A Waltons Story
(The Waltons Fan Fiction)
By: Kristi N. Zanker
Disclaimer: All publicly recognized characters, settings, etc. are the property of Lorimar Productions and Warner Bros. Television. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. I, in no way am associated with the owners, creators, or producers of The Waltons. No copyright infringement is intended.
The Next Step
Several days after that harrowing night, a letter arrived in the mail. The return address announced the question that floated in John-Boy’s mind as well as in the letter from Hastings House, the publishing company that had granted him the wish to become a successful writer. His publisher, as well as John-Boy himself, wanted to know when they could expect a new novel. He immediately sat down at the desk and began to type a response.
Hastings House replied to that letter within a week and John-Boy tore open the envelope, anxious to see what was written. As he read the letter, a familiar sinking feeling returned. The letter politely explained that in these months after the war, people wanted to forget and writing a war story was not a popular idea. He read over it several times and then made a decision. He was going to write his war story—everything he had encountered as a war correspondent. And if it wasn’t accepted? In that case, Hastings House would be history for John-Boy and he would send his new novel to every publishing company he could think of—until someone thought his idea was a popular one.
During this time, on the weekends, he made trips home to Waltons Mountain. Everyone was so glad that he had moved back—close to his roots. It was on a Sunday that his mother informed him that someone had bought Jenny’s father’s house. A middle-aged woman who had inherited a hefty amount from an uncle was going to fix it up the house, modernize it, and open its doors as a boarding house.
“Her name is Mrs. Markette and she wants to do her part by helping others find a temporary place to live until this housing shortage is finally over,” said Olivia, as she poured herself another cup of coffee.
“What about Jenny?” John-Boy asked, suddenly feeling a pang of regret.
“She stayed here for a few days and then headed back to Richmond. The house there hasn’t sold yet. She thought about staying here, but decided to sell,” replied his mother.
“So, she’s back in Richmond?”
“Sure looks that way.”
John-Boy didn’t see the grin that crept up in his mother’s face. While he was at home, he made the rounds of visiting his siblings and talking about how his life and theirs had made many turns. He found Elizabeth working at Ike’s store with Drew. Jason had finally married his long-time girlfriend Toni Hazelton and Mary Ellen in turn, found Jonesy to be the one for her. Ben and his wife, Cindy, were a growing family, with another baby on the way. And Erin had a found a staff position at the Secretarial School and is now seeing a teacher who taught high school English in a nearby town. John-Boy was proud of everyone, especially when he came upon Jim-Bob’s own business, across from Ike’s store, in which he repaired cars. When his siblings asked about his new job, John-Boy told them it was a great and wonderful opportunity to be the one to launch a new column. It seemed as though, in these revolving time, that everything fell into place on Waltons Mountain. His family told him to return home often when he could.
Once John-Boy was back in his room at the boarding house he was staying at for the time being, he went to work on his third novel. The new column and other stories kept him busy at the newspaper. Still, Jenny’s face remained in the back of his mind. But he did not make the first step in locating where she lived. He wanted to feel content at his job and continue to feel enthusiastic about this new novel.
In the coming weeks, ever since he began his novel, he noticed that the nightmare with the men in the foxhole, pulling him to safety, was slowly vanishing. It seem as though the more he wrote, the less the war invaded his mind. Even though the publishing company may not think his war story would be popular, John-Boy knew he was doing the right thing. Writing had always been a comfort to him. And here it was again, helping him with his memories and pain leftover from the war.
One Friday afternoon, while proofreading another editor’s story, a letter was dropped on John-Boy’s desk. Whoever had delivered it had vanished because when John-Boy looked up from his work, no one was there. He didn’t hear anyone walk by his desk due to numerous typewriters clacking away in what would soon become the evening edition. He peered at the address, sure enough, it was his name. Perhaps it was a fan who read his column for when he viewed the return address; he saw no name.
Using the letter opener he found in the middle drawer of his desk, John-Boy carefully slit the envelope and a page fell out. He picked it up and before he could he read Dear he saw the name written in beautiful spiral penmanship. It was just signed Jenny.
As you may already know, I recently sold my father’s house and now reside in Richmond. I remain where I lived with my husband, but plan to move to an apartment in town when this house is sold. Several prospectors have been by to see it and so many are interested since it’s a large house—big enough for the growing families around us to begin a new life. Once I am settled into an apartment, I plan to look for a job—perhaps working in a café or maybe someone would need a secretary. My typing is sketchy, but I can learn quickly.
I’m afraid I am getting ahead of myself. I discovered your column, Reflections, the other day when I picked up the evening paper from a newsstand. Since I didn’t know where you were living in town, I decided to write to you personally through the newspaper. I knew my letter would reach you there.
Ever since you went back to New York for that final time, I’ve constantly thought about you. I know we could not believe or act on our instincts because the two of us were very vulnerable then. But I wanted to let you know that you were always in my mind.
While writing this letter, I came up with an idea. Remember when we used to write to one another, oh so long ago? Let’s start over and write to one another. You can address me as Jenny Pendleton on the envelopes and write to the return address in the corner. After we’ve written for awhile, when or if the time is right, we should meet one another again.
When or if that meeting occurs, we will see where life will take us. If you do not reply back, I will understand. However, I must tell you that I do anxiously await your reply. I will wait…for all enduring time.
Copyright © 2011 by Kristi N. Zanker
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Copyright © 2011 by Kristi N. Zanker
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