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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Friday, September 28, 2018

These two will make you laugh, cry, and fall in love … Poohsticks Bridge by The Birch Twins


Poignant in the extreme, you’ll want to keep the tissues nearby. These two will make you laugh, cry, and fall in love … with life and with them.

Description:

Beginning as a childhood game, Poohsticks Bridge tells the sweet story of a friendship between two children that, through the years, blossoms into adult love with an unbreakable bond and faith in one another. John and Melissa are tested throughout their lives by hardships, pain, and separation, yet their love and determination to live life together to its fullest never falters. In today’s culture of having everything, this couple shows us how a few, simple things can lead to a satisfying and fulfilling life. 

Poignant in the extreme, you’ll want to keep the tissues nearby. These two will make you laugh, cry, and fall in love … with life and with them. 

EXCERPT
2003, November. 

“For always.”
Lola had liked it, and it hadn’t been long before things had been finalised, and Melissa and John adopted Lola as their own little girl.  It had all suddenly come back.
Lola had gotten off the bus as normal, at the bottom of the driveway on Decatur road.  It was cold, and although Momma Melissa had made Lola promise to wear her mittens and scarf, they were stuffed in her bag.  Odd though that Momma Melissa hadn’t met her on the drive like she normally did.  The car was there.  As she got near the house, there was a note pinned to the door.
“Lola,” it read. “Come to Poohsticks.  Surprise.  Momma.”
Lola dropped her little schoolbag and trotted off to the bottom of the garden.  She hoped Momma was ok.  The two of them had been ok without John, but it had been weird.  She knew Momma Melissa had been upset sometimes.  Lola could always tell.  Momma Melissa usually gave her extra cuddles when she felt sad, or arranged lots of activities for them.  Lola didn’t mind.  She was sad that daddy John was going to die. He was nice, but it was typical of her luck.  She’d finally found people who liked her, and one of them died pretty much straight away.  Lola kicked through the leaves as she made her way to Poohsticks.  At first, she’d been closer to Mommie Melissa.  She smiled a beautiful smile, and hugged her tight.  Daddy John hugged her too, and smiled.  But at first Lola had been a bit scared of him.  Like he was fierce of something.  Which he wasn’t.  And just as she got not scared of him, he did something to the car and didn’t come home again.  What was Mommie Melissa doing down here.? She only came here with Daddy John, and they hadn’t been here in a few months.  But Lola knew the way, and pretty soon she neared the clearing.  She rounded the corner, and saw Mommie Melissa sitting in one corner…

And saw something.
Saw someone.
Someone else sat beside her.
A man.
At first, she thought it was a new boyfriend.  Daddy John had died.  But then she saw the black hair, and that sideways smile, and the look in his eyes as he saw the little girl.  He stood shakily.
She didn’t hear his words.
“Hey Lola,” he said softly. “Haven’t you got a kiss for your daddy?”
She flung herself across the path and into his arms.  He sank to his knees and embraced the girl, tears streaming down his face.
“I remembered you,” he said, studying her face after, at long last, their embrace had ended. “Your little face.  You kept appearing to me.  My little Lola.  I love you so much, my little Lola.”   
Then Lola was sat between them, and they both embraced her.  She was crying now, but they were tears of happiness. 
The day after, they kept Lola away from school, and played with her all day.  The happy day began at seven thirty, when, deep in contented slumber, John and Melissa were awakened by a happy little girl begging to be allowed into their bed.  They relented, and she nestled down between her adopted mummy and daddy happily.  But she was too excited to sleep.
“Sing me the song, Daddy,” she said looking into John’s face. 
John’s mind was a blank, and he thought hard to try to remember it.
“Lola honey,” began Melissa. “He doesn’t…”
“It’s ok,” said John touching his wife’s arm gently, “I’ll figure it out.  There’s something there in the back of my head.  Let’s just see if it’s the right one.”
Lola propped herself up John’s chest and watched anxiously as John thought.  There was only one song in his head, right there at the back of his mind.  He watched his daughter and began to sing.
“Oh give me a home…” he began.
Lola closed her eyes with pleasure.  He’d remembered.
“Where the buffalo roams,” he continued softly. “And the deer and the antelope play.”
“You remembered,” said Melissa, squeezing his arm.
“Can I continue the song?” he asked, a gentle smile playing across his face.  They nodded.
“Where seldom is heard,” he sang watching the little girl’s eyes as they studied him. “A discouraging word.  Come on honey, join in”
“And the skies are not cloudy all day,” they all sang together.
They lay there singing Home on the Range till gone nine.  At just after ten, sitting in the leaky kitchen with the collapsed roof eating breakfast, a knock came on the door.  Lola jumped down from her stool at the breakfast bar, but John held her arm.
“No honey,” he said. “Finish up your breakfast.  The man of the house is home now.  Let me answer my own front door.  It’s been a while.”
Melissa watched him as he grabbed his walker and edged his way to the door.  The knock came again.  Bell must be burnt out again, she thought.  She added it to her mental list of jobs to do.
In the hall, her husband had reached the door, and opened it.  There was a woman standing there, slight of frame, with pulled back dark hair.  She was wearing a uniform, all black with a logo on it that John didn’t recognise

About the author: 
I write under the name “The Birch Twins.” Helen, my twin, didn’t live to see life, and so I write for her. I’m a full time poverty stricken doll artist who took to writing as I seemed to spend more time writing out little back stories for the characters I created. My first book The Life of LOL was written in five weeks, and was about gangsters, grifters and drifters. Lots of cartoon slapstick violence mixed with a serious message. 

Poohsticks Bridge, the new novel, shows my twin’s voice at is strongest as it tells the story of a little boy who begins to grow up lonely and alone, until he meets a little girl. It’s a glimpse of a life that Helen and I could have had together. She writes through me, I can feel her presence and hear her voice. Her tone is often wistful, low on movement, mature and often quiet, while I am brash and loud and full of silly car chases and boyhood dreams of rockets to the moon. We have the perfect writing partnership. 

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14 comments:

Betul E. said...

The cover is pretty!

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good book.

ALL ABOUT OLD CARS said...

Sounds great.

The Birch Twins said...

Thank you. The cover was designed by my cover artist friend, Sydney Blackburn.

Laura Thomas said...

This sounds like a wonderful fall read. Such an enchanting cover.

ellie said...

The cover, and the blurb pulled me in. And the author info is truly unique. I'm intrigued and definitely want to read this.

The Birch Twins said...

I'm glad people liked the cover. I loved it when I first saw it.

Fall is my favourite month. It would have been my twin's too. Lots of the book is set in the fall.

If there was a perfect time to read Poohsticks Bridge, then that would be it.


Thank for having me here.

♡♥♬ Carolsue ♡♥♬ said...

The cover of Poohsticks Bridge reflects the story -- True Love Is Forever!
digicats {at} sbcglobal {dot} net

The Birch Twins said...

thank you. I know that Helen is waiting for me in whatever counts as the afterlife. Waiting outside so we can go in together. I always think that when I see bereaved friends who've lost their special ones....that the other one is hanging about in the afterlife's waiting room for their partners to appear.

CJ said...

Looks like a great read, Thanks for sharing the excerpt with all of us! :)

Stephanie Phelps said...

I like the book cover it looks so romantic and inviting!

Angela Saver said...

I am loving the cover and the excerpt definitely drew me in! Sounds great!

Stephanie LaPlante said...

This book sounds really sweet. The cover is lovely.

Ally Swanson said...

Great post! I really enjoyed reading the post! This book sounds like such a fun and interesting read! I have added it to my TBR List and look forward to checking it out!