Meredith's sixteenth birthday came. She was resigned to having no party and was thinking about something entirely different while waiting at 'the stump' for Harry to come home.

After a while, she began to get worried. She ran back to the barn, forgetting she was now 'grown up'.

"Mama! It's almost slam dark and Harry is not home yet! I'm..."

She stopped in mid-sentence. There on the table was a dainty-looking little cake. Sitting opposite the door, in his usual place, was Harry. His green eyes were laughing as Meredith gasped, "Oh!"

"I came around from another direction in order to suprise our dear Miss Merry!" he grinned.

"Happy Birthday, dear!" Mrs. Drewry called as she lifted the pan of okra off the fire.

"We would have had fried chicken..." James began.

"Execpt we only have one!" Samuel piped up, as he eyed the okra. It was his favorite and he was hungry.

"Come on! Sit down!" Sophia and Janet giggled as they pulled their sister toward the table.

Towards the end of the happy, though megar meal, Meredith inquired, knowing they had neither flour nor sugar, "Where did the cake come from?"

"If I tell you, will you eat it?" Harry teased.

"I suppose you got it from the Harvey's?" she asked, trying not to feel ungrateful. Scalawags irritated her; only the Carpetbaggers were worse.

"A logical guess," Harry responded, "but no. No, there is a Yankee Captain in town that I once captured. (He's the fellow who got my kepi back for me.) His wife just came down from Pennsylvania to join him. She made it."

"Why?" Meredith was confused by this strange tale.

Harry laughed, "For some reason she feels she owes me something for not shooting the Captain!"

Meredith smiled, understanding the woman's position better than Harry did, and sliced the cake. 

As Meredith was headed for bed that night, she detoured to where Harry lay sprawled out on the dirt floor. "Harry?" 

Harry grunted, "Hmm?"


His eyes popped open and he grinned, "Go to bed, birthday girl! It was a pleasure."

He rolled over on his blanket and didn't see Meredith's face as she lingered for a moment. Briefly, she touched his shoulder and then was gone.

To be continued...

Sandra K Sullivan
05/31/2012 10:17am

"dirt floor" :-) check your spelling. You made me cry in part 8

05/31/2012 7:25pm

OOPS! I fixed it now! Thank-you! (I always double check my posts...but I guess I missed that one!)


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    A Gray Kepi

    I saw the opening scene for this story in my head and I knew that I had to finish it. I wrote it over several days. Some of it won't be as intersting or as polished as others.  I even teared up while writing it...but I won't say where.

    The War Between the States and Southern Reconstruction are a period of history that hold a great deal of interest for me. I hope that all my facts are historically accurate. (I rather suspect that as I type it up I shall do some fact checking...)

    Perhaps some day I may be able to turn this into a screenplay...but for right now, I will just post it in sections, or 'parts'. Some will be longer and some will be shorter. And so, without any further ado, here is "A Gray Kepi"