Saturday, January 14, 2012

#SampleSunday: A Different Kind of Love Story - "The Haven"

It can be dangerous for a couple when one person falls in love with someone else -- but what happens when they both love him? This is from my short story "The Haven" which is one of the stories in My Last Romance & other passions:

"Tell about Uncle Stash and the narwhal," Lenore says as Rob tumbles her down into the white cloud of her new, big-girl bed.

He looks back at me over his shoulder and rolls his eyes. Lenore lies there smiling up at him with her tiny pixie face, her tawny skin flushed and rosy from her bath, her big black eyes and wild tangle of midnight black curls impossibly dark against the whiteness of her pillow. She laces her plump fingers together and slips the forefinger of her right hand between her sweet, little lips where she will pretend she is not sucking it. "Pwease," she adds.

"Your turn," I whisper and he smiles that gorgeous wide white smile of his. Even now when the first dash of gray is shimmering through his own black curls that smile can make me giddy as a girl.

"Of course," he says, settling down on the edge of the bed and tucking the comforter around her little body.

"Uncle Stash was a mariner," he begins.

"That means he worked on a big ship in the Atwantic Ocean." She says it with perfect seriousness, her eyes watching his face enraptured.

"Yes," Rob says. "He worked on a big ship in the Atlantic Ocean. And sometimes that ship went up through northern seas where there are icebergs."

"Like whole big mountains made out of snow, fwoating in the watew," she adds.

"Yes." I can tell by the way his cheekbones rise that he is smiling. I cross the room to the wall of windows overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and gaze up at the long, spiraling tusk mounted in brackets above the center window. "And where the Northern Lights..."

"Wowa bow-alice," she corrects him.

"Aurora borealis shimmers in the night sky..."

From the windows in our daughter’s room you can see the gold flash of the lighthouse beam far off on the outer islands. The sun is gone now and the sky glows the color of the last violets clustered under the yew hedge bordering the sea cliff below. Stars emerge. It will be a glorious night—one of the last warm nights of this year.

"...and Uncle Stash said to the man, ‘hold up there, you can’t kill that...’"

"‘...hold up there, SON...’," Lenore insists. It is important to get every word absolutely correct.

"‘...hold up there, son, you can’t kill that, that’s a narwhal...’"

"One of God’s most be-yooo-tiful cweatuwes...."

"One of God’s most beautiful creatures." Rob agrees. Sometimes I wonder who loves this story more, Rob or Lenore? I reach up and dust the tips of my fingers over the surface of the narwhal tusk and am surprised, as I always am, at how fragile it seems. Though it is Lenore’s most cherished possession she is only allowed to hold it when she is sitting in Rob’s lap. I never hold it with her. I can’t. Now it hangs here in the pristine beauty of our little daughter’s fairy princess bedroom in our estate house on the hill. But once it hung over Stash’s narrow, bachelor’s bed in the dusty, tremulous silence of the Seaman’s Haven down on the waterfront where mariners from every corner of the planet escaped for a few nights ashore away from the rugged bleakness of their solitary lives. 

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