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Riding The Rails- Short Story - A Challenge by Bill Holland

Updated on August 28, 2016
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My name is Ruby. I live in Southern Illinois. I love to write poetry, short stories and flash fiction. I am a retired R.N.

She wanted to climb a mountain and reach the apex.

Before leaving the place of her birth, an old run-down farm in Tennessee, Beatrice stopped at the old cemetery just across the road from an old barn that had seen better days, every time the wind blew she looked to see if it was still standing.

Her mother, father and baby brother were buried there. She'd never missed a day visiting and placing wild flowers on their graves'

She remembered how much her mother loved wild flowers, and it always made her smile thinking of her father coming into the kitchen with a freshly picked bouquet, and seeing her mothers eyes' light up with happiness and complete contentment.

Beatrice wished she could be content with the simple things in life like her mother, but as far back as she could remember, she wanted more.

The bright lights of Nashville wasn't what she dreamed about. She wanted to explore. She wanted to ride the rapids. She wanted to climb a mountain and reach the apex.

She wanted to ride a train from one end of the rails to the end of the tracks, and perhaps find her mother's contentment which had eluded her for twenty-eight years

The only train she'd seen was the old work-horse that carried grain to the mill pass her house several times a day.

The Auction

The auction lasted all day long. She'd sold off the farm equipment, the old house, barn and land

A wealthy farmer bought it all. Their home and section of land was adjacent to his rich fields.

She knew he would tear down the old house and barn and cultivate the land. He promised to build a fence around the little cemetery and keep it mowed.

She managed to make a fair sum of money from the sale, enough to buy a pickup and start her journey into the unknown.

She kept a handwritten note in her purse requesting she be returned home to the little cemetery when her time on earth ended, but in-between time she was going to explore all the things she'd dreamed about on the other side of that far away mountain.

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Very, very well done for something created so quickly. Your muse was just waiting to be set free, obviously. Thank you, Ruby! I'll put it in the folder and review it when the deadline passes.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 8 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hi Bill, as soon as I saw the mountain picture my muse took flight. I love to write something from a challenge. Thank you for the inspiration....

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 8 months ago from Nibiru

      very good short always exploring

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 8 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Ruby...Wow. Talk about whipping out a great story in a flash! How amazing this short story is. Flash fiction, right? You've had lots of practice with challenges. I think I've only been brave enough for 2 or 3. This one is the first in over 2 years. I didn't want to say no to our Bill.

      I think challenges are fun for a change of pace. Obviously you agree! It's not easy to make an impact in a short...but believe me, you sure did!!

      Nice work Ruby!

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 8 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Thanks Clive, glad you enjoyed my story.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 8 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Paula. There's something about a challenge that gets my writing juices flowing. I was really thinking of my sister Bea. She was so much like Beatrice in the story. She was always on the go, seeing new places, pulling her camper everywhere. Her home was just a place to rest before she started out on another new adventure. I miss her so badly. I went with her on many trips when I was a kid. I'm looking forward to your story. Thank you for a complimentary comment...

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 8 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      This was a story packed with imagination and flights of fantasy. The vision of the star struck young women was clear. Pocket full of money, tank full of gas and the open roads. Oh, how the road called to her.

      Very well done.

      Bill is going to have a very tough time judging this challenge /

      competition.

    • shprd74 profile image

      Hari Prasad S 8 months ago from Bangalore

      Ruby you story matches your pen name always_esploring.

      The story is very well written and has an emotional journey of a person on the move. Excellent. !!!

      -hari

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 8 months ago from southern USA

      Wow, Ruby, you certainly rose to the challenge and real quick too!

      I love this short story and how cleverly you've worked in each required photo Bill provided with your fantastic story. I could feel the momentum growing in her heart for adventure.

      Well done!

      Peace and blessings

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 8 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      You go girl! (And you certainly did.) You've great imagination Ruby. And even more important...you know how to use it. Very entertaining.

      More please.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 8 months ago from Texas

      Ruby, Ruby my gem of a friend

      You jumped right ahead

      Now where do the others begin

      My muse is still resting

      From working outside in the sun

      I must get to work on this

      While hubby is still sleeping

      There is a lot more outside work to be done

      *

      *

      I loved your story

      Blessings my friend

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 8 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Ah, the contest 'thickens' as the amazing plots our HP writers are developing based on Bill's photos, dear Ruby.

      This story allow an appreciation of the past as hopes and dreams become reality for Beatrice's future... This warms my heart - beautiful.

      Once again, not envying Bill who has to make a final decision. Love, mar

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 8 months ago

      Very nice presentation, Ruby. You are great at making a story from photos. I haven't had that kind of practice, but I may try as soon as I think a little more.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 8 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Geez Mike, I felt all the emotions you mentioned while I was writing this piece. I changed the video. Willie's song, ' On The Road Again ' goes so much better with this traveling adventure. Thank you much. Your comment is pleasing to ' me ' eye.....

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 8 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Thank you hari, so happy you enjoyed...

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 8 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hi Theresa, funny how the pictures reminded me of someone needing to get ' On The Road Again ' My sister Beatrice was like that. She had a pickup and camper and went everywhere. I went with her sometimes. She wasn't afraid of anything or anyone, not like me. lol Times were different back then, no terrorists. The living was easy and fun. Thank you.

      Blessings and hugs..

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 8 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hi Audrey, you put a BIG smile on my face with your endearing comment. I'm so happy you enjoyed my story.

      Hugs..

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 8 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Shyron

      It's ok to let your muse rest

      When she wakes you'll write one of the best

      Did you know red heads should stay out of the sun?

      Ah shucks, why miss all the fun?

      Put on your bonnet and run with the wind

      I'll be watching for your story my poetic friend

      Hugs and blessings..

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 8 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mar, Bill's challenge has brought out some great stories. It is so much fun to write from pictures, join in and have some fun. You could write a winner. Thank you for your positive encouragement. Love ya..

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 8 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hi MizBejabbers, I love to read your stories. I know you will write a great addition to this fun challenge. I'll be looking for your story. As you may remember, my son lives in Imboden, Ark., and I've seen an old barn and cemetery in the country close to where he lives. Thank you..

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 8 months ago from london

      Very nice story and with noble dreams, Ruby. You done good! Very effective use of the photos for the story. I like that. Following her stars, eh? Cool!

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 8 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Manatita, thanks for the nice story with noble dreams comment. I just read John's story and was blown away, it is so good. Are you going to enter the challenge? Please do. Bill said we could do poetry and there's no one better than you my friend. Love and peace...

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 8 months ago from london

      Ah Ruby, you're so kind. I'm actually a writer also. Creative writing is my thing. I'm in New York. Busy with spiritual celebrations. Perhaps when I get back. Just published another one for Gina, though. Day off today. Much Love.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 8 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      I hope Beatrice finds what she's looking for. This was just enough to wet my appetite for more.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon 8 months ago from Texas

      Hi, Ruby. You do say quite a bit with your flash fiction pieces. Personally, I find flash fiction, especially, and short stories too to be kind of challenging. It's hard to set the scene, get a feel for the characters, and tell a story with so few words.I like how Beatrice keeps a note with her so that she can be reunited with her family some day. I'm with Dana - too bad the challenge rules state no two-part stories. The adventures of Beatrice would make a good series, I think.

      I need to read more of your stories. I always enjoy your stories. Not enough time to read anything anymore, it seems.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 8 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Manatita, I know you write fiction and you write well. Either genre will be great. I'll be looking for it. Have a great time in New York...

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 8 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Dana. I guess I like flash fiction because I find it difficult to write a long story. I can't imagine ever writing a book. I'm glad you liked my story and wanted more. Thank you much...

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 8 months ago

      I've come across fields sectioning off old cemeteries and I found your mention of it here enjoyable. Very creatively written!

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 8 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Shanmarie. I'm just the opposite, short stories are my thing. I think my attention span is limited. That's why I love poetry so much. I have a feeling Beatrice will have a blast before she returns home, at least I hope so. lol..Thanks for reading and commenting...

    • always exploring profile image
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      Ruby Jean Fuller 8 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello teaches, nice to see you on my page. Happy you enjoyed. Thank you for your complimentary comment...

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 7 months ago from Central Florida

      What a lovely story with a message to follow our dreams. Nice job, Ruby!

      Love the Willie Nelson video. "On the Road Again" brings back very specific memories.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Shauna. I am waiting for your mountain story. You are such a great writer. I dearly love Willie too. I have a few memories about being on the road which I cherish. Thank you for coming. Hugs..

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 7 months ago from Central Florida

      I posted it about an hour ago, Ruby. It's called "The Legend of Whisper Mountain".

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Shauna, I read it, and I loved it. To me the outstanding part of your story was the hick dialect, which is difficult to do. Thanks again...

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 7 months ago from Central Florida

      Thank you, my friend!

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 months ago from Southern Illinois

      You are welcome my friend!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 7 months ago from California

      Beautifully done Ruby! Truly, your muse was with you! Your writing here just flowed so easily

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Audrey. Thank you. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed my story.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 7 months ago from England

      Great story Ruby! love the way they ended up following their dreams! wonderful!

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hi Nell. I'm happy that you liked my story. Thank you so much...

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 7 months ago from Shelton

      Always.. this was actually pretty good.. you did a banged up job.. loved it

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Frank. Your comment, " banged up job " made me LOL. Thank you, happy you enjoyed my story..

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 7 months ago from london

      You're so sweet, Ruby.

      Arrived yesterday. So tired! But wish to respond to not only my, but other Hubs. So if I feel better, perhaps Saturday. I see that Nellieanna has written something. Awesome! I do have another three new poems though. Later, perhaps Saturday.

      How are you? Are you well? ceeccil@hotmail.com.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Manatita. I just read Nellieanna's contribution and it was beautiful! I am well. Get some rest. Hugs...

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 7 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Ruby, flash fiction is where you live, my friend. This is wonderful! I so enjoyed this read and answer to Bill's challenge.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Genna. So happy that you enjoyed this flash. Thank you for a beautiful comment.. Hugs..

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 7 months ago from SW England

      Lovely story, Ruby! We never know where our lives can take us unless we take that step into the beyond, into the unknown. This begs for a sequel; did she find that sense of wonder?

      Ann

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Ann. I think Beatrice is still riding the rails and having a ball. I hope she finds out what's on the other side of the mountain. This was soo much fun. I hope more people will issue a challenge. Thank you so much...

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