Happy Monday! I hope you're all doing well and making the most of your quarantine. If you are one of the few who've been released to go back to "normal" again, I hope your re-entry into the world is seamless. If you're like me and still holing up at home, it hopefully won't be much longer. If you have that thing you've been hoping to get done still on the back burner, better get it done while you've got the extra time.
On May 1st, I posted on my website the two short stories I received. Only two, you may say, well I'm glad I received any and I'm very proud of the two brave souls who put themselves out there for my little challenge. In case you haven't seen the stories on my website, I am reposting them here today. I hope you enjoy them and will show some love to these brave creative writers, who only had this one picture below to work with.
The Old Man's Gold by Herschel Jones
I sat on the table slicing a chunk of bread. My wife held our first child and he kept reaching out for me. My old mother-in-law sat off to the side. She looked like she had a steady diet of sour grapes.
"Charles," my wife said, "have you ever figured out what Papa meant about looking for number six?"
"No, Darlene, remember, his exact words were, 'Charles, if I don't make it home, look for number six.' 'Six what?' I asked, but he was already dead. Paul told me one time his daddy and Papa were pirates together. They split a pile of loot, his dad got fifty gold Spanish doubloons. Papa must have gotten fifty, too. He said their old crew were trying to find them and they'd kill for just one doubloon, let alone fifty. Maybe I can go back to Papa's old homestead. Maybe even open the old mine. None of his old crew would know to look there.
Now Papa died and no one had any idea what six meant. It must have something to do with the gold, but how can I leave my new wife and baby boy? My old prune faced mother-in-law, would sure have something to say about it, if I were to go on a search. I guess I'm stuck here with her, too. I can't let this go, though. Papa tried to tell me for a reason.
"Darlene, could it be six feet to something or six miles to the mine or six feet down? Maybe it's buried in the little cemetery on the hill. We're almost broke, I thought Papa would be around to help. I knew he had money from somewhere, but I had no idea he had so much or where it'd come from. I knew he kept it buried somewhere, too. I should have asked before he up and died on us. I guess all we can do is pray."
"Pray? That's for idiots and children," cackled the old woman, "you might as well blow in the wind. Why don't you get your papa's Bible out of the trunk. He believed in God and he's dead. Lotta good that did him. While you're out there, bring in the rest of our trunks out of the wagon, too."
I slipped off the table where I'd been cutting bread and walked out to our old sway back mule and spring wagon. If I'd stayed in the old cabin, I might have strangled the old gal. "Lord, I don't ask for much," I prayed, "but help me win that old gal to You. Also, Lord, I need that money. Lord, You said ask in faith and Lord, I'm asking."
Still praying under my breath, I started unloading our beat up old chests. All of a sudden it dawned on me, there were six of them. I unloaded mine and took my Barlow knife and slit the bottom. Staring at me were ten shiny gold coins. I knew the rest would be in the other five chests. I fell down on my knees right there behind that old mule. I didn't realize he'd done his business right where I knelt. It didn't matter. I just had to thank my God for His faithfulness. THE END
Mystery of the Monster Catfish by Judy Cates-Eddy
Travis lived in the backwoods. Back in those days. Before electricity and television, when dark was really dark. A poor man, Travis, his wife and young son, would have starved had it not been for a blue bubbly creek that ran through the back woods. That creek was full of cats. Not the furry, 4-legged kind mind you. But catfish. Big ones and delicious when fried.
Travis went everyday to the creek to fish for supper. He'd always return home around dark with enough fish to feed his family. His boy would wait until he saw his father Travis' lantern shining in the woods. Then his father would come out of the woods carrying the fish on a string and that bright lantern. The boy always begged his dad to take him fishing and one late afternoon the dad agreed. Travis told his son, "Boy, I've just been waiting till you're old enough to hold the lantern."
The next night, Travis and his son took off to the woods with the lantern lighting the way. But just as they got to the muddy creekside, the boy slipped and the lantern fell splashing into the deep creek. Before Travis could grab the lantern a huge catfish jumped out of the water and swallowed it. The giant catfish dove very deep. So deep that the light from the lantern disappeared.
Now, in case you think this is all just a fish tale, listen. That boy grew up to be me. And, every year in the spring I go to the old farm to remember those great days when I was a boy and to fish in the same creek my dad fished in. A few years back it started to get dark. Very dark. But I kept fishing. Sure enough, something big took my bait. It tried to pull me down into that deep water hole! But I held onto that pole, battling the monster fish. Finally, I got him to shore, drug him through the woods and lay him on the table to cut up and fry.
As I cut him open, a lantern fell out! My dad's lantern that the monster fish had swallowed so many years ago!
And guess what...it was still lit. THE END
Great job, Herschel Jones and Judy Cates-Eddy! I appreciate your participation and truly enjoyed your stories!
I reached my goal of 20,000 words (editing) in Camp NaNoWriMo for April. Here is my total:
20970 / 20000
This weekend I was blessed to be a part of a Write-In (online) with other writers and editors. I received personal input and insight, did word sprints and had a great time of fellowship, learning and progress with other kindred spirits.
Also, my manuscript is in the hands of an editor. I'm waiting on an estimate, before I can completely give her the reins for Hope for Charity. I've been able to speak with her through a couple Zoom meetings and we had some great conversations. I hope we'll be able to work together to get Hope for Charity fully ready for publication.
As always, I appreciate your support. Don't forget, you can now go to a forum on my website and post comments, ask questions, start conversations and let us all get to know each other.
May the Lord God bless each of you and your families with Faith, Hope and Love. In Jesus' Name.