Monday Writing Essential Prompt -
This week's challenge: Show a story and tell us something about the parts.
Also let's talk about whether this worked for you and whether you would like to see similar exercises in the future.
This is part two of the story started by Greg's prompts for the last few weeks. He's been pulling apart the different aspects of a story to get us to understand each part better. Now I have parts to a story showing without the whole story shown in order, so I'm reconstructing it to build with the parts through out. So, anyone who has read what I've written so far will know where this is going, eventually, but as it stands now, the only part that can remain as-is is the setting - Part 1 - The Rivanna River.
The rest will come as time allows, and when it's done, I'll be able to tell more about what pieces went where and why. (Sorry, a longer than usual short story, but at least it will be much shorter than the epic I'm writing on Gather, too.)
And, Greg, oh yeah! I most certainly am intrigued by what you've done, so that's one vote for "I'd like to see similar exercises in the future."
* * * * *
"You got a little on your nose right there." Dutch dabbed the paintbrush full of gold ochre onto the tip of her nose.
Rachel smirked and wiped it off her nose onto her cheek. "Now stop that or we'll never get this done in time." She stretched back, pressing her hands into a large buttons on the back of her plaid smock. "I don't know which I want more, to get this done or to get him out of me." She patted her large stomach.
"Him? Still could be her, you know."
A flash of lightning lit the overgrown hews in front of the eight foot tall windows. The shadows skipped across the parlor when the thunder crackled, shaking the incandescent bulb above them. She hurdled into her husband's arms.
"Hmmm, fancy meeting you here." He leaned over her belly to hug her and smelled the paint mingled in the Prell. Her flaxen bouffant tickled his sandy moustache, while she trembled. He chuckled. "It's okay, honey. Just lightning. Besides, you feel good."
She wiggled away from him and patted her stomach. "Isn't this how I got in this condition in the first place?"
"I don't remember. Maybe you can help my memory." He reached back toward her, but she lifted the pant brush like a foil.
She smiled, took a step, and wiped her nose with her other arm.
She flicked the brush in a Z pattern inches in front of his chest and laughed. "I will if I have to, but I don't hear water dripping in any of the pots. I bet they're full again."
He groaned. "I'll go check, but that fireplace needs to be finished by the end of the night."
Lightning lit the darkness again, and they froze. The thunder boomed, but the bulb stayed still. They smiled at each other and she turned towards the five-foot fireplace. He ran across the gritty wide-planked floor, up the creaking stairs, and into the different bedrooms to grab buckets, pots, and pans. The rain splattered through the ceiling in every room. He'd go out the next day to pick up more containers.
He dumped the buckets into the tubs and wondered if he had made a mistake. They could have stayed in the one-bedroom apartment in town a little longer. Could they get the roof fixed before the baby came? For that matter, what was he thinking buying so much for so little? He was in hock for more money than he dreamt he could earn in his entire life.
Rachel called to him.
"We have visitors."
"Yeah, sure. You just want me to protect you from the big bad thunder," he laughed, while grabbing the thick mahogany railing, as he jumped to the landing.
Four dark pant legs with yellow stripes stood next to Rachel's plaid stir-up pants. He ran down the rest of the stairs.
"Come in, come in, officers. Wish we could offer you a seat. How did you find us?"
"Good evening, Mr. Schultz. Sorry to bother you, but, as we were telling your lovely wife, a business associate of yours has gone missing," the older policemen said, as he pulled off his soaked cap.
"It's Carl Brownfield, Dutch." Rachel's face lit from the glare of lightning reflecting through the wavy side windows of the front door.
"Carl? We were with him earlier this evening."
"Y'all?" The policeman scratched the back of his balding head and nodded toward Rachel.
"No. Bernie and me."
"His brother Bernie." Rachel stepped next to Dutch and grabbed him around the waist.
"Yeah. We went down the Bottomland to sign the last of the papers. We had beers together by the river."
"Legal papers? Why would y'all sign papers near the river, sir?"
Dutch started to laugh, but checked himself. "Sorry. It does sound funny when you put it that way, but that's how our friendship goes." He wiped his hands down his face and exhaled. "Oh, this is silly. I'm sure he's okay."
"Why wouldn't you think he's okay?"
Dutch snickered. "You're kidding, right? You're here. Something's wrong. Betty Ann's not calling the police, unless she's worried." He leaned into Rachel. "Bernie and I first met Carl at a party there a couple of years ago, when we were teens and first moved to this area. You know, Carl owned the land. He owned all this land, but never developed it." He waved his arms in an arch. "His baby boy has health problems, so we bought this old house a couple of weeks ago." He exhaled. "Tonight we bought the rest of the land and we got to reminiscing over a beer."
"Would you show us where you were?"
Dutch looked at his wife. She hurried into the parlor and brought his pea coat and the umbrella. "Go."