Here is another excerpt from my soon-to-be-released contemporary pro-life thriller, Stealing Jenny. To read the prologue, go here.
One month later
Jenny knelt in front of the toilet, her protruding stomach pressed against the porcelain bowl. Her toddler stared quizzically at her.
“Momma ‘kay?” Caleb asked.
“Uh-huh. I’m just. . .” She emptied the contents of her stomach, straightened then exhaled.
“Yuck.” Caleb leaned in, but kept a safe distance away.
She didn’t particularly like the nausea, but welcomed it because her doctor said that it meant that Little Buddy was still safe in her womb.
Motherhood and pregnancy already had their usual challenges, especially with five small children. But when she first held her daughter, Christine, in her arms, she realized that this was her purpose in life: to be a mom.
The forced bed rest for most of the past month had been difficult, to say the least. Thankfully, a week ago, the doctor gave her permission to do simple housework and pick up the kids from the bus stop, but advised her to remain off her feet most of the time.
She reached for the hand towel on the counter and wiped her mouth.
“Don’t like that.” Caleb’s small hand patted her head. “Kay, Mom?”
“Yes, I’m okay.” She pushed herself up and stared at her reflection in the bathroom mirror. Some pregnant women glowed, but pregnancy usually brought out the worst in her, from the oily hair to the slight acne to the constant green tinge. At least her maternity shirt was bright and pretty with blue and white flowers.
“Come on, Caleb.” She took hold of her son’s hand and led him into the kitchen for a snack, then noticed that he hadn’t finished his grilled cheese sandwich. Now that her stomach was empty, the half-eaten lunch looked appetizing. She ate a couple bites, felt queasy again, then decided against finishing it.
She got a box of crackers from the cupboard and gave a handful to Caleb, who shoved them in his mouth.
Dirty dishes were stacked on the counter. She knew she ought to wash them, but at this time of the day, her body cried out for rest more than anything else. Besides, the doctor advised her to stay off her feet as much as possible.
She leaned against the sliding doors and stared at the spacious back yard. It was a beautiful, summer-like day and Jenny breathed in the fresh air. One of the neat things about pregnancy was the heightened sense of smell, although that could also be a disadvantage, depending on the scent.
Behind her, Bootsie barked to go outside. Jenny slid open the patio door and the beagle scampered away.
She took her son’s hand, sat him in front of the television and turned on a Blues Clues DVD.
Jenny lowered herself onto the sofa, her heavy pregnant body sinking into the cushions. Immediately, the dog began to whine and scratch at the back door. She sighed, pushed herself up and trudged across the living room and kitchen to open the sliding glass doors. The dog ran inside.
The clock on the wall chimed that it was quarter to three. In half an hour, the girls would be arriving at the bus stop. The new school year had been in session for the past week. Jenny had been hoping that this year she could persuade Chris to walk her sisters home the one and a half blocks. Unfortunately, Chris had a fear of walking alone since she heard her classmates talking about a girl who was abducted in Toronto. She tried to reassure her daughter that that sort of thing didn’t happen in their small community, but Christine wouldn’t hear any of it.
Next week: Excerpt from Chapter Two
Stealing Jenny will be available on September 15, 2011
Copyright 2011 Ellen Gable Hrkach/Full Quiver Publishing