Friday, November 30, 2012

Marie Owen is glowing now

I'm feeling a bit down today, with a crick in my neck and a chill starting up my back. I jump as the doorbell rings, then a sharp series of knocks begins on my door, and I pry myself out of the chair to answer it. Forgetting that I've hung a map on the inside of it and can't peep out, I start to get annoyed as I scramble around to find the knob to unbolt the door.

Me (opening the door and speaking in an annoyed voice): Yes? What is it?

(I see a young woman on my step. She's wearing a long dark dress, and is hugging herself and bobbing up and down. I move my computer glasses around until I can focus, and recognize Marie Owen.)

Marie (squealing): Mom!

Me: Come in! It's chilly out there.

(I open the screen door, and she enters, then flings her arms around me.)

Marie: Oh Mom, Mom, you can't believe how happy I am.

Me (Trying to breathe within her tight grasp): I'm glad. Come sit down. What has you all excited?

Marie: I'm free of that brutish man! (She loosens her hold on me, then smiles brilliantly and sits on the chair I point to, bouncing a bit) You did that. You got your book about me to the readers, and now I'm out of his clutches.

Me: Mr. Thorne?

Marie (scoffing) Mister? He doesn't deserve the title. But it doesn't matter. He's gone now.

Me: I believe I know about that ending.

Marie: Yes. (She looks away briefly, then meets my gaze again.) My man is helping me forget that.

Me (starting to get over being grumpy as I feel the peace and joy radiating from her): Your man, huh?

Marie (suddenly shy): He's, he's the most wonderful man I ever met!

Me: You've changed your opinion, then?

Marie (giggling): Mom! He loves me. He suffered a mighty hard journey in order to find me. He never gave up, Mom. He came for me, and when he did, I was so frightened for him. (She starts to bite a nail.) He suffered more than the journey!

Me: He does care deeply for you.

Marie (her eyes lighting up): Yes. Thank you.

Me: For what?

Marie: For publishing the book at last.

Me: I'm sorry it took so long. You were in such distress when last you visited.

Marie: All that is over now, thanks to you.

Me: Do you love him?

Marie: What?

Me: Do you love him, or are you merely beholden to him?

Marie (She closes her eyes and takes in a slow, deep breath. I watch her, and when she lets out the air, she is smiling.) I love him.

Me (I nod)

Marie: At first, before I agreed to marry him, I worried that I didn't care for him, that he would smother me. Then it came to me, like a ray of sunshine through a cloud, that he was precisely the man I wanted. The man I wanted all along.

Me: Where is he?

Marie: He's out holdin' the horses. He's more shy than you know, considering.

Me: Considering what?

Marie: Considering we rousted a priest out of bed to have us a ceremony.

Me: A what? You don't mean--

Marie: Yes! The priest agreed that since we're not of his Catholic faith, we didn't need any delays to read banns or the like.

Me: How long ago did this happen?

Marie (suddenly very shy): Just now.

Me: When?

Marie: A few hours ago.

Me: You're kidding me! (I grin at her, maybe a bit too broadly) No wonder he's standing out in the cold.

Marie: Don't be a-teasin', Mom.

Me: I'm sorry. (I pause and look at this glowing creature I created.) I reckon you'd best be on your way. It's cruel to keep the man waiting.

Marie (standing): It was his idea to come here. He thanks you for publishin' the book.

Me (smiling as I rise to my feet): You go give him my love.

Marie (trying to keep her smile in check as she inches toward the door): I reckon not. At least, not tonight. He's only gettin' my love tonight. (She giggles.) I'll give him your love on another occasion.

Me: Butter.

Marie (stepping outside and turning to gaze at me): Exactly so.

And she's gone. I close the door slowly, feeling some of her glow myself. "Butter. Melting butter."

Spinster's Folly, Book 4 of "The Owen Family Saga," is available as an ebook and in print at online book sellers. Autographed copies available at

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