as destiny intended short story, book cover

As Destiny Intended

As destiny intended, a translucent glimmer embodied the night and the stars became shrouded in uncertainty; if her fate were to become her nemesis, she would accept it rather than force the hand of luck. The doom and gloom of solitude, her circumstance never intentional; her purposive desire merely fell on delusional imps. She could not change the way she felt about any of them. Why should she even consider anything less than what destiny intended?

Anna stood for a moment in a kind of trance; six whole years, her bedroom had been her sanctuary, a shrine almost. She thought of her father, unshaven and smiling with a coffee in his hand, with a worried mischievous hint of wonder. She thought of how he struggled to build the small loft conversion above the two-bed semi on Ravenswood Lane. ‘Tis all for yuh,’ he would say, drawing the sweat from his brow with his forearm, ‘A wee palace, all of yuh own.

She knew there was something wrong with the look in his eyes. ‘If — only,’ she sighed, sitting down at the end of her bed. The argument with her mother made her question her faith in destiny. Maybe it was time for her to move out. It might be what fate intended anyway, she supposed.

After all, Isabella, her younger sister, had found fortune; kismet had shone fondly on her. Her younger sister was unaware of the constant comparison she had to endure. Her mother’s determination to make sure she too would be tied, bound and, chastised in marriage.

Paul Rose! For heavens sakes.’ She cried.

A proper little mummies boy; she moaned to herself, afraid of his own shadow. How could she even think it would be okay. Paul, bloody Rose, she repeated as the argument slowly stole her mind once again.  Admittedly she was not the prettiest of things, of which she did not need reminding. ‘O’ Isabella. Of course, Isabella was far more glamorous. She knew what she wanted in life.

Anna felt the emptiness, loneliness and missed her father’s warm, loving smile. She thought of him taking each day as it came, enjoying each blessed day even if it were raining. It momentarily gave her relief in a smile.

The minute her mother remarried, she broke her promise; things had changed; everything had changed since her father’s death. There was a sense of urgency, frustration almost, which made them feel as if they were in the way, until — Isabella, tired of the constant arguing, eloped with a man twice her age. ‘O’ how she remembered that day, ‘Sickly Imp,’ a nickname she had bestowed upon her stepfather, finally got told to shut it and keep his nose out of something that did not concern him.

It must have been the last time her mother comforted her in a heart-wrenching display of despair. First, mother had pulled her tight to her bosom; then they cried for hours, mourning the loss of her father, together. Then they giggled in fits of remembrance before finally making a pact, never to allow anyone or anything to come between them ever again. There was a desperate raw need in her mother that very night, one she would never forget. It made her feel wanted, needed.

as destiny intended mystery romance, cover for short story

As Destiny Intended

As for precious little Isabella, Richard Latimore, the man she eloped with, was already married. After a six-month spending spree across the country, Isabella had exhausted his finances to the point he wept in shame and admitted everything. Isabella had laughed in his face and called him every vile word she could think of before, opening the hotel door to Nick, who immediately took her in his arms and kissed her in a way to enrage Richard further. Nick Robinson was a young man she met on the night she ran away, whilst waiting for Richard at Tanner’s Palace, a cafe situated on the outskirts of town. He knew Richard very well and told her everything about the little weasel.

Isabella had no intention of returning home; she was determined to make the bastard suffer. Unlike herself, Isabella was not just beautiful; she was bright and strong-willed. And boy did he suffer the consequences of her deliberate allure of necessity, bags, jewellery and even the latest iPhone. All of this whilst taunting him into thinking that she would give herself to him freely once they were married, and at the same time tempting him into thinking she was on the absolute brink of giving herself completely, out of wedlock.

Hope! My dear Anna, is like a rope, you just need to know when to tug it.‘ Isabella had laughed.

Anna pondered on what she had meant by it. Then, in a deep diminishing sigh, she resigned herself to the fact her sister would always reap the riches of karma, no matter what she did. She was one in a million, and she was looking forward to finally seeing her again.

Now, three years after running away, Isabella was finally getting married, too, Nick. Mother could not be more excited and to have been asked to assist with the wedding preparations. It was as though Isabella could do no wrong, despite her running away and nearly causing her mother to have a heart attack, not to mention the sleepless nights that followed, month after month, without a single word.

Her mother truly believed Isabella was a victim of Mr Richard Latimore. He had subsequently hit the tabloids after committing several acts of fraud and indecent exposure. His lawyer had pleaded it was due to a mental breakdown caused by financial difficulties he had endured for several years. But, as destiny intended, Anna surmised, what else could it have been? It was not a coincidence.

‘O’ well, she sighed; theres no point in going over the past and stood up. The crux of which she was adamant was that she would most definitely not be entertaining Paul Rose.

Tis yours.

“Oh, where art thou tentative heart of whom I seek?”

A quick note by the Author:

As a writer, the greatest reward is knowing the enjoyment a reader gets from his work. However, there is always that feeling of uncertainty until he receives a review. Your comments are of great importance in helping me improve my skill and improve your enjoyment. Your comments will be much appreciated and be of great value.

Thank you for your interest, Andrew.

a worried look of concern

As Destiny Intended

 Original short story by A I Moffat

Illustrations by justanemotion.com

©All rights reserved justanemotion.com 2021

Imagery

The featured image for As Destiny Intended is a collage by justanemotion.com

The photo of a boy was by Puplicdomainpictures.

Illustrations, including fancy page break, was by Annaliseart.

feelings justanemotion

Short Stories Of Feelings

Short stories of feelings can create a romantic moment filled with a sense of wonder. An intimate journey of nostalgia, empathy, and, most of all, an emotion that allows you to reflect on life’s sensitivity. It is a romance with words, tentatively creating short stories of feelings, an imaginary plot of a world where true love often runs deep.

Tis yours.

“Oh, where art thou tentative heart of whom I seek?”

“May you quench thy emotion, an allow me, to sleep.”

New Short Stories Of Feelings 

 

The embers of a lifetime by A I Moffat, short story of feeling

 

The Embers Of A Lifetime by A I Moffat published in 2021

The embers of a lifetime lay burning at my feet, memories of those I had learned to love, fading slowly before me. They had given me so much strength a reason to fight. There was nobody to come home too, to hold my flesh and bone, to make me feel alive again. Only the calm waters of the brook could awaken my nightmare, for part of me still felt unsure of whether or not; I still lay on the battlefield, staring up into the abyss. Read more

 

 

 

 

To dream, a dream, on this perfect night for things to be wishfully, just right. A mystical awe of desire of which I might aspire. Alas! Out of reach until I sleep, I’ll keep wandering down this street, with hope in my heart for fortune to strike, you never know, it just might.

“Oh, how divine maybe one day, you’ll see just give it time.” Justanemotion

 

Exclusive Short Stories of Feelings & Affection

 

short stories of feelings, romantic reflections

 

 

Short stories of feelings of the heart

 An Inconstant Heart by A I Moffat, published in 2021

Book Cover for An Inconstant Heart, romantic short story of feelings

‘Oh — Mathew,’ she responded in a fading breath, her eyes fell then rose in a sudden heartbeat, ‘you know I will.’ Her inconstant heart seemed to fluctuate with joy and trepidation. The thrill of it taking her by surprise until she looked into his adoring, child-like eyes, ‘but,’ she hesitated, ‘what about mother?’ As his gaze slowly fell in a shallow gape, she tenderly whispered, ‘You know she would never allow it.’

Instantly the boy knelt on one knee in the subtle shades before her. His dark fringe lay exposed to a streak of direct sunlight, which made the depths of his eyes sparkle mischievously. ‘I’ve been thinking — we could elope — run away together.’ Read more

A quick note by the Author:

As a writer, the greatest reward is knowing the enjoyment a reader gets from his work; there is always that feeling of uncertainty until he receives a review. Your comments are of great importance in helping me improve my skill and improve your enjoyment. Your comments will be much appreciated and be of great value.

Thank you for your interest, Andrew.

a worried look of concern

©All rights reserved justanemotion.com 2021

 

 

Photo of a boy by Puplicdomainpictures.

The Unscrupulous Proposal, short romantic mystery story, cover

The Unscrupulous Proposal

The unscrupulous proposal of Richard Myers received the disdain it so rightly deserved. The father would have none of it and insisted he would not interfere in his daughter’s private affairs. It was a relief to Catherine, who did not consider it necessary to discuss such an imperious letter. Although her mother, Mrs Ashington, questioned her relationship with an acquaintance of Lord and Lady Haxley, who had been identified as an imposter. On the grounds, the letter amounted to nothing more than blackmail, hoping it would persuade them to accept his proposal, Catherine was not prepared to discuss the matter any further.

Mr Ashington agreed and insisted that the implications of such a letter implied he should in some way be indebted to Richard Myers. When Mrs Ashington inferred they were looking at it all the wrong way and that Richard was merely trying to protect Catherine, her father became infuriated.

Nonsense!” Mr Ashington shouted, “If, he had any decency at all, he would have first discussed it with Catherine—personally.”

The matter then escalated until Mr Ashington bought his fist down, heavy on the drawing-room table, asking why Richard had not had the decency to discuss it with him first. Catherine found it all so upsetting and quickly ran to her room.

The following night they had agreed to attend a formal gathering to celebrate Richard Myers promotion. Mr Ashington decided he would take the opportunity to express his displeasure at receiving such an unscrupulous proposal.

 

The announcement of Lord and Lady Haxleys arrival was like the sound of a great wave breaking on the shore before receding in a gentle hum of disbelief.

Robert, the butler, looked horrified and continued a little perplexed, “Accompanied—by—”

With horror, Richard Myers frantically began to search for Catherine. He was in no doubt who had accompanied them. His father would attend to the Haxleys, but he would have to move fast to prevent Catherine from seeing the scoundrel.

Thomas Benton then tapped the base of his glass on the table several times.

Hear—hear!” Thomas shouted. “Hear—hear!”

His sudden authoritative burst stole the announcement of Paul Watkins, who had accompanied the Haxleys.

Good heavens!” He exclaimed, “You look as horrified as I was when I first heard of Richards promotion.”

Awkwardly Richard smiled, twisting his large frame through the small congregation.

Thomas continued to welcome the guests and congratulate Richard Myers on becoming a partner in the family’s long-established law firm.

After only a few minutes, Richard saw Catherine standing dutifully beside Mr and Mrs Ashington.

He hesitated for a moment to tidy himself up.

Richard!”

Instinctively he turned to find George Thurston, reaching for his hand.

“Congratulations, my boy.” Vigorously he shook Richards hand, who felt his entire—attire dishevel once more. “I’m sure you’ll make us all very proud, my boy.”

Thank—you,” Richard replied in a restrained grimace of discomfort, “I’ll—try, to do my best.”

 

The Unscrupulous Proposal

 

His view of Catherine diminished behind Albert, who too wished to congratulate him. After a few more pleasantries, he managed to excuse himself on a matter of urgency, only to find she had gone. His heart sank in fear of her finding the wretched fellow.

The Unscrupulous Proposal, short romantic mystery story, cover

Paul Watkins relationship with the Haxleys had allowed him the privilege to attend such occasions. Although he always remained unapproachable and seemed to prefer his own company. He had caused more than a few people to speculate that he was not of this world. On one such occasion, he did suffer and, it was Catherine who took pity on him. She led his pale, sunken image out into the cold dead of night.

It was nothing but mere superstition as far as Richard was concerned. The idea that this fellow was some unearthly creature who had somehow stolen her soul was ridiculous. Catherine had merely felt sorry for him and, it was in her nature to nurture something back to health.

“Are—you alright, Richard?”Aunt Geraldine inquired startled by his sudden need to support himself with the arm of her chair.

It was with an exhaustive slump of his shoulders and a harsh glare that he finally saw Catherine again. He looked down with an open mouth and shook his head in disbelief. Geraldine Myers lifted herself slightly in anticipation he was taking a turn for the worst, but he quickly tapped her on the shoulder and insisted he was fine.

He watched them standing there together; she seemed to laugh at almost every gesture he made. He cursed her child-like mannerism, although he did, however, concede it was a quality he found most endearing. After all, she was not yet aware of his feelings.

Richard!” His Aunt called after him as he followed them out into the night.

They strolled over the large terrace and down onto the lawn. Richard carefully avoided the full ray of light emitted by the lanterns. She then hesitated a moment; she looked up as if in awe of the soft moonlight. It was a clear perfect sky. The stars seemed to enhance its magnificence, flickering harmoniously with the romantic sound of orchestral music his father had requested. If not for Paul Watkins, he would be enjoying such a night.

What!—What!” he growled, “Are you doing now? Facing, each other like that.”

Paul was offering her his wine glass; she took it. Paul immediately moved around her, removing his dark brown cardigan. Richard watched very closely as he then proceeded to place it over her shoulders carefully.

Catherine looked so beautiful in the soft moonlight. An exchange of pleasant offerings appeared to follow. Oh, how he despised the fellow. Then Paul started to make his way back up towards the house. He felt a little unnerved at the idea of having to enter into any pleasantries with him.

Myers then turned in a squint to try and make out who it was meandering along the far side of the lawn. Harry—yes, it was, his old friend from university, he assured himself. Immediately he put up his hand and began waving, “Harry, old chap—over here.”

Harry continued slowly, with his hands clasped behind his back, and his pipe was hanging from one side of his mouth. Myers started to feel a little nervous when he realised Paul was almost upon him. Quickly he shouted again, but this time rushed down the steps, then with a sly glance over his shoulder at Paul, he rushed over to his friend.

Harry! Old chap, been looking everywhere for you.”  

Harry appeared somewhat perplexed by Richard’s, complete relief at seeing him.

“Oh, Harry, thank—God!”

“I say, is everything alright old chap?”

“Yes, actually—no, well—” Simultaneously, Richard lifted his finger then immediately bent over slightly to catch his breath. “I wasn’t sure whether—” he continued, “—or not, you’d turned up.”

“By Jove! You look in a frightful state, old chap?”

“I’m alright—just a little out of breath, that’s all.”

“I mean, anyone would think you were running for your life or something.”

Richard straightened himself up, chuckled weakly, then put out his hand, “good ter see you, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?”

Harry replied reflectively, “Well, yes. I suppose it has rather,” then, he popped his pipe back into the side of his mouth, only to withdraw it again and point it at Richard, “Now see here! Never mind all that. What the dickens! Is all this nonsense about?”

Myers glanced about them quickly, then drew close to Harry, “I think Catherine’s life is in danger. You remember Catherine, don’t you?”

“Yes, of course—go on,” he replied in a whisper spontaneously returning his pipe to the corner of his mouth.

 

 

A quick note by the Author:

As a writer, the greatest reward is knowing the enjoyment a reader gets from his work. There is always that feeling of uncertainty until he receives a review. Your comments are of great importance in helping me improve my skill and improve your enjoyment. Your comments will be much appreciated and be of great value.

Thank you for your interest, Andrew.

a worried look of concern

 

The Unscrupulous Proposal

 Original short story by A I Moffat

Illustrations by justanemotion.com

©All rights reserved justanemotion.com 2021

Imagery

The featured image for The Unscrupulous Proposal of a downhearted woman was by Artsybee.

Photo of a boy and the butler Robert was by Puplicdomainpictures.

Illustrations, including fancy page break, was by Annaliseart.

 

 

The Embers Of A Lifetime

The embers of a lifetime lay burning at my feet, memories of those I had learned to love fading slowly before me. They had given me so much strength a reason to fight. Yet, there was nobody to come home to, to hold my flesh and bone, to make me feel alive again. Only the calm waters of the brook could awaken my nightmare, for part of me still felt unsure of whether or not; I still lay on the battlefield, staring up into the abyss.

A lifetime of toil, nor riches nor fame, a mere peasant boy, “Alex, was thy name.”

It all began on Dreary Lane, home of servant girls governed by a Mrs Geraldine Fanshaw. The place was born from need; farm-labourers in haste had built four timber-framed dwellings from the remains of an old barn. These hardworking farmhands later moved to Church Street into more suitable accommodation. Then came the construction of Harmony Way, and a gang of heavily built Irish labourers moved into these crudely built shacks.

Once Harmony Ways construction was complete, the new owners of these prestigious properties required domestic servants. Dreary Lane then became home to the Fanshaw girls. These were girls considered unsuitable for living in the servant quarters, many of whom were under sixteen.

At the very end, where an evergreen mass had weaved its way up through the boards and onto the old pantile roof, I was born to a young servant girl called Connie. In the very beginning, my life was in the balance. Mrs Fanshaw stood downstairs clutching a pillow, waiting.

It would not be the first time she had to protect the Fanshaw girls’ reputation.

 

 

The Embers Of A Lifetime  

Without hope, friendships slowly emerged from times long since past.

The Embers Of Lifetime expressing loss, memories and a burning emotion of the past

It was Nancy who assisted with my birth and, who kindly gave me thy name. Her orders were made very clear; as soon as I was born, she was to take me straight down to Fanshaw.  Her instructions were not to allow Connie to hold me, not even for one second; It would be better that way.

Nancy, who was now seventeen, had endured the agony of having her child taken from birth, and she was determined to try and save me. So it came as a huge surprise when a silent, little angel was born alongside me, fast asleep.

My mother lay sobbing, aware of what was to happen to me, staring at the broken window pane. Nancy put her hand softly on her shoulder, but she ignored her. It was a matter of life and death; Fanshaw was waiting. Nancy, quickly placed me in a pouch she had sewn earlier under her dress and left my little sister lying on the bed.

It’s dead! Miss — It’s bloody dead!” She screamed glancing over at Connie, then rushed down the stairs.

Fanshaw had rushed to the foot of the stairs, still clutching the pillow and looked up in horror as Nancy came bounding down towards her. Immediately Fanshaw reached out and caught her by the shoulders.  Nancy had forced tears to her eyes and began to act hysterical, repeating over and over again, ‘The bloody thing’s dead, Miss.’ It was then that Fanshaw slapped her, demanding that she calm down.

Nancy belched in her face as if she were going to be sick, then covered her mouth and pulled free to make her escape outside. She hesitated at the small green picket fence to make sure Fanshaw would not follow her; again, she began belching, pretending to be sick. Fanshaw stared at her briefly, then turned and went up the stairs. Nancy then rushed down to the brook, her heart pounding, unsure whether I was alive or dead. Once she had reached the small stream, she immediately tried to rub life into me.

It was the sweetest sound she had ever heard, and her tears became as natural as my will to live.

‘Oh, yer little beauty, you.’ She whispered holding me tight to her chest.

 

A quick note by the Author:

As a writer, the greatest reward is knowing the enjoyment a reader gets from his work; there is always that feeling of uncertainty until he receives a review. Your comments are of great importance in helping me improve my skill and improve your enjoyment. Your comments will be much appreciated and be of great value.

Thank you for your interest, Andrew.

a worried look of concern

 

The Embers Of A Lifetime

 Original short story by A I Moffat

Illustrations by justanemotion.com

©All rights reserved justanemotion.com 2021

Imagery

The Embers Of A Lifetime is a collage made from two unique original images by Alexas and Olichel.

Photo of a boy by Puplicdomainpictures.

Illustrations by Annaliseart.

 

 

 

A feeling of Uncertainty

A Feeling Of Uncertainty

She turned in a smile, 'I'd better be getting back to the library, you know how mother likes to get there, early.'

'Yes —' he replied sadly. . . . .

A feeling of uncertainty made her question her decision. Was it just her mother being overprotective. She knew deep down she wanted their blessing, no matter what. It had been nearly seven years; she began to ponder since she had started working at the library. Every Saturday, her mother would always make sure she was there to walk her home, even during the winter months when the night came early, to ensure she got home safely.

In the summer months, she enjoyed the freedom of walking home alone. However, the last few months had been fraught with her mother unexpectedly turning up after work. Occasionally when she was not outside waiting, she would appear rushing out of a shop in the high street, always with a pleasant smile of relief, followed by a mumbling of coincidence which lacked conviction.

She knew full well, it was never a coincidence and that due to her coming home later than usual, her mother had become suspicious. Mathew, who was a few years younger than her, would have to walk a few steps behind, and only when they were confident she was not going to appear would they join as one. At first, Mathew thought it was exciting, but she knew he had grown frustrated by not having the chance to say goodbye to her correctly. She was beginning to doubt her mother’s irrational behaviour.

 

A Feeling Of Uncertainty

They had become more daring in their desperate desire for one another, and in the evening, she would sneak out into the garden to meet him. Mary had become increasingly concerned about her mother’s inconstant behaviour and realised the risk they were taking.

His marriage proposal had somehow made her feel complete and more comfortable within herself. She was not afraid of her feelings anymore and wanted her parents to share in her enjoyment. Mathew was kind, understanding and very patient. However, it made her think carefully about whether or not she was doing the right thing, or if there was a selfish, very selfish side to her mother, she had not realised.

A feeling of Uncertainty, part two of the short romantic story; An Inconstant Heart

– A feeling of uncertainty –

 

‘Wait up!’ Mathew called after her.

‘Oh, sorry,’ she laughed, ‘I nearly forgot about you.’

‘What! So quickly? Well, that’s just nice, that is.’ He laughed sarcastically back.

‘You know, mother says boys are free to do as they like, but girls can’t because in the end they have children an end up living a life of servitude.’

Jee’s! — Sounds like I’ve got my work cut out then?’

Instantly, Mary put her arm around him, ‘You — most certainly have,’ she chuckled, ‘What time?’

‘It’s up to you — say around five?’

‘Make it about six-thirty, just to give us time to get in the door.’

The day was glorious; everywhere they looked, there were bright colours of contentment. Couples strolled arm in arm as children ran about them. It was something she always envied, the joy of having a little family and someone to share her every step.

‘What shall I do? — ring the doorbell and introduce myself? Mathew asked, a little less confident.

‘She’s doesn’t bite, you know.’ Mary insisted, ‘I shall come out and meet you at the gate. We’ll go in together.’

‘I’m not afraid, you know. I’m just a little uncertain of what to say.’  He paused reflectively, ‘I mean, it’s not like they know me or anything.

She drew him a little closer, ‘I know you’re not scared,’ she replied in a quiet, suppressed laugh. ‘It will be fine; we’ll have to tell them we knew each other at school.’

 ‘Come on hurry up! Otherwise, she’ll get there first.’

 

If only she could be sure that once her mother had met him, everything would be fine. Although it began to cross her mind that maybe it would be better to introduce him before announcing they wanted to get married. In time she would gradually come around to the idea and realise he was not like other men, and hopefully grow fond of him.

‘Let’s make it seven o’clock instead, shall we?’ She said in the spur of the moment.

They had walked over the lush green verge and were about to get onto the shingle path when a middle-aged couple pushing a little girl in a wheelchair came down the path towards them. He held her a moment, waited until they had passed, then whispered, ‘You, don’t think we’re rushing this a bit, do you?’

‘What makes you say that?’

‘Well, it’s just you seem a little — on edge.’

It was not long before they reached the gravel track leading up to the railway crossing, where she knew Mathew would take a keen look over at the boatyard, which runs up to the railway line, on one side. His dreams of owning a yacht one day always fascinated her, considering he could not even swim. She quietly waited until they had reached the turnstile at the railway crossing, allowing him the opportunity to fantasise about becoming a sailor, before she replied.

‘You might be right; maybe I should try and talk to mother first, soften her up a bit.’

 

A quick note by the Author:

A writers, greatest reward is knowing the enjoyment a reader gets from his work. There is always a feeling of uncertainty until he receives a review. Your comments are of great importance in helping me improve my skill and improve your enjoyment. Your comments will be much appreciated and be of great value.

Thank you for your interest, Andrew.

a worried look of concern

 

An Inconstant Heart

 # A Feeling Of Uncertainty

Original short story by A I Moffat

Illustrations by justanemotion.com

©All rights reserved justanemotion.com 2021

Imagery

The first image is by Lian.

Illustrations by Annaliseart.

Photo of a boy by Puplicdomainpictures.

 

 

Book Cover for An Inconstant Heart, romantic short story

An Inconstant Heart

An inconstant heart is thrown into an array of breath-taking joy and excitement, only to be quenched by a mother’s overprotective nature. A formidable twist of events slowly unfolds when she shares the news with her parents. Unsettled by her mother’s reaction, she soon realised all was not as it seemed—a short romantic story by A I Moffat, full of emotion.

 

 When a whelm of emotion causes palpitations of one’s heart. 

Together they stood under a willow tree in a glorious array of pale green; the heat of summer had caused them to seek shelter and, most of all, privacy. Mathew looked curiously at her smile, then up at her enchanting, almost bewildering gaze, he was thinking adoringly.

In a shallow subdued voice, Mary smiled at him, ‘It’s not fair that we should have to meet like this, in secret.’

With an attentive flicker, the boy replied, ‘I know.’ Then he pulled a small box from the pocket of his jeans and added, ‘That’s why I’ve bought you this.’

‘Oh, my God! — It isn’t? — Is it?

 

Book cover for An Inconstant Heart, a romantic short story by A I MoffatHe watched her sudden, almost hysterical glow of excitement, ‘If you’ll have me?’

‘Oh — Mathew,’ she responded in a fading breath, her eyes fell then rose in a sudden heartbeat, ‘you know I will.’ Her inconstant heart seemed to fluctuate with joy and trepidation. The thrill of it taking her by surprise until she looked into his adoring, child-like eyes, ‘B—b, but,’ she stuttered, ‘what about mother?’ As his gaze slowly fell in a shallow gape, she tenderly whispered, ‘You know she would never allow it.’

Instantly the boy knelt on one knee in the subtle shades before her. His dark fringe lay exposed to a streak of direct sunlight, which made the depths of his eyes sparkle mischievously. ‘I’ve been thinking — we could elope — run away together.’

Mary was a little taken aback, then the boy offered up the ring, ‘A diamond!’ she gasped, ‘I never expected a diamond.’

An Inconstant Heart

Carefully her hands reached down and cupped his open hand; then, slowly, she eased herself down on one knee. Her eyes seem to purr in awe at his delicate desire, his wanting, ‘I can’t, Mathew, it’s not fair on you.’

The silent pause of emotion bound them in the same wanting desire, magnified by the glow of the weeping willow. Until the boy announced in defeat, ‘Then, I’ll ask your mother and father if you can marry me.’

As if accepting his staunch response, her eyes lightly closed before she drew herself up, drawing him gently with her, ‘You know, she won’t hear of my getting married.’

‘I know.’ Mathew whispered, ‘I just hope she will listen and realise how much I care about you.’

‘When — when will you ask them?’

‘Why not tonight.’ He said with a look of surprise.

Mary gently folded his fingers over the small blue box, ‘Until, tonight — then.’

He seemed transfixed by her delicate commands to his proposal. It felt as though she had, in some way, decided their fate. Never before had he felt this presence of belonging; it made him feel as though they were somehow already married.

She turned in a smile, ‘I’d better be getting back to the library, you know how mother likes to get there, early.’

‘Yes —’ he replied sadly.

 

page divider for An Inconstant Heart by A I Moffat

 

 

An Inconstant Heart

Original short story by A I Moffat

Illustrations by justanemotion.com

©All rights reserved justanemotion.com 2021

Imagery

The first image and featured image is by Stocksnap.

Illustrations by Annaliseart.

 

The Hairpin

The Hairpin turns sharply upon itself and within its clasp are tiny threads of woe, for some poor forgotten souls. A sharp turn in the same direction leads him back from whence he came; only when he can defy his natural reaction to danger and continue straight can he finally reach his darkest hour.
His father was approaching a hairpin bend when an oncoming vehicle stole his sight. He struggled to regain his vision, now frozen in darkness by the light, their journey tragically comes to an end—a young boy strapped in his seat drifts in and out of sleep. He hears his mothers fearful cry; now tormented by the light, his restless heart seeks the night.

An old-woman sits waiting, spinning a silk-like thread, for when the lake once again becomes frozen, there is a chance he will return to seek the light.

There at her side lay many hairpins straightened, and only a few that have broken.

The Hairpin

By A I Moffat

A bitter wind swept across the open fens of Lincolnshire; snow had been falling for most of the day. As night came, the vast expanse of water edged in ivory brown reeds had frozen. Heavy were the feather-like plumes which now yielded to the bitter wind.

"The

The Hairpin

On the far side of this frozen landscape was a small cottage. There an old, woman sat spinning in front of a small fire; she was content, warm, yet fearful of the sudden gusts. The windows creaked and moaned. Here she sat, chattering away some awful, dreaded tale. Then the door latch sprang suddenly from its rest.

It was his sheer image of bewilderment and fear that made her cackle when she glanced over at the door, ‘Oh, there you are, Johnathan. I was wondering what’s you’ve been doin’.’

The boy stood there very still, staring down at his feet, ‘Nothin’ — I’ve done nothing.’

‘I never said you had; now come’s over here, where’s it’s warm.’

Ever so slowly, he moved toward her, sliding one foot at time across the bare knotted boards until he stood before her.  She cast him a glance then continued spinning. He remained very still, his arms still straight and rigid in front of him. Until finally, her head rose in a sigh, ‘Over there, boy, next to the fire.’

In a gulp, he turned and shuffled over to the dwindling soft light. There he stood rigid with fear, listening to the woman’s mumbling’s fearfully until the old rickety spinning wheel fell silent. After a while, the boy half turned in agape. Instantly he swung back when he realised she was standing right behind him.

The weight of her hand fell heavy on his head, ‘I know where’s you’ve been boy, an what’s you’ve been doin’ all this time.’

His eyes closed tight just before he felt her hand fall heavily on his head. He struggled to break free at first, but then her long nails dug deep into his scalp. A sudden jolt bought his head up; his vision was a blur as a flash of light passed across his tired, weary eyes. In the distance, he could hear them, his mother insisting they should have turned.

Through night and darkness, an unfortunate soul wanders.

Weary days pass in a scorching light.

Sudden are the bursts of fury.

An endless search darkened by the light.

The old woman held him tight in her grasp, his blood now slowly seeping from her razor-sharp nails, his eyes opened wide in defiance, ‘Where is she?’

‘I told’s yer to leave them’s alone, didn’t I?’

‘Where is she?’ He cried, attempting to break free once more.

‘You fool,’ She cackled, pushing his head to one side, ‘You should never have come back.’

A poem from the story of The Hairpin by A I Moffat; Through night and darkness, a hapless soul wanders. Weary days pass in a scorching light. Sudden are the bursts of fury. An endless search, darkened by the light.

⊃ The Hairpin ⊂

She sniggered, looking him directly in the eyes, then slowly she began sucking his fresh warm blood from her fingers and hissed, ‘you’re nothin’ but a foolish little boy.’

The old, woman turned gradually with narrowed, piercing eyes and then, in a grim strain of a moan, she lowered herself down in front of the fire, lifted a narrow steel bar and began poking it vigorously. As the embers swirled about her, she pointed with a long curled finger to a small pile of logs insisting the boy gather her some wood.

She was just as he remembered; nothing had changed; everything was as it was all those years ago, even the cry of his mother. He had been trying to get back to this wretched place all his life but now found himself as he was all those years ago, a mere child, a boy.
The Hairpin, quote, 'I's — expect's your's a wondering how's it, your's not all grown up, like?' She smiled, looking over a tatty old shawl.

‘I’s — expect’s your’s a wondering how’s it, your’s not all grown up, like?’ She smiled, looking over a tatty old shawl.

The Hairpin, 'I's — expect's your's a wondering how's it, your's not all grown up, like?' She smiled, looking over her tattered old shawl.

Original short story by A I Moffat

Illustrations by justanemotion.com

Book cover illustrations by darksouls1

©All rights reserved justanemotion.com 2020

Hannah short story book cover by A I Moffat

Hannah

Hannah is a short story by the exciting new author A I Moffat, who conjures up the worry and heartache of being a mother.  Hannah Jones has a chance to rekindle the close relationship she once shared with her daughter by Charlotte’s arrival, her daughters closest friend.  A short story of intrigue which captures the imagination.

Hannah

By A I Moffat

Hannah Jones was kneeling in front of the fire when she heard the girls open the front door, her head tilted slightly to one side. A warm faint smile grew as she listened to them. She thought of how time had flown and, felt a sense of pride in having watched over them for so many years. They had reached an age to be more than capable of making their own decisions in life. However, she was finding it difficult to prevent herself from interfering in her daughter’s life.

Their once-close relationship had taken a turn for the worst, and she was now afraid of losing the ability to talk as friends rather than a mother to her child. This fear made her realise she had made a mistake in allowing her own feelings and possibly her own desire to influence her actions. She now strongly regretted ever interfering and feared she might never be able to restore the intimate relationship she once shared with her only child.

Hannah short story book cover by A I Moffat

Charlotte was the first to transform the gloom into life, she went straight to her and instantly fell to her knees beside her, ‘Hello, mother oh — I’ve missed you.’ Instantly she threw her arm around her and kissed her cheek. ‘Gosh, it’s so cold out there tonight.’ She shivered into her.

‘Yes, well you can’t expect anything else at this time of year.’ Hannah Jones chuckled, whilst with a firm hand, she rubbed Charlotte’s arm. ‘How was your journey?’

‘Tiresome mother, you know I’m sure men only have one thing on their minds.’

‘Oh, Charlotte, you will wear such glamorous clothes, what else can you expect.’ She smiled and pulled her close to her. ‘You’re a sight for saw eyes anyway, that’s for sure.’

Emily leaned over and kissed her mother’s other cheek, ‘Sorry we’re a bit, late mum, we stopped at Potters for a coffee on the way up.’

‘I guessed you had, and how is Lara and Mrs Ramsey?’

‘Lara’s off with a stinking cold again, and Mrs Ramsey is still complaining about being quiet, but she said to send you her regards.’

It was strange, but a relief, that in the presence of Charlotte her daughter was behaving more like her usual self, unlike the previous two weeks where she seemed to distance herself from her, sneaking in and out like a church mouse. She saw it as an opportunity to rekindle that close intimate relationship with her daughter.

Emily had positioned herself on the edge of the fireside chair; she sat leaning against the arm toward the fire staring directly into the flames, when her mother asked, ‘How are you feeling today, Emily?’

It was not something her mother would normally ask, unless she had complained of feeling unwell in the first instance. Emily remained silent, unsure of where it might be leading.

‘Only, Trevor phoned today, he wanted to know how you were, and whether or not you would be going back to work on Monday.’ For a few seconds before she continued, she waited, ‘I told him you were feeling much better and was intending to start back again, on Monday.’

‘Thanks.’

‘It’s not my business to interfere. What you do with your life now is up to you. I don’t even want to know why you haven’t been at work, for the past two weeks or even where you have been. I want you to know that— I am always here for you, Emily and, always will be.’ With compunction, Hannah Jones turned to Charlotte and smiled, ‘Well, I think its best that I go and see to your tea, before it spoils.’

Charlotte, managed to bring a small weak smile to her face, her attention was quick to return to Emily, as Hannah stood up.

After Emily’s mother had left the room, it was Charlotte who broke the silence between them in a quiet, discreet raised voice, ‘Holly Shit! Emily! What was that all about?’

‘Nothing, we just ain’t been getting on lately.’

‘I can see that, but what about this business at work. I didn’t even know you hadn’t been going into work.’

‘Oh, Charlotte, I’m sorry. I better go sort things out with her.’

Her mother was standing at the sink; she went over and stood at her side, a moment of silent unity passed before she said, ‘Mum . . . I’m really sorry.’

In that split second, Hannah Jones closed her eyes with relief and thanked God at the same time, but she maintained her composure, prevented herself from showing her weak and unconditional love that she had of late found so unbearable to live with.

‘Mum— please. I don’t understand what’s happened to me; I can’t do this on my own. Please— Mu—mum.’

‘Well, that’s what I’m here for—’ She was unable to suppress her innermost feeling, her wanting, any longer and took her daughter in her arms, tight to her chest.

Charlotte had replenished the fire and was sitting patiently in the fireside chair, when she heard a sudden tapping sound coming from the front door; she was a little hesitant and not completely sure, whether or not somebody was actually at the door, and rather than disturb Emily or her mother she went to check.

Nobody was there; when she was closing the door, she noticed a box on the doorstep. She took a look around to see if anybody was in the street, then lifted it and took it inside; it was an open box wrapped in rustic oak leaves and inside was a single red rose laid on a bed of pale blue forget-me-nots.

Hannah had heard the front door close and rushed out of the kitchen, she was a little startled to find Charlotte looking at her in amazement, ‘What is it, Charlotte?’

‘It’s just so beautiful mother.’ Her gaze instantly fell back to the box; she was now cradled in her arms. ‘They just left it on your doorstep.’

‘Oh, My God, it isn’t?’ On impulse she covered her face in her hands, with her eyes still fixed on Charlotte, she slowly allowed her line of sight to become clearer, ‘You have got to be joking Charlotte, it can’t be.’

Charlotte lifted her head, her expression puzzled, ‘It isn’t— what?’

With apprehension Mrs Jones forced herself to look inside the box, ‘It’s just a rose?

‘Yes, but isn’t it beautiful?’

Mrs Jones sighed with relief, ‘For goodness sakes, you frightened the life out of me for a minute— Yes, it’s lovely.’

Emily had rushed out to see what all the commotion was, ‘What is it, mum?’ She leaned over the side of her mother, ‘Oh— My God!’

Hannah then watched her closely as she offered to take the box from Charlotte; it was done with such delicacy that her mother could hardly believe her eyes, especially after the way she had fought so hard against any such notion, of her and Steve getting back together again. She was not going to be complacent this time and, bit her lip. She merely indicated to Charlotte to follow her into the kitchen.

Emily had taken the rose over to the fire, once again she sat on the edge of the fireside chair, but this time she gazed down into the box and felt its warmth growing inside her, it felt as if he were with her, as it had all day.

‘Oh, Charlotte I just can’t believe it, you know I was beginning to think that boy didn’t have a romantic bone in his body.’ She paused a second and turned the dial-up on the cooker. ‘And to think I had just about lost my patience with Stephen Maguire, who’d have believed it.’

‘It’s very romantic, that’s one thing for sure, but—’

‘You know all the trouble that boy caused in this family over the past month; I tell you Charlotte, I had really reached the end with him. I’ve done your favourite, steak and kidney pie. It shouldn’t be much longer. You wouldn’t mind just peeling the potatoes, there already in the sink. Oh Charlotte, I can’t tell you how pleased I am your finally— here.’

Hannah was unable to suppress the emotion that had been boiling up inside her for so long. She had missed Charlotte immensely, she had always considered her as being part of her family as if she were her own, this mixture of emotion and in the presence of someone, she was able to trust and cared so much about, had allowed her to feel a sense easement, allowing her to let go finally.

Charlotte instantly put her arm around her, ‘Oh mother, please, everything will be alright; you just wait and see.’

‘I’m not sure Charlotte, I can’t take much more, at times I can’t talk sense to her, it’s like she’s in a different world that— I can’t seem to reach. Oh, Charlotte, I only want, what’s best for her.’

‘I know, you do mother, she’ll be fine.’

‘It’s her father you know, him and me arguing all the time, that’s what’s made her like this. I know it. She doesn’t let things out like she use to, she bottles them all up inside. Hardly ever talks to me these days.’ She shook her head lightly in despair. ‘It’s the drink you know; it brings out the worst in a man; he never use to drink; he was always such a kind and caring man.’

‘I know mother. Come on let’s get those spuds scrubbed, and pick their blooming eyes out.’

Hannah smiled, ‘Your one in a million Charlotte, yes lets.’

‘Mmm, I can smell that steak and kidney pie.’ And I’m absolutely starving.’

‘It won’t be much longer, did you not have something on your way down?’

Charlotte shook her head, ‘Well, I’m trying to lose a few pounds.’

‘You’re always trying to lose them; I doubt you ever had them in the first place, just look at you. You know Brian will be absolutely furious if they get back together. He reckons he’s never liked the boy. And after he cancelled the engagement, well —. He’ll not have his name mentioned in the house. He reckons that’s why he took up drinking in the first place, because he couldn’t stand the sight of the boy, sitting there with his daughter like he owned the place. He did use a few stronger words mind.’

‘Oh, mother you mustn’t go worrying about it, he’s probably just looking for any excuse, to get down to the stupid pub. That’s what they like.’

‘Listen to you all grown up, Miss Charlotte Harrison.’ She flicked some water over her arm, and they both laughed. ‘Yes, your right, no use worrying we just got to get on with the hand we’re given.’

‘Well, I think we’ve just about blinded the lot of them Charlotte.’

‘Yes, I think your right. Ooh, you a get a certain sense of satisfaction from sticking it in and twisting it around.’ She smiled wickedly. ‘Come on; let’s show these little blighters what a ring fire really feels like.’

‘She-devils, that’s what we are,’ Charlotte cackled. ‘Doesn’t it feel just great?’

‘Yes.’ She cackled back, ‘Thank you, Charlotte. ‘You’d better go and see if Emily’s alright, and then get unpacked. I’ve put some fresh towels over the rail on the top of the landing.’

Charlotte cackled a thank you.

Charlotte knelt in front of Emily; her hand gently covered hers, she looked up into her gaze and smiled softly. ‘He must love you so much, and it must have taken him ages.’

A few seconds of silence passed between them, then Emily replied, ‘I know. And that’s what makes it, so difficult.’

‘Oh, shit! Em, Steve didn’t send you the rose, did he?

‘No, you see Charlotte some things are far too big, to fit inside their own little box.’

‘Oh, Emi, you’ve fallen in love with him, haven’t you?

‘I think so.’

Charlotte was suddenly lost in thought. She kept repeating to herself over and over again; mother doesn’t know. She looked up at Emily, her eyes waiting, but she could not find an immediate answer. No matter which way she turned things, nothing seemed to fit, and always the same answer sprang to mind. She needed more time, time to think, yes she thought, time must be the answer. ‘Well!’ She exclaimed, scratching her head. ‘Let’s get that thing in some water, before it dies.’

Emily’s eyes opened wide, ‘Yes, and I know just the vase to use.’ She smiled, bringing her shoulders up in a twitch of elation.

Instantly they both stood up, went into the kitchen. Emily turned to Charlotte and asked, ‘Will you take care of it? While I get the vase.’

Charlotte went to grab it, but after seeing the look in Emily’s eyes, it was with empathy; she allowed her to lower the rose gently into her hands.

‘Mum, where’s that vase that looks like a fruit dish?’

‘A fruit dish! Emily for goodness sakes, there’s a vase under the sink.’

‘No, I can’t find it; I need a tall dainty one.’

‘Right at the back there should be a small— flared vase, use that and you’d better hurry, because I’ll be ready to serve up in a minute.’

‘I’ve got it! Thanks, mum.’

Hannah Jones looked over at Charlotte and smiled, it was a mere glimpse, but somehow she felt life was finally returning to the house. In these few days, she was determined, to rekindle her bond with Emily. She would not let the rose or her desire to make Steve a permanent family member come between her and her daughter ever again. She had acted recklessly, had said things that she didn’t mean, purely out of disappointment for her own wanting and desire. If anyone could break the bitter stance her daughter had now adopted towards her, it was Charlotte, and this opportunity that had excited her before seemed to have been restored.

‘You two had better go and freshen up, ready for your tea before it gets spoilt.’

The conversation at the dinner table was mostly local gossip; it seemed no one wanted to approach the subject of Stephen Maguire, least of all Mrs Jones. If his name were to be mentioned, she had already made up her mind, and it would not be of her doing.

Charlotte had enjoyed hearing all about her old school friends, and the local individuals she had known throughout her childhood. She had also avoided his name, and it had seemed the meal would be bought to a conclusion, without even touching the subject.

Emily was fully aware they had acted with prudence, and was grateful for the respite, yet unfortunately made the mistake of comparing Steve with the exploits of a David Bates who had recently cheated on his wife, of sixteen years a Miss Susan Fraser.

At first, there was an unbearable silence. It seemed impenetrable but for the grace of Charlotte who was quick to reveal the character of her new boyfriend, and where he had taken her on their very first date, an ice skating rink.

 

Next short story

 

 

Original short story by A I Moffat

Illustrations by justanemotion.com

©All rights reserved justanemotion.com 2020

A Short Story

A short story is essentially a short prose of creative writing intended to captivate the reader into one single theme. To cut a long story short, they are an invented story to capture the readers’ attention—immediately. These brief fictional pieces of creative literature can transform the reader’s mood.

Short Stories are regarded in the publishing world as fictional narratives. An author will often thrust the main character into trouble immediately, to capture the readers’ interest. A sense of curiosity will gradually lead them through a variety of unforeseen circumstances until finally, the story begins to unfold. The best short stories can have you in suspense right to the very end—before—revealing the—outcome.

A short example of a short story

 

 

A Short Story

Emelia had not quite finished reading a short story, when her parents called for her to come at once, ‘What is it?’ She asked, throwing the book on top of an organised row of novels.

‘It’s Paul—’ her mother cried up to her, ‘he’s had a nasty accident.’

‘An—accident?’ Emelia repeated anxiously running down the stairs.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin, was not at all amused by the scruffy paperback being thrown upon her, and instantly complained, ‘How dare you disturb me from trying to sleep.’

‘O, I’m so, so sorry,’ replied the Short story.

‘You don’t belong up here with us novels, you know?’ The Awakening retorted.

‘Oh—?’

‘Well, you’re merely a short fictional piece of nonsense—aren’t you?’ She said shuffling uncomfortably from the weight of him.

Then the Silence of the lambs by Thomas Harris, quietly growled and threatened to eat the short story, if he did not quieten down.

Short story was not feeling very well and wriggled uncomfortably, ‘It’s not my fault.’

Honestly! could you just keep still—do you not realise how long I’ve been trying to fall asleep?’ Snapped the Awakening.

‘Insomnia,’ growled the Silence of the lambs. ‘Cursed she is, by the hand that created her.’

‘Well, at least I’m not a cannibalistic hardback!’

‘Look, I’m sorry—but I’m sure I won’t be here much longer,’ interrupted Short story.

‘Not, if I can get hold of your flimsy, sp–sp–sp–sp . . . little papers, you won’t,’ hissed the Silence of the lambs.

Suddenly the door flew open, and Emelia rushed in, grabbed the short story and rushed back out again, leaving the door wide open.

Later that evening, when Emelia was sitting in front of the fire, reading the short story, to her brother Paul, who was nursing a broken leg she noticed holes in the corner of the pages.

Paul was amazed such a book existed and exclaimed, ‘You must throw it straight into the fire, it’s full of bookworm.’

Emelia, shuddered with dread and instantly threw the book into the fire.

The Awakening slowly over time fell into a profound deep sleep, and not one sound was ever heard again from the Silence of the lambs—ever.

 

illustration of a little girl to say finish

Next short story

Original short story by AI Moffat

Illustrations by justanemotion.com

©All rights reserved justanemotion.com 2020

 

 

 

 

A Touch Of Love, short story, book, modern story

A Sense Of Reasoning

A tentative touch of love has stolen all sense of reasoning and, Joe finds himself struggling to accept reality. Has the relationship born from a tentative indication of compassion reached the end? Can Emily ever make the boy understand, or will Joe’s utterance of love change everything? A mere tentative touch can evoke a sense of reasoning.

 

A Sense Of Reasoning

It wasn’t a mistake, she told herself. Things happen for a reason; he had given her so much, more than just his affections. She couldn’t allow him to think it had only been a mistake; without him, she would never have found herself. No – there was something about the boy, something so unusual it hurt. She couldn’t allow herself to weaken – not now. If only he could understand that it was hopeless, that they had no choice. It would be a living hell for both of them, and that was the last thing she ever wanted.

Joe lifted his head, ‘You still love him, don’t you?’

‘You know I do,’ she replied sharply.

‘I mean – you want him back.’

‘Joe, please – I want to be with you, but there isn’t any future for us. It just wouldn’t work.’

The boy turned and started to make his way back along the grass verge towards the small wooden bridge; they had crossed earlier.

Emily quickly jumped up and called after him, ‘Where are you going? – Joe!

He continued carefully along the slippery bank. ‘Why should— she care anyway.’ He hissed to himself, ‘and anyway good riddance.’

She continued to yell after him to wait, but the boy had created an image of her that closely resembled Medusa, and he was eager to make his escape. Now, he could only hear the sound of serpents repeatedly lashing at his heels; it just won’t work.   A sense of reasoning page 2 of A Touch Of Love, short story, modern story

When he reached the small incline leading up to the bridge, the repetitive crow of a pheasant fleeing suddenly caused the boy to stop. He hesitated, turned, and looked across the tenuous layer of mist floating a foot or so above the brook. He was almost sure he had heard her cry out, but not as before. Instinctively, the boy started to make his way back, and it was not long before he heard her cry out again.

Just where the brook turned towards the clearing, Emily had slipped and was struggling to remove bramble shoots stuck to her clothes.

‘Now look! – What you’ve made me do.’ She moaned angrily at him.

‘It’s a good job you’ve got yer woolly hat on.’ He smiled.

Ouch! Whatever were you thinking, rushing off like that?’

That’ll teach yer; he thought as he bent down and started to unhook the spines.

‘How am I ever going to explain – Ouch! – Careful – how I got a wet foot to me mum, when I’m supposed to be at work in a dry – bloody office?’

Quietly the boy went about assisting her up onto her feet, then began brushing off the bottom of her coat.

Just – leave it,’ she sighed heavily, ‘it’s my foot, I’m more concerned, about. Come on, help me get over to the bridge.’

Slowly the boy slid up around her waist, tucking his shoulder firmly under her right arm. Finding it all a little amusing took a deep breath and asked after a small cough if she was ready before taking the first step.

She felt ridiculous; it wasn’t as if she’d broken her foot or anything, but Joe being Joe, was making it into something more than it was. She sighed heavily in defeat.

The boy insisted he would go first when they reached the small incline, his earlier amusement had gradually worn off, and now he looked upon her as a young maiden in desperate need of being saved.

Emily noticed a slight glint in his eyes when he reached out to her, ‘Well!’ She exclaimed, ‘you’ve certainly found this quite amusing, haven’t you?’

In a crease of a smile, he insisted, ‘No! – Here – quick take my hand.’

‘Joe Johnson, I swear one of these days . . . ’

‘There – you’re safe now,’ he interrupted with a touch of bravado about him.

Emily hopped straight over to the handrail and immediately went about taking her shoe off. She called over to him for some help, and the boy was quick to wave his hand out in front of him as he bowed before her.

She rolled her eyes as he knelt, then tapped his head with her shoe, ‘Now arise Sir – Joe of Brooksfield and ring out my precious, bloody sock.’

He looked up in a smile as he removed her sock; he laid it to one side and then gently began to rub some warmth back into her foot.

‘You weren’t a mistake, Joe. It always was meant to happen, I’m sure of it. And – I’m only trying to protect you.’ She felt his firm but tender touch and thought of how attentive he was for a boy. ‘I’m sorry for being so horrid today, Joe.’

‘How is Charlotte going to know what you should do? He asked whilst tightly twisting her sock.

‘Well, she won’t – but she can help me sort things out, you know – with me mum,’ she paused a moment in thought, ‘I need to tell her I’m pregnant.’

Joe looked up with raised eyebrows, ‘Have you told Charlotte then?’

‘No – I need to tell her too.’

The boy smirked, ‘Well, rather you than me,’ he drew a deep breath. ‘There, all done now hand me your shoe.’

‘You know I can’t tell them the child is someone else’s. They need to know the truth.’

Joe looked up in dismay, ‘Push – then.’

‘Oh Joe, it’s hopeless they’ll never let us alone, ever.’

She placed her hand on his head to steady herself, then continued, ‘They’ll know it’s your brothers,’ she insisted, ‘so – where does that leave us?’

‘But you said . . . ’

‘I know!’ she was quick to stop him, ‘but – I just wasn’t thinking straight.’  Joe, I can’t risk losing my best friend, especially not now, don’t you see?’ She winced, ‘they’ll all blame me for making Steve run off with that tart,’ her tone sharpened at the notion, ‘Oh yes, he’ll love every minute of it. And what about me mum – Joe, I’m having a baby for Christ sake! I need her more now than ever before.’ Emily shook her head, ‘and what about you, he’s your brother – they’re going to go mental, especially now. Don’t you see it’s hopeless?’ She turned slightly as the boy rose to his feet, ‘I can’t let you go through all that, Joe, not now.’

‘Emily – please!’ he pleaded. ‘Not now? – What do you mean?  –  Not now?’

‘He’s finished with her, that’s what.’ She replied in a huff, then quietly added, ‘Steve phoned me last night — he wants me back.’

Joe suddenly grabbed her by the shoulders, ‘What – What did you say?  Steve, phoned you?

‘Yes, but I didn’t speak to him. I was with you.’ She could see the fire in his eyes, ‘Me’ mum took the call,’ her eyes faded from him. ‘She told me this morning. Joe, you’re hurting me.’ A few moments elapsed, then in a more desperate tone, she shouted, ‘Joe ! . . . You’re hurting me!’

Almost instantly, the boy recoiled, turning away from her, his head shaking in disbelief.

Emily moved up behind him and wrapped her arms around the boy, ‘Oh, Joe . . . I’m so sorry.’ She allowed the weight of her to rest against his back, ‘you poor, poor fool.’

‘Emily . . . what’s happening to me?’

‘Nothing, darling . . . nothing.’ Her eyes slowly closed against his trembling frame.

After a few moments, the boy gradually turned to face her, ‘I’m so sorry – Emily.’

Tentatively she looked up at him, ‘Oh Joe, what are we going to do?’

It crazed him; he looked at her now wanting. She seemed different, fragile, delicate almost. It felt as though she were giving herself to him. No — No, he found himself repeating, he didn’t want this; he wanted the warmth of her, the woman. Then softly, she kissed him on the lips.

Emily was tired of the boy’s constant drain of affection but now caught sight of his inner strength, she so desperately craved. She watched his scrutiny fluctuate across his brow, her eyes flinching with every ripple begging almost in anticipation.

With a sense of reasoning, Joe looked down at her again. Instead of searching for her love, he pulled her close.

 

A touch of love Page 3

 

A quick note by the Author:

As a writer, the greatest reward is knowing the enjoyment a reader gets from his work. There is always that feeling of uncertainty until he receives a review. Your comments are of great importance in helping me improve my skill and improve your enjoyment. Your comments will be much appreciated and be of great value.

Thank you for your interest, Andrew.

a worried look of concern, a sense of reasoning

 

A Touch Of Love

Page 2 / A Sense Of Reasoning

 Original short story by A I Moffat

Illustrations by justanemotion.com

©All rights reserved justanemotion.com 2020

continue

 

 

 

 

Imagery

Photo of a boy at the end was by Puplicdomainpictures.

 

First mystical image of a beautiful girl; ArtTower