Elizabeth Melton Parsons

Writing~Art~Life


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Heatherfield – Paranormal Romance

Where her heart is, there will she be also …

Deep in a box of used books, counselor Tory Sasser comes across a novel without an ending: Heatherfield. As she reads the story of scarred war veteran, Jake Benjamin, her tears fall on the pages—and she could swear new words appear where once there was nothing.

But the fictional town of Heatherfield isn’t all it seems, nor is its creator, Destiny Paige. When Tory’s car runs off the road into the mist, she’s transported back to the 1940s—into the novel, trapped by the spirits that govern the place through Destiny. Even more, Tory is caught by the honest warmth and complicated tenderness that is Jake Benjamin. Realizing she’s falling in love with Jake, Tory is desperate to find her way back home to reality. Yet what is more real than true love? No, Heatherfield isn’t all it seems … not at all.

M. Jean Pike has created another must read with her newest paranormal romance, Heatherfield.  Her love and extensive knowledge of the 1940’s come to the forefront in this story. The reader feels as though they have been transported back to that lovely era right along with Tory. As with all of Ms. Pike’s books, the writing is both lyrical and literary without losing it’s down to earth and easy style. The author has a true talent for putting words on paper that draw the reader into the story and keeps them there from first page till last. I’ve often said that when I read, I become lost in the story–imagine truly becoming the hero or heroine of a book, your life dictated by the writer wielding the pen. With Heatherfiled’s suspenseful sub plot and beautifully romantic love story, it’s a true treasure that you will want to read again and  again.

ISBN: 9780979325281

Available in e-book and paperback. Amazon, Black Lyon Publishing, Your local bookstore.

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Waiting For The Rain

Willow Mackenzie desperately needs a miracle. 
Darby Sullivan has one to offer. 
But sharing it may cost him his life.

Abandoned by her husband after receiving a fatal medical diagnosis, twenty-eight-year-old Willow Mackenzie is determined to realize her unfulfilled dreams. On a jaunt to a lonely quarry called Baker’s Gully in the hope of photographing an eagle, she discovers an abandoned cottage and its reclusive owner, Darby Sullivan. Captivated by the rose-covered dwelling, and intrigued by its stern, sexy owner, Willow knows instinctively that she is meant to spend the rest of her life in Baker’s Gully. A man of secrets, Darby is content with his hermit-like existence, but troubled by the deadly illness he senses within her, he agrees to rent Willow the cottage, knowing it is the one place on earth that can heal her. But saving Willow’s life may cost Darby his own.

Seldom will a book touch your emotions the way M. Jean Pike’s “Waiting For The Rain”. Willow is a likeable, courageous heroine–a woman you’d want for your best friend and Darby…what can I say about Darby? “SIGH” I fell in love. Here’s a man who has known hardship and heartache. A strong, sensitive and loving man with a secret. A secret so devastating, he fears it will destroy any chance of a future with Willow. Their love story will leave you breathless.

Waiting For The Rain by M. Jean Pike 
ISBN# 978-1-897445-21-1 
Champagne Books ‘Best Book Of the Year Award’ For 2007
Available in both e-book and paperback.
Tomorrow I will post the blurb for Jean’s newest book, “Heatherfield”.
Don’t forget, Jean will be guest blogging on Monday.


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The Winds Of Autumn by M. Jean Pike

September, 1968… Scorned by her zealot mother after being raped by a cult leader, The Shepherd, eighteen-year-old Angel knows her only hope of survival is escape. On a rainy September night, she flees her mother’s home, unaware of the supernatural forces that guide her on her journey to Littlebrook; a poor, mountain village where nothing ever changes and nothing is as innocent as it seems. Alone and afraid, Angel finds an ally in Don Hanson, the village doctor with a haunted past. Angel’s resemblance to Don’s dead wife, Mary, is the eerily powerful magnet that draws him to her, stirring his shattered heart to love again. But for this unlikely pair, love comes at a high price, as Angel’s mysterious appearance creates a tempest in the small town, reawakening ghosts from the past, and striking vengeance in the dark heart of an enemy Angel didn’t know she had.  

“The Winds Of Autumn” was the first book by M. Jean Pike I had the privilege of reading, but I knew it wouldn’t be the last. The vivid descriptions and very real characters hooked me from the very first page. Add to that the believable paranormal elements and chilling suspense and you have yourself a winner. Ms. Pike has a beautifully unique style of writing that makes reading one of her books a true pleasure.

Ms. Pike will be guest blogging next week and tomorrow I’ll be featuring another of her phenomenal books.

The Winds Of Autumn

  • ISBN-10: 1413795161
  • ISBN-13: 978-1413795165


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Celia ~ A Short Story

Celia

 

 

It was a long haul between Leavenworth and Casey. Tom knew if he didn’t fill up in Organ Springs he’d never get the cargo to Casey without running out of fuel. He’d been a trucker for over twenty years, but had never driven this particular route and wasn’t any too happy about doing it now. The narrow road wound itself like a snake through the mountain passes and the passing rain left just enough fog and mist behind to make seeing the dark road difficult. Tom couldn’t see the steep cliff to his right, but knew it was there and it made him nervous.

 

Turning the radio on, he settled for a station playing an old favorite about lost love. Listening to the old familiar tune, he could feel his anxiety slip away. He’d be in Organ Springs in less than twenty minutes and was looking forward to some hot coffee and a brief rest. Looking through the slapping wipers, he could just make out the Organ Springs road sign up a head at the crossroad. He geared the big truck down, preparing to stop. 

 

Just as he was getting ready to turn right onto the road leading into town, he caught a glimpse of something white in the middle of the road to the left. He looked again, but didn’t see anything. Oh, boy, I’ve been on the road too long tonight. Now I’m seeing things that aren’t there. 

 

Continuing on his way, he quickly put the incident from his mind. All he could think about was getting that much needed coffee to clear his head for the next leg of the trip. Hopefully, the mist would clear and he’d have smooth sailing the rest of the way. Tom had always been proud of getting his cargo where it was supposed to be and getting it there on time, but he never took unnecessary chances.  In his twenty plus years on the road, he’d never had an accident. A fact for which his company was grateful. Cora, Tom’s wife, felt they should have shown their gratitude in a more tangible way such as a raise in salary.

 

Tom smiled, as he thought of his wife of twenty years. An outspoken woman, Cora loved him with a fierceness he’d never thought possible before meeting her. And he loved her the same if not more. Cora had finally succeeded in convincing him to retire from the company in five years with a nice pension. Then they’d finally be able to move to the little house on the cost of Maine they’d bought years ago. Cora could paint all day and Tom could fish, something he never seemed to have time for now.

 

When his twenty-year retirement date came up, Cora had tried to convince him to take it. He thought they should wait another ten years, so there would be more money. Cora argued they’d spent too many years apart as it was. So they had compromised on the twenty-five year retirement.

 

Lost in thought, Tom never the less was paying attention to his surroundings and when the white thing appeared in the middle of the road, he was able to stop in time. Looking closer, Tom saw a lady in a long white dress. Jumping down from the cab, he hurried to her.

 

“Geesh, Miss. I could have run right over you. What are you doing out here in the middle of the road? Did you have an accident or something?”

 

“No, sir. I’d appreciate a ride into town. I was out walking and got caught in the rain.”

 

“I’ll be happy to oblige, I’m Tom Withers.”

 

“Thank you, Tom. I was afraid no one would come along and I’d have to walk all the way back, I’m Celia.”

 

Tom helped her into the cab and then climbed in himself. He looked over and realized she was shivering from wet and cold. Turning the heat on high, he reached behind the seat and pulled out a warm blanket to drape over her.

 

“Why, you poor little thing, you’re wet and freezing. Were you at a party? That’s a mighty pretty dress to be out walking in.”

 

“It’s my wedding dress. Do you like it?”

 

Tom was taken aback by this comment. Looking at the woman more closely, he saw a pale oval face and large dark eyes surrounded by purple smudges. She had an air of sadness about her that wrung his heart and he wondered if she’d gotten cold feet and run off from the wedding.

 

“It’s a beautiful dress, Hon. Are you getting warm now?”

 

“Yes, it’s nice and toasty under this blanket.”

 

“I’d better get you back to town then.” Tom put the big truck in gear and headed towards Organ Springs.

 

On their way to town, Tom tried to make polite conversation, hoping to get more of her story out of her, but she didn’t seem inclined to talk. She began to hum the tune to the same old love song he’d been listening to earlier and he softly sang the words. She turned her huge eyes his way and smiled, then continued to hum as he sang.

 

Right at the edge of Organ Springs sat a huge, old Queen Ann style house that had seen much better days. It was here, Celia asked Tom to let her out. Tom stopped the truck and eyed the old place dubiously. It was dark and there wasn’t a sign of a light inside the old place. The weeds growing in the yard were knee high and he couldn’t imagine anyone living there.

 

“Are you sure you want out here, Hon? I could take you on into town.”

 

“Oh, no. I live here. This is my home. Isn’t it just beautiful? Charles said we’d have lots of children to fill it up.”

 

Tom was worried about dropping the lady at this dilapidated old house. “So then, there’s someone waiting inside for you?”

 

“Of course, Charles is there waiting. He’s been waiting for such a long time. He’ll be so happy to see me.”

 

Tom glanced back at the old house, as he helped Celia from the cab of the truck. A small light came on in one of the front windows, easing his mind.

 

“There, you see? Charles has put the light in the window for me. He does that every night.” Happiness lit her eyes and her face seemed to glow as she said the words.

 

“Well, Celia, I’ll bid you goodnight then and I hope your wish of filling the house with children comes true.”

 

The glow left her face and she smiled sadly up at him before making her way through the weeds to the front door. Tom climbed back into his truck and drove to the truck stop on the other side of town. He was surprised that he was the only trucker around the place. He didn’t see how they could stay in business with so few customers. While the attendant filled his truck, he went inside to order coffee and a bite to eat.

 

He sat at the counter and an elderly man in a white apron came to take his order, shouting it to the cook in back as he filled Tom’s cup with hot coffee. Tom sighed, as he sipped the fragrant brew. “This is what I’ve been needing. Thank you.”

 

“Come from Clancy, did ya?” The man asked him.

 

“No, over the pass, I’m heading to Casey.”

 

The man’s eyes grew round in surprise. “Well, I’m mighty glad you made it safely. Guess you don’t know, but most truckers won’t come over the pass, they circle around through Clancy and take southbound 180 to Casey.”

 

“Yeah, I saw that route on the map, but that’s a good forty miles out of the way.”

 

“Most feel the forty miles are worth it. You didn’t see the ghost, then?”

 

Tom grinned. “What ghost might that be?” He’d heard these stories before in many small towns all over the country.

 

“The ghost of Celia Matheson.”

 

Tom choked on his coffee, coughing and sputtering. Once he’d got his breath back, he looked into the face of the old man and saw the knowing look in his eyes.

 

“You did see her then?”

 

Tom nodded, thinking the old man was pulling his leg, but wanting to hear more anyway. “Tell me about her.”

 

“Celia and Charles Matheson were childhood sweethearts. I went to school with both of them and they were in love from first grade on. Charles was going to law school when he and Celia decided to get married. A few months before the wedding they bought the old Queen Ann on the other side of town, course it was a beautiful place then. Celia loved that house.”

 

 “What happened with him and Celia? They did get married, I guess.”

 

“Yes, sir, they did. Got married at the little church over on Walnut Street. They left for their honeymoon, but a big truck ran the stop sign over at the crossroad and rammed right into them. There wasn’t much left of the car and Celia didn’t make it.”

 

“That’s terrible. What about Charles?”

 

“He lived, still alive in fact. He’s lived in that big old house all alone for the past fifty years.”

 

“The house is in pretty bad shape. Hard to believe anyone lives there.”

 

“Yep. Charles is one of the good guys. He’s helped a lot of folks out with free legal advice over the years and has defended more than a few of his neighbors in court, never asking for a dime. So when his health began to fail, folks would get together and mow the lawn, do a few repairs. Charles thought it was charity and got so upset, everyone figured it was best to leave him be. He never did remarry and puts a light in the front window of that house every night, saying it’s for Celia to find her way to him when the time is right.”

 

Shivers crept along Tom’s spine. He didn’t believe in ghosts, but this was getting pretty spooky. “Right time for what?”

 

“For the two of them to be together again. They say Celia haunts the old crossroads. Before word got around, there was many a trucker come to town and swore they’d run over some lady in a white dress and then she’d just disappeared. Some said they stopped in time to miss her and actually spoke to her and offered her a lift, but she always said the same thing. ‘It’s not the right time’. So what’s your story, Mr.? Did ya run over her or offer her a lift?”

 

“I not only offered her a lift, but brought her to the old Queen Ann house and dropped her off. Now why don’t you tell me the real story behind all this nonsense. Is this some kind of way to draw in the tourists?”

 

“You say ya dropped her at the old house?”

 

“Yes, I did.”

 

The old man behind the counter rushed to the phone and dialed a number. “Hello, Sarah, let me talk to the sheriff.” He waited a moment and then spoke into the phone again. “Yeah, Pete, it’s me Hank. You better get a car over to the Matheson house. I think Charles might be ailing. Yeah, okay, let me know what happens, will ya? Thanks.” He hung up the phone and walked back to counter.

 

Tom finished his meal. He’d had enough of this silliness for one night and needed to get back on the road.

 

“Thanks for the meal, Hank, and for the entertainment.”

 

He left the truck stop and headed his big rig out of town towards Casey. He couldn’t get Hank’s story out of his mind and he kept seeing Celia’s lovely, pale face full of sadness.  “Darn it,” he whispered. He just had to see for himself what was going on at the old house.

 

Turning the truck around, he headed back to Organ Springs and drove to the old Queen Ann. There was an ambulance and a police car parked in front. As he watched, they wheeled a gurney out of the house, a body covered with a white sheet on top of it. An ache settled into mid-section and Tom wondered if it were possible he’d actually had an encounter with the ghost of Celia Matheson. He climbed down from his truck and wandered over to a small group gathered in front of the house.

 

“What’s happening?” He asked one woman.

 

“Poor old Mr. Matheson passed away tonight. It’s a shame. He was a nice old man.”

 

Tom returned to his truck and began to turn it around to head back out of town, many questions running through his mind. As he started to pull away from the old house, a flash of something white caught his eye in the side mirror. Turning quickly, he saw Celia Matheson and a handsome young man in a dark suit walking hand in hand down the road.

 

As he stared open mouthed, Celia turned and looked at him. She smiled brightly before turning and continuing down the road, snuggled close against the side of the young man. As Tom watched, the two of them disappeared into the mist. Only there was no mist. It had cleared while he was having coffee. Tom shook his head and rubbed his eyes. Either he was going crazy or he’d actually just seen Celia and Charles Matheson’s ghosts.

 

Tom was quiet and thoughtful for the rest of the trip. After dropping his cargo, he found a phone and called Cora.

 

“Hello, Sweetheart, I’ll be home tomorrow. And, Cora, I’ve decided to take the twenty-year retirement. This is my last trip. Ah… Honey, don’t cry. Yes, I know. I’ll tell you all about it when I get home. I love you too. Bye, Darlin’.”

 

Tom walked back to his truck with a smile on his face. Ghost or not, Celia Matheson had shown him that spending time with his Cora was more important than a few extra dollars in retirement benefits.

Copyright Elizabeth Melton Parsons

All Rights Reserved

http://elizabethmeltonparsons.com


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Featured Authors – Guest Bloggers

I’m going to feature a few authors here on my blog from time to time, so if you’re an author with a published book and would like a spot for guest blogging and give your book a little plug…contact me — eragon729 at aol.com. All authors in any genre are welcome–this includes self published authors and poets.

My first guest author will be M. Jean Pike, author of The Winds of Autumn, Waiting For The Rain, and Heatherfield. I’ve read all these and will be giving my reviews of each as a lead in to her guest spot. I’ll post the date for her appearance once it’s finalized.

I’ll also be posting books and blurbs with a link to my reviews of them at Gotta Write Network. I try to keep my reviews positive as well as honest. If I find something off or I just don’t like something, I won’t hesitate to say so.

That’s what’s coming up. I know you’ll enjoy meeting the authors and hopefully find a few new books to take you away from the ‘real’ world for a just a little while.

 


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Things That Go Bump In The Night

When it comes to reading, I love romance–romance with a kick. This can encompass many different elements, time travel, suspense, paranormal, even sci-fi. But there has to be something more than just the romance. I used to consider myself a true romantic, but considering my choice of reading material and the stories I choose to write, maybe I’m not.

If I’m out driving and spy an abandoned cabin in the woods or I hear about a haunted house or location, I want to investigate and the wheels in my head begin to spin with stories and characters. Here where I live, there are many such places and stories to go with them. We have people who have mysteriously disappeared and never been seen again, haunted houses and graveyards, as well as unsolved murders. All great fodder for the mind of a writer like myself who thrives on such things.

My love of the paranormal probably began as a child when for a time, my family lived in a haunted house. This huge, old house built some time in the early 1800’s sat on large piece of land in South Florida. A black panther lived in the woods behind the house and many times while playing in these woods myself and my siblings would look up and see him stretched across a branch watching us. We weren’t afraid of him and he never did us any harm, so I assume at one time he’d been a pet.

Nothing unusual ever occured in the house while my parents were home. That wasn’t the case whenever they were absent, especially if they happened to be gone after dark. My older sister was always left in charge of us younger children, but the first time it sounded as though someone was dragging a log chain down the open, winding staircase, she’d lock herself in her room. We got used to this horrible noise and soon paid no attention. But the grand parties that took place were another thing all together. I remember one night, I could hear glasses clinking together, loud laughter and music. Those spirits were having a good old time.

I went to my sister’s room and knocked. Of course she ignored me, so I pounded harder. When she asked what I wanted, I asked if she could hear the sounds coming from the lower floor. Her answer was yes, she heard them and then she ordered me to go away and leave her alone. I decided I’d go downstairs and see what was happening, but when I made it halfway down the stairs, all sound stopped. When I’d get back up the stairs, it would start again. I even tried sneaking down on my tiptoes, but it was all the same. I remember becoming angry that I wasn’t allowed to see the party. As a child, I felt they were having a lot of fun and I wasn’t included.

I believe this experience instilled in me a love of books with elements of the unknown and all things that go bump in the night. I’m not as brave as I was as a child, but as long as it’s fiction or a good nonfiction ghost story, I’m all for it.

Elizabeth Melton Parsons

http://elizabethmeltonparsons.com


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Deceptive Hearts ~ Chapter 3 continues…

***

 

“Mom! Mom, where are you?” Lily went from room to room and when entering the kitchen, saw Dee sitting on the patio outside the kitchen door. She took a few deep breaths to calm herself and watched her mother for a minute before going to her.

“Mom, I just came from Daddy and he…Mom, are you smoking?”

“No, Lily, I’m trying to set my face on fire.” Sarcasm laced her words, as she raised her brows and looked up at her youngest daughter.

“But you quit smoking when I was just a little girl. You know those things will kill you.”

“You aren’t a little girl any longer and I don’t need a lecture. Sit down and tell me what’s so urgent.”

Lily lowered her bottom onto the edge of a chair and stared at Dee. She’d never seen her like this, so…so un-mom like. “I just talked to Daddy. He told Sarah and me that he’s seeing an attorney next week about a divorce.”

Taking a long pull on the cigarette, Diana closed her eyes and blew the smoke out slowly. It seems Warren couldn’t wait to be rid of her.  He couldn’t even keep his word about waiting until he was able to leave the center to say anything. Now she’d have to tell Robbie.

“Mom? Don’t you have anything to say?”

“What do want to know, Lily? He asked for a divorce. I told him I’d fight it, but I can’t force him to stay in a marriage he’s determined to leave. I have no intention of covering for him with you or your brother and sister. This divorce is what he wants and any explanations will have to come from him.”

 

 

 

 ©E. G. Parsons

 

 


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Decetive Hearts…cont.

“Sarah, I’m not sure I can explain. The accident simply made me realize how fast things can change. I could have died and I’ve never truly lived.”

“Daddy, that doesn’t make any sense. Are you saying your life has no meaning—that your career and your life with Mom meant nothing? What about Lily, Robbie, and me? Being our father means nothing to you?”

“It has nothing to do with my career or you children. I’ve always been happy and proud to be your father. How do you feel about Russell, Sarah?”

“He’s my husband, a part of me. I love him and can’t even imagine my life without him. What does that have to do with this?”

“That’s what has been missing in my life and I can’t live that way any longer.”

“Are you saying Mom doesn’t love you? Has never loved you? Because if so, you’re wrong, Daddy. Mom would be lost without you. Oh, Daddy, you are so wrong. She loves you. I see it in her eyes when she looks at you. Mom adores you. I can’t believe you don’t know that.”

“Lily was right when she said Dee has been a good wife to me. She’s been wonderful. And I have no doubt she cares for me, but not in the same way you care for Russell. We settled—settled for less than what you and Russell have. It wasn’t so bad before Robbie was born. I had my work. Your mother had her painting and the gallery. After Robbie, she gave that up and devoted herself to being the best wife and mother she could be.”

Sarah sank to her knees beside his chair. “I remember—the little place on Maple Lane. Mom took Lily and I there all the time when we were younger. She was a different person there. Her face would glow as soon as she opened the door. I’d forgotten.” Those were the only times she’d seen that look on her mother’s face. She laid her head on her father’s knee. “I’m sorry, Daddy, so sorry.”

 

 

©E. G. Parsons

 

 


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Deceptive Hearts…cont.

Sarah and Lily stared at their father in shock. Sarah was the first to recover. “Divorce? I don’t understand.”

“The reasons are between your mother and me. I only told the two of you because she won’t and I’m seeing an attorney next week.”

“Next week?”

“Oh, for Pete’s sake, Sarah. You sound like a parrot. And you, Dad, what do you mean it’s between you and Mom. You can’t drop a bombshell like that and not offer any explanation. We have a right to know what’s going on. I assume since Mom is being difficult, this divorce is your idea. Is that right?”

“Yes.”

“Yes. Just like that? Is Mom having an affair? Are you?”

“Lily!”

“Shut up, Sarah. Well, Dad. Which is it?”

“Lily, there is no affair.” He sighed heavily. Strange, he’d thought it would be Sarah who’d be most upset with him.

“Then why are you doing this? Mom has been a great mother to us and a good wife to you. Now this is the thanks she gets. You decide you want out and just like that, you file for divorce. What the hell is wrong with you?” Lily quit her pacing and stopped in front of his chair.

“Lily, don’t raise your voice to me. We can discuss this rationally or not at all.”

“I don’t want to discuss this with you. For the first time in my life, I’m ashamed to have you as my father. I’m going to see Mom.” Turning on her heel she stormed from the room.

Warren rubbed his face and Sarah put her hand on his arm. “Daddy, please tell me what this is all about. I don’t understand any more than Lily does. You and Mom have always been so happy. How could all those years together end like this? Does it have anything to do with the accident?

 

 

 ©E. G. Parsons

 


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Deceptive Hearts…cont.

“That was then. This is now. I’d think you’d be happy.”

“Oh, yes, Warren. I’m ecstatic to see out twenty-four year marriage end because you had an accident and decided you need more from life. This sounds a lot like male menopause. Do have some young, little hottie hidden away somewhere?”

“Don’t be offensive, Dee. You know damned well, I’ve never been unfaithful.”

“Fine, I’ll stop being offensive when you stop laying all this on my shoulders.”

“I’m not.”

“Yes, you are. You talk as if I’ve just been waiting for an opportunity to be rid of you—like you’re doing me a favor. Well, get this straight, you can keep your favors. If I hadn’t wanted to be married to you, I’d have divorced you years ago.” Her temper was rising and with it, her voice. She saw one of the aides look their way and stared angrily back at him until he looked away.

“Why can’t you just accept that a divorce is best for both of us?”

“Right for you, not for me. You want to live apart? Do it. You want a divorce? Get one. I won’t lift a finger to make it easier for you. You’d better go in to Robbie now. I have had enough of this discussion.”

“Where are you going?”

“Tell Robbie I had to get something at the drugstore down the block. I’ll be back in a little while to get him.” She walked away, back stiff.

He didn’t think he’d ever seen her so angry.

 

***

 

Storming down the busy street. Diana tried to control her anger. She’d wanted to hit him. She hadn’t truly wanted to hit anyone since she was five or six years old. A sign prominently displayed in one of the shop windows caught her eyes and she stopped. All cigarettes sold at state minimum, Coffee/Smoking lounge in back. Diana hesitated and then pushed the door open, stopping to inhale the scent of fragrant pipe tobacco on a display near the door. She marched to the counter.

“A pack of cigarettes, something light.”

“What brand, Miss?”

“I don’t care, something light.” She snatched a cute pink lighter from a stand next to the cash register and threw it on the counter. “This too.”

The man gave her a strange look and placed a pack of generic light cigarettes on the counter. “Will that be all?”

“Yes.”

He rang up the order. “That will be Five ninety-eight, please.”

After paying the man, she walked through the store and into the coffee lounge, taking a small table near the back. The place was dimly lit and smoke hung in lazy swirls. On the little stage sat a man with a ponytail playing a guitar and singing a well known folk song. Diana had to laugh. It was a flashback to the sixties and reminded her of the place she and Justin frequented in Greenwich Village during the early eighties. God, she’d not thought about that since before Sarah had started kindergarten.

Regardless of what Warren believed, she’d not thought of Justin in all those years. Ripping the plastic and foil off the top of the cigarette pack, she tapped one out and lit it, immediately rewarded by a fit of coughing.

“Are you all right, ma’am?”

Diana looked up through watery eyes at the young waitress. “Sure, I’m fine. Could you bring me some ice water, please?”

“Is that all?” Diana nodded and the girl flounced off, as though offended she’d not ordered more.

Okay, that’s two people I’ve offended today and I’m sitting here smoking for the first time in over ten years. Warren is adamant about this divorce and if I fight it, the kids will be caught in the middle. Things could get nasty.

She doggedly lit another cigarette. So things will get nasty. It might do the kids good to learn that life isn’t always rosy. It can be damned messy at times. At least for Sarah and Lily it might be good, but Robbie is still too young to be so cruelly disillusioned. God, what will I do?

 

 

 

 

 ©E. G. Parsons