My new story

The story begins –

Lizzie scanned the view from her living room bay window.  A rocky beach stretched out thirty feet until swallowed by the waters of Lake of the Woods.

The sun began to rise.  She smiled as a warm burst of happiness filled her.  This was her favorite time of the morning. 
The sun slowly crept through each window.  First it peaked over the sill then crawled right up the window filling her front room with light as a cup fills with steaming coffee. 

She strolled casually from one winodw to another giving each view it’s due time.  Suddenly she stopped dead in her tracks. 
There was a strange man walking on the beach.  She thought it to be very peculiar, because she hadn’t even heard the ferry that morning. 

Her alarm lasted a mere moment until she recognized the man as her neighbors brother. 

Lizzie continued her walk from window to window changing her attention to the curious man. 
Every so often he would stop, turn to stare out at the water and inhale as much air as his lungs would hold.

Then he’d exhale slowly, turn back to his path, walk another few steps and repeat the action.

When he disapeared from her front room view Lizzie walked through the house to see where his morning walk would have him end up.

He appeared to be making circles around the island. 

(Italics) What a strange man she thought to herself(Do I say the words ‘she thought to herself’? or are they implied by the Italics?). 

On his third lap past her living room window she finally got a good look at the man who was stealing her attention away from her morning routine.

Janelle’s brother she mused.  He had been up to the island last year to fish.  They had all played cards at Janelle’s house after a scrumpsious bar-b-que meal.

Lizzie remembered it being a very late night, but she had had a lot of fun.  Her brother Jim and his family had left early to put their children to bed, but Lizzie stayed well into the early hours of Saturday morning.

All three of them laughed and chatted the hours away until Lizzie could no longer hold back her fatigue.  She left as happy as a lark.

She hadn’t thought of that night since it happened.  Suddenly butterflies began to twitch in her stomache.

“Harry… ”  She let the name roll off of her tounge slowly as she exhaled.

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5 thoughts on “My new story

  1. Lizzie stood outside of Janelle’s front door pacing the span of the three-foot top step. She could hear the squeal of her four-year old niece Tara in the back yard. As she shifted her weight from one leg to the other she thought back to the invitation that led to this battle of courage inside of her.

    The phone call was nothing unusual. Janelle phoned to say hi and ask her how things were going. That was a weekly occurrence. Janelle stood in as a surrogate mother for Lizzie and her brother Jim after they lost both parents to a car accident several years earlier. Even being well over thirty both McComber’s welcomed the mothering. They all lived on the island and watched out for each other.

    Lizzie found out from the phone call that Janelle’s brother was coming for a visit and she was hosting a fish fry. Instantly Lizzie felt a knot form in her stomach. Leave it to Janelle to find a way to set her up with a man. Neither Jim or Janelle understood why Lizzie wasn’t more out going when it came to the opposite sex and they quizzed her about it on a regular basis.

    Lizzie told Janelle for what seemed like the thousandth time that she wasn’t comfortable around men. She didn’t know if she wanted to go to the fish fry. To that statement Janelle brought in the big guns. Jim apparently had been listening to the conversation and quickly took the phone. He pled with her mercilessly and finally Lizzie gave in.

    Now as she peered in the side glass window of Janelle’s door she wondered why on earth she had accepted this invitation. The door jolted open and startled Lizzie back to reality.

    “There you are,” Janelle grinned. “I was beginning to think you wouldn’t show up!”

    “I am here,” Lizzie said exaggerating her words for effect.

    “Come in and join the party! We have lots of food and a fire started in the back,” Janelle pointed out the patio.

    “Can I help you with anything in the kitchen,” Lizzie asked as she started in that direction.

    Janelle quickly caught her by the shoulders and sent her in the direction of the men before she could break away.

    Lizzie strolled slowly toward her brother who looked up and smiled with a mouth full of big white teeth. That was a McComber trait that she had also inherited. Their smiles were often said to be infectious.

    “Hi sis!” Jim blurted out.

    Lizzie hated when he called her sis in front of strangers. He had been doing it since they were kids and he knew it embarrassed her.

    Her cheeks flushed as she sarcastically replied, “Hi bro!” She rolled her eyes hoping her embarrassment wasn’t so noticable.

    “This is Harry. Do you remember him? He hasn’t been to the island since he was a kid.” Jim relayed.

    “Actually I think I was a teenager. I don’t think we were ever formerly introduced though. As I recall you spent most of your time on the big island while I was here.” Harry spoke with a deep intoxicating tone. Lizzie was taken aback at the affect the sound of his voice had on her. His thick, dark, wavy hair and big brown eyes didn’t hurt to look at either.

    She smiled and nodded. “I do remember seeing you around.”

    Janelle shouted from the back patio to come and eat and they all headed in that direction. Jim scooting ahead, so Lizzie and Harry could walk together.

    No matter how hard she tried to be mad at her friend and her brother she couldn’t stop smiling. It seemed to her that the pair of them were making a pretty big effort to get her and Harry to spend time together.

    Jim showed her to her seat while pulling out her chair. He of course then offered Harry the chair next to Lizzie. Janelle sat at the head of the table while Jim and his wife _______ sat opposite Harry and Lizzie. The meal was fantastic and the conversation kept leading back to Harry and his job in Minneapolis.

    He worked on such fascinating projects as a builder. He was quick to point out that he didn’t want to be an architect, he always wanted to do the hands on construction of a building.

    Lizzie listened to him with her full attention. At times she caught herself starring at him. Her uncomfortable realizations would send her looking around the table to see if anyone else noticed. If they did they did not let on.

    After everyone helped clear the dishes Janelle scooted Harry and Lizzie back out to the patio with coffee and dessert. Lizzie smiled at Janelle with a wide-eyed look that was meant to chastise her for being so pushy, but Janelle simply shot back a wide smile and a wink.

    They sat by the fire and listened to the children’s laughter fill the back yard patio. Her four-year old niece Tara and her two-year old nephew Matt were chasing each other around the furniture. It filled Lizzie’s heart with joy to watch the two frolic. The scene reminded her of when her and Jim were kids.

    “So,” Harry broke the silence between them, “Tell me more about you. I selfishly talked about me all through dinner.”

    Lizzie sat up and looked out at the lake. At 35 years old she was happy with her life. She was content with staying on the island. She had a successful career as a children’s book writer, but she had no idea how to begin to explain any of that to this man. So she cleared her throat and tried to organize her thoughts.

    “Well I grew up here as you know. And I don’t have any desire to leave the island.” She stated rather coldly. Why did she feel defensive all of a sudden.

    “Janelle told me you are a writer. You must leave sometimes, to promote your work I mean.” Harry replied not stifled by her statement or her bluntness.

    Lizzie took a deep breath and tried to relax. She had such a great time listening to Harry’s stories over dinner, but now that the attention was all on her she felt trapped.

    She started again, “I do leave the island. I meant I have no desire to go live in the big city.”

    “I don’t remember extending an invitation to come live in the big city,” Harry said playfully.

    Lizzie’s cheeks flushed again. She really needed to gain control of that horrible trait of hers.

    “Of course you didn’t,” she smiled and visibly started to relax.

    “I don’t do that much promoting of my books. They’re children’s books and I have a great agent who handles most of the PR for me. I just type it all up and send it off to my editor. The internet is really the greatest invention since sliced bread.” She rolled her eyes at her own cheesy comment.

    “What made you get into children’s books? Why not steamy romance novels or crime stories?” He probed.

    “Well I am not a hot and steamy romance kind of girl I guess. And to tell you the truth gross crime stories scare me. I do live on an island you know, haven’t you ever watched a scary movie? I would have nightmares all the time and I wouldn’t want to walk around the island after dark if I read those things.” She took a breath and slowed her speech.

    “I have been working on something new lately. It’s a little out of my league, but I have been doing research for a while and I think I am on to something.” Lizzie said before she could stop herself from letting out the secret.

    “Really”, he said, “I would love to read it sometime, when your ready I mean.”

    She smiled at his statement. His words were so gentle and comforting, she chastised herself for being so defensive with him.

    “It’s nothing special yet. Mostly just notes and scenes. I have joined this online community of Christian Writers and it’s opened up new genre’s for me to explore. I didn’t even know there were Christian romance and mystery writers out there, but there are and lots of them!” She said with enthusiasm.

    She felt herself getting more excited as she talked about her storyline and what it felt like to write something for adults instead of a simple children’s story. She loved writing for kids. And she loved to watch her niece and nephew’s face light up when she read to them, but she still harbored doubts that she could evoke the same feelings in an adult.

    As she paused she snuck a side glance to the kitchen and saw Jim, _____ and Janelle straighten up and look the other way. She knew this had been a set up from the beginning, but it seemed as though they were holding their breath to see where it might go next. Then she realized she had been holding her breath as well. She let out a long sigh and smiled. She could definitely see herself spending more time with Harry. They had a lot in common and they had a lot not in common, so she decided to let down her guard and have a good time and stop worrying so much!

    The rest of the evening progressed lovely. The others joined them and the conversation went well into the late hours.

    As Lizzie was carrying her coffee cup to the kitchen, Harry stopped her by grabbing her hand. He lifted it to his lips and lightly kissed it. “Will you come fishing with me tomorrow?”

    “I..I..uhh,” she didn’t know what to say. Her heart was leaping out of her chest at that moment as she blurted, “Yes of course. I would love to.”

    Who said that? She thought to herself. Was she really going to go through with it? Of course she was. She wanted to have some fun and that did sound like fun.

  2. The next morning came to quickly for Lizzie. Exhaustion filled her head with fog. In spite of that she smiled to herself remembering her night of fun. She rose slowly and began to get ready for her day with Harry.

    Suddenly butterflies began to dance around her insides.

    She waved her hand and huffed away the silly little girl emotion as she walked to her dresser.

    She was a child the last time she could remember butterflies tickling her stomach. She got excited about things like leaving the island to go to town way back then.

    Now there was a handsome man causing them to awaken.

    She browsed through her closet grabbing one shirt at a time and pulling it out to have a better look.
    She decided on the blue and white stripped sweater over her white tank top and tennis skirt.
    She opted on her bathing suit underneath, because the weather man said it was going to be very warm in the afternoon.

    “Oh I better grab some sunscreen too”, she said to herself as she checked off another item on her mental list.

    As she stood in front of the mirror she smiled at the image starring back at her.

    Her face was glowing. Not since she found out her first children’s book submission had been picked for an award had she been this happy.

    That award was the first stepping stone that led to her agent who eventually catapulted her into a full fledged writing career.

    Could it be that Janelle’s wonderful party last night could have been the first stepping stone to her finding love?

    “Oh”, she huffed again and waved her hand at the mirror. “Why am I being so silly? It’s been one night for crying out loud! I hardly know anything about the man.”

    She fiddled with her ash blond pony tail one more time before grabbing the picnic basket and her bag to leave.

  3. They decided to meet at Janelle’s dock since that’s where the boat was. She walked down the rocky path that separated the two properties.

    As she walked past the hedge line the full view of the water took her breath away. The water was calm and smooth as the sun glistened and bounced off of it and into her eyes.

    This was her favorite time of the morning. She reached up to shield her eyes with her hand. He was there. A magnificent silhouette set against a bright morning sunrise. Her breath caught again.

    The sun felt warm on her face already. She knew it would be a warm day and was glad she opted for the bathing suit.

    He was waiting for her in the boat when she made her way across the dock.

    They smiled at each other as he held out his hand in a chivalrous manner. She lifted the picnic basket and smiled while she said, “I brought lunch!”

    He placed the basket in the boat and offered his hand once again. She took it and stepped gingerly into the boat.

    The day flew by with easy conversation and many smiles exchanged. They caught no fish in the morning so before lunch they decided to take a swim.

    Lizzie screamed when she hit the water and her teeth instantly started to chatter. “Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all,” She said through quivering lips. They both laughed and quickly climbed out of the boat.

    The sun warmed them as they sat on deck talking.

    They sat side by side in the chairs of the boat. Lizzie swiveled back and forth lost in her thoughts. Harry talked about his life in the twin cities while she listened.

    She had visited there before, but could never figure out why anyone would want to live there permanently.

    Yet the way Harry talked so passionately about it, there seemed to be a different side of the city which Lizzie
    had never been introduced to.

    His face became animated and lit up when he talked about his work and how building things from the ground up was in his blood. It was obvious that he took pride in every job he worked on big or small.

    He told her about things she would love to see as well. He described the museums and the theatre productions he frequented.

    He told her about the coffee houses with open mick’s for people to reveal their own poetry or whatever
    they wanted.

    She was in awe of how much she hadn’t experienced on her visits.

    She remember to many people, to many vehicles and it being hard to breath or think there with all that went on.

    “Do you think you would come and visit me in Minneapolis?” He finally got the nerve up to ask.
    He had been talking for a half an hour straight about all the things he loved about the city.

    She loved to listen to him speak. He conveyed passion and intelligence and at the same time a childish exuberance she wasn’t used to.

    “I would like to come and see you there,” her excitement grew. “My friend lives in Robbinsdale and I can stay with her.

    I haven’t seen her in awhile and would love to visit.”

    She blushed when he leaned in close to her and whispered, “I would really love that!”

    She leaned forward and their lips touched very delicately. They stayed close for a few minutes until reality started to set in. The situation was getting to intense for Lizzie. She started to feel like she was losing control.

    She pulled away a little too abruptly and they both looked startled.

    “I… I’m sorry,” she blurted out. “I don’t know what came over me!”

    “Don’t be sorry.” He said with a smile. “I guess I moved a little too fast. I should have given you more time.”

    “It’s ok,” She said. “It was really nice,” She blushed again. Why did she keep doing that?

    There was no awkwardness between them after the kiss. They both knew they stepped to far over the line, so they decided to just enjoy the rest of the afternoon talking and getting to know each other.

    As the day drew on Lizzie started to get a feeling in the pit of her stomach as she listened to Harry talk about his life.

    She started to get distracted by how much he seemed to love the noise and people and fast pace.

    On the way home the dread grew stronger. When they finally said goodbye once again in Janelle’s yard
    he grabbed her hand and asked, “Can I see you tomorrow before I go?”

    She looked up at him with unsure eyes and said, “Sure,” before gently pulling her hand back and walking up the path to her house.

    Lizzie knew that last look he gave her was one of confusion. He was worried too and she knew it. He must have sensed her tensing.

    Lizzie’s mind was reeling. He lived 500 miles away. He had a life and a job. There was no way he would give that up for her. And she wasn’t ready to pick up and leave the island where she spent her entire life.

    The dread consumed her. She couldn’t hold back her tears any longer. The more she tried to pray
    about it the more she cried.

    She decided it was hopeless.

  4. JUST NOTES TO ADD TO THE STORY:
    The first part will likely come a week after her date with him – he is back to find out what the heck happened. The rest is not that important except the part about going to the big island early the next morning. She will reveal that is why she did not meet him to say goodbye. Oraganize the story better.

    Lizzie scanned the view from her living room bay window. A rocky beach

    stretched out thirty feet until swallowed by the waters of Lake of the Woods.

    The sun began to rise. She smiled as a warm burst of peace filled her. This
    was her favorite time of the morning.

    The sun peaked over the window sill as the rays started to fill her front room like hot coffee filling a cup.

    Slow and steady the sun poured into every room on the east side of her home.

    The floor to ceiling windows facing the water allowed for her spectacular God made vista making her smile every morning.

    She strolled casually from one winodw to another savoring each view. She stopped suddenly startled.

    There was a strange man walking on the beach. She squinted to try to get a better look at who it could be.

    She thought it to be very peculiar, because she hadn’t even heard the ferry boat that morning. (awkward sentence?)

    Her alarm lasted only a moment until she recognized him. It was Janelle’s brother.

    Janelle was Lizzie’s neighbor on McComber Island. She had moved to the
    island after her husband passed away. Her children were out of Highschool, so she saw no reason to stay in the city.

    Lizzie continued her walk from window to window changing her attention from the beautiful sunrise to the new distraction.

    Every so often he stopped, turned toward the water and inhaled as much air as his lungs would hold.

    He exhaled slowly, turned back to his path and walking another few steps repeated the action.

    When he disapeared from her front room view Lizzie walked through the house to see where his morning jaunt would have him end up.

    He appeared to be making circles around the island.

    By his third lap past her living room window she realized she’d wasted an hour gauking at the poor man and finally got the nerve up to step out onto the covered porch.

    Immediately memories flooded her mind of their first meeting. He had come last year to visit Janelle and fish the Lake of the Woods.

    Janelle had everyone on the island over for a Friday night fish fry.

    Of course the only inhabitants of the island being Janelle, Lizzie and Lizzie’s brother and his family it had been very intimate and cozy.

    The adults played cards under the stars while the kids roasted marshmellows.

    Lizzie’s brother Jim and his family left early to put their children to bed, but Lizzie had stayed well into the early hours of Saturday morning.

    There had been an instant attraction between the two of them. They talked and laughed all through dinner and the card games.

    At times they forgot the others were even in attendance. The night had been so exciting and fulfilling.

    Lizzie left Janelle’s so happy, but on the walk home the reality of the situation hit Lizzie.

    He lived in the Twin Cities five hundred miles away. He had a job and a life there.

    She suddenly felt there was no point in wondering what could become of a relationship between them, because she wasn’t leaving the island she spent her whole life on and she knew he wouldn’t leave the city where his life was.

    She rose early Saturday morning with dread and sadness surrounding her.

    She took the twelve mile boat ride over to the big island to see if her friend Jesse needed help that day. Jesse and her family owned and operated the Pine Island Resort. Lizzie hid there all day helping where ever they needed.

    That night she offered to stay and help in the kitchen for their busy dinner rush.

    She didn’t get back to her island until after midnight. And she knew he needed to catch the early morning ferry boat in order to make it to his
    plane back to the cities, so she was safe.

    She regretted not saying goodbye the day he left, but she was sure she would make a fool of herself if she tried.

    She had been cheerless all day. Her lonliness threatened to consume her.

    She decided to let God take over and gave the whole situation over to Him in prayer and tears that night.

    Then she sank herself into her work. It had been a good way to hide her disappointment from her brother and Janelle after he left.

    The whole year had unfolded so quickly with the publishing of two children’s books and working on the first draft of her novel she barely had time to think about that night or “Harry…” She let his name roll off of her tounge slowly as she exhaled.

    Suddenly butterflies began to twitch in her stomache.

    “He must be here fishing,” she muttered to herself. Suddenly a flush came over her. She didn’t know what to do about that, so she decided to get some more coffee.

  5. NOTES FOR THE STORY:
    Develop Lizzie’s and Harry’s characters. Lizzie seems to be 25 in the first segment, about 16 in the second and then an 40 year old adult standing looking out the window of her house in the last.

    To end the story? They sit and talk at her house. She explains what happened the day he left for the city.
    They decide to date? They decide to get married? She visits him in the city?
    Is this a short story? Edit Edit Edit!

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