Storytime with Erika
Story in progress
This suspense story is in progress, I'm going to share short parts as I'm writing it. The parts are not fully edited yet, as I might make changes as the story progresses.
If you have ideas on which way the story should go, comments are most welcomed!
Michael Webb was born to a poor family. When he was a teenager, he swore to his mother that one day he will be a multi-millionaire. He studied and worked hard, and in his early twenties, Fortuna smiled at him when his first invention had been purchased by a major corporation. His luck seemed to stay with him and his wealth kept multiplying. He built a huge mansion on the mountaintop by the raging and restless ocean, at the outskirt of the city. He employed half the town in his multiple businesses and the workers loved and respected him for his fairness.
After countless fleeting and failed relationships, he met and married the love of his life, Claire, a shy, talented artist. They’ve spent two wonderful years together when the happiest day in his life arrived. Claire gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and tragically died due to a ruptured artery minutes after her daughter took her first breath.
Raising his daughter alone was hard, but Michael did the best he could to provide her with a happy childhood and the best education. When he was diagnosed with a progressive condition, he introduced Eva to the art of running a fair business and slowly transferred more and more responsibilities to his daughter. Ava learned fast and by the time she was in her early twenties, she ran the family business smoothly and fairly.
She fell in love with Luke Morton, a local fisherman’s son who after earning his business management degree, moved back home and was hired to oversee Michael’s businesses. He was handsome, quiet, and due to his sensible advice, Michael’s businesses flourished even more. When Luke proposed, Michael gave his blessing to the happy couple. He was in his early seventies when the twins were born and spent the next two years a happy grandpa enjoying every minute he could spend with the babies until his health deteriorated. He left his mansion and most of his wealth to Ava and donated a few million to the town to repair the roads and to restore the aging historical buildings.
Luke pressed the button on his BMW’s dashboard that opened the main gate and grinned into the security camera. “I’m home!” he said in a playful tone. “Whatever you broke, you have three minutes to hide the evidence.”
“We didn’t break anything, promise!” came the giggling chorus of the teenage twins, Jacob and Jacqueline.
Their thirteenth birthday was coming up already, but they never got tired of their daily bonding game since they were toddlers. Soon they’ll leave the nest and endure the drastic change of being homeschooled to attending college. Luke thought with a deep sigh. They’re growing up too fast.
The abundance of flowers blooming in summer glory lined the graveled driveway that led up to the mansion. The short drive up to the entrance of the well-maintained building revealed an eye-pleasing picture as well. The aesthetically placed rhododendron, rose, and azalea bushes, and Japanese maple trees lining the driveway led to a magnificent fountain right at the front door. The garden on both sides of the driveway provided the family and guests with cozy niches to relax and koi ponds to sit by.
As Luke pulled into the parking space, he started counting to ten under his breath. On getting to three, his twins burst open the red mahogany door, squealing loudly with joy. Luke opened the car door and the moment he stepped out, the twins jumped into his arms. Luke held onto them and wondered what he would have done without Jacqueline and Jacob in his life, running into his arms every evening after a long day at work.
“Daddy! Daddy!” the twins shouted and continued their usual game. “The last one to get to the door is a clown!” Jacqueline squealed, turned, and started running.
Jacob and Luke followed, laughing. As most days, Jacqueline touched the door first, shaking her long, dark hair pulled into a ponytail. Jacob, being his usual competitive self, playfully punched his sister's shoulder and murmured under his breath with a sour expression, "You had a head-start."
Jacqueline giggled and skipped inside, sticking her tongue at her brother. "A split of a second, big deal!"
The interior of the mansion was magnificent. The flight of oak stairs split after a wide landing that displayed the life-size marble statues of famous composers. The left stairs were covered with a lush, red carpet leading to the living quarters, which consisted of nine luxurious bedrooms. The right stairs led to an enormous living room where Claire’s treasured, strategically placed paintings hung on the walls. A carefully polished grand piano set in the corner surrounded by invitingly comfortable chairs, waiting for Jacob to tickle the ivory to life.
Under the happy smile, a deep, painful thorn of sadness hid in the corner of Luke’s eyes. His heart broke ten years ago when his beloved wife went missing.
To be continued...
© Erika M Szabo, 2021
Copyrighted material. All rights reserved. No part of this story may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission by the author, except in the case of brief quotations, reviews, and articles.
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Erika M Szabo
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