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A Critical Eye

A Critical Eye

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A Critical Eye

4.5/5 (10 Bewertungen)
90 Seiten
1 Stunde
Jul 25, 2020


Daphne has always been driven by her passion for painting, but nobody thinks she can make it as an artist in New York. When she lands in the Big Apple, she struggles to make her dream a reality, but there aren’t many open doors for the millionth struggling artist. The only person who has faith in Daphne's talent is someone she picked up on the highway, who lives a thousand miles away. Why is he still in her mind? And why did he tell her to call him if she ever needed help? Can a stranger change her world at a distance? The answer gives Daphne the surprise of her life.
Jul 25, 2020

Über den Autor

Iris Forester is never happier than when she’s tossed everything aside to follow one of the story threads that cross her path. She shares her home place with eagles, ravens and owls — but also makes time every year to spend in New York City. When she’s not writing, Iris works with paint, clay, and various difficult creatures.

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A Critical Eye - Iris Forester

Chapter One

Daphne’s fingers were starting to feel cramped from holding the steering wheel, and she flexed her hands one at a time. Stubs, lying on the passenger seat, noted her movement and reached over and pawed gently at her. It was his polite way of letting her know that he too needed a break.

Okay, boy. I hear you, she told him. The Oklahoma flatlands extended on all sides, and there wasn’t much of a shoulder right here. As soon as we can, she added. It was handy, having a dog, because then when she needed to talk to someone, she had an option that was slightly less nuts than talking to thin air.

Far ahead on the highway, there seemed to be some cars. A traffic jam, out here in the middle of nowhere? An accident? In a few minutes, she was up to the small backup of vehicles. Ahead of them on the pavement was a small herd of cows — maybe a dozen — and a couple of people were walking around them, waving their arms and trying to get them to move. Daphne was pleased to see that the other three cars were parked. Quickly, she snapped Stubs’s leash on and carried him over to the side of the road to do his business. There were wire fences lining both sides of the highway; where had the cows come from?

Walking Stubs on his leash, Daphne threaded her way past the parked pickups and came up to the small crowd of people and cattle.

How did they get out in the road? she asked the man who stood nearby. When he turned to answer her, she was immediately struck by his face. It wasn’t exactly handsome, but it was unusual, powerful, confident — none of those words were quite right. Daphne felt a little stir of excitement as his eyes met her own. The man gestured back in the direction she’d come from.

The break in the fence is back there. So we need to either herd them back into oncoming traffic, or cut the fence in a new place. One guy’s gone to get wire cutters.

I have wire cutters in my car, Daphne said. I use them for picture framing. The man’s eyes seemed to focus on her suddenly, and again she felt that slight thrill.

Are they heavy-duty enough for barbed wire? he asked.

Yeah, definitely, she said. I’ll go get them. They’re packed away, it’ll be a minute.

She hustled Stubs back to the car, where she hastily rummaged through her tool box and extracted the wire cutters. Returning to the group, she handed the cutters to an older man who was apparently in charge of the cow situation. It didn’t take him long to snip a wide opening in the fence, and then he and the guy she’d been talking to both circled around the restless animals.

Get on that side, her guy shouted to her. We need people all the way around. The other bystanders were eager to help, and obediently circled around the cluster of large animals. They were so big, Daphne thought. She hadn’t ever been this close to cows before. They rolled their eyes and crowded closer together, but didn’t walk anywhere. As she drew a bit closer to them, pulling a reluctant Stubs along on his leash, he started to bark. She knew that it was his frightened bark. He didn’t want anything to do with these giant animals; their feet were the size of his whole head. The sharp sound startled the cows, and the ones closest to Stubs surged forward against the others. Suddenly all of them moved forward, away from the small noisy dog and in the direction of the cut in the fence. In five minutes, they were safely back in the field, and bystanders were headed back to their cars.

Chapter Two

The interesting-looking man walked up to Daphne, and she paused to face him and hear what he had to say.

How far are you and this little hero going today? he asked, looking at Stubs. The small dog was usually leery of strangers, but in this case he seemed to be making an exception. Stubs rushed up to the man, wagging his little tail and looking to be petted, and the man complied. Daphne wondered if her own sense of comfort with this stranger was somehow connected with the ease her dog seemed to feel.

I don’t know, she answered the guy honestly. I’m headed for New York City, and I was just going to drive for as long as I had energy. She looked at him. He had a straight nose and a deep tan, and a powerful, lean body. He was about her age: in his late twenties, she guessed, or maybe thirty.

Would you by any chance be willing to give me a ride? he asked. I’m going to St. Louis to visit my sister, and it’s on your way if you’re going to New York. Daphne looked around.

How did you even get here? Have you been hitchhiking?

The man laughed. No. I was staying with my friend Mel. The farmer with the cows. I’ve known him for years — an old high school buddy. He was going to give me a ride to the bus station, when we found the break in the fence. Now he’s got to hang out and fix that. But if you’re willing to give me a lift now, I have my bag in his truck. It would be a huge favor.

Daphne thought about it. It wasn’t her normal way of doing things, giving rides to total strangers. On the other hand, there was something about the man that felt safe on some deep organic level, and she could see that Stubs had the same reaction. If auras were a thing, the guy’s aura was simply clean. And she was starting a new chapter in her life, so maybe new chapters meant new reactions.

And then: Sure, she heard herself telling him.

Inside her head, she could hear her mother’s voice, warning her against being overly trusting of strangers. But Daphne was leaving her old life in California, so it was time to start a new way of reacting to the world. And following her instincts was part of this

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