Skirting the Truth, part 3

Welcome to Fiction Friday! This week Shirley is hosting at Sunny Glade, be sure to join us there for links to some fun fiction.

This week is the last installment of Reggie's story in 'Skirting the Truth'. If you missed them, here's part 1 and part 2.

Skirting the Truth, part 3

“Are you running away?” Earl asked.

“No, sir,” Regina quickly replied. “Well, not really,” she amended.

Earl's eyebrows rose. “Why don't you tell it to us straight, an don't leave nothing out.” His voice was gentle but firm, the same as it had been many other times.

Please don't let 'em send me back. “Ma married a man named Dennis five years ago, not knowing he was a drinker. He drank away most of the money we made doing laundry and such. My older sister, Beth, married and moved to Oregon last year.” Regina looked up at Earl, measuring his response.

“So she's not just a few trains ahead of us, like you told us?”

“No sir. She's a year ahead of us.” Regina swallowed nervously.

“Do you even know where she is in Oregon?” Earl asked.

“Willamette Valley.”

“Where in Willamette Valley?”

“Um, I don't know,” Regina hesitantly admitted.

Blowing out his breath, Earl flicked his whip on the flank of his lead ox. “Okay. Go on.”

“Ma died a couple months ago and Dennis was drunk all the time then. I left a month after she died and he never once looked for me. Lizzie told me you were thinking about hiring a boy to help you, and well, you know the rest from there.” I don't wanna hafta leave.

“So Dennis isn't looking for you?” Earl questioned.

“No sir. I was able to work for the hotel some and they let me sleep in the lean-to off the back of the kitchen. They was real kind, but...well, I couldn't stay much longer.” Regina unconsciously grimaced.

“Was Dennis a mean drunk?” Myra asked after a moment.

Regina shivered. “Yeah. Real mean.”

Earl looked at Myra, his jaw tight.

“Why don't you go gather some chips for the fire and give me and Earl a chance to talk,” Myra said with a small smile.

“Yes'm.” Regina went to get the gunny sack from the wagon, but turned back. “Thank you for letting me explain.” Then she snatched up the sack and trotted off to gather chips as she had many other times.

Earl rubbed the whiskers on his jaw. “You believer her?”

“Yes, I do. Every word of it,” Myra said emphatically.

“Yeah, me too,” Earl breathed. His hand tightened on his whip. “Makes me wish I could get my hands on that man.”

“She's safe with us now,” Myra reminded him.

“Yeah, she is. It sure does explain a lot, don't it?” Earl chuckled. “Like not wanting to go swimming with us men. I guess it's a good thing I didn't throw her in like I threatened to do if'n she didn't bathe.” His laughter suddenly died. “I wasn't working her too hard was I?”

“No, I don't think so. There was no sign of it at least,” Myra assured him.

Earl smiled at Myra. “You're really wanting to adopt her now, aren't you'?”

Myra could only nod. “Do you think God's giving us a girl after losing the babies?”

“I don't know, but I sure hope so. I guess we'll have to wait and see.”

Later that evening Regina was playing marbles with the boys again, feeling guilty for the first time. Lizzie flounced up, holding something behind her back.

The boys elbowed each other, groaning. “Git outta here, Lizzie.”

“We told you, Lizzie, no gossiping girls.”

“And I told you at the nooning that I don't gossip. If'n I did I would have told on Reggie a long time ago.”

“Huh? What's she talking about, Reggie?”

Aw, not now, Lizzie. I'm not ready yet.

Lizzie thrust a handful of fabric at Reggie. “Here. Ma said I could share one of my dresses with you till you can git one of your own.”

“Reggie don't need no dress!”

“You're crazy, girl.”

Regina ignored the boys and reached out to take the dress. “How long have you known?” she croaked.

“I knew that first week but I didn't say anything.” Lizzie looked triumphantly at the boys. “See! I told you I don't gossip.”

The boys looked at Regina, thunderstruck. “Yer a girl?”

That's the end of this story. Okay, that's all I have written of Reggie's story at this point. She might come back out someday, though. I hope you enjoyed her as much as I enjoyed writing about her!

I'm taking an online writing class, and at the moment I'm swamped and just barely keeping my nose above water. (how's that for a cliche overload? LoL) I should be caught up and able to breathe next week. Until then I'm gasping and working like crazy. Hugs to each of you.


  1. Ahhh... we'll never know how it ends!

    Hope you can keep your nose above water, Peej, or you'll have to use your diving tanks. *smile*

  2. Nice story, happy ending, even if it's not over yet!

  3. It's a great ending!!!! Very entertaining story!

    Hang in there, friend.

  4. this is the end?? aww. oh well, it was good. and i really liked it.

  5. I love it! She's such an endearing character. You'd BETTER keep it going, girl! Need a noodle?? hehe

  6. Thanks for sharing this amidst such a crazy schedule. I hope you bring her back another time!

  7. No! Please say it isn't over! You HAVE to keep writing about Reggie! Can you tell I've fallen for her? lol! I truly love this little mini-series, Peej.

  8. Okay, Patty; you CANNOT let this hang out there this way. If Reggie doesn't nag you to finish her story, I'm sure Eva and Marta will come help her.

    (If you haven't figured it out, that means I'm enjoying this and want to know what happens next)


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