Curtis Aisling travels to New Mexico to borrow much-needed money from his sister, a caretaker for 92-year-old Veronica Meeks. In the final stages of what the locals call “the reminisce,” Veronica is no longer aware of her surroundings, but when Curtis sees things no one else does, he’s certain the unresponsive woman isn’t as disconnected as she seems. Each vision, detailing a significant moment in Veronica’s long life, pulls Curtis further back until he fears he could become lost in her past.
Dia returned her attention to the old woman and took her bony, veiny
hand. “Veronica, honey, this is my brother Curtis. You’ve seen his
picture in our bedroom, remember? He came for a visit.” She looked up
at Curtis. “Veronica was quite smitten with you the first time she saw
your picture. Couldn’t take her eyes off it and she would just smile
Curtis knelt next to his sister. Greeting the old woman seemed
pointless, since it was obvious by her vacant stare that she wasn’t
aware of her surroundings. But his sister was right; introducing himself
was the proper way to behave regardless of her condition. “Hello, Miss
Meeks. I’m Curtis Aisling.”
The old woman’s wispy gray hair was short and pulled back by small
butterfly barrettes. Her thin face was pinkish-white, wrinkled, and
haloed with brown age spots. The eyes that seemed to be looking at
something no one else could see were a cloudy gray-blue. Her small frame
was covered in a clean pink nightgown and she wore blue slippers.
“How old is she?” Curtis asked.
Dia stood up to help Araceli gather the tray with Veronica’s barely
touched lunch on it. “Ninety-two.”
Remaining crouched before her, Curtis continued to look at the old
woman. He found it difficult to imagine that the slack face in front of
him had once been young, but he searched for signs of it anyhow. If
there was life in her dull gaze, Curtis was sure he would find it there.
A strong hot breeze rattling the palm fronds behind the gazebo hit him
in the back. That’s when Veronica blinked and looked right at him.
"Finally," she whispered.
Excerpted from "The Reminisce" by H.L. Cherryholmes. Copyright © 2017 by H.L. Cherryholmes. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Author of The Lizard Queen Fantasy Series, The Reminisce, A Slight Touch, and Come Back for Me. H.L. was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico but has spent most of his life in Southern California. He has a BFA from University of New Mexico and a Master’s degree in Playwriting from the UCLA. He lives in Los Angeles with his husband, Ron Cogan.
View full Profile of H.L. Cherryholmes