Tuesday, September 24, 2013

We'll Sort This Out – Pt 2 –

Howdy Folks,

 Back in January I wrote a short story, "We'll Sort This Out" about a boy fleeing a bad home situation set back in the homestead times – You can find that story (HERE) – Of and on I've gotten requests to continue the story. Over the weekend another friend asked if there's more to it, so I thought I'd tell a little more …. Hope you enjoy. Let me know if you want more.
Kessy Saturday & me writing a story
We'll Sort This Out – Pt 2 

Frank's hand was kind. His smile comforting. New feelings for the boy, and they confused him. He was hungry and the soup smelled good. Often he had snuck away to lay hidden in the trees and watch this tiny homestead from atop the hill. Now he was with the friendly looking man and woman he had watched from his hiding place so many times. So many times he had wished the kind woman would hold him. Wished the tall man would find him. But each time the boy knew better and turned to walk slowly the miles back to the house, and the whippings he'd receive for being gone. But he never said where he'd been. Not to his father, and not to his sister. She was younger and might not understand.

"Come now, let's get a bowl of soup in you." Frank scooped the boy from the floor, swung him over his shoulder like a sack of grain and marched to the front room, stopping by the wide table in front of the fireplace. "Martha, is there corn bread to go with your territory famous turkey soup?" He slid the boy into the chair nearest the fireplace then sat next to him, still holding his tiny hand.

"It should be just about ready." She knelt by the big stone fireplace, raised the lid on a small black kettle and waved the air to push the delicious smell of baking corn bread their way.

"Oh boy, we'll have a feast tonight!" Frank's eyes beamed. "Are you hungry young fella?"

Yes, of course he was hungry, and it did smell better than anything he could remember. He watched Martha dip a bowl full from the swinging kettle. Frank took it and set it in front of the boy. He stared at the bowl, watching the steam float up. The smell and warmth of it filled his nose. His eyes ran tears down his face. He knew at that moment his sister was getting no food, or at best old potatoes. A beating for sure. She'd pay the price tonight for his disobedience.

"Go on young fella, dig in!" Frank dipped the cornbread into the soup and offered it.

That was all he could stand. He pushed back from the table, bumping into Martha. "I can't," he sobbed.

Martha whirled and held him, "Sure you can, we have plenty." They slid to the floor, she rocked him. "Don't be afraid, you're safe here." She reached for the cornbread and held it for him until he took a small bite. "There, quite good isn't it, if I do say myself." She stroked his hair and hugged tighter.

"Never tasted any better I'll bet!" Frank smiled and snared a chunk for himself. "Sit back up here and dive into this turkey soup. You'll sleep grand tonight up in our loft, with your belly full of Martha's cooking."

He wiped his eyes on the big shirt sleeve. It was Martha's blouse they had dressed him in, nothing else in the cabin came close to fitting him. He pushed the loose sleeves back, picked up the bowl, and drank the warm soup down, not wasting time with a spoon. Then held it out for a refill.

Frank jumped up, "I'll fill her up for you," and using the bent, long handled spoon did just that. As he sat the full bowl in front of the boy he leaned on his elbows and grinned. "Hits the spot and warms every inch of you doesn't it?"

The boy gulped it down, dragged his sleeve across his mouth and jumped to his feet. "I want to stay here … But I can't … "

Martha held him. "Of course you can. At least until Frank has a chance to visit with your father and work things out."

He pulled away. "I need to go now. If I don't get back he'll hurt my sister."

Stunned silence filled the room. Only the boy's hesitant breathing and crackles in the fireplace made any sound.

"Sister?" Martha grabbed Frank's arm. "You have a sister? Frank what …."

"I shouldn't have run, but … I need to go … I need to …."

Frank put his hand on the boy's shoulder, "Hold on here young fella. I've never seen anyone but you and your father around your place."

"I do have a sister, she's eight. She doesn't go outside too much. She, well since mother ran, she hides a lot in the house. She's okay if I'm there, but …."

Frank swung open the door, fierce howling rain swept into the room. Fighting against the wind he forced the door closed. "Traveling is out of the question tonight, son, but I promise, I'll ride right over in the morning and look into this a bit deeper."

"My sister."

Martha hugged him, "She'll be alright, I'll bet they're in bed already."

The boy jerked free, "It's not alright, I should be there!"

"Son, I'm truly sorry, but there's no way to make it in this weather in the dark. But rain or no rain I'll head out in the morning. I give you my word."

The boy studied their worried faces. His eyes burned, his heart pounded. "I shouldn't have left without her, but it was so cold and the rain."

Martha wrapped him in her arms and together they climbed the ladder to the open loft above the fireplace. It was warm there. She laid with him in the bed of blankets. She held him until he sobbed himself to sleep.

He woke as she climbed down the ladder, but he didn't call out. He watched the flickers of firelight on the cabin's walls and listened to them talk. He could not understand much of what they said, but he knew it was him, his sister and father they talked about. He worried for his sister. The rain pounded the tin roof making it hard to listen. Maybe, when Frank and Martha fall asleep he could sneak out and run to her. And bring her back.

To read Pt 3  CLICK HERE

Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry


  1. Dutch, you can't leave us hanging.... this is great writing and a gripping story line. Please write more for us :) Thanks
    Denise M.

    1. Thanks Denise! ... I will write more, hopefully next week :)

  2. Ok, I'm commenting here,,PLEASE!!! We need Part 3!!! please, please, please! LOLOL... what happens next????? ;o)

    1. Thanks Tina! ... I promise I'll write more. I want to know what happens next too!