Light at the Edge of Darkness now available
Sunday, December 24, 2006 7:24:00 AM
by Steve Doyle
|Light at the Edge of Darkness, an anthology of Biblical Speculative Fiction containing 27 stories by 17 authors is now available at thewriterscafepress.com and amazon.com
Billy wound his way over the path through the dark woods. He was late but it wasn't his fault, his parents had made him do chores right after dinner. He'd hurried to finish them and get out here to meet Natalie, hoping she hadn't given up on him. He didn't want that to happen again, she'd been mad for weeks that time.
He panted, nearly out of breath, and the smell of oak leaves filled his nostrils. Most of the trees were bare and the late October air felt cool; once the sun went down it would turn cold. He wiped his sweaty palms on his trousers as he broke through the trees and stood at the edge of the grove.
She was there! Thank God, he hadn't missed her. Billy took a few steps in her direction. “Natalie.”
The young girl turned around to face him.
The sight of her stopped him in his tracks. Her lips trembled as she looked at him through red, watery eyes. Tear tracks stained puffy cheeks. Long red hair hung unkempt about her shoulders.
“Did you think I wasn't coming?” he asked.
Fresh tears welled up in those green eyes and she choked out her words through sobs. “I
. . .can't. . . see you. . . anymore, Billy!”
“Why not, Nat? What happened?” Billy closed the distance between them.
“It's. . .my parents. . .They say. . .I'm too young. . .to see boys. . .To see. . .” She stopped and inhaled deeply, a teardrop slid down her cheek. She balled her hands into fists and blurted out, “They just don't want me to be happy! I hate them! I hate them!”
“It's okay, Natalie. Don't cry.” He folded her into his arms, felt her heartbeat hammering against his chest. “I don't like it, but they are your parents and you have to do what they say.”
She shoved, pushing him away. “What? You don't want me either!”
“No, I didn't mean that.”
“You don't care! I thought you loved me but you don't! I believed you when you said it but it's all a lie!”
“No, Nat. . .”
She turned and ran from him before he could finish. He heard her say something that sounded like “no one loves me.” Her red hair waved in the wind while her shoes crunched on the carpet of oak leaves. He took a step to follow, but thought better of it. Every time he tried to talk to her when she was upset, he wound up saying the wrong thing. Better to wait until she'd calmed down. He shoved his hands deep into his pockets and shuffled home, kicking dead leaves along the way. The October air turned cold.
Light at the Edge of Darkness