When Sandra Harn drove her minivan in to Freewill, Wyoming, she had no idea her life would depend on the skills of a cave-dwelling warrior who died fifty thousand years ago. After all, she just came for the rummage sale.
A brass bell jingled. The significance wasn’t lost on me. I understood it had been hung above the door as a gesture, a modicum of reality I could relate to, cling to, in whatever was about to happen. In the entryway, the maître d’s wooden stand, barren of the requisite book listing the evening’s reservations had been festooned with but a solitary note taped to the edge.
I thought the message apropos for the event, considering I had no idea why I had been invited or what the activities would entail.
The building was small, a café, an after theater gathering point in its original purpose. After multiple transformations over the decades including bridal shop, hardware store, and ladies’ apparel, the front room had once more returned to a quaint bistro setting of four tables strategically placed so no patron was either assaulted nor too far removed from the subtle flames in the brick fireplace. Were there more tables on another night? I didn’t know.
At the first table rested three chairs, in front of which sat three nondescript plates. The drinking vessels caught my interest. The taller one, a manly brown, had a crack running the length, the pink water glass possessed a lacy gentleness. The third was plastic, the caricature of Davy Crockett faded where what little paint yet remained.
I moved on to the next table with its four different colored plates and three chairs. It took a moment before I noticed the additional dishes under two of the platters. The colors seemed to convey meaning beyond the obvious, and I didn’t understand, so I moved on.
The third table was empty. Not a single adornment except for four seats, each with a shirt draped over the back; a white hospital smock, an army blouse, a badged police uniform, and the last, a burgundy pullover monogrammed Auctioneer.
In the corner, furthest removed from the entrance, sat a table for one, the chair wedged between the walls’ intersection. The plate and glass had been pushed aside, secondary elements to the paper and pencil holding their rightful positions.
I eased into the chair and surveyed the tables positioned between me and the door.
To reach this corner point I had passed my turbulent and innocent youth, the fractured life of my father, the softness and patience of my mother. Traveling on, my children had grown, gathering their own families in need of their support, the dinner plates our unity, the colors our individuality. The empty space, the untimely death of their mother, forever with them, yet not. My careers held substance, still, at the end of the day, sat by themselves, memories, and little more.
I picked up the pencil and stared at the blank sheet of paper, keeping in mind my seat in the corner, looking forward to the doorway of a new adventure and back on my life at the same time. The impact, the meaning of my reason for being in the café, placed a hand on my shoulder. I began to write the final chapter, knowing whatever words formed, whatever stories I would tell, would be because of those three tables, the lives and loves, the gains and losses, the smiles and tears.
Authors are frequently asked where their inspiration comes from. My answer can be found in one deceptively simple and excitingly complex word. Life.
My first book with Decadent Publishing was released June 13th. Kantu’s Heart, part of the Western Escape line, is a time travel romance peppered with suspense. I hope you’ll check it out and then journey with me as I meet more characters demanding their stories be told.
Buy Kantu's Heart HERE