In the Path of Hurricanes - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

In the Path of Hurricanes

Baltimore Post-Examiner is proud to present an excerpt from In the Path of Hurricanes by Ann Marie Bezayiff. The book is avaiable through Whiskey Creek Press and Amazon.

Three years after the destructive 1900 Galveston Hurricane, Amie Anders is unexpectedly summoned to the Houston law office of her friend and lawyer, Loman Nurge. As she waits impatiently to learn the reason for this mysterious meeting, she reflects upon her life and past. Growing up in the post-Civil War era along the Buffalo River in Tennessee, she barely survives her dysfunctional upbringing. A distant cousin, Harry Aylett, finds her in squalor and rescues her from hunger and deprivation. Resolved, he takes her to his home and family in Galveston. Somehow the two manage to continue their hidden relationship from his wife, Hattie, and mutual friend, Loman Nurge.

Suddenly the 1900 Galveston Hurricane destroys everything. The four friends face an unknown future. Even as they restructure their lives, they experience more personal tragedy.

Now the unimaginable is about to occur in Nurge’s office. Secrets are revealed. Deceptions are exposed and lives are turned up side down. Amie Anderson is about to experiences her personal hurricane. Nurge offers her one choice. She must give up her identity and history and create a new life, a new persona, far from Houston and her friends. Will she survive this hurricane? Is she strong enough? Will she endure or will she be destroyed? 

Chapter 1

Amie Anders sat poised and proper, her gloved hands resting on her lap and her back stiff against the curve of the hand-carved chair. The horse-hair leather seat underneath her torso was firm and unforgiving. Though she had been waiting for less than fifteen minutes for her appointment in the Houston law office, she was having some difficulty sit- ting so stiffly. It had been a very long day and wild hairs were forever sliding out of the tight bun she’d fashioned so carefully on the top of her head that morning.

InThePathOfHurricanes_lg (1)To help pass the time she analyzed the room. Dark wooden panels covered the walls of the reception area and matched precisely the polished wooden floor brushing the hem of her skirt. The soles of her tightly-laced leather shoes rested on the edge of an expensive hand-knotted carpet which covered the center area of the room. She recognized the fine quality of workmanship. Its pattern created a dance of floral and woodland animals below her feet, providing a slight distraction as she waited to meet with Loman Nurge.

Mysterious Meeting

She closed her eyes. Why was she was here without any explanation? What was it her lawyer had to tell her? She be- came anxious and fidgety. She had been like this all week but especially this morning. Men can be so infuriating and frustrating, she thought. She shook her head trying to relax the muscles tensing in at the base of her neck and took a deep breath to calm herself.

She forced herself to concentrate again on the carpet’s hand-stitched warp. She followed tiny streams of heavy threads which turrned into larger streams, all flowing in all directions and finally blending into a large river down the center. Perhaps the Mississippi. She could feel the peaceful flow and ebb of the imaginary river currents and allowed her mind to return to the rivers and hollows of her childhood in Tennessee, along the Buffalo River.

She closed her eyes tightly. With all that had happened in her life, this moment of peace was only that—a moment. Her home had been a place of anguish too; a place to escape for a new life. In this place and time the line between saint and sinner was blurred, not unlike faded brushstrokes on a forgotten canvas. Only God would know the difference.

If He cared at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


About the author

Ann Marie Bezayiff

Ann Marie Bezayiff received her BA and MEd from the University of Washington in Seattle. She is an author, blogger, columnist and speaker. Her columns, “From the Olive Orchard” and “Recycled Recipes from Vintage Boxes”, appear in newspapers, newsletters and on Internet sites. Ann Marie has also demonstrated her recipes on local television. Currently she divides her time between Western Maryland and Texas. Contact the author.
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