Thursday, September 25, 2014

COPYRIGHT: A NOVEL by Lori Lesko @LeskoLori #AmReading #Authors #AmWriting

“Enjoying your morning, babe?”
I looked up at Karen and smiled. “Yes,” I said, “The sunrise was so picturesque this morning, the colors were stunning.”
Karen motioned for a sip of coffee from my mug, and I obliged as she looked me over. “You gonna get dressed today?” she asked. She passed the mug back to me then lifted her knees up to her chest one at a time, stretching her muscles ready for her jog.
“Smartass,” I replied. It was our long-standing joke. She knew full well I would have a shower then dress in my typical uniform of comfortable sweats. I was glad I didn’t have to dress to impress anyone; it was one of the great benefits of working at home.
“I think I heard some noise from Danny’s room, but little Miss Kira is still sound asleep.”
“I’ll go get her. Have fun!” I yelled, as Karen dashed off the porch and jogged toward the beach, after flipping me the finger first, of course.
As a writer, I cherished the still, quiet beauty of the sunrise, and would get up every morning before dawn to meditate while the rest of my family still slept. I’d sit out on the back porch, breathing in the ocean air, drinking my coffee, and listen to the pounding waves.
Karen, on the other hand, usually slept in, but not today. She was due in Miami tomorrow for a photo-shoot and had to look her best. Jogging kept her slim, even though she constantly bitched about doing it.
It was time to play tag team. For my part, I had to make sure Danny and Kira were up and dressed for school. Easier said than done, especially when the two of them habitually fought me. I always made their lunches the night before, so it never became an issue in the morning.
I tended to Kira first, because she drained the clock of time more than any other human known to man. I pushed open her door and saw her blinking at me.
“Hey there, little girl,” I whispered. She wasn’t impressed by my kindness and pulled the puppy dog patterned covers over her head.
“I don’t wanna…” she said. Time for blackmail. I went and picked up Sammy, her favorite stuffed bunny.
“Really? Sammy wants to get up. Look, he’s already walking into the bathroom to wash his face,” I said, while bending over bunny’s legs and making him walk.
“Not without me he isn’t!” Kira yelled, jumping out of bed and running after me. Works every time, but that’s only because she’s four. New tactics would have to be discovered when she got older. Contemplating my other child, I wondered what Danny was doing. Judging from the odor permeating from outside of his room, there’d be trouble this morning.
“Danny, you functioning?” I yelled down the hall toward his door.
“Yes, I’m getting ready, Your Highness,” he shouted back.
“Thank you, my prince.” I lowered my voice when I saw Kira covering her ears.
“You’re too loud, Mommy,” she pouted.
“Sorry, you’re right.” I knelt down to help her get dressed. “No more caffeine for me today.” There was something so cute about her that morning. After washing herself and brushing her teeth, she ran back into her bedroom and pulled on her new black jeans and a pink shirt. She pretended to be a young adult with her choice of clothing, which made me worry that she was growing up too fast. Wasn’t she just born yesterday?
“I’m ready,” she proclaimed.
“Wait a minute, come here,” I said. Kira ran back into the bathroom and jumped up on the bathroom stool, so she could see herself in the mirror. I brushed her hair until it was glossy and smooth, and then we both looked into the mirror and flung our hair over our shoulders. “Hey, you’re beautiful. You know that?”
“No, you’re beautyyyfffall,” she said. We took each other’s hand and left the bathroom. Kira placed Sammy on her bed, to await her return, and then we walked down the hall. I knocked on Danny’s door and opened it.
“Shit, Mom, I’m getting dressed,” he chided me.
“Sorry, sorry,” I said, averting my eyes and stepping back out of his room. “You know I can smell it. There’s no use trying to hide it with air freshener. Last warning.”
Danny came over to the door and peered out, dressed in just a pair of jeans. His long brown hair wildly disheveled. “No more, I promise. I really mean it this time.”
“That’s good; otherwise you’ll be grounded for a month. Which means no seeing Alice.”
“I promise. I’m done with grass,” he said, cracking a smile at Kira and me.
“Okay, downstairs in five,” I told him. He disappeared back into his room and Kira looked up at me in bewilderment.
“Mommy, why does Danny not like grass?” she asked. I heard Danny laughing in his bedroom.
“It’s a long story, honey,” I said. Karen came jogging upstairs, passing us.
“Good morning, all! I’ll be in the shower,” she said, stopping to give Kira a kiss.
“You’re all sweaty, Mommy, yuck!” Kira pulled back.
“Yes, I am, but I love you anyway!” Karen said, laughing. “And you can smell the pot all the way down on the beach, Danny! You’re on my shit list!”
“I know, I know,” he called out.
Kira and I made waffles for breakfast. Correction, I made the waffles while Kira watched. Danny joined us, still looking a little rough around the edges, but trying to hide it. He looked a bit smarter in his navy blue shirt and had brushed his hair. I did my best to make as much noise as possible, just to irritate him.
We all sat at the kitchen breakfast bar and had milk and waffles. Karen appeared, clean and dressed and, as always, in white. White jeans and a sleeveless white top, showing just enough cleavage to distract me and cause impure thoughts to flit through my mind. I closed my eyes and forced myself to focus on the tasks at hand.
“Tag, you’re it,” I said to Karen as I brushed my hand gently across her arm. “Have a great day guys, I’m off to work. The grocery list is on the fridge,” I told Karen, and gave Danny and Kira a kiss.
“Would you at least try to consider a different outfit?” Karen pleaded.
“No, but I am going to take a shower.” I smiled and left for the second floor. I showered and got dressed in a pair of cream shorts and a maroon t-shirt. It wasn’t worthy of business attire, but compared to my usual sloppy sweats, it was a step up. I heard the van door close and pull out of the driveway. That was my cue to go to work.
I poured myself a glass of lemonade and went to my office, which was my sanctuary from the outside world. I opened the window and let the sounds and smell of the ocean seep into the room. Once I felt in sync with my surroundings, I turned my laptop on and typed a few sentences. In contrast to the extremely gruesome topic, I played symphony music that perfectly matched the crashing sound of the waves.
When typing really fast, I tended to look at the keyboard rather than the computer screen. After about twenty minutes of typing, I realized that the keys were floating, swimming before my eyes. I blinked a few times and tried to focus, but my vision became blurry. I stopped typing and rubbed my eyes, hoping it wasn’t a migraine forming; I put my glasses on, and tried to concentrate on the screen. Before I could begin typing again, pain shot down my spine, making me gasp. Waves of nausea came over me, and I knew that I would have to stop working until it passed.
At that point, the unthinkable happened. I felt a shooting pain travel up my left arm. Ignoring it didn’t make it stop. I thought to myself, carpal tunnel? Surely it couldn’t possibly be anything else. I only had a few more chapters to write and thebook would be finished, I didn’t want to stop now.
I stood up and felt the pain deepening in my lower back. This never happened with my headaches. What the fuck was going on? I ignored the voice in my head that told me to dial 911, and I bent over to perform my usual morning stretches, thinking that would help. When I lifted my head and stretched out my arms, Karen walked into my office. I barely recognized her face. The only reason I knew it was her was the golden haze of her curly perm and the white blur of her clothing.
“Babe, are you okay?” Karen asked.
“I can’t see very well and I feel nauseous,” I replied. My hand reached for her, and I knocked over my glass of lemonade. It wouldn’t be until much later that I’d realize the damage that this one motion would cause. I collapsed onto the floor.
“Amber!” my beloved screamed. That was the last thing I heard before the blackness engulfed me.

Amber Tyler is living every author’s dream: her books are all best sellers and she writes full time. She has worked hard and is well-accomplished in her career, and she has the support and love of her beautiful children and girlfriend. 

But the dream soon turns into a terrible nightmare when her latest manuscript is stolen. She decides to fight for what is rightfully hers, only to find that the harder she tries, the easier it all slips through her fingers, putting her career, her family, and her life in jeopardy.
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Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-13
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