Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Story-Time Tuesday - Chapter Three

If you missed STORIES FROM HOME - Chapter Two just click here.
Read Chapter 3 by just clicking here.
Jenny Matlock

Julia gave a loud, happy shout when she saw the old piece of rope dangling down from the giant tree growing beside the little pond with blue-mirrored water. She quickly covered her mouth. She had not meant to be so loud!

She tipped her freckled face back and looked way up to the top where the bright green buds had started growing into cool, lovely summer leaves.

“Oh,” she whispered quietly to herself, “There were children here before…and this was their swing.”

She glanced back toward the woods, and then continued to explore.

Large rocks at the edge of the pond looked like a good place to rest for awhile.

Clambering up onto the rough, grey surface of the biggest rock, she dropped her heavy, purple backpack with a thud.

Although she was tempted to lay down and use the pack for a pillow, she decided, instead, to take off her dusty socks and tennis shoes . Her feet were hot and tired. The idea of wiggling her toes in the cool, blue water of the little pond was too wonderful to resist. When her grubby bare feet touched the cool water she gave a quiet, little laugh.

Julia’s big, blue eyes closed for a minute in sheer delight. Her curly, dark red hair danced in the breeze while her little, white toes danced in the water.

Julia had always had a good imagination and it didn’t take her long to picture children playing on these rocks and swinging on the old piece of rope. It felt like a happy place to be.

A whispered little, “Pssst!” startled her.

When she looked toward the noise, she saw the face of her sister, Riley, peeking out around a tree trunk at the edge of the little woods.

“Julia!” Riley whispered loudly, “What are you doing? Can I come out now?”

Julia tried to ignore her sister for a moment because, sometimes, that’s just what sisters do.

But then she said, “Sure, Riley, come out.”

Riley walked out of the little woods slowly. She was tired, too. It felt like she had been walking for a long, long time.

Riley’s wavy, strawberry-blond hair was pulled back into a ponytail. Her gray-blue eyes glanced behind her to the woods, but then she looked around in curiousity at the little pond’s blue-mirrored water and the big rock on which her sister was sitting.

“Julia!” Riley said, “You have your feet in the water! I want to put my feet in the water! Why can’t I put my feet in the water? Can I? Can I?”

Julie just grinned a big “Yes” at her sister and then she pointed to the rope dangling from the giant tree.

Riley’s eyes got big and round and she gave an excited squeak! “Julia! There must have been little kids here before!” Julia nodded her head in agreement.

Riley’s battered, pink backpack, shoes and socks were quickly taken off and thrown down beside her sister’s.

Ten more little wiggling white toes joined in, splashing the cool, blue-mirrored water.

A moment later, both girls jumped when they heard a loud, “Hey, what about me?” coming from the edge of the woods.

Marching out of the woods came the littlest sister, Morgan. Her blonde hair shone brightly in the May sunshine. She looked back at the trees while her determined feet stomped across the distance between the woods and the blue-mirrored pond.

“Why am I always last?” she shouted.

“Ssssshhhhh…” both her sisters replied.

“I don’t care!” she said, “I’m not going to ssssshhhh and I’m tired of being last! And I’m tired of walking! And I’m tired of no-one giving me a piggy-back ride! And my feet are hot and…”

Riley interrupted her little sister by holding out a hand to help her up onto the big, grey rock.

Morgan threw her faded rainbow-striped backpack and grimy tennis shoes onto the pile and then looked back again at the woods. Her big, dark blue eyes were serious and worried.

“Julia! What about…” she blurted out.

But Julia interrupted her by saying, “Morgan, you have to quit shouting! We don’t know if it’s OK for us to be here!”

But Morgan persisted. “Riley! What about…”

But Julia stopped her again. “Morgan! Stop talking so loudly!”

Letting out a wail, Morgan tried one more time. “Julia, Riley! What about…”

She stopped talking when she finally saw her new pal coming from the woods. “Mr. Cat!” Morgan cried, when she saw her skinny, little calico friend.

Mr. Cat jumped up on the big, grey rock with all three little girls.

The golden afternoon passed quickly as it does so often in childhood.

There were slippery, silvery minnows to catch. There was the rope swing to play Tarzan on. Mr. Cat tried to catch the bugs the girls were watching. And the skinny, little calico cat even let the girls put wreaths made of wild-flowers on his furry head.

As the magic of imagination made rocks into houses and tall weeds into fairy fortresses, the minutes turned into hours and the afternoon shadows grew long.

It was only when the mirrored-blue surface of the little pond reflected a beautiful rosy-pink sunset that the three girls recognized how late it had become.

They gathered on the big rock. Riley quickly began putting on her shoes and socks and Julia began to help Morgan with hers.

The girls were quiet now and their eyes had grown big and round with worry.

As the shadows lengthened, Mr. Cat began meowing insistently.

The girls tried to shush him so they could talk, but he would not be quieted.

After a few moments of persistent, loud meows he started walking very slowly through the tall weeds.

“Julia, Morgan!” Riley said, “I think Mr. Cat wants us to follow him!”

Julie ignored her sister, because sometimes that’s just what sisters do, and began to put on her own shoes and socks.

But just as she was getting ready to put on the last sock, Mr. Cat came back, jumped up onto the big, grey rock and pulled the sock from her hand with his teeth. He was too fast for Julia, and ran off with the dirty, white sock dangling from his mouth.

This time when he ran, all three girls grabbed their backpacks to follow. Julia hurriedly led the other two girls, single-file through the tall weeds.

Darkness was falling very quickly now.

Just when the girls thought they had lost Mr. Cat, they heard his loud meows up ahead.

The girls walked a few more steps toward the meows when, suddenly, Julia stopped in her tracks.

Riley bumped into Julia.

Morgan bumped into Riley.

And all three little girls looked up together in total surprise.

To be continued on Tuesday, May 11.

(c) 2010 Jennifer R. Matlock
This publication is the exclusive property of Jennifer R. Matlock and is protected
under the US Copyright Act of 1976 and all other applicable international, federal, state and local laws. The contents of this post/story may not be reproduced as a whole or in part, by any means whatsoever, without consent of the author, Jennifer R. Matlock. All rights reserved.

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Dee said...

I hope this has a happy ending. :) You characters are coming alive and I think you ended with me wanting to come back on May 11th.

Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} said...

This story just gets more and more intiguing!

grammy said...

How fun is that.. bet your Grands love it (o:

Tina said...

Arrgghh! Leaving us hanging again. I love Tuesdays. But there's only one each week...This story is unfolding in such a clever way. Love it!

Julie Schuler said...

Makes me think of my favorite days playing near the Juniata River when I was little. I hope the cat had it's shots, though.

Aunt LoLo said...

Love this!!! Great job. :-)

Shannon said...

You are a wonderful story teller, and have inspired me to try to write a story...great job of part 3!

Holly said...

I'm in my robe, a cup of tea beside me, all settled for the next installment! If only it were being read to me!!!!
I love Tuesday's because of your story!!! Enthralling to say the least!!!
Can't wait for more!
Have a great day!!

Sue said...

Waiting patiently (or not so) for the next installment...


Jennifer said...

I'm really enjoying this.

I wish I had a nice robe and some cocoa or something more summer-y to enjoy these chapters with. :D

That, or I wish we were all by a campfire while you told us the story. ;)

Jocelyn said...

Oh I love this....I see every single detail....tell more...HURRY!!

I have shared this story with Evan...as best as I could remember and he loves it...I can't wait until I can share this part!!!

Love ya girlie!!! :-)

Julia Christie said...

Durnit! Ya got me again...I'm lovin' these serial stories...Can't wait for next week.


Brittany said...

I will be back may 11th! You are such a talented lady! Your blog always makes me happy :)

Beth said...

You are one very talented lady, Miss Jenny! Excellent story time today!

I figured out how to add Google Friend Connect to my new blog. Learning something new every day. Maybe by Thursday I'll be done fiddling and ready to get back to some serious writing.

Hope today is bringing you joy!


koralee said...

Oh how I love your blog...off to read the other posts I have missed. Please teach me how to write like you...you are wonderful. xoxox

Life with Kaishon said...

It sounds good! I can't wait to hear what happens next. : )

debbie said...


Brenda said...

So good and cut short to soon. When the story comes to an end I am going to read this to my grand daughters. I do not think they would like to wait from week to week for the "rest of the story", I am having a hard time myself.

Cassie said...

Good grief. You're good at that.

Red Couch Recipes said...

Jenny, how fun! So are you the next great Louisa May Alcott. As you most likely know, she wrote Little Women in installments. The way I understand it is that Jo and Laurie never got together because her fans wanted them to get together so badly! Fun story and I will come back for more! Joni

Aha! It's The Obnoxious SAHM said...

GOD you're good. :)

Ms. Anthropy said...

Will be back on Tuesday, for more!

Emmy said...

Oh talk about cliff hanger!

Mighty M said...

Oh, so good! Those girls sound so cute!! ;)

sissie said...

Great writing and I'll be back for the next chapter. I need to know what happened!


Jeanie said...

Great imagery, Jenny. Everyone has said it....this is a great story.

Terra said...

The girls are simply beautiful and such sisters too - curiosity has them wondering and I can't wait to read next week...

Lourie said...

Riley looks my oldest. Strawberry blond hair and grey eyes. haha. And I am so totally loving this story!!!

La Bella Vie said...

You are simply amazing! I want to grow up to be just like you;)

Tracy said...

Oh no I am now late for work fab story bye

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Oh dear! I see that I am way behind the power curve! You are so faithful at posting and I am forever in the catching up mode! I am off today, but have a shower to go to and so many errands to do before we are "on the road again"! But I will definitely come back and read your wonderful posts I have missed!

Thank you so much for stopping by and for your sweet comment, thoughts and prayers. My hubby and I had a wonderful time up at my dad's (the 26 hour drive to my dad's from our home in Georgia to his home in Wisconsin was well worth it :o) Thank goodness though for the midway stop to sleep and visit with our kids who are all at college in Kentucky :o)

It was straight back to work for me, so haven't had a minute to catch up really on blogging, but I want to try to reply to the wonderful comments left on my N post.

Blessings & Aloha!

Darcie said...

Your story has so captivated me, the house has captivated me, the cat has captivated me, and the 3 sweet sisters have captivated me! Tuesdays have taken on a whole new meaning for me!!

Lindsay said...

Great story! Can't wait to see what happens next!

Andrea said...

Is Mr Cat's first name Lassie? I am loving this story!

Brenda said...

That was so not what I expected... I'm getting scared for them being all alone and it getting dark, and the abandoned house. EEK! Is this story taking a turn??? Shall we call you Ms. King? As in Stephan King??? I can't wait... I better get my blankie before the next chapter, JIC it gets too scary!

Bonnie said...

I can just picture those three little girls. I loved the part where they dipped their grubby feet in the the cool water. My feet are tired and that sounded so good! Looking forward to next week.

Beedeebabee said...

Hi Jenny! I couldn't get here this week until now....I so love this story!!!...Can't wait for the next chapter! xo Paulette