Chapter 29: To the Ends of the Earth
November 1856, Melbourne, Australia
The call came from a distance behind him, but he was barely paying attention, too focused on glaring through the window of the crowded pub at the haughty top-hat of the boatman he’d just been talking to.
This was the third merchant captain to turn him down that day, and he was starting to lose hope that he’d ever find out what had happened to Anna.
He’d gotten a lead that a ship had been blown off course and wrecked on the Furneaux Islands south of here in the tumultuous waters of Bass Straight. He couldn’t get the name of the vessel, but the description of it matched the description of the Guiding Star.
A helpful bushy-bearded pelt trader had told him that the largest of those islands, Flinders, was sparsely inhabited by Straightsmen: a bunch of old islanders consisting of seal-hunters, sheepherders, and whalers, many of whom were ex-convicts or pirates with Aborigine wives whom they had abducted or otherwise traded for from Van Diemen’s Land and the southern settlements. They sounded honestly quite frightening, but most of them spoke the queen’s English, welcomed traders, and were his best bet at discovering if there had been any survivors.
Now if he could only find someone willing to take him.
“Will!” The voice sounded louder this time and was accompanied by an unexpected clap on the shoulder. “There you are! I thought I’d never find you. Aunt Flower would’ve killed me.”
William spun around and stared in amazement spectacles slightly askew with shock.
“Ol—Oliver!? … Dear cousin!! What in the world are you doing here?!”
The two tall, somewhat-travel-thinned men shook hands vigorously and squelched their way out of the hot, muddy, bustling thoroughfare (little more than a dirt road, much past capacity of horse and buggies on account of the gold rush) to sit under the welcome shade of a nearby wattle tree, both shooing flies away from their grinning faces as Oliver started to explain.
“After you disappeared last December, Aunt Flower was beside herself with worry. So was Aunt Di, of course. They have enough on their plate, what with your troublesome niece and nephew to keep an eye on. Part of me wanted to stay and help take care of Maria and Sam…couple of mischief makers.” He smiled. “They always used to light up the room so, especially whenever they were around their father…but I’m not Owen, and, anyway, they’re growing up.”
Oliver looked fleetingly forlorn, then continued. “So, I decided to investigate your whereabouts myself. Family is always trying to run away, it seems, but ’turns out Kincade’s are good at sniffing out our kin.”
William smiled with hearty amusement at his younger cousin. “I’m thirty-eight years old, not exactly a child anymore. Was Mother really so worried?”
″’Course she was, old man,” Oliver teased. “She’s your mother, she’s bound to worry. Your father’s worried too, though he’d never admit it behind that dutiful Navy exterior. You were meant to be the sensible dentist of the family, then you go off across the globe suddenly, chasing after lost love. A romance novel waiting to happen, you are. And your last letter sounded suspiciously like a permanent goodbye,” he noted chidingly, putting on his most respectable expression while enthusiastically swatting a fly off Will’s back.
“Besides,” he added quickly after perceiving William’s guilty posture, “traveling is good for writers. I’ve taken down lots of ideas and even snapped a few photographs on the journey. When I was scouring New York and even England for traces of where you took off to, my publisher, Mr. Dutton, got me in touch with another publisher from London, Mr. John Murray, and he put me up to photographing the portrait of a brilliant naturalist, Mr. Charles Darwin, who has the most amazing theories regarding the origin of species. Anyway, Mr. Darwin asked me to snap some shots of the local wildlife while I’m here for use as reference in his new book, with particular attention to a creature called a platypus, which apparently looks like a cross between a duck and a miniature beaver. He wrote about it years ago but some people have accused him of making it up, so a photograph might go a long way. I’m to return next year on the clipper ship Lammermuir next time she comes for wool. Clipper ships go twice as fast as the East-Indiaman’s or passenger ships. We had a crew of only eighteen men on the voyage over, including myself, and we made it in two months with a full hold of tea and spices. But I don’t think I’ve ever jabbered on so much in my life.”
At this he paused to laugh at himself, relieved to have completed the most important part of his expedition—finding Will.
July 1857, somewhere in Colorado Territory
James raised his hands slowly. He knew that look in the robber’s eye all too well, having sported it as a young man himself.
If James had been alone, he’d have drawn his revolver without hesitation, but Samuel and Maria were sleeping in the back of the wagon, and he couldn’t risk putting them in danger. From glances in his periphery, he ascertained that the wagon was surrounded by at least four men. The one directly in front of him was pointing the business end of a rifle between his eyes. From the shaky way he was holding it, though, James guessed he hadn’t done this before.
“Think about what you’re doin’, kid,” James said coolly.
The commanding tone in his voice caused the young robber to lower his gun ever so slightly, and things were looking hopeful until a shot sounded from behind.
Luckily, it spooked the horses and they reared, knocking over the rifleman in their frenzy to get away. Unluckily, this made the wagon overturn…
July 1857, New York
Hope paced back and forth in Diana’s study. She and her mother had both come for an extended visit while her father was on another lengthy assignment with the Navy, her mother insisting that a time seam stressing in the big city would do them both good, as there was, in her words, “no shortage of holes to patch.”
Hope continued pacing, fretting over Samuel and Maria. She had hesitantly agreed to let her children accompany James's back to his homestead in Colorado, after being convinced that they would be safer there away from the political turmoil, especially in light of their new views. New York was not the place for them. And her presence in their lives seemed to do them more harm than good.
James will look after them, she thought to herself, trying to calm down. It wasn’t working.
“It should have been me,” she whispered quietly, hot tears streaking down her face as she wondered what Owen would have done differently.
She wiped her eyes suddenly when a knock sounded at the door. It was early morning and the older ladies of the house were still having breakfast, so she answered it after hastily straightening herself out and pulling in a deep breath to steady herself. She thanked the mailman absently for the letter he handed her. Part of the return address was smudged, but she made out an O-l-i-v…
“Aunt Diana! Ma! It’s a letter from Oliver!” she called out.
There was a clink as coffee cups were hastily set on plates in the kitchen. Hope entered with the letter; her own problems almost forgotten.
“Well, what are you waiting for? Read it!” Diana exclaimed exultantly.
Hope obediently opened the letter and started reading it aloud. It appeared hastily scrawled, but still legible.
“It’s dated the 23rd of May 1857,” she began.
“Dear Aunt Di and Aunt Flower,
I’m writing to both of you in one letter because this is my last piece of paper for the time being, and the schooner whose first-mate generously offered to bring this aboard is leaving within the hour so I haven’t time to purchase more writing materials.
It seems like years of happenings have been condensed into the last several months. I found William, and together we procured passage to a cut-throat island in the Furneaux group, where we were led to expect a pack of savage pirates to confront us, but where, in actuality, we found a good-natured English sailor by the name of Nat Thomas and his kindly Aboriginal wife Betty, along with their six children, who had been caring for eleven survivors of the shipwreck, including one Anna Marie Walsh, with whose name you are undoubtedly acquainted, dear aunts. You should have seen the way she leapt into William’s arms as though he was the most welcome sight of her life, which he may well have been to date.
We stayed on for a week before traveling back to Melbourne, as many of the island’s inhabitants were in desperate need of William’s aid in an orthodontal capacity, and Anna had made friends there with some of the local women: Aborigine and mixed-race ladies dubbed “Tyerelore” or “Island Wives,” many of whom had to endure a much less desirable arrangement with the Englishmen of the island than had dear Betty with her Nat. In any case, Anna and her friends from the wreckage now know how to skin a seal and trap a mutton bird with the best of them.
Will and Anna are happily engaged and promise to be sworn off adventuring upon their return to America. I’m also most excited to report that I myself am engaged. My fiancée is another survivor of Anna’s shipwreck, a returning Irish-Australian, with family in Tasmania and Port Phillip, though she’s agreed to travel at my side until we’re ready to settle down. Her name is Azalea Fawkner, a red-haired angel with green eyes and a fiery disposition, who swept me off my feet quite literally when we first met (a story best told face to face). You’ll both love her when you meet her, with any luck this coming Christmas.
I wish I could tell you more but as you can see, I’m running out of paper. I do hope things aren’t quite as bad over there as we’ve all been fearing Make sure to take care of each other and yourselves in these troubling times.
Much love from the end of the Earth.
Your loyal nephew always,
Written By: EstherFlowers1
Chapter 28: With Pain Came Rebellion
Early June 1854
Hope glanced at her children as they sprinted past the living room.
Without greeting her, they rushed from sight and bounded up the stairs. A few minutes later, James entered the house as well.
“Hope?” he questioned upon noticing her distant gaze. She didn’t respond, just continued staring through him, the sight of her children running past playing and replaying over and over in her mind.
Suddenly, James appeared in front of her. He broke through the image, kneeling in front of her to look up at her face.
“Tell me what is going on inside your mind. Is it the children?”
“They don’t notice or regard me.” Her voice was void of feeling, just stating a fact in a dead tone. “They blame me. They blame us. But they can’t blame him anymore, since he is dead, so they blame it on me . . .” She started rambling, tears flooding and emotion finally bleeding through into her speech, “. . . it kills me knowing that I have lost my husband, I have lost my children as well, we are—”
“Hope, stop.” He grabbed her hands. “They will come around. They will work through all their hatred and sorrow, and then you’ll be a true family again.”
September 27, 1854
Thomas Crawford readjusted his grasp on the raft. The salty water drenched his clothes and burned on his lips. He focused his eyes, scanning to the right side of the raft, desperately searching for his younger friend.
Finally, the blonde mass of hair, matted to a strong face, met his eyes and he breathed a sigh of relief. The young man, by the name of Henry Price, caught his eye and smiled—resembling a grimace—at him.
They had been afloat for what had felt like days, yet Thomas knew it to be only a few hours. He wondered what happened to the Arctic and how many casualties were suffered.
A twinge of hatred rose in his soul for the cowards that rushed to save their own hides, which resulted in the loss of many who were much more vulnerable. It took great effort and pain for him and Henry to push away from the crowds around the lifeboats. After the captain’s first order for a raft to be constructed, he and Henry rushed to create a small raft of their own.
Both of them were used to the fear of lingering death, used to the assailing adrenaline that would follow the initial shock. All their adventures throughout the world had made them at peace with death.
It was this that helped them construct a raft in silence and peace, away from the hubbub of the rest of the cowards.
It was Henry’s doing to go around picking out women and children to save. Thomas did not mind, but it was this that had resulted in their raft being overthrown with many frightened souls. He attempted, and so did Henry, to save those who couldn’t hold on, as they both would dive in after those who lost their grip and started sinking.
Neither men were in spirits to continue hanging on, nor for diving in after those who would suddenly lose their hold. Yet, they continued at this rate, realizing that their only rescue would be a passing ship . . . if such a miracle would happen to occur in their case.
December 15, 1854
“Anna, could we discuss this, please?” William pleaded, rushing after her. The chill hit him, but he kept up his stride, ignoring the cold and that he forgot his jacket inside.
“I am not ready to marry and settle down,” she spat out, the moment he fell in step with her. “We aren’t going to discuss it; my answer is ‘no.’ I have this new adventure ahead of me, and I truly wish to visit my cousins at least once.”
“We can do it together! We can get married, and then set off to Australia. I can meet part of your family, and after our visit, we can return.”
“You are going to leave your practice hanging for who knows how long: a year? Two years? I don’t plan on visiting for a week and then returning.” Her tone was bitter as she desperately tried to cover up her uncertainty.
She truly wished to marry William but was unsettled by the suddenness of his proposal. Her cousin, a much older woman who had recently settled in Australia, pleaded for her to come, and visit. It would be a long journey, but she wanted to step onto different soil for a bit, before making the final decision of whether or not she should marry William.
“Anna, I love you! If I have to bid my other dreams farewell, I will do that, as long as I can be with you.” She halted, taking a steadying breath before facing him.
“William, I am leaving for Melbourne on the Guiding Star, and I’m not leaving with you. When I get back, I’ll give you my answer.” She forced a smile onto her lips, magically powering up enthusiasm from the deep chasm within.
March 12, 1855
Oliver threw down his copy of the newspaper, disregarding his name underneath the front-page headline. He knew what he wrote he remembered every single word and line of his report on ‘Bill the Butcher’s’ death and funeral.
Diana entered the room, placing the silver tray on the table. She smiled at the young man as he bustled toward her to take his seat.
“You are restless,” was her only comment as she handed him his cup of coffee.
“You are very observant, Aunt Di. You are correct.” He smiled weakly, trying to sort out his thoughts and inform her of what he considered best.
“Oliver, I have come to think that I was granted three sons in this life. Owen: though not of my blood, I raised him with every grain of love that a mother can feel. My son with Tyler, Chadwick, I wasn’t able to raise and see him grow into a young man. You—I have seen you grow from a young boy into a man, and you have become like a third son to me. It is because of that I have grown so attentive toward you, and because of that, I am aware that you have something to inform me of. Please,” she encouraged, “don’t hesitate to tell me.”
“I have reached greater heights than I thought possible for my age,” he fiddled with his fingers around the cup. “Having my book published—it is a dream come true. But I feel so uncertain and tumultuous of late. Owen is gone, Hope is broken, the twins are messed up, and . . . I just feel lost. I feel as if I am sailing without a set course.
“I am thinking,” he took a deep breath, “of breaking free from New York for a while.”
“Where do you want to go, Oliver?” Diana asked calmly, albeit nervously.
“I think I want to visit Texas . . . what used to be my father’s homestead, perhaps. And I was thinking, Aunt Di, that I want you to come with me.”
“Me?” She chuckled softly. “Where did this idea come from?”
“I want to be able to take care of you; I promised myself I would do that. Also, I think it would do both of us much good to break free from this city. Just think about it, Aunt Di. The Texas air will be very refreshing and different from what we are used to ."
Dear Mrs. Farragut,
After many months, nay, an entire year, of mourning Randolph, I have finally come to the point where I could write to you, without crumbling into a heap of despair. Much has happened since Randolph’s burial.
Frannie, never having known any other father, has felt Randolph’s loss most acutely. I have mourned a husband before, and so has May mourned a father. Frannie has never known the loss of a father.
I write to inform you of a new hope for us, Mother Farragut. It is this new ‘hope’ that might also result in us growing apart, never to communicate again, for the only thing that connected us was Randolph, and he is with us no more.
Late December of last year, a certain gentleman, by the name of Thomas Crawford, arrived in our town. He is an adventurous man, but wealthy and with a good heart.
With him, he brought the son of his late friend. The young man is called Henry Price. It seems that these men were present at the collision of the Arctic and the Vesta– not just that, madam, but it was your husband whose ship happened to pass by their raft and who saved them and the others clinging on. Both men speak very warmly of your husband, I must say.
I write to inform you that May, though still young, has fallen in love and married Henry Price last month. Frannie and I are making plans to depart for England; though neither of us have any relations there, we have decided that it might offer us a new beginning. It will also allow for me to stay close to my eldest, since her husband and she are to head for England next month.
Farewell, Mother Farragut, and I pray blessings upon you.
Your former daughter, albeit in-law,
Roberta Hudson Farragut
Early June 1855
Darling, having pondered your situation and distress, as well as the twins’ rebellion in regarding you as their mother, I think I may have produced a solution.
If it would be possible for you and James to send them, I think it would do everybody good if they came to stay with me for the present time. At least for a year’s time or so.
I could use the company, and, at times, I feel completely alone. Of course, I am very much alone practically every day. I could use the liveliness of the two, and I think they would appreciate a change of scenery.
Your father is still out at sea, and I promise that the children will be of no disturbance to me. They are very welcome here, and I think the coast will do them well. At least consider the matter, before giving up on my suggestion.
Your Loving Mother Always,
October 31, 1855
The Guiding Star, having left New York’s harbor for Melbourne on the ninth of January of this year, has not been heard of since the Mercury’s sighting of it on the fifteenth of the month following.
With no recent news, or sightings, it is hereby declared that the ‘Guiding Star’ has perished with crew, cargo, and all her passengers.
William dropped the newspaper, dread setting in. For the past few months, he had been plowing through his days, hoping, praying, and waiting for news. He wished that Anna would appear in front of him again, laughingly informing him that she never left for Australia; but no news of her came, nor of the clipper she departed on. No news, until today.
Black on white, it stated that his darling Anna had disappeared with no trace. She was gone, presumed dead, but possibly still alive. Who knew?
All that he was certain of was that he couldn’t live without her; he couldn’t continue living like this if she never were to come back to him.
December 15, 1855
“Thank you, Samuel.” Flower smiled up at him, as he placed the letters in front of her. He smiled in response before quitting the room, off to find his sister.
Though Maria and Samuel’s opinion on their mother hadn’t improved much, both of them seemed to brighten up again, away from her presence.
Flower appreciated having them close. Both proved to be helpful when she needed something from them; it had turned into them taking care of her, instead of her taking care of them. More than that, she appreciated their youthful exuberance that brightened up the house.
She turned her attention to the first letter, slowly opening it up, her mind not yet prepared for the shock to follow.
As you are aware, I have been very distressed since the loss of my light and love, Anna. I cannot continue like this. I am not going to inform you of my plans. I—I am merely informing you of my wish and plan to disappear as my beloved did.
Forevermore your son,
I am very much delighted to hear of Hope’s slow recovery to being the person she used to be. Though nobody seems to be aware of what has been acting as her inspiration for life as of late, I hope that this will last until she is able to live again.
The news from Aunt Flower certainly isn’t very hopeful . . . I truly hoped that the twins would improve under her care, but I fear that they might be past the point of return to being the children they once were.
I am very much intrigued to hear that Samuel has this passionate interest in music now. I remember that he and Maria enjoyed singing together as children. You wrote that Samuel has taken up the accordion – though I am not familiar with the instrument, I am very much looking forward to our future family visit where I will urge Samuel to play for me.
Upon your inquiry on how we are doing: Aunt Di and I have found Texas quite diverting.
As soon as winter comes to an end, we return to New York. Though the change in scenery was good for both of us, I know of and respect Aunt Di’s wish to be close to the city that she is to be attached to for the rest of her life.
Early June 1856
“To think that John Brown and his company killed five men in such a brutal manner." Diana lamented.
The family was gathered in Flower’s home. Diana and Oliver had traveled from New York, and James and Hope from the Colorado area. The twins were delighted to see their grandmother and Oliver, even James, again, but had greeted their mother coolly.
It sank her hopes of gaining their trust and love again, but she chose to remain patient. Time would bring healing.
“I agree that they were rash and cruel, but they were standing for what they believed to be true,” Hope replied to her mother-in-law’s comment.
“What?” Samuel spoke, finally facing his mother. “Are you condoning the violent murder of five men, just because they were for slavery and the murderers were abolitionists?”
“Samuel, slavery has been a great evil that has plagued us for many years,” Hope began, but was interrupted by her son.
“Slavery has been with this world for centuries. Possibly, if it weren’t for that, we wouldn’t have gotten as far as we have.”
“Imagine the fate of so many men, if it weren’t for their possession of slaves to aid and help,” Maria suddenly chimed in, staunchly supporting her brother.
Silence fell over the room and all eyes turned to the twins who were openly rebelling against their mother’s opinion. She seemed flustered, but also furious.
“Let’s not forget who killed your father,” she shivered in anger.
“Father would still be here with us today, if...” Maria began, and her brother completed the thought: “... he had just kept his nose out of that whole slave and owner situation.”
“Samuel and Maria!” Hope rose from her seat, visibly rattled. Both her children rose as well, straightening themselves confidently.
“We stand for what we stand for. It is our right to choose what we believe in and what we would fight for.” Maria’s eyes glowed indignantly. “If those slaves knew their place and stayed in it, our father would never have run to get the story, and he would still be here today.”
“Maria,” Oliver ventured, “you two are still grieving, but hatred doesn’t help you. Both of you will end up losing everybody that cares for you; think carefully before you finalize your opinion on this matter. “What is now so firmly decided upon will still be my choice in the future.” Samuel’s arms wrapped protectively around his sister’s shoulders, before he continued, “We made our decision, and we will have consequences because of it. But so is life. We all must choose and pay for what we do. It is our fate, and we have chosen these over others.”
Written By: GLD
Chapter 27: Runaways and a Book
Obituary: Owen Possibility Kincade
Written by Oliver Kincade
Owen Possibility Kincade was born Dec. 25, 1810, to Ms. Anna Brown, who passed on shortly after her son’s birth. Mrs. Diana Wilson, then known as Ms. Diana Kincade immediately adopted Owen as her own.
Many will remember the kindness and courage of Owen Kincade, most particularly his adopted mother, Mrs. Wilson, his wife, Mrs. Hope Kincade, and children, Samuel, and Maria Kincade. There are many other relatives and friends of Owen’s to name, but sheer number would make such a thing implausible. For, Owen had made many friends throughout his life, through the attraction of his dependability and humility.
Curiosity is one thing Owen has been known for, since he was a small child. He wrote in this very newspaper, and managed to leave every reader informed, yet still awaiting more articles. It is undoubted that many who have not even met Owen will mourn his death, as journalists brilliant as he are hard to come by.
For any of those who desire to attend his funeral.
Edward Dutton glanced up from his newspaper, slightly desolate from the news, but impressed by the writing style. After all, he was a publisher.
While he had traveled to New York to scout out a place to build a bookstore, Edward would not mind finding a new writer. His name was not yet as known as he would have liked. So, he would go to the burial, and hope to meet Oliver. Not that he was only going for business, of course.
Nothing would ever be the same. Oliver knew that. Owen had been like a brother to him, and now he was dead, gone.
Hope had come back from Virginia to explain everything. Owen had died a hero, yet the public could never know. Aside from the slaves Owen had helped and the Kincade family, only one other man knew of Owen’s heroics. He was a free man of mixed races who had assisted Hope in bringing her husband to New York, where the woman was determined to have Owen buried. At first he had been left there, since Hope needed to escape, but she eventually managed to sneak back and bring her husband to New York. It was sickening how many white people of the South would find Owen the monster, and how Hope could not spread her husband’s tragic story in order to keep herself safe.
The burial of Owen Kincade had just ended, and Oliver had not even noticed. He was far too lost in thought. Now, he stood up and started to walk towards the gravestone. Somberness could easily be seen in his step, and his distraction made it unsurprising when he bumped into someone.
Not someone, two someone’s. Oliver barely recognized the two. All he knew about them was that they were neighbors Owen was rather fond of. They were twins, a boy, and a girl, both very beautiful. Their hair was wavy and a dark, reddish-brown that was nearly purple. Both had onyx eyes lowered in grief.
“I apologize,” murmured Oliver quietly, before trudging past the twins.
In unison, the two sympathetically stated, “It is no problem.”
Oliver turned away, a slight flush in his cheeks. He mentally chided himself for it. Now was not the time for such emotions.
Edward knew he was procrastinating, but it was for a good reason. He ought to let the Oliver boy mourn for a moment before approaching him.
“Mr. Kincade, may I speak to you?” asked Edward finally, with audible nervousness in his voice.
“You may,” replied Oliver, somewhat monotone. “Mr.—?”
Oliver turned around, surveying the man before him with dead eyes.
Edward cautiously continued, “I am Edward Payson Dutton, a publisher. You seem to be a fine journalist, and I was wondering if you have written anything else. You do not have to reply now. You may send a letter to my address if you wish.”
Oliver nodded, and murmured, “Thank you,” with more emotion than he had shown since he heard of Owen’s death.
Maybe he had a chance at his dream.
Agony eventually becomes common in people’s lives as others perish. However, it never becomes less painful. Some, such as Oliver, found themselves feeling empty, and emotionless. Others, such as Diana and Flower, found themselves seeking comfort from each other.
Flower was sobbing into her sister’s shoulder as they gave each other condolences that brought no comfort. After the burial, everything felt so real. The reality of it all pressed into Flower’s heart like a dagger, and there was never a moment where the walls were not closing in.
The woman found herself wondering how she could be so selfish. Her own daughter was fine. It was Diana’s child that perished, so why should she be crying so much harder? Yet, here she was, mentally repeating Diana’s reassurances to herself while she did little for her sister in return.
“I’m sorry,” whispered Flower hesitantly. “I shouldn’t be relying on you for comfort; you should be relying on me.”
“Flower, don’t you dare say such a thing! Owen was close enough to being your son, and you can’t feel guilty about mourning! It doesn’t make me feel worse to comfort you. In fact, it makes me feel better, even if only slightly. I love you so much, sister, and I cannot stand it when you feel guilty over something like this.”
The sincerity in Diana’s voice comforted Flower, enough for her to say what she had needed to say for a while now. “We should get Hope. She needs comforting just as much as I,” choked out Flower.
Diana nodded in agreement, strong even through the tears rolling down her face.
However, as Flower gently pushed open the door of Hope’s room, she only found a small piece of tearstained parchment. The words on it heightened Flower’s sobs.
I cannot stand to be around all the memories of my dear Owen. So, I have left, and taken the children with me. Goodbye.
Owen had died three months before, and Hope was still utterly broken. Cracks filled her heart, and they were empty, void of all joy. Her only joy was her children but taking care of them alone was extremely hard.
Some days, she was overbearing and nosy. On the others, she was distant and lost in thought.
One day, ten-year-old’s Maria and Samuel grew tired of it and ran away from home. They trekked through a small settlement in Colorado, where they had moved with Hope after their father’s death, lugging enough food and water to last them a couple of days. They also had a change of clothes, a single brush, two pillows, and a few blankets. Maria had decided to pack a long strand of twine, saying it may be useful.
When morning came, the two found themselves a nice spot to rest, under a large, vivid tree. Maria used her twine to tie one of the blankets to a branch, which formed a haphazard shelter. Though the two were exhausted, their rest was fitful.
Several hours later, Samuel and Maria gave up all hope of not only sleep but also escape when they heard footsteps. People were just outside their shelter! The people spoke loudly, in a strange tongue that neither of the children knew.
Samuel, the braver of the two, peeked under the blanket.
“Would you look at that?” gasped Samuel, as quietly as he could manage. “There’s Indians out there, Maria!”
Maria met her brother’s eyes, terrified. “We must have wandered into their territory! They own some land just west of our town. What do you think they do to trespassers? I do hope they’re not the bad sort.”
The girl’s voice rose in pitch. Her brains were often helpful, but their source, questions, made Maria easy to terrify. Samuel, courageous and sweet as ever, stood up and sheltered Maria with his own body.
Then the blanket was lifted.
Blue Snake’s people had been dying off. They were treated as second class at best, monsters at worst. Those of white skin sent them away from their homes, making life more difficult. Then, there was always the problem of disease. There was only one thing Blue Snake could do, once he had finished the fight against Mexico. He brought the few of his people who remained, and were willing, to his new property in Colorado, which was half owned by James.
James had not minded. In fact, he still found himself exploring and searching for answers he knew he had already found. Even as James searched, he always stayed near the property, just in case something was to happen. It was lucky that he did.
His cousin’s children: Samuel, and Maria, had run away from home and ended up on the property. He had to deal with the situation, which was extremely difficult. As someone who had run away many times, he’d realized being the responsible adult was arduous.
However, James managed to find a solution. Since Hope was having trouble dealing with her children, James decided to move in with them. He had gone through many similar things to what the kids had experienced, which would make him a relatable adult whom they could turn to. Luckily, Hope had not protested. She was far too grateful to see her children again.
It was a rare occasion that Oliver did not know what to write, and this was one of those rare times. Though, circumstances were different. He was writing a letter to Edward Payson Dutton.
You may remember the girl who I have mentioned before, Anna. She is a delightful girl, beautiful, and able to stand up for herself. After all this time, I have managed to get a date with her.
Randolph continued to read his brother’s letter, as he went over the wonders of the marvelous Anna. He was incredibly happy for his brother, yet there was something incredibly wrong.
It was not something in Randolph’s life that was wrong. He enjoyed his somewhat dull routine, managing a small grocery store, and occasionally going on a date with his wife. His children were wonderful and filled his day with joy whenever he saw them. The letters of splendor from his family members would always make his day, and visits were even better. What was wrong was the approaching death reaching out to him. He felt sick, and his symptoms worsened daily. The county doctor had no explanation, as he couldn’t find the cause of Randolph’s illness.
However, Randolph ignored his sickness. He was far too determined to keep living like nothing was wrong.
When Oliver finally got his book published, Randolph was ecstatic. He read it every day, and just barely managed to finish it before his death.
He was buried in the small town he lived in. His entire family came, even Hope, and this time, James. Nearly the entire town had attended as well.
Many tears would be shed but there would be some good stories to be told that would make the tears not so important as the memory left inside each heart and mind.
Yes, Randolph’s life had become somewhat monotone, but it was happy, and his jubilance had spread to many others. It was exactly what he had wished for.
His headstone said all that needed to be said of him:
16 September 1818 – 5 May 1854
Husband, Father, Brother, Son
Returned in Peace from where he began
Randolph would have been delighted to know his death had brought James's back into the circle of family, and that Anna would be drawn closer to William. Even if she had her reservations, she truly did care about William.
Written By: EvelynDawn
Chapter 26: Stance
“Hope, come here! I have some wonderful news!”
“Yes, love?” Hope asks, coming toward her husband. Owen grins.
“My last issue did better than anyone could have hoped.”
“That’s wonderful, dear,” Hope says, still not fully understanding.
“Remember how, last week, they passed the Missouri Compromise, and I wrote that article on it?”
“Yes . . . Owen, what is this about?”
“I sold thousands more copies than usual. We might not be rich, but we do have enough money for a little excursion.”
“Oh!” Hope exclaims. “Oh, yes, that is wonderful.”
“I was thinking,” Owen says. “Maybe we could travel to the South together. See the rolling hills.”
“What about the children?”
“I’ve made arrangements with Mother Di to take care of them. It’s just for the weekend. Besides, there’s a lot happening in the South right now. Even if we find the landscape unfulfilling, I’m sure I will have some inspiration for my next article. Maybe it will do even better than this one.”
“Well, you’ve really thought everything out,” she says with a light laugh. “I’m sure we will have fun. And I’m sure the children will be happy to spend a few days with Grandma Di.”
“See? Exactly. There’s nothing to worry about. I’ve gotten all the details figured out.”
“Then this weekend,” Hope says. “This weekend, tomorrow, we’ll go and enjoy ourselves.”
“Of course, M’Lady,” Owen says, smiling and offering her his hand.
From another room, the kids listen in. Of course, the parents have no idea. Samuel and Maria have gotten very good at spying. Maria is better, but Samuel says that girls can’t be spies. To which Maria says, “yet.”
They are, of course, excited to see their grandma. Like their father, Owen, she always smells like ink and paper, and to them that is the best smell in the world. The smell of home. The smell of safety.
Besides, Grandma Di always gives them presents. It’ll be like an early Christmas!
“You be good to your grandma,” Hope says, kissing Maria and Samuel on the forehead.
“We will,” the children chirp in unison.
“I’m not so sure I believe you two,” she says. “You’re always up to something.”
“We’ll be good! We promise!”
“Oh, all right,” says Diana. She takes their hands, trying to ignore the slight trembling as she does so. Lately even simple things have gotten hard to do, but she doesn’t dare trouble Owen with it. He has enough on his plate. Besides, his business is going well. His marriage is beautiful and stable. He has two young, adventurous kids. His life is perfect, and Diana doesn’t want to take away that sense of peace. She knew that peace once, too, back when her beloved Tyler was alive . . .
But such things are in the past. For now, she has two little grandbabies to play with.
September 1, 1850
The path to Virginia is long, but once they get there, Owen and Hope are not disappointed.
“The South really is beautiful,” Hope says. “Funny how it hides the ugliness of slavery so well.”
“Hush,” Owen says. “Let’s focus on the good for now.”
“You are right,” Hope says. “There is much to be happy about.”
They wander, hand in hand, enjoying the scenery with no urgency to find a place to stay.
And that peace stays until they hear screams, and gunshots.
Before she can protest, Owen goes running toward the sound, and against her better judgment, Hope follows.
That man, she thinks. He’s always had the nose for a story. And, though she likes to say she’s the practical one, Hope rather enjoys being on the front lines of the future, as well.
They expect to find a story. What they find is a showdown.
Five black men with pistols are attacking a nearly equal number of white men, a father and his five sons, by the looks of things.
“Hey!” Owen says. “Hey! What is the meaning of this?”
“These slaves decided to run away from me,” snarls the father. “They stole my guns, attacked my wife, and . . . Hell, why am I explaining anythin’ to you? Get outta my way!”
“No one needs to die today,” Owen says. “Here, let’s just—”
“Get outta the way! Don’ tell me you one of them abolitionist folks!”
“Listen, Owen,” Hope says. “Let’s just get moving . . .” She knows her pleas are fruitless. There iss only one thing Owen values more than a good story, and it’s justice. “Please, dear, come on . . .”
“Listen to your wife, son,” the father says. One of the slaves sees it as an opportunity and bolts. But not fast enough—he gets a bullet in the leg.
“Owen, come now,” Hope says, outwardly sobbing now. “Think of the children.”
But Owen is honed in on the situation now.
He leans over the fallen man, ripping his shirt and tying it around the bleeding leg.
“Well, damn,” says the father. “That one’s no use to me now.”
“Thank you, sir,” says the man on the ground, addressing Owen. Hope bends over. They’re in the pits of slavery. This man will never be able to get the help he needs. He will die. She knows it. Owen knows it. And now Hope feels the same anger that Owen feels. It’s not right. It’s not right. This can’t be right.
“What is this?” says the father. “A white man helping slaves? What has this world come to?”
“You’re a monster,” Owen says, standing face to face with the man.
“They’re the monsters.”
Owen sighs. “People like you,” he says, “only care about violence, only listen to violence.”
“Don’t talk to my daddy like that!” yells one of the younger boys.
“Listen,” says the father. “I think it’s time for you to leave. Just give me my property and you’ll be on your way in no time.”
“I can’t do that,” Owen says.
“Owen,” Hope says. “Come away. We have a family to think about. We really need to—”
“These people have families, too!” Owen yells at the farmer, red-faced now. “Or they did once, before people like you took away their lives!”
“Now listen here, you—”
The farmer cuts himself off as his gun goes off. In his wild rage, he pulled the trigger, bullet going right into Owen’s heart.
“You monster,” Hope growls as Owen hits the ground. She’s so angry that she’s scared to even breathe. Scared to move. But she chokes out those two words.
“Now, listen here,” says the man. “It was an accident. I didn’t mean to.”
“No. You listen here,” Hope says, “You leave these men alone and get out of here, and I won’t tell a soul what you’ve done.”
She’s lying, of course. She’ll tell everyone. But not here. Not in this place. If these people knew how Owen had died, protecting slaves, he would be lynched. He’d be desecrated. She couldn’t take that.
“Now, listen,” says the father. “I have the gun here. I have the power. If I find out you tell anyone, anyone in this entire country, I will find you, and I’ll kill you myself. You stay quiet, okay? Everyone. Your mama, his mama, if they are even still alive, your kids, your grandkids. Not a darn soul. You tell no one.”
The four other slaves can’t even find the strength to run. Their friend, and the leader of their rebellion, is dead. They don’t know what to do, but more importantly, they don’t know why they’re doing it. But this much they do know: this woman and her husband just saved their lives. And at a great cost.
One of them, a short man with the beginnings of a beard and young, clever eyes comes up to Hope. He says nothing but puts a hand on her shoulder.
The four remaining slaves and Hope part ways as soon as possible. There are no hard feelings, but Hope doesn’t want to know them. It’s not fair, she knows it’s not fair, but she sees them as a reminder of what she lost. Besides, she can tell no one. She knows the farmer is cold, dangerously violent, and maybe smarter than he lets on. He will find her if she tells the truth. And she can’t put her remaining family at risk.
She’s lost too much already.
“A dead slave and a dead man,” says the father. “At least it’ll be easy to explain away. They did it, not us; got it?”
The four sons nod, shouldering their guns.
They leave the bodies right there in the street. People will form their own conclusions.
This is Virginia, after all.
When news of Owen Possibility Kincade’s death reaches Diana, she convinces herself not to cry. She has to stay strong. For the children. She is all they have left now.
Meanwhile, she has to contact Flower with the sad news and make preparations for the funeral.
There’s no greater grief than a mother having to bury her child.
But what’s worse is having to tell his children. Tell them their father was shot down in a slave rebellion.
If he had just listened to Mother, Maria thinks, this would never have happened.
If he had just stayed out of it, Samuel thinks, this would never have happened.
Meanwhile, a girl named Anna thinks of a boy named William. She tries not to think of him, but he keeps creeping back into her thoughts. It was just a meeting, she thinks. He has no right to keep following my thoughts the way he followed me that night.
She wonders, will having a husband inhibit her dreams of fighting for women’s rights?
A little ways away, a boy named William thinks of a girl named Anna.
Maybe he was a little too awkward. Maybe he should have done things differently. Maybe if he’d just had a little more confidence . . .
She was bold, she was free, and William didn’t want to hold her back.
He didn’t want to trap her. He wanted to help her fly—no, that wasn’t right. She could fly simply fine on her own. He wanted her to help him fly, so they could sail the skies together.
Yes. That’s it.
The next time he would see her (and he was sure there would be a next time) he knew exactly what to say. And he wouldn’t mess it up.
William felt, with 1852 just beginning, new possibilities were opening up right before his eyes and he was determined not to miss a single opportunity.
Written By: WhiteWolfe32
Chapter 25: Terror, Tragedy, and Anna
California, November 1849
″No, no, don’t cry, sweetheart. It’s all right. No one will hurt you as long as Mommy’s here.”
Roberta whispered to young Frannie and May, knowing every word she told was probably untrue. There was no way to evade the hands of the vicious beasts. At least, not anymore. They had hidden and retreated for long, but it was no longer a choice.
They were trapped, left with no way to survive like they did the entirety of the previous year. And the helplessness in Randolph’s eyes was the final piece of evidence that the unfortunate family required.
The powerful thuds on the tiny front door grew louder and louder by the second. The cries turned to wails, and the wails turned to whimpers. Randolph and his little family sneaked behind the stairs, trying to prolong their eventual fate, waiting for a miracle. But their hopes were not coming true.
With a loud stomp, the front door collapsed, losing its battle to defend the family.
It was all coming to an end.
It did not take the intruders forever to find the weak, unprotected family in the darkness lurking behind the stairs. And the sight of a one-handed guardian, a meek young lady, and two petite children did nothing to conceal the cruelty of the monsters—their eyes only brightened at the enormous heaps of gold, and their laughs only appeared after their valiant conquests.
Trying to seize the little ones from their mother’s hold, the two soldiers jostled their feeble father to the ground. But their youthful enthusiasm was ineffective against the strength of love the mother had for her children.
Disturbed for a moment at the unfamiliar strength of a woman, the men backed away for a while. But their captain was too courageous and manly to withdraw from a challenge. And that, too, raised by a woman.
He uncovered the shotgun that he kept away for the most formidable of opponents, impressed by the act of the young mother. But Roberta stood brave, even in the face of a shotgun, because no weapons could ever defeat a mother’s love.
And she was correct.
Moments before the captain pulled the trigger to end the frail woman’s senseless act of courage, an arrow pierced through his ribs, splattering his warm scarlet blood across the woman’s face. The children shrieked at the terrifying form of violence; an obscure image to be stacked in their pile of memories forever.
The captain fell back, surprised at the unexpected assault. He immediately went into a shock: deep, long breaths struggling to recover from an inevitable fate. But the darkness pulled him toward a void of something he had never felt before, and it was too strong for him to push back.
The other soldier was also immediately taken down with a sharp bullet to the forehead, adding to the grim scenes of brutality the children had to endure in a day. His end had not been lengthened, unlike the captain’s; quick and unperceivable, he dropped aback, unable to even scream through the agony of his brain getting torn apart.
The remaining soldier hastened toward the door, bewildered at the unexpected turn of events in the late evening. Nearly making it out before another arrow and a bullet, the soldier fled from the little cottage, never to return to this forsaken land.
Minutes later, a tall man with a pistol and an Indian with a bow and arrow arrived at their doorstep.
Still cautious of their surroundings, the Indian lingered outside while the other gentleman went indoors to ensure that the family was unharmed.
“Are you all right?” His deep, steady voice slightly reverberated inside the little cottage.
The family, yet to realize that the threat was no more, and their rescuers stood before them, remained blank at their courteous inquiry. The mother embraced her little daughters a little closer, securing them beside her warmth.
Randolph rose from the floor, feeling incapable and pathetic about himself, to respond to the good Samaritan, “Thank you.” His words of gratitude were cut short with the horror of the dreadful events that had just played out before his eyes.
The young man realized the pitiful state of the family, leaving them alone to their homely solace. But before he could walk out of their tiny dwelling, he was taken aback by a question: “May I know your name, good sir?”
The young man smiled at the request, realizing that he had earned their respect.
“James, ma’am. James Kincade.”
New York, Christmas Eve, 1849
“And the prince and the princess lived happily forever.” Owen reached the conclusion of his made-up fantasy, leaving his limited audience quite empty. Nevertheless, he did succeed in pleasing the youngest member of the gathering, Ms. Maria Veronica, whose cheeks turned remarkably red at the joyful ending. Samuel, Maria’s brother by one day, laughed and applauded.
“Oh, look at the way she blushed,” Hope nearly squeaked, trying to tease her naive daughter, who was for her, indeed, a little princess. Though Owen’s story was an overstretched melodrama, it paved the way for more enthusiasm in the comfy, renovated chamber.
Christmas Eve, throughout the centuries, remained a day of festivity and reconciliation between families dispersed across the globe. And it was no different for the Kincade’s.
Aunt Flower and Uncle William had joined them a week before, Oliver had come back from his little tour, and Owen and Hope had decided to remain at their residence.
To add a little commotion to the happy mixture, the little children ensured that no soul could ever remain idle on a couch or by the fireplace, not even for the tiniest fraction of a second. So when Aunt Flower took Samuel out on a peaceful evening walk, the rest of the crew had to listen to the whelms of the other sibling, who was much more adamant than her evil twin.
While the mother and the toddler still debated about the truth behind the blushing, Owen crept his way to Oliver, somehow proud of the little story he just made.
Though it was Christmas, Oliver was much of a workaholic, spending his time in front of a notebook or a piece of parchment paper, whichever was available. But Owen was in no mood to let his youthful cousin kill Christmas on parchment papers and the scent of ink. He began taunting his cousin with pats on the shoulders and stroking his long brown hair. To further add to the discomfort, Owen started asking him questions that made no sense at all, solely for him to cease working.
In the end, Oliver surrendered to his cousin’s restlessness, immersing himself in the joyful conversation—patiently waiting for an opportunity to take revenge.
And as the cheers went on, Owen finally proposed the question that lingered in his mind. He never was a fan of fiction or fairytales, but the story he accomplished to create within the few ticks of a wall clock created ripples in his mind. Owen neglected the possibility of a probable humiliation, as it seemed irrelevant against the doubt that prevailed in his heart.
Was his story good after all? But that particular Christmas Eve did not mark the birth of a revolutionary author, though Oliver ultimately got the opportunity for his vengeance: “No! You are spoiling your child, Mr. Kincade.”
The family broke into laughter at his quirky remark, and almost immediately, Owen regretted following his intuitions. But little Maria’s roaring laughter was not one Owen could endure. He swiftly picked his daughter up from the comfort of the bed, altering his voice into that of a menacing monster. “Suddenly, a mighty dragon swooped in and carried the princess away, squeezing her within its enormous arms.”
He swayed her in the air, making her giggle out loud from excitement—he loved to make her laugh, as any father would.
“Kids, playtime’s over.” A call muted the ongoing hustles in the little chamber. “Time for dinner,” Diana continued, resulting in a tiresome sigh from the youngest member in the crew, “Coming, Grandma.”
Grandma. It always made Diana feel rather special to be called grandmother. She was one of the very few individuals who adorned their greys, and for a fact, Diana appeared even more elegant with the greys. It made her look beautiful. Every time she saw herself in the mirror, unlike many, she ensured that her silvery strands either hung down or were visible with her usual ponytail.
As the young ones slowly marched out of the room, one by one, Diana remained there, ensuring that their journey made it to the dining hall down the stairs.
Even though they had all grown up, they still required a push from the elderly to stop snooping around. But before she returned to the kitchen to help William with the turkey, Diana strolled to her room to see if Tyler was awake. His piercing headache following the afternoon meal reached a better state only by the evening. And when he decided to have a peaceful nap without the bustles of the children, Diana, too, felt it would be the best thing to do.
She carefully unlocked the door so as not to disturb him in his tranquil sleep. Since the curtains were closed to keep away the annoying light from the streets, the room was mostly in darkness.
She calmly made her way toward him, trying not to generate too much noise. Even after she realized her partner had left this world behind, caressing his lifeless frame, her wails of agony did not leave the room. She lay on his chest, knowing that she could no longer listen to his heartbeats.
Baltimore, March 1850
THE GOLD RUSH RAMPAGE CONTINUES
California: Since the day when an ordinary carpenter and sawmill operator, James Wilson Marshall, discovered traces of gold in the California terrain, the locality remains dystopian with immense violence and staggering death rates, along with the influx of foreigners. Though the count of deaths remains unclear, the critical scenario continues unchained, reaping hundreds of innocent lives. The natives are being slaughtered in large numbers, and the circumstances can only be resolved with immediate external intervention. Meanwhile, in Baltimore, hordes of men have withdrawn from the San Francisco Fire Company, complaining of poor management strategies.
William, Jr. set down the newspaper, unable to bear all the gore and the havoc that stormed the western lands over a piece of gold. He wiped his face with his palms as if to cleanse the visions of ruthless violence produced in his brain.
Drawing a deep breath, William decided to exit his hour-long library routine to join the special orthodontics lectures guided by Professor Chapin Aaron Harris, co-founder of their institution. He had been eagerly waiting for these sessions for the past few months, and his patience received a huge reward when he had climbed up on the dais the previous day. He’d never expected that his answer would impress Professor Harris to such an extent that he would even arrange a meeting with him that evening.
William had never felt so proud in all his life.
As he shouldered his way through the crowd toward the auditorium, sending excuses and pardons quite frequently, he never expected to freeze in his course at the sight of something much more beautiful than anything else he had witnessed in his entire life.
The young woman seemed like a magnificent sculpture, unflawed even in the tiniest of details. His eagerness to secure a front-row seat for the lecture was, for a moment, forgotten in the bliss.
The curly strands of her heavy, brown hair dangled just above the shoulders. Her eyes appeared as if they sparkled against the light, large and bright, conveying nothing but sheer delight. Her complexion matching her hair, natural and breathtakingly gorgeous; his jaws remained hung open at her indescribable charm. Her laughter was, for him, the language of happiness.
William shook himself out of his daydream, glancing around to see if someone had noticed. But yet, he could not take his eyes off her. He knew it was a shoddy thing to do, but his mind was already miles beyond his grasp.
When she descended the rest of the stairs to the third floor, William could do nothing but follow her in her path. When she came to a halt in front of the notification dashboard, William sauntered along. Although his route was sharply the opposite, his mind and body were in total disarray. Gathering all his courage, a few large breaths, and tons of self-motivation, he approached her alongside the dashboard.
Wrong! William screamed in his insides. He could do much better than that, and why a “hi”? A two-letter word, a single syllable! Though his features hid the internal discomfort to an amount, he could explode any moment with self-pity.
“Do I know you?” the girl asked him in return, to which William had no prepared response.
After spending a few moments in revered silence and stroking his neck, accompanied with monotonous grunting and confused glances, he managed to procure a few words that he had no control over in the least: “I don’t think so.”
If he had a wall before him right now, William would have banged his head against it a thousand times. If a cliff, he would have leapt down without a second thought.
What in God’s name am I doing?
Somehow, he managed to return to his present self. “Well, this is not the worst time in a day to create a new acquaintance. Is it?”
Surrounded by dark clouds at noon, waiting for a downpour, the two stood in the crowded hallway.
Create a new acquaintance? William, you are an idiot! Though his thoughts only meddled around in his mind, William knew this was a bad idea.
Starting to sprint away in the opposing direction, trying his best not to look back, William became petrified in his tracks with her next question: “Are you trying to ask me out?”
Catching him remarkably off-guard, William immediately swung around at the inquiry. A sly grin now coated her face, leaving William way more overwhelmed.
“If I were,” William hesitated, careful in crafting the rest of the words of his sentence, “would you accompany me?” He ended on a note of tremendous confusion and doubt.
But her answer overthrew William like a blizzard. It was swift as light and sharper than an arrow. “No. The name’s Anna, though.”
She walked away with an odd smirk, leaving William dumbstruck where he stood.
Written By: Chacko_Stephen
Before we get started, I have an announcement to make. This is the last edition of Roundtable Wednesday. Due to issues, I am having with Prose currently that I won’t go into since two posts prior to this I covered my reasons, suffice it to say this has been a rewarding experience for me, but the time has come for me to move onto other pastures so to speak. I will be able to be found on Instagram and also, allpoetry.com.
With that said, here we are, December. Christmas right around the corner or down the street from you. This, like Thanksgiving, is a time of giving, of caring, of sharing.
With that said, I now share my good friend SharondaBriggs, whom I have tagged as Momma Smurfie (she tagged me as Poppa Smurf, and I have a T-shirt from her that attests to that).
Sharonda has perhaps, the biggest heart, deepest soul of any one person I know. She deals with hardships and setbacks a day at a time, but she doesn’t let that slow her down.
If you aren’t familiar with her work, then please, do so.
With a new year approaching and quickly at that, may the year be better for you than the one we left behind. May all your days feel like a holiday.
… and so we begin.
Can you shed some light about yourself that other people here can get a feel for who you are?
I am the kind of person that has a fear of falling within myself. I challenge myself to overcome tasks that I wouldn't ordinarily do. Unfortunately, within my mind, it has to make sense.
Writer’s write, it’s what we do, but what do you see as your strong point, or motivation to write?
I love to write because it releases words that I couldn't say, but I would store it in my memory diary. Everything motivates me to write. Sometimes, I feel that people that passed away use me to speak through in my poetry, because it always comes on time. I would write about something that hasn't happened yet, and a day or two later it happens. Weird but true.
The very first thing you ever wrote, if you remember it, how did it come about?
I wrote a poem in English class and my mission was to make it as deep as I could with how I felt.
I wore glasses. I had something called Osgood-Schlatter Disease (Bone growth with gaps), and I figured I would be that way for the rest of my life.
Here it is: Through my eyes, I see darkness.
For feel in my feet, I'm walking pain.
In my grave, I sleep partless.
And looking down is my remains.
Who are your favorite authors and please; give us a few names?
Alexus Satchell, Sandra Brown, V.C. Andrews, and Judy Blume.
Any favorite songs/artists you listen to that set a tone for you when writing?
Marvin Gaye, Smoky Robinson, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross, and many more.
I have a song playlist of different songs that soothe the soul as I write.
Do you have any literary work on tap for publication, or have you been published?
I have been published eleven times. I have nine children's books and two teen/adult books.
Vance, Your Neighborhood Tree (A tree that sees it all and tells all)
Nannie Fan Fan (Neighborhood Mother that loves kids)
Mac Machine and Cousin Dryer (How washers and dryers work for kids)
Millie Mii (A young girl with cancer, discovers the use of wigs she calls wiggle’s)
SzhoohS pronounced Shoes), helps children with bullying, children walking alone.
SzhoohS 2 (Alerts children with Corona, Social distancing, and Mask)
Funions (Onion head people that has their own city and looks out for one another)
My Christmas Letter (Helps children with handling the passing of a loved one)
I Reason Why I Write: A book of poems and short stories. (Poems and stories and pictures I wrote and made to soothe the soul)
Why Not? (LGBTQ movement to make it aware of the life I live)
I'm Blind, But I Can See (Inspired by my baby sister, 98% blinded by M.S.)
And recently, published "“A Gift of Life”. about a kidney transplant.
Is there anyone particular book you have read you would recommend others to read?
I received a lot of inspiration from "Are You There, God, It's Me Margaret?" By Judy Blume
What is one thing you do you give your all to?
I started a thing called Fistchallenge4kids. It's made to reward children for reading and give shirts and books to the homeless. I love rewarding children for reading a book and listening to them. I give even more to the homeless as well. I have been making shirts all week to send to the shelters.
Why did you join Prose and how long have you been a Proser?
I joined about five years ago. I have been a Proser ever since. I love the family we all have become.
When you hear the term “less is more” … what is the first thing that comes to mind?
The less I give, the more it needs. Be it children in need, or people in need. People just need to hear something to brighten their day or mood.
Are there places as far as social media accounts, perhaps your own website you would like Proser’s to be aware of where you can be found?
Until Corona, I had my own website. But I fell as well. So now they can reach me at my email address:
Fistchallenge4kids@gmail.com or SharondaBriggs24@gmail.comand Tik Toc Fistchallenge4kids.
Drawing, Creating, Coin Collecting, Mechanics, Assembling things.
What is the single most thing you like?
I love talking to my Grandchildren and other children.
What one thing do you really dislike?
When a parent puts their relationship before their children.
With Covid surrounding us, what advice would you want to share with people?
Covid is man-made.
Don't underestimate it. It was meant to serve a purpose, and we have lost a lot of loved ones because of someone's selfish purpose. Be careful and safe. We Are One.
If you could offer up one piece of advice for other writers, what would it be?
Write what you feel. No one has words that are wrong when they are writing from the heart. It comes out the way you feel. It does not have to make sense or be spelled correctly or punctuated correctly, it just has to come from the heart.
Lastly, your favorite quote?
My own quote "Don't Be A Quitta, Be A Go Getta!"
Thank ye so much for taking part in Roundtable, Sharonda. I feel it fitting to end the year out with your wit, charm, and gentle grace. You are a credit to this community, and I do appreciate all that you do both here, and where you live for so many.
Now, I had to dig a little deep for a piece written by Sharonda. A little something from over two years ago. Since then to now, her writing has gained more strength and vitality … and no, she had no idea which one I would choose. Then again, neither do I until something grabs at me.
Enjoy the read.
Glitz and Glimmer A Dance In A Song
Glitz and glimmer a dance in a song.
Butterfly floating in an angular twist.
Express yourself, make it strong.
Your heart is certain to go along.
Heart skips a beat, I’m sure you will not miss.
Glitz and glimmer a dance in a song.
The position is everything, a stretch of the arm.
A swing of the head, sending a soft air kiss.
Express yourself, make it strong.
Make others join in, while you adjust the thong.
Do a silhouette, half bend and make a wish.
Glitz and glimmer a dance in a song.
Never make a move that seems to be wrong.
Remake it, re-arrange it and put it on the list.
Express yourself, make it strong.
If all things fail, you did your best, no matter how long.
You never gave up or suffered any anguish.
Glitz and glimmer a dance in a song.
Express yourself, make it strong.
Chapter 24: The Files Of Officials
NOVEMBER 1, 1845
REPORT TO SHAREHOLDERS IN COMPANY STOCK
Several days ago, we reached the Sultanate of Zanzibar. It has been a long four months, and, unfortunately, storms and a brief backtrack to restock on supplies made the journey much longer than it had to be. More misfortune followed this. Of our three ships, only my own and Captain Farragut’s vessels are still in optimal condition. Captain Blaise, the head captain, has accidentally run his ship into rocks near the shore, and it had to be abandoned.
Despite the fact that the local authorities of Sayyid Majid himself had authorized our ships to take on imports in exchange for finished goods from the locals of Zanzibar, we were met with refusal to comply, even to the point where it became threatening.
Captain Blaise figured that we could set fire to a few of the natives’ villages—that would show them a thing or two. Then, perhaps, they would be more willing to trade with us. However, when the three of us met once again on the shore with some of our crew to discuss the plan, Captain William Farragut protested.
He made a large and extended argument concerning matters that our presence was a “significant” one, and that we had no right to force the Zanzibaris into trade.
Captain Blaise argued against this quite vehemently (it really is a good thing that the natives mostly speak Kiswahili, and not English, or else they may have been even more opposed to cooperating with us than they already were).
Farragut responded by protesting even further, and—I can testify to it—his face became red as he shouted, and it seemed as if he were actually going to collapse. He began to remind the captain that he was there for the purposes of seeking and charting routes for American trade, not to attack native villages. The captain, a Londoner, of course, became enraged at that, and reminded Farragut that he was merely along for the journey, not the one giving orders. This argument went on for some time. Finally, Blaise himself took out his lighter and marched toward the village. Farragut responded abrasively, and actually punched him!
Shortly after, against all of Farragut’s attempts, we did end up attacking one village, but the locals responded with unanticipated force. Captain Blaise was shot dead with a musket, and several other crew members met their demise. We abandoned the trading operation and, as of the sending of this letter, are on our way back to England.
This letter shall hopefully reach the company management in time for its use in the London Stock Exchange. I anticipate that my resignation from the company will be expected.
Captain George Briggs, writing from the Sultanate of Zanzibar, East Africa
SEPTEMBER 25, 1846
A STITCH IN TIME – SAVES TIME
Written by Owen Kincade
History is made today, as some of the first lockstitch sewing machines, a type of device patented by Elias Howe, have arrived within our small community. While there is need for them elsewhere, several community members have been given permission to purchase a few while they remain stationary in transit.
This new model of sewing machine is smaller than previous models.
They function well individually, in addition, making them valuable outside of factories, and in individual homes. The machine is more capable of sewing fabric at faster speeds than past machines have been known to do, and even utilizes two threads that it entwines, providing for stronger and better results.
Local townswoman Flower Kincade Farragut has offered to provide lessons to any individuals who wish to purchase a set.
May 8, 1846
Today, our American forces engaged in combat about five miles from Brownsville. The conflict lasted a substantial amount of time and involved gunfire and artillery. There were losses on both sides, though the Mexican losses were substantially greater than our own.
Among the destroyed supplies are included one wagon, one neutralized cannon, and, while not destroyed, an impaired artillery battery. The soldiers under my command suffered three wounded, and no more.
I do feel the need to add, however, that those wounded, and I myself, would have likely met our demise had it not been for the courageous acts of two soldiers who have recently been authorized under my command, James Kincade, and an Indian by the name of “Blue Snake.”
I happened to be sheltered by a battery, the one that was later impaired with several other soldiers, ordering them to neutralize some enemy artillery. The Mexican forces caught on to our act and began to fire their own guns at us in response. As shells exploded near us, we held our ground and continued to focus fire on the enemy cannons.
Three soldiers were wounded when an explosion rocked our position, and only myself and one other were left to manipulate the guns. We decided to do as much as we could, slow though we may have been on our own, until they were killed.
As we worked to move the battery into position, Kincade and “Blue Snake,” who had been delivering a message from another group of troops under my command stationed less than a mile away, arrived just in time, and lent their help in positioning and loading the battery.
Within minutes, we had the enemy cannons neutralized, and they were no longer any threat to us. Those same soldiers then proceeded to tend to the wounded so that I could resume command. Despite possessing little skill of artillery, with the help of the one other soldier at the battery who was left unwounded, they managed to utilize it further, though it was impaired, and dealt more damage to retreating enemy forces.
I would, therefore, like to recommend either James Kincade or “Blue Snake” for a lower-level military award of bravery or merit, if not both of them.
Lieutenant Ainsworth Stallings
REPORT TO AMERICAN HIGH COMMAND
TO THE OFFICES OF GENERAL ZACHARY TAYLOR
May 10, 1846
Victory is a word that is familiar today. Our forces have successfully chased General Mariano Arista and his Ejército del Norte out of Texas.
To reaffirm: we have pushed the Mexicans out of Texas; Resaca de la Palma.
Of the damages under my command only, we suffered one damaged mobile cannon, and one dead troop. A few dozen others were wounded, though, on all accounts, they acted bravely in the face of danger.
The Mexican forces were cornered and laid waste to, and American soldiers overwhelmingly won on the attack.
American victory is ensured in Texas, and once again I feel the need to distinguish two individuals from the ranks who I suppose to be worthy of some award of virtue.
These individuals are James Kincade and Blue Snake, who have been under my command for short time, only as of a few weeks ago.
They notably led an infantry charge against opposing forces and, as I witnessed it, each utilized skillful marksmanship with their rifles, and furthermore appear skilled with bayonets and hand-to-hand combat.
Had these two soldiers not been at the vanguard of my forces, I doubt the morale would have been mustered that led these men so bravely into combat, so fast.
I have not heard anything regarding their status of recognition as of sending my last report two days ago. I realize that there are many soldiers to give awards to, but I urge the offices of Taylor to consider the merit of these two individuals.
Lieutenant Ainsworth Stallings
REPORT TO AMERICAN HIGH COMMAND
TO THE OFFICES OF GENERAL WINFIELD SCOTT
March 31, 1847
History was made over the past three weeks, as the largest amphibious operation in American history has just been completed and completed successfully.
Our infantry was landed, with the remarkable aid of the naval command of Matthew Perry, and Mexican forces were engaged on land from the sea.
Though our casualties were substantial, our losses numbered significantly less than did the Mexican losses. The siege at Veracruz appears to have led to an American victory.
Two troops of note, however, that I must point out, are two that were transferred from Taylor’s command to that of Scott: a James Kincade and Blue Snake, as he calls himself.
These two soldiers were transferred along with their entire platoon, under the command of Lieutenant Ainsworth Stallings. This group of soldiers landed on the shores after skillfully battling choppy waters and executed their duty with devotion.
However, Lieutenant Stallings was struck down while leading a charge (as I hear it, he is currently recovering from his wounds), and the flag-bearer stopped to help him. In an instant, I myself witnessed Blue Snake take command, with Kincade behind him, holding the flag.
Together, they made remarkable progress against the opposition, and were forced to halt only after an entire platoon of Mexican soldiers surrendered to them.
Upon their return, I asked for their names, and am now writing in hopes that their service will be recognized.
Captain Freeman Lance
April 13, 1847
AMERICANS HEAD HOME AFTER CAMPAIGN IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Following the beginnings of conflicts between American soldiers and Mexican infantry, in an effort to push the Mexicans out of California, hundreds of civilians went to enlist. Now, with fighting coming to a close in much of the state, many of them are returning home from service.
Of them, I have had the privilege to speak with a Mr. Randolph Farragut. He claims to be a tanner, and to be married, having children.
Upon inquiring as to why he had decided to serve alongside the United States Military forces, he replied that his family had a history of winding up in conflicts, or at least doing what they saw as right; he wished to follow that.
When asked why he was choosing now to return to his family, he replied that he had taken a bullet to the left hand and became quite ill from it. He recovered from illness but lost his left hand to amputation.
When I asked him if he were worried that this would impact his trade as a tanner, he laughed and replied: “It will take a lot more than a little ball of metal to impair me.”
I asked him what he intended to replace the hand with, and he replied that, unfortunately, his current financial position and location prevented him from acquiring any sort of replacement that would yield any realistic appearance, so he knew not what he was going to do.
And thus follows the trend of other soldiers whom I have encountered, who seem ready to go back home as the war between the Mexicans and Americans draws to a close.
However, as there is still conflict, I urge my fellow Americans in California to continue to support their nation by any means necessary, and I urge men of fighting age to enlist in the United States Armed Forces.
J.P. Sutter RSVP
Los Angles Star
September 15, 1847
REPORT TO AMERICAN HIGH COMMAND
AMERICAN HIGH COMMAND ADVISED TO SECURE THEM
Enclosed, you will find photographs of recent military activity associated with the war against the Mexican forces. Some of these photographs are of our soldiers, and some of the enemies’. Figure 3 is of battery positions of the Mexican forces.
The purpose of these photographs is to determine a more accurate plan of attack than simple charts or sketches could accomplish. I urge high command to review these photographs while they are still of use.
The quality of exposure is remarkable, and we are fortunate enough to have a civilian volunteer who happened to be photographing desert fauna for a university outside of a nearby town.
Credit for the photographs goes to Oliver (last name classified for his own protection).
Lastly, he is scheduled to book passage back home in a few days; however, we intend to keep him longer, and hopefully with little financial motivation.
Captain Elliot Drake
April 1, 1848
SOCIALIST IDEALS GAIN POPULARITY
Written by Owen Kincade
Following the rapid explosion of copies of The Communist Manifesto in Europe, the new political and economic ideology of socialism has begun to gain popularity among some of the working classes in New York, the United States, as well.
Defenders of the ideology claim that the upper classes are already on a decline, and that if the philosophy’s ideals were to be implemented, it would lead to greater economic and social equality among individuals of all backgrounds.
Critics of the ideology claim that it is too idealistic and unrealistic in the grand scheme of things. They also note the difficulty with which it would be to convince the officials in government and middle and upper classes to contribute more of their wealth and power to creating a perfectly equal society.
Regardless, though the ideology still remains in its younger stages, it appears that it will begin to have a reasonable affect upon the American people. One can only wait and see where the political scale shall shift, and to where the concerns of tomorrow will lie, in the future.
January 3, 1848
James watched as Perry poured from a square bottle of clean, brown whisky into two small, round glasses. The room they were in was well-furnished, with a carpet, several windows (that allowed streaming lines of white light to enter), fancy furniture, and a large desk with papers laid out upon it.
The room was hot, and Perry stood with his officer’s coat and even the top of his shirt unbuttoned, and clearly had not shaven for a few days.
“I assume you drink,” he stated as he handed James a glass of whisky. James—also sweating in his military uniform—nodded and took the glass. “Have a seat.” The two men sat down across from each other.
“What is this?” James asked nervously.
“Uh, listen,” Matthew Perry began, evidently groggy from the heat. “You and another soldier—Blue Snake, I think it was? Well, you have been recommended to high command for reception of some sort of award for a while…”
“Well, I suppose that they did not wish to deal with it, so they deferred it to me,” Perry shrugged, almost as if he were disinterested.
“I beg your pardon, Sir, but why wasn’t Blue Snake summoned, as well?”
“Oh, you know how the officers feel about allowing one of his kind in here,” Perry sighed. “Not my rules,” he added. “Anyway, I could offer you both a medal of some sort and I will, but I was thinking of awarding something much more…useful than a piece of metal and ribbon.”
“And what would that be?” James swallowed. Perry nodded and stood up, walking back to the cabinet where the bottle of whisky rested and poured himself another glass.
“One of two things, actually,” he chuckled and then turned around.
“Either a small plot of land out West, for your service; or a low-officer’s position in the United States Navy.” He paused, before quickly adding, “But that second option would be for just you, of course.”
James thought for a moment.
“How much does the Navy pay?”
“Well, if you were a lower officer…The war’s almost ending, so….”
Perry seemed to be trying to calculate the amount in his head. “It would be good,” he finally concluded, failing to provide an actual number. “Do understand, you would not be taking vacations to Europe or anything, but you would not have to worry much about money as long as you served.”
James thought on that for a moment. His whole life had been in fluctuation—he had failed to find any stable sort of position or trade, and the promise of a real, reliable job seemed appealing to him.
“Think about it, Kincade,” Perry continued. “The war against the Mexicans is almost over; the lifespan of an infantryman’s necessity is almost expended. There is nothing left for you on the soil.” He waved his arms out as he spoke, emphasizing that last point. “But in the Navy, Kincade, your bravery and commitment will be very useful. Even after the war, there is always the need to trade and explore.”
James finally reached a conclusion and sighed.
“I thank you for your offer, Sir, but I could not leave my companion behind,” he stated, speaking of Blue Snake. “I will take the land.”
“Very well,” Perry shrugged. “I can get you the deed to some fertile land out West after the war. Just give me a few days.”
“Thank you, Sir. I look forward to settling down for a while.” James nodded. And then, more so out of seeking guidance for himself rather than of genuine interest, he decided to ask one thing: “Sir, if I may, what do you want to do with your life?” At this, Perry paused and leaned back against the cabinet in thought.
“I already serve my country,” he nodded finally. “But everyone has something to give—something to trade.” He seemed to be filled with a new vigor as he stood up and walked toward the door. “Take it from me, Kincade: this world is changing fast these days, and within a few years, our interactions with the rest of it will determine our fate.” He opened the door for James to walk out. “Everybody has something to give, but the trick is figuring out how to use it.”
He left James with that thought as he saw him out the door.
Written By: ValiantRaptor47
Think Tank: III
There has been a modification with the chapters as one person backed out and I have added in another, our friend Chacko. And there has been no guarantee as yet, but nightscribbler may be back to do one, possibly two chapters but she is also going to be my second set of eyes once more.
I was unable to post this in the Support Portal due to a glitch (again). but there is a major change here, one I hope that won’t affect the continuation of this collaboration.
GLD has offered to take up the gauntlet in place of me. She has posted (or will post the next chapter I have written, but the rest is all up to you. I do hope you all continue with this and if so PLEASE make GLD aware of this. And PLEASE give her your support.
Sanjana_S ... this me3ans you are next in line to give the group a thrilling and/or interesting chapter ... 8=)
Some of you know this but I am leaving Prose as I can no longer accept the new Prose and the fact I can no longer get onto the old Prose. There are a few things I will post on the new Prose and then I will be done. But I will also do a mass continuation of The Kincade Chronicles (That is, if I can ever get it to open for me to add chapters). Once that is completed there won’t be anything else I will do here. Also, though I am leaving, I will leave all my written work to date here in case you, or anyone else, cares to read.
As a reminder, the length of each chapter should be no more than 3,500 words max.
Make certain you post on Wednesday on the date(s) listed below. This allows you to maintain conformity and keep things on an even keel.
If you have ideas for upcoming chapters, voice them. If one of the writers can use it, I say why not. No idea at this point is a bad idea. lf you have something in mind, share it with everyone. Besides, you have zombies and heroes, to me that equates to action and adventure, but how about some intrigue/drama mixed in. Will the good guys win, or will there be any good guys left when this is over. We shall see what we shall see when we shall see it.
It will be interesting if you have a positive ending to all this—or not.
Here are the dates and names for each chapter: (names will be removed as chapters are completed)
I wish you all the best with this and it has been a pleasure working with all of you.
Take care. Be well. Be safe.
12/08: Chapter 4 – Sanjana_S
12/15: Chapter 5 – Roses311Sublime
01/05: Chapter 6 – GLD
01/12: Chapter 7 – Chacko_ Stephen
01/19: Chapter 8 – EstherFlowers1
01/26: Chapter 9 – WhiteWolfe32
02/02: Chapter 10 – Sanjana_S
02/09: Chapter 11 – GLD
02/23: Chapter 12 – CalebPinnow
03/02: Chapter 13 – Chacko_Stephen
03/09: Chapter 14 – OPEN
03/23: Chapter 15 – WhiteWolfe32
03/30: Chapter 16 – Roses311Sublime
04/06: Chapter 17 – GLD
04/13: Chapter 18 – Sanjana_S
04/20: Chapter 19 – Chacko Stephen
04/27: Chapter 20 – CalebPinnow
It is at this point to be determined if the story will end or continues. This isn’t the Walking Dead, and I don’t want this turning into never-ending episodic adventure. But when it will end, is when GLD will post the Epilogue.
(You will want to copy/paste these dates down somewhere where you don’t lose track of who has what and when.)
Keep this in mind, no matter how soon you finish your chapter, do not post any sooner than the date listed.
Here are the tags:
@Sanjana_S @WhiteWolfe32 @EstherFlowers1 @GLD @Roses311Sublime @CalebPinnow @Chacko_Stephen @nightscribbler
NFL Prose Football – Week Twelve Stats
I need to be clear about something. I will honor my commitment to this but I won’t be doing any other writing. I have pretty much made that clear in my last two posts. I will be posting very few things I have started such as the Kincade Chronicles and one last Roundtable Wednesday. My reasons were explained in my last two posts so I see no reason to go over them again.
With that said, it’s time for football.
We can shelve week twelve.
These were the week twelve byes: Arizona Cardinals and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Week thirteen byes are: Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, and the Tennessee Titans.
After week fourteen, there will no longer be any byes.
Let me go over something here about the Detroit Lions. They lost, again on Thanksgiving Day to the Chicago Bears. What makes this obscenely terrible it is now 19 in a row. The last teams to do this was a new franchise team in 1976, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who has to this day the worst record ever in the NFL, losing 26 games in a row. In 1976 they went 0-14 season; Tampa Bay lost their first 12 games in 1977 before finishing 2-12. Well, Detroit is hot on their heels so to speak. If they lose the remainder of their games they would be 0-25 and then two games into next season, Tampa Bay can erase their turbulent losing record to Detroit. You can bet Tampa Bay is rooting for them. (The tie does not count as a win.)
The above picture is one of the Detroit Lions fans not looking happy about all this.
The following are my predictions as to who makes it to the playoffs.
New England Patriots
Kansas City Chiefs—Chacko_Stephen
San Diego Chargers
Green Bay Packers—Uschibear
Tampa Bay Buccaneers—Scratch77
New Orleans Saints
All the games waiting to be seen in week thirteen,
In The AFC:
AFC East Win Loss Tie
New England Patriots 8 4
Buffalo Bills 7 4
Miami Dolphins 4 7
OllieOctopus: New York Jets 3 8
AFC North Win Loss Tie
CalebPinnow: Baltimore Ravens 8 3
Roses311Sublime: Cincinnati Bengals 7 4
Danceinsilence: Cleveland Browns 6 6
WhiteWolfe32: Pittsburgh Steelers 5 5 1
AFC South Win Loss Tie
Tennessee Titans 8 4
Indianapolis Colts 6 6
Jacksonville Jaguars 2 9
Houston Texans 2 9
AFC West Win Loss Tie
Chacko_Stephen:Kansas City Chiefs 7 4
L.A. Chargers 6 5
Acadec56: Denver Broncos: 6 5
Las Vegas Raiders 6 5
In The NFC:
NFC East Win Loss Tie
SharondaBriggs: Dallas Cowboys 7 4
MeeJong: Philadelphia Eagles 5 7
Washington Football Team 5 6
Mnezz: New York Giants 4 7
NFC North Win Loss Tie
Uschibear: Green Bay Packers 9 3
Minnesota Vikings 5 6
batmaninwuhan: Chicago Bears 4 7
Detroit Lions 0 10 1
NFC South Win Loss Tie
Scratch77: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8 3
New Orleans Saints 5 6
GLD: Atlanta Falcons 5 6
Clarity: Carolina Panthers 5 7
NFC West Win Loss Tie
nightscribbler: Arizona Cardinals 9 2
Sanjana_S: L.A. Rams 7 4
RamonElCamino: San Francisco 49’s 6 5
ana_vega222: Seattle Seahawks 3 8
I have one more Roundtable to do so I will honor that commitment. And I will post the rest of the Kincade Chronicles to its end. I will no longer post any more chapters from Raging Evil, so those who were reading can speculate its ending.
I have had a decent run-on Prose, made some exceptionally good friends here, too many to name but there are a few I will. anarosewood, Mnezz, sandflea68, Clarity, SharondaBriggs, GLD, Chacko_Stephen, Scratch77, EstherFlowers1, InLoveWithWords, and WhiteWolfe32. but it has come time that I move onto other realms.
Unless things change, I won't be back but all the work I have put here to date shall stay.
This time, I tag no one. If you see this, you see it.
I wish you all the very best and that your holidays be good ones.
Be safe. Be well.