Elizabeth Melton Parsons

Writing~Art~Life


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Tragedy in Willowtown – Story Poem

old house

Children scamper down the sidewalks,
Skipping stones and hopping over cracks.
Having a good time, in no hurry to get home.
Not so for one little child.
She hurries, head down against the chilly air.
Fingers point, voices whisper,
The seed of Satan, no good.
She hurries faster, trying not to notice.
Home at last_The old Victorian house,
Once a well-respected and stately home.
Her mother sits as usual, in front of the fire.
Mind blurred by alcohol and pills,
Never noticing how much need of her the little
child has.
Wishing for the laughing, happy mother from
before_
Before the tragedy of Willowtown.
The murders of two young girls_
She’d heard that horrible things had been done
to them before they died.
She’d been too young to understand,
But she remembered the townspeople looking
for someone to blame.
Turning their hatred to the young piano
teacher.
The man who gave private lessons in his home,
Her father.
The laughing young man who tossed her in the
air_
Who cuddled and read bedtime stories to her
until she fell asleep.
She remembered the rocks thrown through the
windows_
Her mother crying,
The crowed that gathered outside their house
with sticks and guns.
Her father going out to speak with them_
And never coming back.
Sixty years later, the old Victorian still stands,
crumbling and faded.
Fingers point, voices whisper_
That crazy old woman, never leaves her house,
A witch she is, in league with the devil.

ÓElizabeth Melton Parsons

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A Halloween Story Poem

HALLOWEEN

 

Halloween Story

Our story begins on All Hallows Eve 1849.

A full silver moon rose high on this darkest of nights.

Fog lay like a shroud, clinging to the moonlight shine.

Mary Englebright sat sewing by dim candlelight.

Alone in her cabin, she shivered with dread.

Shadowy faces danced on the wall,

Grinning and grim, faces of the dead.

Taking a deep breath, she awaited the call.

The story her mother had told long ago

of what happens to the Englebright three.

The spirits will come to collect their soul

on their twenty first year of All Hallows Eve.

The last in her line, she sat frozen in fear.

The wind began to rage and moan

blowing the door wide…the spirits appear.

Screaming in terror, she was carried from home.

Never again to be seen in the light of day,

but if you listen closely on All Hallows Eve

you may hear her cries rising…then fading away.

ÓElizabeth Melton Parsons

 


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Death of a Butterfly – New Novel Peek

I played around with the idea for this suspense story a few years ago, but never went any further with it. Now I’m working on it again.

Death of a Butterfly

Marti rubbed her arms, trying to relieve her cold shivering. Walking across the room she stared out at the dark street. There was a storm brewing. She could feel it. Fear caused her trembling to increase, but she knew it wasn’t the storm. The dark outline of a man still stood in the shadow of the streetlight. She’d hoped it was her imagination, but it was Daniel. She could feel it as strongly as she could sense the storm coming. Why was he just standing there? Why not make his move?

Going to the desk across the room, she removed the loaded pistol from the top drawer. She’d loaded the gun earlier, but checked it again. Her hands shook causing her to almost drop it. The sound of thunder rumbled sullenly and the wind picked up, rattling the old, loose shutter she’d put off fixing. It was too late now, just as it was too late to run. Besides she was sick of running, sick of constantly looking over her shoulder. She’d end it tonight. Come on, Daniel. What are you waiting for? Come for me.

She looked out the window again. The leaves on the trees danced crazily in the wind. He was gone. Dread moved its icy fingers down her spine. She listened intently, blocking out the sounds of the coming storm. She tried to control the trembling in her limbs. She needed to stay calm. She’d only get one chance and if she missed…she couldn’t even think that way. She wouldn’t miss.

She’d already checked the locks on the doors and windows, but knew they offered little protection. Daniel wasn’t one for dramatic entrances and knocking down doors or breaking windows was beneath him. He’d find a quiet way to enter and then he’d just be there. Marty moved away from the window, slowly backing into the far corner of the room. He’d not come up behind her this time. Holding the pistol out in front of her with one hand, she reached into the pocket of her old gray hoodie with the other and removed the cell phone. She pushed 911 and asked for a patrol car when they answered.

“What is your emergency ma’am?”

“I have an intruder at 810 Walnut Street. Please hurry.” Marty immediately ended the call and took the gun in both hands. The clock on the shelf to her right loudly ticked away the minutes. She had no concept of how much time had passed. The storm continued to grow stronger, but she tried to ignore it and concentrate on any small noise she might hear inside the house. Her arms tired and began to ache. She’d not be able to hold them steady much longer.

 

ÓE. G. Parsons


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LASR Reviews Winter of the Heart

LASR (Long and Short Reviews) gives WINTER OF THE HEART a four and half book review. It’s also up for ‘best book of the week’, so if you have time check in at http://www.longandshortreviews.com/LASR/recentrev.htm tomorrow (Saturday May 2, 2009 or Sunday May 3, 2009) and vote for it. Thanks, Elizabeth

“This touching historical takes readers on an emotional journey that is hard to forget as a woman in an abusive relationship seeks to make a better life for herself and finds a love she never expected…” Read more – http://longandshortreviews.blogspot.com/2009/04/winter-of-heart-by-eg-parsons.html


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Review: In The Shadow Of The Dragonfly

dragonflycover_smallFrom above the shadows … light

 

Orphaned and impoverished, Gray Baldwin is a lost soul in search of a home, a life, and most of all — love. Kicked from foster home to foster home, at last a restored motorcycle and the onset of adulthood give him the means to leave behind all the ols threats, struggles and losses that haunt him. When he accepts a job at Hanwell Construction, life’s promising new start is both his hope and his torment. The spoiled daughter of a well-to-do business owner, pretty Hope Hanwell has a past to reconcile and a few tragic secrets of her own. She wants for nothing — and everything, pushing love as far away as she can until love pushes back. When Gray and Hope meet, theirs is a story of heartbreak, redemption and fate at its most devastating.

IN THE SHADOW OF THE DRAGONFLY  A Literary Love Story 

My Review:

In The Shadow Of The Dragonfly

By M. Jean Pike

Black Lyon LLC

ISBN: 978-1934912072

***** Five Stars….

Gray Baldwin was born into poverty and neglect. After losing his prostitute mother at the age of eight, he’s given into the custody of his first foster mother. Gladdy teaches Gray the true meaning of love, home and family. Despite the many pitfalls in his life, he never forgets those lessons and clings to his dreams of finding true love with a home and family of his own to belong to. When he meets Hope and her family, he believes he’s found what he’s been looking for his entire life.

Beautiful and spoiled, Hope Hanwell has never wanted for anything, at least on the surface. She’s never known her mother and bears the heavy weight of guilt for a later tragedy on her young shoulders. Hope has her flaws and is, at first, not very likable, but the author offers deeper insight and the reader gets a glimpse of the lovely person she could become. Hope wants Gray, but with nothing more serious in mind than a summer fling and has no idea how drastically their love affair will affect her life.

A literary love story, yes, but In The Shadow Of The Dragonfly by awarding winning author M. Jean Pike is much more than that. Through the lives of the very real people living within it’s pages, this story allows the reader to examine the pain, heartbreak, love, and hope that dwells within the hearts and minds of all mankind. With great strength and courage these characters overcome heartache and tragedy, moving on with their lives and forging a better tomorrow for future generations. In The Shadow Of The Dragonfly touched me on an emotional level seldom felt and I know these characters will live in my heart for a very long time. I can’t remember ever having read a more satisfying story and highly recommend it to all. 

Author/Reviewer, E. G. Parsons – http://egparsons.com   

Visit M. Jean Pike’s Wesite: http://www.freewebs.com/mjeanpike/

 


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Katie Blue Eyes 3

Supper was over and I’d settled several residents in the lounge to smoke and converse together, while others were in their rooms watching TV or reading. The scent of their cigarettes drifted to the desk where I was finishing some paperwork and caused my craving for a smoke to increase. I tried to put it out of my mind. I’d been cutting back in an effort to quit, but knew I was failing miserably. With Pat answering lights for me and by working through first break, I’d managed to finish most of the showers. Now I kept an eye on the hallway and as soon as I saw her returning from supper break, I jumped up and hurried her way.

She laughed as we passed each other. “Hungry, are you?”

“Oh, yeah. Starving.” She laughed again, knowing full well how badly I was wanting a smoke.

 I squeezed my way into the tiny staff lounge and found a vacant seat. Lighting my cigarette, I took a deep draw, sighing in satisfaction and wishing for the hundredth time that I had even a shred of will power. Several people were just finishing and rose to leave the room, making jokes about aching feet and breaking backs. With their exit, the room seemed to expand and become more comfortable.

“Hey, Gail, are you in here?” Peggy’s sleek dark head appeared around the corner of the door.

“I’m here, come on in and talk to me.” Peggy was one of my dearest friends and I knew she’d waited to take supper until she was sure I’d be here. I stubbed out my cigarette in the ashtray and rose to take our sandwiches and drinks from the fridge. Sliding hers across the table, I sat facing her.

“Did you hear about Joe?”

I shook my head, not wanting to talk around a mouth full of sandwich. Joe was one of the few male aides in the facility. He’d moved here from another state and had taken his classes and licensing exam the same time I had. Joe was in his forties, thin and shorter than most of the female aides. He always managed to get his work done on time and most of the residents liked him.

“He was fired.”

I took a swig from my bottle of tea. “Fired? Whatever for?”

She leaned closer and lowered her voice, although there was no need. We were the only two left in the lounge at that point. “Abuse. One of the nurses walked in on him. He was up on the bed straddling Mr. Davis and punching him in the face.”

“What! Is Jeb all right?” I knew my face had gone red, could feel the heat rushing into it. Anger swept over me. I couldn’t believe anyone could be so vicious, as to assault a helpless old man. Jebediah Davis suffered from senility and was bedfast. Although a few of the residents could be violent and abusive to staff, he wasn’t one of them. He had a sweet demeanor and was always cooperative.

“He’s fine physically, only one small bruise on his chin. But imagine what the poor old guy was thinking, being attacked that way.”

“Incredible. I would never have thought Joe capable of such a thing.”

“They say he just flipped out.”

“Was he arrested?”

“Yes, and charged with assault, but he’ll probably get off on some kind of mental breakdown excuse and be ordered to take counseling.”

“That’s one rotten egg out of here, but I fear there may be others.”

Her brows rose into peaks, but she remained silent, waiting for me to say more. I told her about Katie.

“Are you sure it wasn’t Joe she’s afraid of?”

“No, not a hundred percent sure, but from the different things she’s said, I think it’s a woman.”

“See, this is what comes from always having a shortage of staff and aides having to do shifts alone. When there are two, the job isn’t just easier, but there’s less chance of abuse because someone’s there to see. And some people just aren’t cut out for this type of work. You have to be both physically and mentally strong. Remember a while back when Gary was punching you in the hallway that day and the reporter guy saw it? He asked if you received combat pay and when you laughed and said no, he said you should. You never lost your cool with Gary.”

“That had more to do with compassion than mental strength. If I was eighty or ninety and my family stuck me in a nursing facility so they could sell my home and everything else I owned, I’d want to punch someone too.”

“Oh, poo. He was a bully way before that ever happened. He was terribly abusive to his wife before she passed away. He’s as right in his mind as you or I and he’s physically strong. He’s just a bully, pure and simple. Always was and always will be. But you’re right about the compassion. Without that…Well, you know.”

“Yeah, I know and I also know that I need to get off my duff and back to work. I still have Katie to shower and a couple of others before bedtime. I still can’t believe Joe did that. There’s no excuse for it. I just wish we’d have more in-depth in-service meetings on recognizing and handling burnout and other emotional stress on the job.”

“So do I, but we’d most likely still have incidences like this one. All the training in the world won’t help if the person doesn’t seek help when they need it.”

“ You’re right.” I rose and went to the door. “Talk to you later. I’m alone tonight, so can’t take a full supper break.”

“When things are caught up over on my wing, I’ll come and help you. Save Katie’s shower for last and we’ll give it together. Maybe with both of us there, she’ll feel safe enough to tell us what’s going on.”

“Okay, see you later.”

***

To Be continued……©Elizabeth Melton Parsons  http://elizabethmeltonparsons.com

 

 

 


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Creating Your Villains

What type of villain do you prefer when reading a story? Would you rather be told up front and center just exactly who the villain is? Or would you rather be kept guessing? My favorite villain is someone who lives a seemingly normal life, a likeable or even lovable character with a dark side.

I love trying to guess who the bad guy is. In genre romance it pretty much goes without saying that there will be a happy ending, but in general fiction endings can be anything and that to me is what keeps the suspense high. You never know who will fall victim to the evil ways of the villain and I’ve read some books where the villain wins in the end. Of course I’m not much of a fan of killing off the good guys in a story, but will admit sometimes I like the surprise of it happening because it’s unexpected. Being a romantic at heart though, I prefer the good guys to prevail.

When creating the villain in your story, think about how far you want to go. Are you writing a genre romance and want to have a happy ending? Do you want to keep his evil activities on the light side? Are you willing to push the envelope and have the villain do things that may offend some readers? Is he/she handsome/beautiful, charming? Or are they ugly and monstrous? Do they have a specific motive for what they do—revenge, an axe to grind, or mentally unstable? Do you want your reader to have empathy for them or just be waiting anxiously for them to get what’s coming to them? Do they have a sense of humor? What is their personality like in every day life when they aren’t being naughty? Give your villains a past that ties into the reason for their villainous activities.

In my book, BLACK ROCK: A TIME FOR LOVE, Bradford Wellman is a villain who has specific reasons for what he does, but I had one reviewer who didn’t understand why he did specific things. On the surface Brad loved his mother. Although he didn’t realize it himself, he also despised her—thought her weak. This caused a loathing disrespect for all women, thus his acts of cruelty towards Roxanne.

Write down all the personality traits that you find appealing and then write down all the ones you find offensive or appalling. Give your villain both good and bad personality traits and you’ll have a better character. Also pay attention to the things you have them do. Is doing a specific thing or crime out of character for them? Just as in real life, not all criminals commit all crimes.

Have fun creating those villains…until next time.

© Elizabeth Melton Parsons

http://elizabethmeltonparsons.com  

 


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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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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