So this week I’m going off the rails for my Sunday Snippet. Instead of giving you a little sumthin’ sumthin’ about a romance book I’m working on, I’m giving you a few lines from a short story that’s out in the Australia Burns anthology from the Wild Rose Press.
There are 3 books in the anthology series and my story THE TUESDAY NIGHT MEETING is in the first one.
This is a short story I wrote years ago when I was really into the female empowerment movement. I still am, I just go about it in a different way now, heehee. And if that doesn’t whet your appetite for the story, nothing else I say will!
Here ya go; enjoy:
“Bob tries his best, Miz Kane. Honest he does,” Cora said, her cheeks heating. “He means well, but…well…he…”
As she trailed off, Wisteria rose and hobbled over to Cora’s side. Kathryn Anne graciously gave up her chair for the oldest member and founder of the club. Wisteria settled in and took Cora’s work-weary hand in her own gnarled one. “My dear, sometimes we can be confronted by truths which are hard to acknowledge. I know Molly didn’t mean to upset you. We would never insult a guest, especially one we want to join our organization.”
Blinking back tears, Cora replied, “That’s all right, Miz Plowright. I know no harm was intended. My Bob, well, he’s just high-strung’s all.”
“High-strung,” Molly repeated and crossed her arms over her ample bosom. “Better strung up, I say.”
Cora’s trembling returned. “Now, Miz Kane, I can understand why you feel that way and all, with the problems you’ve had with Bob. I apologize for the trouble he’s caused you.”
“No need for you to apologize, Cora,” Molly said. She peered through her thick eyeglasses and continued. “The fault’s not yours. You’re a lot like your mother, God rest her soul. Forgiving and apologizing all the time for things beyond her.”
“Bob means well, honest he does,” Cora said, her eyes pleading at the women in the room. “It’s, well, he can’t seem to find his way.”
“Is that any reason for him to hit you and the children, Cora?” Mavis asked, her sonorous voice booming accusingly throughout the room.
Cora’s eyes widened, bulging against the sockets. Before she could deny the charge, Mavis silenced her with a wave of her hand.
“That bruise over your left cheek is mostly faded now. It’s been three weeks since you were seen in the emergency room over at County General. Kitty Hawkins was the night supervisor on duty the evening you were brought in. You told some cock-and-bull tale about falling down the basement steps. The story was as phony as the blood on your dress was real. You don’t have a basement. The sheriff hauled Bob in for the night and charged him with disturbing the peace and public drunkenness. I can only imagine what small, insignificant thing you did that he thought you deserved a beating for.”
The little of Cora’s remaining will dissolved under the older woman’s gaze. A flood of tears poured out of her all at once, and a sob rocked her chest.
Kathryn Anne provided a lace handkerchief, as Wisteria patted Cora’s arm.
“It’s all right, darlin’. You’re among friends here.”
Cora swiped at her eyes. “I’m…I’m sorry for the blubbering, ladies. Truly I am. It’s just been so hard. With Bob scraping from one job to the next…never enough money for food. He drinks to try and forget his troubles, his failures. But I swear on my mother’s soul, Miz Carruthers, he’s never laid a hand on the children. He wouldn’t dare.”
“We believe you, my dear,” Wisteria said. Taking a deep breath, she added, “I think now might be a good time to tell you about our organization, about why we asked you here tonight.” She looked up at the current president of the club.
“Cora,” Mavis aid, capturing the entire attention of the room, “do you know anything about our group?”
She shook her head and swiped at her still running nose. “Not much, ma’am. I know you give out scholarships to worthy high school girls for college. And you support the poor, especially at the holidays. I’ve seen write-ups in the paper about the good things y’all have done. But aside from those, I don’t know much else. Excepting,” she said, “ that you’re all widows.”
The members of the club collectively smiled at her.
“That’s why I thought it strange to be asked here tonight. I’m not a widow.”
“No, darlin’, you’re not,” Wisteria said, smiling. “Not yet.”
Cora gaped, openmouthed, at the old woman.
Intrigued? If so, order your copy here and know that all the proceeds are going to the Australian Red Cross to help aid victims of the Wild Fires.
And remember:And IT’S A TRUST THING is now at 99cents forever on Amazon!!! Good Price for a good Book – but I’m biased.