and was the January story. I hope you all enjoy it.

A New Life
Part 1

    The snowflakes, which had been small and light only thirty minutes ago, had become heavy and were falling thickly about me. It was cold, but not a penetrating cold where the wind cuts through coats no matter how thick they are, as though they were nothing, and chilling one to the very bone by its bitterness; this was a pleasant cold, brisk, invigorating, and the snow was lovely falling all around and rapidly covering up the drab grass and the few piles of ugly, dirty snow which still remained from the last snowfall.
    I paused on the sidewalk and gazed about. A new year, a new snowfall, a new house; all together it meant a new life for us. Tilting my face up, my eyes blinked as the large, fat flakes fell on my nose and hair. Glorious, that’s what it was! I gave a long sigh of contentment and then set off once more, thankful that the grocer’s boy had offered to bring the packages around in an hour. It would have been difficult to carry them, for the snow was making the streets a mess of slippery slush. Passing carriages or automobiles only churned up the roads and made them worse than before.
    Pulling my new coat closer about me, I hurried on. Little Mary Mildred would be waiting for me. How kind it was of Miss Catherine to promise to watch Baby so that I might run the errands for Cook and Mrs. Carmichael. I would have been nearly home now, how pleasant that word sounded, had it not been for the young girl I had found looking cold and hungry. I had only my car fare with me, but the thankfulness in her voice and face more than repaid the walking I now had to do.
    “For He is faithful that promised.” Softly I whispered those words and knew them to be true. Only two months ago I wouldn’t have even been able to spare a car fare. Even before I was married extra money was not plentiful even if I had been minded to bestow some of it on those in need.

* * * * *

    “Mary Louise! If you once leave this house to marry that man, you will never set foot in it again!” thundered Mr. Ryan as he stood before his daughter with flashing eyes and folded arms. His face was stern “Do I make myself clear?”
    “Perfectly, Father,” the daughter replied, her dark eyes flashing in the same way her father’s did, but her voice calmly quiet.
    “Than get back to your room.”
    “I will not. I am going to marry Robert McKinley, Father. Nothing you say or do will stop me.”
    “Mary Louise!” Mr. Ryan roared, “I forbid you to marry that man!”
    There was a toss of the small, brown head before the angry man and a quiet voice answered, “You already forbade me to think of him, but it didn’t work. I love him, Father, and I am going to marry him! If you won’t consent and give me your blessing, I’ll do without, but I cannot do without Robert McKinley!”
    There was a pause as the two equally strong-willed persons glared at each other. Neither one would give an inch, so at last, with a quiet, “Good bye, Father,” Mary Louise left her father’s house to join young Robert McKinley who was waiting for her.
    “He’ll break your heart!” shouted the irate father after the two young people.

* * * * *

    “Poor Father,” I thought, trudging onward. “And poor Robert. If only I knew where— No, I will not start thinking like that!” Resolutely I pushed the troublesome thoughts from my mind as I turned into the quiet, pleasant street where my new home was.
    I could see the house up the hill. The white sides of the large, pleasant home were not as distinct through the veil of quickly falling snow as they would be when surrounded by the green foliage on the large, old trees or the brilliant colors from the many gardens which surrounded it in summer. Its many windows looked dark, and I knew the members of the household must be in the back parts of the house. Guarded by two less than ferocious looking marble lions, the steps leading up to the corner porch held a blanket of snow. Smiling, I made my way around to the kitchen door. I was home.
    “There you are, Mary,” Cook exclaimed in relief. “Miss Catherine was worried about you and Mr. Carmichael was going to go out looking for you if you didn’t come soon. You’d best go right out there and relieve their minds as well as Baby’s. Though to be sure I’ve scarcely heard a sound from her.”
    As she spoke I quickly took off my coat and rubbers and then leaving Cook still talking to herself, I hurried upstairs.
    “Oh, Mary, I’m so glad you’re home! Father, Mary is home,” Miss Catherine called into the library. Then she turned to me once more. “When the car came and went and you didn’t appear I began to think something had happened to you. Mother has Baby and she’s been as good as gold.”
    Her mixed pronouns made me laugh.
    “But where were you, Mary?” Miss Catherine continued before I could hurry away to my little one.
    “Yes, Mary,” Mr. Carmichael’s deep, kind voice added as he came from the library, “what kept you so long?”
    “I tried to hurry, but I walked home instead of taking the cars. I’m so sorry you were worried.”
    “Walked! In this weather? Why you must be frozen! Come right into the library. Papa has a good fire going, and I’ll have Cook bring you a cup of hot tea.” Miss Catherine was in a flutter. “But why did you walk, Mary? Didn’t you have enough money for the fare?”
    Laughing, I pulled back and replied, “I’m not cold a bit. Why this snow is very invigorating and I enjoyed every minute of my walk, but I must go tend to Mary Mildred.”

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