Tuesday Tales – Bite (Calico Connections #1)

Welcome back to another Tuesday’s Tales. I’m sharing a clip from Calico Connections, a WIP (Unfortunately, one of many; Too many books, so little time!)

This week we’re writing to the prompt – bite.

Enjoy – and feel free to leave a comment.
Don’t forget to click the link below to go back to the main Tuesday Tale site for more stories by very talented authors. 

Our lives are like quilts – bits and pieces,
joy and sorrow, stitched with love.
~Author Unknown 

January, 1934

quilt top 1Hot tears ran down my cheeks and fell onto the oilcloth covering the kitchen table. I sobbed until no tears remained. 1934 has to be a better year, I don’t know if I can take anymore.

Nellie Morris, get a hold of yourself. The children should be home soon. I didn’t want them storming in the door, catching me crying at the kitchen table. I dried my tears with the corner of my apron.

The kitchen’s chilliness curled up from the floor and wrapped itself around my legs. I glared at the cast iron cook stove reigning supreme on the interior wall. How dare it allow the embers to die down while I was immersed in my own private pity-party!

I shivered and rose, heading to the wood pile in the corner. Grabbing a log, I opened the stove door and placed it on the few glowing embers scattered across the bottom. Sparks flew and a whoosh of smoky warmth rushed up in my face. I’d better put in a second piece of wood to get the water boiling for potatoes.

An enameled pan sat in the sink, full of soaking potatoes, beckoning me. I headed for the sink, reaching for my favorite paring knife sitting on the counter, waiting patiently for me to get to my chores. The family would want their supper, as meager as the fare would be.

Glancing out the kitchen window, I caught sight of Doris, slipping and sliding on the icy dirt road leading to the house. She was paces ahead of Rex, her younger brother. I didn’t see hide nor hair of Gerald. He should be with them, being the oldest.

Gracious, that girl’s going to be the death of me yet.

A few minutes later the kitchen door flew open, banging against the wall.

“Mother,” Doris shouted as she flew into the room, a rush of cold air following her in swirls.

“You don’t need to shout,” I said, “I’m right here. Shut the door behind you, you’re letting out the heat. And why aren’t you waiting for Rex?”

“But Mother ….” Doris started.

The door flew open with another bang and Rex appeared framed in the open door. Slamming the door shut, he dropped his books on the floor. Scarf, hat, mittens and jacket were off in a flash, scattered in all directions.

“Rex Nathaniel Morris, you know better than that. Hang your jacket and things on the coat pegs. Then take your books to your room and get your work clothes on. Where’s Gerald at? Father needs both of you in the barn this afternoon.”

My Charles near worked himself to exhaustion trying to keep the farm going. Most of the other families in the community had many children to help run the farm. We had only three. Doris and Rex were too young to help much. Gerald, being ten was some help but the load left on John’s shoulders was taking its toll.

Doris stood by the table, still holding her books, almost bouncing in place with excitement. “I have the best news, Mother,” she tried again.

I turned, drying my hands on my apron. “Doris Kathryn, take your jacket off and plan to stay awhile.”

Sitting her books on the table, Doris stuffed her mittens in her pockets, then shrugged her coat off and hung it on the row of pegs behind the door. I glanced at it and made a mental note that she would need another one for next winter.

“Here,” I said, placing the paring knife on the table. “Finish peeling the potatoes while I get the biscuits started. Now, what is it that you’re dying to tell me?”

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22 Comments

  1. Great writing – enjoying it

    • Thanks Kathleen. Enjoyed your story too. (Even though I had to smack myself in the forehead, duh!)

  2. What a lovely tale. I’d like to know what the big news is, though!!

    • Thanks Sarah. Although after reading all the other TT stories, the news doesn’t sound quite as exciting lol

  3. But … but you can’t just stop there !!!
    Loved the description, nice writing!

    • Thanks Iris. Funny, I’ve always written the scenes complete from beginning to end. But reading all the terrific tales here, I see how everyone cuts the scenes and carries the conclusion on in the next segment/chapter. I have so much to learn from all the great writers here.

  4. What a wonderful cliffhanger! Great tale filled with touches of home.

    • Thanks Vicki. I never fully appreciated how much research and going back in time is needed to write in the past.

  5. Lovely scene, but you know how to keep your reader dangling, don’t you :-)?

    • Thanks Sherry. But I’ll blame that one one of the lessons I’ve learned in the last two weeks from the awesome TT writers.

  6. What a lovely piece of writing.. I really enjoyed that..x

    • Thanks Rosalind. It’s fun seeing how the stories are all so different.

  7. great prose. Well done! AND I want to know what the big news is, too!

    • Thanks Jillian. Hope the news isn’t disappointing after all the hot steamy stories I’ve been seeing here lol

  8. This is a wonderful touching story.

    • Thanks Lindsay. TT is an inspiration.

  9. NOT FAIR!! I want to know what the wonderful news is!! What a cliffhanger! Now I’ll be here next week and that news had better be in this blog!! 🙂 Great post!

    • Thanks Jean. Okay, I was wondering how to fit library in & thought about an entirely new story line. I’ll stick with this & ponder ‘library’.

  10. Tricia

    I love the description of the scene. I can see everything so clearly as you described it. And I have to say I love the picture you chose – my day job is working for a sewing store in the office. Love the cliffhanger!

    • Thanks Tricia. What fun your day job must be. (well, at least the sewing store part lol) My ‘pay the rent’ job is at Hobby Lobby and I work with yarns and fabrics. Sigh … so dangerous!

  11. very well done

    stefan

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