Festival

Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Festival. [More info]

Photo by KT Photography

From Laurean Brooks

Emily laid a calming hand on Clint’s clenched one. “I’m just saying—you know how some kids are. The more you try to control them, the more they rebel. I sense a rebellious streak in Alissia.”
And from what Emily had seen, the girl had come by it honest. Not only from her mother, but from her brother. Her pa called it “a generous dose of stubborn.”
Clint’s shoulders visibly relaxed. His stern tone was replaced by a gentler one. “What do you suggest?”
Instinct told Emily, he would not be easily sold on any idea that threw his little sister in with a boy. But she had to try. “You could allow Alissia to go to the dance. According to her, the dance at Coopers’ barn is the main event of the year in Taylor County.”
“Yes. It started as a festival to celebrate fall harvest. People come from miles around.”
“And since it’s set for the first Saturday in October,” Emily added, “Alissia will almost be sixteen.”
“Her birthday isn’t until the following week,” he muttered. She won’t be going with that Reilly kid as long as I have any say. If she does go to the dance, she’ll go with me. With us.”
“Us?” Emily’s heart fluttered. Was he asking her for a date?
Clint yanked off his hat and pressed it to his chest. “Will you go to Cooper’s Barn Dance with me, Miss Emily. Ma shouldn’t need constant care by then.” He whirled around and pointed to the buggy in the shed. “There’s plenty of room for the three of us.”
Three of us? Emily’s joy dimmed. She’d thought it was a real date. Instead, they would be chaperones for his sister. She swallowed her disappointment. She would do it for Alissia’s sake.
“Of course I’ll go.”Emily ventured another question. “Will we swing by to pick up Landon? We could make it a double date.”
“That is not going to happen,” Clint groused. If he wants to go, he can meet us at the dance. I won’t forbid Landon to dance with my sister as long as they keep plenty of daylight between them.” He ducked his head and looked Emily in the eye. “I will be watching them. You can tell her that.”
Emily flashed him a smile. She was sure Alissia already knew it.