The Loft Sneak Preview – #fridayfiction


The Loft Sneak Preview – #fridayfiction

When the caterer’s truck finally leaves, Memory House is silent except for an occasional squawk from the ducks on the pond. Ophelia climbs the stairs to the loft where she sleeps. It will be comforting to lie in bed and search the night sky for a few familiar friends.

She changes into a soft cotton nightgown, plumps the pillow and crawls into bed. Above her there is a large skylight. The skylight Edward built. On nights when she is most lonely, she can look up and imagine him there among the stars he loved so dearly.

Tonight they shine brighter than usual. She can see the constellation of Pegasus clearly. She searches her mind for the names of the stars, but can remember only one. Enif. It shines more brightly than any of the others.

Even after Ophelia has closed her eyes she can still see the night sky and she can remember the sound of Edward’s voice naming each individual star.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” the voice says.

It comes from behind her but Ophelia knows without turning that it is Edward. “Yes it is,” she answers. She feels the warmth of his hands on her shoulders.

“We had some good years didn’t we Opie?”

Ophelia feels herself smile. Opie. It is a name only he uses and it is good to hear it again. “It’s been so long…” she sighs.

“Too long.”

“It hasn’t been easy,” she says. “Taking care of this house, the garden, the apothecary…”

“I know.” He gives her shoulder an affectionate squeeze. “I was glad when the girl came. It was good to see you laugh again.”

“She’s gone now,” Ophelia says sadly.

“I know.”

She feels the tug of his arm as he pulls her closer to his chest.

“Maybe you too should leave here,” he says. “Find a place where there’s less work and someone to watch over you.”

“I could never,” she sighs. “This is where I belong.”

“It’s not good for a person to be alone,” he says.

“I’m not alone. You’re here with me.” She snuggles deeper into his arms. “I stay here because this is where I can look into the night sky and find you.”

He laughs. It is the same gentle laugh she has heard a thousand times before.

For a moment there is only silence and the joy of having him hold her. She would like to remain like this forever, but soon he will disappear just as he always does.

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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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