Goldeneyes, by Delia Latham
A man’s eyes are the windows to his soul … if he has one.
Deep in the darkness of a Depression-era night, a man addicted to alcohol sells something precious to obtain it. His vile action impacts the lives of two entire families, and it will be over two decades before the horrible wrong begins to be made right again.
Two young women – strangers to each other – unknowingly enmeshed in a Pandora’s Box of secrets that could prevent them from finding happiness with the men they love. Two adoring mothers who know more than they are willing to say. A newsman with a story he cannot tell. What is their connection, and who is the golden-eyed stranger who moves in the shadows of their broken lives?
The old cuckoo clock on the shelf in the front room struck midnight. It’s persistent chirping irritated Jack Kelly’s already frayed nerves as he paced back and forth across the small room.
“Shut up! Shut up!” he growled beneath his breath, casting an anxious look at the crib in the next room. When no signs of disturbed sleep were forthcoming, he breathed a grateful sigh of relief. The last thing he needed right now was a squalling infant to further vex the burning demon within him. He had promised his wife he would not spend a cent on liquor. New babies meant new expenses, and those things must come first.
So far he had kept his promise; he’d had no choice. Every penny he earned with his hoe, day after blistering day in the cotton fields, was swallowed up in scratching out a meager existence. There never seemed to be a penny extra, to say nothing of the few dollars a bottle of whiskey would cost. With the addition of this new offspring, who knew when he would be able to quench the gnawing demon of thirst that drove him insane? He had to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. The arrival of more children would only make that job harder, and it was obvious Annie did not intend to stop at one pregnancy.
Another glance into the small bedroom revealed no unwelcome stirrings from the crib. A bright moonbeam, however, lay across the bed, and Kelly’s tormented gaze fell on the lovely face of the woman he had married. He had considered himself a lucky man when she said yes to his proposal, despite her goody-two-shoes, Bible-thumping parents. If he loved anything on this poor excuse of an earth, he loved Annie. She was a perfect wife.
Their home might be barely more than a shack, but it sparkled, and she was a real wonder in the kitchen. He could not remember her voice ever raised in anger, even when he had fallen through the front door, dog drunk, a week after she married him.
Kelly’s fevered mind wandered to his conversation with the poor fish in the cotton field. Had it only been eight or nine hours ago? It seemed an eon; every moment without the drink he craved was an eternity.
Poor fella don’t know how lucky he is. Only has to worry ‘bout that pretty little gal and hisself. I bet he could buy a bottle of whiskey if he wanted one!
With the thought, an idea was born, full-blown and itching for action. He actually stopped pacing for a moment, shocked to the core by the undiluted vileness of the seed taking root in his mind. He stood staring at the crib against the far wall and shook his head as if to toss out the evil thought.
“You’re crazy,” he whispered. His heart pounded painfully against his chest; little beads of sweat dotted his forehead and chin. “You’ve done gone stark, starin’ mad!”
And perhaps he had, for suddenly he found himself across the room, gazing down into the hand-me-down crib. He was horrified at the darkness within his imagination, yet knew full well he hadn’t the strength of mind or will to resist its powerful pull.
One more almost desperate glance at his wife’s face … if she would only wake up he would have to forsake this notion, and perhaps he could rid himself of the unforgivable intent. Indeed, Annie did stir a little and drew a deep sigh, almost as though she heard his desperate mental cry. But hers was the sleep of utter exhaustion and she slumbered on.A few moments later, Kelly slipped silently out the back door of the little shack, clutching a tiny pink bundle in his arms and blinking back the tears of shame and self-loathing that sprang unbidden to his eyes.
Here are the web sites for the balance of the blog tour so you can read more about Delia and her next book!
24. Mar. 19 – Bonnie Winters - http://360.yahoo.com/indianabon
25. Mar. 20 – Cynthia Hickey – http://www.cynthiahickey.blogspot.com
26. Mar. 24 – Pamela James - www.pammer.blogspot.com
27. Mar. 24 – 28 – Tracy Ruckman – www.pixnpens.blogspot.com
28. Mar. 25 – Christa Allen - http://cballan.wordpress.com/
29. Mar. 31 – Gina Conroy – http://portraitofawriter.ginaconroy.com
30. April 20 – Marian Merritt – http://www.marianmerritt.com
31. April 27 – Margaret Daley – www.margaretdaley.blogspot.com
32. Throughout February and March –