Wednesday, August 29, 2007


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Michelle Chambers- Ripples in the Water

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Michelle Chambers- Ripples in the Water
Read an excerpt from Ripples in the Water:
The coach door having been thrown open now rattled hard in the wind. Its passenger, undaunted by the thought of any discomfort, battled the blustery weather.
“Davy, are you all right? What happened?” he called above the shriek of the storm.
“I'm fine, my lord,” Davy shot back. “Something spooked the horses.”
“What was it?”
“Some dead animal or other I think. It's still there in the middle of the carriageway.” He nodded towards the sprawled, black, mass.
Seizing the lighted wick the Earl of Hawkridge edged towards the shapeless form. “Be careful, my lord,” Davy yelled. He tightened his grip on Mistral’s reins.
The light parted the darkness, and revealed the still figure of a woman lying on the highway. Lord Hawkridge hastened forward, and dropped to his knees. Anxiously he felt for signs of life. A low moan escaped her lips. She was alive. Though barely, he thought. Oblivious to the rain lashing down on him he removed his cloak, and draped it over the faintly trembling body. She moaned again, and in one swift movement he‘d scooped her into his arms, and brushed past Davy’s stunned countenance.
“Jesus, Mary and Joseph,” Davy exclaimed. “It's a woman,” he said, concluding the obvious. “What’s she doing out here, in the middle of nowhere, and at this ungodly hour?” He hastened after Lord Hawkridge.
Lord Hawkridge placed the woman in the warmth of his carriage and stared down at the bruised face partially covered by dark tendrils of her hair. She was so slight he marvelled how she’d thus far survived the bitter weather.
“I do not know, Davy,” he said giving answer, though more to himself than his coachman. His hand instinctively recoiled from the woman’s hair as she moaned again, and turned her amber coloured gaze unexpectedly onto his. Something stirred deep within him. A feeling he’d long forgotten; a feeling he’d not experienced with anyone since Anne-Marie. Anne-Marie. Lord Hawkridge briefly closed his eyes. How long had it been, since her death?
Fear widened the woman’s eyes still further as recognition seemed to dawn in their depths. “No,” she screamed. “No.” She clawed frantically at the face above hers, her nails leaving their mark. Lunging past Lord Hawkridge she reached for the coach door eliciting an oath from him in his surprise.
“You little fool,” he ground out, and pulled her roughly back to him. “Would you kill yourself?” She struggled feverishly in his arms.
“Let me go,” she cried.
“Be still.” His terse command cut through her bewildered brain, shocking her into silence. Her defiance short-lived she sank wearily against his chest the tiniest of sobs rising in her throat.
“Let me be,” she pleaded softly. “Please…let me be.”
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