I wish you could hear the author read this piece, as he has the most charming Hungarian Accent! Please welcome Mr. Horvath!
a short story by S. I. Horvath
Straightening my wares, I caught a glimpse of a striking woman across the aisle, only steps away, rubbing lotion onto her graceful, age-spotted hands. Her elegant clothing was more stylish than that of most shoppers milling about the Farmers Market.
“Here,” she said to her companion, “try it! I like the feel of it on my skin.” She raised the back of her hand to the other’s nose, “Isn’t it nice?”
“Mom, we should be going,” the younger woman said, glancing around the hall as if assessing the value their time at the market brought to their day. Immersed in my favorite pastime, people-watching, I leaned against my table of books, intrigued.
The vendor of lotions took the daughter’s hand and applied a dab of a new scent to the inside of her wrist. “Give this one a try,” she implored, “it’s cucumber with a touch of honeydew—my best seller.” Trapped in a choice of compliance or rudeness, her captive acquiesced.
While they choreographed their buyer-seller dance, the elegant woman’s eyes met mine. She walked over. “You have a nice smile,” she said in a pleasant voice. “Isn’t this a lovely scent?” She took my face into her hands and spread a bit of excess lotion onto my cheeks.
“It is,” I assured her, at a loss about how to react. “Thank you!”
“I love your smile, sweetheart, I always have,” she said and hugged me. We stood with arms around each other, her head resting on my shoulder, her face touching mine.
Her daughter broke away from the vendor and hurried over. “Mother, we must go,” she declared, not sounding insistent or even rushed, only kind. She mouthed “Alzheimer’s,” with an apologetic smile and gave me a minute shrug. Gently, she pulled her mother from our embrace.
“I love you!” my new friend whispered, lingering, kissing my cheek, holding onto my hand.
Watching them as they made their way to the door and step into sunshine, I was filled with sadness and wondered about her time to come and the man she once called ‘sweetheart.’
S. I. Horvath is the author of “Picara,” an adventure novel from Tortuga Pines Publishing:
High adventure and mystery, S. I. Horvath's beautifully crafted picaresque takes us to wonderfully authentic, far flung vistas on land and sea. There's also a winsome and intrepid heroine with a penchant for almost falling in love and for making perilous judgments which land her in danger and violence. Picara charms us with finely drawn protagonists and villains, draws us through hair-raising events until all the threads twine together and everybody is in hot water. It ll keep you guessing and biting your nails to the very last page.
Purchase from South Creek Media & Amazon
He is also the author of Caged Metal Feathers, a true story based on his memoirs of coming of age in the thick of the bloody Hungarian Uprising of 1956.