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I said, “please bring my dog back Sean. I love him, Please don’t let him be hurt again.”
I was suddenly pulled against him, and his lips were covering mine in a rough kiss that became soft and sweet and oh, so welcome. It created a feeling in me that frightened me. I wanted him to hold me close to his heart and tell me that he loves me, but I panicked, shoving him away. This man could be a murderer, and I had almost surrendered to that wild and abandoned feeling, but wanting him to hold me again, and quench the fire that caused my heart to race.
He released me, got to his feet and stood looking down at me with anger. I scrambled up and ran for the door, only to have him stop me. He pushed my back against the wall, placed his hands to hold my head, and kissed me again. He cupped my face in his hands and trailed his lips across my eyes, down my cheeks and into the hollow at the base of my throat. I felt a weakness invade my body, causing a wild and tumultuous feeling that sent my arms around his neck, and my body pressing into his. I almost fell when he released me, saying, “that’s payback for today. I’ll find your dog.”
Rebel kept me busy. Oh yes, I named him Rebel. I was in love for the first time in my life, in love with a tiny bit of a dog that I knew was going to grow into a monster, if the size of his feet were any indication. But puppy or no puppy, I had to get more done inside the house. To keep him out of the way, I put a basket in my room and left him there so he wouldn’t be under foot. Next, I went to work on the big room with the black marble fireplace.
There was only one thing that kept me from singing at my work—Sadie’s attitude. She had grown silent and seldom had a word for me.
I took Rebel out for a short romp, then went to my room early that night. When he cried, I lifted him into bed with me. After a few moments of play, he curled up at my feet and it wasn’t long until we were both asleep. Rebel chased something with all four feet racing in place. I dreamed of chandeliers, pots of gleaming copper and Sean Wilson leaning against the mantel. I saw nothing strange about it. Nothing strange unless crystal swinging from a kitchen ceiling or copper pans on parlor walls made an odd arrangement. Or the way, I melted into Sean’s arms when he left the mantel and opened them wide.
I awoke in the middle of the night to lie wide awake, thinking about Sean and the heart-pounding thrill each time I dreamed of him. I wanted his arms around me if only in my dreams, but I was afraid that soon the dreams would not be enough. They did not ease the ache in my body when awake and I suffered a sense of loss bordering on bereavement every time he left me. I knew I must get over these feelings. They were becoming more real every day.
I also felt the pull of the funny room behind the house. It seemed as if it had once been apart from the big house, but had decided it wanted to come close and be attached. Puzzled by my strange thoughts, and a faint odor of sandalwood, I reached to bring the puppy close to me. He was not there. I called to him, but heard no answering sounds of a wriggling, snuffling pup. I clicked the lamp switch. I clicked it again and again but there was no light. I sat up and felt for my slippers. I had given no thought to bulbs that burn out. But from now on I would keep a flashlight handy.
I found my robe in the dark and felt my way to the door. The dark was absolute in the room, and I remembered I had failed to close the drapes before going to bed. I looked toward the windows. They were black with no gleam of moonlight, no soft gray that is sometimes visible when there is no moon. I knew in that moment that I was not alone. I could hear the soft-held breath as it whispered out from lungs that cried out for air. I slid my hand along the wall until I found the door. I heard a rapid scratching and found the doorknob, only to swing the door open into more darkness. The puppy climbed at my legs. I reached down and picked him up. In the next moment, the lights went on and I was running down the hall in terror.
I stopped and looked back. Something lunged at me and froze me into immobility. Rebel yelped as I squeezed too hard. His yelp freed my legs and set me in motion. I ran down the hall with that thing at my heels. I heard myself screaming. Then Melanie was in the hall behind me, and there was nothing. Just the same long hallway with closed doors and nothing else. Melanie looked at me as if she thought I had taken leave of my senses. I mumbled something about a nightmare, and swore I would never have coffee before bedtime again
I looked back down the hall and knew Melanie could see I was trembling. She spoke words so welcome I hugged her in gratitude. “You should spend the rest of the night in my room. You don’t need to be alone in the state you are in,” she said. She went back to my room with me to get Rebel’s bed. I carried it back to her room and crawled in beside her to lie awake all of the remaining night, listening to her soft even breath as she slept.
Mary Edwards was born and raised in Mississippi. She married and moved to Louisiana with her husband and was recently widowed. Her flair for writing short stories and novels began as a child and continues today. She studied creative writing under Berry Morgan and Ellen Douglas, two well known southern writers, She is a poet as well as a published and recorded songwriter. Her poem Autumns Turning placed semi-finalist in the Faulkner Wisdom writers competition. She is a writer on Mississippi writers, written up and reviewed on Starkville Highschool page
ANGEL'S REST: Dee Anderson decides to take the job her uncle arranged for her even though she isn't qualified to restore an antebellum house in Mississippi to its former glory. Something about her uncle's insistence and the situation shove her imagination into high gear. Or is it her imagination? The half memories she can never quite bring into focus, her feeling of familiarity with certain people, her ability to know when she has the rooms decorated exactly right.... Real memories, or "false memories"? Dee doesn't know, and she doesn't know whom to trust. And then she begins to fear for her life.
Mary Edwards has assembled the ingredients for a good, spine-tingling tale in her first foray into romantic suspense. Read ANGEL'S REST in a well-lighted place surrounded by people you know you can trust. --Review by Donna H. Parker, http://donnaparker.w4aw.org
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
No. of Pages: 253
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