Tuesday, August 7, 2018

A little something...by Harlie Williams

I've looked over my posts lately and good law.  I sound like Debbie Downer and I really didn't mean to.  So I thought I would share something that I've been working on, off and on for the last two years.

*It is not edited*

Chapter One (after the meet-cute)

Damn!   Donna filled out a pair of jeans.  Donna was curvy but had the tiniest waist.  Those jeans of hers cupped her backside like kid gloves and slung low on her hips.  Forrest loved a woman in a well-worn pair of jeans, and Donna’s had been faded at the knees, and was that a rip on one of the back pockets?  And she is wearing cowboy boots on her feet?  Donna turned around and leaned against the truck door, his mouth went dry.  Was that a belly button ring dangling from her navel?  Damn, Donna was not the same person that left fifteen years ago.  She intrigued him more and more. 
“Hey, we’re burning daylight.  Hurry it up.” 
“Why are you so hell-bent on doing this?” 
“Because I need the closure, Forrest.  Can we just go now?” 
“Why the rush?” 
“Because when we are done, I have to go to the funeral home with my cousins.” 
There it was.  The pink elephant was now in the room, so to speak.  When was he going to learn to keep his mouth shut?  Opening the door to his truck, he climbed in and watched Donna climbed in the passenger side.  She wasn’t going to make this easy, was she?  Sighing, he turned the truck on and backed out onto the street and drove to the feed store.  Driving down the street in total silence was killing him.  He had so many questions for her, like how was the past school year?  Did she like to teach and how were her parents?  But right now didn’t seem like a good time to start grilling her. 

Turning his head slightly, he caught her staring blankly out the window.  What was she thinking?  Did he dare ask her?  He figured he might as well get the other pleasantries out the way. 
“So, when did you get back into town?” 
When school started in August, she really had no reason to ever come back to Freewill.  Her parents were living in Texas and had no desire to come back.  Except for Uncle Jack, her parent’s brothers and sisters were scattered all over the place.  No reason for them to ever come back. 
Sitting in Forrest’s truck, watching the houses go by, she wondered why she had never thought of moving here, teaching here, being closer to Uncle Jack.  When Uncle Jack called to tell her that Forrest had brought a girl home from college during a break, she knew that it would never happen between them.  Chuckling to herself, because nothing had ever happened between them, she realized it was silly to want something that she couldn’t have to begin with.  Shaking her head of girlish thoughts, she looked over at him.  He really hadn’t changed much; still deep green eyes, brown hair that needed a haircut and a smile that could melt butter.  The only thing new was the laugh lines around the eyes, which she loved.  Definitely sexier than he had a right to be, damn it.   

Realizing he’d asked her a question, she said, “I got in a few days ago.  Rich called me about a week ago and told me it was time.  I had a few things to wrap up at school and got down here as fast as I could.  Dawn and Sam got in last night but I haven’t seen them yet.”
“Where are you staying?”

“Uncle Jack’s for right now.  All of us are there for the time being.  Dawn has to go back to Green

Bay the day after the funeral.   Once everything settles down, Rich will leave too.  That leaves me to

work everything out with the estate.”

“I really am sorry about Uncle Jack, Donna.  He was my friend, too.  Not just a business partner.” 

Forrest gently reached over to touch her hand and when he did, the tears fell.  Donna never cried,

even when the girls in town were cruel to her.  Forrest pulled into the feed store parking lot, turned

the truck off and pulled Donna in his lap. 

It tore into his heart like someone was twisting a knife.  He lowered his head and lightly kissed the

top of Donna’s head.  Whispering soothing words to her, Donna slowly stopped crying and looked

up at him and lightly brushed her lips over his. 

Without a thought, Forrest deepened the kiss and Donna kissed him right back.  She tasted of mint

toothpaste and smelled like honeysuckle.  Her lips were plump like the peaches growing in the fields

behind the store. 

When their tongues began tangling, it hit him, Whoa!  Stop!  Her uncle, my friend just died and I’m

kissing her like I have no sense.

Scooting over to her side of the truck, she grabbed a Sonic napkin and tried to clean her face of the

tears.  Realizing that Forrest was looking at her, she turned away.

“Hey, it’s okay to cry, Donna.  It’s called grieving.”

“Well, I don’t cry, so I don’t know what you’re talking about.  Can we just go make rounds to the


“If that’s what you want, then yes, let’s go.”

Lord, what a mess she made by kissing Forrest like she had a right to.  What was done was done and

there was no going back.  Climbing out the truck, Donna waited for Forrest to open the store. 

Stepping into the store, the smell of leather and oil filled her senses brought back so many memories

of the summers she spent here with Uncle Jack.  Good memories, special ones to cherish.  It was a

ritual that every Saturday morning, Uncle Jack would take her for “coffee” and “shop talk” at the

store.  It made her feel welcome and she really learned a lot just by listening to the farmers and

ranchers talk about their way of life.  Walking to the counter in the back of the store, Donna noticed

a new Siamese cat.  It seemed like Mr. Davidson still had a soft spot for strays.  Picking up the cat,

she walked around the store and smiled.  The store carried all the tried and true methods to get rid of

every pest known to mankind and a few others that she’d never seen.  Forrest was right behind her,

crowding her.

“Forrest, I see Bo is still making y’all’s saddles?”

“Yes, he is.  Beautiful, aren’t they?  People come from miles around for his saddles.  Do you still

“Sometimes, but not enough for my taste.  You still have your horses at your dad’s barn?”

He nodded.  “Would you like to go riding before you leave?”


“Well, it’s almost six am and if we don’t get to Preston’s house first, he starts to fret.”

Donna didn’t know what she was doing or how she got to this point but fussing with Forrest was

NOT in the plan.  She was going to spend all morning with him, sometimes in close quarters and she

had to get control of your emotions.  His thoughtfulness and tenderness in the truck earlier damn

near did her in.  Mooning over her high school crush was not an option either.  Maybe she could just

ignore what happened in his truck?  Not likely since her lips still tingled.  Crap.  Maybe coming to

the feed store with Forrest wasn’t such a good idea.  Too late; I’m here.  Sigh…


Again, unedited.  What do you think?

Did I mention that school starts in 13 days?  The boy is now 13 years old and starting 8th grade.  Yes, I'm super excited that the summer is over.  It was too damn hot this year.


Tina Donahue said...

Glad to see you're back in the writing mode. Sounds like an interesting story. Do you have a beta team to give you feedback? You'll get tons of feedback as to what works and doesn't to up your chances at publication. Good luck! :)

Harlie Williams said...

Thanks, @Tina. And no, I don't have any beta readers. I've been told too many times that a blogger cannot be a writer. Long story. But I move on anyway.

Fiona McGier said...

I enjoyed the excerpt, Harlie. And I'm glad you're back in the saddle, as it were!

School starts here tomorrow, and I'm on 2 districts' sub lists this year, plus I've still been tutoring all summer, and that will continue into the school year. Time for writing is going to become really scarce! But I will try to squeeze it in whenever I can. I feel so much better when I write! My husband says it's my "stress relief." How right he is!!