Batteries Not Included

Celebrate! A Love Brothers Anthology

I love Christmas baking and movies and music and writing Christmas stories. It’s no secret because I have a stack of them in my backlist. Often they are part of the 1Night Stand Series at Decadent Publishing. This year I was privileged to be part of two wonderful projects. Today I’d like to share a little about Celebrate! Liz Crowe has been writing about the Love family of Lucasville Kentucky for quite some time but as our holiday present, she invited several of us to join her for a huge Christmas celebration in her world.
If you’d like to hear more about us and check out all the author giveaways, join our groupchristmas-cookies!

My story is Love is Coming to Town and here’s a taste: Lucasville had been the nicest town Summer had been through so far. The headlights from whoever had been behind her on the road disappeared before she got there, which eased her paranoia. Holiday decorations glowed along the main street, dispelling the darkness of the snowy winter afternoon. At home, they would have already celebrated the solstice, welcomed the dawning after the longest night of the year with food and drink and dancing. A drum circle. Even a silly solstice tree hung with strands of popcorn and cranberries, birdseed pressed into the shapes of birds and animals, and other goodies to feed their friends in nature. Half the time it was so warm the cranberries melted off in puddles of goop before the birds could get to them, but the ants liked that.
Lydia and Bob would tell the story of how they first moved up to the big ranch in the mountains, along with a bunch of their friends, in the late 1970s, to form a utopia. God, she’d grown up with those people. Peace-loving, kind, and maybe a little out of touch. Home schooled, she’d learned to read from the author of a series of sci fi books set in an alternate universe, discussed philosophy with a disillusioned Harvard professor, and learned basic math from a rocket scientist who declined to work in an industry with military potential. She hadn’t known they were geniuses, but they were. Lydia had been in movies. Not that she’d shared that with her daughter. Living off the grid, with only the electricity provided by the early gen solar panels courtesy of yet another one of the geniuses in their community, she never even saw a movie or much TV until she insisted on getting a job.
For the last year or so, she’d been waiting tables at the diner/truck stop at the base of the mountain while she considered whether to go to college and study for a degree. On the always-on TV, she’d been surprised to see her mom in a black and white art movie on the late late show. When she’d asked, Lydia shrugged it off and went back to brewing mead.
Beekeeping was her art now.
The lights of Lucasville faded from her mirror and left her alone on the road again. Growing up in a puppy pile of siblings and commune brothers and sisters, she’d never been alone before. Amazing how a few months with him could change her outlook. The drifts of glistening white at the sides of the road soothed her. In a crowd, he could be anywhere, but here, he could not hide. As long as she saw no other vehicles, she was safe. She just had to keep going, but for how long. Forever? A hand cupped over her belly she murmured soothing nonsense.
Her parent s had provided her with a safe, happy childhood. Leaving them so Mike wouldn’t be hanging around the farm was the least she could do. How far could she be from Canada now? Somehow, in her mind, crossing that border would offer the protection she needed. It had worked for Vietnam draft dodgers, a couple of whom had lived with them off and on over the years, and the country was mentioned with reverence every time politics came up. A place to escape from a new, terrifying regime.
She’d go there and get a job waiting tables or something, raise her baby in peace and tranquility and state-provided health care. Summer could do it. She could protect the baby and her family from the fallout of her naiveté. Bob and Lydia and the others hadn’t meant to leave her so unprepared for life; they’d merely sheltered her and the other kids from ugliness, taught them the beauty of living on the land…and neglected to take into account the real world rolling on outside their pretty white picket fences.
It wasn’t their fault she’d fallen into the hands of an abusive man. Not entirely.
The bus shimmied again and she gripped the wheel as the rear fishtailed. She sailed toward the side of the road on a patch of invisible ice. Stop, she had to stop it and stamped on the brake. The slide became a spin and her heart raced as she flew down the road, the elderly bus turning around and around, her view of unending whiteness stealing any sense of direction until, as the blacktop curved, she flew into a snow bank at the side of the road and stopped.
The rattling, spluttering engine gave one more kachunk and stopped.
The single working windshield wiper stopped.
The heater stopped.
The falling snow did not stop.

2 responses

  1. Nice to meet you!

    December 19, 2016 at 12:34 pm

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