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.
“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?