One stormy night, much like the ones you remember where the wind rattled windowpanes and thunder boomed outside, a knock sounded at the door.
A poor troglodyte who had been travelling for eight years across the vast continents stood outside in the rain as a slightly older woman answered the door. The man could see a warm fire and a table set with the woman’s dinner inside the cottage.
‘What do you want?’ the woman asked. She pulled her shawl closer to her shoulders and stuck her face out to check to see if the man was alone. He was alone and from his shivering she could see he was cold.
‘Could I have a bowl of soup and some bread,’ the man said. ‘And perhaps some respite from the storm.’
The woman looked the man up and down and found his tattered clothes and walking staff to be no real threat and she consented. ‘Wait here,’ she said, and she closed and locked the door and returned back inside.
Before too long she returned to her dinner, ate, and retired to her favorite chair by the fire. The rain beat harder outside and she pulled her most prized quilt closer to her chin. Then a knock came at the door.
The woman rushed to the door and, now quite put off from a second disturbance of the night, asked, ‘Who is out there?’
‘It is I,’ the weary traveler said, ‘the one you made promises to.’
‘Oh,’ the woman said, aghast at having forgotten. ‘Yes, just one more moment. I was putting things together when you interrupted me and I had to stop. Please give me a minute.’
‘If that is all you ask,’ the man said, ‘please take another, and thank your dear soul for helping me. For you see, I have not eaten in almost six days and barely have enough money to get to the next village. Anything you can do will be most grateful.’
‘Not only will I help you,’ the woman replied, ‘I will add a few coins to my gift and see that you are most taken care of. My aunt owns a tavern just down the road and she will put you up for the night. Just give me some time to put your things together.’ With that she closed and locked the door once more.
Turning back to the fire her thoughts drifted soon to the cold rain outside, to her full stomach, and to all the people she knew that loved her, or even if her friends and family did not love her she believed they were thinking of her at that very moment.
She sank back into her chair, pulled her quilt up to her ears and thought of how such a long day of feeding the horses and goats and chickens deserved a nice nap before reading a book before bed. After all, she lived alone in her cozy home and only then did she recall of having forgotten something or someone. Then a knock came at the door.
The woman pushed off the quilt, her head now hurting from all the noise from the storm and the constant banging at her door. She was not quite sure what she was thinking, as you often do upon first waking in the early hours of the morning, when she screamed out, ‘What the hell do you want?! Can’t you just leave me alone?!’
The poor man, for that was exactly what he was: without job, without money, without family in this foreign land, looked with sad eyes at the woman standing in the doorway and turned without a word and walked back out into the rain. The woman stood for a moment watching the storm and darkness devour the visitor and only then did she realize what she had done.
The next day the sun rose and spread its rays onto the wet ground, drying slowly but surely as if there had never been a storm. The woman, however, intended to find the traveler that had come to her door, but she decided to do so after a nice, hot breakfast and a short nap. She had stayed up late the night before and considered it wise to get some rest before taking on a journey that might last the whole afternoon.
At the hottest point in the day the woman, all sweaty from her own travels through land and lane, found the traveler seated quite peacefully in the shade beneath a great oak. The day was in fact beautiful but the woman believed it horrid since she had to walk in the hot sun for hours.
‘Why didn’t you come to my door this morning?’ the woman asked. ‘I had promised you food and money and a place for the night. If only you would have waited.’
‘And where are these things now?’ the traveler said, looking over the woman who only had her bare hands to show him.
‘That’s not the point,’ the woman said. ‘I promised—’
‘What is the point?’ the man said. ‘This is a new day, I am a new man, and I no longer need your help.’
The woman, hot and confused from her own private journey, stared at the man for a second longer than she had wanted to, and it was only then did she see him for the angel he was.
The American novelist CG FEWSTON has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome (Italy), a Visiting Fellow at Hong Kong’s CityU, & he’s a been member of the Hemingway Society, Americans for the Arts, PEN America, Club Med, & the Royal Society of Literature. He’s also a been Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) based in London.
He’s the author of several short stories and novels. His works include A Father’s Son (2005), The New America: A Collection (2007), The Mystic’s Smile ~ A Play in 3 Acts (2007), Vanity of Vanities (2011), A Time to Love in Tehran (2015), Little Hometown, America (2020); A Time to Forget in East Berlin (2022), and Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being (2023).
He has a B.A. in English, an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors), and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Fiction. He was born in Texas in 1979.
“A spellbinding tale of love and espionage set under the looming shadow of the Berlin Wall in 1975… A mesmerising read full of charged eroticism.”
“An engrossing story of clandestine espionage… a testament to the lifestyle encountered in East Berlin at the height of the Cold War.”
“There is no better way for readers interested in Germany’s history and the dilemma and cultures of the two Berlins to absorb this information than in a novel such as this, which captures the microcosm of two individuals’ love, relationship, and options and expands them against the blossoming dilemmas of a nation divided.”
~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“A Time to Forget in East Berlin is a dream-like interlude of love and passion in the paranoid and violent life of a Cold War spy. The meticulous research is evident on every page, and Fewston’s elegant prose, reminiscent of novels from a bygone era, enhances the sensation that this is a book firmly rooted in another time.”
“Vivid, nuanced, and poetic…”
“Fewston avoids familiar plot elements of espionage fiction, and he is excellent when it comes to emotional precision and form while crafting his varied cast of characters.”
“There’s a lot to absorb in this book of hefty psychological and philosophical observations and insights, but the reader who stays committed will be greatly rewarded.”
“Readers of The Catcher in the Rye and similar stories will relish the astute, critical inspection of life that makes Little Hometown, America a compelling snapshot of contemporary American life and culture.”
“Fewston employs a literary device called a ‘frame narrative’ which may be less familiar to some, but allows for a picture-in-picture result (to use a photographic term). Snapshots of stories appear as parts of other stories, with the introductory story serving as a backdrop for a series of shorter stories that lead readers into each, dovetailing and connecting in intricate ways.”
“The American novelist CG FEWSTON tells a satisfying tale, bolstered by psychology and far-ranging philosophy, calling upon Joseph Campbell, J. D. Salinger, the King James Bible, and Othello.”
“In this way, the author lends intellectual heft to a family story, exploring the ‘purity’ of art, the ‘corrupting’ influences of publishing, the solitary artist, and the messy interconnectedness of human relationships.”
GOLD Winner in the 2020 Human Relations Indie Book Awards for Contemporary Realistic Fiction
FINALIST in the SOUTHWEST REGIONAL FICTION category of the 14th Annual National Indie Excellence 2020 Awards (NIEA)
“Fewston’s lyrical, nostalgia-steeped story is told from the perspective of a 40-year-old man gazing back on events from his 1980s Texas childhood…. the narrator movingly conveys and interprets the greater meanings behind childhood memories.”
“The novel’s focus on formative childhood moments is familiar… the narrator’s lived experiences come across as wholly personal, deeply felt, and visceral.”
American Novelist CG FEWSTON
This is my good friend, Nicolasa (Nico) Murillo, CRC, who is a professional chef & a wellness mentor. I’ve known her since childhood & I’m honored to share her story with you. In life, we all have ups & downs, some far more extreme than others. Much like in Canada, in America, the legalization of marijuana has become a national movement, which includes safe & legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use & research for all.
“This is a wellness movement,” Nico explains. The wellness movement is focused on three specific areas: information, encouragement, & accountability.
In these stressful & unprecedented times, it makes good sense to promote & encourage the state or condition of being in good physical & mental health.
The mission of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research.
TEXANS FOR SAFE ACCESS ~ share the mission of their national organization, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), which is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research, for all Texans.
Stay safe & stay happy. God bless.
Nico Murillo Bio ~ Americans & Texans for Safe Access ~ Medical Cannabis