Friday Fiction – Once the dinner table was cleared

Friday Fiction

Friday Fiction – Once the dinner table was cleared

Once the dinner table was cleared and Liz helped into her bed, Claire approached Charlie. “We need a lawyer,” she said.

“A lawyer?” He peered across the top of the newspaper.

“Yes.” Claire lowered herself into the chair facing his. “I went to see JT,” she began, “…thinking I might convince him to be more reasonable. For months he’s been promising to bring the kids to visit Liz, but he never shows. Liz calls him and pleads to see the kids. He says okay, he’ll bring them on Sunday. She waits all week, and when doesn’t come or call, she spends the day crying. I know Jeffrey has a hard time dealing with Liz’s illness, but now that she’s doing better, I thought he’d at least let her see the kids.”


“He won’t,” Claire continued. “It’s worse than ever. Jeffrey said he’d sooner burn in hell than let any one of us see the kids. He pushed me down the steps and slammed the door in my face.”

Charles set the newspaper aside, “Pushed you down the steps?” he repeated quizzically.

“Yes. He said he’d call the police if I came back again.”

“Police? He has no cause to…”

“He said I was destroying his property.”

“Destroying what property?”

“The front door. Not the whole door, just the brass knocker and a little bit of wood.”

Charlie’s face had a question mark written all over it. “What did you…”

“I hit it with your sledgehammer, okay. It wasn’t something I was planning to do, it just happened.”
“But how did my sledgehammer…”

“I took it with me. If Jeffrey had answered the door, I would never have done it. All I wanted was to talk to him. I thought maybe we could—”

“Wait a minute. Let me get this straight…” Charlie still looked bewildered. “You hit Jeffrey’s door with the sledgehammer I keep in the basement?”

“Yes, but I only wanted him to open the door so we could talk. When I saw that flashy red car in the garage and him moving around upstairs, I lost my temper.”

“Why didn’t you just ring the doorbell?”

“I did for nearly twenty minutes. When he wouldn’t answer, I hit the door with the sledgehammer. Only once,” she added. “To show him I meant business.”

“Once, twice or ten times, is unimportant,” Charlie said. “It’s still against the law.”

“Maybe so,” Claire replied, “but if I didn’t do it, he wouldn’t have opened the door.”

Claire continued on to tell how she’d asked Jeffrey for Liz’s personal belongings—her clothes, jewelry, photo albums and such. “He said okay,” she explained, “but all he sent were her clothes, bagged up like sacks of garbage and dumped in our driveway.”

Click here to find out more about Cracks in the Sidewalk.

About the author

Bette Lee Crosby

USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby's books are "Well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances." - Midwest Book Review The Seattle Post Intelligencer says Crosby's writing is, "A quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life and madcap adventures." Samantha from Reader's Favorite raves, "Crosby writes the type of book you can't stop thinking about long after you put it down." "Storytelling is in my blood," Crosby laughingly admits, "My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write." It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win nineteen awards for her work; these include: TheRoyal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President's Book Award Gold Medal, Reader's Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer's Choice Award.

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