The 24-Hour Challenge #3

Offered by TwylaJane:

Finish this brief scene. Couple paragraphs is all I ask.  The road was empty. Not a soul was in sight as he walked along its side under the early morning sky. The rays of light just peaking over the lush tree line did little to cut through the chill that had settled deep in his bones. Ezra Standish was at complete loss as to exactly how he ended up there.

These are getting kinda long, so I'm splitting the page up a bit.  Good Gravy!  We're getting some terrific responses.

Some folks have provided me with direct links to their stories.  To read their responses, please follow the links

By Setcheti
TITLE: Just Following the Road 

By Twyla Jane
TITLE:  Illusion

By Violette Purple
TITLE:  Road to Nowhere

TITLE:  Waging War,

 By NotTasha
TITLE: Someplace Important

By Katy (KT)
TITLE:  Well Met

By J Brooks
TITLE:  The Good Mother

By Sunhawk
TITLE:  "A Piece of Cake"

The road was empty. Not a soul was in sight as he walked along its side under the early morning sky. The rays of light just peeking over the lush tree line did little to cut through the chill that had settled deep in his bones. Ezra Standish was at complete loss as to exactly how he ended up there.

Last thing he could remember was baking a cake.  Well it was more like attempting to bake a cake.  Usually he would just buy a pastry from a delicatessen but on this auspicious date he had felt like doing… what was he talking about again?  Where was he?  Ah! Yes. Cake. He'd received an e-mail with the recipe the day before and decided to try it.  But he would never cook in his kitchen, so… um… he hadn't been in his kitchen, so… whose?  Larabee!  He'd been at Larabee's house.  Which explained the trees, but not why he was outside in the middle of winter.  At least it was mild weather.  And he was wearing something warm.  But still, he didn't even like hiking, let alone in the middle of the night.  Maybe he should go back inside.  Hmmm…… Which way to go?  Well, 50/50 chance might as well go this way.  No sun in eyes.  Wow!  The road was moving from side to side all on its own.  He'd never seen that before.  Now what had he been thinking about?  Oh! Yes. Cake. No. Well he'd been baking the cake and it'd been going fine when… That's right! He smiled brilliantly to himself pleased to have remembered.  He'd run out  of rum and was going to get more so he could finish the cake and make everyone happy.

 Chris Larabee was not a happy man.  His kitchen was a mess, his yard display had been vandalized and his undercover agent was missing.

"Where the hell is he?" Chris fumed.

"He's not in his room, he's not in the barn and his car is still here." Buck reported.  "Plus some jackass stole Santa's clothes."

Chris jumped on the sharpshooter as he entered the room, "Did you find anything?"

"Yep, found his tracks as soon as he hit tha snow." Vin was undisturbed by Larabee's hostility. "As I see it, he staggered around in circles for a bit then headed toward Santa, he's probably the one to take the clothes, and then down the driveway.  He was weaving all over tha place."

"Damn it!  What if he's hurt?  Why'd you take so long to tell us that?" Nathan was clearly worried.

"Don' worry Nate.  He also dropped this." Vin held up the empty rum bottle.

The others were stunned.

"Well boys.  Let's go collect out 'lost lamb' and find out why he was drinking rum by himself in the middle of the night."  Chris headed towards the door, speaking over his shoulder.


As the others neared Ezra they began to hear what could, loosely, be termed singing.


Incredulously they all stared at each other.

"Well I guess he really did want to come today." J.D. finally said.

"Yeah an' tha' explains tha kitchen.  But not why's he's drunk.  Or why he's outside." Replied Vin.


"Oh My God!  Am I really seeing what I'm seeing?" squeaked J.D. "I am!  I'll be back! I've got to get a camera."  He took off towards the house.

Everyone else were stunned beyond movement at the sight of the normally reserved and impeccably dressed man dressed up in a red Santa coat, black pants and boots, and to top it off he wore the Santa hat.  Then before anyone could fully digest this his eyes rolled back and he dropped like a sack of potatoes.  Josiah picked him up and cradled him to his chest for the journey back to the house.

"He's gonna ta have such a hangover when he wakes up." sympathized Vin.

"Josiah you put him in his room and get him out of that outfit.  Nate get everything he'll need ready.  Buck, J.D. you clean the kitchen.  Don't complain, you don't have to cook later.  Oh and J.D., no pictures.  I think he'll be embarrassed enough as it is and we want him to stay with us.  Vin," the two men exchanged glances that said, 'tend the horses will you?', 'sure, no prob.' 

"Oh, and everyone,  Christmas is delayed until tomorrow so we can all enjoy it.  It's the least we can do for him."

 The End

 PS This is the recipe that Ezra received.  Beware those innocents in the kitchen.
Ezra's note: And I thought it would be simplicity itself.  After all you only need to follow the recipe.
Best Ever Rum Cake
1 or 2 qt. rum
1 tsp. sugar
2 c. dried fruit
1 tsp. soda
Brown sugar
1 c. butter
2 lrg. eggs
Baking powder
Lemon juice

Before you start, sample the rum to check for quality. Good isn't it! Now go ahead, select a large mixing bowl, measuring cup, etc. Check the rum again. It must be just right. To be sure rum is of highest quality, pour 1 level cup of rum into glass and drink as fast as you can. Repeat. With an electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add a seaspoon of tugar and beat again. Try snother cup. Open second bottle if necessary.

Add two orge laggs, 2 cups fried druit, and beat until high. If the druit gets stuck in the beater, just pry it loose with a srewumdriver. Sample the rum agin, checking for toncestcity. Next sift 3 cups baking powder, a pinch or rum, a steaspoon of toda, and a cup of salt or pepper (it really doesn't matter). Shample the bum agian. Sift 9/2 pints of lemin juice.

Fold in schlopped butter and strained nuts. Add 1 bablespoon of brown sugar, or whatever color you can find. Wix mell. Grease the oven and turn turn cake pan to 300 gredees. Schmeells goo. (ead you hartout Aunt B!)

By LadyCatherine (Kelly)

TITLE: Swallowing a Gift
CHALLENGE: 24 hour challenge
AU: Revolution
NOTES: OK- big explanation.  Here we go.  First I will have no time to work on this tomorrow, but my curiosity was killing me.  So against my better judgment I opened it and wrote in about forty minutes.  So please ignore grammar errors, it's late. 

Also I used this as a continuation to my story Broken.  It's not the end, simply part three.  I know it skip ahead a bit, but I'm pretty sure there will be a bunch more, because I don't want to just end it. 
AUTHOR: Lady Catherine Dunbar (Kelly)

The road was empty.  Not a soul was in sight as he walked along its side under the early morning sky.  The rays of light just peaking over the lush tree line did little to cut through the chill that had settled deep in his bones.  Ezra Standish was at complete loss as to exactly how he ended up there.

The last thing he remembered was lying in bed in the back room of the British headquarters eating supper.  His next conscious thought was of why it was so cold.  After coming fully awake he realized that he was lying under a tree, wrapped in a few army blankets, with a crutch and a leather bag by his side.

Though he had no idea of what had happened, he decided that it was best not to lie around where British soldiers could easily discover him.  With much effort, and a few painful mishaps, he had managed to stand up with the tree's aide, the crutch firmly under his right armpit.  The haversack over his right shoulder, the blankets tucked loosely around him and his left arm wrapped tightly around his stomach, he preceded to make his way painfully down the side of the road.

After only a half a mile Ezra realized that, against his will, he needed rest.  I'm just stopping to figure out what happened, he tried to convince himself.  None the less, he was more than happy when he practically collapsed on the hard icy ground. 

Breathing heavily, he dropped the crutch and pulled the blankets snuggly around his shoulders, trying to work away the early morning chill.  He stayed like that for a few moments before his eyes fell on the haversack and he decided to investigate.

The satchel turned out to contain a map, cheese and bread, a canteen, a pistol, his personal notebook, a small jar of dark liquid and a note tucked in the pages so only the top was visible.  His brow furrowed, Ezra pulled out the note as he took a well deserved drink of water.  As he began to read it, his eyes grew wider with every word.

Mr. Standish,

I do hope you forgive me for dropping on the side of the road like a keg of beef gone off, but it was of the utmost importance at the time that I deposit you somewhere quickly.

I am afraid that I am guilty of insubordination, perhaps even treason, and definitely ungentlemanly conduct. 

You see, your drink, as you might have guessed, was drugged.  Do not worry, it is harmless, only causes the person to be near dead to the world for ten or twelve hours.  While you were asleep I had several of the men remove your body from the house, under the guise that you had passed.  After reporting such news to my commander, I stole away to drop you off at as safe a location as I could find.  I do hope your supplies are adequate.  I included a map of the surrounding area as well as a small bottle of laudanum, in case your pain become too intolerable.  I am not proud that I left a wounded man in the snow, but it was the only I could help you escape.

I do not know why I did what I did.  I simply could not bare to see you imprisoned.  Perhaps it was your courage, gentlemanly behavior or your sorrow at never seeing your men again.  Whatever it was, it drove me to an act that many would call madness, but I do not regret it for a moment.

I do hope that this war ends quickly and that we may each return to out homes safe and relatively unharmed. 

All the luck in the world.
Captain Murphy

PS- I will trust you will behave as a gentleman in accordance to this letter. 

Ezra simply stared at the letter for a long time, not sure that it was real. 

But it was, extremely real.  He could not believe it.  No one had ever risked so much on his behave, except for his Aunt Kitty, Uncle William and his six teammates.  This man had risked everything-his life, future, reputation, family- on a lowly gambler from the colony of South Carolina. 

Ezra just sat absorbing Murphy's gift for several moments before he knew he must push on, in case anyone discovered Murphy's plot.  Starring down at the letter, Ezra knew he had to destroy it as soon as possible.

He could not burn it, as a fire would be impossible in such weather and would serve as a giveaway.  Staring at the paper in near dread, Ezra did what he knew he had to, no matter how distasteful it was.

Still chewing on the parchment Ezra painfully stood up and again started on his journey, glad of the gift he had accepted.

By Angela B

The Walk
Note: Title isn't much..sorry..but then again the story isn't very long either.
Note: To Twy….two in one day
Note: May's twenty-four hour challenge 
Disclaimer: Not mine and never will be

The road was empty. Not a soul was in sight as he walked along its side, under the early morning sky. The rays of light just peaking over the lush tree line did little to cut through the chill that had settled deep in his bones. Ezra Standish was at complete loss as to exactly how he ended up there. The fear settled heavy in his chest. He didn't know which direction to go.

Ezra turned a full circle twice, very slowly. Taking in the surrounding scenery. It felt familiar somehow; like he should know where he was and which way he should walk. After another complete turn, Ezra turned to his right and started walking. The sun was just beginning to filter through the leaves; making them shimmer and dance, chasing away the darkness and filling the dread with hope. The sight lowered the boy's anxiety a degree. Continuing to walk a straight path, Ezra looked around him and felt the fear dissolve as he became more aware of his surroundings.

The birds in the trees singing their song pushed away the silence. The squirrels, skittering and dancing from one limb to another, reminded him he wasn't alone and not all animals in the forest were wild beasts ready to attack and devour him. Ezra walked on, taking in every sound and sight, noticing things he had never seen before. He had traveled his road of life always on the look out for the bad, but had seldom raised his head up enough to notice the good.

The journey he found himself on was as frightening as he expected. He soon came upon a pond of crystal clear water. Kneeling down, he cupped his hands together and drank heartily. The fresh liquid flowed down his throat and squelched the dryness. Rising once more to his feet, he felt more confident. A feeling of power and self-assurance like he had never felt before began in the pit of his stomach and assuredly rose and flourished throughout his system.

Coming upon a wooden fence line, Ezra ran his hand along smooth boards, smoothed by time and weather. The trees disappeared and a  pasture of green grass opened up before him. Suddenly he knew where he was. Taking off at a run, he flew through the grass blades whipping at his jeans. His hair flying back and bouncing with each step he ran. He raced out of the other side of the pasture and there standing just like he knew it would be was home. His home.

Ezra woke with a start as someone shook him once again. Opening his eyes, his green-orbs focused on brown ones and Nathan asked, "You alright?"

"Yeah," Ezra replied. "I'm just fine."

The End

By CelestaSunStar

Title: Doesn't have one yet
Disclaimer: College student = no money, so I don't own the guys, (only the Kamata in this story) and I'm making no money
Archive: The M7 Challenge Library, other then that, ask me and I'll provide a link to my site
Warnings: None
Type: 24 Hour Challenge answer
Rating: G
Main Character: Ezra
Status: May kick off some other stories, but not any coming out very soon. But if you pester me I may actually bring one out sooner
AU: It's a new one, (and the second story I will dedicate to the first person to guess where I got it from.)  ;)
Notes: Enjoy

The road was empty. Not a soul was in sight as he walked along its side under the early morning sky. The rays of light just peaking over the lush tree line did little to cut through the chill that had settled deep in his bones. Ezra Standish was at complete loss as to exactly how he ended up there.

All he remembered was the pressing need to get out of that place...He had suffered being there for about a month, but the people didn't know anything about raising a twelve year old, particularly one who had just lost his mother.

So he had run, and had run until he could run no more, and then he had kept going. He didn't know where he was, or where he was going, but the path through the forest had seemed to turn of its own will, and the roots had moved away so he would not trip. There was always a small stream when he needed a drink, some berry bushes and a mossy hollow when he grew hungry and tired. But the forest was behind him now, and the tangled branches showed no signs of the forest even being passable. He couldn't even see where he had come out. It was finally too much, the overwhelmed boy curled into a ball and fell asleep before the tears had a chance to come.


When he woke he was alone, lost, with nowhere to go. And Ezra felt the tears coming again when he felt the softest of nudges on his shoulder.

He turned fearful green eyes up to find the most beautiful white horse he had seen, regarding him with blue eyes that promised both safety and boundless love for a grief-stricken boy who had seen and lived for too much.

Ezra wrapped his arms as far around Kamata's neck as he could reach and cried healing tears into the white coat of the horse that loved him.

*Come Chosen, it is time to go, we have a long journey ahead of us.* 
He didn't question it, only scrambled up onto Kamata's back when she knelt for him, and held onto her mane as she started off down that road, now drenched in warm rays of gold.

Please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions in regard to this site, or if you have a challenge story that you'd like to have listed (I think we're missing a few of the earlier stories).  Let us know if you find any broken links or anything else that's wonky.   Thanks for stopping by!

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