Softly and Tenderly by Lisa Binion
Author: Lisa Binion
Publisher: Silver Tongue Press
Publication Date: February 2013
“Mom died in her sleep last night.” Those are terrifying words for a child to wake up to. The beetle that falls off the stretcher and stares at her is only the beginning one of the strangest and most frightening times in Lori’s life. Death is not a pretty thing, especially not when the funeral is to be at the Lights Out Chapel and Crematorium.
Once she walks into the funeral parlor, she experiences things that no little girl should ever have to experience. No one is acting normal. No one can see what is going on. Is Lori the only one who sees the blood oozing from the pictures of Jesus on the cross? Doesn’t anyone else see the beetles? Is Lori hallucinating when she sees her mom sit up and hears her speak? There is absolutely nothing soft and tender about what happens to Lori.
From her overly morbid piano teacher to the creepy preacher and a father that just isn’t acting like himself, Lori is surrounded by people and things that hint of something bizarre. Once she leaves the Lights Out Chapel and Crematorium, things will go back to normal. Or will they?
“Although Softly and Tenderly is a short read it gives enough information to know and understand what Lori is going through. But it does leave you at the end wondering if Lori was only imagining things or were they real? I would really love to see more of Lori story. I did enjoy Lori's story very much indeed but I would like to know if Lori was just imagining things or if maybe she has some kind of paranormal ability” – Nancy on Goodreads
“When most children are asked, "What are your biggest fears?" They will respond with a list that includes losing a parent. For Lori, that fear has come true. Not only has she lost her precious mother, she has entered a frightening world no one else can see. Is she hallucinating what she experiences at the Lights Out Funeral Chapel and Crematorium, or is she suffering from intense grief? Walk with Lori as she sees and feels the horrors she must face alone. Why is everyone else ignoring them? You might need the lights on for this one, but don't let that stop you from grabbing it. It is a great read. I loved it and am hoping the author has more she will be publishing.” – Marianne on Amazon
About the Author:
Lisa Binion is a writer, editor, and wife. She makes her home in the beautiful state of Kentucky. Her two children are now grown, but she has been blessed with two beautiful grandchildren, Tyler and Zoey. Her family also includes four dogs, four cats, and two goats.
As the Fiction Writing Editor for BellaOnline, she writes articles, reviews fiction books, and interviews fiction authors. She is also an editor for Silver Tongue Press and Edit 1st. In her spare time, she attempts to clean house and relax.
You can find her at https://www.facebook.com/pages/BellaOnline-Fiction-Writing/125143070846792., http://www.silvertonguepress.com/, and http://edit1st.com/.
I’ll never forget that morning as long as I live. Never. Daddy crying for help as he ran down the stairs is what woke me out of a deep sleep. “Call an ambulance! Kathie is dead!” I heard him screaming.
Mommy? Dead? But I kissed her goodnight last night. She smiled at me and told me how much she loved me. Then she told me to come up after breakfast, and we would work a puzzle together. She would never leave, not after making a play date with me. She never lied.
I can’t remember exactly why, but Granny was living with us at that time. Maybe it was because Mommy was sick. Anyway, I had been sleeping downstairs with her instead of upstairs in my bedroom, which was right across from Mommy’s room.
I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes and walked out the bedroom door into the kitchen to see what was going on. There was so much noise, so much commotion that I didn’t understand what was happening. Maybe I had heard wrong.
But as soon as I walked into the living room, one of my brothers grabbed hold of me. “Lori, stay here.”
“But I want to see what’s going on! I heard Daddy say that Mommy’s dead! I want to go see her. He’s wrong!” I pushed Matt away from me as hard as I could, but he held me tight.
“No, Lori. He’s not wrong. Mom died in her sleep last night.” As I stared into his reddened eyes, he said, “You don’t need to see her.”
“I don’t believe you! She promised to do a puzzle with me today, right after breakfast! She wouldn’t lie to me! She can’t be dead!”
Then I heard the sirens. These men, wearing blue jackets and carrying a stretcher, knocked on the front door of our house. Daddy directed them up the stairs. Almost as soon as they went up, they came back down, but this time there was something on the stretcher. Whatever it was had a white sheet covering it so completely that I couldn’t see what was under it. But the sheet was moving. What it covered appeared to be struggling to get up! I ran toward the stretcher, so I could help and yank the sheet back, but once again my brother stopped me. This time he picked me up.
As I turned and watched the men carrying the stretcher away, this beetle fell off the sheet onto the floor. One just like it had gotten caught in my hair last summer. Mommy patiently made me sit still as she removed it.
“It will be alright, sweetie. We’ll take care of you,” Matt whispered in my ear. I wrapped my arms around his neck. I heard what he said, but my eyes were on the beetle that had stared back at me. It walked across the carpet, stopped, and looked at me before it turned to go up the stairs. It seemed to be trying to talk to me.
Amazon – Print and Kindle
My Thoughts: This story is very creepy to me. When I read about the bug and her mouth I had to check my self.I related to Lori I put my self there in that Psyche and let me tell you. It hit home had an impact that stayed with me. This short was just the right amount of horror and reality for me. It gets this SiNner's stamp of approval.
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