Caleb: Opening To A Potential Novel

Water poured from her eyes like the gentle rains from the heavens above. She stared at him, her face frozen in a mask of unbelief, her eyes wanting to blink away his false image, but ceasing to close least the vision of him be proved a lie.

He took a step forward, dropping his sack down at his feet, gingerly touching her fingertips that had all but pressed their way into the solid framing of the door, she gripped it so tightly.

The thick lashes of her eyes spiked with the fluttering dip of her lids, soaking up some of the moisture from her tears. “Caleb?” She whispered his name and begin to tremble.

Caleb’s own eyes stung with the threat to of his own want for crying. He had never thought to see this day, only held on to the hope of home, and her, by the tiniest cord that daily threatened to break and blow away like old cobwebs caught in the wind.

“Men don’t cry! Only sissy do!” His father’s harsh words ripped through his thoughts like a searing arrow, almost completely licking up the liquid of joy that so desired to spring forth.

The muscle in Caleb’s eye twitched, the smile that had sprouted upon his lips almost shocked into a frown. If his father were alive he would have cursed him dead for the hardness he had planted in Caleb’s heart.

Struggling with the taste of bitterness that slowly eased upon his tongue, not wanting her to see it upon him, Caleb pulled her hand from the door and drew her into an embrace. His arms wrapped around her with such fierceness that he felt her stiffen. Loosening his hold he cupped her head, weaving the fingers that so longed to feel the touch of her, through her hair. Kissing her temple he whispered. “It’s me, Emaleen. I’ve come home,”

The trembling that he had fought himself overpowered him and the tears that his father’s words had tried to burn away with its hateful fire, slipped from his pressed eyes and into the waves of Emaleen’s hair. He felt her fingers grip and claw the stiff fabric of his shirt, each thread so saturated with sweat that the garment could have stood up all on its own.

Caleb’s heart swelled, filling with the warmth and touch of her, and the sweet scent of the honeysuckle fragrance that danced within her pores. He kissed her head again.

Emaleen stiffened even more, this time pulling away from him just enough to gaze into his eyes, her fingers still holding a fistful of his shirt. Caleb’s brow drew together as his eyes probed hers.

Something was wrong. The shock in her he had anticipated, joy he had longed for, but fear? Fear he had not thought to see staring back at him.

“Whose at the door, sweetheart?” A familiar voice called from the back of the house, its tenor making the hairs on Caleb’s back bristle. His eyes looked forward and then back down upon Emaleen’s face. More fear and tears pooled within her eyes and slid down their corners. Her full lip, a lip he had matched several time with his own, drew inward and hid itself between white teeth that all but chattered.

Knowing liked to have scooped Caleb’s insides out and dumped them right at his feet. Still holding Emaleen’s gaze, he pried her hands from around him, and took hold of her hands, not in promise but to confirm what the familiar voice beyond them had announced without even having said.

With the pads of his calloused thumbs, Caleb found the wedding rings, rings he had not placed on the delicate hands he now held. And why had he not? Because “Real men don’t leave widows, boy, and you are sure as shootin’ gonna find yourself dead. Ain’t now coming home for you. Leave that Hicks girl be.” His father’s words again.

Pain like knives of glass cut through his mind and made Caleb stumble backward. Emaleen said his name and reached for him but he managed to stay out of her reach. Her beautiful eyes, pleaded with him, pleaded with apology, one he couldn’t even fathom receiving.

Why had he listened to his father?

Yule finally made himself visible, him and the child he carried in his arms. “Whose at the door?” He asked again, only to stumble in his stride knocked back by the same invisible force that had knocked into Caleb.

Caleb didn’t know how he found his bag or how he managed to make his legs run, but he ran, ran hard, back into the darkness he had slipped out of and towards the graveyard where he meant to curse his father and himself for ever listening to him.


Poor Caleb. Don’t worry though. I have every intention of figuring out where he has been, how long he has been gone…obviously long enough for the woman he loves to have gotten married and had a child, and how to bring his darkness to a place of light. I will admit that even though I have been moved to write romance, science fictional aspects are constantly asking for a play date with these tales. It wants part of the action. My thought, is to create a world not unlike earth, where this story (stories) take place. 

What do you think? Do you think that would take away from the heart of the tales? I would sure like to know your thoughts if you are willing to give them. 



It Kept Them Together: A Free Flow Write

“I didn’t hit him, Mom! I swear!”

Eliza felt her dark brown eyes roll sharply up in her head of their own volition just as an exhausted sigh brushed past her lips. Garret and Troy were only six. “They are only six,” She even let the words, now made a mantra come forth, massaging her back into a place of calm…at least mostly.

Troy, whose face was just as twisted in frustration as the crumpled clothing of Garret’s shirt, trapped with in his fist, hollered just as loudly. “Yes you did! Ma, he’s lying! You are such a liar, Garret.”

Eliza would have laughed at the way Troy said his twin brother’s name, unintentionally exchanging the ‘r’ sound for that of a ‘w,’ transforming his brother’s name into something akin to “Gaywit,” but instead she reached forward and pried the two apart, only for them to rush back together again in a tangle on the floor.

It was a daily routine, as soon as she walked in the door, after a hard day of work, pulling the twins apart and off the floor. Soothing bruises with kisses, chastising when the need arose, which was also daily, but receiving and giving hugs wrapped in “I love you.”

It was something that was also needed-it more than anything else.

It kept them together…in a good way.

It had been thirteen months. Thirteen months, sixteen days and nearly eleven and a half hours since their world, Eliza, Troy and Garret’s, had been shattered, when she became a single mom to twins who were not her own, and a widow to a man who had left his sons far too soon. He had left her far too soon.

Thinking about it made the back of her eyes sting and her lip draw inward as she fought off the tears. They came far less often than they once had. Back then she nearly drowned in the liquid that sprang from her eyes.

She hadn’t noticed that the boys had stopped rolling across the floor, pummeling each other, until she felt their warm hands take hold of hers. Garret’s wet lips kissed her palm. “Sorry, Mom.”

“Yeah, sorry, Mom.”

She smiled, hearing yet again the absence of Troy’s r’s.  She knelt down and pulled the boys into her arms and squeezed them until they complained and wiggled out of her grasp, but only after they had exchanged their kisses. They looked so much like their father…and their father’s mother, Dina.

It was amazing how God worked things out, how He could mend a broken thing with something else that was broken.

Dina had never liked Eliza, had made every attempt to voice her opinion about it and her disdain for her son having married her. It had pushed Peter away from his mother and yet it was Peter’s death that pulled Dina to Eliza.

Dina, she was the one who shook Eliza out of her stupor. She was the one who told her she didn’t have a choice but to live, wouldn’t leave Eliza’s house until she had made it clear that she would live again. She was the one who told her she was too young to give up, that love didn’t die and that Peter’s love didn’t die for her.

It was Peter’s loved that pushed them together and Gods love that kept them together.

Dina came out of the kitchen just as the twins ran into the family room and Eliza rose from her knees. She tossed the dish towel in her hands over her shoulder, and just like she had for the last seven months, brushed the hair from Eliza’s eyes, cupped her face and kissed her cheek like only a mother could.

She then smiled at her as she patted her cheeks. “You get those boys a father and they won’t be such a handful.”

And like every time Dina said those words, and every time Eliza tried to refuse the thought, Dina’s hand would press against Eliza’s heart. “That heart is ready for love. It’s love that has kept it together.”


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Steps towards home: A Free write exercise

“Just a few more steps, and then, then you will be there. We will be there.” The light in his eyes was almost too much to deny. It lit the embers in her soul that had all but fizzled out; stomped out with each painful step her swelling feet took forward.

“We should have never left this place to start with.” He continued. “I left long before you did. I was hardly a man and you, you were nothing but a girl, but still. Our desertion was foolish. Don’t you think?” He turned back towards her after hefting himself over another large rock.

She tried to scale the rock face herself, should have been able to, but even with the new spark of hope for home, she was still terribly exhausted, stiff and sore. He extended his hand to her and with a level of ease, pulled her upward.

“Well?” He asked again. “What do you think?”

She rested her hips on the sun kissed rock face and closed her eyes, grateful to have been seated. “About what?”

“Us having made the mistake of desertion. We shouldn’t have done it, followed everyone else for whatever reason we followed them, and left home.”

She opened an eye in time to see him fanning his hand back and forward as if that would shoo away his past mistakes. He shielded his eyes with the other and waited for her answer.

“I suppose you want me to agree with you, that we should have never left,” She fixed her skirt and crossed her puffy ankles, a telltale sign that she was taking a much needed break. “But I have to tell you that I don’t. I have no regrets, none at all for leaving.”

He turned his shielded face towards her, his expression a little short of befuddled. “Honestly?” That was all he could manage to say after a long, awkward stare down at her. The sun had even had enough time to warm a trickle of sweat from his hairline.

She watched it trickled down the sharp slope of his jaw and disappear into the folds of his collar right before he could swipe it away with his handkerchief. He was such a neat man when she had met him. He was still orderly now in the blistering sun, after days of seemingly hopeless effort and walking.

“Honestly.” She finally answered him, allowing a smile to bloom across her face. She then patted the area beside her and invited him to sit. He was so different from her, so orderly in his mannerisms and dress and yet free as a feather on the wind in his ways. She on the other hand wore the guise of such loose ambitions but on the inside reservation and conservatism ruled over all.

But now the two sat together, the perfect complement of one another, headed back home to the place they had always belonged.

She nudged him with her shoulder and scooped his hand into hers. “Sure, it seems we lost time, lost our way, lost our dreams way out there in the great unknown so far from home, but we found each other out there. We have found our way again.” She let her smile brighten before she kissed his forehead and rested her head on his shoulder.

He kissed the crown of her head and smiled in turn. “I could not agree more.”


There is somewhat of an underlining theme that has come forth from my recent entries. The theme has to do with “return” or “starting over.” I have felt like I have lost my way with my blog over the last few months. The misdirection on my end has come from the whirlwind of life circumstances beating down on me from every side, my failed feeble attempts to regain control of, and salvage what was surviving my storms, and my need to see growth and order where there seemed to be little.

All of my intentions were good, but it was out of these intentions that my “creative motor” seemed to run out of gas. The light that is the catalyst for this blog began to dim as my attention drew further away from it.

Like the two characters in this 15min Freewrite, I recognize that I have strayed from home. Its a struggle to get back there, hence the swelling. But I also realize that wondering away has brought a new value to what I once had. Sometimes I feel discouraged, but there is also that energy and hope that all I have to do is start walking in the right direction and everything else will fall into place. And so I walk.

For those of you with similar struggles, be they with your blogging experiences or other matters in your life, hang in there , and just keep taking the steps in the right direction. You will arrive at your proper destination in time. You just have to keep walking.


I came for the soup.dpp widgets