Thanks for sharing what you thought I should do on this blog. I'll see what I can do. :)
This week has been a good one for getting a lot of writing done. I've already written 5,200+ words this week and I still have this evening and tomorrow. It's been such a delight to sit down and have this story just keep going. I'm not sure how long it will be. It is already 19 parts long and still going. My mom asked me if it was going to become another book. I told her I didn't know. All I know is that it keeps going and I want to know how it turns out.
If you haven't read the announcement on Read Another Page, take a look. Triple Creek Ranch - Set Free is now available! And . . . the kindle version is on sale for only 99 cents right now. But it won't last long. And the other TCR books are also on sale. Take a look.
I'm very glad you all seem to enjoy reading the stories about Ria and the Gang because this one is long. I hope you enjoy this next part just as much.
To the Farm
Though she had laughed with the rest, Ria had been glancing around and now began to lag behind, stopping to smell some flowers or examine a rock or to watch a butterfly. Al and Fred stopped when she did, though they urged her to quicken her pace. Ria apparently didn’t hear them or chose not to listen for her steps grew slower and slower.
At last Ed called back from up ahead, “Ria, pick up your feet!”
“Yeah, I thought you were going to beat us there,” Jason hollered back.
For answer Ria yelled in reply, “I am!”
“Not at that pace, you’re not,” Fred told her as she once again stopped in the road.
“I want them to get far ahead.”
Al and Fred exchanged glances. What was Ria planning? From the look on her face they were sure she had something up her sleeve.
After the last of the gang before them had disappeared over the hill, Ria said softly, eyes sparkling, “Hurry! Over here. Don’t let anyone see us!” Giggling, she had slipped off the road and hidden behind some trees which bordered a creek.
“Ria,” Al began questioningly, “what are you up to?”
“I know a short-cut to the farm,” she whispered.
“How did you find a short-cut?”
“From Mom and Uncle Edmund.”
Fred looked quizzically at his cousin. “Dad never told me about any short-cut.”
“Shh. That’s because it’s a secret. If you don’t follow the directions exactly right, you will pass the farm. Now,” she directed with another little laugh, “we will start, as long as you both promise never to reveal the secret to the rest of the gang unless it is absolutely necessary.”
Both Al and Fred promised, each wondering where they would end up.
Muttering some rhyme or poem half aloud, Ria set off confidently with the two boys following. Crossing the creek half a dozen times as it twisted and turned, Ria kept walking. At last, leaving the creek and turning left, Ria led her cousins out of the woods and into a field.
“This is the back field!” she exclaimed excitedly. “Come on!” and she began to race towards the far end of the field.
“I don’t know how she did it,” Al remarked to Fred. “But I’d say we’ll reach the house before the others.”
Fred laughed. “I’d say. Let’s go catch up with her!”
Back on the road, Ed called a halt when he noticed that his sister, Al, and Fred hadn’t come up over the hill. “We’ll give them a few minutes to catch up,” he told the others glancing at his watch.
Most of the boys dropped down beside the road, but Tom, Pete and Phil joined Ed.
“Do you think Ria can make it all the way there?” Tom asked doubtfully.
“I thought she could,” Ed sighed. “Now I’m beginning to wonder.”
“Maybe we should have left her at home,” Phil was watching the hill for signs of the laggards. After a pause he went on, “I would have thought they’d be at least to the top of the hill by now.”
At that point, Will, Jack and the twins came up.
“Ed,” Johnny said, “the four of us volunteer to go back and find the others. I think Jimmy and I can hurry Ria along. If not, we can always take her back home and then walk out to the farm.”
Ed frowned. “Then you’d be late getting there.”
“Yep,” Jimmy shrugged. “It’s better to have two of us late than everyone.”
Glancing at the the gang’s other leaders and seeing them nod, Ed sighed. “I suppose so. If I had known that she was going to be so slow, I would have vetoed the plan. Dad could probably have driven her out.”
Without waiting to hear any reply, the twins, with Will and Jack, started off at a dogtrot back the way they had come. When they reached the top of the hill, however, they saw no one in sight.
“That’s funny,” Will commented scratching his head. “They were so slow that they just vanished.”
“I didn’t think it was hot enough to evaporate them,” Jack said, pretending a look of astonishment at which his three cousins laughed.
“But really, where did they go? Did Al and Fred take her home?”
“That’s what I’m wondering, Jim,” and Johnny stared at the road stretching out before them. No one was in sight. “But I don’t see any sign of them.”
“They couldn’t have hitched a ride because no one has passed us.”
After several minutes of wondering and talking, the four boys were interrupted by a shrill whistle.
“I guess we’d better head back,” Johnny said recognizing Phil’s signal. “If they’ve taken her home, there’s no need for any of us to go too.”
“There’s the barn,” panted Ria, after a wild race down the last hill. “I . . . don’t . . . think . . . I can run . . . any . . . more.”
“I certainly don’t want to,” Fred gasped beside her while Al nodded, too out of breath to speak at the moment.
The three cousins walked slowly towards the farmhouse, enjoying the warm sun and the quiet of the morning. Ria especially enjoyed the stillness for, unlike most of the gang who lived on farms, the Mitchells lived in the city, and though Plainville was small, it was always a treat to Ria to get away from its noise.
No sign of the rest of the gang could be seen or heard, and Al, Fred and Ria mounted the steps to the back porch and opened the door.
“Grandma!” Ria called, “some of us are here.”
There was no one in the kitchen, but a second later someone strolled through the doorway from the living room. “Uncle Frank!” squealed Ria, running to fling herself into his arms and let him whirl her around the kitchen.
“Where did you come from?” Al demanded as soon as the young man in army fatigues released Ria and turned to greet the two boys.
Have you ever learned or created a rhyme to lead you to a secret place?
Does it sound like fun?
Have you ever taken a short cut no one else knew about?
P.S. Do you like the new look of this blog? And yes, I am planning on getting a button up for you all. :)