Saturday, October 03, 2015

Sample Saturday - Happy Halloween

Welcome to Sample Saturday! Since it's now October, and you know what holiday comes at the end of the month, I thought I'd share a sample from my contemporary romance short story entitled Happy Halloween.

Recent widow Mary Beth Larson is moving into an apartment in Phoenix, Arizona. Here she deals with her son, Sam, and then her daughter, Linette, as they make adjustments in their lives.


“Do I have to go to school tomorrow? Thursday’s a rotten day to start.”

She looked at his frowning face, framed with dark brown hair. “What’s the matter with Thursday, Sam?”

“That’s the day the teachers give the tests. I won’t know what they’ve studied. Then Friday’s even worse. They do all the fun stuff that the kids earned all week. I’d feel dumb, and the kids would think I was a smart-aleck, getting something for nothing.”

“Sam Larson, there’s hope for you yet. If it’ll make your way smoother, we’ll start you on Monday.”

“Thanks, Mom. Hey, can I go trick-or-treating tonight?”

She looked at his bright face, still smooth at age eight. “I already said ‘no,’ con man. Now scoot and see what your sister is up to. I haven’t heard something falling all over the floor yet.”

Mary Beth placed the books on the shelf, a wistful half smile lifting the corners of her mouth. Sam was adjusting, coming out of the shock of his father’s death six months ago. Linette was doing fine, too. Now if she, Mary Beth, could just feel better. She thought back to the last words her mother had said as they left Chicago a week ago.

“Mary Beth, it’s time to let go. Time to get on with your life. I’m sure this move will help. I love you.”

I love you too, Mom but I loved Bill a long time. Grief is not something I can just shake off like a case of the flu.

As if to underscore her thought process, a wave of despair swept over her. She covered her mouth with her hand to stifle a sob, battling with her mind against returning to the day Bill’s hunting buddies called.

“Mom.” Linette’s six-year-old voice broke into her thoughts, yanking them away from the edge of horror. The girl bounded into the room with her pony tails bouncing. “I put all the sheets in the closet. Can I have a can of pop?”

“Can’t you wait until lunchtime, Babe?”

“But I’m thirsty, Mom. There’s six cans, so we can each have two.”

“Not right now, we can’t. If you drink your pop now you’ll have to have milk with your lunch.”

Linette nodded her blonde head, grinning. “I like milk with lunch.”

“Then you may have one can, but drink it in the kitchen!”

“Thanks, Mom.” Linette was gone, scampering through the doorway.

Mary Beth got up from her crouched position and stretched her arms above her head. The dust from the carton of books made her feel coated with grime, and she idly wondered if the apartment pool was heated as claimed. Might as well find out, she thought.


Mary Beth Larson emerges from the fog of loss in a new location with two young children, determined to start her life again. Glen Hampton and his little kids have already survived their own tragedy. Maybe this Halloween means something besides Trick or Treat. A "Misty Moments" short story.

Happy Halloween
Smashwords all formats | Kindle |

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