Hi-ho, everybody! Just a quick reminder, or announcement, that my short story “The Blue Dress” is available for free on smashwords in the format of your choice. This story first appeared in Dark Valentine Magazine, a fabulously cool but short-lived e-zine, in 2010. Here’s a sample:
Beside the fireplace of a secure little cabin, deep in the mountains, two people huddled together, wrapped in blankets of fur and wool. Outside, the storms of winter howled, blizzard winds gnawing at the rafters, gnashing their icy teeth in fury and frustration, for the tiny house was so well-constructed that not even a single snowflake could find its way inside. A happy chance had led the pair to this shelter just as the first of the autumn storms struck, and though it was certainly a cozy place for a young couple to spend a day or two, it was perhaps a bit confined for an extended honeymoon.
No sounds broke the silence but the low fire’s crackle and the hissing of wind and snow outside. The lovers crept closer together, taking comfort from the warmth of each other’s embrace.
“We’ll need more firewood soon,” said the young man at length. “And the food’s almost gone as well.”
“Oh, Charles,” said the young woman, gazing up into his face, “what should we do? We can’t go outside in this.”
He tightened his arms around her. “We may not have a choice.” The words did nothing to ease the worry from her face, and he said, “Don’t fret, sweetheart. We won’t take any unnecessary risks.”
She snuggled in close against him, her cheek against his breast. “Let’s not talk about such things right now,” she said. “Let’s not think about them until we have to.”
He knew, of course, that failing to think about their many problems would fail to solve them too–but he also knew that his darling was cold and weary and frightened, and if he could alleviate at least one of those sufferings, it was his duty (and his pleasure) as a husband to do so.
“Very well, love,” he said, stroking her dark hair, “we’ll not think about them until we have to.”
Let us leave them now to enjoy their private moment together; such things should not be spied upon, not even by such inquisitive folk as you and I. Perhaps, while they take comfort in each other’s arms and forget for a while the deadly storm that ravens just beyond their cabin walls, you would be interested to learn how two such innocents as these found themselves cold and hungry and alone in the middle of a mountain winter?
It’s kind of a romance, with some spooky elements, bargain basement Hawthorne maybe. Head over to smashwords to get the rest!