outskirts of Dallas, TX where she prides herself on being a domestic engineer.
Married to her high school sweetheart, together they are raising three children
from elementary age to college age. She is an avid reader, a sometimes quilter
and now, a writer for Renaissance Romance Publishing.
everyday routine of raising children, being a wife, and keeping a home,
Lorraine Morrissey let life pass her by. Her wakeup call comes when she
realizes that with their children gone, her husband Richard is rarely home, and
she’s filling her solitary days with trivial tasks. A crazy idea to save her
marriage leads to a summer beach vacation unlike any she’s ever taken; one that
involves unknowingly buying a haunted house.
ground disappeared, replaced by an old, worn, wooden floor. I shook my head to
try and clear it of the cobweb fuzziness I felt. Raising my hands in front of
me, I didn’t recognize them. They were dark brown, dry, and the skin was
cracked in places. They didn’t feel connected to my body either. My words got
stuck in my throat when I tried to ask what was going on. Swallowing to clear
the blockage, I surveyed the room. Before me burned a dwindling fire inside an
old-fashioned stone hearth, and to my right, old shuttered windows were thrown
open, letting the cooling night air in.
startled me. I spun around, becoming aware of heavy skirts tangling in my legs.
thick with a low country accent, wasn’t mine either, but the sound had passed
through my lips. What the . . .
cotton did you pick today?”
my arms as panic tightened my chest. Tall and wide, the white man advanced on
me. I skittered back toward the hearth at the look of hatred on his face.
but my momma –”
Jesse. Rain or shine, y’alls task is at least two sacks a day while the
cotton’s a blooming.”
her two sacks picked?”
head shook side to side, and I curled in on myself more while taking another subtle
step back. Warning sirens were going off, but it was obvious, I had no say over
my faculties, nor did I have any idea what was going on. “She’s got the sick,
hand rose, and I took in every detail: thinning, greasy brown hair slicked back
from a shiny forehead, a narrow beak of a nose stretched down the length of his
long face to a thin pair of pale pursed lips. His green eyes were bloodshot
with the drink that wafted from his mouth. The yellowing linen shirt he wore
was opened down to his mid-chest, exposing pale, untoned flesh. Proof that he
relied on others to get the work done.
sir,’” he sing-songed, mocking me. “Not my problem, girl. What is my problem is
that you owe me four sacks’ worth of cotton, and have nothing to pay with.”
uneasy feeling settled in my stomach. I didn’t like where this was going and
took another step back, bringing me a little closer to the fire and the iron
tools I could see in my peripheral vision.
another way that you can start paying up.”
spun to grab the poker. Before I could reach the tool, arms enveloped me from
behind, yanking me back until I collided with a hard chest.Sarah’s Review:
Thanks to Ren Rom Publishing for the ARC copy of the anthology. It is an honor to have read it before it releases!! Thanks to R.E. Hargrave for the book information that is part of this blog post.
What a great story! Although this is a short story, this story packs a punch! I am scared to write this review because I may give away something. I am going to try my best not to give anything away, so this will be a short review. (Sorry!) There were a couple parts that were difficult to read but despite the difficult topics that were involved, it was an important part of the story.
I love that the couple of this story found a way to reconnect. I love that the couple was an older couple and not the typical 20 or 30 something couple that I am used to reading. I love that this story had a great level of suspense, but not drawn out.
When I was 7 pages away from finishing, I had a theory and no one that had read the story was around. I wanted to express my theory before I finished so that I could legitimately say I was right! As it turns out, I was right!
Great ending to a great anthology.