When I worked on radio in the south of Spain I presented and recorded four series of Authors in the Sun showcasing local writers and their short stories. I ran a series here on the blog in 2017 which was much enjoyed and showed off the skills of some amazing writers.
There have been some wonderful stories shared in this summer’s series, and I hope you have enjoyed them as much as I have.
Today a story about love and revenge….
A Broken Promise – A Hunger by Jan Sikes
Emily poured a fresh cup of coffee, and for the hundredth time, strolled to the end of the sturdy wooden dock her money had built. Where was he?
Perhaps he’d been involved in an accident.
She sipped the hot coffee and scanned the brilliant blue tranquil lake, searching intently for any sign of a boat, a ripple, a sound.
A pang of guilt crawled up her spine.
Leaving a note was a piss-poor way of saying goodbye. But the thought of a confrontation and one more fight with Malcolm was more than she could handle. By noon, after he’d left for work that morning, she’d retrieved her packed suitcase from the back of the closet, left her keys and checkbook, along with a note by the door where he wouldn’t miss it.
As she turned out the lights, she gave one last backward glance at her life, then tossed her suitcase in the backseat of her Mercedes and drove away.
It hadn’t been hard to walk away from a twenty-year marriage. Strangely enough, it had been one of the most natural things she’d ever done.
She’d skipped and twirled across the front porch like a giddy school girl when she’d arrived at Levi’s cabin. The truth was, she’d been there many times over the past few months.
It was there they’d made plans for her to make her escape from a loveless marriage, for the two of them to be together forever.
Lying in the circle of his strong, tanned arms, Emily found her center. He made her feel like a beautiful goddess, and when they made love, the earth tilted on its axis.
Minutes ticked by and turned into hours. She sighed deeply and tugged her cashmere sweater closer. Despite the warmth it provided, she shivered.
“Where are you, Levi?” Unable to sit still, she left the comfort of the cabin and paced the length of the dock that stretched out over the water. The sun’s rays cast an orange glow across the still water, almost as if the lake had caught fire.
Levi had never stood her up, but he should have been here hours ago.
She checked her cell phone for the umpteenth time.
Malcolm would be home from work by now. How would he react to the note? She could picture him sinking into his favorite chair and dropping his head in his hands. Well, she’d set them both free, and he should thank her.
“Levi will be here,” she said to no one. “He just got hung up somewhere.”
The first time she’d laid eyes on Levi, desire stronger than anything she’d ever felt swept the length of her body, leaving her knees weak and the sweet spot between her legs moist.
It had been a rare girl’s night out.
Malcolm had grumbled that she’d failed to fix him dinner. And while she should have felt some remorse, she’d tossed a TV dinner in his direction and headed out the door.
The crowded club was the perfect backdrop for Levi to stroll onto the stage and serenade the ladies.
He was a gorgeous specimen of a man. Long legs, tapered waist, bulging biceps, and the most striking blue eyes she’d ever seen. And when a lock of his wavy brown hair fell over those mystifying eyes, women swooned.
She wanted him.
That had been three months ago.
Now she’d walked away from her stable life. The home she’d built with Malcolm meant nothing anymore. She’d trade it all a hundred times over to be with this tanned god who made her feel alive.
The sun began to drop below the horizon, and she turned back toward the cabin.
“Surely, he’ll be here soon,” she told the birds. “He promised.”
Minutes ticked away.
Emily wrapped a soft blanket around her shoulders and lay on the sofa. Her eyes took in every detail of the love nest where she’d spent many blissful hours.
A lump of forboding formed in the pit of her stomach.
Something had happened.
Maybe he’d gotten cold feet. Or, perhaps he’d met someone else younger, prettier, and richer.
Emily thought back over every conversation, searching for a clue.
She tried for the umpteenth time to call him. It went straight to voice mail.
What to do now?
Bitter bile rose in her throat as stark reality took over.
What a fool she’d been to believe she’d found her one true love — to think she mattered to him.
While her life crumbled around her, she squared her shoulders and walked the length of the dock one last time.
A plunge into the deep waters would end it all.
Her cell phone buzzed, and she grabbed it with shaking hands.
The text lit up the screen.
That was all she got? What a piece of work!
She turned and sprinted down the length of the dock.
Inside the cabin, she grabbed her suitcase, and without bothering to turn off the lights, she hurried to her car.
She sat for a long minute, staring hard at the cabin. A red can of gasoline on one corner of the porch caught her eye.
She jumped from the car, doused the dried wood, lit a match, and drove away without hesitation.
By the time firefighters showed up at the remote location, there would be nothing left but smoldering ash, just like her life.
And while a tiny spark of satisfaction settled in the center of her chest, it didn’t make up for the weight of guilt. Her foolish hunger for something more had destroyed everything she valued.
Where would she go? What would she do? She couldn’t return home. Malcolm deserved better.
Tears streamed down her cheeks as she pictured her lovely home.
She drove on, not caring where she went.
One thing was for sure. Never again would she believe an empty promise.
©Jan Sikes 2021
My thanks to Jan for sharing this story of misplaced trust and revenge…. I know she would love your feedback.
A small selection of books by Jan Sikes
A recent review for Jonah
Jonah had a choice: prison or abandonment on an island. He opts for the island and finds himself in an inhospitable environment that he’s not sure he’ll survive. Then Titus shows up, an unusual boy with webbed fingers and glowing eyes who offers hope and a way out if Jonah is willing to change his life.
This short story, in some ways, works as an allegory for the process of finding self-acceptance, integrity, fellowship, and redemption. It relies heavily on the books The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz, and The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford, both which Jonah studies while trapped on the island.
Magic also comes into play, perhaps allegorical for the real “magical” transformation that comes with self-discovery and owning one’s choices. Overall, the story worked and kept my attention with its unique setting and relatable characters. Recommended to readers who enjoy allegories and a fictional overview of the steps leading to personal growth.
About Jan Sikes
Jan Sikes is an award-winning Texas author who has been called a wordsmith by her peers. She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. You simply can’t make this stuff up. It all happened. She chose to create fictitious characters to tell the story through, and they bring the intricately woven tale to life in an entertaining way. She released a series of music CDs to accompany the four biographical fiction books and then published a book of poetry and art to complete the story circle.
And now that the story is told, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published many short stories with a series of novels waiting in the wings. She is a member of Authors Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (RRBC), the RAVE WRITER’S INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHOR (RWISA), sits on the RWISA Executive Council and hosts a monthly RAVE WAVES blog talk radio show, ASPIRE TO INSPIRE.