Need a beach read?
Need a little romance?
Our anthology, Beach Season, is on sale for $1.99, on kindle. That’s one hundred and ninety nine pennies for four fun stories from Lisa Jackson, Holly Chamberlin and Rosalind Noonan.
Here are chapters one and two from my story, June’s Lace.
Ten Things I’m Worried About:
- Too many wedding dresses
- Not enough wedding dresses
- Going broke
- Losing my home
- Never finding an unbroken, black butterfly shell
- The upcoming interview with the fashion writer.
- Not having peppermint sticks in my life
- Turning back into the person I used to be
- Always being worried
“No. Absolutely not.” I gripped the phone with white knuckles as I paced around my yellow studio. “I will never agree to that.”
“Ha. I knew you wouldn’t accept those unacceptable terms, June,” Cherie Poitras, my divorce attorney, cackled. “Your soon to be ex-husband has a monstrous addiction to being a jerk but don’t worry, we’re not quitting. Quitting causes my hot flashes to flare.”
“I don’t want your hot flashes to flare, Cherie. And I’m not quitting, either. I can’t.” I yanked opened the French doors to my second story deck as lightning zigged and zagged across the night sky through the bubbling, black clouds, the waves of the Pacific ocean crashing down the hill from my blue home. “If I could catch a lightning strike, I’d pitch it at him.”
“It would be thrilling to see that,” Cherie declared. “So vengefully Mother Nature – ish.”
“What a rat.” I shut the doors with a bang, then thought of my other life, the life before this one, and shuddered. I could not go back to it, and I was working as hard as I could to ensure that that wouldn’t happen. There wasn’t enough silk and satin in that other life. There wasn’t any kindness, either. Or softness. “I so want this to end.”
“He’s sadistically stubborn. I have been buried in motions, requests for mediation, time for him to recover from his fake illness, his counseling appointments, attempts to reconcile…he’s tried everything. The paperwork alone could reach from Oregon to Arkansas and flip over two bulls and a tractor.”
“That’s what we’re dealing with, Cherie, bull.” I ran a hand through my long, blonde, messy hair. It got stuck in a tangle.
“Sure are, sweets.”
“He’s doing this so I’ll come back to him.”
“That’s true. He’s a tenacious, rabid bull dog.”
“I don’t ever want anything to do with the rabid bull dog again.” I was so mad, even my bones seemed to ache. Cherie wished me a, “Happy wedding dress sewing evening,” and I wished her the best of luck being a ferocious attorney who scares the pants off all the male attorneys in Portland and went back to stomping around my studio.
My studio is filled with odd and found things. I need the color and creativity for inspiration for the non – traditional wedding dresses I sew. Weathered, light blue shutters from a demolished house are nailed to a wall. Two foot tall pink letters spell out my name, June.
On a huge canvas, I painted six foot tall purple tulips with eyes, smiles and pink tutus. I propped that painting against a wall next to a collection of mailboxes in the shapes of a pig, elephant, dragon, dog, and monkey. The monkey mailbox scares me.
I dipped a strawberry into melted chocolate and kept stomping about. I eat when I get upset or stressed, and this had not proved to be good for the size of my bottom. Fifteen extra pounds in two years. After only four more strawberries, okay seven, and more pacing, I took a deep breath and tried to wrestle myself away from my past and back into who I am now, who I am trying most desperately to become.
“Remember, June,” I said aloud as my anger and worry surged, like the waves of the Oregon coast below me. “You are in your sky lighted studio. Not a cold, beige home in the city. You are living amidst stacks of colorful and slinky fabrics, buttons, flowers, faux pearls and gems, and lace. You are not living amidst legal briefs and crammed courtrooms working as an attorney with other stressed out, maniac attorneys hyped up on their massive egos.”
My tired eyes rested, as they so often did, on my Scottish tartan, our ancestor’s tartan, which I’d hung vertically on my wall. When I’d hung it in our modern home in Portland, he’d ripped it down and hid it from me for a month. “Tacky June, it’s tacky. We’re not kilt wearing heathens.”
I am a wedding dress designer in the middle of a soul-crushing divorce. I am a wedding dress designer who will never again marry. I am a wedding dress designer who has about as much faith in marriage as I do that the Oregon coast will never see another drop of rain.
A blast of wind, then a hail of rain pummeled my French doors.I ate yet another chocolate strawberry. I have been told my eyes are the color of dark chocolate. Not a bad analogy. I washed the strawberry down with lemonade, then a carrot.
No, I have no faith in marriage.
It was a bad day. It became worse after the next phone call.