Friday, January 26, 2018

After the Fair - Part 3

Good morning FFFs,
It's still dark this morning. No bright colored sunrise, or anything like that. I think it's supposed to be cloudy today. Don't know about rain. Yesterday was windy and in the 60s! Delightful!

This week has been, for the most part, a good week. I did have trouble on Wednesday night and couldn't get anything written. I was trying to come up with an idea for my March story. I had a picture I wanted to use, but the only idea I could think of just wasn't working. But yesterday morning my mom gave me an idea, my brain started working, and last night I wrote 1,364 words of the March story. And I have ideas for more of it. 😀

I finally got the rest of my books and stories added to Read Another Page. I had managed to get "Dylan's Story" and "Finding Joy" added to the Bookshelf shortly after I published them, but I hadn't gotten any of my Christmas Collection added. Now you can find them all under the Christmas pop-down. And I added the January story under Short Kindle Stories.

Have you been reading any books for the Reading Challenge? I have. I love getting to read books like this! Not only do I find myself reading many different genres, but I read books that I might not otherwise have read. So far I've only read one book that I didn't like. Surprisingly, I've read half the categories, and have started on the 13th book. I don't know what I'll do when I reach the end of the list though!

Okay, here's the last part of this story. I want to know what you all think of it.

After the Fair
Part 3

    His wide eyes stared unblinking up at the darkening sky as the first stars peeked out. He lay still and silent. The sounds of the fair ended, and instead of the music, laughter, and happy voices which had filled the air, the gruff, tired voices of the workers, the metallic clatter of rides being disassembled, and the rumble of truck engines filled the night. They were all sounds Bear had heard most of his life, but this time it was different. This time he was not packed into a dark box with the rest of the animals and dolls. Instead, he lay all alone in the grass, his fur ruffled by the soft summer breeze. Forgotten. When the sounds of the fair being packed up had ended, and the last engine rumble had faded in the distance, a lone cricket came over to Bear and chirped sweetly. And the bear wondered if this was what happened to all the bears and dolls at the fair.


    Not very far away from the fair grounds stood a small house. One tiny light, as though of a candle, gleamed from a tiny window. Inside a mother, worn, tired, and anxious, sat beside the bed of her little boy. Her head was bowed and tears trickled down her cheeks. With a gentle hand she pushed back the brown locks from the flushed and feverish face. It was so hot in the room, but the noise of the fair made Bobby restless, and the doctor said he must sleep.
    As the mother sat, it gradually dawned on her that the gay music of the fair had stopped. Softly she rose and pushed open the window, breathing an inward sigh of relief at the breeze which caressed her cheeks and blew out the lone candle. She peered out into the darkness, but no lights were to be seen where the fair had stood. Perhaps it was over.
    Returning to her seat, the mother bathed the face on the pillow, grateful for the coolness of the breeze. This done, she slid to her knees and bowed her head wearily beside her small boy. “Dear Jesus,” she whispered, “I don’t know much about You. But the minister said You came to save sinners such as me, and I am a sinner. I ask that You would save me and forgive my sins. And Lord Jesus, the minister also said You care about the widows and the fatherless. Please, dear Lord, help Bobby to get well. Tomorrow’s his birthday an’ he’s sick, an’ I don’t have any money to get him a present at all.” The whisper ceased for a few minutes as the mother wiped away her tears and looked at the steady rising and falling of Bobby’s chest. “Lord Jesus, if You do care for us, for Bobby and his sisters, would You send something little for Bobby? Nothing big, just something so we’ll all know You haven’t forgotten about us.”


    The sun was shining and clouds danced on the warm summer breeze. Two little girls, hand in hand, with their brown hair loose about their thin faces, wandered toward the empty fair grounds.
    “I liked the pretty lights,” one girl said.
    Her younger sister nodded. “And the music was pretty too, but it made Bobby not sleep.”
    “Yes, Mama is glad it is gone now. Let’s go look around.”

    Some time later the pattering of eager feet sounded on the porch, and the screen door shut with a soft thump. The mother, roused from a doze, rose and, after seeing that Bobby was sleeping, hurried from the little room, hoping his sisters would not wake him.
    “Oh, Mama!” one of the little girls exclaimed softly, “see what we found for Bobby!”
    Together the girls held out a teddy bear. The red ribbon bow was untied, his smile was slightly crooked, and one ear drooped a little.
    “He was waiting for us,” the youngest girl said. “He wasn’t in any of the dirty places, just lying in the grass away from everything. Can we give it to Bobby for his birthday?”
    “Where did it come from, way out there?” the older girl asked. “It was far off from where everything was.”
    Tears filled the poor mother’s eyes. They hadn’t been forgotten. Her little boy would have a present when he woke from his nap, for the doctor said he was on the mend now that his fever had broken. “Yes,” she whispered, “we’ll give it to him when he wakes up. We have not been forgotten.”

Was this the ending you were thinking?
Did you enjoy this story?
Do you want to read more of "Hymns in the Hills"?

Friday, January 19, 2018

After the Fair - Part 2

Hello FFFs,
Guess what? I've been writing this week! Yes! Every day. (Except Sunday.) And three of those 4 days I've actually written 1k words or more. It's all been on "Hymns in the Hills," and I'm eager to write again tonight because the story is moving. I'm loving this story!

Let's see, the weather. That's a good topic, right? On Sunday it snowed. And we made it to Sunday School and Church, but the evening service was cancelled because of the weather. Then the temperature dropped. Usually we'll get snow and the next day it's mostly melted. Not this time. Monday was in the 20s, and Tuesday Writing Classes were cancelled because it was supposed to be high of 9º with a windchill of -24º Yeah. Cold. At least for this area. Yesterday is the first day since it snowed that it reached above freezing. It was in the 40's. Today is supposed to get to 50º and I'm sure things will really start to melt. It's been pretty seeing everything sparkle in the sunshine, because even if it was cold, we had sunshine.

I hope you all were able to check out my January short story. But I'm going to let you get to reading this next part of the story. At least if you have time. And don't forget to click a reaction button on the bottom of the post if you don't have time to comment.

After the Fair
Part 2

    Nearly choking, the boy leaned his face close beside the bear. “Is he my long lost twin?”
    Bear wasn’t sure what that was, but he smiled his crooked smile and gazed unblinkingly into the bright, sunny world of the fairgrounds. He wasn’t very old, just old enough to have already been to several fairs, but always before he had remained on the shelf as folks came and slapped down their dimes and five cent pieces, or carefully counted out their pennies. He had watched fellow bears, some with red bows like himself, and others with different bows, go off in the arms of some person. He had seen the dolls be whisked away, sometimes by awed little girls and other times by laughing ladies. He had always wondered what happened to the bears and the dolls, and now he knew. Or at least he thought he did.

    When the food had been eaten, Bear was tucked under the girl’s arm, and he stared at the world sideways for a time, watching swinging arms and people bumping into each other. He smiled at the eager faces of young children and listened to the happy music and laughter of those passing by. It was all quite fascinating to a bear just removed from a shelf and out into the real world of fairs. After a while the girl shifted Bear into her other arm, and he took a good long look at the ground. He wasn’t quite sure what the different items were which got trampled under the feet of every person, but at the least the shoes were different.
    “Oh, Johnny, let’s get some cotton candy,” Sally suggested.
    “All right. Then we can go take a look at the animals.”
    Bear, growing a little tired of seeing nothing but the ground, was delighted when he was righted and the girl wrapped her arm around his middle. He felt very secure and comfortable, and the world looked so much more interesting. The boy, Johnny, stepped back from some booth with two piles of fluff on sticks and handed one to the girl. Bear could only stare with wide eyes. He’d never seen anything like it. After the girl took the fluff, the two young people started walking on, not realizing that Bear’s nose was sticking into the sticky, sweet fluff. It had been an accident. He hadn’t done it on purpose, but when Sally held her cotton candy in her left hand, she had forgotten about Bear.
    Bear stared at the candy until the girl noticed and laughed at him. His face was wiped off with something damp and his nose kissed. He studied the ground some more, watched people sideways, sat on another table, and had his bow untied when it became caught on something.
    All in all, it was a very exciting day for a Bear who had never known anything but the little tent with the man who shouted, and urged the people to come spend money, and grumbled and muttered when he had to pack things up again.
    At last, as dusk was settling around, Bear was settled between Johnny and Sally on a hard seat. He could see their clasped hands in front of him and thought it must be nice to hold hands with someone.
    Suddenly there was a strange rumbling from the seat, then a jerk, and Sally screamed while a wind blew Bear’s untied bow over his face so he couldn’t see. He thought he might be glad not to see, for Sally screamed again, and Bear felt himself squished between the girl and boy. All that time the seat had rumbled and shaken, making bear think of those dark days when he had been packed with all the other bears and taken from one fair to another. He had heard somewhere that they traveled on a train, but he was never quite sure what a train was.
    The shaking stopped at last, and so did the screaming. Johnny and Sally stood up, and Bear fell over on his side. At least he could see again, for the ribbon fell from his face. Neither Johnny nor Sally seemed to have remembered the bear with the red bow, for they walked away, and Bear was left on the hard seat staring before him at the back of another seat.
    It was growing darker. Bear could hear voices.
    “Just once more, please, mister,” a young voice begged.
    “Well, all right, but then I’ve got ta shut ‘er down an’ pack ‘er up. Fair’s endin’ tonight.”
    The rumbling started again, and with a sudden lurch the seat began to race forward. At first Bear remained where he was, plastered against the back of the hard bench by the force of the air, but when the seat tilted, he slid, first one direction until his feet bumped the side, and then another until his head touched the opposite side, He was shaken and jostled about, and then, as the seat made a sudden movement, he was launched out into the darkness and sailed through the evening shadows until he dropped to earth with a soft thump.

You probably didn't expect that to happen, did you?
Did you get any snow this week?
What do you think will happen to Bear?
(There is one more part to this story.)

Friday, January 12, 2018

After the Fair - Part 1

Good morning FFFs!
As you can see, I'm not shutting this blog down yet. :) So you'll at least get to enjoy it for a little while longer.

This week has been pretty good as far as getting things done. Except writing. That has been terrible! I had a full evening on Wednesday to write, but I couldn't get a single sentence of anything written! It was as though every idea I ever had ran away or hid. I couldn't write on any started story, nor could I write on any new story. Bother. So I pulled out my newly printed Character sheets (for my WriteMind Planner) and started filling in characters for two stories. The first was the Kelsey stories. Since I will probably write more of them, I needed to know all the characters names and if I said what color hair or eyes they had. So I re-read the stories and got the characters written down.
Next I turned my attention to Hymns in the Hills. That took more doing since I had more chapters (each about 4k words) to read. And lots more characters! I didn't finish it until yesterday. And then, guess what? I wrote! I wrote 656 words of Hymns in the Hills! It was so delightful!

Yesterday we had some interesting weather. When we got up it was in the 50s. My sister and I walked mid-morning because it was 58º. But within 5 minutes after we got back home, the wind shifted from the south, to the northwest and the temperature started dropping. By noon it was in the 30s. And by supper time it was 20º. And boy, was that wind strong last night! I heard we could get gusts up to 34 mph! Brrr!

This story was just something I wrote while trying to get back into writing. I'm changing the reaction buttons on the bottom of the post. So, if you don't have time to comment, if you could at least check a reaction button, that will let me know that someone read the post. :)


After the Fair
Part 1

    Sitting high up on the small shelf, the brown teddy bear looked down with dark, unblinking eyes at the faces of the crowd. Its smile was stitched on slightly crooked, and one of its ears flopped just a little, but around its neck was a large, red bow. Perhaps the bear was hoping to hide its smile, for it seemed to have tipped its head just a little, its nose barely showing above the perky ribbon. The voice of the attendant rang loudly over the babble of talk around the small tent.
    “Come and try it! Only ten cents for five throws. Come on, little lady, step right up and win a prize. Everyone wins a prize. Just throw the ring over one of those pegs and win yourself a doll, a teddy bear, or one of the other fine prizes! Ring ‘em all and choose yer prize. Step right up, sir. Win something for the little lady. Here we go! A gentleman!”
    From his lofty seat right under the roof of the tent where no cooling breeze ever blew, the bear, warm from the sun on the tent roof, watched. A young man with sandy hair, scarcely into his teens, plunked down a dime and picked up the rings. “What d’ya want, Sally?” he asked the girl beside him.
    “Oh, I don’t know. Just win me something, Johnny. I’ll like anything you get me.”
    The crowd laughed a little and nudged one another.
    At this the young man’s face grew red, and he tossed the first ring. It landed over a peg and the crowd cheered. Another ring circled the pin, and a grin of confidence settled on the face of the boy. Each successive toss earned him a ringed pin. With a laugh, after the last pin had been snagged, the boy pointed up towards the top of the tent. “I’ll take that bear up there.”
    The attendant turned around and grabbed the arm of a lower bear, one with a green bow.
    “No, not him. I want the red bow.”
    “Listen, bud,” the attendant said, “you can pick which prize ya get, but that don’t mean you can decide which of them specific things ya get.”
    “Aw, come on,” a man in the crowd called, “let ‘em have the one they want.”
    “Yeah,” cried out another voice. “What’s the matter with that other bear? Got a diamond ring hidden in it?”
    A laugh went around the bystanders.
    “Come on, be a good sport and get ‘em the bear they want.”
    The attendant was growing flustered. “There’s not diamond rings or anything else different about that bear,” he snarled. “It’s jest hard ta get without knockin’ everything over.”
    Looking down, the bear saw the girl tug on the boy’s arm, and though he couldn’t hear what she was saying, he thought she might be pleading for the bear with the green bow because the boy shook his head. “It says on the sign that I could pick my own prize. I want the red bow.”
    “What for, sonny?” a man asked, pushing his way forward, the hot summer sun shining on his policeman’s badge.
    The boy shrugged. “I like red is all. My mom’s cherry pies, the red geraniums on the porch, the scarf my grandma knitted me last winter–” He gave another shrug. “Just like red.”
    With a scowl, the attendant turned back around and reached up. Snagging the teddy bear’s foot, he jerked him down. It was a good thing the bear’s head was stuffed with soft cotton because he hit it against the shelf on its way down after his legs.
    The world spun a bit before the bear landed in the boy’s arms upside-down. He was quickly righted and passed into the girl’s arms. “Now let’s go get something to eat.”
    The bear wasn’t hungry, being stuffed with stuffing until his tummy was round and firm, but he didn’t mind going along for the ride.

    Soon the bear found himself seated on a table leaning against nothing. It took him a little while to get the hang of hunching forward instead of resting against something solid, but it wasn’t difficult he decided, after the boy and girl had helped him.
    The boy shoved the bow down a little and grinned. “His smile looks like he’s got a joke.”
    Laughing, the girl fluffed the bow again, careful to keep the bear’s face from being hidden this time. “I think he looks a bit like you,” she retorted, picking up her hot dog.

Have you ever been to a fair?
If so, have you ever won a prize there?
What color ribbon would you want on your bear?

Friday, January 5, 2018

New Year, New Things

Good morning dear readers,
I'm not sure how many of you actually get on here each Friday, but I know it's not many. I've been doing some thinking and praying about this Friday blog. For months now I've struggled to come up with something to post each week. I've reposted stories from years ago, I've posted new stories, I've skipped the stories all together, and it never seems to make a difference. I might get a comment from one, maybe two faithful readers, but that's it. I don't even know if this gets read. But I don't want to just get rid of this blog altogether, after all, I've been posting on Friday mornings for almost 9 years! But that's another thing, even though I've been posting for so long, I've barely reached over 50 followers, and many of them no longer read blogs. So is this little blog worth keeping up?
Right now I don't know.
I've toyed with a new idea for my short stories. Since I've had people sign up to test/beta read my short stories, I may start sending them to those on the list, and then getting them published as kindle books. What do you think? If you are signed up on the list, you'd get the full short story all at once instead of in 1k word sections.

This week we had the New Year appear on Monday. (Not sure where it came from, because it wasn't there when I went to bed.)
On Tuesday we finally got to do Christmas with my brother and his family. That was fun! We do brunch together, and then open presents. Followed by playing new games, hanging out, eating snacks, and things of that sort. They all went home around 2:30 so the younger ones could have naps. Later that afternoon, Mom and I started the task of un-decorating the house. We got some done.
Wednesday meant taking down more decorations. We actually had it almost all down.
Yesterday we packed things in boxes. Now they're ready to go in the Christmas closet until next time.

I wrote some this week. I started the sequel of "Through the Tunnel" and wrote a short story. Hopefully I can write more tonight. I have so many ideas that it's hard to know what to work on. You can be praying for the right ideas. And that I'll be eager and ready to write.
And you can be praying that I'll know what I'm supposed to do about this blog.