Friday, August 30, 2019

Triplets - Part 7

Good morning FFFs,
It's a lovely rainy morning here. Woke up to a gently summer thunderstorm. That sounds a little odd, but the thunder wasn't startling crashes but lovely rumbles. And the rain has continued to patter on the roof. Do you like summer thunderstorms if they aren't accompanied by hail, tornadoes, or damaging winds? Several days this week have started out in the 60s and my sis and I have gotten outside in the morning before breakfast and walked. It was delightful! Made me think of fall.

I got a new shorter story written this week. It hasn't been to the editor yet, so I don't know what she'll think of it. But that's all I wrote this week.
I've been trying to get some other things done now that the Little League World Series is over. Things like blog posts, picking the rest of my books for the Five Fall Favorites, proof listening to audios, reading, and releasing my newest book.
Speaking of that, you can get By Paths Unknown for only 99¢ this week! The price will be going up next week, so get it while you can.

Here's the next part of your story. I told you it was going to take a while. There are still two more parts after this. What I'm going to post afterwards . . . I have no idea.

Part 7

    “I doubt they’re still open, but I’ll try to call anyway. Perhaps they are doing inventory.” He disappeared from the room, leaving the girls alone with Mrs. Shannon.
    “Did you girls have supper?” she asked.
    “Yes,” Geneva answered.
    Mrs. Shannon took a chair nearby and looked at the girls. “I’m sure it was rather frightening being at home alone, but let’s pray for your grandma right now, all right?”
    Pray? Vienna bowed her head along with her sisters, but she was skeptical. Yes, Grandma had taken them to church with her, and the preacher had talked about God, but Dad had always said there was no God.
    “. . . And please, Heavenly Father, be with Mrs. Brown right now. We don’t know where she is, and her granddaughters are worried. But You know exactly where she is and why she hasn’t come home. We ask that You watch over her and each of these girls tonight. Give them Your peace, Lord, and let them come to know the love You have for them as a Father. We commit this problem into Your hands because You said to cast all our care on You. And we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
    Though she didn’t think she believed in God, Vienna felt a strange sense of peace that had not been there before. Was it just because there were adults who could help them, or had the prayer made the difference?
    Mr. Shannon returned with a shake of his head. “I’m afraid the store is closed. At least I didn’t get an answer. Do any of you know the license plate number for your grandma’s car?”
    Geneva rattled off the numbers and letters with ease.
    With a slight chuckle he said, “Let me write that down or I’ll forget it.” After he had the number written down, he said, “There are only a few towing companies in town, so if your grandma’s car got towed, they should know.” He flashed a smile and left the room again.
    “You girls look hot, would you like a glass of water?” Mrs. Shannon asked.
    Vienna nodded. “Yes, please. Can we go with you?” Somehow, the thought of being alone, even if Mrs. Shannon was just in the next room, felt scary. That old shed with the light in the upper window was almost across the street.
    “Of course. We’ll go to the kitchen. And bring your cell phone along. I’ll put my number in so you’ll be able to call me anytime and not have to walk over in the dark again.”
    Seated at the kitchen table, the girls drank their glasses of water and waited. They could hear the low murmur of Mr. Shannon’s voice in the other room but couldn’t understand what was being said. Mrs. Shannon tried to engage them in conversation, but when she only got monosyllables for answer, she fell silent.
    Vienna stared into space. Her thoughts were a tumbled mess of disjointed emotions, ideas, worries, and questions about their grandma, the old brick building with a light, the move from living on the streets with their dad, to living with Grandma, and even the uncertainty of a God who might be real. Feeling Sofia squeeze her hand a little, she gave her a tight smile. It was good to have sisters to hold on to in a time like this.
    Looking down, Vienna noticed their hands. With fingers entwined and hands resting on the brown table, it was easy to recognize them and notice how much they described their different personalities. Sofia’s nails were longer and well cared for; she had never liked being dirty for long. Geneva’s hands were slightly smaller, but that was only logical as she was smaller than her sisters, and her nails were short for she chewed on them now and then. Though Geneva might not be the brightest of the triplets, Vienna knew they couldn’t do without her and her big heart. Her eyes settled on her own hands, and she looked them over. Like Geneva, her nails were short, but that was more for practicality, and although she couldn’t see them, she knew calluses covered her palms.
    For some time Vienna studied their hands and arms and wished Mr. Shannon would come back with news.
    At last his steps came from the other room and into the kitchen. The girls looked up.
    “I finally located her,” he said with a slight sigh. “She’s at Mercy Hospital.”
    Vienna stared at him and felt the fingers of her sisters tighten on her hands.
    “It seems,” Mr. Shannon went on, “that she had a heart attack of some kind just before she left work. No one knew you girls were living with her, so they just called for an ambulance and had her taken to the hospital, and no one contacted you.”
    “How did you find that out?” Mrs. Shannon asked the question the girls were wanting to know.
    “The towing companies had no record of a car with that plate number, so I called the police, and eventually I got in touch with Mercy Hospital.”
    “Can we go see her?” Geneva asked.
    Mr. Shannon shook his head. “I’m afraid not tonight. They said she is doing well and is stable.”
    Silence descended on the kitchen. The girls looked at one another. Finally Vienna said, “Thank you for finding out for us. I guess we’d better go home and go to bed now.” After a final squeeze of Sofia’s hand, she let it go and stood up with Geneva still clinging to her.
    “Girls, wait a minute,” Mrs. Shannon said, placing a hand on Vienna’s shoulder. “I don’t feel comfortable with you girls being alone tonight. We have a guest room that has two twin beds, and we can bring a mattress from the other room, so you three can stay here for the night, if one of you doesn’t mind sleeping on the floor.” She looked at the girls.
    Vienna looked at Sofia. Should they stay? The sleeping on the floor wouldn’t be a problem since they did it every night, but–
    Beside her, Geneva gave a soft whimper. “I don’t want to stay alone, Vivi,” she whispered. “Do you, Sof?”
    Sofia shook her head.
    “We didn’t come prepared to spend the night,” Vienna began slowly.
    “We’ll go back to your house so you can get what you need. Does that sound all right? Then in the morning we can go to the hospital and see how your grandma is doing.”
    Vienna nodded, and beside her Sofia and Geneva did the same.

Would you have been able to find out where Grandma was?
Have you gotten "By Paths Unknown" yet?
What have you been working on this week?

Friday, August 23, 2019

Triplets - Part 6

Good morning, Friday Fiction Fans,
How has your week been? Mine has been filled with Little League games, writing a new short story, trying to work on blog posts, sending emails, and some reading. Not my normal week things, but that's okay. The Little League US and International Championship games are tomorrow. Then the World Championship game is Sunday afternoon. After that, well, Little League games are over for another year and life will return to normal.

Normal? Wait, what's that?
All the things that are coming up are going to keep things busy. I have a new book release tour starting on Monday, then I start teaching writing classes again in September, I have a Five Fall Favorites blog party coming before too long, as well as other things. So yeah, life is going to stay busy.
Oh, I did want to mention though, that if you are an author and have 1 or more books and would like to see those books as 3D images, I'm going to be making them for others for a month. After that it will probably be a while before I do it again, so now is your chance to get images. Just contact me if you are interested. You have a month from today to get your order in.

And now, here's the next part of your story. I hope you enjoy it.

Part 6

    “Mrs. Shannon!”
    Geneva and Sofia turned and stared at their sister in confusion.
    “Grandma said to go to her if we ever needed anything. And Mrs. Shannon said the same thing. Why didn’t we think of it sooner? We’ll just call Mrs. Shannon, and I’m sure she can find out where Grandma is.”
    Sofia pulled out the cell phone. “But what if Grandma tries to call while the phone is busy?”
    “Since she hasn’t called yet, I doubt she’ll try now. Where’s the phone number?” Vienna turned to the fridge. The paper was no longer there. “What happened to that paper?”
    No one knew. Drawers were looked in, and Geneva got down on her hands and knees and peered under the fridge. No paper.
    “Then we’ll just have to go over there,” Vienna said firmly.
    “I’m not going past that scary, old building at night alone,” Geneva said, straightening her glasses which had become crooked during her search.
    “I don’t think any one should go alone,” Sofia said. “You know Dad always said to stick together when it gets dark.”
    Vienna sighed. “Then two of us can go, and the other can stay here with the phone.”
    But this suggestion didn’t meet with approval, for no one wanted to stay alone, and no one was willing to go to Mrs. Shannon’s alone, except Vienna, and her sisters protested.
    “Well, we can’t just sit around and do nothing! We’ll leave a light on and a note for Grandma, to tell her where we’ve gone. Then we’ll all go see Mrs. Shannon. But we’d better go now before she goes to bed; it’s almost ten o’clock.”
    With reluctance, Sofia and Geneva agreed. The note was written and set on the kitchen table under the salt and pepper shakers, to keep it from blowing away since the windows were open. Leaving a lamp lit in the living room, but locking the door, the triplets left the house. Geneva walked in the middle clutching a hand of each sister. Sofia held the cell phone and Vienna the flashlight. The streets were dark and quiet. Only two streetlights gave pools of light to the pavement and sidewalks, while most of the houses were wrapped in slumber or only showed a soft glow from a window. Though they had lived on the streets for several years with their dad, the girls had never been allowed to be out and about at this time of night without their dad, and they found it almost frightening.
    As they turned the corner and approached the old brick building, Vienna felt Geneva’s hand tighten on her own. “It’s okay,” she whispered, her voice sounding loud in the stillness. “It’s just an old, unused building.” Though her words sounded brave, her own heart was pounding unusually hard as she remembered the strange sounds from earlier.
    They came closer and turned on the street toward Mrs. Shannon’s. Vienna kept her face averted from the building. She didn’t want to see its shadowy form in the moonlight. Maybe they should have gone the other way, even if it was longer.
    “If it’s just an old, unused building,” Sofia breathed, and Vienna thought she detected panic in her voice, “then why is there a light coming through that side window?”
    Startled, Vienna turned her head and looked. Sofia was right, light spilled from the window near the roof and lit the leaves of the trees.
    “Let’s go!” Geneva gasped.
    Sofia needed no urging and half pulled her sisters down the street to the Shannon home. Vienna, even though she felt shivers racing along her spine, wanted to investigate. No, she didn’t want to investigate, she just wanted answers. If there was a light on, someone had to be inside. But who? And what were they doing?
    Vienna turned reluctantly from her questions about the building to the present. “Did you ring the doorbell?” she asked in low tones.
    “N . . . no,” Geneva whimpered. “You do it.”
    Finding that Sofia had a death grip on the cell phone, Vienna pushed the glowing orange button. She could hear the chimes from the porch and cringed at the sound. Were they going to wake anyone? What if Mrs. Shannon wasn’t home? What if they had accidentally gotten the wrong house? What if–
    The porch light flashed on and the door opened. Blinking in the sudden brightness, Vienna saw a man standing before them. “Is . . . is Mrs. Shannon home?”
    “Yes.” The man looked quizzical. “And you are–?”
    “We’re Doris Brown’s granddaughters.”
    Understanding flashed over the man’s face, and he smiled. It was followed almost instantly by a look of concern. “Is something wrong?” He opened the screen door and motioned them in. “Come inside so we don’t wake up the neighborhood.”
    As Vienna stepped inside, pulling her sisters along with her, she felt the refreshing coolness of the air conditioning, and a sense that all would be okay. She even forgot, for the moment, the strange light in the brick shed.
    Mr. Shannon, as Vienna assumed him to be, motioned the girls to be seated. “Let me call Abigail.” He stepped to the bottom of the stairs and called up, “Abi, Doris Brown’s granddaughters are here.”
    “I’ll be right there!”
    He turned to the girls. “She’s coming.”
    Light feet ran down the stairs moments later, and Mrs. Shannon entered the room. “Why girls, I didn’t expect to see you so late. Is something wrong?”
    “Grandma never came home tonight,” Sofia blurted. “We’ve had the cell phone on all the time, and it’s charged, but she never called.”
    “We would have called you,” Vienna put in, “but we couldn’t find your number.”
    “And we can’t go to bed not knowing where Grandma is,” Geneva added with a sniff, squeezing her sisters’ hands as they sat side by side on the couch.
    “She hasn’t come home?” Mrs. Shannon glanced at her husband. “Did you try calling her cell phone?”
    “Grandma doesn’t have one.” Vienna stared down at her worn shoes. “She said she didn’t need one and gave it to us.”
    “Did you call her work?”
    The three girls shook their heads. “We don’t have a phone book and don’t know the number.”
    “Did she say anything about working late?” Mr. Shannon asked.
    “Where does she work?”
    Vienna looked at Sofia, for she couldn’t remember the name. She knew it was some dollar store. Sofia named it and the street it was on, and Mr. Shannon nodded.

Would you have felt scared walking in the dark?
What do you think is causing the strange light?
Do you want any 3D cover images?

Friday, August 16, 2019

Triplets - Part 5

Good morning, Readers,
This morning is cloudy and thunder rumbles now and then. It rained just a bit, so we'll see if we have any thunderstorms or just have the edge of something. It makes me feel like reading. But I don't think I'll have much time for reading today. Not since three games in the Little League World Series were postponed from yesterday afternoon/evening, to this morning because they were having storms. So now there are 7 games being played today! No, we're not planning on watching them all! We probably won't watch the International bracket.

Anyway, I've gotten some writing done this week. Not a huge amount, but enough to keep me ahead of my month's writing goal. Would you like to see my goal on the sidebar here? I can put in on and let you keep track of how my writing is going.
I have been doing some reading, working on blog posts, getting the cover for "By Paths Unknown" finished, and designing covers for my three new Christmas Collection stories that should be coming out this year. Are you excited for those?

I've been noticing a strange occurrence here on my blog. It seems that every-other week I get a good number of views and a few comments on my story, but the in-between weeks I get only a handful of views and no comments. This is a many views and some comments week. We'll see if this pattern keeps up. If it does, I could just not post any story on the in-between weeks. ;)

Part 5

    “Maybe I can find the door this way,” she thought, starting onward again. Reaching the corner, she was once again confronted with vines, bushes, brush and small trees. “If I knew who owned the building, I would ask if I could clear all this out,” she half-whispered. “But since I don’t . . .” her voice trailed off. “And I can’t even look inside unless the girls–”
    She stopped suddenly, for a strange sound came from the open window. It was a creak and a thump. Then a louder creak.
    Goosebumps rose on Vienna’s arms, and her heart began to race. Her intellect told her there was a logical reason for the noises, but her mind shouted that something awful was going on. All desire to look inside fled as she hurried as quietly as possible to the other end of the building.
    Reaching the farther corner at last, she saw her sisters waiting for her in the street and gave a quick sigh and ventured a glance over her shoulder. Nothing unusual could be seen. Had she really heard those noises? A shiver tingled her spine at the thought. She hadn’t imagined them.
    “Did you find a door?”
    “Or get to look in?”
    Vienna shook her head and stepped from the grass into the street. “The windows are too high and there’s nothing to stand on.” She didn’t add that she was no longer sure if she wanted to look in.
    “What about a door?” Sofia asked again.
    “I think Mrs. Shannon is right and it’s behind all those vines and stuff. But the back was just as covered as this side is. It doesn’t look as though anyone has been in there for years.” She didn’t mention the strange noises, for she knew Geneva at least, would be terrified of ever coming back. And now that she was with her sisters, they didn’t seem quite as frightening.
    “Can we leave this old building and go somewhere else now?” Geneva asked, her eyes pleading from behind her glasses.
    Vienna shrugged. “I don’t care. Sof?”
    “We might as well finish exploring our new neighborhood. Maybe Grandma can take us to the library this weekend, and we can find out who owns the shed.”
    “Can we find that out at the library?” And Geneva looked interested.
    “I don’t know, but maybe.”

    The rest of the morning was spent wandering the neighborhood before returning to the house to eat their lunch. No one really wanted to go out in the afternoon, for the sun was hot and the breeze that had been there in the morning had died. Inside they at least had a fan or two to stir the air and one air conditioner that sort of worked. The afternoon dragged by on slow feet. Vienna and Sofia read. Grandma didn’t have many books, but she had gotten some from the library for them before they came. Geneva read for a while, then played Tick-Tack-Toe with herself.
    “Vivi,” Geneva asked at last, “what are we having for supper?”
    Looking up from her book, Vienna glanced through the doorway into the kitchen to see the clock on the wall. “I thought we’d make french fries and have a salad. Those are both cheap things.”
    “Can we have cheese sauce for the fries?”
    “Do we have any?”
    Geneva nodded. “I saw a can in the cabinet.”
    With a shrug, Vienna returned to her book. “If Grandma doesn’t mind.”

    The oven cooked fries were done, and the meager salad of lettuce and carrots waited in the fridge, while the can of cheese sauce sat waiting on the counter. Grandma hadn’t come home from work yet. At last Vienna grabbed the can opener and moments later had heated up the cheese sauce.
    “If we wait much longer the fries will get over–cooked. Is the phone on, Sofia?”
    Sofia, who had been leaning on the door frame, pulled out the cell phone from her pocket. “Yep.”
    “Let’s eat then. Gen!”
    Geneva hurried into the kitchen. “Aren’t we going to wait for Grandma?”
    “I don’t know how long she’ll be. Besides, we can save her some, but I think she’d want us to eat.” Vienna pulled the fries from the oven and scooped some onto each plate, leaving an equal number on the pan, which she covered in foil and stuck back in the oven.
    By the time supper was over, Grandma had still not come home, and there had been no call from her or anyone.
    “I guess we can heat things up when she comes home.” Vienna stood up slowly, a worried frown on her face. In the short two weeks the girls had lived with their Grandma, she had never been this late from work before. It felt strange not to have her there while the food was put away and the dishes washed.
    No one seemed able to settle that evening. Books held no interest, games were tried but abandoned as no one could concentrate. Night settled down over the neighborhood, and still there was no sign or word from Grandma.
    “Do . . . do you think something happened to her?” Geneva asked in a whisper.
    “Like what?” Sofia fiddled with the friendship bracelet on her arm.
    “Maybe the car broke down, or she had to work late,” volunteered Vienna, trying to push back her own worry and fear. “Grandma doesn’t have a cellphone, you know, so she couldn’t call us.”
    “If she was working late, she could,” Sofia pointed out.
    “And if something happened at work, someone would have called. I’m guessing that old car broke down. Grandma might be so busy that she doesn’t realize the time.” Vienna sat down on the couch. From where she sat she could see the clock on the kitchen wall. It was after eight-thirty.
    Another thirty minutes ticked by and still no Grandma and no phone call.
    “Vivi,” Sofia flopped down on the couch beside Vienna, “don’t you think we should call Grandma’s work?”
    “They’ll be closed.”
    “Not if they had to stay open late.”
    “True. But I don’t know the number.”
    Sofia frowned. “It’s got to be in the phone book. Does Grandma have a phone book?”
    Vienna shrugged. “No idea. Let’s look.”
    Calling Geneva to help them, the girls searched the small house. No phone book anywhere.
    Finally Vienna stopped and pushed her hair back from her hot face. “She probably doesn’t have one since she doesn’t have a regular phone.”
    “What do we do now?” Geneva was almost in tears. “We can’t go to bed without knowing where Grandma is!”
    Silence filled the kitchen where the girls stood looking at one another.

Have you ever wondered where a late parent was?
Do you like cheese sauce with your fries?
Would you like to see my writing progress on the sidebar?

Friday, August 9, 2019

Triplets - Part 4

Good Morning, Friday Fiction Fans,
Yesterday was cloudy and rainy. It just made me think of fall even though it was warm and very humid outside. In the morning I wanted to just curl up and read, but I had other things to do. So I worked on blog posts for the Five Fall Favorites. I know no one is excited about this upcoming blog party. ;) Okay, so maybe you are. Then, in the afternoon I proof listened to the February story from Stories Through the Seasons and read.
But then, it was time to write. I didn't feel like writing ANYTHING! I know, I know, I have six stories started. Surely I could find one of those to work on, right? I tried. It wasn't working. So,  . . .
Yep. I did. I started a new one. A short story about a grumpy older woman. And it was fall! :D

In spite of not feeling like writing most of the week, I did get some things written. Except for Tuesday. On Tuesday I spent most of the day working on correcting By Paths Unknown and then formatting it for kindle. I still have one more reader who might find some other things to fix before the book is published, but I was able to send out the ARC copies to those participating in the blog tour.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this next part of this story.

Part 4

    The three girls nodded quickly and followed Mrs. Shannon to her house. A cool blast of air hit them as they stepped inside, and all sighed with pleasure. There were two window units in Grandma’s house. One in the kitchen and the other in the living room, but neither one worked well, and ever since the girls had arrived they had been warm.
    They all had a delightful visit over glasses of cold, tart lemonade, and by the time they left Mrs. Shannon’s house, they felt well acquainted with her.
    “I hope you girls will come again,” Mrs. Shannon said, standing on her porch in the late afternoon sun. “And if you ever need anything, give me a call or come over, okay? I’m nearly always home.”
    “We will, Mrs. Shannon,” Vienna said with a wave. “Thanks for the lemonade!”


    Sitting around the kitchen table that evening, finishing off their meal of spaghetti and bread, the triplets told Grandma about their visit with Mrs. Shannon and about the old shed they had seen.
    “Do you know anything about that building, Grandma?” Sofia asked, twisting the friendship bracelet on her wrist.
    “No, I don’t know anything about it. But I’m glad you got to meet Abigail Shannon. She’s been a good friend to me over the years, and I feel better knowing that she’s around while I’m at work. Now,” she yawned, “let’s get these dishes washed because I’m tired. I think I’ll go to bed early tonight.”
    “Do we have to, Grandma?” Geneva asked plaintively. “I’m not tired.”
    With another yawn Grandma shook her head. “No, since you girls don’t have school, I don’t mind if you stay up a bit. But don’t stay up too late.”
    With a promise not to, the girls told Grandma they would clean up if she wanted to go to bed. Vienna and Geneva did the dishes together while Sofia wiped off the table and swept the floor. Then they sat in the living room for a little while, not doing much. There was no TV, and no one felt like reading. Sofia did her nails, painting only one on each hand to make her single bottle of nail polish last longer. She offered to do her sisters’ nails, but Vienna and Geneva declined. Finally they agreed to go to their room and at least try to get some sleep.
    Lying in the dark on the edge of the king size mattress Grandma had purchased for the girls to share when they came to live with her, Vienna rested one hand on the floor and wished the fan would blow over her a little more often. “If early summer is already this warm, what is summer going to be like later?” she mused. But at least they had a roof over their heads.
    As she lay there, trying to get to sleep, her thoughts returned to the old brick shed. She didn’t know why it fascinated her so much, but it did. “I’d like to see inside it just once,” she mused. “But I doubt we could get Gen to come close to it again with that ivy and those strange sounds. Maybe Sofia and I could find a way to look in the windows, and Gen could just watch from a distance. But Sof just did her nails. She’s not going to want to get them messed up.” With her mind planning a way to learn more about the old shed, Vienna fell asleep.


    “Let’s go back and look at that shed again,” Vienna suggested after a late breakfast of cornflakes and milk. Grandma had already left for work, and the girls were faced with another day of  trying to find something to occupy their time with.
    “Go back?” Geneva shoved her glasses up on her nose and a worried frown drew her eyebrows together.
    “Why?” Sofia asked, not looking up from polishing a fingernail with her napkin.
    “Because I want to see it.” Vienna shrugged. “I’d like to find out what made those strange noises, and–oh, I don’t know–just explore some more.”
    “Those noises were creepy,” Geneva complained before drinking the last of the milk in her bowl.
    “Then we should find out what made them,” persisted Vienna. “Come on,” she coaxed, “let’s at least go look at it.”
    Reluctantly the other two agreed, and as soon as the dishes were washed, the girls headed out the door. Vienna had tucked the flashlight into one pocket and the cell phone into the other. In silence the three walked down the street, turned, and headed toward the old brick building.
    “It’s still standing,” Sofia remarked.
    Geneva turned and looked at her. “Why wouldn’t it be?”
    Sofia shrugged.
    “Come on, let’s go look behind it again,” Vienna urged.
    Both sister refused. Geneva, still not convinced that the ivy wasn’t poison ivy, wouldn’t agree to step foot in it, or even in the tall grass, while Sofia looked down at her nails and shook her head. Vienna knew it was useless to argue and plead.
    “I’ll go around back by myself then.”
    “What if you get snatched by some kidnapper?” quavered Geneva.
    For answer, Vienna pulled out the cell phone and stuck it in Sofia’s pocket. “If you don’t hear from me in ten minutes, you can call the police or run over to Mrs. Shannon’s. Or both.” She laughed a little as she spoke. “Don’t worry, Gen. I’ll be fine. I’m just going to look around.”
    Before more protests could be made, Vienna stepped into the long grass. She tried to keep her eyes on everything at once, the grass before her, since she really didn’t want to step on a snake or something, the wall of the old building, just in case there was a hidden door, and the almost hidden alley on her left because someone might come down there. There were no snakes, doors, or people by the time she reached the corner of the building.
    “So far, so good!” she called back to her sisters.
    Careful not to let the ivy trip her, Vienna pressed forward. Under the first window she scanned the bricks to see if there were any that would make good steps. Nothing. Under the second window she again halted. “If the window was lower, I could look in,” she muttered. She looked around. There was no log or stump to climb on like there always seemed to be in books.

Would you have gone back alone to look into the shed?
Have you ever slept on a mattress on the floor?
Are you excited for the Five Fall Favorites party?

Friday, August 2, 2019

Triplets - Part 3

Good morning!
It's a little busy right now. All 7 kiddos are over. I have two little boys playing "Top Trumps" on the floor by my desk. And little Buster, who just turned 2, is playing with two of my little flashlights. Sissy is reading in the doorway, and Funny Boy is plying "Top Trumps" with my sis. Goof Ball is reading somewhere. The only one still in bed is Missy. :)

It was really nice out last evening and we went bike riding. The kids will go home after lunch. I might get a bit writing done this evening. We'll see.

But I'm too distracted right now to say much else. Missy is awake now.

Part 3

    Geneva pushed her glasses up on her nose and brushed her short hair off her face. “Maybe we should go back home. It’s getting kind of hot.”
    “It’s hot at home too, Gen,” Vienna answered. “I don’t know how Grandma can stand to live in a house with no air conditioning.”
    “Cause she’s working almost all day, maybe?” Sofia gathered her light curls into a high ponytail and secured it with a hair band. “Anyone else want their hair up?”
    Both Vienna and Geneva did, and Sofia handed each a hairband. Vienna didn’t feel much cooler with a ponytail since her hair was so long and it still stuck to her neck. Perhaps she should cut it off. But she shook her head. No, long hair could be put all the way up if she took the time to learn how to do it.
    “Can’t we go back home?” Geneva begged.
    “Not yet. I want to look at the other end of the building and see if there’s a door. The creak could have been a door with old hinges.”
    “What about that moaning sound?”
    Vienna glanced at the building. “I could have been our imaginations, or it could have been a wind blowing over something like a bottle. You’ve read those Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries.” As much as she wanted to believe what she was saying, she didn’t remember feeling any wind at all. “What do you say, Sofia?”
    Sofia shrugged. “Since we’re here, we might as well keep looking.”
    Keeping to the road, the girls walked the length of the old building. At the other end they stopped and looked. It was impossible to see if there was a door or not, for the vines, brush, bushes, small trees, and even an old wire fence crowded up against the wall and effectively hid it from view.
    “Now can we go home?”
    “Hang on, Gen,” Sofia sounded a little impatient. “I think if we all help, we could hold back some of that stuff and see if there is a door.”
    “Huh uh! Not me!” Geneva backed away. “There’s probably poison ivy in that mess!”
    “Wouldn’t it be easier to go around to the back of the building and look in the window again with the flashlight?” Vienna stood between her sisters. “Then we could see if there was a door, and maybe find out if there was something in there that made the noises we heard.”
    “Huh uh. I’m not going back there again. That stuff could have been poison ivy–”
    “Oh, good grief, Gen!” Sofia rolled her eyes. “It’s not poison ivy! It wouldn’t take long to look in the window.”
    “I don’t want to.”
    Vienna pursed her lips thoughtfully and twisted her long hair and wrapped it around the hairband. She’d often played mediator between Geneva, who was naturally more timid, and Sofia who grew frustrated easily. Now she wasn’t sure what to do. On the one hand she thought it would make them all sleep easier if they knew what had made the strange noises, but on the other hand, if Geneva was really frightened, she might not sleep well if they did look. And what if–
    “Hello, girls.” A new voice said, causing the girls to turn quickly. A woman with a pleasant smile was coming toward them. She wore a bright tiered skirt of some lightweight fabric and a pink short sleeve shirt. Her brown hair was pulled up loosely onto her head, and she looked fresh and cool.
    “Hi.” Vienna found her voice first.
    “Are you girls from this neighborhood? I don’t remember seeing you around before.”
    “We just moved in with our grandma a few weeks ago,” Sofia volunteered. “This is the first day we’ve come out this way.”
    The lady smiled. “Oh, are you Doris Brown’s granddaughters? She told me some of her granddaughters were coming to live with her. And by the way, I’m Abigail Shannon. I live just over there in that blue and white house.”
    Vienna nodded. “Yes, that’s our grandma. I’m Vienna, that’s Sofia, and this is Geneva.”
    “I’m pleased to meet you all. Have you found anything interesting in your exploration of our quiet neighborhood?” She looked from one girl to the next.
    “Just this old building.” Suddenly Vienna had a thought.
    “Do you know if this building has a door?” Sophia and Vienna asked at the same time.
    Vienna looked at Sofia and they laughed. It wasn’t the first time they’d spoken in unison without meaning too.
    Mrs. Shannon laughed too. “Don’t tell me you’re twins–”
    “We’re not!” This time all three answered.
    “–because I’ve heard of twins saying the same things at the same time.”
    “Actually we’re triplets.”
    The woman’s eyes widened and so did her smile. “Well, that must be fun! Now to answer your question, yes, there is a door, but I think it’s behind all those vines and branches and stuff. As far as I know, no one has used this old building in, oh, at least fifteen or twenty years. It’s kind of interesting looking though, isn’t it?” And she looked at the building as though it were only a friendly structure.
    None of the girls answered, and Vienna felt a trickle of sweat run down her back. Perhaps they should just give up and go home.
    Mrs. Shannon turned from the building. “It’s rather warm for early summer, don’t you think? I was planning on having some cold lemonade, but I would love to have company. Would you girls care to join me? I’ve been meaning to get over to see your grandma this past weekend, but things kept coming up. What do you say? Does lemonade sound good?”
    “You’re not going to kidnap us, are you?” Geneva looked closely at the woman from behind her glasses.
    “Kidnap you?” Mrs. Shannon burst into a merry laugh. “No!”
    “Gen!” Vienna nudged her sister. “Don’t you remember the phone number and name Grandma has on the fridge? She said if we couldn’t get ahold of her, to call Mrs. Shannon.”
    Geneva shook her head as flush of red, not caused by the heat, crept up her neck, and she looked at the ground.
    “That’s all right,” Mrs. Shannon said kindly. “I had forgotten that you might not know me. Do you want to come over for lemonade?”

Have you ever wanted to explore a strange building?
Do you enjoy lemonade?
Do you like riding bikes?