Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Moonlight Sonata Write Edit Publish August bloghop 2022

 Welcome to this month's WEP challenge. There's still time to join the fun. Simply go here and sign up. You can share pictures, write a poem or short story or even share a memory. You can also view what others in this bloghop have done.

I want to thank the ladies who volunteer to help: Denise, Olga, Laura, Renee, Nila and Jemma.


Want to listen to Moonlight Sonata? Click here

Tag line: When life is stressful, time off is everything.

 Moonlight Sonata

Beethoven

Jessica leaned back in the rattan chair and shut her eyes. She breathed in deep the scents of tropical flowers, the smell of sizzling pork, and sunscreen. It had been five years since her life was free of stress. She shut her eyes and smiled. The waitress brought her a Piña Colada. She sipped the smooth coconut and pineapple drink. She’d never had it before but while in Hawaii, she thought.

“May I join you, Mademoiselle?”

Jessica opened her eyes to see a man, forty maybe, standing before her, straw hat in hand with brown hair and eyes. Suspicion filled her mind immediately. But his French accent soothed her fears as well.

Why not? “Sure,” she said.

He smiled and settled into the rattan chair next to her. “Is this your first time in Hawaii?” he asked.

“It is, and you?”

“Oui, a dream come true.” He played with his hat moving it in a circle.

Nervous, Jessica thought.” It is that.” She agreed. “Very relaxing.”

The show began, and they looked at the musicians and dancers in grass skirts.

Women have come a long way, Jessica thought. The French guy smiled, viewing the show. His drink came, champagne. The show ended, and they joined the line to help themselves to what the hotel touted as the traditional Hawaii dinner.

“I am Jules Cousteau, and you are?” He sat, once more, in the rattan chair, his plate on the table between them.

“Jessica Turner,” she said and cut into the pork.

They ate, and Jessica glanced at him. His light brown hair was neatly trimmed, and he had laugh lines crinkled beside his eyes. That was a good sign, she supposed.

“Where in France are you from, Jules?” she asked.

He swallowed, wiped his mouth, and said. “Ah, Paris.” He pronounced it with an ‘e’ sound at the end. “And you?”

“New York.” She didn’t have the classic Brooklyn accent. He lifted both brows. “Born and raised in Colorado,” she added.

“Colorado? Another destination someday. And you, will you visit France?”

“Maybe.” She looked away from him at all the couples, most retired, which surprised her.

“Are you here alone, Jessica?”

Her eyes pulled away from the couple she’d been studying. “I am, and you?”

“No, my daughters are in the pool.”

“In the pool?”

“Oui, they are teenagers.”

Jessica nodded, wondering where the wife was. Probably in the pool too.

“What are your plans while here in Hawaii?” he asked.

“I want to see the volcano for sure,” Jessica said.

“I plan to see it too. Would you honor me by coming with me?”

“I think your wife should go with you.” Not in this life, gigolo!

“She has passed. Cancer.”

She caught the sad note at the end of his sentence. Slight, but still there.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” she was glad she hadn’t spoken out loud about her earlier thought. “I’d be happy for the company. Will you bring your girls?” Jessica hadn’t planned on hooking up with a man, let alone a Frenchman with family. But, there was something about him that made her feel at ease.

“Shall we go into their lounge?”

Instant warning signs popped in her head. “Why?”

“They have a piano.”

“Do you play?”

“Oui.”

Hmm…that was interesting. This was starting to be a lot like a Hallmark movie. They stood and walked toward the hotel lounge together.

“What do you do?” he asked.

“Me?” Her job rushed back into her thoughts, and she could feel her energy drain. “I’m a prosecutor.”

“Lawyer?”

“Not exactly. I go after big-time criminals. Most of my work is tracking down witnesses, collecting evidence, and putting the case together for the New York DA.”

“I am impressed, Mademoiselle. I have never previously known anyone who worked in such an important job.”

“Thanks,” she said.

They entered the lounge and sat near the piano. A man was playing Elvis Presley. They ordered more drinks, she a wine cooler and he more of the bubbly.  The atmosphere was beyond chill, with a Hawaiian sunset painted on all the walls.

“What do you do, Jules?” she asked. It was only fair, after all.

The pianist got up and left for a break.

“I will show you,” Jules said. He stood and went to the grand piano. Sitting, he stretched his fingers, shut his eyes, and began playing  Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

Jessica couldn’t stop her mouth from opening slightly. Jules seamlessly went from that song to another one of Beethoven’s classics. She loved classical music. So soothing.

When he finished, Jules stood and shook the hand of the piano man who’d returned. Then, he came back to his seat.

“That was beautiful. I love Beethoven.” Jessica smiled.

Jules nodded. “I thought you might.”

“So, you play the piano for a living?”

“I do. I am a member of the Paris orchestra and also visit other venues. I’ll be in New York next month.”

*

The remainder of her vacation was spent with Jules and his girls. All of them were excited to meet someone from New York. They peppered her with questions and begged their papa, as they called him, to take them when he was to have his concert.

Home and alone, Jessica flipped open her laptop and started her research on Jules Cousteau. He was a well-known and highly respected concert pianist and widow at forty-seven. It mentioned his three daughters too.

He hadn’t lied to her. Not even once. A huge plus since she was sick of liars. Warm memories of their Hawaiian adventures filled her with happiness. She pulled out the ticket and backstage pass he’d given her for his concert. In a month, they’d be reunited. For the first time in five years, she felt hopeful. Maybe life wasn’t as bad as she had come to believe.

Word Count: 973

Comments are always welcome and if you want to add critique that's okay.

If you live in America, do Kindle Vella. I'm finally making money.

Coming, Nov. 30, 2022


Book 4 and the end of the series. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

WEP Please Read the Letter

 It’s time for the Write, Edit, Publish June challenge. I must thank Denise Covey for starting this bloghop, and to all the ladies shown below. It’s a great way to exercise your creative skills. For those who don’t know, flash fiction is 1,000 words or less. This month’s challenge is based on the song, “Please, Read the Letter. Below is a link to the song on YouTube.com



 

Tag line: Creating A Better Life.


Please Read the Letter


My phone started to play the Darth Vader tune. I’d assigned that ringtone to only one person. Frank. He must have found my letter. I left it on his pillow.

As I descended the hills the sun was low in the smog-filled California sky. It figured. Late as it was, Frank spent a couple hours with his drinking buddies after work. Darth Vader started announcing himself again and was interrupted by the voice of GPS telling me my turn was coming up. I was glad. I’d been driving for the last five hours, frequently stopping because I had to pee, a lot, as a seven-month-long pregnant woman.

My job had let me go. Figures. Frank didn’t pay the electric bill. Figures. Who would hire a pregnant woman? No one. Figures. My walls came crashing down. Clearly, there was nothing left for me with Frank.

My friend Heidi had offered to take me in, and I jumped at the chance. A new life in sunny California, smog and all. Arizona was in the rear view mirror along with Frank and our shared memories.

Darth Vader was calling again. I could almost hear Frank say, “Baby, baby, please pick up.” But, nope! This baby would never pick up for you again. My parrot, Jolly, agreed when he said, “Stop calling!”

First on the to-do list tomorrow. Get a new phone number. Then I’ll call mom and let her know. She lives in Minnesota and won’t approve of me leaving Frank, so I won’t tell her immediately. She never wrote down his number, thank God.

Heidi and I went way back to High School. We roomed together at University. She finished. I married Frank. God, I was stupid. But we talked, and I had a plan. I was going to finish and get my degree. She was going to help me. There was no better friend than Heidi. I loved her. She never played the ‘I told you so’ card.

GPS let me know I’d be there soon. Heidi lived in the hills above Los Angeles. She’d inherited the house after her parents died from COVID early on. I’d spent many long nights on the phone with her while she cried. Nothing like a pandemic to make it impossible to really be there for those you love. But now, it was over, and I’d see a lot of Heidi.

I turned into her driveway, stopped the car, and stretched. Darth Vader was irritating me to no end, so I turned off my phone and got out of the vehicle. And there was Heidi, her short-cropped curls bouncing as she ran to me. We hugged and laughed, and she rubbed my belly. Then she took my two suitcases, and I grabbed Jolly’s cage.  

Can I just say, I’m gonna love my new life!

 Word count: 473

 I’ve noticed that my stories have gotten shorter. This is either due to the fact that I’m a better writer, or that I’ve gotten lazy. Let know what you think. Nancy

 Are you writing to Kindle Vella? I am, here’s my link to Nilmalith’s Journey. The first three episodes are free and at an end is a thumbs up symbol. Help me get higher on the scale so more readers can find me, by reading and hitting the thumbs up. If you can write a review, that helps too. Also, if you enjoy my story and head over every week, Amazon gives you the option to have a 'fave.' When enough people choose my story as a 'fave,' I earn a crown and my story becomes a featured story so more readers find it. I really appreciate your help. Thanks. Nancy

I know Kindle Vella is currently only offered in America. It's a success, so let Amazon know you want to write to it too.

To read go to:  https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B0B2QBYRYN

                                        


 

Kindle Vella is a success. If you don’t have it yet, let Amazon know you want it.

 Any critique is fine. 

To read what others have written for this month’s challenge, go here.

 

 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall WEP Bloghop

 WEP challenge for April, 2022 inspired by Bob Dylan’s, A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall. Write, Edit, Publish is a bloghop started by Denise Covey. The ladies, Denise, Nila, Laura, Jemi, Renee and Olga serve as moderators. If you’d like to participate, we welcome you. To visit the blogs of others who also wrote stories, poems or posted pictures or did something else to highlight the prompt, go here



 


Tag: Life and love overcome.

A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall

Rain and hail pelted Annie’s car as she sat in the parking lot staring at the prison. He is in there. The stuff of nightmares seared her mind, replaying that fatal night’s terror. 

Her faith had prevented her from aborting the child. His child! Despite the ugly truth, she loved her blue eyed baby boy. No longer a baby, but always a baby to her. Naming him had been so hard. Even after his birth, she’d struggled. Alone in the hospital, holding her precious bundle conceived in violence. Still, that night had motivated her to become a lawyer. As such she helped other women in the same situation. Though most of her clients had been raped by their boyfriends, not a serial rapist who turned murderer only one victim away from her ordeal.

He won’t face death, but he should. Why should he continue to be allowed to breathe, when he’d raped twenty-two women and the last ten he’d murdered? Would his son become a monster like him? Her Jessie, named for a favorite uncle. No, Jessie would be a good man, she made sure of that. She’d given him a dog and a cat, along with unconditional love. He was kind, thoughtful and passed every subject in school with high scores, usually above 90 points.

Jessie didn’t know the truth about his father and if she could help it, he never would. She put her Dylan CD in the cars player and turned the volume up. She wanted to drown out the sound of hard rain, the windshield wipers and her thoughts. Annie had always appreciated Bob Dylan’s poetic music and this song, A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall, was especially appropriate.

If she were a monster, she’d enter the prison with a loaded gun, shoot anyone who stood in her way and go to his cell, were she’d pup bullets into his face. But she wasn’t a monster. She was woman, survivor, mother, friend, confident and professional trial attorney. The men she tried were scum. Her Jessie was brilliant, and compassionate. He would bring joy to many. Out of fear and sorrow I birthed joy!

Annie put the car in gear, backed up and then pulled out of the parking lot headed home. Once there, she’d hug the gift that was Jessie.

 

Word Count: 388



 As I listened to A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall, I adapted a few of the lyrics to write this story. A story of violence and hope. If you enjoyed my story or not, please leave a comment. Any type of comment is fine. I'm a big girl. 

 

Head over to my website to sign up for my newsletter and receive a free short story: Loren’s Choice. Thanks, Nancy

Loren’s parents want her to choose from the young men in her village and marry. But, that’s not what Loren wants. While at the village well, a stranger arrives. Tall and handsome, he intrigues her. When the emperor’s soldiers are spotted. The threat is upon them, Loren could become a blood sacrifice. Before she can run, the stranger grabs her and gallops for the covering of the forest. What will happen next? 

Website link: https://authornrwilliams.com/