Category Archives: Fiction Series

Legacy’s Bliss

Margaret glanced up from a sink full of soapy dishes. Pa was in his element, surrounded by the grands and great-grands, telling stories of “how it was before tv’s and computers; when people called and you answered your phone, none of this texting and voicemail business.”

“How did you do it, Pa? Didn’t you wonder if you were missing something? I would!” Zachary blurted.

Pa chuckled, his eyes softened, remembering. “Well Zach, guess we didn’t miss anything ‘cause we didn’t know any better. We got along just fine, I think. Just look at all of you. Musta done something right.”

~kat

100 Words for Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers flash fiction Challenge inspired by the photo above by © Fatima Fakier Deria


Spring Interrupted


Spring Interrupted

tender
tenacity
verdant shoots sprout in spring
perseverance in winter’s wake
frosted
~kat

An American Cinquain for Colleen Chesebro’s Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge using synonyms only for the prompt words: patience (tenacity, perseverance) and green (tender, verdant).


Octo-Cat

For Sonya’s Three Line Tale Challenge based on this photo by Timothy Meinberg via Unsplash.


He showed up at their front door one stormy night, flea-ridden, battle-worn, sopping wet and one who had likely used up at least eight of his nine lives.

They called him Scamp, took him in as one of their own, gave him the finest food and a plush pillow to sleep on.

But the old Tom could not be domesticated, escaping often the comfort and safety of home to roam the docks where he had his fill of fish guts and the salty taste of freedom.

~kat


Seasoning – Epilogue

Summer’s Day in the Flower Garden by Robert Payton Reid


What started as a simple Microfiction Challenge became a story that had more layers to tell. Thank you to everyone who has followed me from the beginning as well as those who discovered it midway through. There is one more chapter to tell. I give you Seasoning, the Epilogue. Read the rest of the story HERE.

Epilogue

It had been months since Helen boarded a train leaving Hannah and Henry with her blessing. Seeing her brother so happy made her happy. “What a lovely young woman she is,” Helen had thought as she waved goodbye through her cabin window. “They will be fine,” she smiled contentedly.

As the train pulled away from the depot, Hannah had slipped her hand into Henry’s. “This is really happening, isn’t it?”

Henry squeezed her hand and smiled, “Yes it is Hannah. Is it too soon to tell you that I love you?”

Hannah blushed, “No Henry. I love you too. What do we do now?”

“We live Hannah. We get to know one another. We embrace each day and we care for each other. Does that sound alright to you?”

“Yes Henry. It sounds wonderful to me.

—————————–

Winter seasoned into spring. Hannah spent every free moment in the garden. She hired carpenters to build several arbors, one at the entrance and a bench arbor in the middle of the garden. A slate stone walkway meandered throughout bordered by herbs; sweet basil, parsley, dill, anise and lavender. Beds of fragrant plumeria, freesia, lilacs and lilies, and amaranth, sweet peas and zinnias dotted the space. Climbing rose bushes clung to the arbors and wisteria hung gracefully from the iron fence that surrounded the garden. Trees flanked the far edge; apple, pear and dogwood. As a final touch Hannah added several bird baths and decorative pottery.

Spring crept toward summer. The garden erupted into beautiful blooms. Hannah and Henry’s love for each other blossomed as well. They spent hours together. Henry’s heart, once shut down and broken, opened in ways he never imagined possible. Laughter and life had returned to the once dusty dark halls of Chamber House.

Hannah’s parents George and Elizabeth came to town to meet this man who had captured their daughter’s heart. Like Helen, they recognized the bond between the two immediately. They loved seeing her daughter so happy. George was especially impressed with Henry and the way he treated his only daughter. They had concerns though. It was not proper for them to be living in the same house feeling as they did for one another.

After lunch, Henry asked George if he could have a private word.

“I am so happy to finally meet you and your lovely wife, sir,” Henry smiled, “I believe Hannah has told you about us.”

“She mentioned it,” George nodded skeptically. “Tell me young man, what are your intentions?”

Henry sat up straight, “Sir, I love Hannah very much. I would like to ask you for her hand in marriage. I promise I will care for her for as long as I live. She will never want for anything, sir.”

George sensed that Henry was sincere. With a tear in his eye he spoke softly, “Son, I’ve never seen my Hannah so happy. I do believe you love her. Of course you have my blessing. Take care of her.”

“I will sir. Thank you sir!”

They rejoined Hannah and Elizabeth in the parlor. George winked at his wife and smiled. Immediately she understood.

With her parents as his witnesses, Henry bent down on one knee in front of Hannah, “I can think of no better time than while your parents are here…Hannah, I have a question to ask you.”

Hannah shot a glance at her parents who were sitting nearby, tears in their eyes, holding each other’s hands. “What is this about?” She asked, looking at them, then back at Henry, who had reached for her hand.

“Let Henry finish,” Elizabeth said, smiling assuredly at her daughter.

Henry continued, “Hannah, I feel as though I have been searching for you for an eternity. When you came here I was a broken man. I still can’t believe you stayed after those first days. I was such a beast. Eventually though, I came to see you for the beautiful woman that you are. Now I can’t imagine life without you. I love you Hannah. Be my wife and make me the happiest man in the world.”

Hannah’s eyes narrowed mischievously, “You were a beast! Absolutely incorrigible!” she frowned.

Henry blinked, holding his breath, hoping.

Hannah grinned, “Of course I will marry you!” she gushed, “I love you Henry, with all my heart and soul. Nothing would make me happier than to be your wife!”

They embraced, completely oblivious that Hannah’s parents were still in the room. George conspicuously cleared his throat reminding them. The four broke into happy laughter.

“Well, it looks as though we have a wedding to plan,” Elizabeth announced.

And what a wedding it was! Set in the garden while it was still in bloom, Henry and Hannah vowed their love and devotion to one another in the presence of family and friends.

Theirs was a love that had spanned lifetimes. They had suffered a bitter ending once, a lifetime ago, that had left them with unfinished hopes and dreams. But this day the fates had smiled upon them. This day, they embarked on the next chapter of their lives, together at last.


Seasoning – Part 29

Woman with a Tea Cup by John White Alexander

Seasoning – Part 29

“The letter?” Henry exclaimed. 

“Yes dear brother,” Helen nodded, “you know the one. I’m not sure how you found it. After all, it was me who Alice had asked to reveal it. Imagine my surprise, after rummaging through those vanity drawers like a mad woman, when Hannah interrupted me holding that very letter! Why do you think I came all this way? I had to see if the rumors were true!” 

“How did you? Alice asked you? What rumors?!” Henry rattled off questions without giving Helen a moment to answer. Exasperated, he slumped into his chair.

“Oh Henry, dear little brother,” Helen patted his hand, “let’s have some dinner and I’ll tell you all about it.”

Hannah, who had gleefully watched the two of them in silence, spoke up, “Yes! Let’s do, before everything gets cold!”

Henry looked at Hannah. She was beaming. He smiled softly. “God, you’re beautiful…” he thought, as his nerves settled to a purr, “oh, how I love you, Hannah.” Breaking the silence, he chuckled out loud, “Well clearly I am outnumbered here!” He reached for a slice of roast beef. 

The three filled their plates and savored several bites before curiosity got the best of Henry. 

“What I don’t understand, Helen, is how you knew about the letter. This is the letter we are talking about, right Hannah?”

“The very one!” Hannah blushed.

“Well Henry, you know you have always been a restless sleeper. Oh, the night terrors you had when you were young. Scared the dickens out of us! Especially Mother! I honestly thought you’d outgrown it. When Alice took ill and I came to care for her, she told me about your dreams. It seems you talked in your sleep, Henry, and Alice, the lovely girl that she was… well, she was so worried about you.”

“Worried? She never let on. I tried so hard to be positive around her.”

“Oh, you did Henry and you were. You were so kind and brave for her. But your dreams Henry; they told another story. There was a woman,” Helen glanced at Hannah, smiling softly, “there was always a woman in your dreams that you longed to find. Alice knew it was not her that you spoke of in your sleep.”

Henry’s eyes welled with tears, “I had no idea. She never told me.”

“Well, Alice wanted to be sure you would be alright…after she was gone. So she told me that she had written a letter to this mystery woman and asked me to hide it in the vanity. If her intuition was true, that one day you would find her, she asked me to give the letter to the woman of your dreams.”

“And how did you know, Helen? How did you know it was Hannah?”

“Oh my dears,” Helen cooed as she gazed at them across the table, “I knew the moment I saw the two of you together.”

Henry reached for Hannah’s hand, “So, what now, Helen?”

“Well, I think that’s up to the two of you.”

Hannah smiled and leaned into Henry.

“I think you’ll do just fine.” Helen softly remarked. “I suppose I’ll be leaving in the morning then.”

“So soon?” Hannah exclaimed, “but you just got here!”

“Oh, don’t you worry!” she winked at Hannah, “I’ll be back in the summer. I want to see that garden when it’s in full bloom! Well, enough talk!  Hannah, I would love some dessert. How about you Henry?”

“That sounds wonderful!” Henry replied. 

” Yes ma’am!” Hannah gushed. She glanced coyly at Henry adding, “…and kind sir. Dessert it shall be!” She sprang from her chair and skipped happily into the kitchen.

Henry smiled at his sister. 

“You both deserve to be happy, you know. Don’t let that lovely girl get away, Henry.”

“Oh, I won’t, Helen. Of that you can be certain. I never will.”

———————————

Other installments of this series can be found HERE.


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