I have so much writing to do this weekend. So.Much. In multiple languages even. So I thought that I would warm up by gracing bombing the P&P readerati with the first part of the first book of my first awful paranormal romance series. Take the romancelandia express to Filbert Cove ya’ll. Cringe at the awesomely bad writing.
Desmond Duma stood on the lighthouse platform watching the tumbling blue pacific with eyes squinted against the last light of the dying afternoon. He rested his forearms against the slippery white railing, noticing the rust that was creeping back again after he had last painted it.
Everything, he thought, tended to break down.
He stretched and adjusted the lighthouse signal for the evening, and sipped his home brewed birch beer from a battered green thermos, noticing the final bitter note that he had tampered with the recipe to eliminate was still as (author’s note: in the great tradition, I will now use a ridiculous, inappropriate word here) rowdy as ever. He would have to adjust it further.
He turned away from the sea with a final sweeping glance, and made his way down the damp spiral stairs into the gloaming. He walked up the gravel path from the small spit of land where the lighthouse stood on instinct, like a seagull swooping down to catch a fish in the water. He had made the walk so many times that his body carried him even when his mind dreaded going home for the night.
The house was an old craftsman, with a gracious sweep of sodden lawn and roses between the stately fir trees. It seemed to sit back a little from the ocean, the lighthouse, and even the drive, as though it too had turned it’s back on the world. It gleamed feather white in the dusk, and the darkness from it’s many french windows gave it a haunted look. Only the sitting room window was lit, and he could see the dim silhouette of his mother Melisande, watching the sea.
He shrugged out of his green windbreaker and kicked off his boots, leaving them in the shadowed entry before walking toward the sitting room, flipping light switches as he went.
“Mom, weren’t you going to the movies with Cecilia tonight?” He felt desperate in the face of her quiet, intractable withdrawal from the outside world. Ever since his brothers had moved out of the house, it was as if Melisande had decided that she could finally give herself wholly to the sorrow that had infrequently visited her during their childhood– she had stopped trying.
She looked up at him from her rocking chair, a woman in her late fifties, still lovely, with fine blonde hair, still worn shoulder length, and deep brown eyes, verging on hazel, in a face that betrayed her great beauty beneath the fog of sadness that seemed to surround her.
“Oh, I really just feel like staying in tonight. It’s chilly, and you know how I hate driving in the dark” she answered with a sweet smile.
“But mom, you haven’t been to town in weeks! You need to get out of the house!” He gestured toward the lights of Filbert Cove, twinkling in the distance.
“Desmond, I’ve told you before, I’m tired. I’m old! I am happiest here, with you, in my garden and home.” she spoke with a quiet, irrefutable kind of dignity, reverting to the voice of authority he remembered so well from his boyhood.
“Mom, you’re not even 60! I’m just worried that you aren’t as happy as you say. You never talk to your old friends, you don’t enjoy your books and movies anymore…” he trailed off, afraid that he had overstepped the line with his outburst.
“Oh pish tosh! I raised the three of you, that’s enough to make any woman old before her time. Really, Desmond. I’m fine. All of my friends are as boring as I am, they just want to talk about their ill health and collections of porcelain frogs! Now, there’s a casserole in the oven. You’d better go dish up before it burns.” He recognized the abrupt subject change for the dismissal it was, and knew that any further attempts at shaking her out of her shell would be met with silence and recriminations.
Sandra Jejeune nervously brushed her wavy brown hair back from her face, sliding her art tote out of the back seat of her car, and steeling herself to enter the much-gossiped about Duma house. She had been surprised when Desmond had come to her office and requested that she come visit his mother, to try and interest her in art lessons. She had moved to Filbert Cove from the city, to try and establish an art therapy practice in a more rural area. She knew the Duma brothers by reputation, rather than experience. Desmond was the perpetual sorrow of the single women whom he stubbornly ignored. The rumor was that he had never had a girlfriend besides some high school flings. She couldn’t help a sweeping up-and down glance at him where he stood framed in the doorway, from behind the safety of her sunglasses of course. He was of medium height, slim hipped, with thick dark hair and cheekbones to die for. His eyes were deep chocolate brown and his dark brows had a slant that could be amused or annoyed at a moments notice. Sandra found his full mouth a fascinating contrast to the strength of his jaw.
He noticed her staring, and glowered.