A return to her roots leave Norah fighting her past.
|Norah pulled her pick-up to a stop outside the large wooden cabin she once called home. Still shaken from the ordeal by the lake, she killed the engine and sat back in her seat, waiting for some normalcy to come back to her sense before she greeted her mother.
Her fingers gripped the steering wheel as she thought back to the look on Luke’s face. Very little about him has changed since she had left seven years ago. He still wore his ebony hair in a long tail down his back. He still kept his reading glasses in the front pocket of the old worker’s shirts he favored. The sharp planes of his face seemed more drawn now, but it didn’t detract from the stark handsomeness of his dark features.
The inner pull she felt being near him was still as powerful as the day they first met. Every time she looked into his dark eyes, every time she felt his touch, any rationality she held flew out the window. Luke had been her rock, her center. When they were together it seemed like they could handle anything that came their way.
But even a love as strong as theirs could not withstand everything.
* * * * *
“I’m not your wife anymore, Luke.”
He rubbed the corner of his mouth, amused. “Sorry about that. I meant ex-wife. How is life treating you in Seattle?”
“Good,” she replied stiffly. “And you?’’
“Not too bad. I’m getting ready to sell my cabin.”
Norah froze. “You’re selling the cabin?”
“You didn’t think I’d wait for you forever, did you?”
* * * * *
The moment she shut the car door a massive dog came barreling down the hill in her direction. Norah barely had time to brace herself before she was attacked by the big blob of dark fur. The Bernese mountain dog was rescued puppy from the shelter on her father’s last day on the job in the city. A faithful companion, first to her old man then her mother, Huey was one of the best males in her life.
A tongue licked her face eagerly, giving her the best greeting since she arrived in town. While evading the sloppy kiss she rubbed the dog’s head and chin. “Hey Huey,” she replied softly. “How have you been boy? Have you been looking out for Mama like I asked you to?”
Huey barked before licking her chin in one big swipe.
“Huey! Let that girl have some breathing room.”
Norah stood up from the floor to see her mother walking slowly down the hill. The smile on her face was warm and broad, the afternoon sunshine brightening the silver now threaded through her curls. She wore an over-sized rich brown sweater that once belonged to Norah’s father, a long skirt made from patches of dark remnant fabric, and thick black boots to fight the cold. This, Norah knew, would always be the image of her mother that she would carry in her memory.
She was running before she knew her intention, embracing her mother in a fierce hug. Norah didn’t say as word as she fought back tears, and her mother didn’t push the subject, simply stroking her dark hair like when she was a child. This was home.
A few minutes later they pulled apart. Her mother’s smile was still in place as she stroked the side of her freckled cheek. “There’s my girl. How was the drive?”
Norah laughed as they hooked arms to walk back home, Huey following close behind. “It was good.” A scene of the lake flashed through her mind. “Uneventful.”
“Good. Then you can help me finish dinner.”
Norah sniffed the air. “Is that pork and rice stew I smell?”
“Yes, and I need some help chopping up more vegetables. My hands have been killing me since this cold chill has come in.”
The kitchen counter chopping board was topped with bright orange carrots, golden potatoes nicely cubed, the deep light saffron and green tones of the butternut squash, and the milky white slices of the onion. The arrangement was mouth-watering and massive.
“Ma, are you feeding an army?”
Her mother turned as she tied her apron back around her waist. “No, sweetie. Just the town.”
Her smile grew wider. “My little girl is back in town. I invited everyone to come see how you are and catch up on everything that’s happened since you’ve left.”
Norah gazed outside the kitchen window to the old fir tree growing on the lawn. Luke had carved their initials into the trunk the night they had become engaged. She forced herself not to look away. "Is Luke coming?”
“Of course, Norah! I won’t let that boy starve out there all alone. Especially now.”
Norah frowned. She opened her mouth to ask what especially now meant, but the phone rang. Automatically, she reached for the phone, stopping herself short from rolling her eyes as she heard the sheriff’s wife’s voice on the line. The woman was Harvest Lake’s gossip woman.
It was going to be a long night.
Prompt 2: In your chapter, there has to be a tree, tell me about colors and an animal.
"14 Days, 7 Prompts, 1 Story Contest"
Word Count: 841
Total Count: 1691