Friday, September 25, 2015

To the Farm - Part 9

Good morning to all you FFFs!
It's a lovely morning here. Just a hint of chill to the morning air. We had a beautiful sunrise with bright pink clouds in a sea of blue. It's only supposed to be in the low 80's today.
Last night I got to enjoy a musical treat with my grandpa. He came down and we went to a concert last evening. We heard the Brentano String Quartet playing Bach, Mendelssohn and Brahms. What a delight to relax and just enjoy the wonderful music while watching the musicians.

This week has been a good length. Not too short, but not too long and drawn out. I wrote the end to my new book, but it hasn't been edited yet. I also have the front cover partly designed. After finding just the right person for the front, and a great image to use as the background, I decided to try designing it myself. Thankfully I do have someone to give me advice along the way. (Thanks, Perry!) Yesterday I was playing around with the back and spine. So much fun!
Oh, and if anyone wants to draw me a black and white snowflake, I'd love to see it. I want to use snowflakes as my scene brakes in this book, and it occurred to me that having different ones would make it even more fun. So, snowflakes anyone?

I was going to tell you all that "Gift from the Storm" is being recorded on audio, but the producer had to cancel due to ill health. So, . . . it's going back out for auditions. The same happened with TCR-1. Sorry. If you know of any really good readers, send them to ACX and have them look up my books. :)

And now the next to last part of the story about Ria and the Gang.

To the Farm
Part 9

    “What’s this?” Uncle Frank asked, coming into the room at that moment. “I thought Ria was on the mend.”
    Rapidly Earl explained.
    Uncle Frank was sympathetic and offered to stay with the invalid for a while.
    To Ria the day dragged on. Her ankle ached and, worst of all, she was confined to the sofa unless she was carried to another place to lie and watch the others. Everyone tried to amuse her; her aunts, mother and grandma all chatting with her until they were called away as they always were, her uncles, father and grandpa offering to play a game of Sorry!, Scrabble or Monopoly with her, but Ria declined, she had already played those games until she was sick of them. And even the allure of playing with new opponents was not appealing. The young girls tried playing in the room where Ria was, but Ria didn’t feel like pretending she was a sick, old lady they had come to visit, and they soon departed. Ria didn’t expect any visits from the younger boys and she got none, for they were much too busy doing whatever it was younger boys do. As for the gang, several of them offered to sit with Ria and keep her amused, but Ria soon sent them off with the excuse that she was tired or wanted to read. She was tired, tired of being the invalid, tired of sitting around all day, and tired of not being able to do the things she loved doing.

    Later in the afternoon, Ria watched out the window as the gang gathered on the grass. The sun was shining and a breeze shook the leaves of the shade tree.
    It was a lively conversation, for several times bursts of laughter rang out or the buzz of talk grew louder, but she couldn’t hear what was being said, though the window was open. Several times one of the boys would look her way and wave or smile. “I wonder what they are talking about,” she sighed to herself. “I wish they would hold their discussion on the porch so I could at least listen in.” The meeting, whatever it was about, didn’t last long, and the lads scattered, some in one direction, others in another, and Ria could see Ed and Phil in conversation with Uncle Frank. “It must be interesting, the way they are moving their hands and Uncle Frank is nodding. Oh,” Ria sighed a minute later, as she saw Frank make a gesture and point in the direction of Codell while Ed and Phil nodded. “They are probably going to take a walk or something like that and I’ll be stuck here! Oh, why did I have to trip over that puppy!” And Ria buried her face in the cushions on the sofa and remained there for some time fighting to keep back the tears.

    She must have fallen asleep, for the next thing she heard were whispers near the window.
    “Coast is clear,” said one.
    “All right. Wait until we get the all clear from the other side.”
    Ria pushed the pillows away and looked about. The room was empty and the house quiet. Had she just dreamed she had heard voices? Footsteps cautiously approached from the dining room and Jimmy appeared, glanced around quickly and put his finger to his lips before his sister could say anything. Motioning towards the other part of the house, he whispered, “Anyone back there?”
    Ria shrugged, longing to ask what was going on but keeping quiet, for Jimmy had slipped down the hall. In a minute he returned and stepped to the screen door. “Clear.”
    “Keep watch,” another low voice replied and Jimmy disappeared outside and Uncle Frank stepped in.
    By this time Ria was sitting up, her eyes darting around and a thousand eager questions on her lips.
    “Shh,” her uncle whispered. “Don’t talk now. We haven’t a moment to lose.” Quickly he picked her up in his strong arms, being careful not to bump her injured ankle against the couch, and carried her across the room, down the hall, and into one of the guest rooms which seldom got used. Here she was set on the bed and Uncle Frank stood near the half closed door. “So far so good,” he murmured as though to himself. “But this was the easy part.”
    A tingling feeling began to race up Ria’s spine and her breath quickened. Was this some new game the gang had invented? But if so, what was it? Just when she was sure she would burst if she wasn’t allowed to ask questions, soft footsteps were heard in the hall and Ed stepped into the room and quickly closed the door behind him.
    “Two in the kitchen,” he whispered. “We’ve got to hurry before they notice!”
    “Right.” Without another word, Uncle Frank opened one of the windows and removed the screen with scarcely a sound. Then, to Ria’s astonishment, he climbed through. “Ready,” came his low voice.
    “It’s time, Sis,” Ed breathed in his sister’s ear as he lifted her in his arms.
    This was certainly the most unusual game the gang had ever invented and Ria wasn’t sure if she should be frightened and scream for help, burst out laughing or remain silent. While she was deciding what to do, Ed carried her over to the window.
    Outside Uncle Frank was waiting. “Put your arms around my neck, Ria,” he commanded softly. “Be careful of that foot.”
    Ria did as she was told and felt herself changing one set of strong arms for another. This time she was outside. “I wonder why they didn’t just carry me through the front door,” she thought, “it would have been easier.” Ed replaced the screen and closed the window before disappearing from her sight.
    “What–” she began, only to be hushed quickly.

What is the gang up to?
 Do you have any ideas?
Come back next week to find out what it's all about.

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