"Just a few more miles and then it will be time to have fun," Elsie laughed. "Just look at the mountains! It is so much better than Chicago"
That is Elsie, I think she would find a leaf fun if she thought it would get her anywhere. Still she is my best friend. It is because of her I am on what she calls an adventure.
"Come on smile. We’ve survived the great fire and so much more. Get rid of your somber mood and think of what is to come. We were meant to be here."
As we came into Silver Cliff I did look at those mountains. They were tall, taller than the buildings in Chicago. They looked so much more substantial than anything I had seen. They could be guideposts to the future or crush you with their majesty. As for the town it was so small. "How are we going to make living here? Just look, there is hardly anything here." I asked."We’ll find work.
"You could put your music education to work and teach."
"How do you know people would spend money on a luxury when it looks like most are just getting by. Look at those houses, where are we going to stay?"
"Listen Ruth, we made the decision to come out here and now we will just make the best of it. If worse came to worse you could sing for your supper."
I made a face at Elsie, but secretly I loved to sing, I just had never done it for money.
“What about you? What are you going to do?”
“Don’t worry about me, I always survive.”
As usual Elsie was right, but I did have my misgivings. I really did wonder how we, two single women, were going to make a go of it here. This town was so small, so new. What would people think of us. I admit I was scared.
"Well Ruth, get ready to take on a new adventure," Elsie said as she jumped from our coach.The first glimpse I had was of men starring at Elsie, she did that to them, and she just smiled and turned to get her bags. Men couldn’t help but look at her, she was of medium height a great head of auburn hair and a smile that could melt snow. I followed close behind, walking in her shadow, as we went toward what appeared to be a hotel. An oriental gentleman was walking out and nodded a greeting as we entered.
"See everyone is friendly, you have nothing to worry about."
"You know , every time you say that I have the strangest feeling that I should be worrying and plenty."
“I love that you worry, but it’s time to become someone new. Now let’s get started.”
Someone new, what an interesting concept. Who would I be? Me, the little mouse who followed wherever I was led. Perhaps I was being too hard on myself. In truth I had always wanted to be like Elsie. Maybe now was the time to try.
After checking into the hotel, Elsie and I wandered through the town. It seemed as if we saw everything in less than an hour. After a restless night on my part, we started out the next morning to find work. I was excited to find a job at the store and Elsie started working at a cafe. It was a great way to find out that this was a town of fun and determined people.
Over the next couple of days Elsie and I exchanged information about the people we had seen and what there jobs were. Soon we knew most everyone in the area. I found I liked living here and Chicago and those memories began to fade away.
Still I was concerned for I started to see less and less of Elsie over the next few weeks. She had started coming in later and later. I didn’t want to say anything but I felt I couldn’t avoid the conversation any longer. People were saying such horrible things about her when they thought I wasn’t listening. It hurt me to hear, she was my friend.
That Thursday night was one I will never forget. I had stayed up later than usual so that when Elsie came in I could talk with her.
"Elsie, people are saying some really bad things about you." I blurted.
"So, why is that a problem?" was her quick reply.
Comments: During this rewrite I am working to smooth out some transitions and give more depth to the story and characters. Instead of posting the whole story I will email the updates of this first draft to anyone who would like to read what I am doing. You can request the updates by sending and email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with story in the subject line.
I continue to hope this will inspire all of you to take the plunge and write a story for the www contest.