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The Carriage Driver – The Diarist

Updated on August 28, 2018
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She often wondered where her publisher found the worn leather journals he kept supplying her with. He would arrive, give her a new journal as a gift and scurry around looking for a diary that was filled and rush off and set in motion another book. He would have a copy made and rush it to her illustrator who had done every title from the very first.

In the early days, the publisher sat and drank tea. He went through the proprieties of polite society and then scurried off with her latest journal. These days she hardly knew that he had arrived or taken a journal and left a blank journal. She sat and wrote. She made her tea and listened to music that made her soul tremble, and she scribbled her adventurous thoughts - rich and dark, creating tapestries of sanctuaries, and flowered pathways and lush valleys. Her bees would buzz and her birds would sing as they flowed from her pen. She was both singular and universal.

Her writing room was simple. With the success of her second work of poetry, she took the funds and bought a hundred-year-old fold down desk and placed a modest lamp on it. Now fourteen books later the desk feels like hers and her hands are fragile.

Her illustrator took her words and garnished her pages with pastels of glimmering water, birds-on- the-wing, and youthful bodies casually draped. He drew vines climbing along trellises, peaches with a morning blush, anything as soft as her words as sweet as her thoughts. He rejected most of his work himself. He just kept tacking them all along the walls of his small studio. There were drawings of eyes so deep that you could walk right into them, there was sketch after sketch of the most delicate female forms. There were kittens and dancing muses, none ever good enough to make the pages of her books.

His hands had become gnarled and caused him pain. There were pastel crayons in cans. There were watercolor paint brushes laying in every nook and cranny and charcoals of every description. His publisher would arrive carrying a bag of groceries, which included coffee. He would set down a fresh supply of pens and Indian ink, crayons and he made sure each new color found its way into his toolbox. He would take what he needed from the walls and go join them with the words of his diarist.

The publisher gave himself credit - set in motion the outpouring of love flowing from his gifted flowers.

Her poetry titled, “The Inner Light of Her Eyes’ was still selling copies after all these years.

Mission walls can be seen in the distance
and garden paths lead to emerald pools
resting after a morning swim
you ask yourself the meaning of happiness
and you rise, and raise your face to the sun
noon turns to dusk as you walk through the meadows
night brings you dreams that see you safely to dawn



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It was a warm Spring evening, she found herself outside walking along the commons. She wore a long flowing dress which was so common among the young girls with stars in their eyes. Her auburn hair caught the breeze as she skipped through the grass.

A young man walked along the commons, his dungarees bunched at the ankles were paint stained, as was his shirt and his fingers. His thick black hair was disheveled. His lean body moved with swagger. There was nothing rushed about him.

She watched him approaching with interest.

Nuelle’s ears twitched as the Carriage Driver became aware of their approach. She was the first to arrive. Climbing aboard, she announced ‘what a wonderful evening for a carriage ride,’ loud enough for the young man to hear.

He stopped and looked up into her eyes. He wanted terribly to paint her from that very instant. “Can I share the ride with you?” He asked, climbing in before she had time to reply. “My name is Maxwell. I am usually very shy, but there is something about you…”

He did not finish his sentence.

“I’m Gene. I am a writer. I see so much in everything, I can hardly put my pen down. I hope to make my living writing.”

“I hope to find a job where I can illustrate books.” He made a face, “But no one will hire me without the proper experience.”

At the Carriage Driver’s light touch of the reigns, Nuelle pulled onto the cobblestoned street. The air was scented and she thought to take the long way towards Wordsworth, then Byron Street, down Milton heading back up to Hogarth and Trumball near Breed’s Island. The sea air drew her as strongly as fresh cut hay.

The couple sat chatting and it was not but a moment before she took his hands in hers as they talked.

Nuelle whisked her long white tail as the wheels clattered on the cobblestones. She turned into the long curving entrance to a castle whose spires touched the sky. The wheels played a symphony as they moved along their path at a slow gate.

Maxwell scooted closer to Gene. Their legs touched. “Would you look at that castle? I never knew there was a Trumball Castle.”

Nuelle did not stop, the couple watched as they passed the castle with sparks of lights dancing in the windows, and big inviting doors they felt sure hid mysteries.

“Wish I brought a pen and a journal, I could write all day just about such a beautiful entrance.” She squeezed Maxwell’s hand.

“I feel the same way. If I had a jar of Indian ink and a sketch pad, I could create a fairytale lane leading us to the safety of that castle. Surely there is music there.”

Their heads turned as Nuelle continued on and the castle receded into the distance and the cobblestone orchestra laid down their instruments.

Both Gene and Maxwell turned and climbed to their knees on the seat and watched the sky and sea from above. Their senses were spinning magnets trying to absorb the energy and sights as they continued on.

The Carriage driver was an old hand at this trip. He often wished he could make the trip more often. The carriage and Nuelle leveled out as they reached the destination. She pulled to a gate that had swung open to reveal a beautiful garden. The birds and flowers and bees and trees that flowed through her poetry greeted her. The carriage driver climbed down and extended his hand to help first Maxwell then Gene climb down.

Maxwell stared, he turned in a circle, he was sure that he had drawn everything before him. The garlands and vine covered trellis, the singing bird-on-the-wing, and the happy bees. He had drawn the winking flowers and the colorful dragonflies and delicate female forms.

Maxwell and Gene turned and looked at the carriage drive. Gene took the two steps that separated them and embraced him. Maxwell seeing this also gave the carriage driver a hug who then climbed back onto the carriage and gave Nuelle the touch of the reigns as she began the journey home.

Maxwell and Gene watched a tall, lean man wearing a tuxedo approach the open gate. When he arrived, he said, “Follow me, please.”

The two did just that. The man walked slowly allowing Maxwell to take in all the beauty of the garden and allowing Gene to compose in her mind. She said, “Max, I think we are on the other side of sunset.”

The person leading them reached the door. He swung it open and waved the couple inside. The swinging of the door caused the members to put down their pens, or their books or papers or to stop typing and turn towards the door.

Upon seeing Maxwell and Gene in the doorway, every member in the room stood and began their applause.

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    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello annart. You chose my favorite episode of The Carriage Driver series. I have a few others but I still think this is my favorite. Odd about the street names, I use an old antique map of Boston to idenify locations. I am now sure that Boston was laid out by someone from Sussex.

      Thank you for visiting this story and your kind compliment. I appreciate the votes and sharing.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 years ago from SW England

      This is outstanding! You took my breath away. The flow, the imagery and the emotions here just drew me in; I could smell the flowers.

      You mentioned Wordsworth and Byron Street. I come from Sussex, in the south of England. My mother was born in Wordsworth Street, the next street was Byron and it was in Hove, near the sea. I grew up close by on the wonderful Sussex Downs and you took me back there too! How strange that was!

      I enjoyed reading this. You are a talented writer. Up +++ and shared.

      Ann

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Thanks Bill. Paula has written you the greatest book review ever written, so you must have achieved master storyteller or greater status as well.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I have not read much of your work, Mike. It's a personal issue in that I don't have the time to follow a series and give it the attention it deserves. What I can say from reading an occasional story by you is that you are excellent at painting a scene, describing characters, and telling a story with great rhythm. In other words, I consider you a master storyteller.

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Mekenzie - This one is my personal favorite of this series - so far. Thanks for spending your time today reading some of my work. I appreciate your mentioning the series of your FB writers page Mekenzie's world.

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 

      4 years ago from Michigan

      Mike, I love the world you portray and the winsome characters' personalities which are filled with quirky life and colorful imagery.

      Your surprise endings leave one wanting more .. more Mike more!

      Recommending the series on my FB writers page Mekenzie's World. Voted up across shared!

      Thanks for a delightful read.

      Mekenzie

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Mary. I know I should not say things like this, but this is my favorite of the series. As we all here are writers this one appeals to our inner beings. Thanks for taking the time to visit here this morning.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      4 years ago from Florida

      I am still so far behind reading your wonderful stories, but I'm trying! This one caused goosebumps. You have such a wonderful way of describing scenes that puts the reader right in there with your characters.

      This lovely couple just "came alive", and I love the way you ended the story. Voted UP, etc. and shared for others to enjoy!

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello DDE. So kind of you. Thanks for the visit.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Always something new from you and so beautifully written. Voted and interesting.

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Audrey H., Thank oyu very much. I think the appeal of this story is that al who read it would like to be acknowledged for their writing, so it has a built-in 'hot button' for each of us. Happy New Year.

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Audrey. What a very nice thing to say. All of us here on Hubpages are here because we want our writing to improve and to receive input from fellow writers. You teach us all to hear music, see music and feel music, and you have 1500 + followers that tell me you are doing a nice job of it. You notice I am not courageous enough to write non-fiction. Nappy New Year to you and yours and I look forward to reading your work.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      4 years ago from California

      Happy New Year Mike! This piece feels so poetic to me--and your flow is wonderful--thank you --this is a gift!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      What a wonderful way to begin the New Year! My goal and gift to myself is to improve as a writer. As I read through your story I discovered elements that are missing in my own writing. Your use of verbs is magnificent! (Did I say that right?)

      I want to write more descriptively. Your writing is a marvelous lesson for me. Love this story and will be reading it often as an example of the writer I want to be.

      Happy New Year my friend! Audrey

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello snakeslane. I hope you have power and heat as you enter the colc-cold season there. I do know how much adjustment is needed when the power goes off. I am off in search of a portable radio and mathces to light the stove. No fun at all to make that adjustment. Today will be better.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      4 years ago from Canada

      Hi Mike, Monday was a rude awakening, especially after a stormy Sunday that knocked out television and cable internet for 24 hours on our street. (A big tree fell across the line). Lucky I had a stash of old National Geographics to thumb through, quite a shock to go without the online connection.

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Nellieanna, pardon me for being so bold as to point this hub out to you, but I thought this particular piece may be to your liking. Based on your comment, I see I may have been right. Wishing you Happy New Year and a bountiful 2015 filled with stories and poems flowing from your pen.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      4 years ago from TEXAS

      So much mystery here, yet so familiar. I love this, Mike! Thank you for pointing me to it and for sharing the depths of your heart and mind through the story! I will continue ruminating on the characters, the scenes, the wondrous conclusion, and will surely return to read it again and again!

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Martie. Thank you for your visit today. No rush, please, on getting on this carriage to visit the other side of sunset. This things come in their own time. Happy New Year wishes are being sent off to SA to you and yours.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      4 years ago from South Africa

      Mike, you are making me look forward to get on that carriage that will take me to the other side of sunset. Fantasy at its best!

      Happy New Year to you and your beloveds.

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Kim. Thank you for visiting my story today. You have given me a very nice compliment for which I thank you. Happy New Year to you and yours.

    • klidstone1970 profile image

      இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу 

      4 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

      You paint such a pretty picture with your words. This was beautifully written. Thank you for allowing to step into the Carriage Driver's world. Happy New Year. Kim.

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Sha. Gene and Max were two halves of a whole. Together their work grew in acclaim and their journey and toil were rewarded. What more could we ask for? Happy New Year.

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Mary – Thank you for such a warm comment. As in life, there are just a few that will be hitching a ride from The Carriage Driver. I am glad you are one of them. I appreciate you staying with these stories. Happy New Year!

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Happy New Year Genna – I hope this year brings you more time to write, little stress and much laughter. Your words are very kind, thank you. I have images of hundreds of rooms in my head from the time I spent running around looking for books to sell. Often I would step into a cathedral of some genius’ making. Now I am sharing those images with you and each who stop by. I am not sure what to do with this series. And as for John Denver, I put a JD CD in the computer to take the edge off the silence and this song came on, I could not resist adding it.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Your imagery in this episode is outstanding, Mike. The flow is melodic and soothing. It seem Max and Gene found their fame after all. I think it's pretty cool that they stepped into a world of his creation.

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello snakeslane. What a nice thing to say. Wishing you the best in this new year. "What is this?" Seems to me I have been drawn to 'the place in between' that is the best I can do in answering the question

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      There you go again Mike, using your wonderful creativity to describe a world that moves the soul. The beauty of her writing combined with the beauty of his art all brought together by our already beloved Nuelle! Yup, you have a loyal following who would like to take a ride in that enchanted carriage!

      Happy New Year my friend.

      Voted all but funny.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      What I love about these stories, Mike, is the journey the reader takes into the lives of these travelers. With subtle yet profound beauty, your words become imagery, like those pastel drawings on the wall…echoes of the soul. I hope you realize that this series is really quite remarkable. Stunning and brilliant. I am such a fan. “You fill up our senses.” (That Denver song is one of my favorites.) As usual…voted up and more, and shared. Happy New Year, my friend! :-)

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      4 years ago from Canada

      Omg Mike! (again) What is this? This is amazing! I am blown away. Beautiful!

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Jodah, thanks for stopping in this evening. I am glad you are enjoying the storyline.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Mike, I love this "Carriage Driver" series. I am determined to keep up and follow every one. Just keep them coming and I'll be happy. A great write.

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello mar. Happy New Year to you and yours. I hope your 2015 is filled with music. Thanks for the compliments. I am not sure where the Carriage Driver is going but he brought in the New Year. Hoping peace, prosperity, and inspiration greet you in the new year.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Hi Mike,

      Gene and Maxwell sound like soul mates, sent from heaven on this New Year's Eve to bring a mist to our eyes and hope to our souls.

      Your writing is as soothing as a teddy bear and as detailed as a Monet masterpiece.

      I feel fickle but I am loving this series...and don't want it to ever end.

      Nuelle, Nuelle...more please and hoping that 2015 is 'your best year ever'... Hugs, Maria

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Becky, thank you very much. happy New Year to you all out there in Arizona. I bet you are enjoying cooler weather as we are here in So Cal. Is that writing room of your finished?

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Sannel. Thank you for spending your New Years eve with me. I have been enjoying your art that you are posting at Fine Art America. And you made my nieces happy with their Christmas books. All best wishes to you as we begin 2015.

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Will and thank you. I appreciate the visit, the votes and your continued support.

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby and Happy New Year (again). Part of the fun of writing here on hubpages is selecting the music. I am sure you have a lot of fun listening the Elvis videos that fit well with your stories and poetry.

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Phyllis good to see you in this corner of the hub-world. Thank you for a very nice compliment and glad I could offer a moment of peace to you in this topsy-turvy world.

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby. Thanks for taking a moment this New Years Eve to read my story. Wishing you a prosperous 2015.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Another beautiful story from you. Your carriage driver series is inspired and absolutely lovely. I have loved every one of them. Happy New Year to you and yours.

    • profile image

      Sannel Larson 

      4 years ago

      What a delightful story, Mike! Reading this half an hour into the new year, and what a perfect reading to start the new year with. Thank you, my friend and Happy New Year. :)

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 

      4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      The master strikes again with a superb story to bring in the New Year! Voted up and amazing!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Mike, the videos were perfect for this piece. Happy New Year!

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Mike. I was a bit speechless after reading this lovely story. This is my kind of story, one that touches the heart and stirs the soul - I love it. I sat here for several minutes, drifting into paradise and and gazing at all the flowers and images in my mind that your words created.

      You have a great gift for this genre of writing. Thank you for sharing this story and setting a nostalgic, sweet thoughts type of mood for me.

      Happy New Year !

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      What a beautiful story. They reached the other side of sunset, amazing! your writing put me in a dreamy atmosphere and I loved being there. On my way up to listen to the videos. Bravo Mike..

    • mckbirdbks profile imageAUTHOR

      mckbirdbks 

      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Peg and Happy New Year to you as well. Thank you for the compliment and your gracious support.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      4 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Mike, this is a wonderful way to end the year, with flowery scenery, a horse drawn carriage, illustrators and writers who found their perfect mate. You've woven so many different mediums into this beautiful piece. Ah, it's lovely. Happy New Year.

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