Good morning, FFFs!
(For those of you who may be new here, FFF stands for Friday Fiction Fans.)
The cooler weather blew in last night. And boy did it blow! The branches were lashed back and forth like there was a huge storm. The wind whistled around the house, at times making it shake, and causing our closed door to rattled and bang, until we shut something in the door. Then it rained. Now the breeze that comes in through the partly opened skylight is chilly. I heard it was only supposed to be in the 60s today. :) Fall weather!
So, now that the blog party is over, what have you been up to? Thank you all so much if you attended the party. We had a great time hosting it for you all and hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. :) And if you're wondering when the next party is going to be, I don't know. We'll just have to wait. I'm too busy right now to plan another one, and I think Kate is too.
My writing is being a bit of a challenge right now. I want to write, but I'm also trying to finish up some other things. Some days I get a lot of writing done, and then the next day I don't. You can all be praying that I'll be able to write.
Here's the final part of this short story. I hope you enjoy it.
Neglected and Forsaken
“Yah, but Will,” Joe put in, “What’re we goin’ to do with all the snow we dig out?”
“First we’ll fill a few pails to melt for our use. After that, well, I reckon at first we’ll have ta tote the buckets upstairs an’ dump them out the window. But that’ll only be ‘till we get a good start on it ‘cause then we can use it ta reinforce the tunnel as we go.”
It was hard, exhausting work digging that tunnel. Many times Joe paused to shake his head and mutter, “Sure glad I don’t work in the mine. Never could stand much of this type of thing.”
Will worked patiently but carefully, packing the snow firmly on all sides of the tunnel. When the two men grew too cold to work, they would retire to the upper level of the mine. And so for the next day and a half the storm raged above them as they worked on their tunnel. At last Will stopped short, cocked his head and listened.
“Say Joe, ya hear voices?”
Joe nodded, a grin spread across his face, and they both fell to work again with renewed vigor. Soon a wooded wall appeared. After an hour or two more, the door was uncovered, and they burst into the boarding house to the astonishment of the boarders. Before too long a second tunnel was started; this time heading to town. The storm was forgotten in the excitement of tunnel digging. And with more hands, this one progressed much faster. And so day followed day. The snow continued to fall and the wind continued to howl and blow, but under it all, the men and yes, even some of the brave women were digging tunnels to get about. Before the storm had stopped, nearly every building in town was connected.
The snow had reached the top of the second story windows in the mine. Will and Joe climbed up to the small window in the loft. Peering out they saw, not blowing snow, but sunshine!
“Well, I’ll be! If that ain’t the prettiest sight I’ve ever seen,” Will murmured. “What day did the storm start, Joe?”
Joe thought a moment and then gave a low whistle. “This is the twenty-third day, Will! That ought to be a record. Twenty-three days of blizzard! How much ya think got dumped this time?”
Will, who had been busy calculating as he noticed how high the snow came up on the mine, turned around. “I’d say twenty-five feet.”
The old man shook his head at the remembrance. “That sure ‘nough was quite a snow storm wasn’t it, old girl? An’ other years it was the avalanches that came down one side of those slopes,” here his gaze rose to the mountain peaks on his right, “an’ went right up that other side.” His gaze shifted to the farther side of the mountains. “They sure enough did a lot of damage to the town.”
The silence that followed was broken by the call of a bird in a nearby tree. “Well, Frisco, we’ve had many pleasant times together. This town jest never was the same after Silverton became the county seat. Them rich mine owners left Animas Forks for Silverton. An’ then, you know what happened. We watched it together. Folks just up an’ left. An’ now . . ..” The old timer’s voice trailed away. For some time he just sat there, his eyes on the old worn mine before him. At last he stood up. “I reckon I’ll be sayin’ good bye now, Frisco. My nephew wants me ta go help him with his mine farther west, so I won’t be able ta come up here no more. But don’t fret, I’ll never be forgettin’ ya. So long, girl.”
It was with slow steps that the old man trudged dejectedly away towards the ramshackle log houses that used to be the town of Animas Forks. At the edge of the town, Old William Croften stopped and looked back at the timeworn Frisco Mine. He could hear faintly the creaking of her loose boards as the wind blew down on her. Slowly he turned and continued on his way. Soon he was lost to view down the obscure overgrown trail that led down the mountain.
The sun was beginning to set in a blaze of glowing colors. The twitter of birds was heard. A few small animals crept into their nests inside the old mine, and her boards creaked in the wind. Alone on the mountainside, the Frisco Mine stood like a sentry left at a forsaken post. Alone. She was forgotten by most who ever knew her. A weary, lonely sigh seemed to come from her as the darkness closed around. Would anyone ever come back to visit the old Frisco Mine? Or would she crumble into dust with no one to care?
For those of you who might care,
I heard that this old mine was being restored as a landmark.
Wouldn't you like to go see it?
And yes, the things I wrote about it were true. :)
What did you like best?