Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

SONG OF SUGAR SANDS
8/23/2019 1:00:00 AM by: DEBRA COLEMAN JETER

PLEASE WELCOME

DEBRA COLEMAN JETER

to

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY

 

EXCERPT FROM SONG OF SUGAR SANDS

 

The next person to cross the yard was a grown man—a parent, perhaps. He wore a plain black mask covering only his eyes and nose. Sparse, scraggly growth of a reddish-blonde hue adorned a weak chin. I glanced past him in search of his child, but none was in sight.

I shivered with foreboding, then scoffed at my fear. His kid was probably just lagging behind. A group of children in the next yard laughed and chased after each other, the contents of a small witch’s bag tumbling onto the lawn. None of them appeared to be connected to the masked man.

I shook off my premonition. Surely the general eeriness of the holiday was working on my imagination. When he showed no sign of slowing his pace, I took a step backward and started to close the door. The man caught the door with his foot and shoved it open.

A scream froze in my throat as he pushed inside. He was broad-shouldered and strong. My heart banged in terror. I found a voice, though it didn’t sound much like my own. “What do you want—who are you?”

“I just want to talk to you. Give me a little cooperation and you won’t get hurt.”

Like a nightmare where my feet felt glued to the floor, I found myself unable to move or even scream. The din of happy children sounded farther away.

“All right.” My voice came out in a raspy squeak. “I’ll cooperate. Do you want money? We don’t have much, but—"

“I don’t want your money. I just want you to stay out of my life.”

He had mixed me up with someone else, I realized with some relief. I only had to make him see his mistake. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve never seen you before in my life.” Although I could see only the lower part of his face, I would recognize him if I knew him … or would I? Could he be someone from church—had he been stalking me?

“You know Sybil, don’t you?”

The light dawned. “You’re—you’re Bradley?”

“That’s right. I don’t want to hurt you. I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I will if I have to.” He stood so close to me I could smell his warm breath … something like garlic.

Sudden fury supplanted my terror as I thought of the marks on Sybil’s slender throat and shoulders. “Is that what happened to Sybil? Did you have to hurt her?” My voice shook only a little as I willed myself to be strong, to get through this somehow and then to find a way to help Sybil once and for all.

“That’s none of your business, now is it? Which is exactly the reason for this little visit—to make sure that, in the future, you keep your pretty little nose where it belongs.” He pushed hard on the tip of my nose, and Sybil’s bruises flashed through my mind. If this man was capable of such cruelty toward Sybil, whom he supposedly cared about ... what might he do to me?

Though my legs trembled, I stood my ground. My heart had moved into my throat and pulsed wildly. I would not be bullied by this—this pitiful excuse for a man. With an effort, I faced him as if I were the one in control of the situation. He was only a man—a flawed, fallible man with dirty fingernails.

He railed at me. “Who do you think you are anyway? Putting ideas about college into Sybil’s head, making her think she’s better than me, making her think she can walk out on me any time she likes.”

In that instant, I saw the little boy inside—scared behind the mask, afraid of losing Sybil. Fear engendered violence, though, and I quavered. Summoning the firmest voice I could manage and hoping he could not detect the tremor beneath, I said, “This is a free country the last I heard.” As I spoke, I thought perhaps this was the kind of thing he might have said himself, the kind of thing he would understand.

“Don’t patronize me.” His lip curled. “What you don’t seem to understand is that I’m the only one who knows what’s best for Sybil. I’m the one who loves her, who’s gonna be there for her day in and day out. Not you with your high and mighty words of advice.”

“I may not be there day in and day out,” I said, practically spitting the words at him. “But at least I’m not putting any bruises on her!”

So fast I could not have ducked even if I’d anticipated what was about to happen, he struck the side of my face—hard. “That’s just a taste of what you’re going to get if you don’t back off,” he said. “I’ll promise you that.” He wheeled on his heel and left me alone.

The trembling I’d been resisting overcame me, and I collapsed into a heap on the floor, shaking so hard my teeth chattered. After a time, I lifted a hand to my face where he had struck me. My cheek was hot and wet, and for a second I thought I felt blood. I stared at my fingers. Not red. Then I tasted the salt on my hand and realized I was not bleeding. I was crying. I rose and moved dazedly to the telephone. I picked up the receiver to call Peter, then hung up.

ABOUT SONG OF SUGAR SANDS

A deeply committed young man falls in love with the beautiful but troubled Acadia, who knows herself too selfish, too sinful, and too skeptical in her faith to marry a preacher.

 SONG OF SUGAR SANDS recounts Acadia’s struggle to come to terms with issues of faith, while also telling the story of Peter and Acadia’s falling in love and the traumatic first year of their marriage. When one of her students attempts suicide after confiding her problems in Acadia, Acadia almost quits.  Can she find what she needs to keep on trying, or has she made too many mistakes already?

ABOUT DEBRA COLEMAN JETER

Debra Coleman Jeter has published in popular magazines, including Working Woman, New Woman, Self, Home Life, Savvy, Christian Woman, and American Baby. Her first novel, The Ticket, was a finalist for a Selah Award. Her short story, “Recovery,” won first prize in a competition sponsored by Christian Woman; and her book “Pshaw, It’s Me Grandson” was a finalist in the USA Book News Awards. She is a co-writer of the screenplay for Jess + Moss, a feature film which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, screened at nearly forty film festivals around the world, and captured several international awards. 

www.debracolemanjeter.com

https://www.amazon.com/Debra-Coleman-Jeter/e/B00UDTPPC6%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

 

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Comments

Debra Jeter From Clarksville, TN At 8/23/2019 7:20:13 PM

Thanks, Linda, for having me on your blog today and to everyone who checked out the excerpt. I'd love to hear from you.

Nikki Wilbanks From TN At 8/23/2019 10:17:43 AM

So excited for the release of this one!

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WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT/CREATED TO BE SALT PART B
5/30/2017 7:25:00 PM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT/ CREATED TO BE SALT/PART A
5/20/2017 1:22:00 PM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

CELEBRATE YOUR FEMINITY
4/13/2017 1:08:00 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

THE FIFTY-FIFTY CONUNDRUM
4/6/2017 1:53:00 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

THE ROCK OF OUR FUTURE
3/31/2017 7:28:00 PM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

FRIENDSHIP IS STICKY BUSINESS
3/14/2017 8:30:00 PM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

PASS THE LOVE, PLEASE
1/17/2017 1:00:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

STRANDED BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
1/10/2017 1:00:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

BATTLE WITH A BUMBLEBEE
1/3/2017 1:00:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

BATTLE FATIGUES
12/27/2016 1:00:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF
12/24/2016 11:22:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

LOVE IN A SUITCASE
12/20/2016 1:00:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

FRIENDSHIP IS STICKY BUSINESS
12/14/2016 8:42:00 PM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAM
12/13/2016 1:00:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

KERI'S CHRISTMAS WISH
12/5/2016 12:05:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

Raising a Child With Autism
11/30/2016 8:33:00 PM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

SHOULD OR WANT
11/22/2016 12:05:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

CONFESSIONS OF A GARDENS SLUGGARD
11/16/2016 12:05:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

GRANDMA PRAYED WHILE IRONING
11/8/2016 12:05:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

The Day Super Mom Died
11/1/2016 12:05:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

FOLLOW WHICH LEADER?
10/25/2016 12:05:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

ROYAL LEGACY
10/18/2016 12:05:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

MY SHEEP KNOW MY VOICE
10/11/2016 12:05:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR WALKING
9/28/2016 12:30:00 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

THE POWER OF ONE
9/20/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

A LIFELONG PURSUIT
9/13/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

A TEENAGED ROBIN HOOD
9/5/2016 7:36:16 PM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

NUGGETS OF GRACE
8/31/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

THE CHOICE TO FAIL
8/24/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE TROUBLE
8/17/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

JUST LIKE MY DADDY
8/9/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

PATIENT PRAYING
7/26/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

MEET DARLENE FRANKLIN/SCAVENGER HUNT/LAST STOP
7/17/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

PATIENT WISDOM
7/12/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

OF PETS AND PERSISTENCE
7/5/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

God's Server Never Shuts Down
6/10/2016 6:56:27 PM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

Blessed to be a Blessing
5/18/2016 7:57:49 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

Mama, I Can't take a Bath 'Cause There's a Fish in the Tub
5/4/2016 9:18:13 PM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

SOUR GRAPES OR BLESSED FRUIT
4/28/2016 7:28:32 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

IT'S WHAT THEY DO
4/17/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

MEET JOHNNIE ALEXANDER
2/3/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

FROM LIGHT TO BRIGHT
1/15/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

SURRENDERING TO THE CALL
1/8/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

MY QUEST
1/4/2016 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

MY INTIMATE JOURNEY WITH MY HEROINE BY NIKE N. CHI
12/22/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF
12/8/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

When Art Imitates Life: An Author's Book Journey
12/4/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Settled By Faith
11/27/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

JOY COMETH IN THE MORNING
11/24/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

From Little Golden Books to Summer's List
11/20/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Roundeau

THE EDUCABLE MOMENT
11/17/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

There's love in them there casseroles
11/4/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Searching for God With All My Heart
10/30/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

I RUN TO YOU
10/27/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Sweetening Our Sour Grapes
10/23/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

THE FALL THAT LIFTS
10/20/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

A Walk With God
10/9/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Disappointment and Discouragement
10/6/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

STIRRING TRUTH
10/2/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

PENNED BY GOD'S OWN HAND
9/25/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

The Masterpiece
9/22/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

RESTORED HEARTS and a Writer's Journey
9/18/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

THE WRITER'S JOURNEY: Meditations on the Road
9/11/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

DIALOGUING OUR FEARS
9/8/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

WHY A BOOK OF PRAYERS?
9/4/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

From Lettuce to Pages
8/27/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

AND NOT TO YIELD
8/24/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

BONNIE LEON WRITES TO ENCOURAGE THE DISABLED
8/21/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

FAITH WORTH THE FIGHT
8/14/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

CANT HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER
8/10/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

THE WINDING TRAIL
7/31/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

The Flavorful Church
7/28/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Commitment Phobia
7/24/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

God knows our hearts
7/21/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

God Had Other Plans
7/17/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

BE ANGRY AND SIN NOT
7/14/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

God's Writer: Jan Elder
7/10/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

THE CURE FOR THE WEARY SOUL
7/7/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Surely Goodness and Mercy Gail Kittleson
7/3/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

OF THEE I SING
6/30/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

A HUNGER FOR GOD
6/26/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

What Do We Ask God For?
6/24/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

BUCK STORM SINGER/SONGWRITER/STORYTELLER
6/19/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

STRESS: THAT OTHER HOMEWRECKER
6/16/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

A Dream Come True of Being A Writer
6/12/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

COURAGE IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF FEAR
6/9/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Meet Shannon Vannetter Christian Author
6/5/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

JOY COMES IN THE MORNING
6/2/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

EMPTY NETS
5/26/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Bucketwish
5/23/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Loyalty that Springs from Spirituality
5/20/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Wonderfully Made
3/8/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

Lighthouse of the Carolina's Author Carol Heilman
2/7/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau

HAPPY NEW YEAR
1/4/2015 12:00:01 AM  by: Linda Wood Rondeau