Forget-Me-Not

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Forget-Me-Not 52620” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Elkanah Devine sat on the edge of the little stream that fed his farm. He tossed small pebbles into the as he thought. He’d spent several years hacking brush piles and cultivating the soil. The modest log cabin was built by hand with the help of his father and brother. Having received the land and cattle from his father as a start in his own life he had no debts on his farm. He had managed to make a decent amount of profit in his first year and in his second season he purchased the wedding ring. Adelaide was a good wife. They had grown up together and the relationship had come a long way from their first encounter when he dipped the very tip of her braid in the inkwell on his school desk. He was pretty sure that she had forgiven him by their first dance at the harvest party. The trickling of the stream continued to be a hymn in his ears as he contemplated the choices that would change their lives forever. Being a godly man he had spent the past several days in prayer and he knew what he had to do. What he must do. With a heavy heart he pulled out silver locket from hos shirt pocket. He’d dug into his savings on his last trip off of the mountain and purchased the gift to soften the blow when he told her. He spotted the small blue flowers near the water’s edge. He had presented her with a bouquet of these very same flowers when they started courting and again when he proposed. A tear fell into the mud as he plucked a few.

Image Titled “Forget-Me-Not 52620b”

Elkanah made his way into the house and explained his decision to join the other soldiers from their area and fight for Virginia. War was coming wether they wanted it of not and the only thing he could do was defend the land. Adelaide resisted but she knew that what he said was true. As they cried together she opened the silver locket and placed a few of the flowers inside and then she noticed the inscription. “Forget Me Not”. Adelaide had no words. She didn’t need to speak for Elkanah could read her heart in her eyes. She left the room for a moment and returned to present Elkanah with a lock of hair bound with red yarn. The hair was stained with ink and looked to several years old. Tugging at the chain on Elkanah’s belt she pulled his watch from his pocket and placed the hair in the chamber on the back.

The next morning Elkanah rode out to the soldier’s camp and signed up to fulfill gi s duty.

At their first engagement Elkanah heard the pop of a rifle and the hiss of a minie ball before it impacted his left leg in the thigh. The world went dark as he lay on the forest floor bleeding from the snipers shot. He remembered the voices in the dark and the doctors debating if they should remove the leg. Eventually, he woke up in the prison hospital and there he would spend the rest of the Civil War. But as far as prisoners of war go he was treated well. The doctor managed to save his leg and had even arranged for him to spend most of the war right there in prison hospital. Elkanah’s knowledge of the Bible and general good nature allowed him to serve as a minister for the other prisoners.

When the war ended Elkanah found himself limping home. A lot of the landmarks had changed but the terrain was the same. His beard had grown long and streaked with grey. He weighed about 2/3 what he did before he left home and a good portion of that was recovered weight gained on the voyage home. As he walked he heard the sound of a wagon roll up behind him. A woman and her daughter were out alone. The child was very young. She couldn’t have been any older than 5 years. But Elkanah was looking into the sun and couldn’t really make out much detail about them. The woman spoke and offered Elkanah a ride and a meal in exchange for few chores at her homestead. Elkanah agreed as he climbed up in the back of the wagon. As he road along the little girl climbed into the back with him and gave him a small blue flower. It was a little ragged from being handled by such a young toddler but it made Elkanah smile in earnest for the first time since he rode out on that fateful morning. “Forget-Me-Not” the little girl said. That’s what mommy calls them. They go in her locket. Elkanah gasps and called for the woman to stop the wagon which she did. “Adelaide!?” He cried as he ran around to the font if wagon. Adelaide leaped from the driver’s seat and met him halfway. His long hair and beard had hidden his face from her but when he called her name she knew his voice. “But your daughter?” He stammered with his eyes on the child still in the back of wagon. “Your child.” Adelaide replied. “I didn’t know until a month after you left.” Elkanah embraced his whole family and when they got to the modest cabin and it’s farmland the little blue flowers were planted everywhere they would grow. Elkanah learned that every night at bedtime Adelaide had opened the locket and told their daughter stories about her father so that if the worst happened he would not be forgotten.

The flowers in tonight’s feature image are Forget-Me-Not. There’s several stories about the origin of the name and the most popular ends with a man whose last act as he drownds is to toss the flowers to his lady in the shore and cry out “Forget me not!” I don’t really like sad endings so I created my own version based on a young husband in the American Civil War.

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The Hunter (part 2)

Hello Friends, before I continue my prehistoric fiction story inspired by the rocks at Beartown State Park in West Virginia I wanted to invite you to make sure that you read Part one first. The Hunter (part 1)

The hair on the back of the hunter’s neck stood up . He strained his eyes trying to penetrate the shadows as he prayed for strength. The thumping of his his heart was so loud it was drowning out the growling and hissing from the back of the cave. His voice cracked as his prayers grow more audible. He moved slowly as he leaned to the right and groped the dark cavern floor for the shaft of his spear. He could not break the lock that the beast had with his eyes. Instinct told him that if he looked away that the creature would pounce. He kept his movements subtle and deliberate. Finally he felt the bite of the spears stone tip against the palm of his hand. He drew the shaft forward projecting that razor sharp obsidian blade towards the danger. With his main tool now in place he braced the butt of shaft with his foot and waited for the terror in the shadows to make its move. His eyes widened as a shrieking howl burst forth. The noise sounded almost like the screaming of a woman. The eyes moved lower as something slinked his direction and paused. Another scream shattered the cavern air and the hunter tightened his grip on the spear. As the firelight fell on his opponent his worst fears were confirmed. The jet black cave lion drew it’s hind legs in tight and sprang forward. The hunter gasped as the cat became airborne and for a split second it seemed to hover in mid air. The hunter felt the full impact of the cat’s weight as it fell motionless across his body. His spear had found it’s mark at the last second. The cat was nearly as large as he was. His muscles strained as he pushed the animal off of himself. He he quickly scanned the cave to make sure that there was no mate to avenge the first cat. Satisfied that he was once again alone he picked up his discarded flute and renewed his song of thankfulness to the creator.

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The Hunter (part one)

The crisp breeze gently shakes the trees. Brightly coloured leaves rain softly from the canopy. The rustic boardwalk welcomed me foreword and with the first step the outside world disappeared. The rock cap ferns form a thick mat in the leaf litter atop each crag. The rocks at Beartown State Park form a Labyrinth with tunnels and canyons that wind their way through the forest. I imagine that Millenia ago this was a large cave system. Perhaps some prehistoric hunters took shelter here while tracking a primeval beast. In my mind’s eye I can see him unroll a bundle pelts with all of his treasures tucked away safely inside. Wrapped up in the leather pouch at center is the dried meats and wild roots that sustained him on this journey. His fire kit is bound in a separate pouch. Not just any dry sticks will start the fire. The twigs were selected with great care. This was magic and must be treated with the utmost respect. With ritual precision he places a stick in the notch and begins to sing the fire song and spin the evening fire. Soon the smell of smoke rises up from the joining of the wood. He knows not to quit yet and keeps his efforts in time with the fire song. Once the last verse has ended he shakes free the ember from notch and places on a dry mushroom. He remembered the words of his father when the magic was passed down to him. “The fire is a living thing and like all living things it must breath”. The hunter kindles the ember by passing on the breath of life. Again his father’s wisdom speaks to his memories, “living things must be fed slowly so that they do not choke “. The hunter starts to feed the fire fluffed leaves and then small twigs. He progresses from step to step when the fire was strong enough he began to cook his meal. He doesn’t require much. Just a thin stew from his provisions. After the meal he thanked the creator by playing his flute. He had a lot to be thankful for. Good shelter, a warm meal and a rich heritage to keep him strong. As he played something stirs in the back of the cave. Something that is not happy about the noisy music in the cave. The hunter whirls around and comes to one knee. Deep within the shadows of cave the greenishglow of eyes in the firefight glare back at him.

To be continued…

The Hunter (part 2)

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Capturing A Dragon

The ancient Chinese told how dragons might be responsible for storms. The Aztecs had Quetzalcoatl. But the old timers in the eastern part of West Virginia told stories about the Snallygastor. A dragon in the New World. Even though the feature image shows a dragon-like impression in the texture of the clouds I’m not quite ready to lay responsibility of a storm on the existence of a “fearsome critter”. But it does seem to fuel the imagination. I can imagine a grandfather type character looking out from the shelter with children on his knee telling them all about the dragons as the storms pass. The story always has a happy ending and the children become so enthralled by the tale that they forget about the fear of thunder and lightning outside.