While you are waiting for the big announcement, I thought I'd share a new fan story. Here are chapters 1 and 2; tomorrow chapters 3-5. I am sorry, but I have no idea WHY this story has white around the words. I've tried to get rid of it, but to no avail. Enjoy!
Chapter 1 A Prank...And a
16 year-old Andi opened the door of the barn and looked at
the row of stalls ahead of her. Sighing, she picked up the shovel and
pitchfork, set them in the wheelbarrow and opened the door to the first
stall.It was a beautiful Saturday yet
Andi was stuck in the barn doing chores.
This week can’t get much
worse. Andi thought. Mother had
insisted she start spending another hour each day working on her sewing. Plus,
Justin’s wife, Lucy had been sick for the last couple days, and Melinda’s
wedding to David was fast approaching. The only bright spot in the week had
been the letter she had received from Cory.
Cory had been away at medical school and the letter said he
would be returning home for summer break sometime within the next week. Andi
was so excited! She couldn't wait to see Cory again. And, the letter had also
said that he was bringing his friend, Micah, back with him to visit.
Just then, one of the horses snorted and Andi was brought
back to thepresent. Looking at the
stall in front of her she sighed. It'sa pity the horses can't clean up after
She was finishing the last stall when the door to the barn
swung open. Looking up, Andi saw Chad walking toward the tack room. Andi
quickly finished the stall and quietly walked to the tack room. Chad was busy
selecting a saddle and had his back to her. She tiptoed up behind him, snatched
his hat off his head and ran laughing out of the barn. Just then someone came
around the corner of the barn. Andi tried to stop but it was too late and they
both fell onto the ground.
"What in the world are you doing running like
Andi looked up, "Chad? But you can't be here! You were
just in the tack room!"
"What are you talking about, Andi? I just came from the
house. Have you gotten Jem a horse yet?"
Suddenly the awful reality hit Andi. "Oh no!" she
"What’s the matter? Are you hurt?"asked Chad.
"No, this is the matter." She said, holding up the
"Where did you get that?" Chad asked.
"I thought you were the one in the tack room. It must
have been the Jem you were talking about. I grabbed his hat and locked him in
the barn!" Andi explained
"You did what!' Exclaimed Chad, nearly running to the
barn and throwing open the door. "Jem are you alright?"
Jem walked out and Andi gasped. Jem looked almost identical
"Yeah, I'm fine."he chuckled. "I think I must have been the target of a joke,
although I'm not sure I understand why."
Chad looked grim. "Well, My sister, Andi,thought that you were me. So, She decided to
play a little prank." Turning to Andi he asked, "What got into you,
Andi? You were supposed to be cleaning the stalls."
"I finished the stalls, and when I saw you, or, when I
thought I saw you, I thought it would be funny. I'm real sorry, Mr. Jem I
really didn't know it was you."
Looking up, she saw the twinkle in Jem's eye. He began to
chuckle then he looked at Chad and they both began to laugh. Andi looked at
"You remember how Ellie was when you and your father
came to visit all those years ago?" Jem asked Chad. "This is just
something she would have done!"
Andi looked wonderingly at Chad. "You're not angry with
"Well, all's well that ends well! Although, I have to
say had I been the object of that joke, as I was supposed to be, Iwould have
been upset! Since you are finished with you chores, would you like to come with
us? I’m showing Jem around the ranch.”
"Would I ever!"Andi exclaimed. "I can saddle up Taffy,Sky and another horse for
Jem in no time!
Chad chuckled. "You just go and saddle up Taffy. I can
saddle Sky and I am sure that if you show, Jem, Patches stall, he can saddle
him up. I think he is already well acquainted with the tack room!”
Chapter 2 An Interesting
As they rode down the
lane, Chad turned to Andi. "So, I suppose you are wondering who Jem
is?" It was more a statement then a question.
"Well remember that picture you found in the attic of me
when I was 12?"
Andi nodded again.
"Well, that was right about the time when Jem and I met.
Father was a part owner in a mine and there had been a disturbance about the
mine playing out, meaning there was no more gold. There had been talk about
there being another strain of gold found but to get to it there needed to be
another air shaft added.”
“But, why did father and you have to go down and help make
the decision? Couldn't he just tell them what he wanted?” Andi asked.
Wait, I am getting there!" Chad exclaimed. “The problem
was to build the new air shaft we would have had to tunnel up through a small
mine that was being used by some of the Chinese citizen's of the town. Jem's
father was the sheriff of Goldtown. There was some legal problem about them
having a claim on the mine but I was to young to really care about the legal
stuff. Now, had Justin been there he would have remembered every detail! Jem
and I met...,. or should I say I startled him. He had been down at the creek
panning for gold but he had stopped for the moment and was...“
Chad turned to Jem "What were you doing? I can't
Jem grinned "I was getting my prospector friend, Strike,
a cup his so-called coffee. I tell you that stuff was nasty! I don't understand
how anyone could drink it!"
"So then what happened?" Andi asked impatiently.
"Did you find any gold, Chad?"
"After Jem and I got acquainted, he took me down by the
creek and showed me how to pan for gold. And, boy was I excited when I had what
I thought was gold in my pan just a
few minutes later."
"You thought it was gold? But it wasn't? What was
it?" asked Andi.
Chad turned toward her, "If you don't quit your
interrupting I'll never be able to finish the story!"
"It was fool's gold" Jem explained. "It looks
like gold, but it isn't. When I saw the disappointed look on your brothers face
I slipped one of the tiny gold nuggets I had found out of my small sack and
close to where your brother was panning."
Chad turned to Jem astonished. "That was your gold? I
never knew that!"
Jem laughed. "You weren't supposed to!"
"What else did you do together?" Andi asked
"Let's see, " said Chad. "We got into plenty
of trouble that's for sure! I thought I was old enough to show them how to
brand some of their calves. I hadn't remembered how angry the mother cow gets
when separated from her calf. I had Ellie doing the branding while Jem, Jem's
cousin Nathan and I held down the calf. Ellie saw the mother cow charging and
got so scared she dropped the branding iron square on Jem's arm. Then there was
the time we got ourselves shut up in a cave in with Ellie, Nathan and Will, one
of Jem's friends."
"What happened?" Andi asked, wide eyed. “
“I'll have to tell you some other time." Chad replied.
"because here we are at the creek now."