Fiction: Revelations

The Crenshaws followed the men to the camp hospital and waited as Buck sullenly had his face bandaged yet again. Maybe God was punishing him. He’d handled his family all wrong. In a matter of a few hours he had managed to insult his sister, annoy his mother, hurt his father, and fight his brother….

Fiction: Battle-tested

“No,” Graham said. “Buck can and should stand on his own. He’s struggling lately. It’s why he needs the crutch of religion, but it’ll pass when he’s stronger.” “Father! How dare you pretend to know me when all you’ve ever done is overlook me! Don’t make excuses for me. Don’t belittle my faith. God doesn’t…

Fiction: Honest Appraisals

A soldier poked his head in to the coach to greet the Crenshaw family when they came to a stop. He scanned the group of strangers. Opening the door, the soldier held out his hand to Buck’s sister Meg. “Allow me to help you, miss.” Despite her best efforts to appear unmoved, she giggled, blushed,…

Fiction: The Wedding Party

On the train west, Margaret Crenshaw insulted the coachmen and train conductors while fretting over the linens and china purchased and packed with great care for Thankful’s wedding. Fred in his booming arrogance educated his family about Indian tribes and the sinister Chinese—betraying his ignorance of both. Meg stared out the window, chin in hand,…

Fiction: Choices

“Do you really believe that you had any control over your parents?” “Yes, they depended on me! I went wild when they needed me to be calm. I poisoned a teacher and Mother lost a replacement for Eliza, and then my father took me and I tried to please him but still he did the…

Fiction: Stealing Salvation

Buck cupped Thankful’s wet cheeks in his hands. “Poor you, you’re as messed up as the rest of us Crenshaws, but I love you for it. Don’t cry, it’s all right. I’m so glad now that I’m here for you.” “Oh, Buck, it means so much to me that you don’t hate me. I’ve been…

Fiction: Purity

Buck sat tucked back in bed, trying to read his small Bible while swatting gnats. William, with the occasional sideways glance at his roommate, smoked cigarette after crummy cigarette, wondering how things had gone so wrong. How had Thankful ever loved him? And how had he not seen it? Soon the doctor strode in, leading…

Fiction: Faith

The doctor led Thankful and Buck through the short, cool hallway to the adjacent room reserved for hopeless cases. There lay the lieutenant asleep. “He’s not dead, is he?” Buck asked from the doorway, craning his neck to see. “No, Buck,” the doctor replied and turned to Thankful. “You may want to say your last…

Fiction: Tangled

“Seems the bit of merriment you boys had got the lieutenant shot,” said the veteran doctor. Buck swung his legs to the side of the bed. “I have to see him.” “No, I’m afraid not, son. Fahy won’t want to see you. He’s upset and angry, poor devil. Says you both stole horses and deserted…

Fiction: Awakenings

The cool adobe walls reminded William of Old Camp Grant as he awoke on yet another bright day. “Finally awake, Willy?” Buck whispered from the next cot. William lifted his throbbing head and turned to him, his body aching. “Buck? What happened?” “My father’s Scotch landed us into a mess. I’ll have some story when…