Sparky And The Wheezles

The Glen Meadow Chronicles

40,000 Words and Counting!

Today's word count 3590 words...

I had to take a break from getting ready for Thanksgiving and do some writing today and low and behold, I had passed the 40,000 milestone in my quest to write 50,000 words in 30 days as part of the National Novel Writing Month ( NaNoWriMo ).  I was a bit surprised that I had written nearly 4000 words today because I had fallen behind over the last two weeks due to my crazy work schedule.  Anyway, here is a sample of what I have written,

Setting:  Benji Redfern, the protagonist of the story is away from his family and taking an apprenticeship in crafting large wagons and pull-carts from his Master.  His older children are leaving their house for the first time to take up their own apprenticeships and the younger children are going to live with their grandparents temporarily while their mother Margo goes back to work as and engineer in the mines in order to provide for the family until Benji is finished.  Today is the day that all this takes place and little Jan, the youngest son is suddenly confused by all the activity...

On the Monday after Benji had left his home, his three older children were taken to live with their new masters in different parts of the valley to learn different trades.  Griffin was taken by the Master of Metal Craft Phinnias Morel, to the metal smith’s shop to learn foundry-craft and blacksmithing.  Penny was taken in by the same Master of Engineering that her mother Margo worked for in the mines. Penny would learn how to calculate and design large earthworks, tunnels and interior spaces in rock with the idea that she would help excavate a large salt deposit that had been discovered in an old volcanic vent near where Lake Woodrow Wilson had formed.  Rose was taken in by Master Krumhorn, a old rabbit of advanced age who was simply a genius at needle crafts and recognized in little Rose a superior ability to focus for long periods of time on very fine details, skills needed for doing fine embroidery and needlepoint.


Mitzi and Max arrived later in the morning after the three older children had left and took the three younger children to live with them for a few weeks while Margo went back to work in the mine termpoarily.  There were lots of tears, especially from Jan who never ever cried loudly, but couldn’t be consoled this time.  He clung to his mother’s neck, screamed and wailed as if his heart was being ripped from his chest.  Margo was much too concerned about her little son to say anything harsh, she closed the front door to her house and walked all the way to Grandmama and grandpapa’s house while he sobbed in her arms.  By the time they had arrived, a mile-long journey, everybody in the little troupe were emotionally exhausted.  As they walked up the garden path to Mitzi’s front door, Jan suddenly got very quiet, looked up with wet red eyes and sniffed.  When he saw that they were at Grandmama’s house he clamored to be set down and trotted over to Mitzi who stopped to look down at her grandson.  Jan looked up, wiped his eyes on his sleeve and put his paw in his mouth.  Mitzi was easily exasperated and snorted, “Child, what is the matter now?”


Jan remembered that he wasn’t supposed to suck on his paw, withdrew it and stood at attention. “Grandmama?”  He waited for a reply.


Mitzi rolled her eyes. “I’m right here my child, what is your question?”


“Are there cookies?” His face gave every impression of being concerned over some problem, but he remained at attention and waited patiently for his grandmama to answer.


“Of course there are cookies.” Mitzi cocked her head and put her paws on her hips. “What kind of grandmama do you take me for?”


Jan stepped forward gingerly, grabbed Mitzi by her legs, buried his face in her skirts and sobbed again, only softly this time.  At last Margo stepped in, got down on one knee and put her paw on Jan’s back. “Sweetheart, tell mama what the problem is.”


Jan stopped sobbing, turned to his mother and looked down at his toes. “I’m sorry mama.”


Margo had no idea what was running around inside her son’s head and just asked, “What are you sorry for?  You have done nothing wrong.  What is troubling you?”  She put her paw on his face and drew it up so that he could look at her in the eye.


Jan sniffed again and after a few moments he blurted out, “I thought you were giving us away, that you didn’t want us at our home anymore.  I thought that grandmama and grandpapa were taking us away to work in the salt mines.  I didn’t want to work in the salt mines, I was afraid.  So I cried.”


Margo had a feeling that there was more. “Where did you get that idea?  Did Griffin tell you that, or Rosie or Penny, or any of the other children?”


Jan tried to look down at his toes, but Margo held his chin up and patted his cheek again, “No mama.  I dreamed it.  Then Grandmama and Grandpapa came here today and I didn’t want to go away.”


Margo wasn’t getting quite the answer she wanted and tried one more time. “But why did you stop crying?”


Jan got another tear in his eyes, but he managed to squeak out an answer. “Because Grandmama made cookies.”


It made perfect sense to Margo, Jan had misunderstood exactly what was happening today, it was a lot for a small child to grasp.  His older siblings were going off to learn a trade and they would probably establish their own lives and homes after apprenticeship.  It was not uncommon for the older children to take mates after apprenticeship and start their own families too.  This much Jan understood.  But it was the part about going to stay with his grandparents for a few weeks that he didn’t grasp.  Grandmama and Grandpapa didn’t have little children, there home was where one went to get cookies from time to time, it was a happy place.  When Jan finally realized that they were at his grandparent’s home and not the salt mines and that Grandmama had cookies cooling on the counter, it dawned that they weren’t being given away, but that they were going to stay in their happy place for a while.  Margo scooped her little son up in her arms and squeezed him tight. “My little child.  Don’t ever let fear take you like that again.  Do not be afraid to speak to somebody about something that frightens or bothers you ever again.  You cried for nearly an hour about something you were worried about that could have been cleared up in just a few moments by talking it through.”


Jan nodded in agreement and stepped away from his mother. “Mama, can we go inside now and get a cookie?”

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