Friday, November 23, 2018

She Said NO

(by Creative Nonfiction Editor Susie H. Baxter)

In her Creative Nonfiction Prize Winning work, "I Said No," Roberta Marstellar's words paint a tranquil picture of Tuscany as she eases the reader into a gripping story:
The picturesque Tuscan valley spread out like one of Mom's quilts, fields stitched together with black-green cypresses, billowing as if thrown over a giant's pillows...
The drama becomes more intense with each paragraph. There is no way readers could walk away from it without reading to the end, and the last line does not disappoint. A tale told with finesse and a thought-provoking ending you are not likely to forget. What follows are excerpts leading up to this short memoir's critical events: 
Rinaldo rumbled to a stop outside the window and smiled, an awkward smile the color of my morning's cappuccino... "Buon giorno," he said. I slammed the door and immediately regretted it. Washing crates was shit work, but he wasn't to blame.
      We flew down the gravel road, the farm filling our rear view... My gaze drifted left and caught Rinaldo scratching at this crotch. I snapped my head to the passenger window. He turned down a narrow road and reduced my view to nothing but vines... So much feels wrong I can't breathe. I slip my hand into my purse and fish around for my phone. When Rinaldo takes the next turn, I slide it out--no bars... "Be careful," I almost hear my husband Greg warning from five thousand miles away... my heart, wild with fear, inches up in my throat as Rinaldo approaches...
      "Tu riposo con me," he says and breaks into an awful smile. My head says run, but my body is frozen...
      I feel him on me, yet I'm watching it happen to someone else from a distance. Greg's voice comes through again, clear as a well this time, "Be careful!" My head oscillates back and forth like I'm shaking off a punch. Coming to, I jump back, waving my arms overhead like a referee. "NO! NO! NO!"....
(You can read what happened in Bacopa Literary Review 2018)
Roberta Marstellar is a writer and storyteller. Her career path is a circuitous one, defined by detours: Structural engineer—marketing specialist—finance manager—general contractor—food blogger—entrepreneur. Since the age of twelve, writing is the one endeavor Roberta has faithfully pursued. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two beehives, and a lifetime of books.

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