Friday, 22 July 2011

#RomanticFridayWriters challenge - my story, 'Coming Home.'

If you're looking for the Wendy Marcus interview, go to the previous post.

It's great to be home again after a wonderful trip. I always suffer from jet lag (try 21 hours on a plane), but this time it's combined with a vicious virus as I explained in my previous post.  So here's my first post for Romantic Friday Writers which I set up before I left. I knew I'd be rubbish all week. I look forward to getting around and visiting all your wonderful blogs as soon as I get my land legs again.

Now to #RomanticFridayWriters post for Friday 22 July...The theme for the week is 'Coming Home' in honour of my return.
My entry is an excerpt about three-quarters of the way through my first (unpublished) novel called 'Ruby', genre, Sweet Romance
The hero and heroine had broken up. The hero, Michael, had left for Antarctica to join the anti-whaling movement, while the heroine, Ruby, had been busily running her boutique hotel at Noosa in Queensland. She is stunned (and delighted?) to find him on her doorstep at three in the morning…


The steady throb of a motor bike crunching the gravel woke her. She glanced at her mobile. Three a.m!  

Who could it be? If she screamed, would anyone hear? Having her own quarters next to the hotel had its downside.

She hadn’t locked up, so comfortable was she in the sleepy resort town. She stumbled out of bed, tripping over her slippers. Merde! She reached the door, turned the lock, then grabbed her phone and started to tap in ‘000.’

Someone knocked. Softly.

‘Who…who is it?’ she called, before she hit the final ‘0.’ The phone fell, she snatched her robe and slipped it on. She ran her hands through her hair, and stood, trembling.

‘Ruby. It’s Michael. I’m back.’

 Michael was back? But he was never coming back.

She ran to the door and fumbled it open. She stood, her eyes full of him.


‘Yes, it’s me.’

‘I’m not dreaming?’

‘No, here I stand. The one and only.’ He flipped his palms outward.

His face had carved into hard angles, his eyes like cold crystal. Where had the warm ocean gone? A soft gasp whispered from her throat.

‘Why do you look like a homeless person?’

‘Oh this?’ He lifted his battered Akubra and slapped it onto his crumpled cargo shorts. His hair now fell to his shoulders and hadn’t been combed for sometime.

 ‘I’m sorry I don’t meet your dress code for middle-of-the-night assignations. I forgot I was wearing rags, but I couldn’t wait to see you.’

Sudden panic gripped her.

‘Michael, why are you here? Has something happened?’

He stepped forward, reaching up his arms, leaning them against the doorframe, enclosing her.

‘Look at you,’ he whispered, his eyes raking up and down her body, ‘your mop of curls, your lovely face, your silly robe.’ He flipped the belt. ‘I haven’t seen you in this get up before either,’ he chuckled. ‘But I don’t see any scars. I thought you might be left with some scars.’

Scars? Is that why he was here? He couldn’t know about the fire, surely.

‘For God’s sake, Michael, give it to me straight. Why are you here?’

‘I just got off the boat. I’m an uncivilized cretin. I must have scared you. Sorry my darling.’

These were the words she’d dreamed of hearing.

‘Michael,’ she whispered, as she reached for him and drew him inside, ‘you’ve come home.’


I hope you enjoyed my #RomanticFridayWriters story.
Click on the image to read more short stories...
398 words.



Kiru Taye said...

Sweet home coming. I like it. Well done.

Scarlet said...

Sweet homecoming indeed ~

And nice meeting you ~

Samantha Vérant said...

I love this--humorous, sweet and fun!

Sarah Tokeley said...

Awww, this is so romantic.

Paula Martin said...

A great mixture of fear, amxiety, uncertainty and then happiness.

Amy Jarecki said...

Cute excerpt, and I enjoyed reading. I remember dialing 000 in the land of Oz. I lived there from 1984-1994 ~ it's a wonderful place!

Marsha A. Moore said...

I loved the range of emotions in this scene: fear; confusion; hesitation; uncertainty; acceptance; joy. A great journey!

Francine Howarth said...


Lovely excerpt, and a little more of Michael & Ruby for moi. I loved their first meeting, and this scene is kind of telling me they did get something going between them, yet there's sense of wariness on Ruby's part. I like it! ;)


Denise Covey said...

Kiru, Heaven, Samantha, Sarah, Paula, Amy, Francine: Thank you all. Glad you enjoyed the little excerpt.

Yes, Amy, 000, 911, gives the country away doesn't it?

Francine, yes, a few things to sort out yet!


Beverly Diehl said...

I echo Paula & Marsha on the great tremendous of emotion here. You take us through a lot in these 400 words, and we're with you all the way.

Tiniest quibble: She hadn’t locked up - might I suggest "never" instead of "hadn't"? To me, "hadn't" makes it sound like sometimes she does, sometimes she doesn't, and she quickly searched her mind to remember if she had or hadn't. Whereas "never" conveys that she damn well KNOWS she didn't lock the door, and is suddenly feeling scared because of this.

Also - can you spare a word to tell us the Akubra is a helmet? As a non-biker person, it took me out of the story to puzzle out what he was slapping against shorts.

So sorry you got hit with something so nasty (the virus). Glad you're back safely & look forward to reading more of your writing soon.

The Poet said...

Hello Denise.
Welcome back, even if it is a sick one!

There's obviously some unfinished business between these two.
I thought Akubra was his jacket, until I reread it and realized it was his helmet (silly me).
A journey of emotions and definitely a sweet homecoming at the end!

Wishing you a speedy recovery!

alexia said...

Hope you feel better! What a juicy excerpt!

dolorah said...

this had an exciting range of emotion. Lots of story to discover.

Welcome home Denise. Feel better soon :)


J.L. Campbell said...

I wouldn't be amused to find anyone on my doorstep at that hour, but being as he disappeared a long time and she's happy to see him, I guess he's forgiven.

Nice writing. You captured her fear, anxiety, surprize and pleasure.

Michelle Fayard said...

Thank you very much for sharing an excerpt from your book, Denise. I am glad to be a new follower!


P.S. I left a response to your comment on Alexia’s blog, :)

Chronicles of Illusions said...

Great to be able to read the excerpt - it was interesting and I enjoyed it - and the byplay.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Denise. This is really good!
Ann Best, Author of In the Memoir, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

Margo Benson said...

Yay, Denise....welcome back! I've been awol myself so am slowly catching up. Sorry to hear about the virus - wishing you better.

I love all the turns of emotions in this piece, the hints at committment (or lack of) that have gone before. Great romantic piece!

Denise Covey said...

Hi all! Thanks so much for the encouraging comments.


Michael Di Gesu said...

I've missed you and I am SO glad you're back. Maybe worse for ware, but always a shining light in our community.

I liked this excerpt. Emotion and coolness all in one. Well done.

Denise Covey said...

I've missed the blogging world too Michael. Hopefully I'll get over this thing soon and be back on deck with a vengeance!


Unknown said...

Very romantic!