Sunday Sampler: Hidden Creek by Lynn Hobbs
January 10, 2016
In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle has launched a series featuring writing samples from some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Sunday’s Sampler is an excerpt from Hidden Creek, book three of three in the Running Forward Series, a powerful faith and family saga by Lynn Hobbs. Hidden Creek won first place in Religious Fiction for 2015 by The Texas Association of Authors.
As one reviewer said: Hidden Creek is a modern, fast-paced story, full of the events that have to be faced and overcome in daily life. Showing the strength of friendship, and what can be achieved with a loving relationship. Set in familiar surroundings of Northeast Texas, Hidden Creek is a really good read, and part of an enjoyable series.
Two women, two men, fight the wages of sin. Who heals? Who follows God’s will?
Four journeys, four friends; turn the page, let the story begin…
Suspense builds as new faces emerge. Unexpected surprises, exciting twists and turns, and lessons learned make Susan’s world come alive.
Through many struggles, does Susan’s faith prevail? Will this family ever bond together?
“Answer, Logan.” Adrenaline shot through Ben’s veins, and he focused on the telephone. Sweat popped out on his forehead, and he grumbled into the receiver. “Come on, come on.”
His brother answered while Ben was mid-air in hanging up the telephone. The vigorous tapping of his foot ceased, energy left him, and his body involuntarily swayed.
“Logan? It’s me, Ben. I need help. I cannot make myself look at her.” He flopped in a chair and gripped the armrest.
“Who is she? She is my wife. Do you recall meeting Izabella when you were in the hospital? She came with Susan. I married her…last night. Only, she won’t wake up today. What? We did party last night. No, I don’t need any more trouble. Don’t tell me to watch my temper. Yes, I’ll try harder to wake her.” He slammed the motel phone down.
Ben seethed. He forced himself to abandon the mounting fear gnawing at his insides, and studied Izabella’s condition. He leaned forward in his chair and felt the weight of his bloated stomach against the top of his legs. Incapable of compassion, Ben stared at her with curiosity. One arm hung off the edge of the bed, and her mouth was slightly open.
“Izabella. Izabella? Well, la-di-da, you are not so reserved now.” He jumped up and tiptoed to the bed. “Izabella, can you hear me? I don’t believe you are dying.”
I will wake you…where’s the ice machine?
He wandered out in the hall bringing the ice bucket assigned to their room. Ben located the familiar metal machine around the corner and laughed a low, guttural sound. He promptly lifted the lid and filled the bucket. Within mere seconds, he fled the area and entered the motel room with the ice intact.
“Izabella?” He snickered and dumped the bucket of cold, ice cubes on her face.
She sputtered and gasped, rising from the bed with a scowl.
“Ben how dare you,” Izabella yelled.
“Trust me. It was an act of mercy.”
“Mercy? Your definition of mercy is not the same as mine.”
“I was worried about you, Izabella. You slept and slept. Here, let me help you.” He wrapped his arms around her waist and gently lifted. She slowly got up and stood without his assistance.
“What time is it? I feel worn out and groggy.” She hobbled across the carpet and retrieved her watch on the nightstand. “Five o’clock? I slept all day?”
“Yes, and I had to consider drastic measures, Izabella. Let’s put this incident behind us.”
“You sound so kindhearted about drenching me with ice cubes.” She gave him a playful shove. “I’ll get cleaned up, and we can leave.”
“Fair enough. It won’t take long to get us checked out at the office.”
He drifted out of the room and she grabbed her make-up bag. A hot shower eased the stiff muscles in her back. Energy returned, and she emerged resembling herself again.
Ben popped in the room and glanced at her. “Well, good to have you back,” He embraced his wife and held her at arm’s length. “Rather hasty improvement, my dear.”
Izabella shook her head. “Before I took my shower, I looked in the mirror and didn’t know the haggard woman I saw, either.”
“I am notorious for staying up too late. I must have kept you from getting enough sleep last night. I apologize.”
“Ben, I don’t remember last night.”
“We got married last night.” He whirled her around and burst out laughing. “No need to get anxious. The pastor will record our marriage at the courthouse, and the certificate will be mailed to your house, I mean, our house.”
“My house…my house guest…I forgot about Susan. She must be sick with worry. Where is my phone?”
Ben spotted the cell phone near the television and pitched it high into the air. Her arm shot up, and she caught the phone. “Great catch; I’ll go get us something to eat.” Ben sailed out the door.
Izabella clicked on Susan’s name and hit speaker phone as it rang.
“Susan, it’s me.”
“Oh, I’m so relieved to hear your voice. Izabella, are you okay? What is going on?”
“It’s so romantic. Ben and I ran off and got married…”
Susan yelled. “Izabella, you don’t know anything about Ben. I can’t believe you rushed into marriage with him.”
“Oh, Susan, don’t get so alarmed. I love him.”
“No. you don’t. You are attracted to him. It is a physical attraction. That is all. What happened when the attraction dulls? You don’t know if you have anything in common with each other, or share the same values, faith, or want the same future together…nothing. No foundation whatsoever.”
“Whatsoever? Sounds serious to me.” Izabella giggled. “I am in love.”
“Okay, so tell me about the wedding. What was it like? Where did this happen?”
Izabella laughed. “We got married last night, and I slept all day. Actually, I don’t remember.”
“You don’t remember?” Susan blurted.
“Calm down. I know you are concerned.”
“Where are you, Izabella?”
“…Hugo, Oklahoma in a motel. Ben went after food for us.”
“Do me a favor, this is important. Before you leave Hugo, please go back and check out the places you were supposed to be last night. See if any people remember you. Will you do that for me?”
“Well, yes, and it’s a great idea. I mean, I am a grown woman and I have a right to find out. If everything isn’t on the up and up, Ben will have some explaining to do. Does that make you feel better?”
“Yes, and if you need me, don’t hesitate to call…day or night.”
“I will if it is ever necessary.”
“When are you two returning?”
“I don’t know.”
“Please be careful, Izabella.”
“Susan, I assure you, there is no reason to worry. We’ll talk later, bye,”
“I hope you are right. Bye.”
Izabella located her purse and placed her cell phone in the side pocket. She glanced at her left hand and gasped.
No wedding ring…apparently I forgot more than I realized…