She gave the house one last look. This is the one. The vines concealing the backyard gazebo clinched the deal. This is where it would happen. She bit back a smile as she shook the salesperson’s hand.
“She never comes out of the gazebo. What on earth do you think she is doing in there?” Mrs. Lynch gripped her swelling hips. Her fence bordered the cottage.
“I saw her take a cardboard box out there yesterday morning and who knows what was in it!” Mrs. Welch pursed her lips toward her neighbor. “Maybe you can get a better look since my oak tree nearly hides my view from the kitchen window.”
“Well, I for one don’t understand who could sit all summer in a gazebo and never have any visitors. Not even the mailman!” Mrs. Lynch harrumphed her way back to her front porch. She and her backyard neighbor agreed to compare notes later.
The cat twirled its tail through her crossed legs. Marta reached down and absently fondled its chin. Picking up her pen, she crossed off several sentences she had just written.
“Well, cat. It’s almost done. Mmmm.” She stretched her arms above her head. The vines allowed a peak of the afternoon’s sunshine to speckle her paper. She squeezed her eyes and made out a design that faintly reminded her of another time. The sparkling of diamonds across a wrist ending in perfectly manicured nails. The feel of silk across the ankles of her shapely legs. She sighed as her mind played back the compliments she had received that night.
“Bravo, Marta. It was an excellent venture. We can’t wait for more.”
There will be more. Just not what you are hoping for. Marta played with the tip of her pen. The postman would be coming soon and she wanted to be ready. She opened her laptop and typed the final words. It was good.
Mrs. Lynch opened her latest issue of Star Fatale magazine. “It can’t be.” She shook her pinned curls. “Well, what do you know?” Her stubby finger traced the bold headlines under an outdated picture. It was her. She reached for the phone.
“Marta! What on earth do you think you are doing?” Marta held the phone away from her ear while Bill screamed what he thought about her package. “You’ll be the laughing stock of your peers. Is that what you want? Do you want to end your career?” She could hear Bill slamming papers on his desk. “Marta, Redeemed?” Have you lost your mind? What happened to vampires and double murders? What happened to you last year?”
“Bill,” she hoped to calm him with her next words. “Trust me on this one. I admit I have changed since going home to see my mother last year. It’s something I have been meaning to talk to you about. But if you feel as my editor you can’t go with this, then I’ll find someone else. I mean that, Bill. This is how strongly I feel about this project. I’m a new person now and I won’t write what I used to write.” There, she had said it. She leaned back in her chair and set the phone in the cradle. It was finished.
She pulled the December issue of Star Fatale out of her mailbox along with three Christmas cards. Mrs. Lynch fingered the latest gossip column of her stars. “Oh my word!” Her finger stopped on a bold headline under a recent picture.
QUEEN OF HORROR WRITES CHRISTIAN NOVEL
In three terse paragraphs, a career was shredded and tossed into the garbage can. A bevy of her followers slammed their coffee cups onto the typed words and cursed her future. How dare she do this to us?
Vine by vine she tore the thick branches from her gazebo. The sun instantly coated the decking beneath her table and chair. Marta laughed as she watched the cat chase each new sunbeam.
“No more hiding, cat. We can enjoy all the sun we want.” She pulled the final vine from the doorway and reached for her chair. The latest issue of Christian News was spread out on her laptop. She trailed her finger with the chipped nail over the list of top ten novels. She smiled when she noticed her name among her peers.
Opening her laptop, Marta typed the forward to her next novel. To my Savior…
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