Friday, April 03, 2009

Even Evie


Welcome to Fiction Friday! It's always fun having Fiction Friday here at home, and I'm really, REALLY looking forward to it this week. I've missed being involved this last month and I'm looking forward to reconnecting. Everyone is invited to join us and participate in Fiction Friday--the more the merrier! If you're new to Fiction Friday and would like to join us posting fiction, simply post a short story on your blog and leave your link below in Mr. Linky. Be sure to check out the other's stories--there's always a great variety.

This week's story is a back-story piece to the historical novel that's been running around inside my head. It picks up where we left Cyrus and Lucy in Cyrus the Magnificent.

Even Evie
Evie, her deep brown eyes glowing, pulled the door open for Cyrus and Lucy when they climbed the porch steps. “Gideon and I were about to come out there. Everything all right? What happened? Did he leave? You didn't tell that snake he could court Emmie did you?”

“Just how many questions do you think we can answer at a time?” Cyrus closed the door and looked at his oldest daughter as he shrugged out of his jacket. She was so much like her mother.

Evie flashed him a cheeky smile. “Why, all of them of course. One at a time until they're all done. Same as picking apples and berries and corn and beans and...”

Cyrus held his hands in surrender and Lucy rose on tiptoe to kiss his cheek. “She learned from the best, you know.”

“Thank goodness!” He walked near the window and looked outside although he didn't expect any further trouble that afternoon. Come evening things could liven up, but that was still hours away. He ambled to his rocker and waved Gideon and Evie away from the windows. He didn't want them distracted.

Lucy settled in her rocker and drew one of the little ones onto her lap, snuggling her close. Her eyes circled the room checking each of her eight children. Gideon, her oldest, sat in a straight backed chair leaning back on two legs, positioned so he could easily see out the back window. Near him Evie arranged her skirt, tucking her feet below the edge of the seat and a little to the side, like she'd seen the new school mistress doing at a social. Evie might be a fireball, but she had set out to be a lady. She lacked the natural grace Emmie, her twin sister possessed. Identical twins who were opposites. Before looking back to Cyrus, Lucy smiled.

“Well now. Your Ma and I have come to a decision.”

Gideon let the front legs of the chair he was sitting in hit the floor with a thud, his brown hair sliding over his broad forehead. He propped his elbows on his knees, gaze fixed on Cyrus. “Are we going?”

Emmie's eyes flew to her twin, her arms tightening around 6 year-old Linnette. Evie tensed while the others leaned forward in anticipation.

“Yup. We're going.” Cyrus clapped his hands together and rubbed them.

Lissie twisted her head around and looked at Lucy. “Where we going, Ma? To visit Uncle Lenard again?”

Lucy squeezed her youngest, dropping a kiss on her corn silk hair. “Oregon. We're going to Oregon.”

Evie sprang from the chair, her hands fisted. “We can't!”

“What do you mean we can't? Pa just said we're going. Ain't no can't to it.” Micah squared off with his oldest sister, chin high in the air even though he was eye to eye with her.

Cyrus leaned forward. He had anticipated Evie's displeasure, but not to this degree. “What makes you say we can't go, Evie?” He waved Micah back to where he had been leaning against the corner.

Emmie dropped her eyes to the knot in the floor board and rested her cheek on Linnette's head.

Evie drew a choppy breath. “Ralph and I are getting married.”

Cyrus' eyes narrowed like he was in the bright noon-day sun. “Says who?”

Evie's gaze slid to the fireplace where a log crackled and shifted.

“You aren't marrying someone that's too lazy to even come and ask for permission to court you, let alone marry you.” He kept his voice reigned in, but it was hard as the oak planks beneath his feet.

Evie's gaze flew back to her father's. “He's not lazy!”

Gideon snorted. “Lazy compared to what? Ol' Mack who's out lived every other dog in the county?”

Micah and Ben jabbed each other with their elbows and the littlest twins laughed. Mattie hid her smile behind her hand, taking great care so Evie wouldn't see her.

Evie glared at Gideon, her gaze raking the younger boys. “He's not lazy.”

Ten year old Ben spread his hands on his chest and gave Evie a puppy-dog look. “Evie,” he mimicked, “would you straighten out the storeroom for me? I need to mind the store front and--”

“That's enough, Ben.” Cyrus gave the boys a fast hard look before cornering Evie. “Like I said, you aren't marrying someone too lazy to ask permission to court you.”

“It's not that he's too lazy, he just believes girls can make their own choices.” Evie spoke fast, her gaze darting to her father before skittering to her twin sister.

“And you agree with him?”

“Pa, I'm 17 and--”

“And we leave for Oregon in a month.”

Evie dropped back into her chair and crossed her arms defiantly. Cyrus glanced at Lucy. Her eyes confirmed what he was thinking. Together they turned and looked at Emmie. She chewed her bottom lip, her fingers nervously picking at Linnette's dress. Cyrus's shoulders sank. They would have to watch Evie closer than they had ever had to in the past.

********

To be continued as soon as it's written...hopefully next Friday. ; )

Evie was the first Maddox to reach out and capture my attention, and she did it with a bang. I'm looking forward to getting to know her over the next few months.
********


11 comments:

  1. A good story brewing here, Peej! Hope you get the chance to add to it next Friday.

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  2. Oooh, I think I see fireworks on the horizon. I'm looking forward to the continuation!

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  3. We have to wait a whole week?

    AHHHHHHH!!

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  4. You aren't going to really leave us hanging like that? Wonderful characters...I can't wait for the next part!

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  5. I'll definitely stay tuned for the next episode! Great writing, PJ.

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  6. Oooh, I'm liking Evie. Can't wait for more from her and her siblings!

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  7. Evie has me totally intrigued. I can't believe I have to wait to read the rest of this! What are they teaching you in these classes...to torment your readers? :D

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  8. Oooh, COOL! Lol, I am sooo glad there was a part 2 to this story and I can't wait to read the next part. ^_^ Great job, I hope Evie isn't going to make some kind of mistake...or will the twins trade places 'cause it's really Emmie that wants Ralph? LOL...good job, Peej!

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  9. Oh, yah, Evie's a main character if ever one was created. I remember the one before this, and I'm looking forward to more of these characters and their journey west.

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  10. Ooh! I love the characters and the dynamics in this. I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment!

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  11. I'm really looking forward to the next installment!

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