My fiction Work In Progress (W.I.P.)
I typically write devotionals, but like most writers of anything, there's a fictional story hidden away in my computer files. So, I've decided to pull those pages out and let you take a peek. I'll post excerpts of my work on the 15th of each month... What did I just commit to?! I'd love to hear your comments...just leave a note at the bottom. Thanks.
"Trick or Treat" - the story of good versus evil in a small Midwest community where family, church, and school spirit come first. Seventeen-year-old Melody, a studious, athletic, missionary-wanna-be, has always pursued the straight and narrow way as her Christian heritage taught her. Her best friend since forever, Jessica is a 17-year-old wanna-be model and always chooses her own path. The ties of their friendship are fraying as the choices of adulthood get closer and childhood mud pie memories fade away. Then, there's Liz, the 15-year-old new girl in town who is just trying to fit in, who becomes Melody’s disciple. Before Melody can choose to throw off her "goody-two-shoes" and go to a Halloween party and hayrack ride without her parents’ consent, Liz introduces her to a world she or this sleepy little town never predicted.
The Sunday morning breeze rustled the yellowed husks. Beer bottles and cigarette butts lay scattered about. Shoe prints, tire treads, and raccoon tracks crisscrossed the sandy soil, and tiny paw prints dotted the muddy creek bank.
The alarm blared from atop the nightstand and the clock flashed 8:00. Melody hit the off button and she rolled to her side. She lingered under the warmth of the covers and stared out the window. A bright red cardinal sat on a swaying cedar branch. The blue sky held a few fluffy clouds while sun rays hid behind the barn waiting to blast her in the eyes with their brilliance. She laid in wait.
“Melody, are you awake?” Her mom tapped on the door and called her name. “Your pancakes are ready. It’s time to come and eat.”
Every Sunday for as long as Melody could remember, this was the Sunday morning routine to wake her and her older sister, Sue. And each time they answered in harmony, “Yes, mommy, we’re awake.” But, now Sue was away at college and her neatly made bed across the room was empty.
The smell of bacon lured her hand to throw the warm covers back. The lanky teenager stretched her arms upward before slipping on her pink fuzzy robe and slippers.
Melody heard her parents talking as she followed the sun casting light through the kitchen windows and into the stairwell.
Tom Greene sat at the head of the table with a cup of coffee in his hand dressed in a suit and tie for church. “Good morning, sleepy-head. Did you sleep well?” He smiled at his daughter as she shuffled across the tile floor.
Melody smiled and nodded “yes” then pulled out her chair to sit beside her dad.
A plate of hot pancakes and crispy bacon with the glass of orange juice awaited her. Her mother turned the Lazy Susan in the middle of the table so the butter and a pitcher of warm syrup were within her daughter’s reach.
“As I was saying, Grace, Frank said he found suspicious tire tracks down along the river bed on the north end of the field. Rumors about odd things happening outside Bargersville are flying around. He wants me to go with him after lunch to check things out.” Mr. Greene ran his finger around the rim of his cup.
Grace Greene sipped her coffee and listened intently before she spoke. “Tom, you and your brother, Frank, hear rumors like this most every fall. Sometimes they’re true, most times not, but always disheartening.”
“It shouldn’t take us too long.” Tom Greene looked toward his daughter, “Melody, have you heard anyone talk about 4-wheeling down along the creek by Grandpa’s field?” He stirred his coffee as he watched her face.
“No, Dad.” Nor would anyone ever tell me, she thought to herself. She washed down the last bite of bacon with her juice. “May I be excused? I need to feed the kittens before I shower and get dressed.”
They dismissed her with a nod.
The tall athletic teenager tightened the belt of her robe and pulled her long dishwater blond hair out from under the collar. She tucked her warm cargo inside the robe under her arm and then sauntered across the yard to the barn. The sun, now above the barn, barely warmed the crisp morning air. She lifted the latch on the old door and went inside.
Three kitties attacked her fuzzy slippers. “Meow, meow, meow.” She pushed them along to reach the preparation table.
“Good morning, little ones.” Melody lifted the lid of the bucket and pulled out an old coffee can with food. “Be patient; I’m hurrying.” Their surrogate mom pulled out the warmed bottle of milk hidden inside her robe. She mixed a little dried food and milk in an old whipped topping bowl.
“Meow, meow, meow.” The almost-weaned kittens twisted in and out of her feet begging for food and attention.
“I know you’re hungry.” She squatted down and they crawled onto her lap. “We need to give it a minute to soften.” She gathered all three against her chest and stood up. “I don’t think you understand a word I’m saying.” One crawled to her shoulder; another nuzzled her robe and the third jumped to the shelf for the milk mixture. She grabbed the food and put it and her feline babies on the dusty barn floor.
“Three little kittens lost their mittens,” she pulled the gray one out of the bowl, “or in your case, lost your mommy.”
A couple of months earlier, their momma, a beautiful long-haired black cat, wandered on to the Greene’s farm and soon gave birth to the kittens in the garage. There were two yellow tabby males, one white-pawed gray female, and one pure black female—like the mother cat. But last Friday night, the momma and her look alike came up missing. Melody and her mom then cornered the three orphaned, not-yet-weaned, mischievous kittens in the garage. They relegated them to the barn and the Greene women established the three-a-day feeding regiment.
The kittens hopped, rolled, and wrestled with each other after they licked the bowl dry. “Okay, you’re done.” She picked up the empty container and cleaned off the table. The small bowl and milk bottle fit perfectly in her robe pocket. “I’ve got to get ready for to church.” The kittens slipped out the door when she opened it. As they ran toward the garden, she sprinted to the house.
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