Majestic Mountain

Love is as majestic as a mountain
Love is as majestic as a mountain | Source

A Time to Listen

The old deserted farm seemed to be a perfect meeting place for me and Joe. I had given it a lot of thought, taking Joe's comfort into consideration. He appreciated serene surroundings, fresh country air and most of all, seclusion. I like all of that too but I had to be sure to accommodate Joe. I'd done enough to upset and irritate him last week-end. I wanted to redeem myself as best I could.

I felt a surge of excitement and relief when I heard the familiar rumble of his muffler coming up the dusty drive. Relief, because I wouldn't have blamed him if he'd have blown me off and just parked himself at Jessie's Bar with the guys from work. He didn't do that. He came to meet me despite the possibility of yet one more futile conversation about our shaky future.

Well, the shaky part, that's my fault, not Joe's by any stretch. No, Joe's vision of our future was as he'd told me time and time again, as real and stable and strong as Majestic Mountain. As that thought trailed off, Joe had reached me in front of the cabin and his six foot four frame bent way down to plant a kiss on my head.

"Hey Joe" I half-whispered as I looked at him and smiled. "Did I ever tell you when you kiss my head like that, it makes me giddy?"

"No, Carla, ya never told me but I can tell."

"Oh really Joe? Just how can you tell how I feel?" Joe would have been disappointed had I not snapped back in my bratty tone of voice.

"Well girl, it's that giggle of yours. Gives you away every time. C'mon let's do what we do best and park our butts on the grass and stare at Majestic Mountain."

And so we sat, in the stillness and such utter silence, I swear I could hear our hearts beating. There she was, just as beautiful and awesome as she's been since Joe and I first met on this farm, when we dubbed her Majestic Mountain.

Back then we were just snotty-nosed kids, dragged by our Dads from our farm to theirs so we could learn to care for the horses our families raised. Joe loved it. I did not and would pawn off my share of work as often as I could. Joe covered for me always. I liked that about him.

Neither of us could have known so many years ago that one day we would fall in love. I mean fall madly in love like we were plain crazy.

the old train that was left behind.
the old train that was left behind. | Source

A walk in the present

Joe stood and held out his hand to help me up. We walked towards the acres where the prized horses had run and played and grazed as Joe and I lovingly brushed each horse, one by one for hours on end. We spoke softly to those animals we'd adopted as our best friends and brushed until their manes sparkled in the sun.

My sixth sense never failed me. I had no doubt Joe was about to speak in that "Let's get serious" tone that I could not evade.

"So Carla, what is it you want me to know today that you haven't already told me?"

"Joe, it's not that I have more to say. It's just that I need to know you understand my reasons for............."

"For what, Carla? For you telling me you're not sure we should get married?" Do you think it will hurt less if I know why you feel that way? Do I need to know why you have fears or reservations? Carla, I don't want to know those things. OK? Spare me."

"Damn you, Joseph Allen Williams!" There you go as always. Could you ever let me finish a thought before you interrupt? Right now I feel like that lonely old abandoned train on those dead tracks, Joe. Please hear me out. Make an effort to at least pretend you're listening!"

"Well, Damn it to you too, Carla Jean Mason!" There you go as usual. You know I don't pretend and I won't pretend. I love you, Carla and all I know is that you and I belong together forever. You say you love me Carla, well do you? Carla, look at me."

Joe was not about to budge and I couldn't have moved if I wanted to. I could only look down as the tears poured down my face. The God's honest truth was that I didn't know why I was scared to take that huge step with Joe. I didn't know what sort of thing was going on inside me. Was I feeling authentic warnings of some kind? Is this normal? Do I love Joe? Of course I love Joe.

The crumbling old barn made a good shelter for the families of feral cats.
The crumbling old barn made a good shelter for the families of feral cats. | Source

The showdown.

As we neared the old barn, I could hear the furry residents meowing in harmony. I figured they were thanking me for bringing them the treats I'd placed by the door. It made me happy to know that all the feral cats from miles around had found shelter from the elements in that wooden barn that looked as though it would topple any moment. It was strong enough to house several mamas and their litters. They would be fine.

"I asked you to look at me, Carla, please." Joe's voice had softened. He lifted my face by my chin and wiped the tears from my face with his thumbs. He took my eyes captive in his own and again there was silence. Joe's eyes were the epitome of love if ever I saw any. He'd always been able to stare his way into the depths of my heart without saying a word. This moment, that power was stronger than ever.

"Carla, this is the last time I'm going to stand before you with this pain in my gut that's ripping me apart. You either love me or you don't. If you do, I want to be your husband, Carla. In my heart and with every fiber of my being, I know you're the woman I want as my wife. No more questions Carla. You never need to doubt me. Tell me Carla, once and for all, what's it gonna be?"

Hello Grandma and Grandpa.  It's me, Carla...you remember Joe?
Hello Grandma and Grandpa. It's me, Carla...you remember Joe? | Source

We're where we belong

I tried to speak but my throat wouldn't let me at that moment. I stood on my tip toes and stretched up as high as I could to put my hands on Joe's shoulders and pulled his face to mine. The spark we have always shared is overwhelming and as I melted into his arms, he held on tighter. I realized we were both sobbing. Struggling for composure, I whispered over and over again, "Joe, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, forgive me....I love you. I love you and I never want us to be apart."

It seemed as though it was hours that we stood in that spot and held one another for dear life. Instinctively and because we'd grown to do so much in sync, we held hands and strolled back toward the cabin. On the way, we passed the small family burial plot where my great grandparents had been laid to rest.

My hero Joe came to the rescue to brighten the mood. He nodded toward the headstones and spoke to great grandma and grandpa Mason.

"You've never met me Mr & Mrs. Mason, but I'm gonna be your great grandson. Carla has agreed to be my wife and I want you to know, I will love her and protect her forever."

"Oh Joe, how sweet. I just heard them say they're very happy for us."

We laughed together and stepped through the cabin door. Joe turned out the lights.

More by this Author


Comments 63 comments

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 10 days ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Thanks Susan.....This story was a response to Bill's challenge. He provided the photos as prompts to the challenge. I've only written 2 or 3 pieces in response to any challenge. I can't ignore Bill's requests.

There were some really great hubs done by the many writers who accepted this challenge. The winner was Mike Mcbdbks. No surprise!

I'm glad you liked mine. I guess everyone likes a love story! Even old ladies like me!! LOL.....Good to hear from you, Susan.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 10 days ago from Ontario, Canada

Oh Paula what a wonderful story. Happy Thanksgiving!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 6 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

I should write MORE than I do~~fiction or non-fiction!! Thanks GF.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 weeks ago from South Africa

Lovely story, my fellow-Aries! You should write more fiction :)


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Thank you Robert. The pictures were chosen by billybuc (Bill Holland) from which we were to create our story around....or be inspired by. So many responded to his challenge. He is loved and respected here by all.


Robert Sacchi profile image

Robert Sacchi 2 months ago

A nice romance story. The pics do a good job of complimenting the story.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Mike, "All" is as fine as it will ever be, in my life. Some things, better than others. I tolerate the rest.

So nice of you to stop by to say Hi. In fact, you are the nicest man I've encountered in at least 45 years. and that's a long long time. :)

Everyone loves a "Love Story," I would guess. The more fantastic, the better, don't you think? You know, especially like the ones that rarely end so beautifully.

Hoping all is well in your world too. Peace, Paula


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Paula - So many are drawn here to your story. It must be time to start penning another. Hope all is well.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

MAN...Thank you so much. Enjoy your week-end my friend. Peace, Paula


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 months ago from london

A cute story, that one fpherj48. Quite charming. You wove some love and romance in this one. Great!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Vellur.....What a special thing to say about my story. Thank you so much. You've made my morning. Paula


Vellur profile image

Vellur 3 months ago from Dubai

A sweet lovely story full of warmth and love, enjoyed reading.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Emese +

Nell

Thank you both for enjoying my love story. I think we were all pulling for Joe!! He's a sweetie.......Good to see you girls!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 months ago from England

Hi Paula, love your story! how many of us have had doubts? I know I did! love the way you wove this together! amazing as always!


Emese Fromm profile image

Emese Fromm 3 months ago from The Desert

Hi, Paula, this is such a great love story! I could feel the struggle Carla was facing, even if it wasn't totally clear. That feeling is so real for most of us, facing a huge step into a new life. I was hoping that she would say yes in the end. Beautifully written.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 months ago from Central Florida

I'm 5'2" with eyes of blue....

Love you, too, my dear, outspoken friend!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Hey Girlfriend....I'm really happy to see you! LOL...I suppose there's a tiny sliver of real life in everything we write, don't you think? I didn't create Joe or Carla from anyone I can "consciously" think of at the moment.....but.....Can we really be sure?

So glad you like a love story as much as I do. Short? I'm not sure what qualifies as short. Isn't that relative? Next to 6'4", I think 5'3" is pretty short. Next to Linda Sue (Sunshine) I'm TALL! LOL What's your height, "short shit??" LOL! Love ya, Paula


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 months ago from Central Florida

What a wonderful love story, Paula!

I've been holding off on reading the entries to Bill's challenge so my muse wouldn't get swayed by what we read.

I just love this story. Is there any truth to it? Is this how you and your husband came to be? And are you a short shit like me? :-)


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

LOL.....Yeah Randy~~Imagine that! I believe the term is "hopeless romantic."


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 months ago from Southern Georgia

Gee Paula, I never knew you were such a romantic. You did a great job of using the photo prompts to spin your tale around.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Yes, I agree lambservant. Carla made the right decision! Thanks for stopping by!


lambservant profile image

lambservant 3 months ago from Pacific Northwest

I live a good live story. Joe is very endearing. Carla was smart to finally surrender because Joe is special. I love the ending. It's very sweet.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

That's the beauty of fiction, I think. Each reader can have their own unique analysis of the characters and their words & deeds.....It's a world where we can dream and find similarities within our own lives.

Fiction let's us fantasize on and on....

I'm happy my story gave you time to reflect. Yes, I agree. Carla made the right decision....the only one she should have. Peace, Paula


Missy Smith profile image

Missy Smith 3 months ago from Florida

Paula, this was such a beautiful love story. Love... it's what we all yearn for, in hopes we find it in the truest way like your two characters here; Carla and Joe.

The thing that struck me was Carla's struggle to say yes. Life and Love together can be very hard. You may love someone with no doubt at all, but their way of life and the way they like to live it, may not be your cup of tea. I sensed this was maybe Carla's apprehension. After all, she never liked the chores of a farm life. Maybe she had dreams of her own that she was afraid to let go of. However, love can be the one dream we just can't live without no matter the lifestyle we must lead to hold onto it, and dreams we give up to keep it.

Yes, I believe love is a choice, and most times; we don't fall in love with the perfect circumstance. Heck, most of us never find and fall in love with the perfect person, so if and when you do, is there really any other choice to make? In the end Carla realized that.

Great story! Great Hub! :)


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Diana....Sooo nice to see you after my long stretch of down time. Thank you for stopping by to read my love story. I'm pleased you see Joe as a "hero".....that's exactly what he is.....Peace, Paula


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 months ago

Paula, you left us hanging! I love a story with a hero. You are such a creative writer.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

mmmmmYummy! Green tea & pickle juice! The Juice of the gods!

Well, at least you have a color theme.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 months ago from Texas

'Cause I mean it. I'd like to see more fiction from you, actually.

Stopped back by to get your link to add the links at the bottom of my hub to the ones I've read.

But gotta run now. . ..just took a sip of my green tea with honey and YUCK. . . I got pickle juice in it somehow. OMG - gag!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Suzie......So nice to see you, my friend from Dublin! It's been a while. I don't get around as much as I used to and I miss everyone.

Thanks for stopping by! Are you taking up Bill's challenge? I'll be watching. Take care girl.....Peace, Paula


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

FA.......Thanks!! I'm so glad my love story has been well-received. I guess we all need some fantasy to escape to these days! I have a friend that cares for feral cats. At any given time, she'll have 5 or 6 cats hanging out in her yard because she feeds them and tries to teach them some human contact. Her neighbors actually call her the "Cat Lady!" LOL

Thanks for stopping by. :)


Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 3 months ago from Dublin, Ireland

Hi Paula, love it! How fast you rose to Bill's challenge and what an escape! Well done you my friend, lovely to read your short story has me thinking I may just give it a lash!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 months ago from USA

Characters were real right down to the angst and pressure. And I loved the barn of feral cats.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Theresa....absolutely! Give it a whirl. I just know you'll give us a wonderful story.. YES! Join in the competition! Good luck, Paula


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 months ago from southern USA

Yes, Paula, who wouldn't fall for Joe!

I am torn about the challenge as I was about ready to publish another hub, but then Bill issued this challenge. These challenges are so much fun for sure. It's fun to read all the different stories everyone comes up with using the same photo prompts. I do have a story brewing in my head being I missed the last challenge using a mountain, as I came up with an idea back then and really waited too long to participate. Now, here is another opportunity to maybe give it a go.

Peace


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Hi Jodah......I guess I did respond quickly. I thought I'd go for it before I changed my mind! Glad you liked my love story.....who doesn't like to hear about love? There's so much chaos & pain all around us, it's nice to "escape" for a while. Perhaps that's one of the benefits we writers have. We can sneak off into our own little worlds.......Thanks so much Jodah. Peace, Paula


Laurinzo Scott profile image

Laurinzo Scott 3 months ago from Phoenix, Az.

Thank you so much for your kind words Paula...


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Laurinzo.....I'll be very happy if you are inspired to accept the challenge due to reading my love story. Please do write/ You always do a wonderful job. Thanks for the visit. Peace, Paula.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

Wow, you were quick off the mark answering Bill's challenge. this is a wonderful love story with a feel good ending. well done Paula.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

MzB.....Thank you so much. I simply couldn't let her walk away from him. She'd have been s fool. I'm glad you enjoyed this love story and appreciated the ending.

I have to think that maybe my muse had a moment of wishful thinking. Or perhaps a walk down memory lane. :)


Laurinzo Scott profile image

Laurinzo Scott 3 months ago from Phoenix, Az.

Very well done... am questioning if I am up to the challenge now... WOW!!!


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 months ago

That's a wonderful love story, Paula. I have to admit I wondered if Carla was going to let him walk away. I love the ending. BTW, the summary doesn't show as a challenge in the feeds, it just shows if we are thumbing through.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Frank &

Eric

Thanks for reading and giving your thoughts on my story. Looks like love is a universal language. Who in the world has never been in love??


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Bro

Shyron &

Maria...........

Three of the most awesome people I know and love! How does a girl get this lucky? You're all way too sweet. I appreciate you all so much.

Shyron, dry your eyes..LOL.....I made Joe my kind of man. So, actually, I was going to make Carla walk away from him so I could have him!! LOL!! I know~~ I have issues.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Oh Paula,

This story has me slack-jawed...I am gaga for a love story...

And if 'Nicholas Sparks' is reading this (and we all know he is...), step aside and allow effer to show you how romance rolls... :)

Just left Mike's story... This competition is 'tighter than a drum'. Your bro has his work cut out... Love, Maria


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 months ago

Paula, you made this so real,

When Carla started to cry so did I

You wrote of peace, and quiet love

Like the nesting of Turtle Doves

And you like Ruby have raised the bar

For the rest of us

*

I love it

Blessings my friend


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

Obviously, judging from the comments, this does not suck, Sis! You are, always have been, and always will be, a good writer. And hey, you're my Sis, so I'm always going to praise your work. LOL Filing this away until it's time to choose. Thank you my adorable sibling.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Shan......Nice of you to say! Thanks :)


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Joe - a man for all us men to strive to be like. I love love stories and this is a great one. Wonderful for the challenge.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 months ago from Shelton

I cant believe how good this was.. I enjoyed it.. very much :)


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 months ago from Texas

I get it. But you can relax because your "performance" was spot on!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Hi Theresa & thank you. Are you participating in the challenge? I hope so! Yes, this was fun to do for a little change. I might have made Joe a bit too sweet. I nearly fell in love with him myself!! LOL...


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 months ago from southern USA

Wow, Paula, there's nothing like breathing in that mountain air and scenery to get the heart pumping ...well, other than a fine man looking deep into your eyes and then you melting into his strong arms!

Love the romantic interlude.

Fantastic title for this challenge. I'm so glad you participated. What fun!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Well Shan, thanks for letting me know this is "flash fiction." I mean I know it is fiction, but I don't know how many words makes it qualify as "flash" fiction. I think Bill will be able to reconfirm.

In other words, if I've just written flash fiction, it was strictly by chance! LOL.

I haven't accepted too many of the challenges that have been put out by fellow-writers in my 5 years here. If it hadn't been Bill who threw this out here to us, I'd probably not have gone for it.

This may sound really kooky, but when I simply write because my muse has the need, it's like practicing my lines for a role in a play, when I'm filling a request or accepting a challenge, it's more like opening night!........Do you get me? For me it's the difference between studying for a test or actually taking the test! LOL.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 3 months ago from Texas

Paula, your characters 'feel' so real. I love it. I believe this is the first fictional piece of yours that I've read. Glad I did. The only problem I have with flash fiction, however, is that if it's good, it always leaves me wanting more of a story from it. I'm convinced you could write a novel and it would surely be a page turner.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Thanks Ruby.....I'll take your comment to heart. I hope bill gets a ton of responses. That's it for me for 2016!

Linda Sue

I want to hug Joe but Carla won't let me! LOL.....I took bill's challenge. I'm done. No more till next year! Thanks GF. Who YOU kidding? I couldn't teach you a thing, Mama!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

OK Mike.....Thank you. I'm sorry but I'm not familiar with all the techno tricks....I just read and write. Before my word processor, I had an electric typewriter, before that, a manual...and even further back, I actually used a pen! Bill will do whatever is necessary. he knows I'm clueless.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 3 months ago from Orlando, FL

I want to hug Carla and Joe! A huge group hug! Well done, Effer. You are a natural at storytelling. You could teach me a thing or two!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 months ago from Southern Illinois

Oh this one tugged at the heart strings. I could see Carla and Joe sitting and looking up at the majestic mountain. The love scene was beautiful. I loved it Paula. Well done my friend!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hi Paula - I don't see where the summary is shown. Just ignore me. Bill, I am guessing , will link to your contribution. I put a link to this story on the Hub I knocked out this morning.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Audrey. Thank you so much. Comments from fabulous writers like you and Mike are the best!....

Challenges are big leaps for me. I did this simply because it was Bill's challenge.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Mike.....I mentioned it is my response to Bill's challenge in the "summary"......that's not OK? or not appropriate enough? Should I add it at the end? By the way, where is the summary visible? I've only accepted 2 or 3 challenges and not for about 2 years or more.

Mike....please.....the day I am any competition to a giant like you, I'll sell everything I own and take to the road! LOL

Yeah, go figure. I never did a romantic story.....ever. (except in real life...)......I don't think I started out intending a love story in a serious vein. I had planned on it being funny. More closely related to my current love life.....you know, funny Ha ha! Invisible funny.

Well, tell me how I should slip in the mention of the challenge. Thanks Mike! I'll go now to read yours.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 3 months ago from California

There is a beautiful sense of peace and fulfillment in this, especially in the close--beautiful!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hey, hey Paula - aren't you quick on the writing challenge draw. (Do you think you ought to mention the challenge?) I did. Now, I know what the competition is like, well.........

Very good to see a post. And a love story to boot!

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