Mystery, writing

Writing in Public I

I’m a bit fed-up with myself. I simply cannot seem to find the time to write, these days. So I’m going to take the time to write, even if it displaces my blog, I’m afraid. I’ll write here, and eventually I’ll coallate it all into… whatever it turns into. This is a WIP, one that I was already planning on writing. It is not, I’ll caution my regular readers up front, either science fiction or fantasy. In fact, this is a sequel to Memories of the Abyss, set 25 years later and with almost no connection visible at first.

Apple-Cheeked Poison

Chris arranged the last basket on the table to her satisfaction and turned to smile down at her companion.

“Not that I’m not delighted you’re here, Eva, but why today?”

“The fall air, the bright leaves, the farmer’s market, they are not enough?” Eva Deroussier still kept a touch of her French accent, although unlike the handful of other villagers with a similar accent, hers was from the Old Country. She kept on talking, unaware of Chris’s distraction into the linguistic differences between Parisian French and French-Canadian. “Your oh-so-charming company, perhaps, Christiana?”

Chris winced. She didn’t care for the whole of her first name. “Eva…”

The old woman pointed, smiling. “You have customers.”

Chris turned to face the front of the booth and the couple who were stopping to look at her baskets of herbs. She knew them, but that wasn’t a surprise, she knew practically everyone in town. “Henry, Jen, how are you?”

While she chatted, her attention was split. Selling at the Farmer’s Market was for pin-money, which meant that she wasn’t as serious about it as some of the other vendors, but today she was more concerned with Eva’s sudden decision to visit. When Chris, at the side of her new husband, had appeared in the village 25 years before, Eva had been one of her first friends despite the age difference. Chris had understood, but missed her badly, when Eva, at age 91, moved to Florida three years before. New England winters were not for the faint of heart, or those with old bones.

She sold two bundles of chamomile, with instructions on how to dry it, and turned back to her old friend. “How did you get here?”

“Bernie drove me.” Eva’s dried-apple face was still smiling up at her from the canvas camp chair. Her cheeks were framed in a puff of dandelion-silk hair. Chris couldn’t help smiling back in spite of her worry. “What I want to know is, why are you not happy to see me?”

Chris sighed, and laid it out bluntly. “Because I’ve been worried about Lily.”

Lily, Eva’s younger sister. Lily, who had escaped ahead of the Germans alongside her some seventy years ago, both of them on the run because of Eva’s work in the Resistance. Lily, who had never been quite right in all those years.

Eva nodded. “I, too, am worried about her. Child, I am old, not stupid.”

Chris chuckled. He next big birthday involved a six and an oh! so the affectionate term only made her remember just how old this woman really was… and how fragile. She leaned over and kissed the dandelion puff hair. Kneeling wasn’t an option with the problems it had been giving her. “My apologies, mon cherie. I do not see what either of us can do, though. She is set in her course.”

Eva nodded. “But I had to come and talk to her again, before…” her voice faltered, and she cleared her throat. “Before it is too late.”