From The Heart
by Mary M. Cushnie-Mansour
Published in 2009
Mary’s short stories are a fictional smorgasbord, with a twist of real life in them. From something as simple as a child’s shoe on the road, which produced the story of “Rodney,” to a joke between Mary and her husband about the necessity of having a cat, which produced the story “Oh, Henry,” to some of her parent’s misadventures, which produced stories like: “The Graveyard” and “Remember When,” to a more serious side of Mary as she wrote such stories as “Sahar” for Remembrance Day. Mary’s stories have warmth and humour to them that will make you want to keep returning for more. Mary also decided it was time to resurrect the serial story, and her mysteries, like “The Gardeners” will have you catching your breath as you turn the pages.Buy Now
Snippets from ‘From The Heart’
It had not been in the middle of the room when she had last been here. She walked slowly to the picture window. The familiar red curtains, though faded and covered with dust, still hung from the brass rod. It had been an advantageous colour for the events of that night. The carpet was red, too.
They looked a dashing pair. She sipped from a steaming teacup; he puffed lazily on a timeworn pipe. They sat a proper distance apart on the wicker porch swing, for this seasoned couple would have no gossip spread about them tonight.
‘Respect? When you were young? Come on now George; its me you’re talking to now’ … Emma began to reminisce, ‘If I could jog your memory a bit and remind you of the time you and Skylar Morten tied up old Mr. Crabbit’s outhouse…’
Alex looked thoughtfully at the hole. ‘I wonder what it would be like to lie down there; sort of get the feel for what it might be like one day when we get dropped in one of these holes.’
‘I don’t think we better,’ George started to turn away.
The boys jumped simultaneously into the hole and lay down side by side …
‘Shush!’ George whispered. ‘Do you hear that?’
I’ve been around for 15 years and have observed a lot of things pass by my window. But on the night of Saturday, July 26th, I witnessed a crime — in a roundabout way. Thank goodness I was there too, for without my keen eyes and superior intellect, the police would have taken forever to crack the case.
My name is Toby. I am a stout redhead — well, Jack Nelson, with whom I share a house, would consider me an overweight, orange tabby …
Upon first glance, one would have thought that the picture of the young girl on the swing was one of blissful innocence. Her face was tiny; her eyes were an innocent blue. Her cheeks were a rosy red upon a palate of pale skin. She sighed contentedly and her lips smiled as the swing swung back and forth. Her blond curls bounced in the light breeze.
But the next slide was different …
The Barn Wall
She made her way over to the special wall — the one where everyone had etched their love … and there, right at the bottom left-hand corner, the one Sally was searching for … Tears began to roll down Sally’s withered cheeks.
She stood on the deck, the wind whipping at her slight body. Her knuckles were white as they grasped the railing. Her long blond hair danced frantically. Her face was freckled from the salty waves’ splashes. James could have watched her forever, she was so beautiful … ‘Well girl, do you have a name?’ James laughed, lightly.
Return to the Sea
Aiden was well aware of the tragedy which could befall his family if he kept a Merrow; but she was so beautiful he could not take his eyes from her. He brought her here to this very house, took her sealskin cloak, hid it well away, and then tended to her wounds.
‘When Muirin awoke she was furious that her cloak was gone. But then, something unusual happened — she fell in love with Aidan, for he was a man of good heart.
‘Are you sure you want to tape this, Catherine?’
‘I don’t want to miss a word of your story, Grandpa.’
‘Not so different from many others.’
‘What are your first memories of life, Grandpa?’
‘I have a faint memory of a beautiful woman, I presume my mother, rocking me in a huge old rocker. And then I am in a barren room. There is a cot with a tattered blanket, a very old dresser, and a small window, high up, which I try to look out of, but I am too small. I feel cold and hungry — always cold and hungry.’
‘Where was this?’
What they are saying about ‘From The Heart’
Mary Mansour’s writing is beautifully and imaginatively written. She is very talented and I look forward to reading more of her work …Geke Nolden
Mary Mansour shows good timing in her writing. She builds up the story with suspense and anticipation. Mary allows her characters to develop within their own realm as separate and real people that we can all relate to …Joan Jenkins
Mary Mansour’s way with words, her sensitivity to the subject and characters, is what makes her a good writer. She grabs the reader’s attention, leaving them with a desire to read more …Keith Ellis
Mary Mansour writes with a comfortable, human touch that makes her work warm and enjoyable. I like happy endings …George Hatton
Mary Mansour’s stories are little snippets of life – not ‘real life’ in the sense of gritty reality, but life in the emotional world. Her characters take us inside their hearts and souls and, through the way they deal with their constructed situations, help us learn a little something about ourselves …Richard Beales
Mary Mansour writes engaging, colourful stories with carefully constructed characters that entertain and inspire. Her creative storytelling, along with her descriptive, flowing style, serve to make her writing a joy to read …Judi Klink