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Friday, February 24, 2017

Smiling in the Rain - Part 4

Good morning Friday Fiction Fans,
It's cloudy this morning, but I don't think it's supposed to rain today. The last few days have been sunny and warm. Upper 70s to 80º warm. Yep, spring. Flowers blooming, trees budding, birds singing madly, squirrels acting crazy. (I actually saw one push another one off the tree the other morning!)

I was writing this week. Only got 20 words written yesterday though. I seemed stopped. Not as though I had taken a wrong turn in the story, but as though there was a pause. I'm hoping and praying I can write tonight. You can be praying too. :) I'm about 2/3 of the way done with "Dylan's Story" and I'm still wondering how it is all going to end.

I hope you enjoy this next part of your Friday Fiction. It ends next week. And then I really don't know what to post. Again. :P I keep having that problem. If I could get a short story written I could post that, but . . . I don't seem to have time to write a short story. But maybe if I got a few started I could work on them if I get stuck in my book. Sound good?

Smiling in the Rain
Part 4

    “Nonsense! You look fine!” remonstrated Zoe. “I love your curls. They fit you. Now let’s go down before Wally eats all the cake. What do you suppose the other girls have done in our absence?”
    Kelsey had completely forgotten about the other girls. Perhaps it had been rude to run off and leave them even if they had offered the others a chance to go with them. Candace would be sure to make some remark about her hair or her borrowed dress. For the first time since she had arrived, Kelsey wished it was time to leave and she could set off for home. But Zoe didn’t give her time to think any longer, for she linked arms with her in the friendly fashion she had, and together they descended the stairs.
    Aunt Olive called them into the living room and when they made their appearance, they were motioned to an empty section of the sofa. Plates of the moist lemon cake were handed to them and glasses of root beer. On a low table stood the vase of coreopsis.
    Glancing about half shyly, Kelsey found the other girls, except Candace, looking at Wally who was seated on the love-seat beside his cousin. With a slight shake of her head, she dropped her eyes back to her plate. Why did girls have to be so crazy about boys?
    For some time the room was full of small talk, Kelsey keeping silent and listening as she did every day in school. Finally Aunt Olive set her empty plate down and said, “I think I would like to tell you a little story, if you don’t mind. It is the reason I love these bright flowers so much.” And she nodded to the full vase.
    At her words silence fell on the room; only the soft patter of rain could be heard through the open windows.
    “I was young, just out of high school in fact,” Aunt Olive began, settling herself in her chair and folding her hands. “I had a job in the soda shop and loved every minute of it. But my favorite time was when a certain old friend of mine would walk through the doors. No,” she said, shaking her head at the significant smiles several of the girls exchanged, “he was much too old to be my boyfriend. In fact, he was more like a grandfather. But when I was young, I had found him an interested listener when I needed someone to pour out my troubles to, for my parents were both quite busy. Mr. Williamson would often bring me a posy when he came. It might be a rose, or a wildflower he had picked along the side of the road.
    “One day he came in with a single coreopsis in his hand. ‘For you,’ he said, handing it to me. ‘Because you make every day like sunshine.’ It was so sweet of him, and I didn’t notice the young man who was standing beside him. The young man was his grandson and we were introduced. For several days Mr. Williamson brought me a coreopsis or two each evening. They brightened up my room at home.
    “Over the next few weeks I began to notice his grandson, Ernest. We would talk, and before long he would show up at the soda shop when Mr. Williamson couldn’t. Yes, girls, we fell in love over the course of the following months. We got engaged and planned on being married the following early summer when the coreopsis were in full bloom. But the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor that December. Ernest wasn’t in the army, but he joined before Christmas.”
    A long pause followed, and the room was so quiet that Kelsey distinctly heard the purring of Miss Olive’s cat from across the room where it lay curled up on the back of the love-seat.
    “He was given a short furlough before being shipped out,” Aunt Olive began again, one hand holding something which hung from a chain about her neck. “It wasn’t very long, but it was time I have always been grateful for. We could have gotten married then, but neither of us wanted to. Ernest said he wanted me to be free should anything happen to him, and I–well, I didn’t want a rushed wedding. We wrote to each other often. I wrote every day, and when the coreopsis were in bloom, I pressed one and sent it to him. He carried it tucked inside his small Bible the rest of his life.” Closing her eyes, Aunt Olive drew a deep breath. “He was killed on the beaches at the invasion of Normandy.”
    A gasp came from the girls in the room, and Kelsey felt her eyes fill with tears.
    “The fields here at home were full of coreopsis.” Tenderly she took off her necklace and held it in her open hand: a pair of dog-tags and a ring. For a long minute she sat looking at them. “Mr. Williamson died shortly after the news of Ernest’s death reached us. He hadn’t been well for months.”
    A half sob came from Zoe, and Kelsey gave her hand a gentle squeeze.

What did you think of this part?
Do you like listening to stories about others?
Will you return next week for the final part of this story?

5 comments:

Marissa Archibald said...

O I love it! It was and touching but perfect :) I really like it!
Lucky you, you have spring! It was spring like here but it snowed on Wednesday and yesterday so it's winter again. Have a good day!
Yes I'll be back next week:)

Jesseca Dawn said...

*Sniffs* this was so sad! Whyyyyy did he have to die?!?!?!

Ahem. Anyway...;) I really loved this part! And yes, I'll be back next week! :)
Oh, random question . . . have you ever entertained the idea of writing a WWII book? I'd SO love to read one written by you! :D

Rebekah said...

Glad you are still enjoying it, Marissa!
Actually, there's a chance of snow Sunday morning here, but if it does snow, it won't last because it's supposed to be around 50º that day. :)

Jesseca, I didn't plan for Ernest to even be in this story! I had no idea about Miss Olive's past until she told her story.
And yes, actually, I have considered writing a WWII book. In fact, Home Fires was supposed to be the first in a 3 book series. I was going to write one about Ria and the Gang in the 1930's, and then a "Home Fires of the Second World War" with Ria and her cousin writing each other. It hasn't happened.

Holly said...

I like this part, though I felt a little too rushed in the Aunt telling her story, which is so sad. Hmmm...depends. Sometimes I enjoy listening to others stories, other times not. Of course I will! I want to see how this story ends!

Rebekah said...

I would have liked to know more about Aunt Olive's life too. Hmm, maybe I can talk her into telling me more. What do you think?
You only have to wait till Friday! :)