Friday, September 30, 2016

Neglected and Forsaken - Part 2

Welcome to the Literary Lodge!
Wait, this is the Friday Fiction room. Sorry about that. ;) You see, the Party is still going on over at Read Another Page and I've been caught up with all the visitors, answering questions, chatting with new friends, and reading stacks and stacks of book titles! It's been a lot of fun! We've even had enough people entered in the Grand Prize to add a 2nd place winner! We're still trying to get to 100 though before the day is over. So, if you have not entered, go do so! What are you waiting for? The books to disappear?

Okay, let's move on. I reached the end of TCR-6 "Together." And I wrote a little of "Finding Joy" and then last night I wrote "Hymns in the Hills." It's a little hard to focus on those stories though, when TCR-6 needs edited, the corrections for "The Old Mansion's Secret" need made and I'm hosting a party. :) But, we'll keep persevering.

I hope you enjoy this next part of this short story. And once you're done reading, come on over to the Literary Lodge for the final party day. :)

Neglected and Forsaken
Part 2

    The stooped shoulders shook with laughter, and the faded eyes grew bright with mirth. “Now that was a good one, wasn’t it, Frisco? Us, the highest court in the United States. It does beat all what folks’ll say. Of course at that time we did have, oh I reckon ‘bout four hundred-fifty people livin’ here. Speaking of the highest,” with stiff fingers the old man pulled out a yellowed paper from his jacket pocket. “You remember this here advertisement ‘bout Animas Forks, don’t ya?” After clearing his throat a few times he held the paper up and read:
    “Animas Forks, the most populated town in the world.” The old man grinned and held the paper closer squinting to read the fine print under the headlines. “At this altitude.” The grin turned into a chuckle which in turn grew to a full and hearty laugh. The rocky mountain slopes tossed the laughter back and forth until it seemed that they too had joined in the joke. The old mine creaked more loudly as a stronger gust of wind swept down the mountainside.
    For several minutes the old man, the mine and the mountains enjoyed their merriment.
    “Well,” the man said at last, wiping his eyes, “I won’t read it all to ya as the rest of it ain’t that interesting. It’s just about the town an’ the mining of galena and that silver-bearing grey copper. But we know all about that, don’t we, old girl? Of course this is jest an advertisement for the town. I kind a wonder if anyone took any heed of it. Ya know what I mean, Frisco? Well, all I’s got to say is ‘The Animas Forks Pioneer’ was a heap more interesting to read.” Saying which he folded up the paper and stuffed it back in his pocket. “I’ve been hankerin’ for that old newspaper, but since the press closed down I’ve had to do with Silverton’s paper. But it jest isn’t the same, is it?”
    The slamming of a loose board somewhere in the mine was the answer. And then followed a long silence.

    At last the old man stood up stiffly and slowly began to make his way around the aged mine. He peered in at the empty windows, shook his head at the loose boards and sighed. Coming back to the rock, he resumed his seat where he sat motionless for some time. Finally he began to speak.
    “You remember the blizzard don’t you, Frisco? That was the winter of 1884 . . .”

    “I say, Joe, jest look at that snow come down, would ya?”
    “I know. Ain’t it somethin’ to see! Ya know, Will, I don’t even want to try to make it back to my room at the hotel in this. It’s hard to see even the boardin’ house.”
    Will took another look out the window. “Say! This ain’t jest a little snow storm. I’m thinking we’re in for a blizzard!”
    The two men looked at each other. They both knew the danger of trying to go anywhere in a storm like this. The mine was closed for the winter, but Will always kept a stash of food supplies there “jest in case” he always said. Well, that “jest in case” had finally arrived.
    “I reckon we might as well jest make ourselves at home an’ wait for the storm to blow over.”
    Joe nodded in agreement. “It’s a good thing neither of us is married, Will.”
    “How’s that?”
    “Then we’d have ta try ta get home or the women folk would be all upset.” He grinned. “I know as that’s the way it is with my brother.”
    The two men passed the rest of the day talking or just sitting and watching the swirling white clouds of snow out the windows. By bed time the storm showed no signs of abating, and the men rolled themselves up in blankets near the stove and slept. The next day and the next the storm raged. Drifts piled high against the sides of the mine covering up the lower windows. The men upstairs spent the time in telling stories and in game after game of checkers.
    On the sixth day, the entire lower part of the mine was covered and to look out the upper windows gave the appearance of being on the lower level.
    “My, this is one mean snow storm, I’m tellin’ you Joe!”
    “Don’t tell me,” Joe growled, “I know. An’ I don’t mind tellin’ you that this here business of doin’ nothing but playin’ checkers, in which you always win I might add, has about drove me crazy. Can’t ya think of anything else ta do?”
    Will looked thoughtful, his hand scratching his head as it did when he was thinking. Suddenly his eyes lit up. “How ‘bout we try digging a tunnel to the boardin’ house?”
    The suggestion met with Joe’s instant agreement, and the two descended the stairs to the strangely dark and cold first level. After lighting one of the lanterns that was used in the mine, Will cautiously pulled open the door. A solid wall of snow stood before them. Will reached out and took a handful. With a grin he turned to Joe.
    “This is the perfect kind of snow to make a tunnel in. See how well it packs?”

Have you ever made a tunnel in the snow?
Have you been to the Five Fall Favorites party?
Are you going to join us today?


Ashley said...

Hi Rebekah!
I wanted to leave a comment and tell you that I like reading your Friday blog posts...I know I don't leave a comment often, but I do read your posts. :) Your Christmas mystery book sounds exciting. I can't wait to read more about it and see the cover. :D

I hope you have a lovely day!
With much love in Christ,

Rebekah said...

Hi Ashley!
Thanks for commenting. It's always nice to hear from someone who has been reading and enjoying the stories on here.
I can't wait to show the cover to you all. :) Stick around and you'll get to see it. :)