|Mountain of Despair (standard:romance, 1076 words)|
|Author: Elizabeth R||Added: Oct 04 2004||Views/Reads: 1874/1094||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A poor family living in the mountains with all the hardships.|
Mountain Of Despair This is a story about a poor family who lived in the mountains of Tennessee. There were shacks all along the roads going up in the mountains. People lived in these shacks with their families. Jessie was 16 and had only gone to grade school but she could read and write. Her brother was one year younger and he helped his Pa doing chores around the shack. A little sister and brother were school age but didn't go. Jessie was trying to teach them what she knew. There was never enough to eat. Ma had taken off last summer in a rage and Pa said she wouldn't be back, so Jessie took over her Ma's place. She did the washing in a tub and hung clothes from a line her father had put up. She cooked the meager meals of beans, biscuits and gravy. There never was enough but Jessie ate less so the younger children could have enough. Pa worked as a driver for the lumber company. He had worked years but he would take his wages and drink and visit the local brothel. He bought groceries for the family but he only bought enough to last a couple of weeks if Jessie stretched it. Pa never remembered to get food and sometimes he would go for a month or more and would stay away some place. Jessie and Ben would walk to town with the younger children sometimes to see if they could have some food from the church ladies. They usually gave them some beans, some canned fruit and flour. The little ones always wanted something they didn't have. Jessie wanted to get them something good to eat but she didn't have any money. Pa would buy a few oranges or apples and that was a treat for them all. Jessie never seemed to have enough to eat or clothes to wear. She did the best she could out of flour sacks and her mother's discarded clothes... She always made a dress for Betsy and a shirt for Joey. She and Ben just wore their old clothes and Jessie patched them the best she could. Pa bought his own clothes for driving Mr. Sampson's truck... Pa knew the roads so well in this area and he proved to be valuable to Mr. Sampson. Mr. Sampson paid him a modest amount but not as much as other employees made. Johnny Bridges was the best looking guy that Jessie had ever seen. He lived in town and she would look at him and think that no one that looked like him would notice her in her raggedy clothes and long blonde hair always looking windblown. Jessie was pretty but not so anyone could tell. Johnny saw her and thought she was beautiful. Even in shabby clothes and tumbled hair she was striking. He thought maybe he could be friends with her and buy her some decent clothes and get her hair fixed. He also wanted to help out her family. When approached by Johnny, Jessie looked down at her bare feet. He was asking her to have a soda with him and also her brothers and sisters. She couldn't believe he would want to be seen with them. Of course Betsy and Joey were jumping up and down begging to go. Ben looked like he wanted to go also so she said okay. What a treat that was for all of them. They thanked Johnny and he invited them to go next week, too. It was too good to be true. All the two little ones could talk about was Johnny and ice cream sodas. Jessie still couldn't understand why Johnny, who was popular in high school, would bother with them. It must be pity or something. If it made the other children happy, she would go along. They were running low on supplies and Pa hadn't come home, yet. Jessie thought about going to the church to get groceries and wondered if they could do this very often. They had to eat and no one seemed to care in the mountains. Pa just didn't think about them that much any more. He did provide but not enough for all of them. She needed shoes and a new dress and Ben needed a new shirt and pants. She would try to grab a couple of Pa's things for Ben. To Jessie's surprise, Johnny's mother came with them on the ice cream soda day. She was very nice and offered to give Jessie some material that she had and wasn't going to use. She also had some shoes and some pants and shirts that Johnny had outgrown for Ben. She gave Jessie some dresses she no longer wore but were in good condition. Jessie was embarrassed but they needed these things so she just said thank you. Jessie fixed the dresses to fit her and made some new clothes for Betsy Click here to read the rest of this story (26 more lines)
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