BooksCorrespondenceCreative WritingNewspapers & MagazinesPoetryQuotationsWriting

The Carriage Driver³ - Toby

Updated on January 6, 2017

Griffin stepped out his front door, pulling his suspenders over his shoulders. He walked to the barn where Nuelle slept and stepped inside where he saw a young boy brushing Nuelle’s coat. Griffin paused and collected himself. “Good morning.”

The boy turned his head in Griffin’s direction. “Good morning. I hope you don’t mind. I got turned around, and when I sensed this beautiful animal I came inside. She nudged me towards the brush, so I guessed she wanted some company.”

Griffin took a long look at the boy. “You’re alive, aren’t you?”

“Of course I’m alive. What kind of question is that?”

“Tell me how you come to be in my barn. If you don’t mind.”

“Well, first, my name is Toby. Some of the older kids brought me to the quarry. They find it fun to leap from the edge into the deep water that has pooled there. Mostly they are teenagers. Both boys and girls. I think they were just playing a trick on me. They talked me into jumping. A girl with a soft voice brought me to the edge. She whispered in my ear what I should do. Don’t dive she told me. Just leap feet first. Once I jumped she said count to five, slow. Then you will feel your feet hit the water. It is going to be cold, but it will be OK. Don’t panic. That’s what she said. Then she stepped back and said ready?”

“Ready. I could feel my heart beating fast. I could hear the older boys giggling like girls. The girl with the pleasant voice called JUMP. And I jumped.” The boy paused. “You still there?”

“I’m here.” Griffin walked over and picked up another brush. “I am just listening to your story.”

The boy smiled. Hearing the brush against Nuelle’s coat, he returned to his brushing as well. “Well, let me tell you, that five count seemed like a very long time. I mean it seemed like an eternity. Then I hit the water. It was so cold that my legs cramped up something terrible. You can imagine how dark it was. I kept going down and down. I don’t know how long I was down there. I kept remembering her words. Don’t panic. Don’t panic – but that seemed like just the thing to do. It was about the time my arms stopped thrashing about that I heard something. It seemed big and coming for me.” The boy, still holding the brush, let his arm fall. “Mister, then I felt the warmest lips pressed against mine. Those lips delivered a breath to me. Then I was shoved in a direction, and my arms and legs started working again. I reached the surface and called out. But no one answered. I don’t mind telling you I was scared.”

“You say no one answered? What about the person who shoved you toward the surface?”

“I waited, then the water was so cold, that I went to the noise of the water slapping against the rocks. I crawled out. On my hands and knees, I found the mouth of the path back to the top and crawled back up. It took a long time. Mister, it was so quiet. Even the birds stopped singing.”

“You feel like going for a walk? Can you show me where this all happened?”

Toby put down the brush exactly where he had found it.

Griffin put a harness over Nuelle’s head, and the three walked out of the barn. Toby held onto a handful of Nuelle’s mane. “Hold on a minute.” Griffin walked back to the house for a shirt and an apple. He cut the apple into four pieces. He fed two to Nuelle and handed one to the boy. The boy stood holding the handful of mane. Griffin popped a piece of apple into his mouth. “You’re blind, aren’t you?” He took the boy's arm and turned his palm up and placed the remaining piece of apple into his hand.

“Thanks – it’s not too far. Bring us to the dirt road. Keep the sun on our right, and soon you will hear the sound of the earth change. The hollow left from the mining seems to catch the wind, and the earth sings a different song. Someone told me that the trees near the quarry are a little taller and they are a little greener than those leading to them.”

They walked for longer than Griffin thought when Toby said, “There, do you hear that?”

Griffin did not hear. He let go of the harness strap. “You are leading the way now.”

Toby walked off, leading Nuelle to the rocky ledge. “We are here. This is where we were all playing and laughing.”

Griffin looked over the edge. He estimated the drop at between twenty-five and thirty feet. “You jumped off that ledge?”

“Yes, Mister, I told you.”

Griffin peered out across the quarry. He spotted the path back to the top. “Wait here with Nuelle. I am going to go and take a look around. You’ll be safe with Nuelle.” He slipped off his boots and his shirt. “You said a five count? Right – and don’t panic.”

“Yes, Mister, that is what she said.”

In a moment the boy heard the splash made by Griffin entering the water.

The water was much colder than Griffin expected. It was no wonder that Toby’s legs cramped up and his arms did not want to work. He opened his eyes. There in the crystal clarity of the pure rain water was the body of the girl with the pleasant voice. Her eyes were open and seemed to stare. Her hair waved like kelp.

Griffin swam to her and put his arm around her and made his way to the surface. Once on shore the soul of the girl woke and both made their way to the mouth of the path.

Once at the top, the girl was able to speak. “Thank you for coming to get me.” She looked at Griffin. She looked at Toby, “Oh, you made it. Thank you for bringing him to me. Where are all the kids?” She looked at Toby, waiting for a response.

“They were gone when I made it to the surface. Maybe they all ran off to get help. Maybe?”

The girl looked at Nuelle. “Oh, isn’t she a beauty. What’s her name?”

“This is Nuelle, she and I have been together for a long time now.” Griffin took hold of the leather strap on the harness. “Let’s head back to my place and straighten things out.”

Toby took a handful of mane.

“Do you want to ride?” Griffin asked the girl.

“Can I? Yes, that would be wonderful."

Griffin gave her his shirt to wear and helped her mount Nuelle’s back.

It was a country day. The trees stood guard. A big blue canopy of sky draped itself about a peaceful earth. Squirrels looked up from their foraging as the trio passed.

On the road, a local Sheriff’s car went by followed by the County’s Paramedic Vehicle. The drivers did not seem to see Nuelle, Griffin or the girl. The paramedic waved to Toby. But Toby did not wave back.

Once in the barn, Griffin helped the girl down. She stood by Toby. She held out her hand and took Toby’s hand. “I should have never let them talk you into that. I am so sorry.”

Griffin hitched Nuelle to the carriage. He double checked his book and scratched his chin. “What do you want to do now?” He asked the girl.

“What do you mean?” Was the response. “I guess I want to go back with my friends. I want to give them a piece of my mind. Why they run off like that. That’s no way to behave.”

“Can you wait here for a couple of minutes?” He asked the two of them. Griffin walked off toward the house.

“OK angels. I know you are close by, I have a question.” The three angels that had been following him since he left Boston appeared. He talked with them for a few minutes. The consensus was the higher ups, were already peeved, what could this hurt. He walked back toward the carriage.

Nuelle and the carriage were ready. “OK, you two, climb up in the carriage, I am going to take you home.”

“You don’t mean to that other place do you?”

“No time to argue, climb aboard. I am going to take you where you want to go.”

The two climbed into the carriage. Warmth filled the girl. Toby stared at the sky and the trees and the dirt and the beauty of the girl.

In front of Toby’s place Griffin stopped and climbed down. He held out his hand. The girl climbed down. The warmth from the earth rose through her feet.

Toby reached for Griffin’s extended hand. Once on the ground, he went to Nuelle and gave her a hug as far as his arms could reach.

“Thanks, Mister.”

The three angels hiding nearby began to cry.

Dispatched called to the Sheriff that the kids were found safe at home. A doctor was called and the return of Toby's sight was deemed a miracle.

Bobby Vinton ~ You Are My Special Angel

Chicago - If you leave me now (1976)

The Temptations - I wish it would rain

© 2017 mckbirdbks


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 5 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      What an inspiring installment for this first TCD of the year...

      You have assisted Toby in allowing us all to 'see' a miracle at a time when we are in need of a few.

      Getting ready to listen to your beautiful song choices now - starting with The Temptations. Happy Friday and hugs, mar

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello mar - Once I had a kernel of a thought, this one pretty much wrote itself. I even had to cut it short. Friday already. I could see this so clearly.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Mike this story today is so timely. The bullying of disabled children is caught on smart phones every week. The miracle of Toby's sight returning was beautifully written. Now up to the videos...

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby - Thank you. Yes, kids do not have any boundaries about how good or bad they treat their peers. Hey, that is just like adults. This episode wrote itself, so they must be more meaning in it that I thought. Happy Friday to you.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 5 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I enjoyed this as much as any of the entire Carriage Driver series, Mike. Such a happy ending, and your music choice faultless with some of my all time favourites. I have fallen behind on my reading and writing of hubs over the last month or so. Hopefully I can catch up soon.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello John - I am sure you are busy with all that you accomplish. This particular story flowed so well. I can't say that for many of them. I appreciate your time with this story. Hope to see you publish again soon.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I want to believe there is more good than bad in the world today. I really do want to believe it. I just wish Good wasn't a part of the silent majority. I'd like it to stand on a roof top and scream to the world "I am here, see me, hear me, and we will all be better for it!"

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Bill. The world seems to have reached a tipping point. There will always be good people. It is just a question if they will ever have the nerve to take the spotlight.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 5 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      There are wonderful, giving people in this world...and they find their way to this stunning series. Such stories give us hope, Mike. And we need that right now, my friend. -) Thank you. Stunning work. The videos are the icing on your inimitable cake.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Genna - What a nice thing to say. I do agree, that some wonderful people have found their way to Hubpages, and this series as well. I enjoy looking for the music for this series. The fine people on Hubpages brought me back to music as well.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 5 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Your heartwarming and deep stories bring light and hope to a world of darkness. This one in particular shines a beam on kindness and the miracle of sight. Shame on those who play tricks on the less fortunate. Thankfully, Toby found his damsel and she turned the tale around. Nice twist in their fate. I'm listening now to your fine choices of musical videos. Thanks for sharing another uplifting episode of The Carriage Driver series.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Peg. Thanks for the visit. I was just looking at the 'attendance' of my hubs in general. This is the least visited Hubs that I have posted. I don't know why that is. (Other than my satire may have chased off many readers.)

      While writing this episode, it seemed to flow so well. It also seemed to have substance. It is hard for a writer to judge his or her own work.

      I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment - as always.

    • profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 5 months ago

      Mike this as usual is a most beautiful. I never tire of reading about the Carriage Driver.

      Many Blessings my friend

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 5 months ago from Central Florida

      Children can be so cruel. Toby's innocence and trust was taken advantage of. Thankfully, his trust was confirmed and rewarded by not only hanging onto life, but having his eyesight restored.

      Very beautiful and inspiring story, Mike.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Sha - Yes that is certainly true. Children and young people often do not know what they are doing or the danger they face. Toby was blessed and literally saved. The return of his sight was just icing. Thanks for staying with these stories as they take on different dimensions.

    Click to Rate This Article