The Yarnspinners

News of anthologies by Kim Cox, Elizabeth Delisi, Chris Grover, Elaine Hopper, Maureen McMahon, and Sheryl Hames Torres--The Yarnspinners!

Thursday, February 21, 2008


First except from the anthology: ONE TOUCH BEYOND


Copyright © CHRIS GROVER, 2008

All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

Since Mom's death, I've felt a desperate urge to know more about her and the people who gave her life. This year will be my first Christmas without her and I've been holding on to the thought that by spending the holiday here in St-Stephan, the loss won't seem quite so bad.

Whether it will or not remains to be seen. The real reason I'm here is because I want to find my roots. On my birth certificate, there's a line drawn through the box where the father's name should be and it's always made me feel like I appeared out of nowhere, like my mother bought me in a store. I never told Mom how I felt because after the one time I asked who my father was, just the way her expression changed from happy to sad told me the circumstances of my birth was a subject she didn't want to discuss.

I have no idea why. Maybe it had something to do with breaking with her family; maybe it was because she never got over being taken in by a handsome face. And just maybe she didn't handle the unwanted pregnancy the way society expected back then. I've read the books and seen the movies, so I know that even as recently as thirty years ago, life for a pregnant, unmarried teenager was far from easy, especially in smaller communities. Girls were sent away on some pretext or other before their condition became obvious. This way, by the time they returned home, their bodies were back to normal and their babies given away to new families.

I've often wondered if something like that happened to my mother. If her parents sent her away to one of those unwed mothers' homes that were all the rage back then but instead of going along with the program, she decided to keep me. Or maybe she ran away with my biological father and things didn't work out. Either way, there would have been no going back home to her family. And no better way for her to cut herself free from her old life than by changing her name, pretending her parents were dead and saying she had no other relatives.

I'll never know now what really happened, so I go back to the dream and try to think if the elderly woman could have a reason other then family or friends for bringing me here. If I knew who she was, then perhaps it would offer me a clue or-

"Can I help you?"

The question, posed in English in a husky, masculine voice, catches me by surprise. I turn around fast, my heart thumping so hard against my ribs, I feel like I've been caught doing something wrong.

The owner of the voice starts down the path toward me, then stops. "I realize the place doesn't look like much but it is private property."

I hadn't heard the arrival of the expensive-looking black car parked at the curb and I hadn't heard the sound of the man's fancy Italian leather boots on the frozen ground. But there he is, standing less than six feet away, dressed in slim-fitting dark blue jeans and a sheepskin-lined coat. A tall, tanned, very handsome stranger whose dark brown hair is attractively mussed in the new spiky style and whose eyes are so exactly the same blue as his jeans, I immediately wonder if he's wearing colored contacts.

"I'm...I'm just looking."

If you like this sample chapter, you can read the rest and 4 other stories by purchasing a copy of ONE TOUCH BEYOND, available from Cerridwen Press in electronic formats.


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