I'd like to introduce an incredible writer and (cough...my new editor) Debbie Aruta. Below is one of her short stories and links to her Melanie witch series. Keep an eye out on Debbie, Melanie the Silver Boxed Witch will soon be a novel you'll want to read.
Taming Her Wild Side
She caught the peeling gold painted tiny bobby pin as it fell out of her fiery red hair. It was her great grandmother’s and held a special place in her heart. Her hair was just as unruly as every other women in her family’s before her. Her red locks always slipping out of their constraints. A piece here, a piece there, hair always flailing, struggling to fall free. Her ringlets left to flounce in the wind as she walked, her bangs blinding her repeatedly, but still she tried to tame it with an immense amount of bobby pins, her great grandmother’s included.
Melanie had replied to James email that she was looking forward to a second date, but thoughts lingered that she was not ready to date. She was determined to try and remain open about dating him. Her fingers lingered on her bobby pins as she sat nervously waiting for him to ask her to do something again. Bowling, dinner, movies, walk, she did not know, but if the bottom of her stomach continued doing flips,she knew she was a little eager and excited at the prospect of seeing him again.
Melanie grabbed her black leather portfolio and headed out her front door and headed to work. No use waiting. She knew he knew how to reach her and it could be days, weeks, or months till he asked her out again. Driving with her stomach doing flips made her nauseous. It hadn’t been long since her fiance died, maybe she was jumping into this too fast. Again doubt overtook her and she felt overwhelmed.
She drove down Maple St. and saw her favorite bakery, Sugar Faeries. She loved their peanut butter cupcakes with their chocolate icing piled 4 inches high on top of the cupcake. It was more sugar then cake and she lived for them, but today she went past and just felt queasy. She drove past her favorite coffee house where her friend Cynthia worked and always made sure her coffee was extra sweet for her. This morning she past everything, not stopping anywhere, and made it to work early. She was not sure what this feeling in her stomach was, but when she got to her office she dropped her bag and purse and made a run to the bathroom to throw up. She knew then that she made a mistake by accepting James request to see her again some time.
She cleaned up her face, rinsed out her mouth, and walked as causally as she could back to her office. She got settled into her big leather chair and took out her breakfast of a muffin and yogurt that she brought from home in her bag, but instead of eating it she just put it in her tiny fridge next to her large oak desk. She was in no condition to eat anything.
“Melanie” her boss said.
“Yes?” Melanie replied.
“Are you OK? Do you need to take a personal day? I noticed you running to the ladies room, and you are looking rather pale. You have a ton if you want to leave. Give Susan your files and go get some rest and shake off this bug you seem to have.”
Melanie responded “OK I’ll give the files to Susan and go. Thank you.”
Melanie looked defeated. She packed up her bag with muffin and yogurt, took some other work she could do at home with her, and she headed back to her car. Her phone made a buzzing noise and she thought it was Susan not understanding some of her notes, but it was James. Her heart stopped. Her stomach dropped, and in the parking deck she threw up again.
Later that day when Melanie woke she felt worse. She was shaking, vomiting, couldn’t hold water down, so she did the only thing she knew to do. She called her doctor and asked to be seen that day. Luckily they had a cancellation and she could be seen if she could get there in fifteen minutes. She tried to fix her bobby pins again, but curls were escaping in the front, back, and sides. She put on a hat instead and drove to her doctors.
It was only a five minute drive, but it felt like hours. She hit every red light. She opened the door and threw up again. She thought it might be the flu with a side of stomach bug, but knew the doctor could help her feel better.
Mack, her doctor, had known her since they were five. Everyone knows everyone when you grow up in such a small town. He walked into the room and she was waiting in and knew instantly she did not look well. She was sweaty, hat on head, two different socks on, and her eyes were bloodshot.
He asked what was going on and for how long. She told him about her day and debated telling him about James, but decided James probably had nothing to do with her illness. Mack examined her, told her the nurse would be in to get some blood and urine and he would be back in in a little while. That everything was going to be OK, but they needed the test to see what they were dealing with.
The nurse was from another town and did not grow up with Mack, James, and Melanie, so she was not so friendly as Mack was with her. She found a vein, gathered the blood she needed, asked Melanie to step into the bathroom to gather the urine sample and she stepped back out of the room. A few minutes later she came back in, took the sample, and vanished again. Melanie sat in complete silence for awhile and started to doze off just as Mack came back in.
“Melanie” he said. “How long has your fiance been deceased?” She tried to reply but only sobs and tears came out of her.
“Why?” she finally mumbled through her sobs.
“Well” said Mack. “You are pregnant.”
Melanie knew it was her fiance’s baby. She hadn’t been with anyone since he died. The grief she felt was immense for him, but now, this baby, this chance, is another chance to have a piece of him with her forever. She knew if she wanted to date James she would have to tell him, but this minute, this second, this secret was between her, Mack, and the baby. She planned on keeping it that way for a little bit more.
I hope you enjoyed these sneak peak at Debbie's Aruta's work. Would you like to read more? Here's the link.