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Monday, July 2, 2012


Welcome! Thanks for stopping by. My story this week is from my new WIP, a military romance.

        “Get out of the car.”
        “What’d I say?”
        “Get out.”
         “Look, Perri, the kid’s been gone for five years already. When are you gonna let go?” Ike closed the door and leaned on the open window.
            “Mike. His name was Mike,” Perri said as she peeled out, depressing the gas pedal almost to the floor. “asshole…”
 Perri slowed down when she crossed the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey. Putting on her turn signal, she forked right off the bridge onto the Palisades Parkway. The pretty brunette leaned back against the rich leather seat of her BMW and relaxed. This trip to Pine Grove was so familiar she could do it in her sleep. You’d be five today, Mikey. If you had lived. Five years since we scattered you in Cedar Lake. Perri took a shaky breath. SIDS took four-month-old Michael Jessup. Son of Perri and Sergeant Matthew Jessup, her husband, now her ex.   
 After an uneventful trip, Perri pulled into the driveway of the Pine Grove Guest House, facing Cedar Lake. She had a standing reservation for a week every year at this time. Lacy Ryan, owner of the guest house, held a plate of homemade cookies. Perri took one.
“Rooms ready, Perri. Uneventful trip I spose.”
“Yup. What’s all that lumber in old Doc Branford’s yard?”
“Doc moved to Florida. Somebody bought the place. Fixin’ it up, too.” Lacy took the plate into the kitchen. “coffee’s still hot.”
Perri felt a twinge in her gut. Doc Branford’s house was the house she and Matt stayed in on their honeymoon, such as it was. He was on leave from the Marines when they met. Every year she peered at the old place from next door, watching it get more and more rundown. She couldn’t bear to stay there. Too many memories…it’s where Mike was conceived.
They stayed there, too, when they brought his ashes up. It’s where they had that brutal fight. Perri shook her head to get rid of the memory.
“He wouldn’t have died if you had been here instead of in Afghanistan!”
“You…you let my son die!”
The shouting match echoed in her brain as if she was hearing it for the first time. Her stomach knotted as the words knifed through her gut.
“You all right? Ya look kinda pale,” Lacy asked. She put her hand on Perri’s forearm as she guided her into the kitchen.
“Do you know who bought Doc’s place?” Perri took a sip of her coffee.
 “Nope. Haven’t seen him yet.” Lacy fumbled with her cup, nearly dropping it.
“Think I’ll take a look after I unpack.” Perri finished the coffee in the dainty cup.
“Oh, I wouldn’t do that. I'd bet money he don't want you trespassing. It’s somebody’s property…he probably don’t like people snooping around.”
Perri shot Lacy a quizzical look, but the older woman avoided her glance. 

Once outside, she approached Doc’s property cautiously. There was a car in the driveway and some of the lumber she spied before was gone. She stepped over the short hedge separating Lacy Ryan’s place from Doc’s and tiptoed toward the front window. The curtain was open. She leaned forward, peering in, her hands shading her eyes.
Strains of the 1812 Overture met her ears faintly over the sound of an electric drill. She spied the naked back of a tall man. His shoulders seemed to stretch from one wall of the living room to the other. In the middle of his back was a small tattoo. She bolted upright, pulling away from the window. How many men have a tattoo of a periwinkle flower in the middle of their backs! Matt!


Carolyn Gibbs said...

This really pulls you into the story, Jean. I like the pics too :)

Tai Vicari said...

Love the visuals. I'm curious to see how Perri and Matt will be with each other. Keep it coming lady!

Iris said...

Great start. I kinda wonder who Ike is ... and also why Matt bought the place. Look forward to more!

Sherry Gloag said...

Very powerful emotion and tension going on here. Pulled me right in form the firs line.

Lindsay said...

Another wonderful story in the making. My gut told me it was Matt