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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 50

LVampire Boys Of Summer

50: A Bath and Suspiria

Haru removed himself from me and sat up in bed. Unraveling himself from the covers, he got up, and I saw him in all his glory. I felt my breath catch. He was like a god out of a dream, perfectly chiseled by the sculptor of creation. Firm butt, light chocolate abs, rippled chest. My inner perv was rising to the surface.

“Want to take a bath?” he asked, walking to the bedroom door. I was hypnotized just watching him walk across the room.

“Yes,” I sighed, thanking every single God that people prayed to.

He opened the door and stepped out into the hall naked. Disappearing into the bathroom, I heard him turn on the faucet, running our bath water. I got up and picked up my clothes from the corner where we’d discarded them the night before. I threw them in a drawer, saving them as a wonderful souvenir of our first time.

When I followed him into the bathroom, he was already in the tub. Being a little self conscious, I tried to cover myself with my hands. He smiled as if he thought that was cute. “Don’t cover up, baby. You’re beautiful.”

“No, I’m not,” I replied. “I don’t like my body.”

“Well, I do.” He smiled, stirring the bath water with his hand, inviting me in. “You are very beautiful, love. There is nothing wrong with your body. If so, I would have discovered it last night. The only thing wrong with it right now is it is outside the bathtub, instead of in it.”

I smiled and stepped in the tub, sinking my body down in the warm water. I nestled my back against him, and he nuzzled my neck. Then, with a bar of soap in his hands, he lathered it up, and began to wash my back.

“Last night was wonderful,” he said, as his hands spread the luxuriant soap across my skin.

“Magical,” I agreed.

“I hope I wasn’t…”

“You were perfect, Haru.”

“So were you.” Another kiss on my bare neck as he rinsed off my back. “I’m sorry if it was too soon.”

“It wasn’t. I wanted you to make love to me. It not like I was fighting you off.” I turned to look at him. “Maybe you don’t have to worry about it, but next to you, my time is short. You’ll always have tomorrow, but it’s not like that for me.”

“Wow. Miss Sunshine this morning, aren’t you?”

“Well, it’s true. We could have waited, but I don’t want to wait to have you. I want you here and now. If something should happen to me, I…”

“Nothing is going to happen to you. I will protect you. I will not leave your side ever again. Unless I’m just getting on your nerves and you need a break.”

“As if…”

“Turn around, let me wash your front.”

The sudden change in conversation made me nervous. Having my back to him was one thing, but facing him in the light of day so he could see all of me was a whole different thing. The night before we had been in half darkness, a dim room, now here I would be exposed, nothing hidden, no mysteries.

“It’s okay, Haru,” I said, looking for a way out. “You don’t have to baby me.”

“I want to baby you. I haven’t had anyone to baby in hundreds of years.” When I didn’t turn to him, he sighed. “Nora, you are beautiful. You see flaws, I see perfection. You see all the things wrong with your body, but I see everything that is right. Just right.” He smiled. “Tell you what. If it makes you so nervous for me to see you like this , I’ll close my eyes. Now turn, please.”

I turned and allowed him to wash me. He was gentle, affectionate, and true to his words, his eyes remained closed. His hands moved over me with the soap, lingering just long enough to wash me. And though his fingertips grazed the parts of me no one else had touched, he never attempted anything more than getting me clean. When he was done, he rinsed me off by cupping his hands in the water and splashing it across me. If it had been me, I would have ended up getting water everywhere, but he was controlled, keeping it all on me and in the tub. Once done, he opened his eyes and leaned forward to kiss me light on the lips.

After my breath returned, I held my hands out for the soap. “Okay, it’s your turn,” I said.

“What?”

“Now you get pampered, vampire boy.”

A look of protest crossed his face, but then he seemed to think better of it. Maybe he saw resistance was futile. He handed the soap over and let me bathe him. I smiled. From now on, bath time for me was going to be a lot more interesting.

Later, after we dried off and at least put our pants on, we lay in bed once more, my head resting on his sweet scented chest, watching old horror movies on the TV. My bare feet touched his, my fingers twirling through his dark hair in gentle swirls. Our towels lay on the floor where we had discarded them to make love one more time before mom was due home. Now, as the day wore into afternoon, we lay in our mood of comfort and joy, togetherness and tender fire, yet still mother had not returned from church.

“Maybe she went out to lunch with friends after,” Haru reasoned. “I’m sure she’s okay.”

On the television, a girl walked into a room that had no floor and she fell into a pit of razor wire. The more she struggled, the deeper she became entwined in it. I grimaced..“Oh gross.”

“Suspiria,” he replied. “My favorite. I have the Blu Ray in my collection.”

I laughed. I mean, who would think that vampires were avid film fans or even thought of things like DVD’s, Blu Ray’s, or anything other than sucking blood?

“When do you have to feed again?” I asked.

“Maybe tomorrow, or the next.”

“Can I come?”

“Excuse me?”

“You know, to see how you do it?”

He shook his head. “It wouldn’t be safe. You could get hurt.”

“You just said you’d protect me.”

He couldn’t argue that one. “That I did,” he replied. He looked at me, perhaps to see how serious I was about this. “We’ll see.”

“Okay.” I kissed his cheek. “I just want to know everything there is about you. I want to be included in every aspect of your life.”

He kissed me back. “I understand. I want the same of you.”

“But I don’t do anything interesting,“ I confessed.

“Sure you do.” He smiled “Hey, do you want to see something? I was going to show you the other night, but I can show it to you now, if you like.”

“Don’t you want to finish the movie?”

“No, I have seen it many, many times. They are trying to resurrect a witch.”

“Spoiler,” I replied, acting disappointed.

“Sorry,” he shrugged. It didn’t matter to me, though. After you have made love to a vampire a couple times in twenty four hours, witches seem pretty pale in comparison.

Continue to Ep. 51

Vampire Boys Of Summer Main Page

“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

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NaNoWriMo, here I come….

Uh oh, here we go with another attempt at National Novel Writing Month. Though I don’t believe i will be as successful as I was last year due to time constraints, but I’m not here to win. I’m here to write. I doubt I will be able to complete the 50k words that NaNoWriMo considers a win, but if I’m lucky I’d like to be able to do at least half that.

I am trying to challenge myself a little this year by writing in a point of view I am not totally comfortable with. Most of my books or long form stories are told in the first person, so I’m going to try and toss that out the window this year. Wish me luck.

My title this year is tentatively called “Perhaps, Mina.” If I had to classify it, I plan for it to be a paranormal romance, though I’m hoping it will have some other elements to it as well. We’ll have to see where the characters take me. The story will start off with one of the sentences from my recent “Seven Days Of Sentences,” but I’m not saying which one….yet. 😉

Now something I won’t be able to do this time around is post what I write everyday. I will still let you know of my progress as much as I can, but I won’t be able to post the story as it’s written, as I did with last year’s entry “Time Of Our Death.” However, when the month is over, depending on how much I’ve actually accomplished, I will get to posting the story I hope. Still, because it has a vampire theme, I may wait until my other long form bloodsucking tale “vampire boys of summer” is complete and posted to avoid confusion between the two. Well just have to wait and see, I suppose.

Ok, so anyway, I hope you all will wish me luck this year, and if you are doing NaNoWriMo as well, feel free to let me know and I’ll try to help cheer you on as well. Have a great Halloween night and I’ll see you in November. 🙂

Vampire Boys Of Summer: Chapter 23


Chapter 23: The Morning After & A Little Suspiria

The morning sun fought its way through the curtains to throw its rays across my bedroom floor. I lay in bed, naked, warm and happier than I’d ever been. I had half expected to wake up to find Haru gone, but he was still there, just as naked as I and more beautiful than ever. I stretched and lay my hand on his smooth chest. He stirred and opened his eyes. They were still dark, but now had a glow about them, as if he was lit up from within by our lovemaking.

“Good morning, beautiful,” he whispered.

“Good morning, handsome,”I replied, kissing his chest, then his face.

He snuggled against me. “I love you. You know that?”

“Did you know I love you more?”

“Impossible,” he said.

“Possible,” I returned, and kissed his neck. This was heaven. It had to be the best Sunday morning ever.

Then it dawned on me. Mom! Oh crap! She said we might go to church. If she came into my room to wake me up, she would find Haru and I amid roughed up sheets. Not to mention my tattered clothes in the corner. I made a quick mental note: Next time I’d be the one tearing off his clothes. All’s fair, right?

“If mom finds us she’s going to kill somebody. Probably me. You’re too gorgeous to kill.”

He laughed. “Well, you don’t have to worry about that. She left.”

“Oh my god, Did she see you?”

“No. She called for you through the door. I pretended to be you. She said she was going to church.”

I breathed a little easier. What a family we made. Dad’s in the crazy house. Mom’s at church. And I’m thinking of nothing but making love to my boyfriend all day long.

Haru removed himself from me and sat up in bed. Unraveling himself from the covers, he got up, and I saw him in all his glory. I felt my breath catch. He was like a god out of a dream, perfectly chiseled by the sculptor of creation. Firm butt, chocolate abs, rippled chest. My inner perv was rising to the surface.

“Want to take a bath?” he asked, walking to the bedroom door. I was hypnotized just watching him walk across the room.

“Yes,” I sighed, thanking every single God that people prayed to.

He opened the door and stepped out into the hall naked. Disappeared into the bathroom, I heard him turn on the faucet, running our bath water. I got up and picked up my clothes from the corner. They were pretty unwearable now. I threw them in a drawer, saving them as a wonderful souvenir to our first time.

When I followed him into the bathroom, he was already in the tub. Being a little self conscious, I tried to cover myself with my hands. He smiled as if he thought that was cute. “Don’t cover up, baby. You’re beautiful.”

“No, I’m not,” I replied. “I don’t like my body.”

“Well, I do.” He smiled, stirring the bath water with his hand, inviting me in. “You are very beautiful, love. There is nothing wrong with your body. If so, I would have discovered it last night. The only thing wrong with it right now is it is outside the bathtub, instead of in it.”

I smiled and stepped in the tub, sinking my body down in the warm water. I nestled my back against him, and he nuzzled my neck. Then, with a bar of soap in his hands, he lathered it up, and began to wash my back.

“Last night was wonderful,” he said, as his hands spread the luxuriant soap across my skin.

“Magical,” I agreed.

“I hope I wasn’t…”

“You were perfect, Haru.”

“So were you.” Another kiss on my bare neck as he rinsed off my back. “I’m sorry if it was too soon.”

“It wasn’t. I wanted you to make love to me. It not like I was fighting you off.” I turned to look at him. “Maybe you don’t have to worry about it, but next to you, my time is short. You’ll always have tomorrow, but it’s not like that for me.”

“Wow. Miss Sunshine this morning, aren’t you?”

“Well, it’s true. We could have waited, but I don’t want to wait to have you. I want you here and now. If something should happen to me, I…”

“Nothing is going to happen to you. I will protect you. I will not leave your side ever again. Unless I’m just getting on your nerves and you need a break.”

“As if…”

“Turn around, let me wash your front.”

The sudden change in conversation made me nervous. Having my back to him was one thing, but facing him in the light of day so he could see all of me was a whole different thing. The night before we had been in half darkness, a dim room, now here I would be exposed, nothing hidden, no mysteries.

“It’s okay, Haru,” I said, looking for a way out. “You don’t have to baby me.”

“I want to baby you. I haven’t had anyone to baby in hundreds of years.” When I didn’t turn to him, he sighed. “Nora, you are beautiful. You see flaws, I see perfection. You see all the things wrong with your body, but I see everything that is right. Just right.” He smiled. “Tell you what. If it makes you so nervous for me to see you like this , I’ll close my eyes. Now turn, please.”

I turned and allowed him to wash me. He was gentle, affectionate, and true to his words, his eyes remained closed. His hands moved over me with the soap, lingering just long enough to wash me. And though his fingertips grazed the parts of me no one else had touched, he never attempted anything more than getting me clean. When he was done, he rinsed me off by cupping his hands in the water and splashing it across me. If it had been me, I would have ended up getting water everywhere, but he was controlled, keeping it all on me and in the tub. Once done, he opened his eyes and leaned forward to kiss me light on the lips.

After my breath returned, I held my hands out for the soap. “Okay, it’s your turn,” I said.

“What?”

“Now you get pampered, vampire boy.”

A look of protest crossed his face, and then he seemed to think better of it. Maybe he saw resistance was futile. He handed the soap over and let me bathe him. I smiled. From now on, bath time for me was going to be a lot more interesting.

Later, after we dried off and at least put our pants on, we lay in bed once more, my head resting on his sweet scented chest, watching old horror movies on the TV. My bare feet touched his, my fingers twirling through his blond hair in gentle swirls. Our towels lay on the floor where we had discarded them to make love one more time before mom came home. Now, as the day wore into afternoon, we lay in our mood of comfort and joy, togetherness and tender fire, yet still mother had not returned from church.

“Maybe she went out to lunch with friends after,” Haru reasoned. “I’m sure she’s okay.”

On the television, a girl walked into a room that had no floor and she fell into a pit of razor wire. The more she struggled, the deeper she became entwined in it. I grimaced..“Oh gross.”

“Suspiria,” he replied. “My favorite. I have the Blu Ray in my collection.”

I laughed. I mean, who would think that vampires were avid film fans or even thought of things like DVD’s, Blu Ray’s, or anything other than sucking blood?

“When do you have to feed again?” I asked.

“Maybe tomorrow, or the next.”

“Can I come?”

“Excuse me?”

“You know, to see how you do it?”

He shook his head. “It wouldn’t be safe. You could get hurt.”

“You just said you’d protect me.”

He couldn’t argue that one. “That I did,” he replied. He looked at me, perhaps to see how serious I was about this. “We’ll see.”

“Okay.” I kissed his cheek. “I just want to know everything there is about you. I want to be included in every aspect of your life.”

He kissed me back. “I understand. I want the same of you.”

“But I don’t do anything interesting,“ I confessed.

“Sure you do.” He smiled “Hey, do you want to see something? I was going to show you the other night, but I can show it to you now, if you like.”

“Don’t you want to finish the movie?”

“No, I have seen it many, many times. They are trying to resurrect a witch.”

“Spoiler,” I replied, acting disappointed.

“Sorry,” he shrugged. It didn’t matter to me, though. After you have made love to a vampire a couple times in twenty four hours, witches seem pretty pale in comparison.

We had just gotten dressed when mom came home. I was relieved. For one, we didn’t go to church on a regular basis, and so we didn’t have a lot of close friends there. I don’t know why, but I was afraid something had happened to her on the way home. I’m not one for premonitions, but things were going so wonderful for me, I was waiting for the bottom to drop out. In my experience, there always seemed to be a balance. If something good happened, the bad wasn’t far behind. I told Haru this, and he told me to stop worrying. I guess he was right, but after all the excitement and pleasure, I felt there was a mood of impending doom on the horizon.

I forgot all about that when he confessed that what he wanted to show me, no other girl had ever seen. This made me feel special, and he reassured me I was, as we left the house and crossed the yard to his place. On the way however, I dared a glance across the street to Mrs. Winston’s house. Perhaps it was really Ryo’s now, for he was the one who dominated the place, and that in itself made me wonder about Angela.

“Uh, Haru?”

“Yeah, love?”

“Would you mind doing me a favor later?”

He stopped walking and looked at me. “Sure. What is it?”

“Would you check with Ryo and see if Angela is okay. I’m worried about her.”

A puzzled look came over his face. “Yeah, okay. But why would Ryo know anything about Angela?”

“We got in a fight last night. She was going to go see Ryo and I just wanted her to be on guard. I think he wants to turn her.”

He raised both eyebrows. “Turn her? What makes you think that?”

“Because he told me that’s what he was going to do.” I didn’t want to confess the second part of that; Ryo letting me know I could save her if I stayed the night with him instead.

A smirk crossed Haru’s face. “I don’t think you have to worry about that too much.”

“Why not?”

“If he turns her, she’ll be hung around his neck the rest of his life. He’ll be the master to her slave. Kind of like the brides in Dracula.”

“I’ll be hung around your neck the rest of your life.”

He smiled. “Not the same thing.” He took me in his arms and gave me a quick kiss. “I want you in my life, Nora. You are not something to own. Neither are you a slave, or bound to me without a mind of your own. You have free will, and can walk away at any time. I just have to trust and believe that you won’t.”

“I won’t,” I replied, kissing him back.

We began walking again. “Ryo doesn’t want the same things I do. Well maybe he does, but for different reasons. He loves to play with people, manipulate them, toy with their emotions. While I just want you to love me, Ryo just wants to control everything and everyone around him. I’m not saying that makes him bad or unredeemable, it just makes him different than me.”

We reached his back porch and he took my hand. “I’m sure your friend is okay. It’s very possible he may want to sleep with her, but turning her is not on his list.”

I stopped. “But, he turned the others.”

“What others?”

“My history teacher, Miss Lazenby. And Mrs. Winston. The other day I saw a boy I didn’t recognize dazed out in the driveway. He’s turned them all on his whim.”

“That’s not entirely true. Mrs. Winston was nearly dead when he found her. She’d had a stroke. He was needing a house separate from the rest of us. He saw the one across the street, no lights on, looked empty. So he went in and found her dying on the floor. He saved her by turning her. Hard to say whether she appreciates that or not, but that’s what happened.” He glanced over at the Winston House. “As for your History teacher, someone else got her first.”

“What do you mean?”

“Someone, another vampire, bit her and left her to die. They drank just enough blood to satisfy themselves, and then let her bleed out instead of turning her. Ryo was on the hunt and came across her. He could have found someone else to drink from, a new victim, and he knew if he drank from someone dying, they would turn. But again, he saved a life instead of destroying it.”

“And the strange boy in the driveway?”

“I’m not sure about that one. But I do know this. Ryo won’t turn someone for no reason. No matter how manipulative he can be, or how he likes to toy with girl’s emotions, he is an enemy of death, and will not allow anyone to suffer and die. And if he runs across someone who enjoys bringing suffering and death, he will meet it upon them with a vengeance.”

He walked us up the porch steps and beckoned me to sit with him in the lawn chairs. Instead of having me sit across from him, he sat down first and pulled me ever so gentle onto his lap.

“Now enough talk about death and turning and Ryo. Let’s talk about you and me.”

His tone made me nervous. “What do you mean?”

“I have something very important to ask you now that I have you on my lap.”

I didn’t say anything, but waited for his question. I had no idea what it could be, and was worried about what was coming.

He looked at me very serious and then he grinned. “Are you ticklish?”

In a matter of moments, he found out his answer, and I squealed and squirmed trying to get away from him. We fell out of the lawn chair and onto the deck, and once again I found his face hovering over mine. He stopped tickling my sides. “You know, I guess a person doesn’t really know unless you tell them. Actions speak loudly, but until you hear it spoken out loud, you can’t know for sure.” His face leaned closer and I closed my eyes. I felt his lips touch my closed eyelids. “I love you beyond anything, Nora.” His lips hovered just above mine, close enough that I could feel his breath on them. “I may not be able to turn you, my love. But, you have turned me.”

The afternoon melted away with his kiss…

“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2017 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Torture Me

Torture me

Within my caged innocence

Where devils make pleasure a mockery

Of the grand design of love

Drink from me

This very lifeblood that cries your name

In rivulets of crimson sorrow

To your moist waiting lips

Possess me

Completely, my love

Be the one

Who makes me sweat your name

Torture me

Make me plead

To be more like you

And more like me

Until we can’t see

Where one stops

And the other begins

Torture me…

Part 2: Twyla 

Orchard House: Daily Serial Novel

Part 2: Twyla

Everywhere you looked there were baskets and bushels of fruit. Apples, peaches, oranges, lemons, grapes…you name it. If it could be grown in America it seemed to be under the roof of Orchard House. Walking down an aisle that had to include at least a dozen different varieties of apples, I saw a little girl, Twyla I presumed, at a table in the back. She sat on a stool like an eight year old bartender, mixing up a new batch of her lemonade. Spread out on the table were assorted lemons, a sack of sugar, and what appeared to be her creation in a bottled form. She, being the good little salesperson, saw me coming and perked right up. “Hey there Mister, want some lemonade? First cup is free.”

“Yeah your mom told me you made it yourself.”

The girl giggled and beamed proudly. “She will like that,” she grinned. Then she leaned forward in a hushed whisper, “She’s not my mom. She’s my grams.”

I turned back around to the doorway to see if the woman had followed me through. She hadn’t.

“Well, little miss,” I said, “She looked young enough to be your mom.”

“Oh she’s not an old gram. She’s only fifty. You probably aren’t far behind.”

I laughed out loud. You got to love the honesty of children. She was right of course. At forty-five, I guess I wasn’t that far at all.

She poured me a cup of her concoction and handed it to me. I took it, and without hesitation drank the contents down in one gulp. It was very good, probably the best I had tasted. “This has got to be the worst orange juice ever,” I exclaimed, to which she frowned. “But for a lemonade it is absolutely the bestest.”

She smiled brightly. “Thank you mister.” Then she frowned at me as if she were a parent admonishing a kid. “But I think you should know, ‘bestest’ isn’t a real word.”

“Yeah I know. But it is the best lemonade I have tasted in many a year.”

The saleswoman in the girl saw her opportunity. “Would you like to buy a bottle?”

I feigned surprise. “What? A bottle?”

“Um..Yeah.”

“No I won’t buy a bottle.” Then I gave her a wink. “But I’ll take a case if you got it.”

Twyla’s grandmother looked very surprised when I came walking out of the fruit stand with a case of her lemonade in my arms. She laughed.

“My, I thought she had it in her to sell, but she has clearly outdone herself.”

“Mam, Twyla makes the best lemonade I had to overlook my disappointment in Orchard House.”

For a moment her smile faltered. “Disappointed? What disappointed you?”

“Well,” I confessed. “The sign at the end of the road said Orchard House, and I guess I just thought it was a hotel or bed and breakfast. Some place I could kick back my heels and forget the things I have to do for a while.”

Now she smiled. “Well technically, this here isn’t Orchard House. The actual house is up around the bend on the backside of the orchard.my husband and I converted into just the sort of thing you are looking for.”

“Wow, well I guess it’s not a real disappointment after all.”

“Nope. And it’s empty at the moment and ready for visitors. Only sixty-fivedollars a night. “

“That sounds very reasonable. Indoor plumbing?”

“Sure is. You got a full bath, kitchen, dining room, den, two bedrooms downstairs, two more on the upper level. And like I said, it’s empty so you can sleep in any room you like.”

“Can I see it?”

“Sure can. Just go out to the road, take a right, head around the bend and you’ll see it. It sits up on a little hill looking down on the orchard on one side, the road on the other. “

I pulled out my money and paid the woman for the lemonade. “Okay, yeah I’ll go take a look.”

“Really there’s no need to drive. You can just step out back and see it on the hill. Twyla, show this nice man the house.”

Since the girl had made a new friend in me, she grabbed my hand and led me out the back door of the store. Sure enough, it sat up on a hill not far off, and I could tell from here it was just the place of solitude I was looking for. Nearly surrounded by fruit trees, I could imagine myself walking through the orchard gathering my thoughts and trying to plan what was left of my life. Sifting through the wreckage left behind by Ashley I was going to need the solitude.

Twyla squeezed my hand. “You okay, Mister?”

I looked down at her and smiled. “Sure. I was just lost for a moment.”

“I got lost once,” she offered. “But Jackson came and found me.”

“Who’s Jackson?”

She pointed to the house. “See there in the yard? That’s Jackson.”

Because of the distance it took me awhile to see what she was talking about, but then I saw it. A big brown and white dog lying in the grass.

“He comes with the house,” she told me. “He don’t bite or nothing. “

“That’s good.”

“Unless you bite first,” she added with a smile.

“Swell,” I said. “Well, I guess I’ll take it.”

She let go of my hand and ran back into the store. I could hear her shouting for her grams with glee in her voice. “He wants it! Now gimme my dollar, I sold it.”

I laughed. Twyla was going to be a force to be reckoned with in the business world one day.

By the time I got back inside, the matronly woman had a key in her hand. “Twyla tells me you’re going to stay. How many nights you be needing?”

I hadn’t thought that far ahead. I was winging things and not thinking beyond the moment at all. “Go ahead and set me up for a week. Got no place I need to be until then.” I didn’t want to tell her I had no place to be at all. That home didn’t exist for me anymore. It’s odd when there is no way back from where you came. All you can do is stand still or move forward when every bridge behind you is burning. I figured this was as good a place as any to stand still.

“That will be three hundred dollars,” she said. “I knocked off twenty-five for your disappointment.”

When I saw her knowing smile, I grinned and thanked her. I opened my wallet and counted out the cash. Noticing credit cards peeking out, she informed me, “We do take cards, if you prefer. We ain’t so far out we only know the color green.”

“Oh. Ok. I didn’t know. Yeah, let me pay with my card then.”

I took out my credit card and she handed the cash back to me. “We also like the color gold,” she chuckled, and it reminded me of my own mother, sitting on her back porch and telling Ashley all my boyhood horror stories. I didn’t mind the memory of my mother, but I could do without the image of my ex in my old Arc Angels t-shirt.

She handed me my receipt and got me to sign for the charge. “You should have everything you need up there already. Clean towels and sheets. There is a washer and dryer in the kitchen so you can clean your clothes and stuff. If you need anything, there is a phone on the wall. Local calls are free and our number is posted beside it. There’s no food in the frig, you will have to stock that yourself. Umm, let’s see, what else?”

I tucked the receipt away in my wallet and was already looking forward to a nice long bath. I had some soap left over from the last hotel and a new bottle of shampoo from where I stopped off at the shopping mall in Bedford.

As if reading my mind, she said, “There may be some soap, but probably no shampoo. And in case Twyla didn’t mention it, we have an old Australian shepherd who stays at the house. His name is Jackson, but he stays outside and won’t bother you. Got some dog biscuits in the cabinet if you want to give him a treat from time to time though. Other than that, I think you are all set. If something happens and you lose the key, just give us a shout, either here or on the phone, and we’ll bring you another. Twyla and I have to head out soon, but my husband Raymond will be here to help if you need anything. He’s out in the orchard with the workers right now. “

“I think I’ll be okay. Thank you.”

“You enjoy it up there. Generations of my husband’s family have lived there. Lot of history and good times behind those walls. Hope it will be good for you too.”

I smiled, thinking I really could use some good memories to outweigh the ones that had been less than kind here lately. “I’m sure it will be a pleasant experience,” I told her and headed for the door.

“Oh wait, here’s a basket,” she called. “Be sure to pick you some apples while you’re there. Personally I like the red delicious, but Twyla is all about the granny smith.”

I took the empty basket and thanked her again. I waved to the little girl in the back, who true to her grams word had just taken a bit of a green apple and was waving back. Going out the door, and looked back, wondering if all this could be a mirage. After a lifetime in the city, Orchard House seemed like a dream. I had no idea how dreamy it was about to get…

Part 3: Welcome Home

“Orchard House & The Heart Of Everything” 2016 Paul D Aronson.

Part 1: Running On Empty

Orchard House: Daily Serial Novel

Part 1: Running On Empty

The heart of everything lies at the end of a dirt road not far from Bedford, Virginia. It’s best I not give its exact location, for in doing so I’m afraid it will attract others who were just like I, and my special place will become nothing more than a haven for curiosity seekers. I know others will want to know what makes it so special; how it can thrust two people of different ages and backgrounds, seeking two very different things, into a headlong time of discovery and awakening. But it’s more than just a farmhouse at the end of a road which sheltered two lost souls; it was also the rain, the orchard, the little white church, and the company of people that contributed to the events that would change my life forever. Before I discovered the big white farmhouse, I was a failure. My first book, a coming of age novel set in the Great Depression, had done miserably. A book of poetry had been shelved by my publisher as a result, and my future as a writer looked entirely bleak. In addition, after the death of my parents, my relationship with all my siblings had soured, making me feel as if I had no real family. And let’s not forget my failure as a husband. Well, I can’t really say that, because I never quite made it that far. Ashley left me waiting at the altar, having had second thoughts on the day of our wedding. I felt like my name was no longer Matthew Dean, author. It was now Big Nobody, complete failure.

I had decided after my disastrous wedding day I would just get in my car and drive with no destination in mind. It took me a year before I actually gave up on everything around me, packed my bags, and decided to embark on my drive of no return. How I ended up in Bedford I have no idea. Perhaps it was the D-day war memorial, part of that town’s tragic wartime history when most of its sons died in battle, or the fact it was close to Roanoke, where my parents had grown up during the 1920’s and inspired my first novel. Or perhaps it was just the beautiful mountains, tinged blue in the early morning sun.

No matter the reason, I found myself and what remained of my life hurling down Route 43 away from the Bedford limits and towards the calling mountains. But before I began my ascent I saw a sign: ORCHARD HOUSE – 4 MILES.

On impulse I made the turn down a paved road that weaved its way among farmland and meadows for the first couple miles, before entering a lane of trees that soon lost its pavement and was replaced by loose gravel. Coming out of the lane, I found myself seeing small farmhouses and mobile homes that appeared plopped down on tracts of land as if its inhabitants didn’t worry about the neat placement of houses I was accustomed to in the city. Here, a house stood surrounded by trees, another lay not far from a bubbling creek bed. A log cabin stood on a small rise overlooking a yard in which it looked like the owners were slowly thinning out the thick forest to accommodate another log cabin in progress. A mobile home stood off the road, so far back that its driveway could easily be mistaken for another road. Rounding a corner, several chickens were crossing the road and I came to a complete stop to accommodate them. While waiting for them to cross, I noted there was a small white church just up the road and on the other side of it the beginnings of a seemingly large orchard.

Making sure all the chickens were across the road, obviously to get to the other side, I drove on, making my way towards the church. It reminded me of the church my grandparents had attended: a white single floor structure, topped by an open steeple with a bell that hung there ready to summon parishioners to Sunday service. I thought to myself, it doesn’t get more country than this. To reaffirm that thought, passing by the church I found myself driving through an orchard that lined both sides of the road. It was as if this huge stand of apples and peaches had been invaded by civilization, and a road had been built, going right through its heart. I could see a few workers with baskets picking the fruit, loading them into the back of a pickup truck. Two of these were at the roadside inspecting an apple tree that seemed to be growing out from between two large boulders. I stopped the car and rolled down my window.

“Hello,” I called out and they turned to me, all smiles.

“Hola,” they replied, their dark faces shaded by large hats they wore to keep the sun out of their eyes.

“Orchard house?”

They continued to smile, nodding their heads and pointing up the road. “Si, si,” they heartily exclaimed.

I grasped what little Spanish I remembered from high school. “Muchas gracias,” I said.

“De nada,” both men replied, and I drove off up the road leaving them with a friendly wave.

If this had been the city I came from, there would have been no waving, no friendly smiles. And not because of any racial or cultural differences. It’s just that in the cities I’ve known, everyone is so closed off in their own little three feet of space, anything neighborly is quite alien. Here down this country road, I was feeling like I stepped into a whole other world.

As the gravel thinned out, and the road turned to dirt and clay, I saw a little store ahead on the right, just on the edge of the orchard. A sign out front read: WELCOME TO ORCHARD HOUSE.

I don’t know what I had expected when I first saw the sign that brought me down this road, but I guess I was envisioning a resort hotel or some old historic plantation house with luscious gardens for tourists to walk through. I wasn’t expecting a country grocery store. Heck, maybe Orchard House was just the name of this quaint rural community and the store had simply adopted its title.

Casting my disappointment aside, I decided I better go in and get a soda or tea for the road. It was a few miles back to the main highway and if I was going up the mountain after all I better have something to drink. Getting out of the car, I stretched my legs and went in the front door. A little bell jingled over my head and I found myself facing a slightly older woman in a country apron just inside the doorway.

“Well hi there,” she said, in a southern drawl, which sounds much better on women than it does men. “Welcome to Orchard House. What can we do you for?”

I had to chuckle. In the city that phrase would be taken in a completely different way. “Something cold to drink,” I replied.

“Right there,” she said, pointing to a refrigerated cold case against the back wall. “We got soda, water, tea, fruit drinks, even beer if that’s your thing.” She said “thing” like “thang” and I found it a bit endearing.

“Thank you mam.” I walked back to the cooler and grabbed myself a can of lemonade for now and a large bottle of my favorite root beer for later. I set them on the counter and reached into my front pocket for a couple dollar bills I had crammed there after pumping gas that morning.

She rang up the root beer and looked at the lemonade in a curious fashion before turning her eyes on me. “If you want a good lemonade fella, we got some homemade back there in the fruit stand,” she said, pointing to an open doorway where I could see baskets and baskets of various fresh fruit from the adjacent orchard. “My little Twyla makes it herself. Go try you a cup.”

I figured why not. There’s not much you can do to ruin lemonade. So I headed through the doorway and into the fruit stand.

Part 2: Twyla 

“Orchard House & The Heart Of Everything” 2016 Paul D Aronson.

In the beginning, there was “Orchard House”

When I first started this blog, one of my intents was to share a novel I had written called, “Orchard House & The Heart Of Everything”. I was really proud of the process and end result of the project, and I tried to think of a way to share it with the most readers as possible. I didn’t really want to fight to get a piece of the publishing pie, or have it languish unread in a drawer on my writing desk, so I thought the best way was sharing it chapter by chapter in a blog. I have to admit I was a little naive and just assumed people would flock to read my novel, which of course, did not happen. I had less than a dozen followers, the posted chapters were too long for a blog entry, and I broke up the chapters with writing notes, which kind of took readers away from the story I wanted them to read. 

So, I’m looking back on the novel, and trying to find a way to get this out there and read. I’m thinking, maybe still a little naive, I have more followers now, I know my way around WordPress a little better, and I really believe in this story. Why not give it another shot and see if it does a little better this time? This time however, no story notes to distract readers from the tale, and no lengthy chapters to wade through. What I came up with is this: a serialized novel, in which a new part will be posted every day. They will be posted every morning between 8am and 10am eastern standard time. If I miss a day, I’ll double up next time. Also, each part will be 2000 words or under, to keep the post concise and hopefully easier to read. If you’re like me, sometimes time is tight and a shorter blog will get read quicker than a lengthy one. By breaking up the chapters, and making them shorter, I hope you will join me and take a chance on reading this novel.

So, what is “Orchard House” exactly? This novel tells the story of a jilted groom and a young woman seeking her estranged father who end up renting the same vacation farmhouse. While she seeks her father, and he seeks his solace, they find themselves drawn together by their circumstances and fate. I would call it a southern romantic drama, with a dash of sweet , a little bit of sexy, and several interconnected storylines. Again, I hope you will join me as I prepare this ongoing daily series. Much thanks to everyone who has already made this blog more of a success than I thought it would be. See you in the AM tomorrow, when I’ll be posting the first serial chapter of “Orchard House.” I hope you’ll fall in love with the place as much as I have 🙂