Friday, September 23, 2016

Neglected and Forsaken - Part 1

I can't believe it is really Friday! This whole week has been crazy and it seemed that we already had Friday! And Saturday! I want to know where Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are! I thought perhaps the days had just gotten mixed up, but instead I'm finding duplicates. Who has my Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday? I'll trade you one of those for a Friday or Saturday. :)

You see, we babysat all my nieces and nephews for about 5 1/2 hours on Monday. On Tuesday I taught writing class and then my grandparents came down and were here for supper before we went over to celebrate my oldest niece's 10th birthday! On Wednesday we met my brother and his family and my grandparents for breakfast before heading to a local nature center and enjoying time there the rest of the morning. Then one of my heart-sisters came to town and she and I went out for ice cream and visited.
I feel like I've been trying to catch up all week. :)

Yesterday my short story Fitting In was officially published! With all that's been going on, I really haven't had time to do much promoting of it. Thank you everyone who read and reviewed it!

Oh, and don't forget to come visit Read Another Page on Monday for the Five Fall Favorites party!

Perhaps you've already read this story. But perhaps not. It comes in 3 parts, so it won't take too long. I hope you enjoy it.

Neglected and Forsaken
Part 1
    A warm breath of air blew down the mountainside stirring the grasses and causing the branches of the pine and fir trees to quiver and sway. Summer was here again. The old weathered sides of the Frisco Mine creaked while a loose shingle slid down through a  hole in the roof to the floor below.
    An aged man, somewhat stooped, with grey hair and whiskers and leaning heavily on a stout stick, paused before the decaying building. His breath was short and panting as though he had just made an arduous climb up the side of a steep mountain. With a trembling hand he wiped the perspiration off his face with his worn handkerchief.
    “The air’s thin up here,” he muttered to himself. “Always was an’ always will be I reckon.” He looked up at the old silent building before him. “We know what it’s like, don’t we?”
    A creaking board was the only answer, but that seemed to satisfy the old timer, for with a tired smile he made his way over to a rock and sank wearily down on it.
    The sun shone brightly down from a pale blue sky. A few lazy clouds seemed to cling still to the mountain tops nearby as though reluctant to leave them in spite of the wind’s promise of future mountain tops. All around was quiet and still. No human voices were heard. No wagons rumbled by, No trains whistled. Everything was peaceful and serene.
    Slowly, with a sigh of contentment, the old man lifted his head and looked about. A faint smile crossed his face as he gazed at the mine before him. “We’ve seen a lot, you an’ I. Haven’t we, Old Girl?” His eyes took on a far away look, and it seemed as though he could see it all again, just as it was then.

    A sharp pull at the string and the whistle blew announcing noon. Men seemed to appear out of no where into the open air. A steady stream headed for the nearby boarding house. In the town, voices floated back and forth as the people headed home or to the hotel or saloon, whichever suited their fancy for their mid day meal.
    William Croften leaned against the side of the mine near the whistle string he had just pulled. “It’s hard ta believe, ain’t it Frisco,” here he looked around at the sturdy walls of the mine with its gleaming glass windows and dark roof. He went on. “Hard to believe that only three years ago there was only one log cabin here abouts. An’ now in ‘76, would ya jest look at that town. I counted thirty cabins now an’ that don’t count the hotel, saloon, general store nor the post office. I reckon this is an up an’ comin’ place. But ya know, Frisco, it’s odd when ya come to think of it, jest how much the folks around here depend on your whistle.” William gave a grin, glanced at his watch and then strode off for his own cabin not far away.

    A small stone rolling down the mountain brought the old man back to the present with a start. Reaching down he picked up a handful of rocks and stared at them. “I reckon you recall, old girl, the day . . .”

    “Hey, Will!”
    “Did ya hear the news?”
    “What news?” Will glanced up from his desk.
    “We’ve got the highest court in the land.”
    Will snorted. “Ah, you expect me to believe that, Joe? Go along with yer foolin’.”
    Joe chuckled at something vastly pleasing as he dropped into an empty chair in the office of the Frisco Mine. “I ain’t foolin’ this time. That’s the sure ‘nough truth. It has ta be true, the judge jest said it.”
    At his companion’s incredulous look, Joe chuckled again. “Ya should ‘ave been there at the trial, Will.”
    “I know it, but the mine won’t run itself,” he glanced out the window and down towards the town. “So, what happened?”
    Joe was all eager to tell. Since this was the county seat, there were many trials held there, and Joe liked nothing better than to attend them. “Some day,” he liked to tell his friend Will, “I’m going ta be a lawyer, then you be sure an’ come an’ listen to the verdict.” Since he wasn’t yet a lawyer, he had to be content with sitting in the court sessions.
    “And so,” he wound up the story of the trial, “the judge fined him ten dollars and court costs. ‘Course Tom didn’t like it a bit and said he, ‘I’ll take this case to a higher court.’ He was right mad, but the judge jest looks him square in the eye an’ says cool as snow, ‘Man, there isn’t a higher court. You’ve jest been tried and found guilty in the highest court in all the United States.’ Now I call that something.” Joe paused out of breath.
    Will scratched his head and frowned in puzzlement. “How’s that, Joe? I must be gettin’ slow from all this book work.”
    Joe grinned. “Will, this town of Animas Forks is 11,300 feet or so above sea level. Now, do you know of any other court that is that high?”

Have you read this story before?
Do you like old buildings?
Are you coming to the Five Fall Favorites party?


-Christian said...

I remember reading this story before. But its nice to re-read it.

Rebekah said...

Thanks for commenting, Christian! I figured that if anyone had read this story, it would probably be you. I'm glad you don't mind re-reading it. :)