Moving On, continues…

This is the 4th installment of a fiction piece that starts HERE, 2nd one HERE, and 3rd one HERE. This will be the last fiction piece for now. You’ve all been so helpful with your support and critiques. Thank you very much! We will revisit this story from time to time, perhaps once a month if you feel that’s not too much. 

The house was warm, cozy, and so welcoming, Emily thought. She could smell fresh baked cookies and knew Tommy would love them. He was still a bit groggy after sleeping the entire trip to Waterville.

“Let me take your things and show you your rooms.” Laura said as she hung up their coats.

I’m going to enjoy a room of my own, Emily thought. She was tired of sharing a room with Elizabeth. More often than not she ended up on the couch because the bedroom was occupied by the man of the hour. Her tension began to ease a bit.

“I’ve turned the sun porch into Tommy’s room,” Laura said, “It’s the perfect size for a toddler, and he won’t need closet space just yet.”

“This is perfect Laura, thank you.” Emily said. “The quiet out here may take a little getting used to for both of us, but I’m grateful for it.”

“I know you’ve been through a lot, both of you have. This is a new chapter.” Laura said.

Emily stood looking at the sunny little room they had created for Tommy and wanted to cry with relief. It was along the side of the house with large windows up to the ceiling. She remembered it being the room where all the coats were dropped at their last Christmas gathering. This was quite a transformation.

“We just cleared out our off season clothes from the spare bedroom so you would have closet space.” Laura said as they walked up the hall to Emily’s new room.

It was not a large room but after being in a tin box for so long it seemed palatial. This felt like a home. The only other house that ever felt that way belonged to her Grandparent’s.

“I won’t need much closet space Laura. We have one bag for both of us, plus Tommy’s diaper bag, but I appreciate it.” Emily said, as she dropped the suitcase on the bed.

The room was sparse and kind of dark, with one window facing out back toward the river. She wasn’t thrilled about the dark green paint, but she could overlook anything to be warm and safe.

“Let’s go have lunch,” Laura said, “I heated up soup for you and we’ll make grilled cheese sandwiches. How does that sound?”

It sounded like Heaven to Emily.

The house was built into a hill. From the street it looked like a Ranch style house, but there was a steep incline, with steps built into the clay, along the side of the house, to the lower level. It wasn’t accessible from the main part of the house, you had to go outside and around to get to it.

Murray kept his workshop downstairs and he liked having his private space. Emily had been in there once during a weekend visit. He made a big deal out of showing her around.

They were an odd couple, she thought. Murray was a construction foreman and Laura had been a nurse at one time. She gave up her nursing career to focus on having a baby. Emily was certain Tommy was filling that need for her now and had mixed feelings about it.

The living room was small, or maybe it just seemed that way because the furniture was quite large. Murray was a big guy and his recliner seemed enormous to Emily. There was a bank of tall windows along the front wall that made it bright during the day. The paneling needed brightening, she thought.

Opposite the windows was the archway to the kitchen. It was a narrow room running the length of the house, with windows along the entire span facing the river. The snow was glistening on the field, between their house and the river, making it seem like a winter wonderland.

“I think we should wait a day or two before we get you back in school.” Laura said.

“I almost wish I didn’t have to go.” Emily said, “But, I’ve missed so much already I’ll be lucky to pass seventh grade.”

“You’re a very smart cookie, kiddo, don’t underestimate yourself.” Laura said.

Laura had always been kind to Emily, but something didn’t feel right. “I suppose we should wait to see if my mother makes a big stink.” Emily said. “If she notices we’re gone at all.”

“You’ve handled more than any child your age should have to.” Laura said, “We’ll handle your mother now. Don’t you worry about it.”

Emily wasn’t sure what that meant but she decided to take her up on the offer. For the first time she began to sense some relief yet, at the same time apprehension. She decided it was probably due to exhaustion.

Getting up from the table Emily said, “I think I’ll unpack, if that’s ok.”

“Absolutely!” Laura said. “You should probably take a nap, too. You look tired.”

It took about two minutes to put her things away before she collapsed on the bed and let it envelope her. Every bone ached. A comfortable sleep is all she wanted at that moment. Everything would sort itself out soon enough, she thought.


It was dark when she woke. She heard voices coming from the living room. Murray was home and he seemed agitated.

“So you didn’t tell her your hair brained scheme?”

“All in good time Murray. For Christ sake they just got here.” Laura said in a hiss.


Next week we will be celebrating the beginning of our 4th year. I can’t believe it!  I would love for you to join me on facebook, twitter, and sign up for my quarterly newsletter. No spamming, just info about art and blogging. All the buttons are in the sidebar. Thanks for reading!





  1. I do hope Laura won’t turn out to be a betrayal… Emily deserves a break and better. 🙁

    • Barbara

      Everyone’s got an agenda Elizabeth. Have to say, the interest in the characters is SO encouraging! Tells me I’m doing something right.
      Thank YOU for reading my stories!!

  2. This is your best installment yet, in my humble opinion. I love your description of the house and Emily’s growing apprehension. Very well done. You set us up very nicely for the next part. Just what does Laura have up her sleeve? Poor Emily she has indeed been handed more than any kid her age should have to manage. Please do post at least once a month. What happens?

    • Barbara

      Thanks so much Steph! Your humble opinion matters to me. I will figure out a way to mix this and Georgia on My Mind into the blog regularly. I may talk to my friend and designer to figure out how to give them their own page. That might help.
      So glad you like it.

  3. I’m worried for her already. For such a loving person, you know how to portray menace very well

    • Barbara

      I’ve lived it Peter. The old saying, “If it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger” should include “and more compassionate.”

    • Barbara

      Thanks Lee!

  4. Hmm, I think bad things are a foot. Excellent way to set up the tension after the relief Barbara!

    • Barbara

      Trying to keep it interesting Bill. 😉 Thanks for reading!

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