Friday, February 12, 2010

Searching For Serena (Friday Fiction)

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by Yvonne "Vonnie" Blake @ her blog, My Back Door Ministry. Click here to read and share more great fiction.

Author's Ramblings: Eira and the Dark Phoenix are taking a break this week. I stressed over writing a new valentine's day piece and decided to just revamp this piece instead. It is the expanded version of "Searching for Serena--writer's block" a short piece from a few years back, featuring a wife with writer's block and her very creative husband. Have a good weekend and happy reading! (Oh and credit for this lovely image is by Jim Warren)



Jonas scowled into the fog, wishing it would lift and ease his worries rather than clinging stubbornly to the dewy ground. If he could see where he was going, it’d be easier to track his wife. She had pulled away into herself nearly every morning for the past week. Something was wrong. Something was very-

Pushing away from the keyboard, I scowled at the computer screen, the Microsoft word file glaring back at me. I could almost hear the snickers from the keyboard at the fact that I couldn’t hammer out the words stubbornly stuck in my head. Making faces at the monitor was not helping, so I rested my head near the mouse, squinting out of the corner of my eye at the white page.

“You okay?” Andy, my husband, of 9-years mumbled the question around a mouthful of sandwich.

“I can’t get these characters to come alive.” I looked to him miserably, lifting my too-heavy head from the desk. A nap was probably a good idea.

He chewed thoughtfully, looking from me to the computer screen. “Which story?”

“Novel.” I corrected automatically. “This is my sequel, remember?”

Andy’s eyebrows knitted themselves together. “The best-seller or the other one?”

“Make me a sandwich and I’ll tell.” I bargained, my stomach rumbling as I eyed his mouth-watering handful.

He grinned, turning back to the kitchen. I clicked “save” before trotting after him. A sandwich definitely trumped naptime. I sat on the stool by the kitchen counter, playing with the breadcrumbs as Andy cheerfully went about his sandwich making.

It was a matter of minutes before he set the masterpiece in front of me on a blue china plate, with a paper napkin tucked underneath. “Drinks?”
“Share a soda?” I offered my best smile.

His laugh was drowned by the mouthful he turned to the kitchen cabinets to retrieve two glasses. A can of soda was found in the pantry and he measured the ice cubes, adding a pink squiggly straw to my glass, before setting it on the napkin. The can was carefully poured, divided between the two. “Anything else?”

I shook my head, taking a slurp from the cute straw. “If gouf. Tastes gouf.”

Seating himself across the counter, he waited to hear my dilemma. “The sequel is for the best-seller.” I began. “Not the other one. The first one, remember Jonas and Serena?” I took another bite, as he thought about it. The shaggy head gave a slow shake. “No? Okay, they’re the two MC’s. Book one, they meet and marry. Book two, married a few years, Jonas discovers Serena disappears early in the morning for about a week.”

Andy’s brow furrowed once more. “Why?” He asked.

“Uh…she was kidnapped?”

“I thought you said every morning for a week.”

“Oh. Yeah. I could change it!”

“Why?”

My head hung, his logic was trumping my creativity. “I’m not sure.” Slurping the last of my soda, I plopped the straw in his glass. “Is that a problem?”

“Probably. Is it?”

“I guess.”

“Guess?”

I tugged his glass over, washing down another bite. “Yeah. I guess. I don’t know right now.”

Andy nodded slowly, thinking as he slid off the stool. “Finish your snack, and get your riding boots and jacket.”

I blinked, surprised. “Where are we going?” I turned to follow his path as he deposited my empty glass and his plate in the sink. “Now?”

He winked.

I didn’t argue, instead I stuffed the remaining bites of sandwich in my mouth, heading for the coat closet with the soda glass in hand.

By the time I managed to catch up to my darling husband, he’d brought my favorite mount to the back porch, all ready to ride. I looked for his horse, but only saw Duskin. “Uh, Andy?” I took the steps two at a time, offering a hand to Duskin for inspection. He whuffled gently as I stroke his face, rubbing one ear.

Andy chuckled, mounting and extending his hand to help me up. Duskin started to move as I held on tight from behind. Apparently, there would be no explanation and my curiosity was running up and down my arms in delicious little whispers. I couldn’t help adding a whisper or two of my own.

“Shhh!” Andy whispered back, turning Duskin towards the east fields. “We’ll be there just now. Take a nap.”

My mystery ride continued, I took his advice, though not entirely on purpose. I fell asleep, only to be tickled awake a moment later to stare at a large gray rock, sitting out in the middle of nowhere. A rock I could not quite place. It looked familiar, yet there was nothing in my head to match it to.

We dismounted and I followed Andy to the rock. He boosted me up, climbing up behind and promptly lying down. I looked at him in puzzlement. He motioned for me to do the same.

Grimacing, I dropped to my knees, gingerly easing myself down on the rock.

It was cold. Freezing, even, but Andy didn’t seem to care. “It’s cold.”

“Give it a minute.”

I did not want to give it more than a few seconds, but Andy was staring straight up at something in the sky. I twisted around to see, but he caught my wrist, tugging gently. “Down and then up.” He murmured, pulling me close.

Inching closer to him, I stared up into a vast expanse of gray-blueness, unable to concentrate on much, apart from the fact that his arm was warmer than the rock. After careful scan, I dared to whisper. “What am I looking for?”

Andy propped himself up on one elbow and reached over to cover my eyes with his free hand. “Listen. Just listen.”

I didn’t hear anything at first.

I say at first, because it was the second time around that I heard something. I couldn’t make it out at all. Strange-sounding, I guessed it to be the wind. A faint cry trickled through the air, soft rustles accompanied a quiet whinny. Duskin, maybe? I didn’t have the faintest clue what I was listening for, but it was a nice feeling to only concentrate on a space of nothing.

“…and please Father, give her the words to write, to fill the empty pages you’ve gifted her. Fill in the blanks that aren’t making sense right now with things to stir the heart and…”

Andy’s murmured prayer was barely audible, his hand moved from my face as I turned, his eyes closed, his face peaceful, upturned to the sky. The hand resettled itself in one of mine as he eased back to lie down on the rock.

The image etched itself in my mind as his lips continued to move, but I no longer heard his voice. I had only heard what I had needed to. Everything else was between him and the Lord.

Pictures and words flew through my head, fading away as quickly as they’d come. My head felt as if it were swelling up in an attempt to capture all the ideas flooding through my head. Then I heard and I don’t know if I’ll ever hear it again.

The wind sounded like many voices in song. It started slowly at first and seemed to build into a crescendo. The rustles of grass, like running water, the bird call and Duskin’s whinny, all blended together in something I will not ever be able to begin to describe.

In my frantic effort to pen another best-seller, I’d forgotten the One who’d given me the idea, forgotten how I’d written it. I’d been trying to please pushy editors and advisors, conforming to their ideas of my story. I’d given up my dream for their acceptance.

Thank you, Father. I prayed. There was nothing else to say. It was one of those moments where I could only be still and feel His love pooling around me by the bucketfuls. Thank you. I sat up suddenly when the last piece of my mental puzzle clicked into place.

I knew why this was so familiar. The rock, Duskin and riding double.

Page 237 of my best-seller, Jonas met Serena while riding to a rock at the end of the resort’s fields to check fences. He stumbled across her sitting out alone in the fields, journaling.

I shifted to look at Andy. A smile tugged at the corners of his mouth, he knew I’d figured it out. My smile matched his own as I reached over and smoothed his forehead, before tweaking his nose. Just like Serena had done after Jonas had proposed. Andy captured my hand in his and I snuggled closer.

Thank you, Father, for Andy.

© Sara Harricharan

2 comments:

Sharlyn Guthrie said...

What a sweet, romantic story -especially for writers. I could relate to her frustration, and the reminder to seek God at such is a time is priceless advice.

Yvonne said...

Thanks for this, Sara...I especially needed this right now!