by Barbara Winkes
An excerpt from
Marsha flashed back on her stop at the diner, before Jessie had come rushing in. Had someone watched her? What was the purpose of holding her up, and how could they have known about the bracelet? Too many questions.
She felt a little guilty about taking the bed, even though Jessie had said she didn’t mind. She’d collapsed on the couch, asleep within minutes. It looked comfortable enough, not worse in any case than the sagging mattress of the bedroom’s queen-sized bed. Marsha pushed back the covers and took off her shirt, lying back in just her underwear, waiting for sleep to come.
Inevitably, she wondered about the woman in the other room.
Maybe she simply needed a distraction, from life in general, if not the fact that her plans had been abruptly altered. She’d seen her share of vicious vandalism on patrol, not so much in her private life. It was disconcerting.
Jessie’s story was too, in a way. With friends who treated a person that way, there wasn’t much of a need for enemies, as the saying went. Her emotions had been genuine, but the story hadn’t been complete by far. Marsha might find out the rest in the next few days, or never. She’d been pitying herself lately, Marsha realized.
Many things hadn’t gone her way, for sure.
When Sandy left her, she’d been sad and disappointed. She’d chosen to take a spontaneous vacation, not driven from her home by anyone. Worse things could happen to a person than bad choices in career and relationships. Marsha pressed her face into the pillow, feeling lonely even with an intriguing stranger in the other room. She might have used the opportunity. She wasn’t sure if she could trust her that much. The thought was tempting, and Marsha allowed herself to get lost in the fantasy for a moment… The scream had her on her feet within seconds, her heart pounding.
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Barbara Winkes, a psychologist/trauma counselor, left her native Germany to live with her wife in Québec City. Her debut novel "Autumn Leaves" and the follow-up, "Winter Storm", published by Eternal Press, tell the love story between two women in a small town, where neighbors take an interest in the life of others.