Friday, May 30, 2014

Out of the Garden - Part 16

By Guest Author Wendy Paine Miller
(catch up on the story here)

"I'm weak. Time has worn me down." Losing Don has chiseled the life from me.

Excuses flitted inside my brain like a fly bumping against a porch light. Reasons why the task would prove too difficult. Insurmountable obstacles. Years had stripped away my keen resourcefulness. My memory had faded like century-old ink.

Portals? How? Where? Without a thread of an idea how I might create one, my shoulders drooped and I sank lower on my bed. The Her poked at my leg from where she'd hidden beneath my bedcovers, twisting her facial features to communicate how urgent matters were.

Had I mumbled my fears aloud? Given the Her reason to doubt me? I cupped my hands to my face, then let them collapse against my cheeks, pushing fortitude back into me.

Callan tapped the door open just enough for me to see his frame, to see iPod earbuds dangling around his collarbone like a necklace. "You don't have to make honeycakes," he said. "I just miss your cooking." When my grandson stepped into the bedroom the floorboards groaned beneath his feet. "Why are you hiding out in here?"

"You all should leave now. I'm thinking."

"A dangerous thing to do alone for too long." Callan peered out the bedroom window and smiled upon seeing the gladiolas from the garden.

Of course! That's it! My cheeks tightened into a smile. That was where the best portals could be found. I'll try there first.


My head quaked, a familiar ache brimming in my chest. Callan's green eyes glimmered similarly to how Don's used to. I glanced down, ensuring the Her had well concealed herself beneath my rose-colored comforter. "Yes, Callan?"

"What is that?" He pointed to the lump. The Princess Her.


A mischievous grin swept across Callan's face. "That glowing thing?" He stabbed his finger in the direction of the raised bedding.

At once the Her emitted a piercing shrill. Her gossamer hair had gotten coiled around a button affixed to my pillowcase. I wiggled the button, to no avail. The Princess shook and yanked, but nothing worked to free her. The Her's strident wails continued.

Callan's eyes dilated. He cocked his head, brows scrunched. "What's that noise?"

Did he see the Her? Hear the Her? Could my ally have been the one I least expected?

Wendy Paine Miller is a long-time friend of Novel Matters. She is the author of The Disappearing Key and her latest release, The Flower Girls.


Wendy Paine Miller said...

Loved being a part of this & I'm looking forward to seeing how this story develops.
~ Wendy

Sara said...

Go, Callan! Nice, Wendy. :)

Patti Hill said...

Thanks for adding participating, Wendy. You did a great job. Hmm, what will happen with Callan?

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I love passing the baton to see where the next person will lead us. Such a great idea, NM crew!
~ Wendy

Josey Bozzo said...


Cherry Odelberg said...

"A dangerous thing to do alone for too long"
Wise boy. Is this not what the story has been saying all along?