Excerpt for Emotions by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


By Michael A. Williams

Copyright 2018 Michael A. Williams

Smashwords Edition

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The Table of Contents:



For One Moment

About the Author


Arthur drove home in his white SUV and he was struck by another vehicle. He looked around, but he couldn’t see well because his cracked glasses hung around his neck. The pain in his jaw held his tongue and the seatbelt hugged him tight. He couldn’t move.

The car behind Arthur’s car stopped at the crosswalk and two teenagers exited to help. They rushed to unbuckle him, but the belt had locked and it wouldn’t budge. They looked at each other. Then, the one with the red cap pulled out a folding knife from his pocket and cut the belt. Arthur was freed.

“Are you okay?” asked the teenager with the red cap.

There was no response. Arthur put his glasses back on even though he was still dazed. His ears rang and the loud woman talking with 911 made it worse. The smell of smoke and fumes from his vehicle was in his nose, while the annoying sound of horns and pedestrians talking clogged his ears. He heard their whispers and cried when he saw the green sedan flipped on its top.

“No!” he said.

Arthur struggled to his feet and took a step forward, but the woman on the phone stepped in front of him.

“Sir, you shouldn’t move,” she said.

Arthur looked at her eyes and placed his hand on his left side. There was a pain there that made him cringe. It took him to one knee, but he was able to stand again.

“My wife was driving that other car!”

The teenagers were on hands and knees looking into the flipped vehicle when the red cap teen shook his head and exhaled.

“Move, please,” Arthur said.

He stormed around the woman and lost his balance. His hands scraped the warm asphalt and his face lay in the street. He almost choked when he saw his pregnant wife hanging upside down, motionless in the car.

“Help!” he screamed.

His knees slid across the ground as he crawled toward her.

“Delia, look at me.”

Arthur continued his crawl until he was near the shattered window. Delia’s neck had an incision from the seat belt and droplets of blood leaked off the strands of her hair. He stretched his arms to their limit to free his wife, but his reach fell short of the buckle.


“I hear them,” the woman said.

It was the sound of horns from the fire truck and the sirens from the ambulance. The vehicles were heard from the West end of town as Arthur’s tears glossed his eyes, transfixed at the sight of his wife. Then, he saw her belly and cried. She was thirty-eight weeks and they were expecting their first child.

“I can’t lose you,” he said.

Arthur ignored the sounds of emergency vehicles. He forced himself to his feet and yanked the car door a couple times. It didn’t budge. Sweat drove into his eyes as his muscles ripped with each pull. He screamed, but he couldn’t stop. He had to save his wife and child.

He laid his back on the ground and pulled the handle inside; it didn’t move the door. Then, he tried one option again. He reached for the belt buckle and for a second time his arms didn’t stretch far enough, but then he saw the knife still in the teen’s hand.

“Can I?”

Arthur now had the same knife that freed him. He took the seat belt off her neck and cut through it without allowing her to fall on her head. This gave him some joy. Especially, as he slowly pulled out the car.


He felt for a pulse in her neck and there wasn’t one. So instead, he placed his ear over her heart. It had no beat either. His hands were now pressing against her chest, losing tears to her shirt as he tried to give her life.

“Sir!” an EMT said as he arrived.

The EMT grabbed Arthur while another took over for him.

“Please, help her.”

Arthur wanted nothing except Delia. He thought he could save her, but instead, he felt like a failure. His wife was bleeding from her head and there wasn’t a breath in her body.

“Sir,” the other EMT called. ”I’m sorry.”

“Don’t say that. You can save her. You must.”

“I tried. I­–­­”

“What about the baby?” Arthur interrupted.

The EMT opened his mouth, but no words came out which made this the longest second in Arthur’s life. Tears were welded in his eyes because he’d live without them, but he didn’t know how. He only knew he failed to save them and now he was alone.


“Jack!” Cereleus called, but he didn’t receive an answer. “Where are you?”

Cereleus entered the front house door and looked around the dimly lit living room when he saw the light from the television shining on the dining room table. An open vanilla ice cream gallon sat on the oak coffee table next to the couch; the scraps of a single scoop layered the bottom of the empty carton as the moving pictures on the television screen watched the abandoned room. Cereleus’ body tensed up as he remembered the struggle his friend endures.

“Are you in your room?” Cereleus asked.

“Please, leave me alone,” Jack said.

“I need you to talk with me.”

“There’s nothing to talk about.”

Cereleus picked up the television remote and turned it off before he walked to the room.

“Talk to me,” he said.

Jack sat on the floor in a dark room with his back against the bed. His knees propped upright as his feet pressed against the wall where light shined through the window he gazed out of. It offered the only light in the room.

“Are you okay?” Cereleus asked.

It wasn’t long before Jack heard his friend step beside him, but he didn’t want to look. His gaze left the trees being blown by the wind outside of his window, only for his vision to be boarded by the beige carpet on the floor between his spread legs. A few tears ran slowly from his eyes and onto his plaid shirt where other tears had already made themselves at home.

“Leave me alone, brother. I don’t need your help.”

“Then why hold the knife?”

Cereleus was a good friend and an angel, the two things the demon, Jack, owned conflictions about their relationship. He longingly looked at the knife and more tears fell from his eyes, but then finally looked to his friend who sat on the bed beside him, right then, in that moment.

“I was going to do it!” Jack stood and said, “There’s no way I can live without Jasmine.”

“You have to.”

“I don’t.”

“She’s gone, Jack. You realize that? She went to heaven decades ago. You’re here without her because you’re a demon and you can’t change that.”

Jack held the knife to his own throat.

“So, then what’s the worst that will happen if I’m not here? Me and my memories will cease to exist and that’s okay.”

“It doesn’t work like that? You won’t be able to erase everything. All of it will follow you back to hell.”

“I hate you!” Jack said.

“You don’t mean that.”

“You’re not trying to help.”

“I am trying. You’re my friend and brother. I will always try for you.”

“Please, just leave.”

“I won’t.”

Jack removed the knife from his throat and held it to his side. He squeezed the handle tighter until his knuckles turned red and dropped it on the bed. His eyes moved toward the floor and his brow creased from the anger built in his heart.

“You’ll be alright. I promise,” said Cereleus.

He looked at the knife and became relieved that Jack decided not to hurt himself. More than likely he would enter hell again whenever he died, but this wasn’t how he wanted to see his brother leave from his side.

“Thank you.”

“I still want you to leave.”

Jack watched his brother step closer and reach to hug him, but he already asked him to leave. Since he didn’t, Jack did the first thing that came to mind after picking the knife up again. He struck Cereleus across the face, but he wasn’t harmed. The blade snapped, and the piece of broken steel bounced against the carpeted floor.

“I am your friend.”

He saw Jack. He wept next to the window with tears that glossed his eyes. His hands folded in front of him as he prayed for forgiveness. Cereleus hugged him tight. This time he accepted the comfort and leaned against Cereleus’ shoulder.

“Your face broke my blade, but thank you,” Jack said.

“You’re welcome, brother.”

For One Moment

As she lay in bed, curled and cuddled with her pillow strongly embraced between her arms and legs, Emily fell into her sorrow and tears after reliving the worst day of her life. She’s cried before, but today her tears crippled her. It was almost as if she never experienced the loss, like she never spent days and months praying for the healing of her soul, deliverance from the suffering and the heartache trapped in her mind. She only wanted to be whole again. She hated being alone without having one last moment with her husband.

“Please, don’t cry!” her husband, Joshua, said.

“You don’t understand,” Emily said.

“But I do.”

“You don’t!”

She tightened her grip on the pillow as water built in her eyes. Her insides were plagued with a tingling sensation that left her body numb. Tears drowned the white pillowcase while the pace of her heart hit like the end of a drumline in her chest.

“Why did you leave me? Why—?”

Her voice faded as her sorrow dissipated the words she attempted to force out.

“I’m here now,” Joshua said.

“I needed you so much.”

“I know,” he said. “And you need me now.”

Joshua sat on the bed, opposite the way she was faced and placed his hand gently on her back. He caressed her, guiding his hand in a large circular motion and closed his eyes.

“And I need you now too,” she said.

Joshua was estranged when he heard her speak. He wasn’t sure if she listened to him as his forehead crinkled.

“Emily,” he said, but she didn’t respond.

He tapped her shoulder and called her name. Again, there was no response. He realized his wife hadn’t heard him speaking since he entered the room, but he knew he was there. He felt the soft cotton of her shirt when he rubbed her back. Even the welcoming aroma of the cucumber body wash she used hovered in the room. The mattress had compressed while he sat behind her, so he had to be here, unless he was dreaming.

“Honey,” he said. “Can you hear me? I’m right here.”

Joshua knelt in front of her and grabbed her folded hands. She didn’t feel him, but he felt her soft hand. She was tranced with her gray eyes locked on his ring and the photograph of them on their wedding day. He shook his head and stood, looking at his watch for a few seconds before pulling out the wheel from the side of it. He turned the clock’s hands, but nothing. There was no tick or tock sounding from the watch after it left the hands of time frozen at seven after five.

“This can’t be,” he said.

He helped himself from the floor and walked toward the window, trying to remember what happened.

“Okay, I walked to the grocery store to buy gram crackers and chocolate bars. That’s all I remember.”

He looked at his clothes and saw he still wore the light green polo shirt, grey jeans, and white sneakers he chose to wear that day. Joshua had no recollection after walking through the front entrance of the grocery store.

“Emily,” he said, turning to look at his wife again.

Emily stood from the bed, slowly walked to the bathroom, flipped the light switch and turned the clear crystal shaped shower handles to the right until she felt the warmth of the water on her left hand. It felt perfect enough to help comfort her while she listened to the water strike the shower floor.

Joshua’s face was cringed by his own sadness as he looked out the bedroom window and watched the rain intensely splatter against the pane. The rain continued falling from the dark clouds, even as his wife’s howling cry overpowered the water dropping from the sky and the shower.

“God, what am I?” he asked. “Why can’t my wife hear me?”

He balled his hands into a fist and punched the window, immediately regretting the action after feeling the pain radiate through his left arm. He closed his eyes hoping it would mask the pain, but it didn’t. He shook his hand and then held it with the other until the tingling ceased.

“What is this?” he asked.

Emily cried as he looked at the window to see the damage he caused. It was unbroken and yet, he’d heard it break on impact. There was nothing different about the glass, not a hole or a crack. It was as if he never punched it.

“I guess I was hearing things, but the pain. That pain was real.”

His hand still throbbed when he turned away from the window and made his way to the bathroom door. He stood next to the ajar door, feeling the heat seep out as the steam from the hot water created condensation that blanketed the mirror behind the sink.

“Emily,” Joshua said. “Can you hear me?”

His chest filled with uncomfortable air when he leaned the right side of his head against the door frame. He folded his arms and inhaled deeply to unclog the sorrow in his throat.

“Joshua?” Emily asked. “Is someone there?”

Joshua remained silent and removed his head from the door frame. His eyes widened.

“Emily, can you hear me?” he asked. “I’m here. I’m at the door.”

He placed his hand on the door and push. It didn’t move, like another force pressed against the other side of the wood.

“Dammit!” he said.

Emily peeked around the light blue shower curtain at the door entry and there her husband stood with a bright smile on his face. Tears of joy were in his eyes, unsure of how to stand and greet her through a door he couldn’t move, but that didn’t matter. She couldn’t see him. In front of her eyes was the ajar door and nothing more.

Joshua’s smile faded.

“This doesn’t make sense,” he said.

Emily turned the shower handles left, allowing the water to slowly leak from the shower head, until it eventually ceased. She dried her body with her husband’s microfiber towel, wrapped it around her hair and then covered herself with her purple silk robe. As she exited the bathroom, she walked through Joshua’s body. He was disenchanted, still standing next to the door after turning around when his wife sat in front of her vanity table.

“There’s no way that happened,” he said.

Joshua stepped behind her as she blow-dried her long black hair with a brush attachment and stared longingly in her own eyes.

“Please, let this work,” he said.

Joshua stepped closer to her and placed his hand on her shoulder.

“Emily, I need you to hear my voice. Apparently, I’m not alive for you to see or hear or feel me, but I’m right here with you.”

He massaged her shoulder and then rubbed her back. He felt her like he was still real, even though she didn’t react to his touch.

“God, please,” he said.

Emily shook at his touch and startled when she saw her husband standing behind her for a moment in the mirror. She turned around quickly, reaching for the hand she saw on her shoulder, but as she expected, he wasn’t there. Her eyes watered, even though for a moment she was happy. That’s all she wanted.

“I want to at least tell you bye,” she said. “I need to see you for just one more moment.”

Joshua listened to his wife’s words. They wanted the same thing, except it didn’t seem possible.

Emily slid the brush through her hair with one last stroke before walking back toward the bed. She sat on the edge of the bed and then slowly pulled her legs close to her body, wrapping her hands around her knees. She looked left and reached for the photograph of her and Joshua who continued to watch her.

“I miss you, Joshua,” she said. “I wish I never would’ve asked you to go to the store. I wish the store was closed so no one was hit by that truck.”

“That’s how it happen?” he asked.

“I didn’t need the smores, but it doesn’t matter now.”

Emily dried her tears with a tissue.

“It’s okay. I can show you that I’m okay.”

Joshua’s eyes moved around the room to find something he could attempt to move or pick up to get her attention. Sitting on her vanity table was a Bible and he thought that was perfect. He reached for the book and tried to lift it from the table, but he couldn’t. He pushed and pulled, feeling like he would tear it in half, but it wouldn’t budge.

“Something else,” he said.

His eyes carried to a shirt near his feet and he attempted to pick that up next. He couldn’t grasp it. Instead, it slipped from his hand, each of the three times he tried to pick it up, never lifting from the carpet and that was it.

“This is no use.”

Joshua walked toward the bed and took to both knees beside his wife.

“Look at you,” he said. “You shouldn’t be alone and sad. You should be smiling and happy, with or without me.”

Joshua noticed his ring on the bedside table and shook his head. He reached his hand toward it, but quickly pulled it back because of the memories it held. He looked at Emily, who was in tears again, no longer holding the photograph of them. She couldn’t hold the water back. It just kept flowing from her eyes as she lay her head on the pillow.

“I have to try,” he said.

Joshua placed his hand on her left cheek and wiped his hand beneath he eye, but it was no use. The tears continued to slide down her face before he closed his eyes. He cried too.

“Please,” he said.

Joshua reached for his ring again and prayed he’d pick it up. He had to make her see him again.

“I have to say goodbye.”

He placed his hand on top of the ring and pinched it between two fingers, but the ring didn’t budge just like the bible and the shirt as though it was glued to the table.

“Come on.”

He decided not to give up, never letting go of the ring. He looked at Emily and then back at the ring, making his strongest effort to lift it to no avail. His eyes watered as he strained his body to lift something so precious to him.

“I can’t do it,” he said.

He gave up, again.

“I’m sorry. I tried.”

“Hello? Is someone there?” Emily asked.

She sat upright in bed, looked to her side, and there he was. She saw Joshua knelt beside her in tears with one hand on the ring. Emily grabbed his hand and picked up the ring.

“Joshua,” she said. “I can help you.”

“You can see me?” he asked.

Emily nodded and placed the ring in the palm of his hand.

“All I wanted was for you to hear me for just a moment. I wish I could have made it back home with the gram crackers and chocolate bars.”

They smiled.

“That doesn’t matter anymore,” she said. “I’m just glad to see you.”

“I’m sorry that I can’t be here forever. I don’t even know how long I’ll be here.”

“It’s okay, one day we’ll be together again.”

“I know,” he said.

“But for now, let’s cherish this for as long it lasts.”


Thank you for reading my collection of stories. If you enjoyed it, please take the time to view my other works.

Thank you!

Michael A. Williams

About the Author:

Michael A. Williams is a novelist who indulges in Drama, Romance and Fantasy. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. His current romance/drama publications include a novel entitled, The Love From Just One and two poetry books entitled, Letters From Me To My Future and God’s Words from this Generation. The first book in his Fantasy collection, Tears of Angels: the Beast, is to be released in 2018. Michael A. Williams writes because his imagination wants to see more creations than the entertainment industry has to offer.

Discover other titles by Michael A. Williams

The Love from just One

Letters from me to my Future

God’s Words from this Generation

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