Everyone in town comes to dinner to see Norah, including Luke.
|Loud chatter filled the cabin’s dining room. True to her mother’s word, almost the entire town of Harvest Lake, a population of nearly twenty, had arrived for stew and to drill her about life in Seattle. Norah answered each question with as much detail and little personal information as possible. In reality, there wasn’t much to her life. Examining each facet in this manner only made it more apparent.
Since the baby…
A loud burst of laughter brought her back to reality. Sheriff Jimmy Goleski, a large, balding man who never took off his sheriff’s hat, threw back his head while holding his ample stomach as something the local grocer said. Always one to see the good side of things, Jimmy made one of the most dependable people Norah had ever known. This made his wife Linda, a bottle redhead with way too much time on her hands, such an opposite to the man’s sturdy composure.
It boggled her mind how they made it work all these years.
“She must be insane in bed,” a voice whispered in her ear.
Norah stifled a laugh, turning to see Luke smiling out of the corner of her eye. Whether fate or design, she had found herself sitting next to her estranged ex-husband. She tried her best not to flinch at every movement of his body. It made it worse that he could still read her mind.
“Meg, you make the best stew in town!”
Norah’s mother nearly preened. “Now, Jimmy, I’m sure Linda’s stew is just fine.”
The sheriff cleared his throat. “Well, Linda’s food is wonderful, and her stew…”
“So, Norah,” Linda interrupted, her hard stare at her husband going unnoticed by no one. She patted her perfectly coifed hair when see looked in Norah’s direction, looking for a target for her ire. “It must be awfully scary living so close to urban crimes and such. Have you found someone to protect you from criminals? A man perhaps?”
Norah felt Luke stiffen beside her. “No, just me and a lonely fake tree.”
“That’s a shame. Must be hard to be alone out there.”
Meg cleared her throat. “That’s all done for now that she’s coming home. In a month she’ll be a permanent resident again.”
“Still,” Linda persisted. “Being a single woman in this day and age…”
“’Sweet are the uses of adversity.’”
Linda looked flustered at Norah response. She covered her uncertainty with a pointed frown. “Meaning?”
“Shakespeare. As You Like It,” Luke chimed in. “It basically mean making lemonade from a barrel of lemons. I remember taking Norah to the play’s premiere…”
“The premiere? Wasn’t that centuries ago?”
Norah froze, but Luke covered the action with a casual smile. “At the university. I took her for our first anniversary. Remember dove?”
Norah just shook her head.
A loud screeching noise cut through the conversational silence. Jimmy set down his spoon to reach into his jacket for the walkie-talkie hanging from his belt. Meg purposed slammed her spoon into against her bowl.
“James Goleski, tell me you didn’t bring your gun into my home.”
The sheriff blushed crimson, suddenly standing up from his seat. “Meg, I…I’m going to take this into the other room.”
“Busted,” Jimmy’s eldest son and Deputy Junior smirked. He promptly received a smack on the back of his hand from his mother.
The sheriff arrived a few minutes later as everyone was beginning to dig into their slices of pecan pie. A grim expression dragged down the jowls lining his face. He stood in the doorway connecting the kitchen to the dining room, his hands place firmly on his hips.
“Folks, we’ve got a problem.” Everyone turned their attention away from their dessert. “That was a call from Gomez at the station. It turns out there’s a fast-moving storm heading this way from Canada. It’s big and it’s nasty. We have maybe a five-hour window before it hits Harvest Lake, and we get snowed in here.”
Junior stood quickly from his seat. “We have to warn the families up the mountain.”
Luke wiped his mouth, and smoothly stood up as well. “The Purcells will need help closing up their cabin as well. Tobias hasn’t been moving well since his hip surgery.”
“I’ve got my truck. I’ll help,” Norah added.
Luke turned on her sharply. “You will not.”
The one thing he’d never learned over the years was that telling her what to do only made her want to do it more. She took a step closer, going nose to nose with him. “Watch me.”
Prompt 3:Today, a gun has to be a part of the story. Have any character in your story say or think a profound philosophical phrase.
"14 Days, 7 Prompts, 1 Story Contest"
Word Count: 758
Total Count: 2449