Tuesday, November 29, 2022

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face Write Edit Publish Bloghop



Celine Dion The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.

The last story of the year for Write, Edit, Publish is based on the song, ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. One of my absolute favorite songs of all time. This song can mean so many different things to people. My take is below.

I want to thank our lovely ladies for their hard work sponsoring this bloghop. Denise, Olga, Laura, Renee, Nila, and Jemma.

Tagline: Love, acceptance, compassion.

His Face…

Absolute love and acceptance. I hadn’t expected this. I was raised in a strict Christian religion and hadn’t gone for years. Yet, despite all my mistakes, there was no judgment. Only love. Love permeated the core of my being.

“I had a baby,” I said.

He smiled. “Yes, my beloved. Your son is healthy.”

“A boy.” I was old school and wanted to be surprised.

“You have a choice,” Jesus said. “You can stay or go back.”

“Oh…” to stay in all this vibrant beauty, unconditional love, and acceptance. But…”I have a baby.”

He nodded, accepting my choice.

Eleanor heard the beeping of the monitor before she opened her eyes. And, the memory. The sweet, sweet memory.

He stood before her, his robes glowing with white brilliance, her savior. His smile filled her with peace and love, deep and all-consuming. Then she heard the monitor.

Eleanor opened her eyes to a room full of medical equipment lit with fluorescent lights. Her husband was sprawled in a chair, head back, mouth open, snoring. He hadn’t shaved, and his face was splotched with whiskers too dark to just be a day’s worth. How long had she been dead?

Yes, she’d been dead. She was sure of it. Her memories of heaven were too complete and more real than this world.

“Josh.” Her mouth was dry, and it came out like a squeak. “Josh,” she said again, a little louder.

He jerked, opened his eyes, and then sat. Fear creased his brow, and she watched as it smoothed and then a smile. His smile. The one she fell in love with on their first date years ago.

He stood and came to her taking her hand. “You’re alive. You made it!”

“I am. I did. The baby?” She didn’t care about anything else at the moment. It’d been a struggle to get pregnant. Years of trying only to lose several babies until this one.

Josh bent and kissed the back of her hand. Then, grinning, he said, “It’s a boy. He’s perfect.”

“I know,” she said.

He didn’t act surprised. “I’ll tell the nurse to bring him.” Josh hurried out the door.

He was back, followed by a nurse who checked her vitals. “You’re a miracle,” the nurse said.

“I died,” Eleanor said.

“Yes,” the nurse answered. “Dr. Allen worked hard to save you.”

“I want to see my baby,” she said.

The nurse nodded and left. Shortly afterward, she was back pushing the hospital crib. Once there, she lifted the tiny bundle and nestled him in Eleanor’s arms. Everything slipped away as she gazed at her newborn’s face. Perfection in each detail, from his tiny nose to his eyebrows and mouth. Her body seemed to glide, and the room, nurse, and even Josh faded. She stood once more beyond the veil in a lush and vibrant garden. Love surrounded her. Acceptance and tenderness. Her baby boy opened his eyes, and she lifted her gaze to Jesus.

“My baby,” she said.

He smiled and touched the infant’s forehead. “Blessings on you both.”

“I give him to you.”

“I promise to always be with him and with you.”

Then, she was back in the hospital. The nurse was gone. Her heart was so full of love that she thought it would burst.

“What shall we name him?” Josh asked.

They’d been talking about a few different names. “Peter,” she said. It hadn’t been one they discussed, but it felt right. In fact, everything felt right.

“Peter,” Josh repeated. “It fits.” Then his fingers ran along the baby’s face, just as Jesus had done. Their baby smiled.

“We must go to church,” Eleanor said. “But maybe not my old one.”

If Josh was surprised, he didn’t show it. “Which one do you want to attend?”

“I don’t know.”

Josh leaned forward and kissed her, then he said. “We’ll figure it out.”

Word Count 648.

I’ve been watching near death-experience videos under Destiny Image on YouTube. What strikes me is how people relate the love of Jesus and his face. I remember the first time I looked at my daughter’s face after she was born. My heart swelled with love. I thought she was perfect. So, it seemed right to combine the two.

I hope that you will find encouragement in this story in some small way. Nancy

To read what others have written, go here.

 

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.

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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.