Lori Ryan

Rachel Thompson

Aicha Zoubair

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Beautiful American by Marilyn Holdsworth @m_holdsworth

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Muttie barked a joyful greeting when Abby returned home later that afternoon. She let herself into the house and went immediately to check her messages. Only two calls, one the local newspaper about an advertisement she wanted run the next week and one a longtime customer checking on an order. She switched off the machine, walked into the living room, and stood for a moment admiring the desk. She had placed it by the window, and the late afternoon sunlight was slanting across its smooth finish. She walked across the room, ran her hand over the top, and traced the delicate decoration on the drawers. She studied the desk’s carved details for a moment and then carefully opened the top middle drawer. It slid out halfway and then seemed to jam. She pushed it back in and tried it again, then again. Each time, the same thing happened. She sank down on the floor, crawled into the desk’s kneehole, and examined the drawer’s underside. The construction appeared normal—no cracks or breaks to catch and keep it from sliding. She worked the drawer out slowly once again, and once again it jammed. “Maybe it’s warped from age.” She frowned. Gingerly she tried each of the other drawers; they all slid easily out. “Well, I don’t want to risk forcing it; I might damage the wood.”

Suddenly the phone rang, disturbing her inspection. Scowling at the interruption, she scrambled to her feet and hurried to answer the persistent ringing.


“Bad time to call?” Came the question on the other end of the line, and she caught her breath, recognizing the voice immediately.

“Not really,” she answered. “How on earth did you get this number?”

“You’ve got a real helpful couple in your shop, you know.”

“I should have guessed. Which one was it, Mildred or Max?”

“I’ll never tell,” he said with a laugh.

And suddenly she was very glad to hear from Nathan Edwards. His voice was warm, deep, and reassuring, and she found herself telling him about her problem with the desk.

“Just slides halfway?” he asked. “Could be a lot of things hanging it up. You were wise not to force it. You could rip out a piece of that old wood, and you sure don’t want to do that. I’d be glad to take a look at it for you if you’d like. Tomorrow’s Sunday, and I could stop by in the afternoon—say around three if that fits.”

They agreed to meet the next day, and she gave him directions to her house. When she hung up the phone, she returned to the living room, but this time, she just looked at the desk. Nathan’s warning about splintering the wood made her reluctant to try the drawer again, and she decided to wait for his help tomorrow.

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Genre - Biographies & Memoirs

Rating – PG-13

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Connect with Marilyn Holdsworth on Facebook & Twitter

Blog http://MarilynHoldsworth.wordpress.com/


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