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Mary’s Heart

Mary’s Heart

by Rebecca Carpenterchristmas tree

Mary sat in the dark room and stared as the Christmas tree lights blinked from white to blue to multi-colored—unwrapped presents spilling from under the branches. Located near the top, a hand-made star shimmered silver on one side, gold on the other, the inscription “Manney – 2016” written in black permanent marker along the edge. She approached, touching the ornament as if it were made of glass. Rough glitter met her fingertips—soothing, calming.  A tear slipped down her cheek.

From behind, strong arms wrapped her waist, and warm lips pressed against her neck. “Come to bed, love,” her husband Joe whispered in her ear. “You know we have to get up early to meet with the donor-recipient’s family.”

Mary crossed her arms over his and squeezed. “Not yet.”

He kissed her cheek. “Soon, then.” With drooped shoulders, he shuffled to the hallway.

Mary removed the star ornament and clasped it to her chest. “Do you think he’ll accept our boy’s heart?”

Joe paused but didn’t turn back. “That’s up to his body … but I hope so.” Footfalls faded, but a heart-wrenching wail echoed through the house.

Mary dropped to her knees. Tears gushed in a raging, torrential river that shook her entire frame. How in the world would she ever get through the pain—fill the void that replaced her beating heart?

Her hands grasped a package, rending it until the box ripped and a Superman shirt with attached cape slipped out. With a gleam in her eyes, she lifted the garment. “Daddy wanted you to wear a nice suit, but I think this is much better. Superman was your favorite hero, and now you get to be someone’s hero.” She folded the shirt and lovingly placed it in her lap.

Between two gift bags, a small, square box wrapped in brown paper with a hand-drawn Christmas tree caught her eye: “To Mom, Love Manney” scribbled on the tag. With trembling hands, she parted the bags and clasped the box, meticulously tracing the letters with her fingertip before unwrapping the gift, careful to preserve the paper in its perfect form.

Inside, a white jewelry box beckoned to be opened. She inhaled a deep breath and lifted the lid. A folded note lay on top, hiding the contents. Unfolding the creases, Mary revealed a cut-out heart.paper heart

Dear Mommy,

You always say I’m your heart, so now you can have me with you all the time. Hope you like the necklace.

I love you!!!!!!!!!

Love,

Manney

P.S. Daddy helped me spell all the words.

 

A whimper, long and guttural filled the room. Mary pressed the note to her lips, kissing the paper, wishing more than anything it was her son’s face. Placing the paper on his Superman shirt, she returned to the box and fingered the silver necklace with heart locket, peeling apart the edges to reveal a headshot of Manney—his wide, front-toothless grin the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen. She removed the necklace from the packaging and clasped it around her neck, the locket resting directly over her heart.GUEST_310cda83-2e7b-455a-b447-d5160ca3ab09

Warmth seared under the metal, a faint beating reacting to the glimmer of hope and healing.

The tree lights switched from white to blue to multi-colored, each reflecting off the heart that she now wore on the outside—at least for a while.

 

 

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New Release Sale!

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Buy BUTTERFLY BLOOD on Amazon for only $0.99 from August 27th – 31st): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DYLLVDX/

And BUTTERFLY BONES is FREE on Amazon from August 27-31): https://www.amazon.com/Butterfly-Bones-Coming-Age-METAMORPHOSIS-ebook/dp/B01M1E9854/

 

 

 

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Butterfly Bones and Butterfly Blood are on Sale!

 

 

AD 4Buy BUTTERFLY BLOOD on Amazon for only $0.99 from August 27th – 31st): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DYLLVDX/

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And BUTTERFLY BONES is FREE on Amazon from August 27-31): https://www.amazon.com/Butterfly-Bones-Coming-Age-METAMORPHOSIS-ebook/dp/B01M1E9854/

 

 

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Amazing sale on The Metamorphosis Series

 

 

ad 3Buy BUTTERFLY BLOOD on Amazon for only $0.99 from August 27th – 31st): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DYLLVDX/
Previous Book in the Series (click on image for Goodreads link):

And BUTTERFLY BONES is FREE on Amazon from August 27-31): https://www.amazon.com/Butterfly-Bones-Coming-Age-METAMORPHOSIS-ebook/dp/B01M1E9854/

 

 

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Sale! Butterfly Bones and Butterfly Blood

ad 5Buy BUTTERFLY BLOOD on Amazon for only $0.99 from August 27th – 31st): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DYLLVDX/
Previous Book in the Series (click on image for Goodreads link):

And BUTTERFLY BONES is FREE on Amazon from August 27-31): https://www.amazon.com/Butterfly-Bones-Coming-Age-METAMORPHOSIS-ebook/dp/B01M1E9854/

 

 

birthday memories · Life experiences · Writer · YA Author

Pierced Ears, Blue Shoes, and a Punch to the Gut

It’s Lakewater Press’s 2nd birthday, so to help celebrate my awesome publisher’s big day, we have been asked to share our favorite birthday memories.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m naked without my earrings.  And I’m not a studs girl. What’s the point of wearing something you can barely see? I’m a “the bigger the better” hoops girl.

hoop earrings

So my most memorable birthday is my 14th, the day I anticipated from the time I was little—the day I could join the throng of girls with pierced ears.  In my eyes, earrings were a symbol of maturity, beauty, and a little defiance too. Putting holes in one’s body was still considered taboo to many people, a downright sin to others. But I didn’t care what other people thought, this was my right-of-passage to endless ear fashion, and I couldn’t wait.

Lucky for me, my 14th birthday fell on a weekday, so Mom took me to the mall the weekend before to indulge in some early birthday shopping and to receive the present I had waited for my whole life. Not only was I getting my ears pierced, the coveted act was happening four days early. The anticipation I felt while I sat in the chair, waiting for “the gun”  piercing gunto shoot a piercing stud through my lobes, rivaled any Christmas morning. I was gonna rock those earrings, right along with my 80s hair and Levi’s 501, buttonfly jeans. Life was good.

Waltzing in the door to my home, I never felt prettier. I had on new blue flats, just like my older sister’s, a new outfit in a bag, and bling in my earlobes. I tucked my hair behind my ears, strode up the stairs to the upper level, and was met by a glaring sister. She took one look at my shoes and punched me in the gut.

punched in the gut

“Get those off,” she cried. “I never gave you permission to wear my shoes.”

With tears streaming down my cheeks, I clutched my stomach and yelled that these were my shoes, just bought for my birthday.

She took one look at my ears and glared. “Well that’s what you get for getting your ears pierced early.”

I don’t remember if she got into trouble, but she definitely felt justice was served. The pain was worth it. I had joined the ranks of women all over the world who donned glorious earrings. My life would forever be changed, my lobes forever decorated in metallic glory.birthday cake

 

 

Happy birthday to me! And a very special happy birthday to Lakewater Press!

 

 

Rebecca Carpenter

Author of the award winning YA, Butterfly Bones

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