Excerpt from Novel

Chloe waited, well out of sight beyond the sill of the window.  Waited silently, watching.  Finally the girl appeared, her shadow preceding her in the late afternoon sunlight, slowly travelling down the dusty street out into the greenness of the field at the end of the side lane.  She was unaware her watcher had now become her follower.  Footsteps lightly pacing the small prints already in the dusty soil, the girl walked quickly to the far edge of the field to the line of boulders which divided the field from the sky.  She perched on the largest of them, drew her pad from her satchel and gave a deep sigh of satisfaction as she began to sketch the magic of the deepening afternoon as dusk overwhelmed the small town and dry fields, turning everything into art as streaks of pink and orange raced each other across the sky.  Chloe watched the girl quietly, hunkered down, cushioned on her bulky skirts.  She was a small figure in the shadow of the one large tree on the edge of the field.  There was no need for concealment.  The girl was so taken by her sketches; she would never have noticed the small young girl watching her.  Finally as the deepening dusk turned the sky to violet and the air began to cool in earnest, Chloe rose from her resting place and started trudging back to town.  It would not do to get back too soon before father returned.  Too many questions already.

Excerpt from short story “The Pearl”

Hyacinth Wiggenham delivered herself to her daughter and son in law’s house as promised in order to further entertain her grandchildren with more exciting stories from her youth.  She had meant to stop by sooner but as the week’s activities had proven particularly strenuous.  Aggie and Peter had to wait a little longer for their entertainment. 

The day was hot and humid, children, anxious to enjoy the last week before school started, were listlessly playing outside with balls or skipping rope,  the heat making them unusually tired. 

Peter and Aggie spotted their grandmother half way down the block, chugging along in her roadster.  They patiently waited for her to pull up to the curb before bombarding her with hugs and yells of delight. 

“Gramma, gramma!  We haven’t seen you!  Where’ve you been?”  Seven year old Peter demanded answers the minute Hyacinth had extracted herself from the roadster.

“Just wait till I set my feet down would ya, Petey?  Why I hardly had a chance to stand up straight.”  Hyacinth shooed him away toward the house where her daughter was waiting, fanning herself with a book.

“It’s not Petey anymore Gramma, I’m seven now, It’s Peter.”  He frowned but allowed his grandmother to make her way into the shade of the covered front stoop.  Aggie waited with her mother, having retreated after giving Hyacinth an enthusiastic hug and kiss.  At the wise age of nine, she understood the value of a shady place in the heat of August. 

“All right, Peter then.” 

She reached the small bit of shade, which did not extend over the parched bit of lawn and together they all went inside.

“Mother we have some fresh lemonade if you would like a glass, I am sure the children would join us.”  Olivia smiled at her mother before disappearing into the nether regions of the house.

“Gramma, are you going to tell us another story?”  Aggie asked eagerly while waiting for her mother to produce the lemonade, and hopefully some cookies.

“Is that all you want?”  Hyacinth teased although she knew how much they had enjoyed the last one, and realized on such a hot sultry day there was not much to do.

“But Gramma, you promised.”  Peter said quite seriously.  He was a serious boy with a knack of saying what he meant without mincing words.  “Besides, it’s too hot to do much else.  Being bored is tiring Gramma!”


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