The Journey of Elizabeth Ann Rose

A Seasons Saga Novel ~ A Prequel

by Brenda Ashworth Barry

Elizabeth Ann Rose calls the Indian reservation in southern California home, and is upset and angry when she and her family must leave and travel the road again while her daddy plays in his band and tries to become famous.

She and her family live out of an old beat up station wagon traveling from one city to another. Sometimes, living in dirty old hotel rooms where mice and cockroaches are their only pets.

When Beth Ann turns eleven she finds more than chocolate cake being served. Her mom serves her daddy divorce papers, takes her three children and heads out to begin a new life. In one short summer, Beth Ann’s life completely changes, and she ends up in Novata, a small Northern California town. The very town that will change her life forever.


Chapter One


The desert wind fanned its way around Beth Ann, bringing the scent of her mom’s chocolate chip cookies drifting through the hot dry breeze. At the age of nine, she sat holding her Shirley Temple doll and had just slammed the door to their small house. “I’m going to run away, because I’m not moving.”

Maybe breaking something would have been better, especially her daddy’s guitar.

Living on the Indian Reservation had just started to feel like a real home and now they were moving again. To what? Live in their old beat up car or stay in dirty, stinky hotel rooms again?

Just thinking about it made her angrier than the summer heat. After a few minutes, she felt the sweat start to dribble down her back. Great. Now she was sticky and sweaty. She rose from the front steps, thud, thud, thud, stomping  into the yard, making the dust fly through the air, and hoping it made a holy mess.

Once the dust was flying around, she plopped down on the tree stump. Not only was she dealing with a sticky back, but she could also feel a swarm of angry bees stinging her heart. Maybe that was a sign of one of those heat strokes her mama always talked about. If she did have one, it might be a good thing, because she’d go into the hospital and they wouldn’t be able to leave.

With that, she dropped her Shirley Temple doll and pretended to pass out.

She laid her hand across her forehead to see if anyone was watching. “Ohhh, I’ve fainted.” She sighed.

All she heard were her brothers cracking up. The numbskulls were smirking at her.

“Fine.” She got up and dusted off her clothes, then picked up her doll. That obviously didn’t work, so she sat back on the tree stump.

She looked up at the white, bulgy clouds, just waiting for them to turn into a giant elephant or a herd of wild horses when a tear slipped out. No, I’m not going to cry. I’m not a baby, and I don’t care how sad I am. She swiped the tears away and chewed on her bottom lip.

Most days, her imagination would make her smile, but nothing could cheer her up, not today. She hugged her Shirley Temple doll and heard the radio blasting as both her brothers belted out, “Do you love me ... Now that I can dance.” They were throwing the ball around while they sang their favorite song. Her song was better than theirs, and it had only come out a few months ago. Teen Angel, was the best song ever, even if it was sad and made her cry every time it got to the part that said. “They said they found my high school ring clutched in your fingers tight.” Why did she have to get hit by that train? She could have found her boyfriend’s ring, another time.

Maybe she did like her brother’s song better, even though the stupid girl didn’t like him cause he couldn’t dance. What kind of girlfriend was that? Who wrote this stuff?

Right now, she was so upset that she didn’t care about anything. How could she? Her parents wouldn’t listen to a word she said. Not even when she told them she didn’t want to be called Elizabeth anymore. Why weren’t they happier that she put on five pounds? They were always telling her to eat more and she was tired of it. So she’d eat when she was good and ready and not a minute sooner. Besides, all she wanted to do was help her family out and the only way she could do that was by eating less.

“I’ll take you and Rusty with me, and we’ll run away, It’s nineteen sixty and times have changed and I’m old enough to be on my own.” She whispered to her doll and she hugged her.

Where was Rusty? She looked around. He was probably out chasing bugs again. The thought of him doing that made her want to giggle.

Beth Ann loved her family, but hated the lifestyle. She told her parents how much she disliked it and her daddy snapped and told her to stop complaining.

All she’d done was ask him why they had to move again. Well, maybe, she said a couple other things, like she wasn’t leaving if she had to leave Rusty behind. And, maybe she had also yelled at how sick she was of traveling all over Timbuktu. Then, when she said they were being awful parents, her daddy’s face got all red. Afterwards, he told her to go outside and think about her words and tone.

So here she was, thinking about it, and all it was doing was making her angrier. He was the one who should’ve thought about their lifestyle. Why did they have to follow his band around everywhere? Maybe he should go alone.

After she laid down her doll, she picked up a dirt clod and hit the cactus right upside the head. “Take that, you stupid cactus, and you better call me Beth Ann and not Elizabeth.”

Cole started laughing. “Bull’s eye.” He glanced over and met her gaze. “You got an arm on you little sis. Wanna come and play? That’s if you can keep from passing out.”

“No.” She shot him her best evil eye. Neither of her brothers cared that they were leaving, so why should she talk to them? She stuck her nose high in the air.

James laughed and picked up the ball. “Little sis has a big temper.”

Cole nodded, then they went back to playing ball.

Since they became teenagers all they cared about was baseball and pretty girls. What she cared about was having a home and a bed of her own.

"December Road" by Brenda Ashworth Barry



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Historical Fiction
Women's Fiction
Coming of Age
? Heat Level: 3