A warm welcome to Adele Marie Park who has sent a short story for the Easter and Spring weekend. Tissue alert!
Easter Greetings by Adele Marie Park
The village shop was bright with the colours of rebirth.
Cards with pictures of jumping lambs and daffodils filled the slots where birthday greetings sat.
Bright and garish against the filtered light, Easter eggs looked down on her, whispering their words of temptation.
It wasn’t as if she could ignore the signs. They were everywhere.
“God has risen.” The poster outside said.
She pulled the collar of her coat tighter and hurried on.
Nearly home. Soon. Peace.
“Carol? Carol Linklater?”
The sound of her name startled her and she stopped, white fingers clutching at the collar as if it were a shield.
Narrowing her eyes she studied the man in front of her. Stopping her from getting to safety.
“Neil?” The word slipped out in betrayal, as if she had no control.
A smile, she recognised, lit up the man’s face.
“What are you doing here?” She asked, her face screwed up into a frown of anger and pain.
She noticed his expression crumble, and for an instant she was sorry then it was swept away as he smiled again. His presence was a horrific reminder, more so than the commercial Easter eggs and fluffy chick cards.
“Can we go for a coffee somewhere?” He asked.
Carol drew in a breath as her body reacted to the mental shock of his words.
She wanted to say no, but politeness coupled with who he was made her stutter out her agreement. They walked in silence both of them protecting themselves from the bitter chill of rain and the gusts of wind.
“In like a lion, out like a lamb.”
She heard him over the noise of wind and shook her head a curt movement.
They had reached the only coffee shop in the village and as he opened the door for her the warmth and scent of fresh coffee assaulted her with life.
“That’s what the saying is isn’t it?”
“What? Oh, yes. I suppose so.”
He led her to a table and she followed angry with herself for being so malleable as if she were wet clay. Once seated she took off her wet coat laying it over the back of the chair.
“Neil. This is a bad time for me. What is it you want?”
Politeness only lasted so long and now she was out in the community she could feel their stares burn into her. Why couldn’t they hide their pity?
“I realise that, I’m sorry, but I have news.”
That moment the waitress, who had been at school with her, came over.
“Hi, Carol. It’s so good to see you. What can I get for you.”
“A knife to plunge into my heart?” she wanted to say instead conditioning forced her to smile and ask for a coffee.
Neil ordered the same then sat forward his hands held loosely together on the table top.
“It’s about George,” he said.
Her body jerked as if he had burned her with a hot iron.
“What about him? Everything is over. I don’t want to speak about him again.”
The sentences tumbled out of her mouth naked with hurt and anger. She watched him, her eyes narrowed, mouth drawn into a tight line ready to blast him away like she was the wind outside.
“How can he smile? Is he an idiot?”
Her thoughts were daggers mentally hitting their target every time.
“I remember this time last year. When he was reported M.I.A.”
She fumbled with her coat, ready to leave him and run to the safety of her home.
He dared to touch her hand she withdrew hers with the sound of a shocked breath leaving her lips.
“He’s alive. Injured but alive. The rebels held him and two others. A routine patrol found their base, deserted. Inside were our soldiers.”
“No, no, no. Stop it, this is cruel,” she said.
Tears stung her face, her chest heaved and she was desperate not to have a panic attack in public. She heard the sound of something being slid across the table and her first reaction was to look.
A letter. Headed M.O.D. Letter.
She read as best as she could, her tears blurred the lines together. One sentence stood out brighter than any gaudy Easter card.
Corporal George Linklater will be released from …, she couldn’t read the name of the hospital.
Her fingers crumpled the letter, her shoulders trembled then her whole body shook as she glanced at Neil. Tears ran down his face which made her crumble.
As sobs racked her he held onto her hand.
“He’s coming home,” he said.
©Adele Marie Park
About Adele Marie Park
I love writing, it`s my passion. My genres include fantasy, horror, urban fantasy, and a mixture of all those. I love telling stories;period. I am married to my wonderful wife, who is my rock. Our daughter and our dog, german shepherd collie cross, are also my passions. To experience a moment of pure love is to experience the world.
Creativity is something I couldn`t live without.
I am also a Supernatural geek, and love my music. Punk, Goth, Rockabilly and visual Kei music from Japan.
The paranormal is my normal. oh, and I also totally believe in faeries.
Edra; a world where magic flourishes and where dark secrets are concealed by those who rule. Secrets which can get the innocent killed without a thought.
When the body of an elf is discovered in a treacherous area of the city, Wisp a young Law Enforcer is assigned the case. He soon realises the case is far from simple. As soon as he finds one thread another one leads him to unravel a tapestry woven from lies, secrets, corruption and evil. When friendship turns to love, Wisp`s life, as he knew it will completely change.
What started out as a murder case ends in a grisly battle which Wisp and his companions seem to have no chance of winning.
One of the reviews for Wisp on Goodreads
Colleen M. Chesebro rated it 5 Stars
Meet Wisp, a law enforcer in the land of Edra, where magic is encouraged to flourish and is often needed for sheer survival. A mages council rules Edra compared to the neighboring area of Finah, who prefers humans to control their resources. After a bloody civil war, many years ago, the two lands exist beside each other in a fragile peace.
Wisp is a marsh fairy (YES! Can you believe it?) with raven hair and pointy ears pierced with silver earrings. Marsh fairies are rare and possess special powers. Wisp keeps his real identity under wraps, known only to his superiors. Abandoned as a child, the “Senior” Law enforcement officer raised him ensuring his survival.
In a desolate area filled with putrefying rubbish, Wisp comes across the body of a High Elf, a member of the Thorns, who was a high-ranking council member found murdered in the circle. The elf’s throat had been brutally cut. Wisp sets out to solve the murder not realizing he is to play an integral part in solving the mystery.
Wisp meets Finn Redhaven, the lover of the murdered elf, Sammiel Thorn, and feels an immediate attraction to him. Wisp and Finn fall in love and discover a wealth of magical abilities enabled by their relationship. And, they are going to need all the help they can get to battle the evil that has descended on Edra.
As fantasy novels go, Wisp stands out to me in its originality and political intrigue. Ms. Park creates a world where love is considered to be one of the greatest powers of all. I enjoyed that the two main characters were male and embraced their love and desire for each other, which was a refreshing approach to solving a mystery in a magical land. The reader discovers along with Wisp the extent of his abilities which I anticipate will increase over time.
I’ve added Wisp to my list of favorite fantasy novels. I loved the story and the characters. The ending is a cliffhanger, and I can’t wait for the next volume to find out what happens to Wisp and Finn. Hopefully, Ms. Park won’t keep us in suspense for long
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wisp-Adele-Park-ebook/dp/B01MXYQ2E4
And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Wisp-Adele-Park-ebook/dp/B01MXYQ2E4
Read reviews and follow Adele on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16214999.Adele_Marie_Park
Connect to Adele
My thanks to Adele for sharing this short story with us… emotional and heartwarming…