Passionate For Him

The King's Daughter is all Glorious Within

Category: Writing (page 2 of 2)

Ellie Coulter Part 4

This is the fourth of an 11-part short story based on the characters of author Susan K. Marlow’s Circle C Adventures and is posted on her blog

Part 4.

The Circle C Ranch is huge! I knew it was big, but I had no idea it was this big.  Chad is very proud of it, and rightly so.

At the end of an hour, Chad drove the buggy through the entrance to the Circle C Ranch.  Ellie’s lips parted in astonishment as she surveyed the large yard, barns, and hacienda style, white house.

Chad stopped the buggy in front of the house.  He threw the reins to a ranch hand, stepped out of the rig, and held his hand up for Ellie.  As Ellie got down, the horses were led away and Ellie stood looking at the busy ranch.

Chad crossed his arms over his vest and thoroughly enjoyed her evident surprise.  “Welcome to the Circle C Ranch.”

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Ellie Coulter Part 3

This is the third of an 11-part short story based on the characters of author Susan K. Marlow’s Circle C Adventures and is posted on her blog

Part 3.

Thank God for Chad’s invitation.  I’ve looked forward to it all day.

The next day was awful.  It seemed everything went wrong.  Ellie had stayed up late pondering her apology to Mrs. Stewart, and was almost late to school the next morning.  And then school was terrible.  The Belstead children deliberately caused trouble, this time, real trouble.  The commotion they caused kept even the most determined pupils from concentrating.

After school, Ellie sat at her desk and felt like crying. It will turn around.  She told herself.  I just need to take charge, not take any nonsense, and give it a new approach.

I’ll start tomorrow. 

 Thank you; Lord, for Chad asking me to supper.  I don’t want another meal with Mrs. Stewart ever again.

A sudden shout outside made her blood run cold.  “Fight!  Fight!”

Ellie sprang to her feet and tore out of the schoolhouse. The sight that met her eyes turned her stomach over in fear.

Tom Belstead and another older boy were ganging up on Jimmy Morgan.  Beth was sobbing close by.  Already Ellie could see blood streaming from Jimmy’s nose and one eye looked dangerously swollen.  He was fighting gamely, however.

Ellie waded into the mess as her anger rose.  She caught Tom’s accomplice by the shoulder and threw him away from Jimmy.  As she tried to separate Tom and Jimmy, a figure grabbed both by their collars and jerked them apart.

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Ellie Coulter Part 2

This is the second of an 11-part short story based on the characters of author Susan K. Marlow’s Circle C Adventures and is posted on her blog

Part 2

I have to confess, I am excited to meet Chad Carter again.  I’m more excited than I should be.

The soft murmur of the children’s voices as they recited their lessons filled the schoolroom.  Ellie checked the small timepiece pinned to the bodice of her green sprigged gray dress.  Almost time to dismiss class.

Ellie folded her hands on her desk and studied her new pupils. There were fifteen to twenty students. Most of which behaved well.  The Morgan twins:  Jimmy and Beth would cause no trouble.  They were obedient, polite, and already Beth had won her teacher’s heart.

And then there were the Belstead clan:  the blacksmith’s three children with ages ranging from six to ten.  They were unpredictable, but not mean, and prone to harmless mischief as Ellie learned early in the day when she found a grass snake in her desk.

Ellie sighed regretfully at having to punish them the first day of school.  It had been a harmless prank, but such disrespect, on the first day of school, could not be tolerated.  The worst part about the prank was that Ellie had ended up punishing all three, even though she doubted the guilt of the younger two.  However, all had confessed since it seemed their motto was “all together, or not at all.”

The children’s voices stopped, recalling Ellie to the present.

She nodded.  “Return to your seats.”  When they were all seated, “You may put your books away, class is dismissed.”

Laughter and discussion erupted as the children rose and stampeded for the door.  Ellie sat watching them go.  At the door, the oldest Belstead, Tom, turned back and glared at Ellie.  She had lost her chance with them already, they disliked her now and it would take a long time to regain their trust.  Her face fell.

A flicker of surprise crossed Tom’s face as he saw his teacher’s mournful expression.  Then he clattered out the door and ran across the yard to join his siblings.

Ellie crossed the room to look out of the window.  As the crowd of children separated to their homes, one figure turned back and waved.  Ellie recognized Beth, and a smile crept across her face.  She waved as the little girl grabbed her brother’s hand and skipped toward their home.  Ellie was encouraged by the sweet gesture Beth had just offered her.  At least she had made a good impression on one child.

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Ellie Coulter Part 1

This is the first of an 11-part short story based on the characters of author Susan K. Marlow’s Circle C Adventures and is posted on her blog


San Joaquin Valley, California, Late September 1884

 Part 1.

Moving to a new school is always a little frightening.  I hope the Fresno County School Board is more understanding than the last school board.

Ellianna Coulter twirled her pencil between her fingers, then pressed the blunt end against her chin and watched the flat, brown pasture racing away outside of the train window.  Up close, the ground flashed by, making her dizzy; but far away, the mountains stood still, reaching the sky.

The steady thrum of the train had become white noise long ago.

Dropping her gaze to the small journal open in her lap, Ellie pondered her next words.

I wonder if anyone will be at the station to meet me.  Jem sent his old friend Chad Carter a telegram, saying I was coming, and, of course, the school board knows I’m arriving today.

Jem kept insisting that Chad will remember us, but I doubt it.  It has been at least fifteen years since he and Jem have met, probably nearer twenty.  Besides, he is Jem’s friend.  Not really mine.

“Next stop, Fresno!  Twenty minutes!”

At the conductor’s call, Ellie started.  Her stomach flipped.  She shut the journal carefully, wrapping a piece of soft cloth around it and pushing it into the carpetbag at her feet.  Ellie glanced at her hands; they were shaking.  She forced them to stop and leaned back in her seat. Take a deep breath.  Ellie told herself.  You’re fine.  Relax; take another deep breath.  You can do this, there’s nothing to it.

 She tilted her head back and looked at the ceiling.  God, I’ve done this so many times; why do I still feel so nervous? 

A few minutes later, the train began to slow.  The steady thrum of the wheels became an agonized chug, as the train ground it’s way slowly to a stop.

“Here we are, folks!  Fresno!”

Ellie grabbed her carpetbag and made her way to the door. As soon as she set foot on the platform, the busyness and noise struck her.  People hurried back and forth, coming and going.  Conductors called, the train whistled, the engine roared; people talked to each other loudly.

She scanned the platform, brushing a curl of auburn hair aside. A well-dressed man in his mid thirties caught her attention.  His black hair was combed neatly back, and his eyes were also searching the crowd.

He noticed her and after a moment, made his way over.

“Miss Coulter?”

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