I have been entering short story writing competitions for a number of years and every once in a while one of them will win – and that is very gratifying! This one story in particular has been written and rewritten, and edited and re-edited a few dozen times over the years in the hope that one day it would be a winning story.
And today, it’s a WINNING STORY!
When Love Calls is a romance story about a young bride who is about to celebrate her second wedding anniversary with the man she loves more than life itself. Jack is about to head out by plain to an afternoon business meeting and is as excited as Cat to start their night of celebration, but an early morning premonition warns her that something bad is about to happen, and as the day goes on it becomes her worst nightmare.
Here is an excerpt from the story:
When Love Calls
by Ronnie Dauber
The day started out as normal as any other work day, except that I was itching with excitement because it was Jack’s and my second wedding anniversary, and I was ecstatic about the evening we had planned together. I opened the patio blinds in our kitchen nook and was greeted by the morning sun that brought life to the busy Riverdale neighborhood below. Amber stared up at me from her big, green pillow that took up a whole corner in the kitchen, and I rubbed her furry golden ears. I just wanted to rush through this day and get right to our romantic evening, and yet, I couldn’t get rid of the eerie chills that repeatedly flitted across my neck.
Jack and I sat together in the nook just like we did every other morning during the week and watched the early morning news on the small flat screen television that sat on the kitchen counter. Today’s top story was about a massive hurricane that tore along the east coast and now threatened cities for miles inland. I sipped my coffee slowly as a cold chill shot up my back and kissed the nape of my neck. Jack was going to fly to Boston this morning as he often does for the large advertising company that he works for. I always worried about him when he flew for these business trips, but somehow today it was more than a general worry. My insides churned, and I didn’t want him to go.
Jack could often sense my thoughts before I could express them, and his soft voice and the twinkle in his deep brown eyes always melted my heart. He reached over and squeezed my hand.
“Cat, you’ve got that look on your face again. Come on, stop worrying. I’ll be fine. It’s a quick trip there and back, nothing I haven’t done a hundred times before. I’ll be home long before any storm hits, and then I’m going to take you out for a delicious gourmet dinner and flatter you with your favorite wine, and then I’m going to smother you with a night of passion that you’ll never forget.”
He leaned forward and kissed me softly on the lips, and my insides jumped with excitement. His eyes twinkled and my chest fluttered as he leaned back in his chair and then pulled a small black velvet jewellery box from his jacket pocket. He winked at me and my heart skipped a beat as he placed it on the table in front of me.
“Your love keeps me alive, Cat. I was going to give this to you tonight, but I want you to have it now. Go ahead, open it.”
I opened it right away and gasped as I stared at a beautiful gold heart pennant that held a small, clear diamond at the top and draped from a dazzling gold chain. This was the very necklace that I’d been eying for several months at Bart’s Jewellers, and I was in awe as I gaped at it. I slowly took it out of the box and then stood up to look in the wall mirror as I held it against my throat. Jack moved in behind me and took the ends of the chain, locking the clasp so it hung gracefully around my neck.
“It was made just for you, Honey.”
He wrapped his arms around my chest and held me close to him as he smiled at me in the mirror. I’m not sure what excited me more that second, the necklace or his sexy smile. I turned around and stretched my arms around his neck as he held me tightly and kissed me passionately. I loved this man more than life itself, and his embrace sent flutters of excitement throughout my body.
A few minutes later, the loud, invading sound of the door buzzer interrupted us, and he held me even tighter as he groaned.
“Time to go.”
The cab driver had buzzed us to say that he was waiting downstairs for Jack. We said our goodbyes, and he darted out the front door as he shouted to me to get ready for our special night. I waved, and when he disappeared into the elevator, I scooted back to the living room and pulled back the white French sheers just in time to watch him drive off and disappear into the busy New York traffic.