Dinner with Aunt Barrie

“The work upstairs?” Barrie paused mid-forkful. “Matt Bailey did that.”

Jessica felt like Barrie was testing her, daring her to ask who Matt Bailey was. “I’ll bite. Who’s Matt Bailey?”

“The young man who’s leased your Uncle Rand’s building.” Barrie chewed and swallowed her meatloaf. “He started a brewery there.” Her watery green eyes sparkled.

“Matt Bailey: Brewer and Carpenter. Does he do loaves and fishes, too?” Jessica heard the snark in her tone and cringed inwardly.

Barrie didn’t seem to notice. “He’s very kind. I was renting the loft to him until I invited you to stay, sweetie. He’s been taking care of the house and the lawn for me for about six months now.”

“You had some guy just living here?” She sounded shrill.

“Jessica Lynn Landry.” Barrie set her fork down on her plate with a loud clink. “I will not be spoken to in that tone.”

Jessica felt her face slip into the defiant glare she’d worn through her teenage years. Then she saw mirth rise in Barrie’s eyes. Jessica’s cheeks flushed deep scarlet. “I’m sorry.”

Barrie resumed her meal. “I know, Jessie. You’re just looking out for me, but I need to you to remember I’ve been on my own now for a while, and I like to think that after eighty-seven years on the planet, I’ve got a handle on judging character.”

“I was out of line, Aunt Barrie.”

“You were, but I love you too much to let a little thing like sass over meatloaf get in the way.” She scraped her last forkful through a smear of piccalillli. “Maybe I’ll have Matthew around for dinner one of these nights, and you can see for yourself he’s not an axe murderer.”


Write On Edge: Red-Writing-HoodEven if you’re not participating in NaNoWriMo, there’s something special about something new. You have 300 words this week to write about something new: a new character, the beginning of a new story, a new pair of shoes. Your piece can be fiction or creative non-fiction.

I am doing NaNoWriMo, and this is a short excerpt from the early pages.

If you haven’t picked up a copy of Buck’s Landing, the first in this connected series of romances, this is the week to do it. I’m donating a portion of the proceeds from all sales to benefit a family rebuilding their savings and adoption fund. Recent political developments in Washington are the first step, but my friends have a long road ahead to truly hold equality in their hands.

12 thoughts on “Dinner with Aunt Barrie

  1. Loaves and fishes, Cam! I’m in stitches!

    I loved this piece-Aunt Barrie reminds me of my grandma Helen, and I could be Jessie. We had many conversations just like this. Once, my grandma left town to visit my uncle and did not tell me. I was worried sick when she didn’t answer her phone or her door, and the police ended up being called. My grandma resented the fuss, and said the next time she decided to do anything she would announce it in the local paper. I loved her and I miss her, and this gave her back to me for a little while. Thanks:) And, as always-your writing is so good!

  2. Aunt Barrie is such a spitfire. If you ever decided to do a series of Senior Living Romances, she could be your first heroine 🙂

    Your little touched are my favorite, always, like the piccalilli. They make the stories come to life.

  3. Aunt Barrie is a good character. I will say I felt a little disoriented through this; I didn’t have a sense of how the characters related until the last couple of paragraphs, or even how old Barrie was until halfway through. Since we’re in Jessica’s POV, I think Barrie could be introduced as “Aunt” in the narrative and that would ground us. Of course, this is obviously starting in the middle of it all, so you probably have all that dealt with in earlier parts. 🙂 Just figured I’d point it out for this excerpt.

  4. the loaves and fishes…is a great line. I always feel like I’m sitting and just listening to people talk when I read you. So good..for my mind and my soul.

    and Angela’s comment, a senior living romantic series…GENIUS. 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.