Ilsa Lund: “Welcome. Rick said you’d be coming. I just didn’t believe him. It’s so hard to know the truth.
The winner of yesterday’s 30 minute Life Coach Session and an e_copy of Madeline’s Protector is Ginger . Sometimes, the early bird does get the worm.”
“Okay, I’m Ilsa and I have a rude statement to read from management, ala Rick: If you’re here just for the contest, scroll on down to the bottom. Do what it says to do. Don’t ask questions and don’t stare at my patrons as you move through.”
“I really don’t know what I see in Rick. He is so crude sometimes.”
“Just one more statement, and I’ll be done with this foolishness. Here are the rules. Don’t comment on the misfits that come here. Don’t stare at their outfits. We have a few ‘time-traveler’. Everyone behaves better if you don’t stare. Oh, if you leave a comment you might win some cool stuff to make your trip memorable. Seems the
dames ladies of InfiniteCharacters.com like to treat people nice.”
“I’m going to drag Rick out here and give him a piece of my mind. You stay and go to the table in the corner. There’s some folks you need to meet.
Margaret McWhorter (Stopped Cold) takes the seat closest to the window. She puts her hands on her lap, resting on the perfectly worn fabric of her jeans. Everyone looks suspicious here. A fire burns inside her to find the drug dealers who sold her brother, Sean, a steroid. Resting her black flip-flops against the dark wood of the table, she scans the room again. “I’ll not rest until I do.”
“Until you do what?” Samantha Hart (One Among Men) shakes her head. Her shoulder-length, straight, brown hair catches on her collar. She fishes it out as she gazes into Margaret’s green eyes. They are a deep color matching the teen’s shirt. Samantha leans forward. Her loose white blouse with brown, suede vest almost dips into her brownie-ice cream thingy. The one with the chocolate syrup all over it. “I hope it’s to have an impact.”
Mara Keegan (A Healing Heart) leans Samatha’s direction. “You should try to twist up your hair like mine.” Mara’s purple blouse and dark blue quilted vest keep her warm in the airy cafe. “I like your vest Samantha.”
Samantha (One Among Men) nods then turns her gaze to Madeline St. James. Not that Samantha keeps up with styles, but aren’t long gowns out.
Madeline St. James (Madeline’s Protector) clutches her reticule close to her side covering it with the shimmery silver skirt of her carriage dress. The intricate embroidered bees edging her hem matches the delicacy of the beading of Miss Keegan’s vest. A tremble traversed Madeline’s spine. So many people crowded into this odd coaching inn. Yet, anything new and different has to be better than being home. Her father wouldn’t approve of her sitting with these scantily clad women in their men’s wear called jeans. Yet, Miss McWhorter, Miss Keegan, and Miss Hart, all seem nice. All share similar brown tresses, so different from Madeline’s deep raven locks.
Another woman with a full dress joins them at the table. A Mrs. Asberry. Madeline (Madeline’s Protector) relaxed against the wood bench. It is good not to be the only one covering her ankles.
Jillian Coleman (Deliver Us) puts a scrunchy on light brown hair, yanking it out of the way. What is she doing here other than wasting time in an out-of-the way café? She unhooks her pen light and stuffs it into the pocket of her crisp white lab jacket. She couldn’t relax here or any other place. Folding her arms, she taps her Clark’s slip-on loafer on the floor. The check for her non-fat yogurt and half-eaten oatmeal cookie couldn’t come soon enough.
Mrs. Deborah Asberry (Deborah’s Secret) admires the neat braid of Miss St. James’s hair as well as the height of the feather on her bonnet. The lady must’ve gotten it in the city or back east.Thank goodness it wasn’t Sunday, or Deborah would have to cover her own dark brown bun with a hat. She adjusts a pin of the low bun sitting at the nape of her neck. then smooths the wrinkled cotton day-dress bearing a small flowered print. The skirt would flare out if she’d worn enough petticoats to hold it. Must be her rebellious streak taking hold. With a shake of her head, she puts away those thoughts and focuses on the treats in front of her.
“Oh, my, everything looks so nice.” Deborah (Deborah’s Secret) places her hand over her rounded stomach. If she didn’t stop eating everyone would know her secret. Which is less fattening? Probably the pudding the others called yogurt. Maybe a biscuit? “I’ll have a small cookie if you don’t mind. Thank you.”
Madeline fidgeted with her gloves. She had no appetite for the strange foods littering the table linen. “My father wouldn’t approve of me, staying here. He’s very protective. It wouldn’t surprise me if one of his allies walked through the door and hauled me back to Hampshire.”
Margaret (Stopped Cold) avoids the bubbling pot of chocolate fondue. That would cause zits. She lifts a slice of hot apple pie. “My mom’s the greatest, and my dad’s a good guy, but he’s always pushing, pushing, pushing. I feel like I’m living in a pressure cooker. He’s not happy unless I’m a winner—always gotta’ be number one. Show ‘em what a McWhorter’s made of. I’m so tired of hearing that. I want to tell him I’m made of melted ice.”
Samantha (One Among Men): “My mom was great. She taught me about God before she was killed while working a drug case in Baltimore. I rebelled against God, and her profession, for years because of this, but the Reynolds Family helped me make sense of it. My dad couldn’t help me back then because he grieved my mom worse than I did. But we’re good now … well mostly.”
She turns to Deborah whose light golden eyes had clouded. “I guess things aren’t good with your dad?”
Deborah (Deborah’s Secret) casts her gaze to her puddin’. “Father believed in obedience without question. As a minister’s children, my brother and I were not allowed to run and play in the house. We never spoke at the table. Mother was not so strict and often relaxed the rules when Father was away. I resented his heavy hand, but now wonder if he only did what he felt was best for us. I’ve learned in caring for Dane’s children, that I don’t always agree with his son’s wishes and have to say no.”
Mara (A Healing Heart) looks longingly at the silver tray of goodies spread on the table, then whacks her spoon into her bowl of yogurt. Since her heart attack, she’d been eating better. “My mom wanted to make sure I understood my heritage. I loved sitting with my mom and grandmother learning the old ways, beading and quilting the way my people did for centuries.”
Jillian (Deliver Us): “My mom always showed unconditional love. My dad. That’s another story. I could never please him. Even now after becoming a doctor, I don’t know if he’s proud of me or not.”
Madeline: “A healer, a woman healer. How brave of you.” Maybe Madeline should show her the bruising on her arm. It must be better for a lady to look upon the wounds inflicted by a hateful man than another male doctor.
Jillian (Deliver Us) looks down at her Clark’s. A healer? She wasn’t the day she made an ignorant decision to murder her unborn baby. She will never be able to forgive herself. “My fateful choice has birthed a dream in my heart – to open the Jeremiah House, a place to help pregnant mothers.”
Margaret (Stopped Cold): “I feel as though I’m pulled in two directions. More than anything my dad wants me to win when I swim, and I work so hard to be a little above average at the sport. The faith in God’s goodness and power my mom speaks of brings me peace, so I’m clinging to it along with my Sunday school teacher’s words. She says God has given each of us a gift or gifts to use for Him. We don’t need to be number one for Him to love us.”
Deborah (Deborah’s Secret): “I understand division. I learned at an early age to keep my rebellion inside. Father demanded obedience, and I yielded to his will. God blessed me with a singing voice, so Father always said my singing drew the congregation who then had to stay and listen to him preach. I resented the fact that I was never allowed to choose when to sing or even what to sing. Still, I love the Lord so when Father’s demands were not of my choice, I bridled my tongue.” Deborah’s cheeks warm while her lashes lower. “I would not have met Dane if not for my father’s overbearing disposition. We truly should give thanks in all things.”
Samantha (One Among Men): “I couldn’t figure out why God would take my mom from me. However, I—eventually—learned I needed to rely on God, and not other people, to get me through life. And He has. If only I could share that with others, but I can’t imagine anyone wanting to follow my poor example.”
Madeline: “You all speak so boldly of your faith. Maybe that’s why I’m here to remember His goodness and strength. I won’t be afraid to share the grace Abba has given to me. I’ll take more risks in sharing.”
Mara (A Healing Heart) scans Madeline’s jade eyes. “Don’t take too many risks. My husband did. His death was horrendous. I can’t believe he took so many risks. His sense of adventure took precedence over his love for me. I don’t want to ever be in that position again.”
Tomorrow, the ladies will continue their conversation touching on more of the things that make them tick. In the meantime, leave a comment below to enter our daily prize and grand prize contests. For more chances to win the Grand Prize: a luxurious Coach Purse with a copy of Madeline’s Protector and Deborah’s Secret inside, click this link.
Today’s Comment: Are you a rebel? Why or why not?
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