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Excerpt for The Heart to Heart by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

The Heart to Heart

A Short Story by Jeffrey Allen Davis

Smashwords Edition





Copyrighted Material



©2018 Jeffrey Allen Davis





This book is a work of fiction. Places, events and situations in this story are purely fictional. Any similarities to actual persons, living or dead, are purely coincidental.



All rights reserved.



This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your ebook store of choice and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.



Published by GCD Publishing

Cover Design by TW Johnson

Christian Fiction



http://jeffreyallendavis.wordpress.com

http://www.gcdpublishing.wordpress.com









The Heart to Heart

She sat alone in the cell, staring at the blank walls. A shiver ran up her spine. It wasn’t fear. It was simply the temperature. It was always cold in here. Fear wasn’t an issue. There was no uncertainty today. She knew where she was going.

She climbed from the lone chair and paced the room. Why was it taking so long? She glanced up at the flat-screen television that hung from her wall to see a camera crew and rescue vehicles around a familiar area, digging through metal rubble. She approached the T.V. and used the remote, hanging from the wall, to unmute it.

. . . -quake, with a magnitude of well above ten on the Richter Scale. An estimated sixty people inside lost their lives when what geologists have named ‘The Quake Felt Around the World’ destroyed the St. Louis Arch. This number is minor when compared to the sheer numbers that we are getting from all over the planet. Scientists are at a loss as to what could have caused every fault line on the planet to convulse at the same time. The destruction is the greatest that we’ve seen yet in the strange phenomena that have plagued the planet these past seven years. Our own Barbara Winters lost her life when the quake dropped ninety percent of the state of California into the ocean, tidal waves claiming the rest of the state and half of Oregon.”

She sighed and pressed the mute button again. “’Birth pangs.’” She turned to walk back to the single table that stood in the center of the room, taking a seat in one of the uncomfortable wooden chairs. She had sat in that same chair many times over the past year as psychiatrists, politicians, and so-called ministers of the One-World tried to reason with her. The goal was always the same . . . to get her to turn her back on the One Whose Name was now outlawed above all other things.

She turned to look at the television. She had been told, at the beginning of her incarceration here, that she was allowed to see all that she was missing on the outside. It had done the trick, alright. She knew that she wanted no part in what was going on out there.

After a year of trying to change her, the warden himself had visited her. “You’ve been a model inmate,” he had told her. “But I can’t help you anymore. Your execution date is set.”

This had been a week ago. They had wasted no time. Now, she had eaten her last meal and waited for them to come and get her. She thought numbly of all the television shows she had watched as a child, where a minister would be brought in for a last confession.

Unnecessary now. Especially given that any minister that they sent in would offer to give her one more chance to pray to Simonem Bestia.

Footsteps coming from down the hallway caught her attention. Is it time? She wondered to herself as she climbed to her feet.

The metal door opened with a groan and the warden stepped in. He looked at her sadly and clasped his hands behind his back. “Patricia Angelus, the lord has been more than patient with you.”

She smiled sadly. “If he’s been so patient with me, then why should he care who I pray to?”

His eyes lowered to the floor. “He has kept this world together for the last seven years in a cosmic storm of coincidences and just wants a little gratitude for what he’s done . . ..”

“His appearance on the world stage marked the beginning of these tribulations,” she explained patiently. “It won’t be long now . . ..”

The warden’s eyes met hers. Was he fighting back tears? “Please, Patty. He only asks that you symbolically renounce this fairy tale of yours. Nobody’s going to say anything to you if you just pray to your Jesus in private.”

“You ask me to deny my Lord before man . . .,” she met the warden’s gaze evenly, “. . . and, despite all of Bestia’s signs and wonders, he is just a man. I cannot . . . and WILL NOT!”

A tear broke free of the warden’s eye, tracing its way down his cheek to fall off the ridge of his chin. She knew that he was not an evil man. Like so many others in this terrible time, he was duped. His confusion and fear had led him—and far too many others—to follow a false promise.

He nodded. “I see. Well, if you won’t listen to me, maybe you’ll listen to someone else.” The warden stepped to the side as a woman walked into the room.

Patricia’s breath caught in her throat. The brave stature, the brown eyes, and the cleft in her chin . . . those all belonged to Patricia’s late husband, George. But the soft smile and the wheat-colored hair—those were Patricia’s.

“Hello, Mom,” whispered Julie with a weak smile.

Patricia’s lips pressed together in firm resolve. So close. She reminded herself. It’s almost over. She glanced at the warden, who would not meet her gaze as he turned toward the door. “I’ll let you two ladies talk.”

Patricia turned and seated herself in the chair that she had been in moments earlier. “You’ve changed a lot over the past year,” she said to her daughter warmly.

Julie took the seat across the table from her. “I’ve been keeping myself busy. I’m an assistant DA now.”

Patricia nodded sadly. “I heard.” Her eyes lowered to the table. “Your first case was to try the underground church in St. Charles.”

“Mom,” began Julie, “I know you have strong beliefs . . ..”

“I used to think they were your beliefs, too,” interrupted her mother.

“I thought so, too . . . once,” returned Julie, gently taking her mother’s hands in her own.

Patricia closed her eyes as tears slid down her cheeks. “Something as important as faith has to be made real to each individual. I could raise you and talk to you about Jesus but, unless the Holy Spirit opens your heart to Him . . ..”

“Mom, please.” She pulled her mother’s hand to her mouth and kissed it. “I don’t want to see you give your life for a fairy tale.”

“Jesus is as real to me as anything in my life,” explained Patricia.

Julie jumped from the chair. “How can you say that? Look at all that Simonem Bestia has done in the world! He brought every nation together . . ..”

“Just as the Bible predicted he would,” replied her mother.

Julie seated herself across from her mother again. “He’s healed the sick and brought an end to poverty.”

Patricia took her daughter’s left hand and turned it over to reveal the bar code on the back of it. “Only to those who are willing to call him god and put this mark on their hands. If someone doesn’t agree with him, they starve.” She looked around herself. “Ironically, being in prison this past year has been a paradise compared to the prior six years. I’ve been given three meals a day and had a roof over my head.”

“How many times have you been beaten by the guards in here, mother?”

Patricia smiled, her raw eyes settling on her daughter’s beautiful face. “It’s nothing, when compared to His sacrifice for me.”

“But I’ve seen Bestia’s miracles.” Julie’s eyes now filled to overflow. “You haven’t seen Jesus’s . . ..”

“But I have.” Patricia stood. “Your father was once a drug-dealing alcoholic who used to hurt me in ways that made what I’ve experienced here pale in comparison.” She smiled, glancing at the ceiling. “Jesus changed him into a wonderful, hardworking family man who spoiled me with affection and who adored his daughter.”

“He died of cancer, Mom,” argued Julie.

“But he left a legacy of love and generosity that Bestia could never understand.” She looked back at her daughter. “I’ve missed him so much. I’ll be seeing him soon.”

“What if you’re wrong, Mom?” demanded Julie. “What if this life is all there is? Then you and dad both wasted your lives with that shelter of yours. You could have done so much more . . ..”

“Helping my fellow man is not a waste,” Patricia explained calmly. “If Bestia has given you that impression—that life is all about getting every indulgence that we can get—then that only proves that he’s no savior.”

Julie glanced down at the Mark on her hand. “I . . . I don’t want you to die.”

“What’s the worst he can do to me now?” She reached out, placing her finger under her daughter’s chin and gently lifted her face to look her in the eye. “My life is just a speck of dust in history. But, to Jesus, it’s so much more valuable. I tried to instill that in you growing up. I tried to help you understand how much He loves His children. I failed you. And, for that, I’m sorry.”

Julie climbed to her feet and lunged around the table, throwing herself into her mother’s arms. “You didn’t fail, Mom. You were the best mother that a child could have ever had. Despite how much you did for others, there was never a moment that I didn’t feel loved.” She wept into her mother’s shoulder bitterly.

“I’m so sorry that I couldn’t make you understand in time,” returned her mother, her own tears soaking her daughter’s hair.

“You didn’t fail, Momma!” wailed Julie. “I did!”

The door swung open and two guards stepped in, followed by the warden. “I’m sorry, ladies,” said the latter, his eyes lowered. “It’s time.”

Patricia climbed from her seat, but Julie held her tightly.

“Please,” begged her daughter, “just a little longer.”

The warden’s uncomfortable countenance turned away from the two women. “I’m sorry . . . I have my orders.”

Patricia embraced her daughter, who continued to wail for all to hear. “I love you, munchkin,” she said, referring to her daughter’s childhood nickname. “But my suffering is almost over. Don’t be sad for me.” She gently—but firmly—extracted herself from her daughter’s arms. Then, she leaned forward and kissed Julie gently on her forehead. “Goodbye.”

The two guards, apparently realizing that they would not need to force Patricia out of the room, parted silently to let her pass.

As the Christian woman stepped into the hallway that would lead her to the guillotine, she could still hear her daughter weeping. She knew that most of it was for the woman who was about to give her life for her faith. But she also knew that some of it was now for herself, coming to realize . . . only when it was now too late . . . the Truth.







About the Author

 

Jeffrey Allen Davis is an award-winning novelist, armchair conservative pundit, and travel agent.  He lives in St. Charles, MO, with his wife, daughter, and two stepchildren.  A licensed minister, Davis’s fiction tends to take place within a Christian worldview, even when the story is not overtly religious.

 

Visit him online at http://jeffreyallendavis.wordpress.com.









The ADVENTURE CHRONICLES

 

Invasion of the Ninja

A group of teenage martial artists defends a southern Missouri school from an invading ninja army.

 

Klandestine Maneuvers

The members of Adventure, along with some new faces, face an influx of racists who have come to Sera to terrorize the town’s only African-American family, the Robertsons.

 

Gateway to Thera

Half of the members of Adventure are thrown into a fantasy world where they must save Shawna Weston from a cursed wizard and find a way back home.

 

The Quest for Yoshi

Shawna’s nightmares lead Adventure back to Thera, where we are treated to a flipped “damsel in distress” story and our heroes are forced to seek out and battle a witch who may be descended from the Old Testaments’ priests of Ba’al.

 

Buster’s Legacy

A cursed object from Thera finds its way to Earth and causes havoc, forcing Adventure to join forces with the Renegades to stop it.

 

Full Circle

Did the Yakuza order the murder of one of Adventure’s friends?  Jamie and the others are forced into an investigation that leads to the solution of a year-old mystery and introduces us to a new hero.

 

The Possession

After graduating from college at the top of her class, Shawna Weston has peacefully settled into her new job as the History teacher at a Christian high school.  But when a serial killer begins taking the heads of her students—a serial killer who may, in fact, be a ninja—she suggests that the investigating FBI agents contact her old friend, Jamie Raleigh, to assist them.



If you enjoyed this book, please leave a review at the store of your choice. Your reviews matter.









ALSO FROM JEFFREY ALLEN DAVIS and GCD Publishing

 

Lily’s Redemption

Novelist Thomas Bradford has lived with his young daughter, Melissa, in Central Missouri since the death of his wife. He is surprised when feelings begin to stir in his heart for Kassandra, a new attendee of his church. But a man from her past threatens to destroy the peaceful life that Thomas has worked to build.

  

The Ultimate Failure

Allen Tiernon is a new Christian and wanted to tell his atheist friend about his new faith. Unfortunately, the discussion went tragically wrong and Allen finds himself having to discuss his ultimate failure in a statement to the police. This free short story is available on most e-readers.

 

A Family Squabble

After the death of Yoshika Funakoshi, Jamie Raleigh must decide what he's willing to do to keep leadership of the Funakoshi ninja clan within the founding family, with himself as its last surviving member. This free short story takes place after Gateway to Thera and is available on most e-readers.









COMING SOON

 

I Am Justice

Maori Kabayashi was trained to be the greatest assassin of the Waruiyatsu ninja clan, a role that she played with success until she found herself with a conscience.  A chance encounter with one who would have been her enemy led her to Christ.  After travelling the world in search of God’s plan for her life, she finds herself back in Missouri for the wedding of her dear friends, Jamie Raleigh and Yoshika “Yoshi” Funakoshi.  But is her reason for being here so much more than a mere wedding?

Guest starring your favorite characters from the Adventure Chronicles, we now see a new hero born . . . one who would be a protector of the “Gateway to the West.”









ANTHOLOGIES from LION’S SHARE PRESS

 

Metahumans vs. Robots

The war between good and evil rages on, but new combatants have risen to take up the fight. 

The fate of mankind rests on the shoulders of a chosen few. 

On the side of good are the metahumans, men and women gifted—or cursed—with extraordinary powers. Now they find themselves pitted against machines intent on destroying the human race.

 

 

Metahumans vs. the Ultimate Evil

On the side of good are the metahumans, men and women gifted—or cursed—with extraordinary powers. Now they find themselves pitted against a variety of situations and foes. Witches, demons, monsters, and abominations plague the heroes this time around with magic, mischievousness, murder, and mayhem.

Who will ultimately prevail: the ultimate good or the ultimate evil?

 

 

 




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