Monday, June 17, 2024

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "GREEN"

 

Howdy do! Welcome to Tuesday Tales. We have another episode of "Sam's Decision" today. We're 

writing to the word prompt "green". Don't forget to pop off to read the terrific stories by the other Tuesday Tales writers. Find them HERE


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“Of course, come in.” She swept the last remnants of dirt out the door, then stepped inside, leaving the door open for Sam. He entered and followed her up to the counter.

“What can I do for you?” She donned a white apron with a ruffled hem.

“Don’t need nothin’. Want to talk about you and me.”

“Oh?” She raised her eyebrows and the pink in her cheeks darkened.

Sam took her hand in both of his. “I have plans, Becky. Big plans. I want to have my own farm, like my pa did. I’m gonna get one from Old Man Fitch.”

“But you have a good job with Caleb. You’re learning smithing and doing fine, so I hear.”

Sam lowered his gaze. “Yeah. I know. Caleb’s been good to me. I don’t mind smithing, but I’d rather have my own place. Run things myself, like my pa did. I’m a man of the earth. I want to grow my own crops. Have cows, maybe even a horse someday.”

“You have Sunshine.”

Sam snorted. “A goat. And she belongs to my sister. I want my own animals, my own place.” He raised his gaze to hers. He loved her bright red hair, and her intelligence. “You’re smart, Becky. I’m gonna need a wife. One who is not afraid to get her hands dirty. I’ll need a woman to help me run the farm.”

“You could just hire a farmhand.” Her lips compressed into a fine line.

“This ain’t comin’ out right. You know what I mean.”

She removed her hand. “No, I don’t, Sam Chesney. Seems to me like you should put up a ‘farmhand wanted’ sign outside the store.” She turned her back to him to attend to something on the shelf behind her.

“Becky. Come on. You know what I mean. I’m getting all confused.” Sam felt as green as the grass on the meadow. 

“I’ll say you are. If you’re expecting me to be a farmhand. You’re darn confused.” She turned her attention back to the shelf.

Frustrated, Sam stepped behind the counter and turned her around to face him. “Becky Rhodes, you know what I mean.”

Shooting him a cool look, she said, “I don’t and you’re not supposed to be back here.”

He grabbed her upper arms and jerked her to his chest before he brought his mouth down on hers in a hard kiss. Becky leaned into him, resting her hands on his shoulders. He broke suddenly, stepped back and stared at her with hot eyes.

“You know what I mean, Becky. I love you. I want you to be my wife.”


That's all for today. Thanks for stopping by. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

TUESDAY TALES - FLIMSY

 


Welcome! Today, we are writing to the word prompt "flimsy.." I have another snippet from my new work-in-progress, "Sam's Decision." Don't forget to visit all the Tuesday Tales authors. Find them HERE


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When Sam returned to the Inn where he lived with his grandmother, Martha, and his little sister, Lizzie, he laid his kill on the kitchen table.

“Oh, good. Duck for supper. Here, Sam,” Martha said, handing him a buttered corn muffin.

No one made muffins and bread as good as Martha, except maybe his sister, Sarah. He bit into the tender, warm confection and wiped the dribble of melted sweet, creamy butter from his chin. Between bites he blurted out Sarah’s news.

“Well shear my sheep! It’s about time that young woman got busy. Land sakes, I thought this would never happen.” Martha grinned.

“Ben said she told Mama already.”

“I wondered why Abby had a sly look on her face and avoided me last night with a flimsy excuse.” Martha shook her head. She looked down to see three-year-old Jem Tanner, her newest grandchild, tugging on her skirt. “More little ones in my kitchen!” She picked up a muffin, slathered it with butter and handed it to the little boy. “Here you go, Jem. Don’t go getting the butter on your shirt, now. Sit at the table and eat proper-like.”

Sam lifted his littlest sibling up on a stool and ruffled the boy’s hair.

“Sam,” the child said, between bites, staring with big, adoring eyes at his half-brother.

“Gotta go, Grandma. Jem, be good.” Sam walked to the door. He had things to do before meeting with old Elijah Fitch. Was it too early?  He looked up at the sky and determined the general store would be opening up soon. He had to talk to Becky. Had to get things settled between them before he approached Old Man Fitch.

He sat on the bench outside the store. The sound of someone stirring inside drew his attention. The door popped open, and his girlfriend, Becky Rhodes, daughter of Daniel Rhodes who owned the general store, stepped forward, sweeping the pile of dust and dirt outside.

“Oh! Sam. I didn’t see you.” When she smiled, a becoming blush stole into her cheeks, blending her freckles together. Her hair the color of fire sparkled in the early morning light.

“Howdy Miss Rhodes.” Sam removed his hat. “Mind if I speak to you a minute? In private?”


That's all for this week. Thanks for stopping by. 

Monday, June 3, 2024

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "GUT"

 




Welcome! This week, we're writing to the word prompt "gut". I have another episode from my latest historical romance titled, "Sam's Decision." The book is being written now. When you finish reading my snippet, hop on over to the other authors and read their works. You'll find them HERE.  


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“What?” Benjamin asked.

Sam put his finger to his lips, then pointed. Half a dozen ducks swam silently from one edge of the pond to the other, ducking from time-to-time to scoop up a tasty fish. The men cocked and shouldered their muskets.

The clicks alerted the birds. They picked up their heads and spread their wings. With a cacophony of quacks, they took off, flying across the water. Sam and Benjamin aimed and fired. Two ducks fell into the pond. Seconds later, the men took aim again. The ducks were farther away but they each managed to hit a second one.  

“Lucky! Fetch!” Sam called, gesturing.

“Patches! Duck!” Benjamin said, pointing.

The dogs sprang into action. The men sank down, reaching for their pouches of cider while the dogs chased down the fallen birds. After a long drink, Benjamin leaned back to rest against a tree.

“Your sister’s with child.” He took a long draught.

“What?”

“You heard me.”  Ben put down his drink.

Sam swallowed then gazed at his friend. “It’s about time, Fitch. Guess you finally figured it out, eh?” Sam grinned.

While he laughed, Benjamin took a swipe at his friend’s shoulder. “At least I’m doing it, you ain’t. Are you?” Benjamin cocked an eyebrow.

“Watch it, Fitch. She’s my sister.”

Ben snickered. “And she’s my wife.”

Sam raised his arm to slap his friend, when Lucky and Patches interrupted. They dropped the ducks from their mouths and raced back to the pond to get the last two.

Sam stuffed his duck in a sack. “Anyone else know?”

“My mother and father. Your mom and Caleb. No one else. You’re the first. Outside of my family. You and Doc.” Benjamin shook his head. “I wanted to wait. Be sure. Ya know? But Sarah insisted.”

“Now you’re sure?”

Ben nodded. “She’ll probably be mad I told you.”

“She’ll get over it.” Sam stuck out his hand. “Congratulations, Ben.  You’re going to be a father.”

A wide grin spread across Benjamin Fitch’s face. “Yep.”

“Bet your mother and father are happy.”                                                                                              

“Happy? They are plum loco about it. You’d think we’d invented the wheel or something. Geez. People have children all the time.”

“Yeah, but now ole Elizah’s got an heir.”

“If it’s a boy.”

“True.” Sam nodded. “And if it’s a girl, I guess you’ll have to keep trying.”

Benjamin laughed. “Fine by me.”

Sam punched Ben playfully in the gut. “My sister. Careful.”


That's it. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, May 27, 2024

TUESDAY TALES - WORD PROMPT "STIR"

 


Hello,

Welcome to Tuesday Tales, where authors write to word prompts. This week the word prompt is "stir". We are starting a new story today, "Sam's Decision", book 3 in my historical romance series, "The Catskill Saga". I hope you like it and see fit to leave a comment. When  you're finished, hop on over to read the other authors' Tuesday Tales creations. Find them HERE. 


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Fitch’s Eddy, End of October 1790

With his dog, Lucky, by his side and his musket tucked under his arm, Sam Chesney slipped quietly out of the Inn right before dawn. Legally, he owned the inn, because women couldn’t own property, but his grandmother ran it. She provided him with a comfortable bed and excellent meals. He trekked a short distance through tall grass toward the woods and the old oak tree where he’d join up with his brother-in-law, Benjamin Fitch.

They met there to hunt. The image of his grandmother’s roast duck got his mouth to watering and made his stomach growl. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a day-old biscuit and bit off a hunk. It would have to do for his breakfast until he returned.

Sam respected water fowl and their uncanny ability to hear him creep through the woods, no matter how soft his footfall. He enjoyed the challenge of sneaking up on them. If Sam got the jump on a small flock, he almost always bagged one or two.

Benjamin Fitch considered himself to be a skilled hunter. A friendly rivalry grew up between Sam and Ben. Sam crept along, feeling his way.

“Psst! Sam! Over here.”

In the slowly rising sun, Sam recognized the outline of his friend’s hat.

“Ben? That you?”

“Who else would it be?” Ben appeared from behind the tree, flanked by his brown-and-white dog, Patches.

Sam chuckled.

“Where’s Josiah?” Ben asked.

“Aw, he’s a tenderfoot,” Sam said, making a gesture.

Though Josiah Quint was Sam’s best friend, he didn’t cotton to hunting. Since he took his meals at the Inn, he didn’t need to outfox wild animals.

“Come on. You’re late."

“Don’t think no ducks are gonna complain, do you?” Sam asked.

Ben laughed.

“Shh!” Sam put his finger over his lips. Even the slightest stirring in the underbrush would alert their prey.


That's all for this week. Thank for stopping by. 


Monday, May 20, 2024

TUESDAY TALES - LEG

 




Welcome to Tuesday Tales. This week we're writing to the word prompt "leg". I have another episode of the brand new, not-yet-finished book, "The Painting." Caution: This is a raw story with some crude language. When you're finished with my story hop on over to the other stories by such talented authors. You'll find them HERE. 

                ******************************************************

The night before his meeting with Sandy, Reid had dinner with his parents.

“I see that hideous painting in your study has been taken down. Thank goodness,” his mother, Eleanor Carstairs Clark said, digging into her shrimp cocktail.

“It’s coming back, Mother,” Reid said, taking a sip of his Manhattan.

“Whatever for?”

“Because I like it. I’m having it reproduced.”

“Really? Why?” his father, Carson Dillard Clark asked.

“It’s a long story.” Reid stuck a fork into his salad.

“What do you like about it?” Eleanor asked.

“You wouldn’t understand,” Reid sliced off a piece of steak. 

“Don’t condescend to your mother. She asked a valid question.”

“It’s personal. I don’t wish to discuss it.”

“You’re taking it to that Jew-girl to paint a replica, aren’t you?” Eleanor asked, shooting him a shrewd look.

“What do you need a Jew for?” Carson asked, squeezing lemon on his shrimp.

“Does it really matter if she’s Jewish? She’s an artist.”

“Can’t you find a artist in our church?” Carson asked. “I don’t like you mixing with those people.”

Reid gave a tired sigh. “I’m not mixing with her, I’m hiring her to paint a reproduction. That’s all. It’s a business proposition.”

“Those women. You should be careful. Does Felicia know?”

“Know what?”

“That you’re going to be seeing this woman, this Jewish woman?” Eleanor asked.

“I’m not seeing her. I’m dropping off the painting. That’s all. And I don’t tell Felicia every stupid detail of my life. I’m not ten years old. Don't try to tell me who to mix with."

“They have a way, those women. They can get under your skin. They’re after your money,” Carson said, taking a slug of his vodka tonic. 

“How the hell do you know?” Reid raised his voice. He looked at his father, then at his mother and then again as his father who had turned slightly pink.

“Oh my God! Did you have an affair with a Jew?” Reid asked his father.

“Enough! No more discussion on this topic,” Eleanor said, smacking her palm on the table and averting her eyes from her husband. 

“You did, didn’t you?” Reid persisted, raising his eyebrows.

“They’re only after your money. And as soon as they bleed you dry, they’ll leave you. Stay with your own,” Carson said, his voice ragged. He pushed to his feet and toddled on unsteady legs like a small child to the sidebar to mix another drink.


That's it. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 13, 2024

TUESDAY TALES - GLUED

 


Welcome! This week we have a less-charged episode of "The Painting". Thee word prompt is glued. Don't forget to hop on over and read the wonderful stories by the other Tuesday Tales authors. Find those stories HERE


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He pulled out his phone. “I can get the painting to you the week after,” Reid said.

“We’ll meet here again. Same bench? Next Thursday. Gotta be noon, though,” Sandy said.

“Noon works.” He made a notation in his calendar. “You can replicate the painting exactly?” 

“Yes.”

He pushed to his feet. "Next time I'll bring my dog. Do you want money upfront?”

“When it’s done.”

He moved toward the gate. Sandy stood and stretched.

A loud growl followed by a bark drew their attention. A small, white, fluffy little dog came tear-assing down the dog run toward Reid with a mammoth German Shepherd racing in hot pursuit.

The little pooch leaped into the air, right at Reid, who caught him and chested the small animal. He turned his back to the shepherd. The larger animal came around and lunged toward the little dog, but Reid turned again, keeping the little one out of reach. “Call off your dog!” he hollered as the little dog trembled in Reid's arms. During his next attempt by the shepherd to get at his prey, he nipped Reid, drawing blood. He raised his foot and shoved the dog in the chest. About that time a young man came running.

“Sorry! Sorry!” he grabbed the shepherd’s collar.

“He bit me!” Reid raised his arm to examine the slow ooze of blood from his wrist.

“My dog! Pookie!” A white-haired woman, out of breath, ran up. She snatched the dog from Reid’s grasp. “Baby, are you all right?”

After a quick examination of her pooch, she turned a scowl on the young man. “You better keep that monster under control or I’m gonna call the police.”

“I’m sorry. He likes to chase small dogs. He just got away from me. He wouldn’t have hurt him.”

Reid cocked an eyebrow. “He’d have eaten that dog if given half a chance.”

The woman clutched her dog to her considerable bosom and faced Reid. “Thank you so much, Mister. You saved my dog.”

“It’s nothing.”

Sandy reached into her purse and pulled out a frilly, white cotton handkerchief. “Here,” she said thrusting it into his hand. He wound it around his small cut. “It’s getting stained. I’ll replace it.”

“Don’t bother.”

Reid glanced at his watch. “I’ve got to go. A week from Thursday. Right here,” he said.

Sandy nodded. “Yes. Right here.”

“Goodbye.” Holding the cloth tightly to his wrist, Reid Carpenter Clark turned on his heel and strode out of the dog run, heading for Riverside Drive.

With eyes glued to his back, Sandy spoke aloud to herself. “Huh. Hates Jews, loves dogs. Go figure.” She shook her head, then ambled along the winding path toward downtown.  



That's it. Thanks for stopping by. 

Monday, May 6, 2024

TUESDAY TALES - BOIL

 


Welcome! We have a less controversial episode from "The Painting" today. I hope this story doesn't offend you. It's a complex story and much will be revealed later on. I may discontinue this story within a week or two because it does push the envelope regarding prejudice. 

When you finish this piece, hop on over and read the stories by the great Tuesday Tales authors. Find them HERE

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She arrived at the dog run with five minutes to spare. She didn’t see him, so she took a seat on a bench near the gate. 

“You’re early,” a masculine voice broke into her thoughts. She turned to see Reid Carpenter Clark.

“Where’s the painting?” She tilted her chin up to make eye contact.

“I told you I thought we ought to share it. Since I brought it home in first class, I thought I should get the first turn.”

“This is ridiculous.”

“Not really. It cost me extra to bring it home without a scratch. I thought a month would do.”

“What?”

“I’ll keep it a month, then you can have it for a month.”

“This is crazy.”

He pulled out his wallet then sat his tall frame down next to her. He counted out ten one-hundred dollar bills. “Here you go. Your bounty.”  

She pushed his hand away. “I don’t want the money. I want the painting. I saw it first. I bought it first.”

“Perhaps. But I have it now. Technically, I could force you to take me to court. I’m sure a judge would think a profit of eight hundred dollars on what some would consider a mediocre piece of art should make you happy.”

“It’s not about the money. I’ll give you your hundred bucks back.”

“I don’t want the money.”

“Neither do I,” she said.

“Really?” He turned away from her.

“You think because I’m Jewish I’d take the money? Is that it?”

“The thought did cross my mind.”

“Why you dirty son-of-a-bitch!” She shoved his shoulder. He almost fell off the bench. “You antisemitic piece of crap!” Her blood boiled. 

“Sorry,” he mumbled and moved away.

“That’s all you can say? I want that painting. It’s mine.”

He stood in silence.  

“I’ll keep it for a month. Then you can have it for a month.”

“That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard.”

“I’ve got an idea. Why don’t you reproduce it?” he asked. “That way we can both have it.”

“What?”

“You’re an artist, aren’t you?”

“Yeah. How did you know?”

“Looked you up on Google.”

“So?” She shifted on the bench, moving over to let him sit down again.

“Sorry about the comment. My upbringing,” he said, easing down next to her.

“Yeah, well that's an excuse when you’re nine-years-old. But not at this age.?”

“I’ll give you the painting if you produce a copy for me.”

“You want me to copy the painting?”

“Do whatever you artists call it.” He crossed his legs.

“But I get paid for painting.”

“Pay you?”

“You want me to put aside paying business to reproduce that painting.”

“Okay, then how about the thousand dollars?”

“How about three?”

He raised his eyebrows. “Three thousand dollars for a painting that cost two hundred originally?”

“Yep. That’s my price.”

“Shylock,” he muttered, reaching into his back pocket.

She slapped him across the face. Reid bolted from the bench.

“Don’t you ever call me that again. I get paid a lot of money for my artwork.”

He rubbed his jaw. “That’s assault.”

“Yeah? Call the cops. I’ll tell them you stole my painting.”

 “Good luck with that.” He continued to rub his jaw.

“I didn’t hit you that hard.”

He approached the bench slowly. “So do we have a deal?”


That's all for today. Thanks for stopping by.