Dr. Jeri Fink

               Author. Traveler. Therapist.


An Excerpt from Trees Cry For Rain

   Spain, 1492

   Someone bangs on my door.

   A deep, paralyzing fear invades me, numbing my hands and feet,

making my heart race, blurring the images in my mind into bloody

streaks. We stare at one another – my husband and three daughters.

   We know what it means.

   We have been betrayed.

   Lucas takes a deep breath and stands away from the table. He’s a

big man, with long thin legs and the round belly of middle age. The

girls huddle around me, their eyes wide with terror. The meat is ash in

my stomach, swelling until it feels like stones splitting me from within.

Lucas squares his shoulders.

   “Don’t say anything,” he commands in a whisper.

   “Don’t answer it,” I hiss. My arms feel like raw meat, cold and


   Lucas smiles sadly, his beard shimmering in the dim light. “I

have to. We have nowhere to go.”

   “They’ll kill us,” the words rip through my throat like the knife.

that sliced the meat in our bowls.

   Slowly, Lucas shakes his head; his dark, green-flecked eyes fill

with grief.

   “You’re my husband,” I beg. “You have to listen.”

   There’s a tiny pause; time jolts to a halt. I hold my breath. Zara,

my youngest and most insightful – the one that seems in touch with

old spirits - senses that something ominous is approaching. Nine years

of life still hasn’t taught her how to contain fear. She cries, soft wails

renting the air. I pull her close, rubbing her back, whispering soothing

words I don’t feel, and pressing her head into my breast to stifle the


   “Nooooo,” I plead, matching the cries of my child.

   Lucas gently touches my shoulder, runs his thick, stubby fingers

up my neck, and kisses my daughter’s head. “There’s no choice,” he

whispers, more to himself than any of us. He backs away from the

table, his legs heavy, moving as if in a swamp. Suddenly he pauses and

in a moment that lasts a lifetime, Lucas memorizes the sight of us


   It will be the last time.



New York City, present

   Shira smiled. Bryant Park was like a window in time, moving in

its own jagged frames. It was the perfect place to write, to follow

Emma and Mason’s bizarre romance, and when needed, look into

faces to provide description and dialogue. What did the intruder look

like? How did Emma’s fear play on her face? Mason’s arrogance?

   She scanned the faces in the park. There was a dark-skinned

man with a fashionably ragged red t-shirt printed with Nweke’s Art,

selling beaded bracelets and earrings on a pegboard, near the steps on

42nd Street. An old couple sat on the Upper Library Terrace, beneath

a green and white umbrella stamped with Bryant Park, and next to a

concrete pot of purple flowers. They held hands and watched the

world before them, their silver hair shimmering in the summer sun,

sharing the terrace with concrete garlands, urns, and ram’s heads.

   For a moment their eyes met.

   The old couple smiled and Shira quickly turned away, embarrassed.

Maybe she could find a Mason Portsmith look-alike at the park –

a man dressed in expensive clothes with a lithe body and hazel eyes

that broadcasted insight, caring, and power? Shira smiled.

   In my dreams.

   Literally. In her thirty-two years, she had always known that the

people and plots conjured in her writer’s mind were far more

fascinating than reality.

   That’s what kept her running.

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