Friday, October 28, 2016

HitH - My Song Shall be of Jesus - Part 2

Good morning Faithful Friday Fiction Fans,
Do you have Indian summer weather, chilly autumn weather, early winter weather, or some of each? Ours has been on the warmer side. Not quite Indian summer, but some days have been pretty close. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be a high of 80ยบ. And it's the end of October!!! Where are the frosts? We still have yet to have a frost. :P Maybe we'll get one before Thanksgiving. :P

I sure hope your week has gone well. I've been busy. (Aren't I always?) I have projects I'm trying to get done before next Wednesday when AGC (American Government Camp) starts. Then I'll have 8 days of late nights, early mornings, and busy days filled with door-to-door lit drops, sign waving (a personal favorite!), phone calls, interacting with campers, lots of politics and a Tuesday sitting at the polls all day long. So, you will get a post next Friday, but I'm going to be getting it ready ahead of time. :)

I'm afraid my writing has suffered this week. I just haven't been able to feel like writing. And, even when I've forced myself to write, I don't get as much done. Oh, well. Maybe I need a break.

I hope you enjoy this next part of Hymns in the Hills. I just love these characters and have quite a few more ideas for them, but I have to have time to write the story/book.

My Song Shall be of Jesus
Part 2

    Ez gave an answering nod, dropped over the side in one easy motion and then reached up to help Riss and Ali. Kade and Rome, disdaining a helping hand, jumped out and then stood still as though suddenly unsure and nervous, their eyes wide in wonder.
    The bell was ringing and a few folks hurried past the Russums, scarcely giving them a nod before quickly moving inside.
    “They must not know Uncle Benjamin’s family,” Belle thought, remembering the friendly greetings she and her parents always received around town. “If they don’t come to town much–”
    “Ya wantin’ ta go in?” Zeke’s question brought Belle’s mind back from its wanderings, and she nodded quickly.
    The bell was still sounding its melodic call when Zeke pulled open the door and Belle stepped through followed by her cousins. The room was bare, no carpeted floors or gas lights, but the windows were clean and the sun shone in brightly. Hesitating, Belle glanced around. Where were they to sit? Always before she had followed her father to their accustomed seat near the front, but he wasn’t here and there was no accustomed pew. Where did her uncle’s family sit when they did come to church? Stealing a glance at Ez, she could read nothing on his face. All the back rows were full and Belle, with a sudden shyness stealing over her, as heads began turning and dozens of strange eyes swept over her and her cousins, felt strangely out of place. She almost wished she hadn’t suggested they come, but she couldn’t bear the thought of not attending church when she was perfectly well and could go.
    Before her courage failed her completely, a line of the song she had been singing all morning came to her aid. “My song shall be of Jesus, When sitting at His feet.” She hadn’t come to church just because, she had come to sit at the feet of Jesus. With a soft smile, she lifted her head and met the gaze of the pastor up front. He was looking right at her with a kind smile and made a quiet motion of his hand to the empty rows near the front. Though her heart beat fast, Belle Standish, her Bible clutched in one hand while Ali clung to the other, marched up the aisle and slid into an empty pew.
    The bell stopped tolling, and a small boy began to pump the air for the organ while a pretty young lady played a few notes. Belle gave a soft gasp of pleasure and her smile grew wider. Stealing a glance at the faces of her cousins, she saw no recognition until the pastor began to sing.
“My song shall be of Jesus . . .”

    After church, Belle lingered with her cousins until most of the congregation had left the church. No one had come up and welcomed them, though a few nods of greeting were exchanged between Zeke and Ez and a few of the men.
    “Belle,” Ali whispered as they finally started down the aisle, “are folks allowed ta talk ta others after church?”
    “Yes. Why?”
    “Jest wonderin’ why no one talked ta us.”
    Belle had been wondering the same thing. “Perhaps they don’t know us and feel shy.”
    “Reckon they know Zeke and Ez,” Jess murmured behind them.
    To this Belle had no answer. It was strange that no one had welcomed them or even seemed glad they had come. They neared the door, and the pastor, who was waiting on the porch, turned to them with a smile. “Hello, I don’t remember seeing you here before. I’m Philip Williamson.” He held out his hand to Zeke.
    “Zeke Russum.”
    “I’m mighty glad you came out, Zeke. Do you live around here?”
    “Back in the hills a fair piece.”
    The pastor, hardly looking much older than the young man he was talking to, smiled again. “It must be beautiful out there this time of year.” His eyes wandered towards the rolling hills before them, for the church, situated on top of a rise, commanded a lovely view of hills, valley and sky. Turning back to Zeke he glanced at the others waiting around him. “These must be related to you. Siblings?”
    At that Belle stepped forward and offered her hand. “I’m Belle Standish, their cousin.”
    “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss Belle.” The minister’s eyes were warm and his smile contagious. “Do you live back in the hills too?”
    Belle realized that her dress, though plain and simple, was made in a more current style than those of Jess, Riss and Ali. “For a time. I only arrived on Friday.”
    “I see,” said the minister. “I’m glad you came. You helped with the singing immensely this morning. You all did.” His smile included the others.
    Ali, blunt and honest, said, “Only ‘cause Belle taught us the song on the way over. We ain’t never heard it ‘fore she sung it in the wagon.”
    “Then you have a fine teacher in your cousin, Miss–”
    “I’m Ali.”
    Mr. Williamson shook hands with her. “It’s a pleasure, Miss Ali.”
    One by one he greeted the others, shaking hands and treating each of them with as much respect and attention as Belle was used to in the city. As he stood talking to Zeke and Ez, the young woman who had played the organ came up on the porch with a winning smile. Turning to her, the minister said, “Chrissy, I’d like you to meet the Russums and their cousin, Belle Standish.” And then he proceeded to name each cousin with only a slight hesitation when he came to Kade and Rome.
    “Why, it took me all day to learn everyone’s name,” exclaimed Belle.
    The young woman laughed brightly. “My husband’s gift of learning names and faces often astonishes people. Do you all live here in town?”
    “No’m, we live back in the hills.” Zeke looked out in the direction they had come.

Do you talk to visitors at church?
Are you good at remembering names and matching faces?
What do you think will happen next?


Blessing Counter said...

Oh lucky you! Warm weather? Sounds delightful ;) We have SNOW :P Just a little bit, but just the same ;)

Really enjoyed this new part of HitH. And I have to say, the feeling you portrayed and slight awkwardness when they were in church was very realistic and I totally understood what they were feeling! We just recently moved churches, so there was a lot of awkwardness at first. Still is, but thankfully not as much now :)

Hope you have a great weekend!

Rebekah said...

Snow?!? Wow! Okay, I'm not ready for snow YET. But I wouldn't mind the weather being a bit cooler. And maybe a good hard frost to kill the mosquitoes. :P

Glad to hear you are settling into your new church. I know the feeling. :)

I'll try to have a great weekend. It's looking rather crazy at the moment. But next week is even busier!