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Part two of blog series for “Dolphin’s Cave”

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Aloha!

Hawaii pops up in more than one of my books, because it’s a place I hold close in my heart. Many tales were told of this magical place when I was growing up. My family had done business there and my mother had been there many times as a young girl. Although, the family business had ended before I was born, I finally got to see this place when I was in the fourth grade. Oahu was magical through a nine-year-old girl’s eyes. I spent hours swimming, and exploring the island with my great grandparents. I recall touring the pineapple groves and sitting next to a fourth-grade teacher. But, the highlight of this trip was the fact that the Brady Bunch (one of my favorite shows growing up) went to Hawaii on the show just a few months before! I stayed in the same hotel as the Brady family had, the Sheraton. Although, I didn’t get cursed or learn how to surf like they did…I did take a hula lesson at the Kodak show!

Then, when I was twelve years old I went back again with my great grandparents.  We stayed in a hut (that was torn down soon after to make way for more hotels) with a path that led to the beach. Along that walkway, I found a Hawaiian woman who was making leis with plumeria flowers. She took the time to show me how to make them, and then I got to keep my work! I spent a lot of time swimming and ended up with the worst sunburns I’d ever had! The nights I sprayed myself with water to cool down and later found my shoulders now bore freckles of my Hawaiian journey. We picked up some souvenirs at the International Market (now gone) and went to the Polynesian Show where you walk through villages to interact and learn, plus a show floated by you on the river.

The airline strike canceled my trip with my great grandparents, when I was sixteen years old, but I made it back there for my honeymoon. We explored Oahu: Pearl Harbor, The Polynesian show, a Luau, and mainly hung out on the Waikiki Beach swimming and eating lots of crab Louie and pineapple. Then, we headed to Maui where the famous Hana Drive took us through all the water falls and an amazing black beach that we had to ourselves for a bit! Every night we sat and watched the sun set.

It was almost 30 years before we got back to Hawaii! It was our Second Honeymoon and we went to Maui and Kauai! We explored and did things we’d never done before. We took a helicopter tour over Kauai, and got some amazing views and photographs doing it- along with a queasy stomach on the way back! Next, there was a boat tour of the beautiful Na Pali coast. Which gave me more photo opts with the amazing scenery, including some dolphin shots (which I use on my website) and a turtle. We rented a Harley motorcycle and cruised the south shore of the island, including the little Grand Canyon. Kauai is a truly amazing garden island with chickens residing where ever they choose.

We spent the second week on Maui. Taking the Hana drive again, I was less brave than I’d been on our honeymoon– with the narrow road conditions. But, it was still as beautiful as I remembered. We had a convertible and drove around the island exploring with music filling the background! The thing I liked the most was staying at the hotel, lounging around the pool– and snorkeling! We’d get up each morning and suit up. There was usually a turtle greeting us at the shore, where we were warned not to touch the turtles- it could harm them. Although, this turtle seemed determined to touch me for some reason.

Now, my husband and I are trying to make a trek to Kauai more often than every thirty years! It’s a place where we have learned to relax, watch the sunsets and parrots- and of course, snorkel! It’s truly a paradise full of wonderful people, scenery and memories. It’s become my home away from home and is why it has found its way into An Unusual Island, This Second Chance, and Dolphin’s Cave. The Aloha Spirit has found residence in me and my work! Aloha!


Next week continues the blog series for Dolphin’s Cave part three: Research and Reality.

This Second Chance is still on track for September release! I will update you when I know more about Dolphin’s Cave.

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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Part one of blog series for “Dolphin’s Cave”

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Characters:

Coral Amber Dover:  Appears to be a typical shy 16-year-old female with green eyes, glasses, and dark hair.  Right after her seventh birthday Coral’s parents were lost in a plane crash off the Hawaiian Island, Maui. Her nightly dream started after this tragic event. It was always the same: Coral would start off swimming and end up on the back of a dolphin entering a cave where all would be explained- but she always woke up before that part. Coral’s aunt and several therapists tried to convince her the dream was her way of hanging on to her parents. Finally, she agreed with them and claimed her dream stopped, but it hadn’t. Coral believed she would find answers- or at least finish her dream – if she traveled to where her parents plane crashed.

Tara: Coral’s best friend with long brown hair and expressive brown eyes was one of the popular kids at school. Coral confided to Tara about her dream. Tara encouraged Coral to dance and express herself and emotions through that art-form. Although, Tara’s a good friend to Coral, she can be shallow, too. Tara has a crush on awkward Ben Penny.

Aunt Ruby Hyde: Hides her large brown eyes behind heavy glasses. Very introverted (like her niece) and works a secret job at Dunning Corporation with General Penny – or the same place Coral’s parents had worked. She keeps to herself and never dates.

Coral’s mom, Emerald (Emmie) Hyde Dover: Had red hair like her sister, Ruby, but had startling green eyes like her only child- Coral. She was a scientist with a degree in Marine Biology from the University of Hawaii and was a teacher. When she met Coral’s father they relocated to Scuttle Valley, NV where they went to work for Dunning Corporation in jobs that (like Coral’s aunt) were confidential.

Coral’s dad , Morgan Dover: Had dark hair and an olive complexion. He met Emmie while he was on vacation in Hawaii, and they married three months later. He’d been an Air Force pilot for eighteen years  under General Penny before leaving to work for Dunning Corporation- so he could be with his new family.  He and Robert had become close working at Dunning Corporation.

Sabella: Has long gray hair that she wore braided and then neatly pinned up. A large pearl showcased the golden crown that sat heavy on her head. She watches over Coral and sends her the nightly dream from an undisclosed place.

General Robert Penny: Has thinning dark wavy hair and brown eyes with a round pleasant face. He’s become a second father to Coral. He’s a retired one-star General Brigadier and the other person Coral confides in regarding her dream.

Beth Penny: General Penny’s daughter is a year younger than Coral. She never has a hair out of place and loves to shop – like her mother. Beth always wears her long blonde hair in an old-fashioned braid. She’s taken up dance, but she is into ballet, while Coral prefers modern dance or contemporary.

Ben Penny:  General Penny’s son who’s a year older than Coral, and Tara’s love interest. He’s constantly reading and never talks to Coral. He may look like his father with brown eyes and hair, but his personality couldn’t be more different.

Sarah Penny: Robert’s wife and mother to Ben and Beth. She loves to shop above all else. She’s very much in love with her husband and adores her children. She was a teacher before she became a full-time mother.

Aaron Harvey: A very typical tall, dark, and handsome man Ruby meets on the flight to Hawaii. He’s very interested in Ruby, but Coral is suspicious of him.

Lilly Belle: Coral’s third therapist and where Coral made the fake breakthrough about her dream. She has a standing appointment once a month (when she remembers to go).

Man taking pictures (Evan). Coral catches him taking pictures of the Penny’s, Ruby and Coral at the airport in Reno .

Lady in muumuu (Kini): Is the second person Coral notices taking pictures of their group in Hawaii.

 


Next week is part two of the Dolphin’s Cave blog series: Aloha! I will keep you updated on an expected release date.

The release for This Second Chance is still set for September!

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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Some books I’ve read and new book cover!

I’m excited to share the cover for Dolphin’s Cave:

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Here are some books I’ve been reading this summer:

Myth and Magic

By Mae Clair

“Myth and Magic” is set in a small town. Unexplained things are happening at the Stone Willow Lodge. There is a mystery to be solved, as well as past emotions to be dealt with. Veronica (Ron) runs the lodge for the town’s rich family, the Breckwoods. Caith, the estranged son, is hired to find out what is going on at the lodge, as his past continues to haunt him. The relationship between Veronica and Caith is carried over from their childhood with both passion and hurt.  The mystery of who is trying to ruin the lodge takes center stage and propels the story, while the characters held my interest with their intricate relationships. There’s drama, intrigue, mystery, romance, miscommunication, family bonds, and love. Ms. Clair kept me hooked from the first page to the last. A very enjoyable read!


Discovery: Poetry and Art

By Rick and Jan Sikes.

This is a collection of poems and drawings from a husband and wife. Yet, it is so much more than a simple book filled with words and pictures. It is teeming with feelings from a forced separation of incarceration –  that is beautifully written. Rick found his freedom in writing. Injustice is weaved into his poems. It strongly comes through in the poem: “Name of Justice”. It was a chilling narrative of mob hatred: “The madness shouted, ‘More, more!’”. There is an undercurrent of humor- as well as love, too. “Just Love” shows a loving sentiment “You and I hand in hand, always together”. The artwork was equally amazing, especially the fact it was created by dots. “Willy Nelson” and the “‘Steam Train’ Maury Graham – The Hobo King” stood out to me, but I enjoyed them all. The book finished with poetry by his wife, Jan. “Leavenworth and You” spoke of promise, love, and hope. The line summed it up for me: “Our dreams took shape as boldly we spoke them” showing not even prison bars could separate their feelings for each other. “Discovery” was a journey into a bad situation with love shining through. This is a book that will stay with me, and I highly recommend it.


The Big Cheese Festival

by S. Jackson, A. Raymond​

“The Big Cheese Festival” is a sweet children’s book–with a lesson to teach. Stubby Mouse has a smaller tail than the other mice. He’s excited about attending a dance with his friends, but his brother’s friend makes fun of his tail size. Although, his brother defends him, Stubby feels like no one likes him. Enter a new friend, and Stubbys’s response to the bully. It’s filled with charming illustrations that make it come to life. “The Big Cheese Festival” is a book I’ll be reading to my grandchildren – the old-fashioned way – with the paperback in hand. It is a subject that needs to be brought up to children. This book is a way to do it and get the conversation going about bullying!​


Mr. Grumpy Lizard meets the Giggling Girls

by Joyce Shaughnessy​

I love the fact “Mr. Grumpy Lizard Meets the Giggling Girls” was inspired by the author’s four granddaughters, and illustrated by her husband—it was a family effort. Great details of the characters which included: Mr. Grumpy Lizard’s “black and white polka-dot bow tie”, and his monocle – or Little Miss Hattie Human whose “frilly pink dress flew up almost over her head, showing a great many pink and white lacy petticoats.” brought this story to life. It is an endearing story of Queen Craggy Crocodile summoning the four giggling human girls to tea– via Mr. Grumpy Lizard. They quickly accepted. Soon, they left to find out what was behind the request. Ms. Shaughnessy wrote a wonderful children’s book that promotes happiness and joy. This is a book I will enjoy reading to my own grandchildren!


Sammy Meets Grandma ( Sammy the dog book 3)

by Lynn Miclea​

“Sammy Meets Grandma” is a sweet tale, told through a rescue dog named Sammy’s point of view. It is a short chapter book with black and white illustrations that bring Sammy to life. I loved seeing a car ride through the innocence of a dog. I always thought dogs believed slobbering on the windows looked good—Sammy confirmed that! The end of this drive was a visit to see Grandma. Sammy’s intention was always to do good and bring joy. Although, like the car windows, opinions of what brings happiness—varies sometimes. The most important thing in this book is the happiness this dog brings to people who need it. How simply sitting next to someone is all they need. I was touched how much a dog’s visit can uplift someone’s day. Ms. Miclea wrote a book that I will be sharing with my grandchildren. I can read it to them or it is a book they can read to themselves. It’s a feel-good book with an important message of kindness and love for kids, but adults can appreciate that, too!​


Next week I’ll be starting the four part Dolphin’s Cave blog series. I will keep you updated on its upcoming release!

This Second Chance needed a few extra touches, but looks like it will be ready to go in September! I’d rather have it “right” than on schedule. Thanks for your patience!

Besides my weekly blog: this month I’m promoting  RWISA authors! There has already been some amazing short stories and poems.  Each day I will host a different author. Don’t miss it!

Embrace your inner child! D.L. Finn

 

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Part Four “This Second Chance” blog series

 

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Here in the final blog series for “This Second Chance”. This is the poem at the end of the book:

 

WATCH

I watch you and wonder:

Do you love her as much as you love yourself

Or do you hate her more than you hate yourself?

Your comforts come first,

Your contempt directed at her and never yourself.

Her purpose in life

Is what she can do for you.

 

Your purpose is to make her feel

That she is incapable of that.

The better question is:

Why does she keep trying to please you –

Is it out of love, or fear?

Does she hate herself more than you do?

Is she supposed to respect a person, who has no respect for her?

 

No tenderness

No empathy

No love

No feelings at all

But concern for themselves…

It’s never his fault

And I wonder why she stays.

 

I see her side of this, too.

I know she sees how other relationships go.

She admires them openly

With a sad smile, when he is not around.

She works

She is strong

She gives all she has.

 

Maybe he will change if…

If only I…

He is just stressed …

I don’t want to be alone …

No one else would want me …

He needs me.

Underneath, he is a good guy.

 

Excuses abound

In a vacuum of anger and fear

That feeds the existing darkness

Until it all seems normal.

It isn’t.

Help is not welcomed;

That is, until it is – unless it is too late.

 

Then comes innocence—a child

The woman protects and nurtures

While he watches her,

Pointing out all she does wrong

Without lifting a finger to ease her burdens.

He is her judge and jury.

He is her reality, and now she feels trapped.

 

In his web spun of lies and hate

She tries to please,

To create this illusion of family.

It will get better, she thinks; if only

Maybe another child –

Maybe….

I watch helplessly.

 

Any comfort is rejected by his influence.

Right now, it’s only words

Which cut into her just like a fist would.

Someday he will cross over from words.

Maybe he already has.

That wouldn’t be his fault, either.

Nothing ever is.

 

Once I thought she was finally free

But, she went back.

“Can’t help who you love,” I was told –

But it isn’t love.

It’s hate, insecurity, fear, and above all, control.

I hope it isn’t too late for her.

 

For all the hers out there

As they feed that bottomless pit of anger

They are living with –

It will never be filled

And it will never change what it is

But it is not love.

Silence is empty, but heavy on my stomach.

 

I bite back all the unsaid words

Even though I’ve said them before.

I quietly wait for her to wake up.

Come to me –

I will help you

I promise.

I do not want to hurt or judge you.

 

Just see you safe.

And to just see you happy,

To be loved as you are capable of loving.

I wait because you will never be alone.

I wait until you see what—we all do…

Not only is he watching

But I am, too.


 

The release date for “This Second Chance” has been moved to September. I apologize for the delay and thank you for your patience! 


 

Next week I will share the reviews of books I’ve been reading! Plus, “Dolphin’s Cave” cover will be making its debut here!


 

In August, there will be the normal weekly blogs – plus, I will be hosting special edition blogs for my fellow authors of RWISA. If you are interested in finding some fabulous new authors to read, I invite you to check it out!


 

This will be the final chance to win the weekly blog Amazon Gift Card. Please leave a comment by 8-1 at 9:00 PST and you will be entered to win the gift card.  I will update you on future opportunities soon!

 

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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Part three of “This Second Chance” blog series: Background!

eBook Cover This Second Chance

Background:

I started writing “This Second Chance” years ago. The idea of the story came into existence, on my spiral notebook I kept by my bedside. Then, my space pen, (that can write at any angle) and I – worked on the draft of the first chapter. Finally, I was ready to start the typing process. Mistakes and changes were common at first, but I was lucky, I had a typewriter where I could strike out those mistakes and type over them. No more manual erasing and applying the white liquid correction fluid for me! Of course, there were still many times, when entire pages ended up in the trash can, too. The story had almost come to its conclusion, when I set it aside. Fast forward to modern times, that typewriter now sits covered in the garage and I sit in front of a computer.

I spent a couple of days, going through my old work and adding it to my first computer. Then, I disposed of all the old-fashioned typed work. What was called “Second Chance”, sat a few more years, with the exception of a mishap, when I purchased my second computer. While transferring over the files from the first computer, well, when I clicked on the button that asked which version of the file did I want to keep–I chose the wrong one. I ended up with only the first chapter. I had lost the rest of the story! No, I have no idea why I had a copy of only the first chapter, sometimes, the computer, trying to be helpful, does some things on its own- is my conclusion.

But, back to this loss of work. I tried everything I could think of to retrieve it, including bringing in the tech-savvy teenagers. No luck. Finally, I had to accept it was gone. You may think I was upset (and at first, I was…) but a part of me had never been happy with the story line. I never could decide who the bad guy was. I tried working on it, but everything fell flat at the end. There was no outline to work off (because I didn’t used to make outlines for my stories, but I did make characters descriptions–not with this story) only thing I had left of all that work was those first few pages of a woman getting ready for her wedding and reflecting.

So, that chapter sat on my computer for years– until 2016. I pulled it out again and began working and making an outline. Now, outlines are a must for me or I get too lost in the story. Yes, there are always characters that force changes in what I have outlined, but I’m OK with that! After all, it is their story! Again, I became stuck toward the end of the story–until an angel was added in. Then, everything fell into place.

Hitting the wrong button and losing hours of work turned out to be a good thing, because I was able to find the story that wanted to be written. If I hadn’t of done that, I would have never met Zelina the angel, the evildwel, and the story now called, “This Second Chance” that followed them.

I would love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below! One lucky comment posted by 7-25 (9:00 pm PST) will win a $5 Amazon gift card-or just enough to get that eBook you’ve been meaning to!

 

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

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Part two of “This Second Chance” blog series: Research and Reality!

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Research and Reality

Every book I’ve written has had some type of research that goes into it. “This Second Chance” was no different. There were a few things I needed to double check before I was satisfied. One thing I wanted to quote properly was the history of the wooden roller coaster in Santa Cruz, CA. Now, I’ve stood in line and ridden it many times over the years. The thrill of slowly moving to the top and then the rush of the first drop might have rearranged some of those facts. What I remembered and what was the actual history were close, but my version was a bit off. The same with driving times. Now, I have made some of the drives I’m writing about, but the actual time, well, it may differ. I could have used the times it took driving from Pacifica to San Francisco—which I have done many times, but the airport was different. I hadn’t made the approach to the airport from that direction.  Again, I was close, but a bit off in my guess. All those little details are important that I get them right, even in a fictional book.

In writing “This Second Chance” I spent more time than usual, finding the right names for the characters–especially the angel. The angel started out as Lucy, but I wanted a name that reflected her age. I found an angel’s name, Sonja—but it didn’t fit her. So, I kept looking until I came across Zelina—that was it. It’s a Greek name that means Zealous. That fit her! Then, there was the name for the misty creature. What was already out there wasn’t working. This was a time I had to create a name for a new being. The term evildwel came from the combination of dweller and evil. Mae, Rachael’s mother has a name that is close to me. She proudly carries that name to honor one of my grandmothers – it was her middle name. The angel’s name is pretty close to this grandmother’s first name, too. All you have to do is take out two letters and add one, that is! Characters know what their names are, and it’s up to me to find them. Sometimes, it takes a bit of detective work on my part.

Hawaii made another appearance on the island Maui – since I couldn’t think of a better place to go on a honeymoon. We were near Hawaii in the book, “An Unusual Island” and will be spending some time on Oahu and Maui in the soon to be released “Dolphin’s Cave”. It’s a place close to my heart and I’m happy to keep researching it for future books! It’s the least I can do!

Then comes the reality- in the midst of fiction – or spouses being abused by their better half. I have a dear friend, Liz, who I watched (and tried to help) in an abusive marriage. I stood by her, in frustration, as she always went back to her husband who promised to change—he didn’t. Finally, one day she left, and has created a good life for her and her children. She’s kindly allowed me to use my observations and weave them into a fictional tale.

This type of abuse happens more than it should in today’s modern society. Thankfully, there are groups and shelters ready to help when the time comes to leave. They were there for my friend when she and her kids escaped- with the clothes on their backs. The shelter: fed, clothed, and hid them – so they wouldn’t be found. I wanted to shed some light on this, and send out some hope that there is light after the darkness. There are places to go, and people waiting to help. Although this subject matter is too extensive to cover in a simple blog, know “This Second Chance” goes beyond the abuse–giving Rachael her chance at a happy ending. In this story, I made sure the abuser…well, I won’t give that part of the story away.

There will be no give away this week. I’m on vacation- celebrating my birthday. I will be checking in, though! So, please leave your comments below. I always look forward to hearing what you think!

Next week will be part three of “This Second Chance” blog series. I’ll be covering some background in the bumpy creative process of this story.

This month’s newsletter will be going out this week! I plan to debut the new book cover in it – so watch for it in your email if you are subscribed!

Embrace your inner child, D.L. Finn

Watch #RWISA Write: Marcha Fox

Please welcome today’s author: Marcha Fox

Your Wildest Dreams

I inhaled sharply when I recognized the introductory riff wafting from my favorite 80s station as Your Wildest Dreams by the Moody Blues. Even though I had the original 45 RPM record, the album on cassette tape, and more recently, the CD, I kept them safely locked away so I wouldn’t binge on it. Nonetheless, when KPLV, 93.1 FM in Vegas, got around to playing it every few weeks or so, I’d indulge in a break, a delicious reminder of why I was here.

Consumed by ethereal and intimately familiar soundwaves, I got up, closed the blinds, and even though it was unlikely the song’s strains would penetrate my office’s cinder block walls, plugged in my headset so I could crank it up—I mean really up. I melted back into my chair, eyes closed, with what was probably an idiotic smile on my face, savoring each note as the song segued into its lively, 142 BPM tempo. The next three minutes and forty-one seconds, I’d be in heaven.

Even though this song came out eight years after she left, the first time I heard it, back when I was still in college in ’86, I knew two things: One, it would always be “our song”; and Two, I had to find her.

My heart leapt with visions of galaxies beyond, of what might be out there, where she might be. I plunged headlong through space and time, besieged by memories burned into my heart as permanently and painfully as branding was to a newborn calf. Did she remember? Feel the same thing I did? Sense the enchantment of fate-entangled lives?

I memorize pretty easily, which comes in handy, especially with things like the Periodic Table or Maxwell’s equations. And of course, favorite songs. These particular lyrics struck me, hard and personal, from day one, certain it’d been written exclusively for me.

As my eyes teared up, logic intervened and yanked me back to planet Earth.

Grow up, Benson! What are you, a total schmaltz or what?

We were kids, for heaven sakes. A teenage crush. I should’ve gotten over it, but never did. No wonder. Girls like her are rare. One of a kind. She’d already experienced things I never would. Things that were part of my wildest dreams.

The admonition failed, pushed aside by that part of me that felt alive again, jammin’ like a total jerk, mouthing the words as I sang along in my head. It’s not like I’m a teenager anymore, though at the moment I felt like one. No, memories of the heart never die—can’t die, evereven if you try to kill them.

I’d give anything to talk to her. Which of course I have, numerous times over the years, if only in my head. Okay, aloud more often than I care to admit. I could swear it even felt as if she answered a time or two. I suppose that’s how it is with your first love. Or your first kiss, even if it was only a peck on the cheek. It penetrates your soul and stays there forever.

That mid-summer day in ’78 hauling hay was as vivid as yesterday in my mind’s eye. The cloudless sky, sun hot on my neck, the aroma of first-crop alfalfa sweetening the mountain air. I scratched my shoulder, a reflex memory of itchy, stray leaves sticking through my T-shirt. My chest ached as I remembered tear tracks streaking her dust-covered face at something I’d said. Then, days later, that withering look when we lied about her ship.

The one we still have. What’s left of it quietly abandoned beneath a tarp in Building 15, here at Area 51.

How she knew we weren’t telling the truth, I’ll never know. Pretty funny it’s still sitting there. And I’m sure she’d think so, too. I can just hear her saying, “Stupid snurks, I knew they’d never figure it out.” Though actually they did, just didn’t find technology worth pursuing. Even contractors didn’t want it.

I had to admit it was pretty crazy, but she was my motivation to get where I was today: just short of a decade of college linked with serendipity that put me in the right place at the right time, hoping someday I’d find her. My life had changed a lot since then. How much had hers changed? Did she make it home? Was she still alive? With the effects of relativistic travel, which I understood only too well, she could still be a teenager, while I was easing into the infamous dirty thirties.

Not good. If I ever did find her, she’d probably think I was some lecherous old fart. Either that, or, with my luck, she’d be married with a bunch of kids. I winced with the thought.

My sentimental reverie vanished when my office door slammed open and Hector Buckhorn rolled in. Literally. Hec’s been stuck in a wheelchair ever since he crashed his hang glider into a New Mexico mountainside during spring break his last semester of college. He ridge soared a lot, particularly around Dulce, over restricted areas where he wasn’t supposed to be. Got caught a couple times, but being Native American, never got in trouble, even though it wasn’t his home reservation. He’s amazingly good at playing dumb, in spite of—or possibly because of—his 150ish IQ. He never talked about his accident, said he couldn’t remember. Makes sense, actually, given he suffered a massive concussion. The only time I ever saw him pissed him off was when he woke up in the hospital and discovered they’d shaved off his hair, since grown back beyond shoulder length.

I dropped the headset around my neck and faked a frown. “Don’t you ever knock, butthead?”

“Hey, man, wazzup?” he said, giving me a funny look. “You okay?”

I laughed. “Of course. Just thinking. Remembering. You know.”

Ahhh. They played that song again, didn’t they?”

“Can’t hide anything from you, can I, Chief?”

“Nope. I figured you were up to somethin’ with your blinds closed.”

He wheeled over to the grey metal, government-issue table on the other side of the room and helped himself to a handful of peanut M&Ms. Once I’d realized during my PhD days at Cal Tech that, in a pinch, they made a pretty decent meal, I’d kept that old, wide-mouth canning jar full. He dumped them in his mouth, perusing me with knowing, dark eyes.

“You were sure enjoyin’ that song of yours,” he said, not even trying to stifle his crooked grin as he munched away.

“Yeah,” I replied, uncomfortable with the conversation’s direction.

“We’ve known each other a long time, Allen,” he said. “Don’t you think it’s time you told me about her?”

“Not much to tell.”

He let fly with a popular expletive related to bovine excrement. “C’mon! What’s her name?” he persisted.

I blew out my cheeks and sighed, knowing resistance was futile. “Creena,” I answered, surprising myself when, again, I got a little choked up. I avoided his eyes by likewise heading for the M&Ms.

“So find her,” he said.

“It’s not that simple,” I replied, pouring myself a handful. “I don’t know where she is.” A statement that was truer than he could possibly imagine.

“I have some resources who could help,” he offered with a conspiratorial wink.

I shook my head, then stalled by popping a few colorful orbs in my mouth.

“Why not? If she’s anywhere on this planet, these guys’ll find her.”

I swallowed hard and paused; met his gaze. “She’s not.”

He scowled, making him look a lot like those old pictures of Cochise. “Say again?”

“She’s. Not.”

“Oh! I’m sorry.”

“Why?”

He shrugged. “I assumed she’s dead. She must’ve been quite a girl.”

“She was. Is. She’s not dead. At least as far as I know.”

His jaw dropped, shocked expression broadcasting the fact he’d caught the implications. “You’re not kidding, are you?”

“Nope.”

“Abductee?” he whispered.

“Nope,” I answered, raiding the candy jar again. “Immigrant.”

His eyes widened as he spewed an expletive that elevated excrement to sanctified status. “Don’t tell me she’s an EBE!”

I nearly spewed partially chewed M&Ms across the room. Extraterrestrial biological entity, indeed! Yet by definition, actually, she was.

I chuckled at his expression and shook my head. “No. Quite human. At least as far as I know.”

“Are you?” he added, chocolate-colored irises rimmed with white. His reaction surprised me—UFOs, even aliens, were no big deal in his culture, just business as usual with the Star People.

“C’mon, Chief! You’ve known me since tenth grade, running high school track!”

He leaned back, searching my face with more solemnity than I’d seen since I told him how Dad died. “You’ve got a lot of explaining to do, bro,” he said finally, shaking his head.

“You have no idea,” I said, throat constricting as scratchy lyrics from the headset, audible only to me, issued another reminder of why I was here.

 

Copyright © 2017 by Marcha Fox

 

[NOTE:–This is an excerpt from my upcoming novel, Dark Circles, a slightly dark, hard sci-fi love story. No release date has been set.]


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Watch #RWISA Write: Jeff Haws

Please welcome today’s author: Jeff Haws

DIM LIGHT BREAKS

by Jeff Haws

Jolting upright, I squeeze the Jack Daniels bottle between my thighs just before it tips over to the floor. I look down and see the black label staring at me; the little bit of whiskey that’s left is tilting toward the lip, ready to fill my shoes if my legs can’t hold onto it. I briefly wonder if this is why they give these bottles flat sides, for better drunken, convulsive thigh catches. It’s saved me on more than one occasion from having shoes full of whiskey. Well, that and my ability to leave the bottle mostly empty.

I grab the top of the bottle and pull it back up, then try to raise my head; the room rotates quickly, lights blur and walls smudge while my head bounces on a neck that refuses to carry the weight. Enough of these nights will teach you the chair is always your better bet than the bed. I’d have already puked into my own lap if I’d been in bed, but keeping your feet on the floor helps ground you against the worst of the drunken spinning head. When I know I’m spending the night with Jack, I’ll always stay downstairs in the recliner with my feet firmly planted on the linoleum.

My head bobs left and settles on my shoulder; in front of me, the window reveals a purple sky with a sliver of dim light peeking over the ground, between the neighbors’ houses across the street. What does that make it? 6:30, maybe? I can’t remember if I ever fell asleep. I’m not confident I’ll ever fall asleep again.

The people across the street, though—I’m sure they’re asleep. Spencer and Mary are in bed right now, dead to the world. Her head’s probably resting on his fucking shoulder. He snores a little bit, but she’s used to it by now. Probably even comforts her, just being reminded he’s there. I fucking hate those people. I really do. Their whole lives are based around creating these perfect little characters so the rest of us feel even shittier about our own lives. But you can’t even get mad at them, or you look like the jackass who’s jealous and screwed up in the head. Not the people who pretend they’re something they’re not. No, it’s the guy who minds his own business and is genuine about who he is who’s the fucked-up one. That’s the way the world works.

I spin the bottle around in my hand, looking at the liquid slosh around in waves. Bubbles cling desperately to the glass walls but can’t hold on, splashing back down into the molasses-colored pool below. I raise the bottle and tilt it toward me; the whiskey burns just a bit as it hits the back of my throat, the sting helping to delay the inevitable throbbing head that’ll come next. I lift the bottle and splash the last few drops into my mouth, shaking it to make sure there’s nothing left, then drape my arm over the side of the chair and let the bottle fall to the floor with a heavy clink.

I have no idea what day it is. Am I supposed to be at work in a couple of hours? When every day’s the same, it’s hard to say. Time is just change, in the end. If the sun didn’t come up and go down, the Earth didn’t rotate, the world never changed, there’d be no way to measure it. Essentially, there’d be no such thing as time. People’s lives can get like that too. When the days start blending together, how do you measure time? And, even more so, what’s the point?

That sun that’s gradually getting closer to showing itself isn’t going to bring anything good with it. The dark is better. You can hide when everybody else is sleeping. You don’t have to look at how your neighbors’ lives reflect your own inadequacies. You don’t have to face yourself. The dark lets you be alone, lets you wallow and embrace whatever misery is there to be embraced. The morning just exposes it all to those smiling faces with white teeth all lined up in a row.

I know they don’t approve of me. I see them at church and they say hi, but you can see it’s forced. There’s no small talk. No more invitations to their lake house. Just hollow greetings if they can’t avoid me. When Adrian would show up with fresh cuts and bruises on her arms, I know they suspected something. I think she purposefully tried to make them just a little visible. A small cry for help, maybe. She’s been gone awhile, though.

Now, God wouldn’t approve of what I’ve become. This withering mass that passes the hours of insomnia with liquor straight from the bottle. He can smell the whiskey on my breath just like the neighbors can. I don’t even know why I go to church anymore, when I can remember it’s Sunday. He can see my heart’s not there, that I wish I could have a handle of some devil’s water with me when I’m kneeling in front of a pew. It’s not that I don’t have faith that there’s someone in control; it’s that whoever that someone is has delivered me into this reality, this life. Whatever this is. Becoming an atheist almost seems redundant. When your belief is this tainted, is it even worth the bother of leaving behind?

I figure I’ve been strapped to this chair long enough, so maybe I’ll wander upstairs. I have blackout curtains in the bedroom; I can shut the world out up there. Pretend I’m somewhere else, somewhere better. Somewhere new. There’s no way I’m stepping foot outside today.

Standing up, I get a feel for just how much I really drank; my legs nearly buckle, and I fall back toward the chair. My hand catches on the chair’s arm and stabilizes me while I try to forget about the merry-go-round in my head. Ten seconds pass, then twenty. Finally, I lift my hand off the chair arm and pause to see if I can stand up. My legs wobble but hold; slowly, I bring my hand further up from the chair and straighten from my hunch. My arms are spread to my sides like I’m on a balance beam, trying to keep my center of gravity above my feet. I take one careful step forward, then another, deliberate, slow, momentum building as I reach the banister for the stairs and grab ahold hard.

Each step is becoming a little easier, now getting help from my left hand, pulling my body up the stairs one foot at a time, finally reaching the hall. I’ll need an aspirin or four before I lie down. If I’m lucky, I’ll sleep. If not, I’ll stare at the ceiling in the dark for awhile.

I open the door to the room and step through; the bed is just a few steps in front of me. I walk quietly to it and stop, bending carefully over the mattress. I pull back the quilt a little bit and bend further, kissing her forehead gently. She’s only six, and she deserves me to be better than this. It’s kind of amazing we’ve made it this far; she believes her mom is someplace better, and I do nothing to dissuade her from that. Hell, I hope she’s right. But if so, I can’t join her there now. There’s more for me to do. If there is a god, this is the one lifeline he’s thrown me, and I’m clutching to it with everything I have. She’ll get me to the other side of this. She’ll be the light breaking through the dark. It’s dim now, but it’ll shine brighter if I can rise with it.

I pull the quilt back up under her chin and fold it back across her shoulder. Then I back out the way I came and shut the door behind me, careful not to let the latch click. My bedroom’s down the hall, and more darkness still awaits.


Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Jeff Haws RWISA Author Page

Watch #RWISA Write: Harmony Kent

Please welcome today’s author: Harmony Kent

Live or Die?

Harmony Kent

 

Sometimes, you need to accept help. Sometimes, you need to admit that you need it. Sometimes, you need to take the hand that’s offered. You reached out and took my arm. I let you. I took the assistance I needed. I gripped your hand so that you could pull me to my feet. The last thing I needed was for you to slit my wrists. So much blood. All that carnage. My heart ripped right out of my chest.

I did my best.

Though, what kind of an epitaph is that?

Do I want that immortalised on my headstone?

Does that adequately sum up a life?

What about all the rest?

At the end of the day, what’s left to show for all that struggle, all that pain?

Right now, only one thing remains certain, that things can never be the same. That river? Already crossed. That road? Already travelled. That life? Already lived.

No going back. Not ever.

Going forward, though? Now, there’s the question.

For this gal, only one choice remains. Live or die?

 

Sometimes, you need to accept help. Once bitten, twice shy and all that, though, ya know? Truth be told, I’ve come to the end. Like I said, no going back. The rub is that I can’t go on either. The wind whips my hair into my face and throws cold pellets of rain at me. I shiver and dig deep for the courage. Never did like heights, yet here I stand. To jump or not to jump? That is the question.

The darkness wraps around me and locks the breath in my lungs and my feet in place—leaves me perched here in a daze. The metal burns cold within my death grip. With pulse racing, I edge my left foot forward a couple of centimetres, and then bring the right one up level. Perforce, I have to let go of the steel girders now. I’ve taken a step too far. Sweat breaks free from every pore and soaks this trembling mass of flesh, muscle, and sinew. With a heart this broken, how does it even continue on?

‘Miss? Are you okay? … Miss?’

At the unexpected voice, I twist and startle. A man reaches for me, indistinct in the arc-sodium lights.

‘Miss? Here, take my hand.’

A sudden gust buffets me from behind, and I stumble forward, a scream frozen in my terrified throat. All of a sudden, it hits me, I don’t want to die. Too late, however, as I’m off balance and too close to the edge. Dimly, as I fall, I see that it’s not about living or dying but about having the choice. It seems the wind has finished your job for you. Limp and spent, I plummet to the waiting river below, which sends up cold plumes of spray and waves like open arms welcoming me in and under to die beneath.

 

Sometimes, you need to admit that you need it. At the first swallow of brackish water, I swallow my pride, and every molecule of this being cries out for help. I should have grabbed his hand. Should have, but could I have? Would I have if given the chance? More ice-cold water pours into my throat and drowns my lungs. All the philosophising ceases as it becomes a fight for life. The cold pierces and stabs like a knife.

Tired and afraid, and no longer quite so numb, I kick, searching for the surface. Already, my limbs have gone stiff. The pressure in my chest has grown unbearable, and I have to take a breath, even though I know it will mean certain death. I just can’t do it. Can’t hold it all in anymore. Bubbles erupt when the life-giving air breaks free of my now open lips.

They show me the way when they float up, up, and up.

For a second, I hesitate. Do I go for it or not? Here is my chance for total surrender. To not have to fight any further. Do I have the energy? The will? At the end of the day, what’s left to show for all that struggle, all that pain?

I did my best, but I don’t want that on my epitaph.

My legs kick and arms stroke, pushing through the murk and trying for air. With this exhaustion and cold, I doubt I’ll get there. By now, the bubbles have long gone, but I’ve come near enough to discern the orange city glow. Not far now. One more kick. One more. That’s it. Just one more.

 

Sometimes, you need to take the hand that’s offered. I come to, afloat on my back, and the icy waves provide my waterbed. Way up high, atop the bridge, come the blues-and-twos, as the emergency services rush to the scene of my demise. Don’t they realise that I’ve fallen too far from reach? Beyond any assistance or redemption.

It seems as if hours pass me by while I drift in and out and upon. This time, a deafening roar causes me to rouse. A shadow flies through the sky, trailing a bright beam. The search is on. These arctic temperatures have other ideas—so much so that I’ve begun to feel warm. A bad sign. Sleepy too.

Impossibly white light hits me and burns my eyes. I raise a hand to cover them and, immediately, lose my buoyancy and sink back into the dark. The search light now glows dimly above the water. Too tired, too cold, too done to even try and fight, I let the river have its way.

The universe has other ideas, it seems, and once again, I lose the choice. Strong hands grip my armpits and haul me upward. To the artificially lit night and the cold and the air and the despair. Oh, love, what did you do to me? So much blood. All that carnage. All those lies and abuse. What’s the use?

 

You reached out and took my arm. It all unfolded in a blur and strobe-like snapshots—the winch into the helicopter, the medi-flight, and them getting me here. Trouble is, I think they left my heart there.

A nurse bustles into the private room and pulls apart the drapes. ‘Time to let in some light,’ she says. Oh, how wrong could she be? The last thing I want to do is see. Right now, only one thing remains certain, that things can never be the same. I want to stay in the dark; hide from my shame.

‘You have a visitor.’ Her voice sounds far too bubbly. It hurts. ‘The police officer who tried to help on the bridge.’ A shadow crosses her face. Then she gets busy tidying the bedding and then me. ‘I’ll just go and show him in.’ Once again, I don’t get a choice. No time to find my voice.

The door opens slowly, and I lay with baited breath. A young man eases in, dark hair and chocolate eyes, with a smile that feels like the most glorious sunrise. ‘May I?’

His question gives me pause. Never before did anyone ask my permission. Dumbstruck, I give a mere nod. My visitor edges to the bed and takes a seat on the hard plastic chair that the nurse placed there. We sit in silence for a while, and then his eyes find my scars. So many. Clouds snuff out that beautiful dawn and darken his face.

Now, he’ll make his excuses and take his leave. He’s done his bit. But no. Instead, he takes my hand. Looks into my eyes. Somewhere from the edges, I register that he doesn’t have on his uniform. ‘It’s okay,’ he tells me, fingers rubbing mine. ‘You’re safe now. We’ll make this right.’

Uninvited, a sob brings the elephant right into the room. ‘No one can,’ I croak.

‘It’s okay. He won’t hurt you again.’

‘You know who I am?’

He nods, gives my hand a squeeze. ‘We know everything.’

All I want to do is shrivel up and crawl within.

With both hands, he reaches out and takes my arms. I let him. He seems an angel in human form, and I feel safe within his embrace. Into my hair, he whispers, ‘It’s okay. I’ve got you. I got you now.’

Can I take the leap of faith?

Now, there’s the question.

Live or die?


Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Harmony Kent RWISA Author Page

Watch #RWISA Write: D.L. Finn

Poetry:

EXPANSION

Flowing out before me – while approaching –

In the sweeping motion of a grand gesture

Presenting its soulful sweetness.

Behind me is a small desert I’ve crossed – shoeless

While carefully stepping over the littered offerings.

Salt saturates my senses

As the gentle-wind styles my hair,

With the latest sea breeze fashion.

My eyes are opened to new possibilities

With a window into its wonders,

With every wave that greets my feet,

The sun soaks into my skin

Cradling me in its warmth and completing the moment.

I stand in awe before the substantial sea

Observing its vast expansion of life-

That I’m humbly a part of.

 

 

SOARING

I soar above it all

In a human-made machine

Taking me places

Only my soul has dared to venture.

Up into the heavens,

Higher than the loftiest of birds,

I soar above my life

Going from one place to another.

The clouds which usually blanket me

Are perched like a safety net below,

Holding me above the sea.

Lives seem so small

As our group is thrust forward

Some sleep-

Some read-

Some watch movies-

While others drink.

It’s a long trip with strangers

All going to the same destination

But right now, we are…

Above it all in our metal bird—soaring!

 

 

DOORWAY

Through the trees

The sky is orange, red, and grey

Covering the fleeing blue stratosphere

As the night suppresses the day.

 

The birds fill the trees

Singing their goodnights

As I pull on a sweater

In a shiver from the receding light.

 

The setting sun is a time of reflection

Of the night and of the day

A balance of both places

In the sunset’s doorway.


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D.L. Finn RWISA Author Page

 

 

Watch #RWISA Write: Rhani D’Chae

Please welcome today’s author: Rhani D’Chae

 

The characters in the following story are from my novel, Shadow of the Drill. After a moderately grueling assignment, they take a day off to enjoy a Sunday barbecue.

 

A Break in the Battle

 

   Charlene squealed, leaning to the side to avoid an airborne hot dog. She need not have worried, for the meaty missile bounced neatly against the chest of JT, who was seated next to her.

   “Damn it, Rudy!” JT grabbed a napkin from the table and scrubbed at his shirt. “That wasn’t funny!”

   “Really?” Rudy flashed an innocent grin over the top of barbecue grill. “I thought it was hilarious.”  He flipped a pair of hamburgers, then added a dash of seasoning to each.

   “You got hot dog grease on my shirt,” JT said crossly. “Next time, warn me so I can duck.”

   “Don’t run your mouth, and there won’t be a next time.” Rudy raised his right arm, pointing at the cast that encased it from wrist to elbow. “Even with this, I can hit what I’m aiming at.”

   JT shot a glare in Rudy’s general direction. “Can you believe him?”

   “You shouldn’t have said he was getting old, and you definitely shouldn’t have said he was losing his touch.” Charlene refilled her glass from the pitcher of lemonade on the table. Lemonade, and just the right amount of tequila.

   “Who’s getting old?” Decker stepped from the dining room onto the deck, leaning on a cane with one hand and holding a bowl of potato salad in the other. “You best not be talking about me!”

   “Don’t worry, Peter Pan, we weren’t.” Charlene pulled the chair to her left away from the table so that Decker could sit. “JT said it about Rudy.”

   “Well, that was stupid.” Decker set the bowl onto the table, then dropped into the chair, leaning the cane against the table before reaching for the pitcher.

   JT pointed to the stain on his shirt. “You’re not kidding! Good arm, bad arm, it don’t matter. He’s dead on.”

   He shifted in his chair, muttering a soft curse when his broken ribs objected.

   Decker smiled sympathetically, knowing from firsthand experience how he felt. “Give it a couple of weeks,” he advised. “You’ll feel better before you know it.”

   “I know,” JT replied. “But in the meantime, it really hurts!”

   “Your face looks better.” Decker reached across the table, tilting JT’s head to the right. “At least, the swelling’s gone down. You’ll have the color for a while, yet.”

   Charlene leaned back, tuning out the conversation while she thought back over the last six days.

   It had started as just another job, but it had quickly become so much more. Hired to find and retrieve a stolen Shelby Daytona Coupe, Decker and his team had landed in the middle of an auto theft ring that stretched from Bellevue to Portland. Finding the missing car had been difficult – retrieving it had been damn near impossible.

   The car had been located in Vancouver and liberated in the dark of night with considerable damage to all concerned. By the time the Shelby was safely in a truck headed north, Decker had calculated how much of a wear and tear fee he was going to charge his employer before the car was offloaded at its destination.

   Bruised and broken, Decker’s team had limped back to Tacoma and gone their separate ways. After checking on the Shelby, Decker had contacted the owner and arranged a time to meet.

   Charlene had greeted him at the door when he arrived home, the sight of his battered body bringing tears to her eyes. He had assured her that he was not seriously hurt, so there was no discussion of seeking medical help. He knew his body – and its injuries – better than any doctor, so she did not question his analysis of the situation.

   Injured and exhausted, he had needed rest. A great deal of rest. But, after only a day and a half, he was limping restlessly from room to room, and she knew that something needed to be done.

   The barbecue had been her idea, and he had willingly agreed. Though they often entertained, they had never invited more than two or three people over at once. The fact that it was JT’s first social visit to the house contributed to the uniqueness of the event, as did the presence of Decker’s old friend and occasional teammate, Hunter Grae.

   The side gate rattled, and Charlene jumped up to open it before Davis dropped his armload of Tupperware containers. The investigator gave her a warm smile, thanking her for her assistance.

   Charlene looked over his shoulder. “Where’s Bert?”

   “She’ll be along soon,” Davis told her. “She had to run her mother to the grocery store, so she’s a little behind schedule. But don’t worry, she’s not far behind me.”

   He handed over three of the containers. “Pasta salad, deviled eggs, and some sort of asparagus thing.” He shrugged apologetically. “Personally, I don’t think asparagus has any business being at a barbecue, but you know how Bert is.”

   Charlene laughed, then sobered when she noticed the manila envelope beneath the remaining two containers. “That better not be what I think it is.”

   “It’s everything I could find for the Palmer job. I promised I’d bring it by today.” He waved at Decker and JT, then slid the envelope from beneath the Tupperware to show he’d brought it.

   Charlene put her hand on his wrist, stopping him. “Not today, please. He’ll open it up, they’ll spend the rest of the day plotting and planning, and that’ll be it for the day off. You know it as well as I do. They just can’t help themselves.”

   Davis thought for a moment, then nodded. “You’re right,” he agreed. “Okay, I’ll toss this back in the car and give it to him tomorrow. I can’t stall any longer than that, but at least it won’t ruin today.”

   “Thank you,” Charlene said gratefully, then headed for the kitchen to unpack the Tupperware while Davis returned to his car.

   When she passed Rudy, he handed her a plate loaded with hotdogs and hamburger patties.

   “Here’s a first round. Is everything on the food table?”

   Charlene glanced over the long fold-up table that Decker had set on the grass. It held assorted buns and condiments, as well as paper plates and plastic silverware.

   “Just about. Hunter’s in the kitchen slicing cheese, and I have to put Bert’s stuff on plates, but it won’t take long. So yes, it’s pretty much ready. “

   “That’s a good thing.” Rudy pressed his fingers against the pieces of tape that held a long strip of gauze to the side of his face, checking that they were still secure. “So we’re just waiting on the cheese.”

   As if on cue, Hunter appeared on the deck, carrying a serving tray that had been loaded down with small plates of pickles, slices of cheese, and crisp lettuce leaves. He called out a greeting to Davis and Roberta, who were coming through the gate together, then headed for the picnic table to unload the tray.

   He was clad in shorts and a tank top, and Charlene could clearly see the stitches where the blade of a knife had cut into his calf, and the colorful section of bruising that a heavy object of some sort had left along his collarbone.

   She joined him at the picnic table, calling to the others as she set the plate down. She was able to get her hamburger onto a plate, along with potato salad and baked beans, before the table was surrounded by hungry people.

   Glad that she had escaped the swarm, Charlene returned to her place at the oversized table on the deck. Taking her seat, she enjoyed a moment of silence, knowing that a moment was all she would probably get.

   A light breeze brought the scent of roses, and Charlene closed her eyes, inhaling with pleasure. So far, the day had been wonderful, and she knew that the evening would be just as fine.

   Opening her eyes, she looked around at the people who mattered in her life. It couldn’t be more perfect, she thought with a contented smile. Fun, food, and the very best of friends combined to make a day that she would long remember. Especially since, for a few short hours, it was a fairly safe bet that no one was going to die.



Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Rhani D’Chae RWISA Author Page

  

  

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

  

   

  

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

  

   

  

 

   

 

 

 

Watch #RWISA Write: Nonnie Jules

Please welcome today’s author: Nonnie Jules

 

From one of her upcoming releases, Nonnie Jules presents…PRISON WIVES.

PRISON WIVES

I am an unlikely character to tell these stories, but, I do know that each day that we are blessed to open our eyes, we never know what surprises, good or bad, that day will bring. No matter how much and how well we plan, the universe always steps in to show us just how much, we are not as in control of things as we thought we were.

These are real stories of moms, wives, spouses…those significant others who are left behind; those innocent, and maybe even not-so-innocents, who are left to pick up all the pieces that are shattered when their husbands walk out the door and don’t return in the time frame in which they are expected to.

No, he didn’t run off with another woman…he was apprehended somewhere between here and there by a law enforcement officer, and, for whatever reason, he’s now being held behind bars…property of the city until the state steps in to claim ownership. And, although these men are the ones incarcerated, it is the entire family that serves the time.

These are not sob stories to drum up sympathy for the accused. But, this book will serve as a doorway into an open dialogue, so that we are all aware of just how much children suffer when their dads are taken away.

These stories are but small ways to shine light on the effects of imprisoning low-level offenders for long periods of time, ripping them from their children’s lives, and the negative imprints left behind. This is a plea for reform of a justice system that will quickly parole a drug dealer, murderer, rapist or child molester, who will more than likely repeat-offend, yet hangs on to low-level offenders who may have made a one-time mistake or even worse, was forced to take a plea for a crime which he is innocent of, simply because he was too poor and couldn’t afford top-of-the-line defense. We do know that this happens, don’t we?

Lastly, this is so that we don’t forget those that are forced to soldier up and walk into battle each and every day, standing on the front lines of a war that they have been shielded from for far too long. These soldiers fight daily just to keep a roof over the heads, food in the mouths, and hope in the spirits of the children who are also being penalized in this war.

These are the stories of PRISON WIVES. 

 

CHAPTER ONE – SAMMIE

Sammie was so excited about their upcoming road trip. Not for the travel element, but, because their son Jeremy, was about to lead his team to another high school championship for a third straight year. Jeremy was a senior and also big man on campus, as Rozdale High’s, 6’3, All-American Quarterback. The one drawback to Sammie’s excitement, was they had to travel cross country to play. Sammie hated to travel, she also hated to fly, so road trips were always the name of the game for her family. This year, she was especially apprehensive about their road trip and yet, she had no idea why.

The drive would take them 21 hours and 32 min to reach their destination of Clearwater, FL. from Lubbock, TX. And, since Jeremy had to be there on Friday, this would mean a full day and a half of travel prior to. Sammie, mother of three daughters and one son, knew that her husband Josh had a suspended driver’s license, yet, he would have to share the drive time with her anyway.  This was not an option as none of their children were of legal driving age, and Jeremy, the oldest, would not get his license until he turned 18 in the following year.

On that hot July morning as they backed out of their driveway, Sammie sat in the passenger seat and prayed. “Dear Lord, guide my family safely from this place to the next and back again. Return us all safely to our home…together. Amen.” Sammie wasn’t what you’d call a deeply religious woman, but she embraced her spiritual side and she strongly believed in the power of prayer.

The family drove along Interstate 20, then passing through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, they finally entered into the state of Florida. There were many stops along the way, but it was the last one that they would never forget. With almost seven hours left in their journey, they heard the sounds of a police siren behind them. When Sammie looked over her shoulder from the backseat, which she’d retired to hours before to stretch her legs, her heart sank so low, she could almost hear it hit the floor of the rental van.

Pulling over into the gas station they were headed to for their next potty-break, Sammie’s mind raced wildly. Not only did Josh have a suspended license, but he also had an outstanding warrant back home for a false probation violation, which they were aware of.

“I know I wasn’t speeding, officer,” Josh offered as the policeman approached his door.

“Yes, you were, sir,” the officer responded, surprisingly with a smile. A lie, I thought. “License and registration, please.”

Knowing all too well that it was going to take a miracle to keep him from being arrested right there, Josh, ever-protective of his children and family, asked the officer if they could get out of the van to use the restrooms.  If the worse happened, he didn’t want his children to see him in handcuffs or in the back of a police car. The officer said “Sure,” again, with the same smile on his face.

With his entire family inside, Josh tried to convince the officer to please let him get his family to safety and then he would return home to deal with the issue. His wife had no idea how to make the rest of the long journey without him, he shared.  But, still being kind, the officer said that he just couldn’t do that. He had to take him in.

Sammie’s phone rang from inside the gas station. “He is arresting me,” came Josh’s shaky voice through the phone. Her heart sank again. “You are going to have to make the rest of this trip without me. Sam, you can do it.” His voice quickly changed and now held a firmness to it. He knew he had to appear strong or she would quickly become unraveled.

Tears filled Sammie’s eyes. She’d been married to this man for 15 years and for 15 years he’d taken care of her, done everything for her…made her life so easy. Now, he was telling her she had to continue on this long journey without him. OK, but when they arrived, what then? Josh had shielded her from the real world for so long, she wasn’t sure if she could take a breath without him. But, she had to…for their kids. If she had been alone, she might have given up right then and there.

Sammie stood in the parking lot and watched the officer drive away with her husband in the back seat of the car, while she had asked the kids to stay inside and away from the windows.

When she realized that she wasn’t dreaming, she wiped her tear-stained face with the tissue in her hand. Composed and in brave face, she walked back inside to collect her children, as they were now both her reason and her strength to get them through this long, arduous journey –  a weekend without their father and then back to Texas, safe and sound.

Sammie had no idea how hard it would be once they headed back home five days later with the questions and comments from the kids about their father.  “We can’t leave here without him,” said 8-year-old Vanessa. “How is he going to get home?” asked 12-year-old Maggie.  “Why can’t we just stay here until this is straightened out? It can’t take that long,” added 16-year-old Zandra, the sassy one of the bunch. Sammie was thankful at that moment that Jeremy had chosen to remain silent.  His un-asked question was one less stab to her heart.

Not knowing the severity of the situation, Sammie drove along, oblivious to all those words that could cut deep into her heart. How would she find the words to tell these kids, who had never gone more than 7 hours without seeing the dad they worshipped, that she didn’t know when he’d be coming home again?


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