Saturday, September 17, 2016

Katie's War--Part 1

Hi people!
Today, I will be posting something a little different.
You get to read the first part of a story that I wrote.
What story, you ask?  Katie's War.  It's the story that contains the excerpt I shared with you in The Rising Authors Tag.
Katie's War won 3rd place in the 2016 Writer's Unite contest, so although some of you have already read this, I will be posting it anyway, as I know some of you haven't read it.
Like Wooton Bassett from Adventures in Odyssey said, "It's hard to put your writing out for the world to like, or hate, or feel indifferent about."  But I'd love to hear any feedback y'all have for me. :D
So, without further ado, I present part 1 of Katie's War!

Katie’s War

April 1942
Crack! The baseball hit the bat and went sailing into the outfield.  Katie ran to first base, second, and then third.  After a split-second decision, she dashed for home plate.  She was nearing the base.  Twenty feet... fifteen... ten... suddenly she saw the ball come sailing towards the catcher’s mitt.  
“Slide, Katie, slide!” Her teammates yelled from the sideline.  Katie’s reaction was almost immediate, and she slid for home just under the catcher’s mitt.  “Safe!” The umpire shouted, and Katie’s team cheered.
“Kathryn?  Kathryn!”  Katie looked up to see Mrs. Harris, her history teacher, staring at her over the top of her wire-rimmed glasses.
“I-I’m sorry, Mrs. Harris, I guess I wasn’t paying attention.  What did you say?”
Mrs. Harris frowned.  “Kathryn, this daydreaming must stop.” She turned back to the book on her desk.  “Now, the question I asked was, can you tell me when the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln?”
Katie stood up, racking her brain for an answer.  “Um... February 1st... 1820?”
Mrs. Harris closed her eyes with a sigh in a gesture of obvious frustration and sat down into her straight-backed wooden chair.  “That is incorrect, Kathryn.”  She opened her eyes and they roved across the room.  “Does anyone know the answer?  Yes, Lillian.”  She pointed to a raised hand near the back of the room.
Lillian stood up.  “The Emancipation Proclamation was announced by President Lincoln on September 22, 1862.  It was put into action January 1, 1863.”  She sat back down and sent an apologetic smile to Katie.  Katie returned her friend’s smile, inwardly groaning.  Her grades were failing, and she dreaded having to take home her report card that afternoon; her mother was very strict about keeping up her grades, despite the war.

After school, Katie was walking home with Lillian.  “I don’t see how you can remember all that history!” She exclaimed.  “I mixed up the date of the Emancipation Proclamation with my great-great grandpa’s birthday.”
Lillian giggled.  “Kathryn Judson, you can’t remember history but you remember what day your great-great grandfather was born?”  She shook her head.  “You have a strange mind, girl.”
Katie grinned.  “Yep, but I’d rather be strange than normal, if normal is remembering all the important dates in history!”
Lillian rolled her eyes.  “At least I don’t have to worry about my mother’s wrath when she learns about my grades when I get home.”  This instantly sobered Katie, and Lillian immediately apologized.  “I’m sorry, Katie.  I wasn’t thinking.”
Katie gave Lillian a small smile.  “It’s all right; I know I should quit daydreaming, but sometimes I can’t help myself.”
Lillian nodded sympathetically, then changed the subject.  “Have you heard from your dad and Jerry lately?”
Katie shook her head sadly.  Her father and brother had enlisted in the military as soon as the news came that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor last December.  “God’s calling us to serve,” her father had stated.  “What can we do but obey?”  When the day came that they had to leave, Dad had pulled her in close and whispered in her ear as she clung to him, “God can take care of us, Kat.  Trust in Him and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”  Jerry came up and gave her a squeeze.  “Hang in there, Sis.  I’ll be back.”  He winked, and together they stepped on the train, and were gone.
“Katie, watch out!”  Lillian shouted.
Katie looked up from her daydreaming just in time to see a car racing down the road, heading straight toward her. She froze, unable to move.  
“Run, Katie, run!” Lillian cried from the sidewalk; yet Katie still couldn’t move.  Finally Lillian dashed to Katie and shoved her out of the way just as the driver of the oncoming car saw her at the last minute and swerved; but it was too late.  The corner of the front bumper caught Lillian’s shin and she was flung to the pavement.
“Lillian!” Katie screamed.  Ignoring her skinned knees and elbows from falling to the pavement, she raced to the fourteen-year-old girl and gasped at what she saw.  Blood seeped slowly from her skinned arms and face, and her shin gushed freely from the impact of the car’s bumper.
The driver of the car appeared beside Katie and frowned worriedly as she peered into Lillian’s face.  “I’m so sorry!” She exclaimed.  “I didn’t see you until it was too late.  I’m so sorry!”  Lillian obviously hurt too much to give the woman an answer, and she closed her eyes.  Her head, which had hit the concrete hard when she fell, was also bleeding slightly. 
“Lillian!  Can you hear me?”  Katie practically screamed at her friend, placing her hands on Lillian’s shoulders.  Lillian opened her eyes, and with effort said, “I... hear you... Katie.”  Her head dropped back, and she slipped into unconsciousness.
“Oh Lillian, this is all my fault,” Katie cried, tears running freely down her face and dripping onto Lillian’s blood-stained dress.  “If I hadn’t been daydreaming, this wouldn’t have happened.”

***

Katie’s whole body ached.  Opening her eyes with a groan, she looked up to her own familiar bedroom’s ceiling.  Why do I hurt so much?  She wondered silently.  Suddenly the events of the previous day came flooding back.  Oh, my fall on the street.  She slowly sat up and placed her bare feet on the floor.  She sat there for awhile, willing herself to stand.  Finally she shoved off with her arms, wincing at the pain this brought to her elbows, and slowly dressed.  
Smelling the aroma of oatmeal, Katie wrinkled her nose as she descended the stairs.  “Oatmeal again,” she muttered to herself.  She entered the kitchen, where her mom and brother sat at the table.  
“Morning, Katie,” Mom greeted, standing to dish up a bowl of oatmeal for her daughter.  “How do you feel?”
Katie slowly sank into a chair and picked up her spoon.  “I hurt all over.”  
Mom chuckled.  “No wonder; that little tumble didn’t do any good for you.”
“Have you heard anything from Lillian?”
Mom nodded.  “Her mom called early this morning.  Lillian’s leg is broken, Katie.  And the doctor thinks that she has a concussion, among all the bruises and raw skin she has.”
Katie frowned.  “A broken bone just from the corner of a car bumper?”
Mom nodded.  “Yes, it’s a clean break though, and it will heal quickly.”
Katie’s brother, Josiah, added his own thoughts.  “It’s a good thing she was there, Kate.  You might have ended up with worse than a broken bone and concussion if she hadn’t.”  
Katie sighed.  She pushed back her bowl of oatmeal.  “I’m not very hungry.  I’m going to go get ready for school.”  With that she shoved back her chair and walked out the room.

Through the next days, Lillian slowly recovered her strength.  After staying in the hospital for a couple of days, she was sent home, where Katie was one of the first to greet her; but war news put a damper on everyone’s spirits.  The beginning of food rationing didn’t help, either.  Each day when Mom came home from work, she came with the news that there was still nothing from Dad and Jerry.  Finally, after a week had passed, Mom was in the kitchen working on supper.  Katie was working on homework in her room when there was a knock at the door.  
“I’ll get it!” Mom called.  Katie made her way to the top of the stairs.  From where she was, Katie could see Mom open the door.  A young woman handed her a small yellow envelope; Mom thanked her and closed the door, leaning against it for support as she stared at the telegram in her hands.
“Mom, open it.  What does it say?”  Katie demanded, hurrying down the stairs.
Mom looked up in surprise.  “Katie, I thought you were doing homework in your room.”
“I finished it.  Now, what does the telegram say?”
Mom slowly opened the telegram, unfolded the paper inside, and her face blanched.  “I-I have to sit down,” she said faintly.
Katie’s eyes widened with fright.  Something’s happened.  Dad or Jerry are dead.  Oh, God, please, no, no!  She squeezed her eyes shut to keep the tears in, placing her hand on the back of her mother’s chair.  “Shall I get Joey?”  
Mom nodded absently.  “I believe he’s in the backyard studying.”
Katie walked quickly through the house and opened the backdoor.  “Joey,” she called.
Josiah looked up with a smile that quickly vanished at the look on Katie’s face.  “What’s wrong, Kate?”

Katie bit her lip and swallowed hard.  “We... just got a telegram.  Mom didn’t tell me what it says, but Joey, a telegram...”

That's all for now, folks!  Part 2 coming next week. :)
~Kaitlyn

6 comments:

  1. You know how much I love this story... ;) So glad you decided to share it here, Kaitlyn! :)

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    1. Yes, I know. ;) Thanks for talking me into it! :)

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  2. Oh, I remember this! AWESOME story!! :D

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  3. *flings laptop out the window* *bangs fists* PART TWO! PART TWO! PART TWO! MUST. HAVE.
    I'm intrigued! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Haha, I'm glad you're enjoying it. XD
      Thanks for commenting!

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