Good morning Friday Fiction Fans!
I actually have a story for you today! Or at least part of one. :) I finally remembered to get it ready last night.
I've had a good week. It was busy at times, I got some reading in, and some writing. I babysat my nieces and nephews for several hours on Tuesday (9:45-2:30) and then in the evening from 7:30 until 9:15. That last time we got the youngest one. He's almost 7 months old and crawls. But he wanted held that night because it was bed time. He got mad at Papa's beard because it brushed his head and wasn't soft. Oh, did he cry! I finally got him calm, and he grabbed the zipper of my sweater in one hand, my shirt in the other and stuck his thumb in his mouth and sucked it fiercely as he cuddled. He later got over it, but would complain when he tried to play with Papa's beard. It was rather funny. :)
The weather here has been really nice! On Wednesday it was in the 60s and we had the windows open some. Then yesterday it got into the low 70s! It was really windy, but it was so nice! This morning it's cloudy and in the 30s.
Later this morning my sister and I are headed over to decorate for the Widows' Luncheon that is happening tomorrow. Three other friends are joining us to decorate. I can't wait! :D
But here's your story. If you haven't read "Hymns in the Hills" go up and click on the tab at the top. I added chapter 3 to it. This is the start of Chapter 4. Each chapter is about 4k words long. But instead of giving you a thousand words each week, I gave you 700-800 so that it would last 5 weeks. :) Enjoy!
Ali leaned closer. “What’d ya tell ‘em, Belle?”
Staring off at the window panes where the evening light seemed to shimmer, Belle clasped her hands together and began composing out loud. “Dearest Mama and Papa, I have so much to say. First off, I miss you both, but I am safe at Auntie’s. You’ll never guess, Mama, at least I don’t think you will, at least you never told me, but I have a dozen cousins here. And these are just Uncle and Auntie’s children. I heard there are more, for Uncle Nathan is married, but I haven’t met them yet. I will tell you all about them once I have.
“But I am going to start with the ones I have met. Zeke and Ez are the oldest and they are five years older than I am. Next comes Jess–” Belle broke off abruptly and said, “I know the names that you are called, but what are your given names?”
“I weren’t given nothin’,” Rome complained. “She give you somethin’ Kade?” And the small boy glared across the table at his brother.
“Hush,” Jess scolded. “Kade weren’t given nothin’ neither. Belle jest wants ta know yer real name.”
“Rome is my real name,” insisted that fellow indignantly. “I ain’t got no other.”
“Yes, ya has,” Ali said. “It’s the name ya get called if’n yer in a heap a trouble.”
Rome’s eyes widened. “I ain’t tellin’ that when I ain’t done nothin’.”
Before anyone else could say anything, Belle broke in. “Rome,” she tried to explain, “your real name isn’t just for when you get in trouble, it can be used if you want to be fine and proper. Then you tell someone your real name. Mine is Isabelle, but everyone calls me Belle. When I am introduced to someone of importance, I tell them my real name, not the short name that those who love me call me.” She smiled as she watched a look of understanding begin to creep across her young cousin’s face. “My name is Isabelle Standish, what is yours, sir?”
Belle’s gentle hand was reached across the table as she said, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Roman Russum.”
Coloring, Rome shook her hand quickly and then ducked his head.
Turning to the cousin beside her she again introduced herself and asked his name.
“I’m pleased to know you, Mr. McKaidric.” Belle let her bright eyes rove over her other cousins. “Am I going to have to introduce myself to each one of you in order to learn your full name?” she asked.
“Reckon so,” Ali giggled.
“We’ll be here all night,” Jess sighed, and then without waiting for an introduction added, “I’m Jessica.”
Belle smiled, nodded and moved her eyes to the younger twins. Sade and Si, having finished their supper, had been staring at their cousin, but the moment her eyes rested on them, they looked down and Si scooted closer to Ez. “How can I learn names when the younger ones won’t talk?”
“It’s Sadie and Simon,” Jess replied. “An’ Pa has Tabitha; Benjamin,–he were named after Pa–is sittin’ with Ma.” She looked around, gave an exclamation and sprang from the table, but Zeke beat her to the stove and snatched up the baby before she could touch the hot surface.
Mattie, finding herself deprived of her exploration, set up a howl and struggled to get down. That seemed to end the introductions and the lesson on polite manners, for Mrs. Russum rose and said, raising her voice to be heard about the screaming baby, “Start cleanin’ up the dishes girls.” She turned to take Mattie, but Zeke was handing her over to Ez and the child’s screams subsided.
As the girls prepared for bed, Belle asked, “Ali, what is your full name?”
“And yours Riss?”
Riss’s voice was quiet as she replied, “Clarissa.”
“Oh, what a lovely name. And are Ez and Zeke, Ezra and Ezekiel?”
Climbing into bed, Ali nodded. “An’ Mattie is really Matilda. But we aint’ never called them longer names less we’re in a heap a trouble.” She gave a sigh and added, “Then we’re likely ta get a lickin’ an’ the name.”
Belle didn’t answer but read her verse, knelt in prayer and then silently crawled into bed as Jess blew out the light and the room became dark.
There was a long moment of silence before Ali whispered, “Belle, are ya mad?”
“No,” came the whispered reply. “Why should I be mad?”
“Well, ya ain’t never said nothin’ after I said that ‘bout our names.”
“I was just thinking.”
“About how lovely your names all are, but no one ever uses them to make you feel proud of them.”
“Weren’t you ever called yer full name when ya got in trouble? Or did ya never get in trouble? I kain’t seem ta picture ya bein’ bad.”
Belle gave a long sigh. “Yes, I have been bad many times, Ali, and sometimes Mama or Papa would use my full name, but it was always said in a tone of loving reproof, and I knew I hadn’t pleased the Lord Jesus.”
When no answer came from her cousin, Belle closed her eyes and thought back over her day. It had been a very different kind of Sunday than she had ever experienced before. “Did I please the Lord Jesus today?” she wondered, unaware that two other persons in the house were silently singing the hymn she had sung that morning in the wagon.
Do you get called your given name, or a pet name?
Have you had to explain the difference in names before?
Have you enjoyed spring weather this week?