Friday, June 19, 2015

The Graham Quartet - Part 2

Good morning Friday Fiction Fans!
It sure is wet here. I don't know about you, but we've had a lot of rain. In fact, last evening, just before supper, my dad and I set off and had an adventure in the rain. I had heard from my sister that the creek (okay, it's technically called a "drainage ditch") in the valley was flooded and over the road, so I grabbed my rain jacket, slipped on my sandals (because I didn't want to soak my shoes) and went outside. Dad decided to join me and off we set. After we decided to walk through the wet grass down the hill to the path, we were amazed by the water. It was rushing rather quickly and had spread over it's banks and in places had covered the road and the path. It was rather fun to see all the water, and after seeing cars drive through the water only to turn around after they got to the bridge, we decided to walk down there and take a look. Only we couldn't stay on the path since it was under water. We ended up making our way through the swamp that was higher than my ankles to get around it. After crossing under the bridge we saw more water. Lots of water actually, and it had covered the road even more than the other place. But, it seems that no one really cared about it and they drove through it. Crazy people. Anyway, Dad and I were both rather soaked by the time we got home. :)

We came down the hill on the far right. There is supposed to be a road in the foreground of the picture, instead it is just water. You can see the rushing current in the middle. (This was taken by a friend coming home from work.)

I know our local flooding isn't anything like it's been doing in TX and, I'm sure, other places. But I did get a new short story to write. :) You'll just have to wait until I get it finished.

Okay, I know this is later than usual, but does anyone even read it before 9:00?

Triple Creek Ranch - Set Free is coming along well. The illustrations are almost finished and my test readers are starting to get their hands on it. :) I thought you all might enjoy seeing one of the illustrations from the new book. Kate said she would. This is the first picture. One half is finished and the other shows what the drawing looked like before she painted it. What do you think? Can you guess who they are? What do you think is happening?

I really haven't been working on The Graham Quartet. Sorry. I'm trying to get another short story finished, and then I had this new idea. Besides, I want ideas and suggestions from you, dear readers.

But here you are.

Part 2

    He moved his hand towards the door which now stood so invitingly open. “I touched something, and suddenly the whole latch and lock came away from the door frame and . . .” His eyes were wide and sparkled with excitement though he kept his voice scare above a whisper. “Dare we go in?”
    With a shrug, Matt moved forward, cautiously put his head inside, and glanced around. “I don’t see anything.” He stepped through the door, his eyes darting around the room. It was bare. Only an old table stood in the center of the room.
    Obeying the motion of Matt’s hand, Tim eagerly joined him. “Wow! Elsa, come see! I wonder what this place used to be?” Slowly raising his head, Tim stared at the rafters up above, draped and festooned with cobwebs and layers of dust.
    It was Elsa’s voice that answered. “If you’d taken a moment to study the old sign above the door, you would have noticed that it said something about fish processing.”
    Several minutes passed as the three siblings moved about the room, trying not to breath, too deeply near the windows lest they stir up a whirlwind of dust. Matt examined the lock on the door but was as puzzled as his younger brother had been about it coming loose.
    Outside, sitting on the ground, Selena waited. What were the others doing? She hadn’t heard Tim’s exclamation and wondered about their growing absence. The sudden freshening of the breeze caused her to stand up quickly. Her dress whipped about her legs as she noticed the piles of dark clouds racing across the sky from the west as though they were an invading army out to conquer the forces of light. “Matt! Elsa!” Selena hurried to the side of the building. “A storm’s coming. Come on.”
    In a moment Matt came around the corner and joined her on shore. He frowned up at the darkening sky. “Where did that storm come from?” A jagged flash of light ripped through the oncoming mass of clouds,followed moments later by a rumble. “There’s no way we can reach the house before it hits. I think the best thing to do is take shelter in this building.” As the wind grew stronger he raised his voice and motioned to Elsa and Tim who were coming across the walkway. “Let’s get back inside before the rain starts.”
    Selena cringed at the sight of the water lashed up by the wind dashing against the shore with showers of spray. “Matt–”
    Without giving his sister time to think longer, Matt seized her hand and pulled her onto the walkway. “The building has a solid floor,” he assured.
    Large drops of rain were beginning to spatter about them as Matt and Selena raced around the corner of the old fish building and through the open doorway.
    Once the door was shut and firmly secured by a piece of wood braced between it and the table, the siblings looked at one another. Rain beat upon the roof and the wind whistled through a crack in the eaves. Thunder roared and crashed as flashes of lightning split the sky for brief seconds.
    “Well,” Matt began, speaking loudly to be heard, “I guess we’re stuck here for a little while. Maybe it will be a quick storm.” Dropping to the floor, he leaned against the wall and stretched out his legs. “Just listen to that storm!”
    The room was dim but dry. Elsa and Tim joined Matt on the floor but Selena remained standing, looking around. “Who swept the floor?”
    “Huh?” Tim raised his eyebrows. “No one swept. There isn’t any broom. And who would want to sweep an old place like this?”
    “Someone who wanted to stay here.” Selena’s words seemed to send a shock through her older siblings, for Matt and Elsa each reached out a hand and felt the floor.
    “She’s right!” Elsa stood up quickly.
    “How do you know the floor was swept?”
    “Think, Tim,” Matt said. “How much dust and dirt is covering the windows, and the table even? And how much dirt is on the floor?”
    Tim gave a whistle. “I never thought of that! It’s a good thing you came in, Selena. So, if someone swept the floor–”
    “It was because he was staying here–”
    “And didn’t want to be covered with dirt or people would notice.”
    “But he didn’t wash the windows for fear someone would realize this building was being occupied.”
    A long silence fell over the Graham Quartet as they looked at each other. Who was the person that had stayed in the building? Was it the man they had been following? When a loud crash of thunder sounded almost overhead, they all jumped.
    “If ‘he’ comes during this storm, we’ll never hear him,” Tim’s voice only reached his brother’s ears and Matt frowned.
    “Maybe we should look around and see if the occupant left anything behind,” suggested Elsa, as the storm seemed to abate somewhat and the room grew slightly lighter.
    “All right, let’s each take a side of the room,” directed Matt. “It will at least give us something to do while we wait out the rest of the storm.”
    It was difficult searching a bare room in the grey light of a storm, but the Quartet made a thorough job and at last were rewarded by Elsa’s cry of “I think I may have found something.”
    Everyone hurried over. She was on her knees attempting to get something out of a crack in the floor.
    “Here, try my knife.” Matt opened one of the blades on his pocket knife and handed it to his sister. In another moment Elsa was holding a piece of paper.
    “Does it say anything?” demanded Tim.
    Holding the paper as close to the window as she could, Elsa bent over it. “It has something written on it, but I can’t tell what it says. It’s awfully small print and the light is so bad, I can’t see very well.”

Ideas? Questions?
What do you think is going to happen?
Do you think the paper is anything important?


Kate said...

Interesting story!!! I love reading it! And thank you so much for the sneak peek illustration. ;) I'm guessing that's Orlena and someone I don't know about yet talking to Stephen? ;)

Christianna Hellwig said...

I'm imagining that the paper has to do with some written instructions sent by the chief of some kind of undercover operation to the man who stayed here and he hid it because he intended to come back to it later but didn't want to risk having it on his person in case he was caught or somehow lost it. Or maybe it was his message to some partner or someone who intended to come later. Just my thoughts! I'm looking forward to more. I wish you good imagination flow and absence of writer's block! ;)

Anonymous said...

Part two is even better than the first part!!! I can't wait for the next part! And I love the illustration :) Keep up the good work!

Rebekah said...

Kate, good guess about the picture. It is Orlena, but no, neither of the others is Stephen. And both of them have been mentioned before. :)
Glad you are enjoying the Graham Quartet.

Christianna, You have some great ideas there. I'm going to jot them down as I'm not even sure what all is going on. :)

Anonymous, Thanks for commenting. I'm glad to know you are enjoying the Graham Quartet. And I love the illustrations too. :)