Just as I sit on pins and needles waiting to hear the latest news from Jen, I get a note from another friend who has been asked to submit a full for her ms. Wow! Way to go Jane! Jane has been generous enough to allow ms to post a snip of her work. I know you will enjoy A Different Kind of Honesty, by Jane Richardson.
An excerpt from A Different Kind of Honesty
Balanced on the chair she’d pulled up below the loft window, Maggie contemplated the snowy white landscape stretching away from the house. Here and there, clutches of black pines or a cluster of red roofs dotted the countryside like handfuls of scattered beads on an unfinished embroidery. At some hidden point in the hollow of the valley, the stream from Nina’s garden joined the river and uncoiled away, reappearing on the distant fields like a length of black glitter trim stitched across the undulating curves of a down-filled comforter. It had a name, this river, but she couldn’t remember. No matter; her heart had named it for Ramon.
On Christmas Day in London, surrounded by Danny’s flock of nieces and nephews, she’d watched The Snowman on television and wondered what it would be like to fly wherever she wanted over snowy landscapes like this, maybe find a place to belong. She smiled, remembering the ear-splitting arguments over the TV schedules; Danny’s father lapsing into furious Cantonese as he protested his right to watch the Queen’s Speech, while the rest of the huge extended family voted for the beloved animated film, now as much a part of a British Christmas as turkey and mistletoe.
Mistletoe...Danny had kissed her under the mistletoe, his usual fraternal smacker followed by a hug as big as a grizzly’s, and though she’d shrieked and hugged him back the same way as always, her thoughts had flown to the man she should have been with at Christmas; thoughts of loving him under the mistletoe, removing an opaque white berry for each kiss shared until they’d stripped every sprig in London and New York.
The man she should have been with...she’d buried the thought deep amongst the torn wrapping paper and ribbon and the stripped carcass of the festive turkey, waiting to be thrown out with all the other yuletide debris. Danny had asked her to pull the wishbone with him, one pinkie already hooked around the bird’s furcula, wiggling it in her face. Pull a wishbone, make a wish. She’d complied just to shut him up and it snapped, dry and abrupt, leaving her with the largest part and Danny with his best, self-satisfied, ‘I-told-you-so’ look.
She’d never believed in wishes.
Turning away from the wintry picture-postcard, she stepped down from chair. Across the room, the man she’d made a crazy, hopeless wish for just a week ago slept peacefully, one arm thrown over his head, the outline of a smile around his mouth. If he was dreaming about the night they’d just shared, no wonder he was smiling.