Saturday, December 12, 2015

Sample Saturday Mended by Moonlight

Welcome to Sample Saturday. This snippet is from my new Work-in-Progress (WIP), Mended by Moonlight.

Dr. Alexander Marshall opened the door to his small office, thrust his fingers through the front of his straight black hair, and stopped abruptly. A woman dressed in black clothing from tip to toe sat in the chair facing his untidy desk. She turned her head at the sound of his entrance. The skin of her face was pale as the pallor of death, but her features were fashioned with exquisite symmetry. Pale blonde hair peeked out from under her black bonnet, and he drew in his breath, startled by the unexpected sight of such beauty in these dismal circumstances.

She was a young woman, scarcely old enough to put up her hair, although he could see signs of wartime privation in the hollows of her cheeks. He noted the lack of a companion, and wondered who she could be, come here so boldly, so alone.

He let go of the doorknob and allowed the door to swing shut behind him, enclosing the two of them together—alone—in his crowded office.

The woman had shifted the paperwork that had previously occupied the chair to the floor. He felt the annoyance, no, the embarrassment of having put her to undue labor because of his untidiness.

Suddenly aware that a bloody apron still covered his clothing, he removed it with haste, balled it up, and flung it into a corner. Then he dipped a hand into the pocket of his trousers and took out the unread note he'd received that morning from Dr. Clark, the hospital director.

The only response from his guest came from her large blue eyes, which followed his every move. Otherwise, her rigid posture and tightly-clasped hands indicated uncertainty—or fear.

"Miss . . ." he began, then realized she wore the attire of a widow. He glanced at the note. Please attend to Mrs. Allen before noon. She suffers headaches. "Mrs. Allen, I am Doctor Marshall." He dropped into the chair behind his desk and laid the note on the surface before him.

"I am Mrs. Benjamin Owen," the widow said, her voice firmer than he supposed it would be.

"I beg your pardon," he answered, looking at the note again.

"My mother, Mrs. Theodore Allen, arranged for this visit. I am Mrs. Owen." Again, her voice conveyed her statement with firmness.

He inclined his head. "Mrs. Owen. How may I be of service?"


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