Hope Anew, Part 1

Fiction By Jackie West // 5/4/2011

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                Mariah Shetler wiped sweat off her forehead before bending over to pull out more weeds from among the carrots.

                “Mariah!”
                Mariah looked up to see her seven-year old sister, Sara, standing at the edge of the garden.  “Yes?” she called back.

                “Mom and Dad want you in the kitchen,” Sara replied.  “You’d better hurry.  It sounds important.”

                Mariah straightened, wiped some dirt off her hands, and hurried after Sarah.

 

                Thomas Shetler looked up as Mariah came into the kitchen. “Hello, Mariah,” he said.  “How are you doing in the garden?”

                “It’s coming along well, Dad,” she answered cheerfully.  “Is there something else you need me to do?”

                “Your mother and I wanted to talk to you.”  Thomas leaned against the kitchen counter.  “Daniah!” he called.

                Daniah Shetler poked her head out of the pantry.  “Just talk to her, Thomas.  I’ll be right out.”

                “Well,” Thomas began, “of course you know that your fifteenth birthday is coming up.  Your mother and I have observed how helpful you’ve been since your older sister Abby married and moved away to Pennsylvania and Martin was born.  You have had such a good attitude about helping in the fields and gardens, tending your younger siblings and not complaining, that your mother and I have decided on a very special treat for your birthday.  Do you want to guess what it is?”

                Mariah thought hard.  “Are we going on a picnic?” she asked, “or to the zoo?”

                “You’re not that interested in animals, are you?” Thomas asked, smiling.  “And picnics aren’t very special, are they?”

                “No….” Mariah shook her head. “I guess not.”

                “You remember that your friend Breanna moved away some time ago?”

                “Yes.”

                “And how you’ve always wanted to see her since?”

                Mariah’s breath caught.  “Dad?  You-you’re not serious?  She’s coming to see me?”

                “No, Mariah…this surprise is even better.  You’re going to see her.”

                Mariah opened her mouth. Her eyes widened. “Really?  Dad, thanks so much!”  She ran to give him a hug.

                Mrs. Shetler stepped out of the pantry, and Mariah ran to envelope her in a big hug, too.  “Thanks so much!” she exclaimed to them both.  “I can’t believe it!”  But it was then that she realized something.  “But…who’s going to help out with the farm?”

                “Cheer up, Mariah.  Your older brothers can handle a little extra work.  It will be good for them.” Mr. Shetler smiled.  “They have been in on the secret for quite some time and are more than willing to help out more.”
                “Oh, thank you so much!” Mariah exclaimed.  “I never suspected that this would be happening!”

                “You’d better go thank Thomas and Andrew, too,” Mrs. Shetler advised.

                Mariah hurried off to do so.

               

                At the supper table later that day, Mariah was finished eating long before anyone else, even her brothers.  She looked around at her big, happy family and sighed contentedly.

                Her parents and the seven siblings that still lived at home were talking, eating hungrily, or listening and laughing to others’ conversations.

                I love this family, Mariah thought happily.

                Dad paused his conversation with Thomas and Peter and looked at Mariah.  “Mariah,” he said, “I bought train tickets for you and your chaperone for a trip four days from now.  Will that be enough time for you to get ready?”

                “How long will I be staying with Breanna?” Mariah inquired.

                “A week or two,” Dad replied, “depending on how the farm runs without you.”  He grinned teasingly.

                Mariah blushed.  “Dad! The farm isn’t going to shut down if I leave for a little while!” she protested.

                Andrew snickered.  “Maybe it would if I left!” he put in.

                “Yeah, sure, Andrew,” Thomas said.  “By the time you left, there wouldn’t be any farm because you would have destroyed it!”

                Andrew rolled his eyes.  “Thomas, I’m not that bad!”

                Thomas shrugged as he dug into his pile of mashed potatoes.  “Don’t say I didn’t tell you.”

                Mariah giggled.  “I sure am going to miss all of you. Especially you two,” she said, directing her reference at Andrew and Thomas.

                “Hmm, at least someone loves me,” Andrew said, and then turning his attention to the cooked carrots piled uneaten on Peter’s plate, said, “Hey, Pete….”

                Mariah turned back to her father.  “I can definitely be ready by then,” she said somewhat cheerfully and a little bit sadly.

                “It’s only for a little while,” her father said comfortingly, quickly noticing her sadness.  “It won’t be long, and when you come back, you’ll wonder where the time went.”

                Mariah gave a little smile.  “I suppose you’re right.”

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                Mariah Shetler wiped sweat off her forehead before bending over to pull out more weeds from among the carrots.

                “Mariah!”
                Mariah looked up to see her seven-year old sister, Sara, standing at the edge of the garden.  “Yes?” she called back.

                “Mom and Dad want you in the kitchen,” Sara replied.  “You’d better hurry.  It sounds important.”

                Mariah straightened, wiped some dirt off her hands, and hurried after Sarah.

 

                Thomas Shetler looked up as Mariah came into the kitchen. “Hello, Mariah,” he said.  “How is the weeding coming along?”

                “It’s coming along well, Dad,” she answered cheerfully.  “Is there something else you need me to do?”

                “Your mother and I wanted to talk to you.”  Thomas leaned against the kitchen counter.  “Daniah!” he called.

                Daniah Shetler poked her head from the pantry.  “Just talk to her, Thomas.  I’ll be right out.”

                “Well,” Thomas began, “of course you know that your fifteenth birthday is coming up.  Your mother and I have observed how helpful you’ve been since your older sister Abby married and moved away to Pennsylvania and Martin was born.  You have had such a good attitude about helping in the fields and gardens, tending your younger siblings and not complaining, that your mother and I have decided on a very special treat for your birthday.  Do you want to guess what it is?”

                Mariah thought hard.  “Are we going on a picnic?” she asked, “or to the zoo?”

                “You’re not that interested in animals, are you?” Thomas asked, smiling.  “And picnics aren’t that special, are they?”

                “No….” Mariah shook her head. “I guess not.”

                “You remember that Breanna moved away some time ago?”

                “Yes.”

                “And how you’ve always wanted to see her since?”

                Mariah’s breath caught.  “Dad?  You-you’re not serious?  She’s coming to see me?”

                “No, Mariah…this surprise is even better.  You’re going to see her.”

                Mariah opened her mouth. Her eyes widened. “Really?  Dad, thanks so much!”  She ran to give him a hug.

                Mrs. Shetler stepped out of the pantry, and Mariah ran to envelope her in a big hug, too.  “Thanks so much!” she exclaimed to them both.  “I can’t believe it!”  Then she realized something.  “But…who’s going to help out with the farm?”

                “Cheer up, Mariah.  Your older brothers can handle a little extra work.  It will be good for them.” Mr. Shetler smiled.  “They have been in on the secret for quite some time and are more than willing to help out more.”
                “Oh, thank you so much!” Mariah exclaimed.  “I never suspected that this would be happening!”

                “You’d better go thank Thomas and Andrew, too,” Mrs. Shetler advised.

                Mariah hurried off to do so.

               

                At the supper table later that day, Mariah was finished eating long before anyone else, even her brothers.  She looked around at her big, happy family and sighed contentedly.

               

 

 

                Dad was discussing the harvest with Thomas, the oldest Shetler son at nineteen, and Andrew, the second oldest and the third child in the family at seventeen.  Sara and Adah, the seven and nine-year old girls, were giggling about something, and Sara’s twin, Peter, was trying his best to understand the conversation of the older men.  The three-year old, Joyce, was singing a little song to herself, while from his cradle, eight-month old Martin talked and yelled loudly.

                I love this family, Mariah thought happily.

                Dad paused his conversation with Thomas and Peter and looked at Mariah.  “Mariah,” he said, “I bought train tickets for you and your chaperone for a trip four days from now.  Will that be enough time for you to get ready?”

                “How long will I be staying with Breanna?” Mariah inquired.

                “A week or two,” Dad replied, “depending on how the farm runs without you.”  He grinned teasingly.

                Mariah blushed.  “Dad! The farm isn’t going to shut down if I leave!” she protested.

                Andrew snickered.  “Maybe it would if I left!” he put in.

                “Yeah, sure, Andrew,” Thomas said.  “By the time you left, there wouldn’t be any farm because you would have destroyed it!”

                Andrew rolled his eyes.  “Thomas, I’m not that bad!”

                Thomas shrugged as he dug into his pile of mashed potatoes.  “Don’t say I didn’t tell you.”

                Mariah giggled.  “I sure am going to miss all of you. Especially you two,” she said, directing her reference at Andrew and Thomas.

                “Hm, at least someone loves me,” Andrew said, then turning his attention to the cooked carrots piled uneaten on Peter’s plate.  “Hey, Pete….”

                Mariah turned back to her father.  “I can definitely be ready by then,” she said somewhat cheerfully and a little bit sadly.

                “It’s only for a little while,” her father said comfortingly.  “Besides, it’s not that long. You’ll be seeing us in a very short time, because time flies fast when you’re having fun.”

                Mariah gave a little smile.  “I suppose so.”

 

 

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Comments

Oooo....this is interesting!

I liked this--the ideas and everything AND the story. My only suggestions (and you may not want constructive critism. If so--please ignore the following) is that you might make the conversations less informative. Like, for example:

    “Well,” Thomas began, “of course you know that your fifteenth birthday is coming up.  Your mother and I have observed how helpful you’ve been since your older sister Abby married and moved away to Pennsylvania and Martin was born.  You have had such a good attitude about helping in the fields and gardens, tending your younger siblings and not complaining, that your mother and I have decided on a very special treat for your birthday.  Do you want to guess what it is?”

It just sounds a little bit awkward when he says, "since your older sister Abby married and moved away to Pennsylvania" If you say it aloud. you might change it to:

"since Abby married and moved away." Dad was referring to my older, ((insert adjetive)) sister who had been gone for a total of three months now.

Does that make sense? I dunno...LOL!

I really did like this--keep it up!!! I'm off to read part two. :)))

~HomeschoolGirl

Madeline | Sun, 05/08/2011

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

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