Thursday, December 26, 2013
We all know who we are. Our name, our environment and our inner self. It enfolds in early childhood and evolves gradually as we grow taller, stronger, and is nurtured by our accumulations of feelings, knowledge and experiences. ******* Corey sat up and threw the light blanket off herself. Right away she knew something was wrong! The room was new to her, the furniture strange. As she stood up out of bed even the lines and bulges of her body looked unfamiliar. Fear prickled down her arms and legs as she looked around her surroundings. Her shaking breath rattled in her throat and her eyes widened as she stared at the reflection of herself in a dresser mirror. The face looking back at her was of a total stranger, and she put a shaking hand up and touched the the cold glass, but felt no connection to this elderly woman. Hugging her chilled body, she looked around for something to put over her short nightgown. My flannel robe, she thought suddenly remembering a faded plaid one she'd had for a lifetime. But as she opened the closet and slid the hangers back, all the clothes was new and strange to her. Unfamiliar. Finding a lacey wrap she held it around herself and tiptoed fearfully around the room. Suitcases were stacked neatly in the corner of the bedroom. She had a thought, maybe this wasn't her room! Timidly opening the drawers in the dresser she saw underwear was neatly folded, accessories and jewelry orderly. Hesitating, and then walking bravely into the bathroom, she found make-up cluttered the counter. All the bottles and jars were foreign to her and picking up a parfume bottle, she cried out helplessly as it slipped out of her shaking hand and splashed down her legs and crashed on the tile floor. Sobbing, she picked her way through the shattered glass on the floor and ran over to the large windows in the bedroom, here her tearfilled eyes widened in bewilderment. Outside was lush and green, an emerald paradise. Two chaise lounges, gaily covered in a floral print stood invitingly on a carpeted deck. A book, a beach robe and a empty glass stood on a small table. The grass sloped down to the waters edge. Corey looked out at the wide exspance of brilllant blue spreading in three directions as far as she could see. Was it a lake, an ocean? She didn't know! She had no idea where she was. Nunb with unbridled fear she stumbled back to her bed where the blankets muffled her hysterical tears as she huddled. Where am I? she whimpered. Then I don't know who I am! Lost and alone, she cried forlornly. Then thankfully fell in to an exhausted sleep.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Merry Christmas (circa around 1996) As usual, I'm a little behind. This year, I had plans to get Christmas cards off to everyone, well in advance of the holiday season, and again I'm sitting here wondering where in the world the month went. It's the twenty third of December today! I've still presents to buy, groceries to buy and the house to clean. Oh dear, now I'm getting nervous! But, it's snowing again so I may as well have another cup of coffee and write a note before I start. I love all the mail I get at Christmas. I've thought so many times, how blessed I am to have such a large and caring family. A wonderful Mom, sisters and brothers, and their families. Aunts, Uncles and cousins. The cards and letters I receive from my nieces are greatly appreciated. I am so honored that they take the time to keep me informed about their families. 1996 flew by. This is my fourth year of school. I'm still trying to get the "hang" of creative writing. It's quite a challenge, since all I've written over the last forty some years has been grocery list, checks and an occasional greeting card. Between times, I design silk weddings, (bouquets and things). Right now I'm decorating an Italian restaurant in St. Paul with trees, planters, wreaths, hanging grape vines and etc. The kids are all fine and busy. Del, Meg and girls were on their way home for Thanksgiving but had to turn back because of bad weather. Val and Dan are fine, and were blessed with a grandson in May of this year. Danielle and Colton Vance lived with "grandma and grandpa Thayer" for a few months, but now she has a house of her own and is running a "day care." Bill and Sheri are doing well in Atlanta. He just got his Master's degree in business after many long week-ends of studying and cramming for tests. Jeff is busy giving guitar lesson's in his basement studio, writing songs and playing in several bands around the city. I know everyone's heart goes out to Joyce, Larry and Jamie. Their first Christmas without Jessica. Dear Jess. Her big smile, curiosity and exuberance will remain in my thoughts forever. We've had snow every day for over a week now and it's just the first day of winter! I've decided, on the fifteenth of February to put my shovel in mothballs, turn down the heat and go on a adventure. I'm a "great-grandma" now too, so I'm allowed. I've rented a villa of the coast of S. Carolina, (and island called Hilton Head) for six weeks. I'll spend Easter with Billy in Atlanta and be back the first of April. I plan to buy a laptop and sit under a "palm tree" and write. I wish everyone luck, courage and strength in the coming year. Love and hugs Marilyn
Monday, November 18, 2013
Dancing in the Dark
The air cooled her face and wisped her hair out of the knot on her head. Her body moved gracefully to the strains of the music, totally absorbed in the freedom of the movements and the lightness of her body. She was young, full of dreams, energetic and her life as a ballerina was just beginning. The lovely smile softened the lines on her face now, as she lay. There seemed a heaviness on her right leg and she slowed her movements and stopped. Then abruptly, she opened her eyes and felt the pain, and the horrible memory became a reality again of the accident and her crushed leg. Her life as a dancer was over. Her days as a teacher in her school were gone. It was the end of the world. A hysterical cry tore at her, as her eyes once again swept over the white hospital room. Just then a nurse came into her room.
"Miss Jones, it's time for another shot." And again the soothing medication began to numb the pain. She closed her swollen eyelids, thankfully shutting out her fear for another few hours.
Stephanie Jones dropped her school books on the kitchen table with a plop. Her small six-year old body had trembled with excitement though-out the long day as she anxiously waited for this moment.
"Mom, mom, can I get dressed now?" she asked breathlessly.
"Yes dear, your outfit is on your bed in your room. Hurry now, we don't want to be late on your first day."
Smiling, the little girl thought, ‘oh mom, I wouldn’t be late. This is the happiest day of my life!’ She hurriedly dropped her dress on the floor, pulled off her socks and shoes. Her hands caressed her new things as she slipped into the pink leotard. Her breath escaped in little gasps of delight as she touched the net "tutu". It reminded of her of a birthday cake, she'd had once. Now she tugged it over her head and ran into her parent’s room and stood in front of a full length mirror. But, she was horrified!
"Mom," she wailed helplessly. Huge tears began as she looked at herself. The beautiful outfit hung and sagged over her thin knees. Her hair hung in unruly strands. She didn't look at all like that girl in the picture that hung over her bed. Heartbroken, she wailed, “I’ll never be a ballerina!”
"What's wrong, angel," her mother said rushing into the room.
"Mom, I look funny.” Her heart-shaped face was tear-stained, her blue eyes sad.
"Now don't worry sweetie, I'll fix you." And her mom brushed the wrinkles out of the tights and leotard, straightened the "tutu." Then arranged her hair into a pony-tail and slipped a pink rosette to hold it in place.
"Now Stephanie, go and take a look." And Stephanie glowed with happiness as she turned her head and watched her hair bob up and down in its secured tail. She sat down on the floor then and put on her ballet shoes. Her hands caressed the smooth warm leather, the suede soles. Standing up now in front of the mirror, she smiled at last. The smile continued to light up her face as they drove to the dance studio even though her stomach jumped with butterflies as she saw the big place. Then a beautiful lady came into the room and Stephanie took in every detail of her; her face, her outfit and her jewelry. She fell in love. This was what she would look like when she got big.
"Girls, my name are Maria," the woman said. "I'll be your teacher. Now will you line up please, and I'll assign you to your places. This space will be yours as you all learn together."
The room was hushed as twenty little girls found their spots. Little Stephanie Jones stood anxiously waiting for instructions as the sounds of "Music Box Dancer" began to fill the room.
"Now we'll start with the five positions," her teacher said. A happy smile glowed on Stephanie’s face as she began. She knew this was just the beginning. Her first recital was nerve-wracking and she loved the attention and the applause. From then on, Monday’s became her special day. She'd rush home from school, excitedly put on her dancing outfit and patiently wait for her ride. When she was ten-years old, her teacher told the class they would be getting toe shoes. Stephanie viewed this with trepidation. How would she ever learn to dance on her toes! And she tried, to no avail.
"But Mom, I have to be ready,” she protested. Her feet had toughened up from blisters and calluses over the years, but now it didn't compare with the pain she had to endure. Her toes bled, her toe-nails turned black but she still danced, her smile wide. She became the darling of studio and danced in the front line. After graduation from high school, she stayed on to become a full time teacher and began to save money to go to New York to study at the famous Julliard School of Dance. Stephanie was nineteen years old. A beautiful girl. Her brunette hair reached her waist and her blue eyes were framed with dark lashes. She'd led a normal life with girl-friends and an occasional date over the years, but her dance always took first priority. The years flew by and she soon had her own studio, and it was called “Stephanie’s Dance.”
Then she met Jesse Albright and her life changed.
"Who is that?" Stephanie asked her best friend Lisa. They had been having lunch in a downtown Chinese restaurant. An excited flush spread over her fair completion. She smoothed her black dress, then her long pony-tail perched high on her head and then took another quick peek at him from under her lashes. The room was crowded with business people and shoppers. The wait people busy with trays of the luscious oriental food and the air was charged.
"Lisa, who is that guy?" Stephanie repeated. Her eyes were drawn to the handsome well-dressed man at the next table that Lisa had waved to as they had been seated.
"Hmm-, his name is Jessie something. I've just seen him around town." Lisa remarked.
"Wow, what a dream," Stephanie murmured as she sipped her green tea. She felt an electric charge between their tables and suddenly, he got up and started over. Her stomach lurched.
"Hello, my name is Jessie Albright," he said extending his hand toward her. His smile dimpled over perfect white teeth.
“Stephanie Jones,” she managed to whisper. And when they shook hands she thought she just might faint right there in the restaurant.
“You’re a dancer aren’t you?” He commented looking her over.
“Yes, but how did you know?” Stephanie asked curiously.
“By your incredible smile and how you walk.” He said
“Do you want to join us,” Her friend ventured seeing the looks exchanged between them.
“Love to,” He said and slid onto a stool at their high table. And that was the beginning of their love story that had bridged a decade.
Now he took her hand and kissed her lightly. Then whispered, “Stephie, just rest now and get well. We’ll get through this and you’ll dance again, I promise.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Syd dropped her dusting cloth and looked at her precocious child. And so it began and they became entertainers.
They had been a hit and now several years later, with her own traveling dance band, Syd stood on stage looking confident and beautiful, but falling apart inside.
It was foolish to come home to play for this dance, just in case he'd be here, she worried. I got my answer years ago when he left me, pregnant and alone. However, later in the evening, her eyes met the stare of her lost love.
Merry D's song ended, and she ran off the stage after taking her bow as the dancers applauded and cheered, then it was time for intermission. The band members put their instruments down and left the stage and Syd stood alone. In her white outfit, Western boots and hat, perfect fitting pants, a spangled shirt adorned her slim figure. Which matched her traveling bus parked right outside.
The man in a gray suit and hat approached the stage, then stood silently searching her face. Finally in a angusished whisper he asked, "She's my daughter isn't she?"
"Yes, Miles, she is." Sydney answered warily.
"Syd," he exclaimed. "I never knew!" "I never knew," he repeated sadly. "I left here years ago after an agrument with my folks. This is the first I've been back here and now they're gone."
Syd stood there, her heart in shambles.
He went on, "I was going through some old papers of theirs and found your letters. I know they would have sent them to me, but I never wrote to them to let them know where I was."
Her heart pounded out of control. Should and could she believe him?
"Is there a chance Syd? I've waited hoping I could find you someday. Somehow."
Maybe, she thought.
"I bought my own farm in North Dakota. It would be perfect for our daughter to grow up there," he continued hopefully.
After the doubts and uncertainties subsided, Sydney Joyce smiled. He hadn't known and hadn't meant to hurt her by disappearing. She stepped off the stage and they embraced.
Finally after all these years, her mission had been accomplished and Merry'D had found her very own daddy.
-Lyn Miller Lacoursiere
Some of this was told to me by my mom, then too, some could have been my own fabrications after reading her forebiden "True Story" magizines.
Friday, October 4, 2013
Monday, September 30, 2013
Aunt Rose didn't move and Syd could see it wasn't any use. She had apparently died in her sleep, but with a smile on her face and in her elegant nightgown. Syd painfully arranged the covers and lace sheet around her aunt and sat with her daughter clutched in her lap. She sat in shock for a long time and the little girl quietly hugged her mother. This lovely woman whom she had grown to love like her own mother, was gone. A vast emptness crept into Syneys heart.
After a while, she bundled Merry D against the cold winter and went next door to her neighbor, Mrs. Larsen.
"Sydney, your aunt had heart trouble! She didn't want to worry you dear," Mrs. Larsen said. When you have time, read her bible. Then the minister was called and arrangements were made. The days flew by with many tears shed, as everyone had loved Aunt Rose.
Along with Syd's sadness, and underlying fear had began to plague her thoughts. Where would she go now? She was alone and had a child to care for. The huge city loomed dark and threatening without her dear aunt to protect them.
After all the friends had gone home and the small house quieted down, Sydney put her daughter to bed and then sat alone. She sighed deeply as she drank a cup of tea. After a few minutes she tiptoed into her aunts' bedroom, smoothed the bedspread and sat down on her soft bed. Her lilac scent still hung in the air. In her grief and lonliness, Syd reached for Rose's heavy bible lying on the table next to her bed and she reverently clasped it to her heart. Wiping a tear aside she opened it and began to page throught the delicate sheets recalling the favorite verses they had shared. As she was putting it down later, she found an envelope taped to the inside cover with her name written on it. She opened it curiously, then sat thunderstruck as she read: To my neice, Sydney Joyce. In the event of my death, I lovingly give you and yours my home, my business and whatecver savings I have, to do with as you see favorable. Sydney sat astonished. A miracle had happened. There was a way for them now and with that she straightened her shoulders. She was twenty two years old with a business to run, a house to take care of and a child to raise.
The time and the years seemed to fly for Syd and Merry D now. And after struggling through sadness and finally finding a routine, their life settled into a nice safe time again.
Her seamtress business grew and they became financecially secure now. After the evening chores were done Syd and Merry D would press their ears to the radio to learn new music and songs. Along with the waltzes, two-steps and polkas from Syd's childhood memories, they began to sing together, then entertain in clubs and halls. Syd's accordian music swelled with a beat and Merry D's plump fingers grew nimble with and practice as she played her red guitar.
Syd thought of her lost love sometimes. Somday, I will bo back though, she was thinking as she cleaned house, I need to know. Maybe, just maybe--
Saturday, September 14, 2013
"But mama, I want a daddy!" her little voice pleaded. "Can't we find him and tell him to come home?"
"We'll see, Merry D," her mother said glancing away from Aunt Rose's questioning look.
"I'm not ready yet!" she told her Aunt later that evening as they sat together. "Maybe sometime--."
"Why don't you write to him Syd. Tell him about Merry D. He has a right to know he has a daughter. Don't you ever wonder if he came back?"
"Of course, I've thought of him," Syd said sadly, smoothing her waved hair that had sprung out into loose curls again. "Ma said she had heard that he lives in the Dakotas somewhere."
Syd missed her piano. Her fingers ached to play again, but now her dream was to buy a accordion. She had painstakenly saved up money over the years and one day she set out to shop. She had studied the ads and knew what she wanted. And inside the music store she stood and looked around in awe. She finally decided on a shiny red and white one. Inlaid with pearl and it was beautiful. It took her breath away as she held it and ran her fingers over the keys and heard the sweet sounds.
"Now I want another instument for my daughter," she said smiling at the clerk, "and it needs to be red too." Syd found what she had in mind and proudly paid for her purchases, then splurged on a taxi to get her purchases home.
Her heart busrst with pride as she helped Merry D open her present. And as she laid the shiny new guitar in her lap, Merry D shrieked, excitedly, "Oh mama, is this really for me?"
"Yes, my darling," Syd announced proudly. "And I'll teach you to play it and we'll have great fun together." And soon the little pink house was alive with music to go along with their songs.
"Mama, come and see Auntie." Merry D 's six year old voice came from Roses's room one morning as Syd was cooking breakfast. The rich aroma of bacon, eggs and coffee wafted through the house.
"Merry D, tell Auntie breakfast is ready and then come down sweetie."
"But mama, Auntie won't wake up," Merry D's small voice came back plaintively.
Syd had dished up their plates and poured a cup of coffee for herself. She sat down to wait for them, leasurely enjoying the few momments.
Aunt Rose is getting a little slower, she reminded herself patiently. and she has looked tired lately too. Suddenly alarmed she stood up.
"Mama," the child's voice came again. "Auntie is still asleep. She won't open her eyes and talk to me." Merry D's voice floated down from the hallway again. Then she said softly, " I think she's gone to heaven."
Syd dropped her cup on the table and flew upstairs to her Aunt's room.
"Aunt Rose, Auntie. Oh no!"
Syd rubbed her hands and shook her gently, but Rose didn't move.
Monday, September 2, 2013
Sydney Joyce and her Aunt Rose sat in worried silence.
"Here it is again," Syd wailed. Her face was white and her eyes wide.
"Sweetie, what does it feel like, is it a pain?"
"It doesn't hurt," Syd replied tearfully. "It kind of feels like a butterfly in there."
"Oh my dear," Aunt Rose said sitting back on her heels and hugging her, "that's the baby moving and telling you its okay."
From then on the flutters became stronger and grew into out-right kicking. Aunt Rose's
neighbor, Mrs. Larsen knew about these things and came over regularly and felt her stomach and clucked along with her aunt.
The fall turned into winter. Now it was December and the ladies were sittng sipping tea and stitching baby kimonos. Syd's back ached and she felt restless. She stood up to stretch and a sudden pain caused her to frown. She took several steps and then looked down in horror as a stain began wetting her dress and stockings.
"Oh, look what I've done," she wailed as a puddle began to darken the flowered living room carpet.
"Sweetie, that's all right." Aunt Rose said softly, trying to control her sudden alarm. She knew it was time!
"Let's go into your room and you can lie down." And Rose helped her undress saying, "now just rest and I'll go get Mrs. Larsen. I'll be gone only five minutes."
"I'm so scared," Syd cried clutching her stomach again as a new pain set in. Her face was stark white, her eyes terror strickened.
The two older ladies boiled water and found clean old sheets. They wiped Syd's tears and held her hand way into the night as the young girl struggled to bring a new life into the world. Finally, after hours of pain and exhaustion, her daughter was born amid cries of joy and relief.
It was December 12, 1932.
"I'll name her Merry Delores because its soon Christmas," Syd replied as she held the tiny bundle in her arms and looked her over with pride and wonder. After reassuring herself that the baby was perfect, she fell sound asleep.
That first year flew by and Little Merry D grew from a tiny infant into a chubby inquisitive little Miss and her great aunt and her mother doted on her every whim.
Aunt Rose loved having a family and their business flourished as they worked long days and well into the nights sewing dresses and gown for the elite of Chicago. As Merry D grew, her pure sweet voice joined Syd's as they sang together, learning the current songs they heard coming over the radio. Their soprano voices were beautiful together. One Sunday as they were sitting down having tea after church, Merry D piped up in her small voice.
"Mama, is my daddy in heaven?"
Sydney jumped up from the table and exclaimed, "Oh no, your daddy went away a long time ago"
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
"I didn't mean to sleep so long auntie, but I can help you with supper," Sydney offered running into the kitchen at her aunt's house in the large city.
"Oh my, that's not necessary. It's ready now so sit down and let's eat. It's only scrambled eggs and fresh bread."
After the two women had eaten and washed and dried the dishes, Aunt Rose said kindly, "Lets go and visit now. Tell me about yourself, Sydney."
Rose carried the kerosene burning lamp into the living room amd motioned Sydney to a soft chair. Rose sat down and tucked her feet under, and her hair which she wore swept up in a loose knot tumbleded crookedly. Tendrils brushed her face. Her elegant red satin robe glowed in the shaded lamp light, as she settled back and smiled at her young neice.
"Now don't worry about anything sweetie, you safe here with me. Your ma said you're expecting." Her aunt's face softened now as she continued, "I'll help you, but, what about the baby's father? Didn't he want to get married?"
Sydney sat huddled in the corner of the chair. Her faded dress wrinkled and tight over the small bulge at her waistline. She started to cry and said softly, "I'm so sorry to burden you Aunt Rose, but I wrote to him many times, but he didn't come over. I guess he didn't care." She said tearfully, feeling ashamed and bewildered. "Dad went to find him, but he had left. His family didn't know where though." Wiping her eyes on her sleeve she said bravely, "I want to keep my baby, and raise it somehow."
Rose got up and came over and put an arm around Syd's shoulder. "Well Sydney, I've been thinking and I have a plan. You can live with me and help me in my shop. I sew for people and my business is growing."
She took a lace hankie and reached over and wiped Syd's eyes and then her own. "I've never married and I get lonely at times. We can work this out."
Sydney sat up straight and pushed her damp hair out of her eyes and smiled for the first time in months. Now the sixteen year old finally saw a way.
The weeks and months passed swiftly, and Syd was busier than ever in her life. She had learned to sew from her mother and her stiches were fine and accurate and her fingers flew. She had grown used to the lights, smells and noise of the city by now, and thrilled to the bigness of everything.
Aunt Rose was like a mother hen to her, affectionately clucking over her to eat more and rest. Her cheeks grew rosy and the wonder of the baby growing in her stomach made her eyes shine. And the hurt and loneliness was lessening.
One day as they were sitting gathering stitches on a ball-gown, Sydney sat up suddenly with a start. Her hands flew to her stomach and her work rolled to the floor.
Jumping out of her chair, Aunt Rose exclaimed in alarm, "Syd, what is it?"
"I don't know for sure, but I think the baby is coming!" She wailed.
"Oh no, it's too soon! Just sit quietly and we'll see," Aunt Rose whispered.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Sydney Joyce greatfully sank down on the quilt covered bed and sighed with relief, however the loud noise from the city still vibrated in her ears. Within minutes her aunt was back with steaming cups of tea.
"Here dear," she said bustling around, "I thought some toast would be best for your stomach for now."
"Thank you Aunt rose, I havent felt good, but I'm so hungry," she said faintly. Her hand trembled as she reached for the food.
"How is your family? Your ma didn't say too much about other things when she wrote."
"Everyone is okay. The fields don't look too good pa says, but ma's garden is nice. It's dry though so we have to carry water alot to it." The tea had begaun to soothe her stomach and the thick toast tasted heavenly as Syd muched hungrily.
"You take a nap now and we'll visit more when you get up," Aunt Rose said and tucked an afghan around her legs.
Sydney lay back on the fluffy pillows, hundreds of miles away from her home and family. She wondered if she would ever see them again, already missing her piano, she wondered too, if she would ever be able to have another and be able to sing her songs again.
She slept soundly for several hours and awoke with a start at a loud clanging noise right outside the window. She jumped up and looked around frantically. It was dark now and as she ran to the window and looked out, her eyes widened in wonder as she saw a trolly going by full of people. Lights shone from everywhere.
That's right, I'm in Chicago at Aunt Rose's house, she remembered as she found her shoes. Wood burning in the stove and the aroma of baking bread drew her down the hall of the house and into the warm cheery kitchen.
"Why, there you are, are you feeling better now after your rest?" Aunt Rose turned from the stove with a smile on her face.
"I didn't mean to sleep so long auntie,I can help with supper."
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Sidney Joyce huddled in her seat and tried to remember his face, for now he seemed like a stranger to her. It was late August and it had been months since they'd been together that last time. When he'd said he loved her. When they had gone all the way.
She remembered her mother's heartbreak when she'd told her that she was pregnant. Also her dad's anger when he'd gone to look for boy. When his parents had said, 'Why he's gone. Just up and left!" And then her own embarrassment when the sheriff was called in.
But he must have gotten my letter, she thought again as a sob tore at her throat. When I told him I had missed my monthly and I thought we should get married!
Sydney remembered walking the two miles every day to the mail-box and anxiously waiting for a letter, but there had been nothing. Now she was five months pregnant and going far away to live with an aunt.
Soon the tall buildings of the big city began to take shape in the far distance, and finally the fume spitting train came to a crashing halt in a big building. Then everyone stood up and began inching their way out, clutching suitcases and bags. Sydney nervously smoothed her hair and applied some Tangee lipstick, and took a deep shaking breath. Lord, she'd never been so scared in her life!
What if Aunt Rose isn't here to meet me, what will I do? She worried.
Damp, hot air hit her face as the departing crowd pushed her along. She stepped down hesitatingly into the depot, and looked around in panic.
Then suddenly a woman with shining brown hair touched with gray, and snapping blue eyes, stepped out of the crowd of waiting people and enveloped her in her arms.
"Sydney Joyce, here I am. I am your Aunt Rose," the woman said holding her away and looking her over. "Why you're as big as a minute and pale as snow. But I would have known you right off, you look just like your mother. I just got her letter yesterday."
Sydney felt the same comforting feelings coming from this woman, whom she'd never even seen before, as she felt from her own mother. They were almost identical in looks, only Rose was younger and wore stylish clothes. Sydney was embarrassed as she stood under her aunt's gaze, as her own dress was wrinkled, and she was hot and tired.
"Syndey Joyce, you poor dear, you need some food and rest, but we'll be home in a few minutes now."
Fumes from the train and the closeness of the people made Sydney's stomach tighten up, and she looked around franticly for somewhere to run to, to throw up. But fortunately, just in the nick of time they stepped ouside into the fresh air and the nausea passed. They began to walk.
After several blocks, they were at the door of a small pink house with white shutters. A white picket fence ran around the small yard. Flowers bloomed in window boxes. It was the prettiest house Sydney had ever seen. Aunt Rose took her hand and led her in.
"Welcome to my home Sydney, and I have a spare bedroom just for you."
Saturday, June 29, 2013
After her band had finished their number Syd stepped up to the microphone.
"Thank you for coming tonight folks." Her eyes swept the crowd. "It's wonderful to be back again after so many years. Now I'd like to introduce Merry D, my daughter. She's the real star of the show."
The young girl came running out on to the stage, clutching her big guitar. Dressed in white slacks and jacket, western hat and boots, identical to her mother's outfit. She was a miniture Sidney Joyce: Same long auburn hair, sparkling blue eyes and a big ShirleyTemple smile.
The crowd clapped and cheered as she began to sing. Syd and her band stepped back and let her have the stage, as everyone watched and fell in love with the twelve year old as she sang her heart out. She was into her second song now and Syd accompanied her softly on her accordian as she sang, "South of the Border," in her clear soprano voice. Syd's eyes moved proudly between the stage and the crowd, but she still wondered had she made a mistake in coming back? She wasn't as sure now.
She smiled as old acquainatances danced by, enjoying the Saturday night barn dance. It was 1944 and the war was on. Food, gas and nylons were rationed, and Walter Winchell's radio news sent chills out to anyone old enough to understand the world's situation.
The converted hayloft in Syd's old community was crowded with the local people, young and old. Some of them were there to relax and dance, and some out of curiosity to see the big band from Chicago and the girl who had left years ago.
Syd stepped up to the mike again and announced the next song as the dancers waited espectantly on the floor.
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is my favorite. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do." And mother and daughter began to sing. Their voices blending perfectly. Just then in the middle of the song, Syd stopped and stood stock still as her eyes were magnetically drawn to a lone man standing away from the crowd. He was dressed in gray. A felt hat sat rakisly almost covering one eye and a handsome suit covered his muscled frame. He was intently watching her and Merry D.
My God, it was him! Syd began to shake inside and the words to the song stuck in her throat. Perspiration soaked her white jacket and her fingers felt as if they belonged to someone else's hand as they miraculously moved. She stood on the stage, finally face to face with the man after so many years, but would he remember?
Sydney Joyce counted her money again and tucked the ten dollars back safely in her purse. The year was 1932 and she was sixteen years old and on her way to Chicago. As she sat on the hard seat on the train the nausea came again and she leaned back in the seat and closed her eyes. Alone and deeply hurt, the rumbling of the moving car lulled her momentarily and she smoothed her faded dress down over her stomach protectively, as the pain of rejection hurt again like a sudden blow.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Reno crouched on the ground at Julia's side, his eyes wild. Sweat dripped off him and onto her face as he ripped her clothes.
"Now you're mine. Now you'll be nice to me." His breath was hot and stale with liquor as he lashed out at her. He was going to rape her now! She was helpless.
But instead, he raised his arm and she glimpsed a knife pointed at her. She braced herself for the end, for the cold steel to pierce her skin, cut her flesh. Seconds went by, then more, but a final blow didn't come, and time seemed to stand still.
She opened her eyes to see a body fly through the air, knock Reno down. The knife went sailing into the tangle of weeds as the men rolled on the ground, the police arrived and handcuffed Reno. Then Julia fainted.
"It was Reno," she managed to say out of bruised lips. She was still lying on the sand.
Johnny Agar helped her to sit up. Then carefully pressed a hankerchief to her battered face as he talked.
"I know who it was Julia, I've had a eye on him lately. I found out he escaped from prison last month and stole that limousine. The police said he had been convicted of stalking and attempted murder."
Julia shuttered. "He always wanted me to go out with him."
"Be thankful you never did, as I'm sure he had more than that in mind for you then."
"You know Johnny, I sensed something about him. But, how did you find me now?"
Johhny smiled at her. "I came over to get you to go walking and a neighbor said you'd left and was headed down here." As he talked he took off his jacket and wrapped it around her. "I could see you in the distance, then I saw someone come out of nowhere and chase you, then attack you. Well, thank God I had my cell with me and I called 911, then ran like hell."
Julia began to cry and Johnny leaned down. "Julia," he murmured softly, "the nighnare is over, but it could be just beginning for us." She looked up into those twinkling eyes.
The sun came out then exploding over the brilliant tropical greenery and the white tips of the crashing waves were bright as diamonds as he gathered her protectively in his arms.
Safe at last, Julia smiled.
Dear Friends; I often take characters from short stories I've written and put them in my books.
You probably recognized John Agar from Nightmares and Dreams. He was the FBI agent, posing as a drug buyer, that met Mario out on the ocean, that Mario shot and pushed overboard. The murder scene that Lindy Lewis witnessed.
Thanks, let me know if you think I should keep on, please.
Monday, June 3, 2013
Julia's days were full. Johnny took her to the elegant places as he had promised. They ate oysters on the wharf. Drank margueritas on a cruise and took early morning walks together.
She met new people on the beach, shopped and went sightseeing. Reno was there with the limo, whenever she needed transportation, but she still kept refusing his advances.
It had began to rain the evening before, and stormed during the night and the radio promised clearing skies by noon and the weather man was right. Jullia rushed to get outside and to the beach. She grabbed her plaid base-ball cap and keys and ran down the condo stairs and out to the white sand where the shells crackled under her feet. Where the sea-gulls busily searched the sand for the tasty morsels the ocean had brought to their table again. She walked, refreshed and energized, by the beauty of her surroundings. She was alone on the beach, but soon the cooped up vacationers would burst out to join her.
The sun broke through and gentle breezes chased the storm clouds away and she stopped to watch a group of sandpipers, fascinated as they moved together, as the waves came billowing over the beach, back and forth, like a marching band doing formations. She smiled.
She walked on until she came to a familiar landmark, which was an old abandoned row boat and turned around to go back. She hadn't noticed a lone man standing in the dunes, until he started walking toward her. As he got closer she saw he had a white cap pulled low over his eyes and when he was about fifty yars away she realized something about him looked threatening. She kept walking and suddenly saw they were the only ones out on the beach. As they met each other, she avoided making eye-contact with him, but the hair on the back of her head prickled and a chill went down her back.
A moment later, Julia turned around for a quick peek at him again and just then he turned too, and started running toward her. She yelled something and her heart started to pound as she ran. But within minutes, he caught up and had her in a viselike hold and her cap and keys fell to the ground. She struggled and fought against him, but he had one hand over her mouth, and the other twisting her arms in back of her. She was trapped and in desparate trouble. She fought as he forced her to walk ahead of him into the tangle of weeds and bushes in the dunes. Then his cap fell off and she recognized the man. It was Reno, the limo driver! Reaching a clearing, he pushed her down on the ground, and in that instant she screamed.
He hit her then and blood ran from her nose and mouth. She cried out as everything blurred. Then he had a rope in his hand and bound her arms and legs and she lay there on the wet sand, her body twisted and tied. The air heavy with humidity.
"Reno, why?" she managed to cry out of swollen lips.
"You bitch! You think you're too good for me, how do you feel now?" And he hit her again, this time in her chest and she writhed in pain.
Monday, May 27, 2013
The stranger sat down at Julia Masons table in the Diner.
"I haven't been able to take my eyes off you, beautiful lady. The minute you came in I said, 'Johnny, here's the girl for you!'"
Taken aback by this man's brashness, Julia held her breath as he reached over and extended his hand and exclaimed, "My name is John Agar."
"Excuse me, John. You're sure direct."
He laughed. "At my age, I can't afford to beat around the bush." He took a lusty slurp of his coffee and winked at her. "I bet your name is something pretty, like Rose or Amber maybe."
By now, Julia felt comfortable and charmed by the man's easy manner. She smiled and said Julia, Julia Mason."
"Well Julia, where are you from?"
Julia swallowed uneasily, and thought, relax. He looks like a nice guy. "I'm from Minneapolis," she said then.
"Well, I'm sure you're glad to get away from all that snow. How long will you be here Julia?"
"Two weeks." As she raised her cup of coffee, her hand trembled slightly. Now she worried, maybe she was telling him too much.
"Just enough time."
"Just enough time for what?" Julia asked curiously.
"Dinner, dancing, cruising on the water. Anything you want." He waved a hand in the air as he spoke.
"Well, you really don't waste any time do you!"
"Nope," he smiled. "Listen there's a wine tasting party this evening down in Shelter Cove Harbor, would you go with me?"
She scanned his face, tried to read his mind. He looked honest.
He leaned over and lifted her chin. "I promise, I'm nice. Where are you staying?"
Julia gave him the address.
"I'll pick you up at five then. I've got to run for now, but I'll see you tonight." And after that whirlwind he disappeared out the door of the Diner and down the street.
After he left, Julia sat back and bit her lower lip in doubt, but flattered by all the attention she thought, well why not, a vacation romance might be fun!
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Julia Mason checked her watch. Ten minutes went by, then thirty, forty and then about an hour. She stopped and listened. Had she walked right by the place she was staying at? She stood bewildered. Her clothes were wet, and her hair hung in wilted strands around her face.
But no --, she began to hear voices, and familiar sounds. A car door slammed and voices echoed through the billowing gray. Cooking odors wafted from a restaurant's kitchen. Suddenly a familiar sign loomed just in front of her that read, Surfside Beach and Tennis Club! She was safe!
The next day dawned clear and Julia stood on the balcony of her condo and watched the sun come up over the ocean. For a few moments just then, the world was cast in pink. Tiny clouds formed a network of white lace in front of the glow. A long v-shaped parade of gulls glided by and gently tipped the white capped waves in their flight.
The island was twelve miles long and shaped like a high top shoe. The brochure had said one main street ran through the length of the town. No advertising or street signs were allowed to clutter the landscape except on each corner, a small discreet listing of the businesses was displayed on a subdued colored sign. The suburbs were called plantations with locked gates and twenty-four hour guards. Each area contained businesses, homes and golf courses, The colors were muted shades of greys, browns and blues, so as not to distract from the uniqness of the blazing plant life.
Julia decided to have breakfast first, on her way to explore the island. She dressed with care, wearing another of her new outfits. This time a long avocodo skirt with fringes on the botton, an overblouse cinched with a gold belt and gold and white sandals. She pinned her hair up in a knot on the top of her head and glancing at herself in a mirror, she now looked like a completely different person. Great, she smiled at her reflection. No one knows me here, I can be anyone I want to be.
She called Reno and his white limousine sped up to her door a few minutes later.
"Good morning Miss Mason. Where to?" He asked importantly and his eyes lingered on her as he held the car door.
"Reno," she said, "Would you take me to a nice restaurant please."
"The diner then," he remarked and they drove off.
"How was your first day," he asked and swung around quickly in his seat for a peek at her as he drove. "Do you mind if I call you Julia?"
He sure was getting friendly, Julia thought uneasily but went on. "Well, " she grimaced,"I got caught in the fog when I went out to walk by the water,"
"Oh no--," and he clapped a hand to his forehead, "I forgot to warn you, bad weather comes in fast here by the ocean. What did you do?"
"Julia," he said then, "I live near here right off the beach, Why don''t I come by and get you and go with you on your walks. I can keep you safe."
Her eyes met his in the rear-view mirror. He was young, and much too intense.
Not knowing how to get out of this situation, Julia replied, "well maybe--".
The Diner was in a upscale hotel. The host sat her at a table and placed a menu in front of her. The room was full and the air delicaately laced with the cool air-condioning and the expensive colognes from the people sitting around her. All were elegantly dressed and their conversations spirited.
Self-consciously, Julia tucked her Timex watch under on her wrist and was glad she'd bought her new clothes even if they'd been on sale. She took out the same pack of cigarettes she'd brought from home, but instead of using her old Cricket lighter, she reached for the book of matches on the table suplied by the resaturant. And then even though her fingers shook she dared take the long elegant cigarette holder she'd bought on a whim out of her purse and in inserted it over her Marlboro. Carefully taking a small drag of the cigarette so she wouldn't cough, she blew the smoke out and toward the ceiling. Damn she must look good, she decided.
She ordered an omelette, then jumped in alarm as a man's voice said "paardon me lady, may I join you for coffee?"
Julia looked up into the steely eyes of a tall stranger, dressed in white shorts, a white t-shirt. His legs were tanned and powerfull.
"Well--," she said hesitating as a chill moved up her chest, and not even waiting for her answer, he pulled out a chair and sat down.
Friday, May 10, 2013
The sun warmed Julia Mason's shoulders and the soft white sand cushioned her feet. The tide had been in leaving behind thousands of sea shells where it had crested, then receded. She looked at the vast expanse of blue water, and realized that it reached over to some far-off country. Probably Morocco, she thought. She began to walk faster as the high waves beat against the sand. Her breath caught as she gazed at the tangled jungle of tropical plants and trees that grew wildly amongst the dunes.
She walked on, caught up in the beauty of her surroundings, feeling the marvelous freedom. And, she didn't notice the fog that had begun to roll in over the water behind her. By now, she was several miles out when suddenly the sun dimmed, and a curtain of damp grayness swept in. In a matter of seconds it caught up to her and began to close around her. She stopped and watched in horror as it swept past her and moved on, spiraling over the beach.
She stood still, smothered in the fog. Everything had disappeared; the sky, the beach and the ocean, and she could see only a few feet ahead of her. The silence only brokened by the crashing waves.
But how far away were they? Was the tide coming in again?
She was lost! Should she scream? Panic began in her chest and her heart raced as the Atlantic Ocean crashed. She was alone in a strange city, and there was no one there to help her. She was truly on her own and it could be hours, maybe even all night before she could get back to her condo.
Don't panic, calm down, she reminded herself, remembering what she'd taught her class of young school children about being lost. Think--, she whispered and start walking. But which way was back? She sagged down in the sand and cried tearfully, realizing she'd forgotten that too. After a few minutes, she got up and determinedly started walking, not at all sure of the direction. But she recalled as youngster, playing with her brothers in the heavy woods around their home and how they'd leave small rocks to mark their trails to find their way back out of the forest.
Follow the ridge of seashells, she reminded herself. And she set off and soon the shells crackled under her feet as she walked on, feeling any minute she should finally step out of the curtain of fog. She checked her watch and saw it was almost seven pm and she wondered how soon it would get dark.
Oh Lord, the thought of still being out there after dark scared the daylights out of her! It had been an hour since she'd started her walk. A little glimmer of hope calmed her as she realized then if she walked for an hour, shouldn't she end up somewhere close to her complex, where she had started out from? That's if she was going in the right direction. She remembered on the way in, hadn't she seen swamps and marshes bordering the water on the other side of the area.
She tried to hum something to calm herself at the thought of the snakes and allgators that would rush at her. The water continued to slap against the shore as she struggled against the fear. The time dragged!
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Julia left the next day, amidst another snow storm and falling temperatures. And a few hours later, when they landed in Hilton Head SC the pilot had said "the temperature is 83 degrees. Enjoy the sun folks.
She walked out of the airport and was suddenly transported into a world of color and warmth. She threw off her trenchcoat as she waited with her luggage for a taxi. The sunshine blazed on the green palm trees, the palmetoes and yuccas. Julia looked wide-eyed at the brillance of the azaleas blooming everywhere. She could smell the ocean and the lovely dampness of the salt air.
The sun warmed her as she waited near the curb and stepped back as a white limousine swung around the corner and came to a stop beside her. She looked around excitedly thinking some famous person, a movie star even must be there. A young man got out dressed in black and wearing a chauffer's cap.
"Are you Julia Mason," he asked?
"Why- yes I am," she said hesitatingly.
He flashed a big smile and opened the car door. "Well, I'm new at this job and this is my car, so hop in."
"But I didn't ask for a limousine, I can't--," And Julia stepped back suddenly tongue tied by the grandiose situation.
"Don't worry, Miss Mason, my rates are the same as a taxi."
"Well," Julia paused, "okay then." And he closed the door and loaded her suticases in the trunk.
'Where are you staying," he asked then.
"It's called the Surfside."
"Great place, Miss Mason, you'll enjoy it there." And the big car moved out into the traffic. In a few minutes, Julia relaxed and sat back. She fluffed her hair and reached in her purse for the new pair of designer sun glasses. With a grin, she thought, if my friends could see me now!
"Is this your first trip, Miss Mason," the driver asked?
"Oh yes," Julia answered breathlessly.
"How long will you be here?" He asked then as he drove but as Julia happened to glance up she saw that he was staring at her in the rear-view mirror.
"Two weeks," she answered but began to feel just alittle bit uneasy.
"Miss Mason, I can show you around. You'll love the beach. Oh, by the way my name is Reno."
"Well, thank you Reno," Julia said not wanting to offend this brash young man.
Her villa was on the second floor and he carried her bags up to the door, then looked her over openly as she hurriedly paid and tipped him, glad to finally close the door.
The rooms were done in floral prints, the furniture was coral cane and the accessories were tropical. Large glass doors opened out to a deck which overlooked the ocean. The view was breathtaking. Julia had never been this close to the water or this far away from home before, so this was a first.
She threw her suitcases on the bed and began to hang her clothes, but changed her mind. Hell, she thought recklessly, I'll can do this later, I'm going down to the beach.
She slipped out of her sensible brown traveling clothes and put on her new white shorts and a halter top and grabbed her sunglasses and set out. So excited and intent on seeing the water, she didn't notice her new-found friend casually strolling in the same direction.
Friday, April 19, 2013
The blow lashed across her bare chest and wrenched a scream through her swollen lips. She twisted in pain but the bonds held fast.
"Please let me go," she whispered.
But the man didn't stop, didn't listen to her pleas. He raised his arm again, this time holding a knife.
She closed her eyes in horror and her world tumbled as she realized she was going to die now, alone and far away from home. Her clothes were torn, her body battered and her vacation had turned into a nighmare.
Julia Mason was forty-four years old. As a teacher, she was usually content to stay at home after busy days dealing with children and sometimes, upset parents. Years ago, she'd had a relationship with a fellow teacher, but that had ended abruptly and left her devastated with grief. Julia was a conservative person and her wardrobe consisted of no nonsense styles, all in drab colors. Her brunette short hair had strands of gray and laugh lines framed her brown eyes.
Time flew by for her as she went about her busy life, though for a long time she'd had a fantasy. But, to act meant stepping out undaunted into the unknown.
Could she really do it, she pondered? While not to, meant never knowing the jewels of the future. In a few years she would be fifty years old, and what had she done with her life? She made up her mind, the time had come.
The northern winds tore at her clothes as she ran into her house. The skies were gray and leaden with freezing rain and the predicted snow. It was December and Christmas loomed ahead with time-off from school. She tossed her heavy coat on a chair and called her friend at the travel agancy.
"Maryann, this is Julia."
"Hi, whats up?" Maryann greeted her in her usual cheerful voice.
"Listen girlfriend, I've decided to go on a two week trip, to Hilton Head, South Carolina."
"Well, for God's sake, its about time you went somewhere. But what made you decide to go there?"
Julia took a deep breath and replied excitedly, "I've always dreamed about seeing the south."
"Well, my friend, you'll love it! The weather is tropical and the history goes back to the Civil War."
"Wonderfull and I'd like to leave tomorrow Maryann. And can you find me somewhere to stay, right by the ocean?"
"You know, Julia, I've just gotten some new brochures and there's a lovely complex with villas for rent right on the water."
"Thats it!" Julia's heart beat faster as she began to dream about her adventure. She was going! The south, with its plantations, the ocean and the warm sun beckeoned.
This called for a celebration and ice clinked in a glass, then brandy and mix splashed as she made a manhatton. The bottles were old, left over from a party she'd had years ago. Her phone was glued to her ear as she reached into the back of a drawer and found an old pack of cigarettes she'd hidden from herself and only saved for special occasions.
"You're lucky to be able to leave now," Maryann exclaimed, "if I ever get my bills paid up, I'm going somewhere too."
"Marry that man or finish that book and either way you'll be rich!" Julia reminded her friend and took the first swallow of her drink and wrinkled her nose.
"Well maybe--" Maryann ventured. "I'll call you back with your itinuary, it probably will be a few hours"
Julia took her first drag of her cigarette and coughed and sputtered, then sat back and relaxed. Now she'd have a chance to wear those clothes she'd bought on a whim last year. Daydreamed of using them someday. And after a few sips of her drink, thought daringly, maybe I'll even meet a man!
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Monday, April 8, 2013
"Abby, Abby open your eyes! Take a deep breath." And Abby moaned, then opened her eyes.
"You're okay, now just breath slow and easy," a familiar voice comforted her.
"Olaf, what-," she tried to sit up, then saw she was lying outside on the ground in her front yard. The scenery swirled around her and she had a spliting headache.
Holding her head as she sat up, she managed to ask, "what hapened?"
"It's the furnace. Just stay still while I'm go back in and open doors and windows and air your place out. I'll be right back."
Her feather down-filled blanket was under her on the snow covered ground and Abby pulled it around herself and lay still in a daze.
"Abby, I'm taking you home with me and Emma will make you something warm to drink," Olaf said as he helped her to his truck. She was still too confused and weak to argue. Getting there, both of her neighbors fussed over her and settled her on their couch for the night.
"You sleep and I'll go over and lock up." Olaf reassured her.
The next moring, Abby awoke with a start. She draped a blanket over her shoulders and followed the mouth-watering aromas of fresh coffee and cinnamon rolls into the familiar country kitchen where Olaf and Emma sat talking in hushed tones.
"Good morning," Abby said. "I'm sorry I don't know what hapened last night."
"Here sit down and eat something." Emma smiled at her young friend and brought her a cup of coffee and a roll.
"Abby, you were gassed!" Olaf boomed unable to contain his news any longer.
Emma shushed him. "Let the poor girl eat."
"What?" Abby looked askew at her friends unable to comprehend.
Olaf's fist hit the table. "Someone tried to kill you Abby! When I went back last night to lock up I checked the furnace. And do you know what? I found a loose gas pipe." He hit the table again with his fist. "I can guarantee it wasn't like that before." His face was beet red.
"I know you had the gas company check the furnace this fall Olaf." Abby said trying to console him.
"This was done recently. On purpose! Lord, it's a good thing I saw your car and decided to go over tonight and bring you some wood. Jesus, I recognized that ungodly rotten egg smell as soon as I got up to the door! You'd have been a goner if I had waited until today to come over!"
Reaching over for their phone, Abby said, "I better give them a quick call and get them over to make repairs."
Olaf was still shaking his head and said,"your sister and that handyman of yours, didn't have any trouble when they were here a few days ago, course they didn't stay over there too long."
Abby's hand froze in mid air as she was dialing the telephone. Her face paled, as she asked, "Lisa and Jonathon were here?"
In a curious way, this still hadn't felt real until he told her that. Until now, she hadn't connected this to her own personal safety.
But good Lord, had her own sister really done this? She had to face it, that it was true! It wasn't just a childish whim of Lisa's to take over her business, but her sister and the man who was Abby's former lover, had been deadly serious about getting rid of her too!
Sickened by their betrayal, Abby fought back her tears while her good friends fussed over her sadness. Then she made a decision and without a doubt in her mind, declared, "they will not get away with this. Olaf would you please call the sheriff for me?"
Thursday, March 21, 2013
"I'm going up north to my cabin this week-end," Abby informed Lisa and Jonathon, "but I want a meeting with you two before I leave." She had spent quite a few nights loosing sleep over this, but she had finally made a decision. The work was winding down now with satisfied customers and the holidays loomed ahead with a welcoming relief.
"I've sold my business," Abby said to her sister and her lover then as they sat in her office. "Along with your paychecks, you'll find I've been more than generous with a severance pay." They gaped at her.
"You can't!" Lisa shrieked. "What will I do?"
"I don't know Lisa, but you'll find a way. The new owners will be here shortly to take over. Goodbye Jonathon," she said finally, "it was nice." And Abby Andrews left them standing in her old digs still with their mouths open in disbelief as she got in her Lincoln and drove out of Birch Lake.
A wonderful exhilarating feeling engulfed her. She had retired, hung it up. No more stress to please other people. No deadlines, no alarms and no more Lisa and Jonathon to contend with.
The drive to Birch was three hours long and the roads were plowed and dry as Abby hummed along with the radio and sipped at her coffee. But maybe, she worried several hours into the trip, had she been too hasty with her blame? Of course, Jonathon had turned out to be untrustworthy with his two-timing, and Lisa, her own sister was in bed with him. For God's sake, the two most important people in her life had betrayed her. Its over, she reminded herself!
She was entering into the serenity of lake country. Snow covered the pines along the highway
and smoke rose in spirals from chimneys of the farmhouses. Soon her turn off came into view and then the short drive through the woods down to her chalet snuggled into a grove of birch trees. The setting never failed to take her breath away. A perfect Christmas card. This was where she planned to make her permanent home now and live the life of a gypsy, she imagined with glee. A thick layer of snow covered the sloping roof of the house and spread over the lawn. Sparkled and untouched. The weathered logs were a velvety gray, and the blue trim around the windows against the frost covered glass gleamed in the sunshine.
Abby grabbed her bags and hurried into the house, anxious to get settled. But she shivered from the cold stillness and turned up the thermostat on the furnace. Tomorrow she would have to call Olaf, her caretaker and ask him to bring some more wood for her fireplace. Tonight though, she just wanted to snuggle in her flannel pj's and go to bed early.
She looked around lovingly at her place. Fur rugs covered the gleaming oak floors, Navaho pillows and afghans scattered over the sofa and easy chairs. She went into the kitchen and started a pot of water for tea, and the furnace began to hum with warmth while she undressed. She got into the old fashioned affair of a bed with the down filled blankets, and sipped her warm brew and felt the sttress and tension leave her body. The solitude was wonderful and in ten minutes she was asleep, with gentle dreams.
At first they were cozy and warm, and she burrowed deeply into their cocoon. Then suddenly a nightmare began, jolting her abruptly and she began falling, falling with increasing speed into an abyss, weightless toward a black hole. A circle of darkness clutched at her, pulled at her, cutting off her breath, smothering her. She was in a tunnel now and then there was only stillness.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Pissed, Abby grabbed her briefcase. "I'll be out," she said to Lisa, "
My God, she thought, as soon as I finish these projects, I've got to get rid of both on them. She had promised completion of the three sites for the Thanksgiving holiday which was just two weeks away and she needed them to help do just that.
It was a Friday and she needed to finish shopping for the up-scale interior of a townhouse this evening and she hurried to her Mercedes in the parking ramp, closed the door and sighed with relief. She started driving down the ramp and as she applied the brakes to slow and stop before entering the fast moving rush hour traffic, she couldn't stop. And to her horror, the heavy car gained speed going down the deep incline. Abby jammed her foot hard on the brake pedal and her breath stuck in her throat as again there was nothing. She gripped the steering wheel and her eyes flew to the stream of fast moving cars on the street just in front of her. My God, her car was speeding out of control, head-on into unsuspecting commuters. Instinctively, she turned the wheel and hit the wall to stop, and amid the ear-shattering crash of metal and concrete, an air-bag engulfed her. The car had abruptly stopped and she sat stunned. After all the commotion and a ride to an emergency hospital for a check-up, she was released after a battery of tests and ordered to rest at home. She called a taxi.
"It looks like the brake lining was cut," the mechanic told her the next day. "If I were you Miss Andrews, I'd hire a bodyguard!"
The week-end loomed ahead and she pulled an afghan close around herself and huddled on the couch. All her doubts came crashing back into focus; Lisa'a threats and Jonathon's betrayal. She shuttered.
Could the sweet little girl she'd raised have turned into this montrous person? What about Jonathon?
She throw the afghan off and began pacing around the living room. What did she really know about him? He had worked for her for three years as a carpenter. He'd said he was a building contracter. And they'd dated for the last year, and she had even dreamt of a future with him. A partner in her business even.
"You're late," Lisa said already at her desk when Abby got in to the office on Monday morning. Today Lisa was wearing a bright red suit and had a new hairdo.
"I had to take a taxi." Abby said hanging up her coat.
"Why," Lisa asked looking at her with a surprised look on her face.
"Because my car is in the garage," Abby answered, irritated at the long wait she'd had trying to get a taxi. Then too from loss of sleep all week-end.
"Well, why didn't you call me, I'd have come out and picked you up Abby."
"No bother, it'll be fixed this afternoon." Abby sat down at her desk and checked her calender. "Now will you call Jonathon and have him meet us at the Milbank house at one o'clock please?"
"Sure Abby," Lisa said, "Right away."
The three met with the owner of the house to complete final arrangements. Last minute changes were decided on, and the next few days flew by with long days and late nights.
Abby felt a new tension unfold as an early snow had come covering the city in deep blanket of white making travel almost impossible until the roads were cleared, but Abby just had to get away. She needed the peace that she only found now at her cabin by the lake, and it was time she needed to make some decisions!
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
"That's nonsense Abby. What's gotten into that girl's head now?"
The two women sat in Rose's kitchen as the afternoon sun sloped behind golden maple trees casting shadows in the house. Late summer cicadas thumped their raucous tunes and the aroma of a tomato casserole bubbled from the oven.
"What about Jonathon?" Rose asked cautiously.
Abby took a shaking breath. Humiliation and anger lined her face as she recalled the intimate embrace she had witnessed.
"I always thought he was too young for you," Rose said then as she reached a comforting hand across the table to her.
"I know, you warned me!" Abby exclaimed as she wiped her eyes.
"My dear, I just can't believe Lisa would say and do such things, my God, you've been like a mother to her all these years."
Abby sat hunched over, as if protecting her heart. "Rose, what did I do wrong? I tried my best after our parents were killed in the accident."
Rose got up and came around the table and putting a arm across her shoulders said, "Now Abby, you did a wonderful job raising that girl." And sitting down again she poured another cup of coffee for each, but went on hesitatingly, "My dear maybe you did too much!"
Abby looked at her friend in surprise as Rose continued, "she was only two years old when you had to move back home and take care of her. You were in college. My God, I remember how you struggled, how you saved money later to send her to college. How you still have to bail her out of debt when she goes hog-wild with her charge cards. Good lord, she has more designer clothes in her closet than I've had my whole life!"
"I know Rose, but I've always taught her to buy quality."
"But Abby, you know she's impractical. Wake up for heaven's sake!"
Abby sat looking sad now.
"What are you going to do?" Rose asked anxiously.
"I don't know if I hurt more from Lisa's threat or Jonathon's two timing. He must have been sleeping with both of us," she continued horrified. Then standing up quickly, she said, "I need to go home Rose, I need to think!"
"Abby, put some cold cloths on you face and be careful," her friend said hugging her at the door.
Abby got in her car again and drove home. She wondered through her house which was a luxury condo in Wayzata. Tonight, however the comforts did little to soothe her aching heart and she slept badly as Lisa's face haunted her in her dreams.
Could Lisa really kill her to take her business and Jonathon?
She awoke with a feeling of inadequacy, the same thing she had felt years ago at trying to be both a father and mother to her sister. She went into her office early, as this felt more like her real home. It was carpeted and furnished in creams and beige and felt like a soft mellow cocoon of warmth and elegance. Samples of materials, portfolios, pictures, antiques and modern art warmed the rooms in an orderly fashion. Numerous times over the years, she had spent an exhaused night on the couch, then rushed home in the morning to change and hurried back to start another day.
Abby Andrews Interiors was well known in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area and her exceptional work was known for miles around as well. Right now, she had three contracts to fill, well into thousands of revenue dollars for her company. Two multi-million dollar homes in North Oaks and a penthouse atop the new Meridan Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. And, she needed all her energy to concentrate on them.
Lisa came in then going to her desk. "Good morning," she sang, every blonde hair in place and today her slim body encased in another new suit. Armoni, Abby surmised. "How was your week-end Ab?" She asked then.
"Fine," Abby answered curtly, studying some swatches of material so she wouldn't have to look at her sister, then asked, "Did you check on those shipments Lisa?'
"I did yesterday, and I called Jonathon to come in to help me unpack. Everything is ready in the warehouse."
"Call him again Lisa," Abby said slowly keeping the irritation out of her voice, "and have him meet us at the penthouse, will you please? I need you both to help me today."
"Abby, he called me at home and said he wouldn't be in today."
"He called you? Why you?" Now Abby was pissed.
"Yes Abby, he didn't want to bother you." And putting a hand up to her head, Lisa complained, "And I'm afraid I won't be of much help today either, I've got a bitch of a headache."
"Are you coming down with something?" Abby asked forever the worrier.
"I doubt it," Lisa smiled, "After we got done unpacking yesterday, Jonathon and I opened that bottle of Dom Perignom you got from the Pillsbury's after we finished their penthouse and it was pretty late when we left here."
Abby could only stare at her sister in unbelief.
But, did she want to want to go to jail for what her thoughts were prompting her to do?
Monday, February 25, 2013
This is a story I wrote years ago, while spending my summers at the lake up in Hackinsack, MN selling antiques and junk. (circa around 1992-3)
For the rest of her life, Abby would remember that autumn afternoon when it all started. Each day she would wonder at the randomness of her actions. If, she had confronted Lisa and Johnathon at that time, could she have put a stop to the madness?
The drive back to the city had been exhilerating that day after her relaxing weekend at her cabin and she flew over the country roads anxious to get back to the business she loved as an interior designer. The vast forrests were aflame with the brillant fall colors and the bogs humid and burning, sending peat smoke layering the air. As she opened the door into her office she was in total shock as she overheard her sister Lisa in a conversation with Jonathon, the man she loved.
"I hate her," Lisa had been saying.
"Well, Lisa why don't you leave here and find your own life somewhere else." Their voices were hushed, but audible to Abby standing just off to the side.
"Are you kidding, what would I do?" Lisa banged her crystal wine glass down against the coffee table top as she sat on the couch.
"But Lisa, she's been like a mother to you, she sent you to college and then gave you a job in her company."
"It could be my company!" Lisa's voice became sharp, her lips pouted as she talked. "She's old, Jonathon, too old to run this business any longer."
"But it's her business!"
"For now lover,, but I've got a plan!" Lisa's hands slid over the fine wood of the table, carassed the damask of the davanport. She got up then and took the sign that said,"A. Andrews Designs," from Abby's desk and threw it into the waste-basket. Her eyes glittered as she turned to him and asked, "Sweetheart, are you with me?"
Jonathon walked over to her and ran his hand over her slim hip and down her thigh. His voice became soft and tantalizing. "What's in it for me?"
Lisa smiled, "Jonathon, we'll be partners. Just you and I!"
He had laughed then, suddenly intrigued with the idea, as he had been bored and restless lately. "Okay--what's your plan?" He asked.
Abby had stood unnoticed, frozen and ghastly pale just inside the doorway. She turned then and left quietly. Outside she stumbled against the building unaware of the pain as sharp bricks buised her temple and shoulder. In the late Novenber sunshine, she stood heartsick at the betrayal. Numbed with anguish, she got in her car and drove aimlessly, typically ending up at her oldest friend Roses' house. They'd known each other so long that just one look told Rose something had happened.
"Abby what's wrong? Come in and sit down!" Rose exclaimed and pulled her into her foyer.
"Rose, thank God!"
The two women had been good friends for years and both were single and middle-aged. Abby was a brunette and crinkled laugh lines outlined her blue eyes. Her cameo complection was fresh and soft, and her body slim and vibrant. Rose was a blonde, petite and always on a diet.
Abby sat quietly still unable to say anything more. She ran her hand through her short hair and warmed them both around the cup of coffee that Rose had poured for her. Then she started to cry, uncontrolable tears.
"Lisa hates me!" She finally managed to get out.
"What do you mean, she hates you. She's your little sister!"
"Rose, I came back to town early today and went right to my office. Lisa was there with Jonathon, they are having an affair and I think they are planning to kill me!"
Sunday, February 10, 2013
This is a special day. A time for thinking
back, and looking ahead.
Over the years my childrien were my life, and
then slowly they flew away, taking a part of me
as each one left.
We had hard times, but many good times
and I watched with pride as they grew from tiny
to big, each little personality blossoming
into one of a kind.
My thoughts are sometimes sad, as I didn't
or, couldn't always do the right thing, but
I feel, now as adults they understand.
A time goes by, each moment I spend with them
has a special meaning
Adding a new dimension to our lives.
Sometimes its mother and child, and sometimes
friend and friend.
The hugs are special, the tears hurt, and the
time between sometimes is long
But my love goes on and on.
(Found in the back of the closet Written sometime in the '90,s
Lyn Miller Lacoursiere
Thursday, January 31, 2013
What is the title of your next book?
Where did you get the idea for the book?
I had a short story I had written previously about a single female who is faced with the stunning realization she going to die, now!
What genre does your book fall under?
What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Meg Ryan and Bradley Cooper
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A single woman's jouney from a contented life in a small town to the chilling road on the run after a dear friend has been killed by a "murderer for hire, and finds out she is next!
Is your book self-published or represented by an agency?
Self published and presented by Gabriel's Horn Press.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Over a year after I decided to take the plunge and just keep on, keeping on.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I met a beautiful young woman who is a manicurist in real life and she fit the persona I wanted to create for my characater, then I did what I love to do and embelished.
What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
Realizing some of the characters motives might also be ours as well.
Now please follow these links to some other very gifted writers I know.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Thursday, January 24, 2013
I always feel a lull from writing come over myself at this time of the year. In the past, I used to go to Hilton Head SC and spend a month by the ocean each winter, and about now in the midst of our artic freeze I would be excitedly making my plans to exit town soon. However, due to a bout of illness this spring (2012) I am staying put and staying warm right here in my own house. However, I will not allow myself to wish for warmer days as then I would be rushing and wishing my time away. And as we age, the time has a way of sneaking by so swiftly it's always a stunning revolution to see another year has disappeared right before our eyes.
So this year, I'm changing up my routine to include things that excite me right here. I'm buying green plants like succulents and cacti that I would see in the southwest and deep green palm like ones that we see in the south to decorate my house. I might also renovate something and add new accessories to a room. Also, I've taken an oath to toss things I've always put away for those "in case" occurrences and I can smile now as I empty some more hangers in the closets.
In the past, I've taken up painting and this year I'm going to refresh my abilities and continue learning and of course relearning. Best of all, I've finally done something I''ve always wanted to do with my watercolors and that was to mat and frame my work. Now I have one whole wall in my library holding all of my pictures. Some are not so good, but then they're all mine, and its okay.
This morning as I sit at my computer working on Moonbeams Too, (second in the Moonbeams series) and look outside, I could say its pretty dismal and dreary, and below zero degrees. But I choose to say the snow is clean and pearly white and the occasional patch of ground peeking out is resting for now in preparation for its glorious uprising in a few months. When the sun comes in through my blinds I open them further and feel it's restorative rays warm me and brighten my soul. So, I'm okay here right where I am.
PS; But, I just might brighten my hair!
Friday, January 11, 2013
I pondered for days on how
to put down on paper how I feel about writing, then that magnificent
need to have my say kicked in. (Referred by some as my “soapbox.”)
Over the last forty years, the only things I had written were grocery lists, checks and an occasional note on a greeting card. Who had time to be creative! I was a single parent raising four kids, sometimes working three jobs and always tired. Although, I realize now decades later, stretching menus, clothing the crew, keeping a home and trying to keep the wolf away took a hell of lot creativity. Beyond imagination at times.
I remarried and had some wonderful years, but after eight month of struggling with an illness my husband died. Looking back now, I realize I had been creative again in my care giving, creating healthy meals, exercise and continually searching for positive re-enforcements. And for awhile, believed we had beat the inevitable.
Later, out of loneliness I joined a grief group and learned the strength and health of journaling. I was on to something! I wrote volumes using yellow legal tablets and a blue Pilot pen. I felt close to God and his workings and started writing spiritual poems. Then I saw an ad for “The Center for Developing Writers” at the
College. I attended that first night on shaky legs, my poems gripped in sweaty palms. Maureen LaJoy met me at the door and in her sweet voice welcomed me to her class. I looked at her with awe! A real writer! I studied her clothes: her long skirt, belted over blouse, boots and dangling earrings. So this was how a writer dressed. I was smitten. I was going to change my sweat-shirts and jeans and become glamorous just like her!
That first night I read my poems and she gave me the encouragement I needed. After a while, I thought I’d try my hand at some contemporary prose, and remember the time I read a piece in class that ended with the f-word, as Maureen gasped at my reversal of genre. Then urged me on with a twinkle in her eye.
Writing does not come easy for me, I graduated in the fifties and what I did learn back then, seems to have been washed away with time. But I enjoy it as it has opened up a new world for me, although sometimes I can just spend hours looking out a window and daydreaming. I have to feel settled and have things in place. I need my house in order, and my teeth brushed. I can write my “tales of woe“ and sometimes even get answers. I can write down my plans and elaborate to my hearts content. Sometimes, I have to smile at my greatness. I can cover pages with nothing but chatter. But the great thing is, its mine!
I have written fifteen short stories using bits and pieces of my life, people I’ve met, places I’ve been to, and of course embellishing. I’ve bravely taken on the challenge of starting a novel using a character I’ve created called Lindy Lewis. I’ve been published five times, but alas haven’t made much money, but the largeness of seeing my name in print is certainly a ego-boaster. Wow, people really read my work.
This summer I sold my house and settled into a condominium and have began to enjoy life without the struggle of mowing grass, shoveling snow and trying to keep up with the endless decay of things. I have a pond and a little bit of wilderness right in my back yard where ducks swim by silently with only an occasional squawk of protest. I wonder, what do they think about in their duck-world. I’m told writers are sometimes weird.
I thank the wonderful friends I’ve made, and appreciate their support. Their encouragement to send out my work for publication. So like the ducks in my pond, I’ll glide along serenely and only squawk when the rejections come too fast, or too often.
Lyn Miller Lacoursiere
(Written some years ago)