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Friday, July 31, 2015

To the Farm - Part 1

Good morning Faithful Friday Fiction Fans!
I hope you've had a wonderful week. Has it been really hot where you live? It sure has here! Though yesterday was nice. I walked down to my best friend's house to deliver empty milk jars and then walked home and didn't even break into a sweat!

After having my four very energetic and lively nephews here last week, I've been trying to catch up on things and get back into the rhythm of getting things done. (That is sometimes harder than it sounds.) If you go to Read Another Page, you can read my "About Me" page and the page about "Read Another Page Publishing." I'm hoping to start posting regularly on Read Another Page, but what should I post? I have many different ideas, such as how I write, tips on writing, what I'm working on now, and other things. If you have anything you'd like to know, please, send your ideas, questions or suggestions my way and I'll see what I can do. :)

As for this blog, I may make some changes to it. What do you think? Should I update some things? Should I keep changing the backgrounds like I have been doing? Should I make it all the same as Read Another Page? Should I change the font on the header? Should I create a "grab my button" for this blog? Let me know in the poll on the sidebar.

I was debating with myself for a while this week. Should I post the long story or the really short one? "Oh, I should do the short one."
"No, I should do the long one."
"But they might like the short one now."
"If I post the long one, I won't have to think about what to post for a while."
"True, and then I can post the short one next to give them a break from really long stories since the one I'm writing right now is already 11 parts long and I don't know when it's going to end."
That decided, I'm going to let you read the first part of another Ria and the Gang story. I hope you all enjoy! :)

To the Farm - Part 1
Early Summer 1940

    It was Saturday morning and, early though it was, the living room of the Mitchell home swarmed with boys. Ed and Phil had called an early meeting for the gang and the last ones had just arrived.
    “Let’s have some order around here,” Ed called out over the buzz of voices in the front room. As everyone settled down, Dave slyly shoved Chris off the ottoman they were sharing.
    “You!” Chris exclaimed, picking himself off the floor and glowering at his cousin.
    Ed sighed and glanced at Pete with a “Can’t you do anything with him?” look before saying, “Dave, if you can behave yourself long enough to listen for five minutes, you can walk off your excess energy.”
    Looking innocently up at his oldest cousin and then at Chris, Dave remarked with exaggerated care, “Chris, you really should settle down. I know it is hard for such a little fellow, but maybe you can hold someone’s hand. Poor boy, just too little to sit still.”
    There was an explosion of laughter at this and only Dave caught Chris’s muttered words: “Just you wait!”
    During the laughter, Ria strolled in, looking curious. There was almost always something amusing when Dave and Chris were together. Perching herself on the arm of Phil’s chair instead of taking the seat he offered, she waited.
    At last order was somewhat restored, though many were the fidgets, and Ed knew if he wasn’t quick, there would be another explosion.
    “Now that we are here and–Dave!” he warned just in time to save another interruption. “We will be leaving in a few minutes to walk to Grandpa Foster’s farm. He gave me a list of things that need done: the porch needs re-painted, the smokehouse needs a new roof, Grandma wants the storm windows taken down and stored in the barn, and,” here he looked at Jason and Tom, “the tractor needs fixed.”
    Both boys nodded. They were the mechanics of the gang and could fix almost anything with an engine.
    “I hope you are all ready?”
    Heads nodded.
    “Ed,” Ria spoke up, “I want to go too.”
    Ed looked a little doubtfully at his sister. “It’s a long walk, Ria,” he began.
    “You’d never make it,” added Walt.
    “Besides,” Johnny put in, “we’ll be there all day. It will be dark before we get home, most likely.”
    “Please!” Ria begged. “I don’t have anything to do here, and I want to go. I can walk that far, and I’ll bet I can get there before most of you.”
    “Oh, let her come, Ed,” Winston grinned at his cousin. “Grandma might enjoy having a female around to keep her company. You know we can be a little overwhelming at times.”
    “Put it to a vote,” Jack called out, winking at Ria.
    A vote was taken and to her delight Ria was accepted.
    “Go check with Mom to make sure it’s okay, Sis,” directed Ed, and Ria disappeared.
    In a moment she came back beaming. “Mom said I could go!”
    “All right then. Is everyone ready?”
    A loud shout answered the question and there was a scrambling of good natured pushing and shoving as the twenty lads made a rush for the door, Dave taking care to stay out of Chris’s way.
    “We’re off, Mom!” Ed called before he, Al, Phil and Ria departed.
    Mrs. Mitchell hurried into the room. Ed kissed her. “Take care of Ria, boys,” she said smiling.
    “We will,” promised the three lads at once.
    “Bye, Mom,” Ria waved as she and the gang moved off down the street. “I’ll tell you all about it when we get home!” she called back over her shoulder to her mother who was waving from the porch.
    It was a beautiful day for a walk. The air was calm and slightly cool, and the sun, rising from the only clouds to be seen in the sky, gave promise of lovely weather.

    They were out of Plainville and headed down the road towards Codell. It was a lively group. Dave, the most mischievous and youngest member of the gang, was full of extra energy, but tried to stay out of his cousin’s way, for he well knew that given the opportunity, Chris would, in good natured fun, retaliate his earlier teasing. It was some surprise to all the gang, however, that they had left Plainville with Chris showing no signs of even remembering Dave’s remarks and the shove off the ottoman.
    Watching closely, Ria noticed Chris say something in low tones to Walt before they both stooped and picked something up from the grass along the side of the road. She had a suspicion of what it was, but she didn’t say a word. Moving quietly towards Dave, Chris suddenly grabbed the back of his shirt and he and Walt dropped something down it!
    “What? Oh, ah! Get it out!” Dave shouted, trying to untuck his shirt from his overalls. He began jumping up and down in the dusty road jerking his shirt and overalls in such a ridiculous fashion that the rest of the gang roared with laughter, and Chris and Walt could hardly stand up. It was a full minute at least before Pete came to his brother’s rescue and assisted him by extracting two large grasshoppers from his shirt.
    Once free from the insects, Dave made a dash for Chris, who, turning to run, bumped into Walt and in another minute, the three lads were rolling in the dust in a wrestling match.
    “All right you three,” Ed ordered at last, “break it up.” He pulled Chris to his feet and nudged Walt with the toe of his boot. “Save some of your energy for real work.”
    Getting to their feet, covered in dust but grinning broadly, Walt, Chris and Dave started off once more at a rapid pace towards their grandparents’ farm, the others following behind.

Do you have any cousin like Dave?
What would you do if two grasshoppers were dropped down your shirt?
Will you be back for part 2?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Choices for Max - Part 4

Hello Friday Fiction Fans,
This is going to be a short post. We have all four of my nephews here (ages 2-7) and right now they are all playing legos in the same room with me. (I'm acting as a referee at times.) We've had them since Tuesday morning and they won't go home until Sunday night. We're heading to the park later this morning (after breakfast) and then might play in the pool again this afternoon.
As you may have guessed, I haven't gotten much written. (If you could see how many times I've been interrupted just in writing this, you'd understand. :) ) (pause) I did get a little written on Monday, but not (pause) much.

Next week I hope to get more written. And get some more up on Read Another Page. (pause) (pause)

Well, I don't seem to be able to get anything written without many interruptions. So . . . I'll let you have the last part of this story. But I'm sure you'll notice that it's rather short. :) But don't worry. It's (long pause) What was I saying? Umm . . . Oh, you get to pick the ending of the story. :) Have fun. (pause) 

Choices for Max
Part 4

    “But if we don’t go, we won’t know if we’d like it there.” Max turned to look at his younger sister. “I wonder where Mama and Daddy would want us to live.” Marcia’s blue eyes filled again with tears and Max bit his lip, wishing he hadn’t said anything. “Well, we’ll just have to decide ourselves.”

Now you have to decide. Which did Max and Marcia choose to do? If you think they stayed with Aunt Kate, click here. If you think they went with Uncle Eli, click here.

Which ending did you pick first?
Did you read them both?
(long pause)
I don't know what I'll post next week, but will you be back?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Choices for Max - Part 3

Good morning Faithful Friday Fiction Fans!
Well, so much for our lovely fall weather that we had last week. :) It's hot! And humid! If you've never been in a place where it was hot and humid, you can't imagine what it's like. We've had the heat index of 105º and I don't know what the humidity has been. Here's what happens, you step out to hang up clothes on the line. By the time you've carried the basket to the clothesline you feel like you're melting. After you get the clothes hung up you are damp with sweat and you feel limp and wilted
But that's outside. :)

Inside I have some fun news. :) The first is the cover of TCR-5! I got my proof copy yesterday. I'm not sure when I'll be able to have the actual book finished since we'll have four little people here most of next week, but hopefully before many weeks you'll be able to get your own copy.




And my other bit of news is a project I've been working off and on for the past several weeks, but wasn't getting much done. This week I was able to focus on it since I had a few other things done. So, if you go up to the top of the page, you will find a new tab next to "Home" that says "Read Another Page." That will take you to my blog/website that I designed. My best friend did the header for me, but the rest is my work. Let me know what you think of it! Yes, I know, some content seems to be missing and there is still a little tweaking to be done, but besides that, the design is done. And feel free to go ahead and grab my button. :)

Now, for those of you who have been wanting to know why Uncle Eli has arrived at Aunt Kate's. Enjoy!

Choices for Max
Part 3


    Uncle Eli peered over his nephew’s shoulder. “Brookfield Sluggers, huh? Did you know your dad used to play with them?”    Not taking his eyes off the small picture of the team, Max nodded. They were coming there! The Brookfield Sluggers! Perhaps he would finally get to meet the player he had dreamed about for years, the one he had heard about from his father, and the one he was named after.
    “Max?”
    Feeling a hand shaking his shoulder, Max lifted startled eyes, heat rising in his face. “Yes sir?” He had been lost in his thoughts and hadn’t heard a word his uncle had said.
    Uncle Eli smiled. “Do you know if your sister will be up soon? And when does your aunt usually come down?”
    Without answering, Max looked past his uncle and inclined his head toward the stairs. Marcia was just coming down. “Aunt Kate never comes down before nine.”
    “Then suppose the three of us have breakfast together. I’d like to talk with you both.”
    Seated in the kitchen at the table by the window, Max couldn’t help feel a sense of familiarity as he looked across at his uncle. Uncle Eli had the same blond hair and twinkling blue eyes which were a family trait of the Reeves family.
    After several minutes of small talk, Uncle Eli’s face grew sober. “I came all the way out here,” he began, “to take you two home with me. Now I know,” he went on, as Max felt Marcia grab his hand, “that this is rather sudden, and I’m not going to make you come. I wrote to Aunt Kate several weeks ago about it, but she never replied. You see, your aunt Betsy and I don’t have any children, and we want some. When your parents died, we were out of town, and, by some mistake, the letter telling us about it didn’t get forwarded and we missed the funeral. Then Aunt Betsy got sick and I had to be gone on a business trip, but I came as soon as I could get away.”
    There was a pause before he went on. “I’m sure your aunt Kate has been good to you.” He smiled. “And I’m sure you must have fun living in a big city like this one. Aunt Betsy and I live in a small town. It would be quite a change, but I hope you will like it. But, though I want you to come with me, I won’t force you,” he added again. “I want you to make up your own minds.”
    Max stole a glance at his sister before asking, “What if we don’t like . . .” he paused.
    “If you don’t like it and decide you would rather live here, Aunt Kate has agreed to take you back.”
    “When would we have to leave?” Max was thinking about the baseball game to be held at the nearby stadium in a week.
    “We’d have to leave tomorrow morning.”
    A heavy silence fell over the kitchen. The ticking of the clock in the hall could be heard, a neighbor’s dog barked, and the hum of cars driving down the streets came through the open windows. What sounds would a small town have in the early mornings? Would it be more like they had been used to when Mom and Dad were alive? Moving his hand in his lap, Max suddenly felt the bulge of his cherished baseball in his pocket.
    “Can we talk about it?” Max asked, meeting the blue eyes across from him that looked so much like his dad’s.
    Uncle Eli nodded. “Of course you can. No decision has to be made right away. Why don’t you both take a walk or something. I’ll clear up in here.”
    Slipping from their chairs, Max and Marcia stepped through the kitchen door and out into the morning air. Neither one spoke for some time as they wandered the back streets of the city, heading unconsciously toward their favorite park.
    “What should we do, Max?” Marcia whispered at last.
    With a deep sigh, Max shrugged. “I don’t know. I like Aunt Kate, even if she is more fussy than Mama was and I have to keep clean all the time. I think I like Uncle Eli too, though.”
    “He reminds me of Daddy.” Marcia sniffed and brushed away a tear with the back of her hand.
    Max put an arm around his sister. “Don’t cry, Marsh,” he said. “Do you want to go live with Uncle Eli and Aunt Betsy or stay here with Aunt Kate?”
    “I don’t know.”
    The park was deserted when they reached it and Max and Marcia sat down under a tree. Absentmindedly Max pulled the baseball from his pocket and began turning it in his hand. “Did you know the Brookfield Sluggers are going to play a game here next week?”
    “Oh, Max!” Marcia turned a bright face to her brother. “Do you think you could meet him? I’m sure Aunt Kate would let us go to the game.”
    “If we stay here.”
    “I forgot.”
    The sun rose and the air, already warm, grew hot. Thankfully a breeze stirred the branches of the shady tree and offered relief from the heat of the city. “I suppose it would be cooler in a smaller town,” Max remarked, wiping sweat from his face with his handkerchief. “And there might be a creek we could go swimming in.”
    “Do you think Aunt Betsy would be like Aunt Kate?”
    Max shrugged. He couldn’t remember his aunt at all, except that she had blond hair and her smile was bright.
    “Max, what are we going to do?” Marcia wailed. “I think I would like living with Uncle Eli and Aunt Betsy, but I don’t like things to change. And you wouldn’t be able to watch the ball game.”
    “I know.” Max gave a long sigh. “I’ve waited and waited to see Maxwell Burton and if we leave . . .” his voice trailed off.

So, will they go or stay?
Do you have any guesses?
Did you go check out Read Another Page?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Choices for Max - Part 2

Hello FFFs!
I don't know about your area of the country, but here it is wet. And not only is it wet, but Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday felt like autumn. Tuesday got to 69º in the morning and then dropped to 65º for the rest of the day. Since when does Missouri have temperatures in the 60s in July! We've had the air off and the windows open for the past few days.

This week has been busy. We babysat all my nieces and nephews on Tuesday all day. Well, okay, we only had Sugar Bug (my 5 1/2 month old niece) for a few hours in the morning and then an hour or so in the evening. Needless to say, I didn't get anything done on TCR-5. And yesterday we had 5 girls come over most of the afternoon for sewing, so I didn't work then either.
But, I am making progress on TCR-5. There are still some things I need to do before I can upload the inside of the book. But the front cover is done. I think you're going to like it. I know I do.

As far as other writings, well, I've been trying. I have many ideas and I really want to write, but my brain is either clogged with too many ideas, on vacation, or pouting because I took so long of a break. :) Oh, well. I'm sure it will get back into the writing groove once I get some of these projects done and out of my way. (At least I hope so!)

I hope you enjoy this next part of

Choices for Max
Part 2

    “Maxwell Burton Reeves,” she exclaimed, turning from the stove to face the children. “What have you been doing?”
    “I’m sorry, Aunt Kate,” Max began. “I forgot, and my ball went into the creek and . . .” his voice trailed off as his aunt shook her head.
    “What am I going to do with you? That was your last clean shirt.” Aunt Kate put one hand on her hip and frowned. “I don’t have time to wash your clothes every day, Maxwell, nor do I have money to pay someone to wash them each day.”
    Max knew he was in trouble, for his aunt had used his full name twice. Hanging his head, he stood silently.
    “Aunt Kate,” the timid voice of Marcia broke the growing stillness, “it was my fault.”
    Startled, Max stole a glance at his younger sister. What was she talking about?
    “I was pitching the ball, and I would have hit Max if his bat hadn’t been there instead. That’s what made it go into the creek, and,” her words came faster, “and Max couldn’t lose that ball, you know. It was Daddy’s last gift to him and . . .”
    Aunt Kate sighed. “It wasn’t your fault, Marcia. Max, go on up to your room and see if you can find something presentable to wear to the table. Hurry now. I’m almost ready to take supper up. Marcia, wash your hands and then set the table. And set an extra place.”
    Max paused in the doorway and looked back. “Who is coming tonight, Aunt Kate?”
    Turning back to the stove, Aunt Kate replied, “I don’t know if anyone is coming for sure, but your uncle Eli wrote that he hoped to come this week.” Her voice dropped as though she was talking to herself. “It would be just like him to show up today when everything isn’t perfect.”
    Turning, Max slowly made his way up the stairs and down the hall to his own room, his mind on what Aunt Kate had just said. Uncle Eli was his father and Aunt Kate’s middle brother. Aunt Kate was the youngest in the family of three. Max only remembered meeting this uncle once before when the whole family had attended his wedding several years ago. “I wonder why he’s coming now,” he thought, mechanically peeling off his wet shirt and pulling on the one he had worn the day before. “What will he be like? I wonder if he looks like Dad? What did Aunt Kate mean about him showing up when everything wasn’t perfect?” The sharp ringing of the doorbell interrupted his musings and hastened his movements. Was that Uncle Eli?

    During supper, Uncle Eli, for it had been him, entertained them all with stories and asked dozens of questions of his niece and nephew, most of which were answered by Max. But, when Marcia was helping Aunt Kate clear off the table, Uncle Eli pushed back his chair and, draping one arm over the back of it, remarked, “Kate, I suppose you’ve told the children why I’ve come?”
    “No,” Aunt Kate’s voice came back from the kitchen. “I haven’t had a chance to say anything.” There was a tone in her voice that Max couldn’t quite understand.
    “Well!”
    Max looked from his uncle’s thoughtful frown, to his aunt’s flushed face in the kitchen doorway. What was going on? He could feel the tension starting to rise.
    “Max, go help your sister with the dishes and then both of you go up to bed.”
    Reluctantly Max rose from the table. He wanted to protest that it was too early for bed, but there was something in his aunt’s tone that made him swallow his argument. It wasn’t that he really minded doing the dishes, or even going up to his room, but something was going on and he wanted to know what. The door to the sitting room shut firmly behind Uncle Eli and Aunt Kate leaving the children staring at each other in the kitchen. Neither one said a word as the dishes were washed, dried and put away.
    The murmur of voices was heard in the sitting room, but Max couldn’t catch a single word as he and Marcia made their way on tiptoe to the hall. Slowly, quietly, Max followed his sister up the stairs, pausing on each step hoping to hear something that would explain the situation. It was no use. Reaching the upper hall, Max motioned to Marcia.
    “Come to my room so we can talk.”
    “But Max, Aunt Kate said we were to go up to bed,” protested Marcia in a whisper.
    “She didn’t say we couldn’t talk first. Besides, it’s too early for bed, the sun is still up. Please.” Max put on his most pleading look, for he knew that was more likely to win his sister’s acceptance than demanding something.
    “Shouldn’t we at least get ready for bed first?”
    Max nodded and the two parted.

    The house was still quiet when Max slipped from his room the following morning. Early dawn was streaking the sky with pink, though Max couldn’t see much of it with all the houses around. Tiptoing downstairs, he brought the milk bottles inside and then waited for the boy to bring the newspaper. Standing by the screen door, Max gave a sigh. He had often wished he could have a paper route, but Aunt Kate had said no.
    “You’re up bright and early, Nephew,” a hearty voice said, and Max turned quickly.
    “Good morning Uncle Eli.” His voice was quiet. “I always get up early.”
    Uncle Eli joined him at the door and looked out at the still sleeping city. “Not much to see this time of morning in a city, unless you’ve a paper route.” This remark came as a boy on a shiny bicycle rode by and expertly tossed a rolled paper onto the porch.
    Slipping out the door, Max quickly brought it back, staring at one of the smaller headlines.
    “Brookfield Sluggers to play the Bentenville Indians.”

Why did Uncle Eli come?
Why was Max staring at the headlines?
Will you be back for Part 3 next week?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Friday, July 3, 2015

Choices for Max - Part 1

Happy Independence Day (tomorrow)!
Do you have plans for celebrating the glorious 4th? Picnics? Get-togethers? Fireworks? Hot dogs and watermelon? Anything? Last evening we attended a picnic out at a beautiful place in the country. There was patriotic music, hot dogs, hamburgers, watermelon, and lovely weather. :) Tomorrow there is another "party" a family at church is hosting. I'm sure it will be fun. :)

Life has been busy. I'm still working on trying to complete many of my projects so I can get back into writing. I'm having some trouble thinking of what to write now. Anyone have any short story ideas? I tried to think of a patriotic story I could write and post, but I think the part of my brain that comes up with all these stories is on vacation because I couldn't think of anything!

I thought of giving you the next part of the Graham Quartet today, but wasn't sure anyone was really interested in it right now. (Maybe everyone was too busy to read the last post.) So I decided to give you another story. I just wrote this story on the spur of the moment. I couldn't think of what to write about, but I needed to write something, so I started. And this is the story that came from it. :) Enjoy!

Choices for Max
Part 1

    Max threw down his bat in frustration. “If you are going to pitch, Marcia, that try to throw the ball over here and not ten feet away!”
    “But I’m afraid I will hit you,” wailed nine-year-old Marcia, rubbing at her eyes with a dirty fist.
    “I can get out of the way,” Max promised, picking up his bat once more and tapping it on the piece of cardboard he was using as home-plate. “Try a few more throws.”
    Marcia nodded.
    The next throw was closer than anything yet, and Max smiled as he tossed the ball back to his sister. “That’s better. Try a little closer next time.” Holding his bat, Max prepared to swing if the next ball came anywhere close to his bat. His body, small for eleven years, tensed. If only Marcia would make one good throw before they had to go in for supper; he wanted to feel the bat hit even a piece of the ball.
    The throw came and Max ducked, swinging his bat wildly as the ball headed right towards him!
    Crack!
    Max, his eyes tightly closed, heard the sound and felt his bat connect with something. Had he really hit the ball? Venturing a peek, he saw his sister staring open mouthed as her head moved and her eyes remained glued to something which arched overhead and out towards the far end of the park. Surely it wasn’t his ball, was it? Standing up, he watched the object begin to fall from obit. It was so far out! He could have made a home-run with that hit.
    Suddenly he started to run, dropping his bat as he passed his startled sister.
    “Max!” Marcia called, stooping to pick up the bat before running after her brother. “Wait!”
    Max didn’t so much as bother to answer or even look over his shoulder. His eyes were on his ball. “No!” he moaned to himself. “Not the creek!”
    Splash!
    Putting forth another bust of energy, Max reached the wide creek which ran through the edge of the city park. Perhaps his ball wasn’t too far out. He might be able to get it if he just rolled his pants up a little. Upon reaching the bank of the creek, Max, panting from his run, searched the creek bed with his eyes. The ball was nowhere to be seen close to shore.
    Rolling up his pant legs, Max quickly stepped into the water. The coolness was refreshing on the warm early summer afternoon. Resolutely he started out towards the middle of the stream where he was sure his ball had landed.
    “Max!” Marcia called. “Your clothes!”
    It was too late. Only then did Max remember that he had promised his aunt he would try to stay clean. “But I can’t lose my ball,” he muttered, wondering just how deep he would have to go. “I needn’t have rolled up my pants,” he thought, as the water reached and then passed his knees.
    Deeper and still deeper he waded, his eyes trying to see through the murky water for any sign of his lost baseball. Suddenly he stopped. What had his foot just felt? Carefully feeling it, he could tell it was a round object. Was it–Yes, it was his ball, he was sure of it.
    “I found it, Marcia!” he shouted to his sister.
    “Then hurry up and get it,” Marcia called back.
    Max looked down at the ball by his feet. There was no way he could get it up without getting his shirt wet. Well, there was no hope for it. “I’m already wet,” he sighed. As he reached down, something happened. He never was quite sure if his feet slipped or if he just lost his balance. Whichever way it happened brought the same results. With flailing arms and a startled cry, Max felt the cold waters rushing over his body, into his eyes and ears and then over his head. The next minute he was sitting on the bottom of the creek with only his head above the water as he gasped and choked, trying to shake the water from his eyes.
    “Max!” there was panic in his sister’s voice.
    “I . . . I’m all right, Marsh,” he tried to laugh. “I . . . I have my ball.” His hand had closed over the sought for object and he raised it over his head.
    “Then get out of that water!” pleaded his younger sister, almost in tears. “You’ll catch your death just sitting there!”
    Struggling to his feet, Max staggered to the shore, climbed up the bank, and collapsed onto the grass. He couldn’t help giving a little laugh at his sister as she stood there before him, her small hands planted on her hips, frowning at him.
    “I don’t know what Aunt Kate is going to say to you,” she began. “You promised her you would keep clean.”
    “I said I would try to keep clean,” Max corrected quickly. “And I did try. How was I supposed to know my ball would go so far or that I was going to fall into the water?” He stood up. “Come on, Marcia, let’s get home. I’m hungry, and I imagine supper must be about ready.”
    Together the brother and sister started on their homeward way. Max looked a sorry sight with water dripping from every fiber of his clothes and his blond hair plastered down on his head.
    “Let’s go the back way,” he suggested, after noticing the stares they were receiving on the busy sidewalks of the city.
    Marcia agreed, for she hated to be stared at. She had always been rather shy, and since they had come to live with their Aunt Kate in the city after their parents had died, she had grown even quieter around strangers.
    At last the brother and sister reached the backyard of their Aunt Kate’s house. Max had hoped he would be able to slip in and change clothes before his aunt saw him, but she was in the kitchen when they stepped through the back door.

What do you think will happen next?
Will you be back for Part 2?
Have a wonderful Independence Day!