Humor Fiction posted July 7, 2024 Chapters:  ...4 5 -6- 7... 


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The detour through Amish country continues

A chapter in the book Detour

Missteps (Rachelle)

by Rachelle Allen




Background
Gretchen and Rachelle, en route to an International FanStory Convention in Atlantic City, NJ, experience car trouble in the middle of Amish country, Pennsylvania.
My leopard stilettos and I clamber into the buggy like billy goats on a craggy rise. Rebekah looks on with a combination of rapt fascination and high amusement.

We are shoulder to shoulder now, she and I, which affords me an up-close look at her pale blue-green eyes, flawless alabaster skin and coppery red hair. Solomon and Simeon can be described with all the same adjectives. In addition, the whiskers that outline their jaw bones are a gorgeous shade of medium auburn. I realize that I have misjudged their ages, though. My newest guess is that they're all still in their mid-to-late teens.

I smile and say loudly, so as not to exclude the boys from the conversation, "Well, so of course I love your gorgeous red hair, you three. In our culture, we redheads are called 'gingers.' Have you ever heard that term?"

The siblings smile shyly and all shake their heads.

"Like the spice!" I add, then am grateful for their polite Amish ways. None of them says what an Englisher - a non-Amish person - would in such a moment: Uh, DUHHHHHH, Captain Obvious!

"Mine comes from my father," I tell them. "Which of your parents is the redhead?"

I see the boys' backs stiffen at once and watch as tears flood instantaneously down Rebekah's pale white cheeks.

"Oh, heavens!" I gasp. "I am so sorry! What have I said?"


Rebekah chokes out, in the quietest of tones, "Our maam. She had red hair." Then she adds, "You look so much like her." A second wave of tears spills forth.


Over his shoulder, with eyebrows linking together at opposing angles, Simeon hisses in Pennsylvania Deutsch, "Rebekah! Nicht fanna rum!" I know that the Amish are very private people, so I'm guessing he is rebuking her for sharing any part of their personal life with a stranger.

Rebekah hangs her head, and her shoulders begin to pulse.

"Sorry," Simeon says in my direction.

"No, no, Simeon; I'M the one who's so sorry! I feel absolutely terrible!"

"No, please," says Solomon. "She's not wrong. You do look very much like our maam."

"She was killed by an Englisher in a car one month ago today," Rebekah blurts out to everyone's astonishment.

Her brothers both shout, "Rebekah!" Solomon adds, "Nicht fitt."

"Ohhh, Honey," I say and wrap my arms around her because, Amish or not, maternal instinct is a universal language. "I am just so, so sorry." I find myself rocking and patting her ever so slightly.

There is a moment of painful silence, and the Jewish Mommie in me knows at once that they all need to release their sorrow, so I ask, "How did it happen?"

Rebekah says, "We were coming to live in the new house we'd built on Uncle Ezra's farm. We hadn't even slept in it yet. Uncle Ezra only has Hannah, so he needed help with the farm." She takes a moment to wipe her cheeks with her apron. "Solomon and Simeon are strong and were going to help him, along with our Daed - our father - who was Uncle Ezra's younger brother."

I nod and release her from our embrace so we can share eye contact.

"Maam and Daed were in the first buggy, with our sister, Esther. Solomon and I were far behind because our buggy was dragging a trailer of our furniture, and Simeon was even further behind with another trailer of furniture, too."

I notice that Solomon has slowed the horses down even though thunder is rumbling like drums at the Battle of the Bands portion of a fireman's carnival. Unless Helene and Ezra's farm is less than a minute away, we are going to be caught in a deluge.

"There was a curve in the road, and a car came around it too fast and in the wrong lane." Rebekah is now sobbing into her hands. "We all saw them get hit. We saw them die - even the horses. We couldn't save anyone."

The rain arrives in blinding sheets that the wind turns into lances, striking solidly, en masse, against us all. In less than a minute, we are completely drenched. I turn around to look at Gretchen's buggy and blithely wave for good measure.

Solomon guides the horses up a long, straight driveway then brings them to a halt in front of the second plain, solid-looking white house on the property. "Go," he says to Rebekah and me. "Simeon and I will tend to the horses."

But as I begin to debark from the buggy, my stiletto jams between the rungs of the sidebar, causing me to pitch into the air like an acrobat in the center ring of the Barnum and Bailey tent. As I leave terra firma, I scream like a mountain yodeler, then land, face first, with a pronounced "SCHLOOOOOOP!" into the marshy quagmire of the front lawn, eye level with the lead horse's hooves.

Thinking he's just been blessed with room service, the horse lowers his head and begins eating the black flower arrangement on my hat. It is obviously so delicious that he ratchets his head - and my hat - up and down, up and down, snorting and whinnying the entire time. One does not need to speak equine to know that this is the meal of his dreams.

My buggymates are trying to help extricate me from the mud, but we are all laughing too hard to have any success.

Suddenly, we hear Ezra shout, "The goats! The goats!"

We look over to see that, in the fleeting moment between parking the buggy and now, they have helped themselves to my special eco-friendly hemp totes and are pulling my clothes out, one at a time, like tissues from a Kleenex box, and scurrying off with them, in the driving rain, toward the far pastures.

Simeon, Solomon, Rebekah and I are now beyond help. All we can do is laugh uncontrollably, like naughty children during the Silent Devotion portion of a prayer vigil.

We watch Ezra, Helene, Hannah and Gretchen shaking their collective heads at us as they scramble for cover beneath the front porch roof of their house. Gretchen throws both her hands into the air and shouts over the din of the downpour, "You have ISSUES, Allen! What kind of teacher ARE you? This is not exactly setting a fine example, I trust you realize!"

But she looks so ridiculous with her hair in soppy strands all over her face and forehead, like eels trying to slither down to the creek, that we chorus out a quartet of collective hoots in response.

Amish life is the best!



Recognized

#2
July
2024


This is a fictitious story being co-written by FanStorians GW Hargis and me. Each new chapter is written by each of us in our own pov. In order to get the full impact of this novel, it's best to read both, so "fan" us both, if you haven't already, so you don't miss any installments!! xoxox
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