In that instant Mahoney knew – Friday Fiction
In that instant Mahoney knew he was not ready to give up. Right now the situation seemed impossible, but he would find a way. He had to. At the end of the block, he made a U-turn and headed for the ferry.
Tomorrow he might have to be the bearer of such bad news, but tonight he would simply be a father. He would spend time with his own children and hold them to his heart with a prayer of thanksgiving.
Almost a full two hours before he normally arrived home, Jack Mahoney walked through the front door of his house and called out, “Honey, I’m home.”
There was no answer.
Still no answer.
He walked through the house, a house that was usually filled with noise and laughter—so much noise, in fact, that he often wished for just such a silence. But today, on a day when he was hungry to hear the laughter, to be smack in the middle of all the noise, there was nothing.
He snapped on the television and dropped down on the sofa. Images moved across the screen and spoke words, but what those words were he couldn’t say. Jack Mahoney’s thoughts were elsewhere. He looked at the clock. Five-forty. He would have thought Christine would be starting dinner by now. Peeling vegetables, setting the table, fussing about the kitchen, doing whatever it was she did to make the nightly dinner seem such a momentous event.
He stood, walked into the backyard, and looked around. There were no kids anywhere. Not next door, not two houses over. Even the troublesome twins who lived cattycorner were missing.
Mahoney shook his head. How sad, he thought. All these nice yards and no kids playing in them. He returned to his spot in front of the flickering television, then sat and watched the minutes tick by.
It was five minutes before seven when Christine and the kids burst through the door in an explosion of laughter. She looked over at Jack. “What’s wrong?”
“But you never come home this early.”
“I’ve been home for over an hour-and -a -half.”
“Oh, my gosh,” Christine said. “Why didn’t you tell me you were going to—”
“I hadn’t planned on it,” he answered and left it at that. There was no reason to start explaining something that was almost unexplainable anyway.
Jack followed Christine into the kitchen and listened as she and all three kids spoke at the same time. “It was so much fun,” Jack Junior said. “I got to ride on the Ferris wheel.”
“I wasn’t tall enough,” Chrissie pouted. “I had to go on baby rides.”
“Oh, I wish you had been with us,” Christine said. “The whole neighborhood was there, even the twins.”
Only after several minutes of listening to the fun they’d had at the Saint Vincent’s festival did Jack remember Christine mentioning it weeks earlier. At the time it was something he was too busy to care about, but today he found himself wishing he’d been there.
After dinner Jack dried the dishes, played checkers with his son, and once again told the story of Sleepy Hollow to all three children. He would have thought the girls might ask for something sweeter—Cinderella or perhaps Sleeping Beauty, but no. On the all-too-infrequent occasions when he was home to tell a story, they repeatedly asked to hear about the headless horseman.
That evening after the children were tucked in their beds, he and Christine sat in the backyard and talked.
“When did we get so busy that we stopped doing this?” he asked.
“We didn’t,” Christine answered. “You did.”
It was a full minute before Jack answered. “That will change,” he said, and he meant it.
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FROM A USA TODAY AUTHOR OF WOMEN’S FICTION BEST SELLERS comes an Award-Winning Family Saga
When tragedy strikes a West Virginia coal mining family, two orphaned children start out on a trek that they hope will lead them to a new life. Before a day passes, the children are separated and the boy is caught up in a robbery not of his making. If his sister can find him, she may be able to save him. The problem is she’s only seven years old, and who’s going to believe a kid?
A 20th Century Historical Mystery, Jubilee’s Journey is a tale of discovering lost family and finding love. This award-winning cozy mystery reconnects readers with Ethan Allen and the heart-warming characters of SPARE CHANGE.
Jubilee’s Journey is the winner of the Royal Palm Literary Award and the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal.
Literary Awards for Jubilee’s Journey –
FPA President’s Book Award Winner
Finalist in the Royal Palm Literary Award 2014.
Finalist in the International Book Awards 2014.
Indie Book of the Day 2014.
Amazon Historical Mystery Bestseller
Praise for Jubilee’s Journey-
It is the kind of story that takes you back in time and makes you long for days gone by. It tells us bad things can happen to good people but if you keep faith and keep going, good things are possible. Good people are out there. It is this message that makes this book uplifting. I wish I could give it more than 5 stars. – Alaskan Book Cafe
Upon reaching the end of Jubilee’s Journey, I blinked, held the book to my chest, and sighed. I slowly left their world. So moving, so powerful was this story, I tried to hang onto it, to keep everyone close. Thank you for gifting me Jubilee’s Journey, Bette. There is no better gift than words on a page. – fuonlyknew
Bette Lee Crosby writes stories as if they are biographies. They are full of the cruelties and unfairness of life, but also the beauty and wonder. The worlds and dialogue are so real, I feel as if I am there and I feel frustrated because I do not know what to do to help. She packs so much life and realism into her novels, sometimes a BOX of tissues is not enough. I laugh and cry with the characters. I go through their highs and lows, their ups and downs, all the while trying to figure out how Bette is going to make this end with a happy ever after. The ending left me begging for more. I was sitting on the edge of my seat as if my happiness was on the line. – fundinmental
Crosby also paints imagery like a true artist. The imagery she uses to describe the men, for instance, who work in the coal mines, is devastating as well as hauntingly beautiful; and so real. What the men in the coal mines had to experience was truly heartbreaking and she allows us as readers to catch a very real glimpse of that world. Crosby paints pictures using just the right words to bring you into a world you may have known nothing about before. – The Silver Petticoat Review
Jubilee’s Journey blends several genres together making it a captivating read. It is a tale of growth, hope and inspiration, with a mystery weaved into it as people in Wyattsville move to help this young child and her brother. – Caffeinated Book ReviewerRead the book discussion questions for Jubilee’s Journey Read an excerpt from Jubilee’s Journey
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