Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sample Saturday - July 26, 2014

Welcome to Sample Saturday. In this piece from Gone for a Soldier, the Owen Family Saga novel that will be released later this year, Rulon Owen says farewell to his family.

Rulon saw the bend in the road ahead where lay the turnoff to a lane that he could find on the darkest of nights. At the end of the lane, his family would be going about their daily tasks, perhaps thinking about him, perhaps not. He cleared the bend in the road and reined the horse into the wide path. He had to be quick. Harrisonburg wasn’t far away, as the crow flies, but he would need most of the time left of the day to make the trip on horseback.

Julianna saw him first when she turned from feeding the hogs. “Rulon!” his younger sister shouted, then dropped her pails and ran toward him, braids flying, spindly legs showing beneath her swirling skirt, skinny arms outstretched to him.

He dismounted before she reached him and caught her in his arms, noting the tears streaking her face.

“Why are you goin’ to fight?” The anxiety in her voice caused it to come out high and thin, and he hugged her tighter than before.

“Our country needs me,” he answered, muffling his answer against her sunbonnet.

“What if you die?” she wailed.

He couldn’t reply. When he raised his head to take a last look around the place, Ma was there with Marie beside her, their grave faces bringing a lump to his already tight throat.

Then Albert, the mischievous scamp, came running down the lane, with Pa and the rest of the boys walking behind him. Ben was the only one missing. They had made their farewells in town.

He had to hug them all, even Pa. Then Ma began a prayer, and they quit their hats, joined hands right there in the lane, and listened to her heartfelt plea for a short war and safety for the troops.

As Ma spoke the “amen” and the family joined in, Rulon was reminded that he hadn’t left Mary with a prayer. Mayhap he should have, instead of bedding her one last time. Devotion to God should be in their marriage, as it was in his parents’ union, he reminded himself. As he climbed on the horse, he pledged that he would be a better husband when he got the chance. If I get the chance.


Thank you for visiting! Please come back next Saturday for another sample of my writing.

Bestselling author Marsha Ward wrote the novella, Faith and the Foremen, in the Timeless Romance Anthology Old West Collection. She is the author of an acclaimed novel series featuring the Owen family. Her last published book, Spinster's Folly, won the 2013 USA Best Book Award for Western Fiction, and recently was named Finalist in Western Fiction in the 2014 International Book Awards. A former journalist, Ward has published over 900 articles, columns, poems and short stories. She is the founder of American Night Writers Association, a.k.a. ANWA.

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