Thursday, November 29, 2007

Release Date: Don't Fence Me In

I have a release date on my next Vintage Rose short story, "Don't Fence Me In" -- January 2, 2008!

Lizzie walked down to the place where a soldier leaned against the bar.

"Hello." She stopped a foot away and smiled. "I hear you asked about me. Do I know you?"

He turned his head, whiskey-brown eyes so sad she nearly cried for him. "No, ma'am. But I know about you from Seb."

Her knees wobbled at the sound of her brother's name, and the soldier's hand shot out to keep her from falling. The warmth and strength from his touch helped her to straighten and stand steady. She didn't realize that just the sound of her brother's name could make her so weak.

"You knew Seb?" she whispered and sank onto a stool beside the soldier. "Who are you?"

"I'm Jeremy McMasters, Miss Scott. I served with Seb until the day he died." His gaze lowered for a moment before he looked at her again, an intensity burning in his eyes. "He was a good man."

"Yes." She smiled though her heart ached. She missed her brother something fierce. "He was a very good man. He spoke of you in his letters, said there was no one better to guard his back."

Jeremy's mouth tightened. "Didn't do too good a job of that, now. Did I?"

"Oh." She grabbed his forearm, squeezed it tightly. "Seb's dying wasn't your fault. You didn't blow up his Jeep."

Jeremy stared at her hand for a long moment before shrugging off her touch. He reached inside his uniform pocket and pulled out a folded envelope. "I have two weeks before I'm redeployed, ma'am. I had to come here, to see you. He gave me his letter to deliver."

Lizzie shivered at the sight of that worn white envelope. The letter. The one all the soldiers wrote to be delivered in the event of their death. She couldn't reach for it. Didn't want it.

"Keep it." She jumped to her feet and took a step back. "I can't… I can't read it. Not now. Not yet."


"No!" She turned and ran away to the powder room. When she'd composed herself enough to return, he was no longer there. She flopped down at the bar, distressed that the last bit of Seb, his last words, last thoughts, was gone.


Ceri said...

Sounds like a very moving story! I'm looking forward to it's release!

Diane Craver said...

Great excerpt, Marianne!

Melissa said...

Very cool, Marianne! What a nice way to start of the new year, too!

Brandy said...

Love the excerpt!

Eileen said...

Thanks for the excerpt. I love the vintage look of the cover- that's great.

Avery Gray said...

What a great story idea! Congrats on the release date!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I can't wait to read it! YAY!!!

groovyoldlady said...

I'm so hardhearted. I just want to say, "Read the dang letter, woman. We want to know what it says!"

I am much nicer in the face of REAL tragedies - I promise!