Hello People! I do hope your start of the weekend is a good one. We finally have cooler temps here in my corner of Alberta Canada. We’ve been having some hot days lately, yesterday being one of the hottest ones. It got up to 36C (97F). It’s been in the 30’s (90’s) for a while now so I’m more than ready for some cooler weather.
For Flashback Friday, I’ve chosen to bring back a little story I wrote almost exactly two years ago. It was for a WordPress Daily prompt and one that I had fun writing. Hope you enjoy it!
When the full moon happens, you turn into a person who’s the opposite of who you normally are. Describe this new you.
I sit huddled in the dark corner of my living room. I can feel the pull of the new moon that is rising in the star-studded inky sky.
I dread it every time the full moon rises. My body twitches and itches. My nerve endings tingle with energy. I know what is coming and hate the inevitable.
Clenching my teeth I hug myself tightly. My body rocks back and forth as my fingers dig into my aching arms. My head starts to buzz and I feel my teeth ache. I rock harder and hear myself mumbling a useless litany of words.
“Please, please, not again. No, no, no. I will not turn.”
Again and again I sing this song. I know it won’t make a difference. It always happens on the full moon. Always.
My family has been cursed for centuries. An old ancestor made a very powerful warlock angry and he cursed the females of the family. Every new moon the curse comes alive. For me it is an agony, a torture that I endure. I’m not sure how much longer I can live through it. It weakens me each time. Each time I think will be my last. Each time I pray it will be my last.
Hours before the new moon comes I bar the door and windows. Dozens of locks are put in place and I hide the keys. I make sure my car is not readily available by pulling out cables and hiding those also. I do more and more each time to try to insure I can’t get out of my own home.
I’ve even gone as far as putting my car in someone else’s garage overnight, hoping that it will slow my desires down when the new moon rises. It’s never enough though. Never strong enough locks, the car is never too far away. The moon’s pull is more powerful than all my puny attempts of sabotage.
My rocking slows as I feel the moon’s final pull on my body. The change has come. I sigh deeply and rise from my chair. I know I look different now, I don’t have to search out a mirror to confirm it. I have lived with this never-ending curse for years now. There is no cure, no hope.
I know my eyes have ice in them now. I am cold, calculating. I have changed completely into someone I hate, I fear. My body feels differently now. It’s rigid and tough. I toss back my hair and breath deeply. The change is complete once again.
I have changed into something I have always feared. That is part of the curse. The females change into something they fear the most. Each one is different. Each one is unique in her fears. For me, I have changed into something I am not. Someone tough, hard and ruthless.
I grab my purse and keys and a brightly colored sales brochure. Yes, the change is complete one more time.
I have changed into a shoe shopper, a sales shoe shopper! Goddess help me.
The contest uses the infamous phrase to showcase the worst extremes of this “purple prose”. It only uses one sentence, where I thought it would be fun to write a story with that title. I kind of doubt it will be scary, but in honor of Halloween, one of my favorite holidays, I thought I would borrow the phrase and see what happens.
I was home alone with my little dog Sam. The wind was howling through the trees, it almost sounded like moaning. Of course, that was just my imagination. Usually, storms don’t bother me. In fact, I love them. But this one seemed different. There was a feeling in the air, it was heavy, like a smelly wet blanket covering the whole house. We had lost the electricity an hour ago. But I had plenty of candles lit. I hate the dark, things happen in the dark that doesn’t happen in the light.
It wasn’t raining, not yet anyway. But the wind was blowing and the trees outside were hitting the side of the house. A steady bang, bang, bang. It was driving me crazy. I made a mental note to have the trees next to the house trimmed… soon.
The thunder could be heard rumbling over the wind. Every now and then the lightning would light up the house. Because of that and the candles, there were odd shadows flickering on the walls and ceilings. It would be a great night for Halloween. But that holiday was still a few weeks away.
I sat on the couch with Sam as close to my side as he could get. I liked the company, even if it was in the shape of a small dog. At least we had each other, and I wasn’t completely alone. I felt foolish. A grown woman afraid of the dark, but I couldn’t help myself. It was just that kind of night.
I heard a soft creak, like a footstep when the wind and thunder were silent for a few seconds. It sounded like it was in the house! Sam and I just froze for a second, I felt the poor little guy shiver in fright. I have to admit it scared me too!
I gathered my courage together, picked up one of the candles and decided to take a look around the house. Yeah, stupid I know. I mean, in all the scary movies one sees, the girl always goes looking around the dark house on her own and meets up with the boogie man!
This wasn’t a movie. I would rather meet up with the boogie man on my terms then sit on the couch and await my doom. So off we went to search the house. Sam was close on my heels, I guess he wasn’t willing to be alone either.
We did a quick survey of the main floor and saw nothing unusual. So I decided to take a look upstairs. I slowly started to climb the stairs as the candle flickered at each step. I tried to listen to anything beyond the wind but heard nothing strange.
So step by slow step I continued upwards. We got to the landing and I stopped to give another listen. Nothing. I took a step forward and immediately heard a creak and I knew it wasn’t me that made it.
I decided to keep moving forward. I had to find out if someone else was in the house with me. It was either that or go hide somewhere and wait for the boogie man to find me! Neither option was the greatest. So taking my courage in hand once more I continued forward. I slowly walked down the hall. The first room I came to was the bathroom. Taking a quick look inside I knew no one was there, and yes, I looked in the shower too!
Poor little Sam was with me every step of the way. I made myself a promise that I would give Sam some extra special dog cookies once we were over this night! He deserved them for keeping me company on this scary night.
Taking a deep breath, I continued to the next room. My bedroom door was closed like usual. I grabbed the door handle and slowly turned it. As I opened the bedroom door I heard it give a small screech, I never noticed that it needed oiling until now.
As I opened the door all the way and stepped inside the wind picked up in force and pushed the outside tree against the side of the house. The bang that followed made my heart jump and my hand holding the candle shake.
I walked into the room and took a quick look around as Sam stayed in the doorway. I saw nothing out of the ordinary and even got enough courage to throw the closet door open and take a look. Nothing. Whew!
My heart slowed down just a bit and I left to check the last room. An extra bedroom. That door too is usually closed, but I noticed soon enough that it was open a crack. My heart started to beat fast once more. I stood just outside the door wondering if I shouldn’t just turn and run. I took a deep silent breath as I put my hand against the door to push it open.
I gave it a slow push and took a quick look. I didn’t see anything so I took a step inside…then all hell broke loose!
There was an awful howl as two gray and white bodies streaked past me out the door. Sam gave a loud bark and took after them. Sam was yapping excitedly as I ran into the hallway just in time to see my two devil cats running hell-bent down the hall with Sam nipping at their tails!
Both cats raced toward the stairs and when the first one hit the curve before the stairs the second one almost ran him over. As their paws scrambled for footing they bounded down the stairs with the now brave Sam close on their butts!
I started running after Sam as fast as I could without putting out my candle. I heard a loud crash downstairs and wondered what piece of furniture was a victim of their flight. Then I heard yapping and hissing and thought I better get down there quick!
Managing to get down the stairs without tripping in my haste, I entered the living room just as the lights came back on.
I stood in the middle of the room and surveyed the damage. I blew out my candle and yelled at Sam to hush! He had the two devil cats Notwen and Pouncer cornered on top of the TV stand. I just had to laugh. One, because I felt so relieved that there wasn’t a boogie man in the house! Two, because Sam was so much smaller than either cat and he acted so proud that he got them hissing and cornered!
It took me a few minutes to get the animals calmed. Afterward, I just sat on my couch and laughed at myself. But, after that day, I make sure I always have plenty of candles in every room in the house. You know, just in case.
It’s been pretty warm here in my part of Alberta, Canada. Hot and dry. Plus, lots of grass fires surrounding us. Makes for a not so pleasant time outdoors, I can tell you. We had Canada Day on the first of July and I know the US is having their Independence Day celebrations this weekend. Happy fourth of July you guys!
Just please, be careful out there if you are traveling, camping or shooting off fireworks. We don’t want anyone hurt or worse. Also, if you have pets, please keep them safe and secure as this is a very frightening time for them with all the loud noises.
So, because it’s so warm and dry here I thought I would bring back a poem I wrote a few years ago. It remains one of my most popular poems as far as views go. Hope you enjoy!
Have a wonderful weekend no matter where you are at!
Spring brings soft rain winter ends its pain flowers in glorious color stand tall and reign
New green grass grows rain never slows it’s refreshing drink is savored only a matter of time I know
Soon color to the land will come flowers, shrubs, gardens, so awesome
Windows opened wide, no longer will I be sunk in winter’s boredom
I rejoice in rain clouds in the skies as birds compete on current highs
Leaves show green on the trees as if they’ve been brushed with dyes
So let it rain, let it pour all day
I will no longer be winters prey
Gray and gloomy it might be soon rain flowers will gently sway
Hope this will be the start of a wonderful weekend! I’d also like to take this opportunity to say how happy I am with SCOTUS for passing the same-sex marriage law.
I thought I would bring back a little bitty story I did some time ago. It was for the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge. It’s always been one of my favorites. Hope you enjoy my flash of the past.
For that week’s WordPress weekly writing challenge, we were to write a fifty-word story. Not five thousand, not five hundred, but precisely fifty words. Here’s mine…
My palm is sweaty where I grasp you, my hand against your firmness. My breath quickens when I think of what is to come. A long-term affair continues. My eyes close, lips purse. First your smell hits my nose. Ah, so seductive, you are. Coffee, how I love thee.
Hope the start of the first Spring weekend brings sunshine and melting snow. This week for Flashback Friday I’ve brought forth a short story I wrote way back in December of 2012. Edited, of course. Hope you enjoy!
The Missing Item
Wanda stood in the middle of the room with small fists on hips. Her eyes looked in each nook and cranny of the room and didn’t see it anywhere! Where did it go to? My word. It’s not that big of a house, how could it have disappeared so easily?
Blowing her breath out impatiently, she thought to herself, she really didn’t have time for this. She needed to get to the meeting! Turning around quickly she ran up the steps to her bedroom. Maybe, she thought, she missed it the first time she looked there.
Wanda looked under her bed, in her dresser drawers, in her nightstand, then she tackled the closet. Nothing! Shaking her head she went back downstairs. She couldn’t believe she lost it! Her first real responsibility for the club and she misplaced it.
She plunked down on the couch and replayed in her mind every place in the house she had been this morning. Wanda had it when she had breakfast, she remembered. She had it on the table next to her bowl of oatmeal.
Wanda remembered she was just finishing her coffee when the phone rang. She talked to Shirl for a few minutes and then went to finish getting ready for the meeting. She came back downstairs and it was gone! She looked at the empty kitchen table and under it, but nothing!
She heard a loud …….caw! Caw! CAW!
She glanced over at the bird stand where her pet raven was spreading out his inky wings, dancing to some unheard music. Blackie, a huge raven was her best friend and sidekick. They had been together for years. Smiling at him she suddenly saw something shiny in one claw. There it was!! Blackie had it!
Wanda ran over to the stand and took a closer look at what Blackie held. Yes! She reached over and tickled his tummy, his favorite thing in all the world, tummy tickling. His claw opened and she was able to finally get back the talisman he was holding.
She smiled with relief, she was so afraid she had lost it and they needed it for the ceremony tonight. It was going to be an exciting night for Wanda, her initiation into the upper ranks of the coven.
For today’s Flashback Friday, I didn’t go too far back. Only as far as Feb of last year. I thought I would dust it off and display it once more. It’s still one of my personal favorites as far as stories go. Hope you enjoy it!
I wrote this story as part of WordPress’ Weekly Writing Challenge. We were to write a 1000 word story based on a picture. This is the picture my story is based on.
Juanita trudged up another hill, carrying her paints and brushes in sack over her back. No one seemed to know Juanita’s exact age, not even Juanita herself. She had been orphaned at a very early age, left to fend for herself in a hard climate, sparsely populated.
Today her gray hair was swept back in a ponytail, her clothes ragged but clean. Her face lined by the harsh sun until you couldn’t distinguish one line from another. Her toothless mouth wide in a smile of pure joy. She loved her life, hard as it was. She knew nothing else, so was content with what she had.
She taught herself to paint early in life after she found a few used brushes and paints behind a small shop. Years passed and she became better and better at her chosen work. She sold a few paintings to the frequent tourists to provide food, clothing and her precious paints and brushes.
One day she saw an old abandoned building, sitting alone and forgotten. In her mind, she saw a blank canvas, a beginning of something beautiful. So she started her painting. She loved her old town, the people in it as they had been kind to her all her life. She wanted to give something back and all she had were her paints and her imagination.
She wanted to give the old building life again. With her vivid blues, reds, yellows, greens and purples she painted from sunrise to sunset. Soon the townspeople began to come and watch her paint. They would drop off pitchers of water and baskets of food.
They watched her paint and sometimes heard her sing softly to herself as she painted life into something that was left for dead. That building even got a new person to live in it, as Juanita painted a man in the window content with his work.
When someone saw she had run out of a certain color, a new jar or tube would show up on the doorstep the next morning when she trudged up that hill to the building. Juanita would just smile, and continue with her work. Her painting was the talk of the town and they would ask the other, “Have you seen what old Juanita is doing to that old building? It is a work of beauty!”
Juanita painted what she knew about life, what she enjoyed. Her neighbors plowing their fields in the hot sun. Ribbons the color of the rainbow gently swaying in the wind. Oxen and cactus and the rare flowers of the desert. She painted them all in a mural that was a beacon to everyone who came through her town.
The townspeople began calling the building “Juanita’s Joy.”
One day someone noticed Juanita did not show up to paint on her building. They got some friends together and went looking for the old woman. They found her in her old ramshackle hut. The town doctor said she died peacefully in her sleep. The always joyous heart, giving out as she slept.
They gave her a fine funeral, buried her under a large tree near her beloved painted building. The whole town mourned a quiet woman who always looked at life with eyes full of color. The owner of the old building donated it to the town in Juanita’s name. They put her paintings inside for all to see and it was run as a gallery for young and old artists.
One day a beautiful sign showed up on the building.
A place for all to enjoy beauty in all its glorious colors
Hello people! Hope this day brings you joy in some form.
For today’s flashback Friday I’m bringing back a short story I wrote in September 2012. I did a bit of editing, of course. Why is it one can always find ways of improving on a story? I do hope you enjoy one of my earliest endeavors.
Was It A Dream?
His lungs burned with the effort of running. Yet he ran on. He could hear his pursuer behind him as he ran. His feet were bloody, cut up by the sticks, small stones and leaves underfoot. The trees overhead swayed with the wind. His ears were full of the sound of his battered feet hitting the barely seen trail and his labored breathing.
He was terrified because he couldn’t remember how he got to this place. He didn’t know what he was running from. He just knew that he needed to get away. He didn’t even know what was chasing him or why. Just glimpses of something not human, eyes glowing green. The sweat pours down his face and stings his eyes as they search for someplace to hide.
He was desperate to stop and catch his breath. He was afraid if he did he would collapse and that thing would be on him. His fear was pushing him on, his desire to live was driving him to keep breathing and to keep running. He didn’t want to die.
It seemed to him that the sounds behind him were growing fainter. He hoped he had finally outrun it. He spies something off to the side that looks like a shack. He makes a sudden turn without slowing down. A hundred yards or more and he was at the run down building. His shoulder hits the door and it crashes open.
He slides to a stop inside, turns and slams the door shut again. Quickly looking around he spots a wooden chair and pulls it over to jam under the door knob. He collapses in the middle of the room, his breath ragged. He wipes his sweaty face with what’s left of his shirt. He forces his breath to slow, his ears listening for any noise outside. He closes his eyes to listen. But there is nothing to hear. Not even insects. It was eerily calm.
Suddenly there was a loud crash against the door! A large body was slamming against it, but the chair and door don’t give. His heart pounding, he desperately searches the shack for some kind of weapon. Anything to make him feel he might have a chance. He notices a number of small windows set high in the walls. No way for anything to crawl through. A cot with rotted bedding sits against one wall. A large empty fireplace is against the back wall. He notices a heavy, hooked fire poker laying half in and half out of it. It could do some damage if necessary. As he holds it in his hands he instantly feels better, for at least now has a weapon.
He surveys the rest of the shack. Shelves with unknown, rusted tins are on the wall opposite the rotting bed. A small round table sits in the middle of the room with the mate of the chair under the door knob laying on its side next to it. The table has a thick layer of dust on it. Doesn’t look like anyone has been inside for decades. He suddenly notices in the gloom another door next to the fireplace. It was smaller than a normal door, maybe a closet he thinks. He remembers noticing as he ran to the shed, that it was built against a large mountain. So the small door couldn’t lead to outside. That could be a lifesaver he thought, as that thing outside couldn’t surprise him from the back of the house. Or it could mean his death as he had no way out of the shed except through the front door.
Suddenly his nose picks up the smell of smoke. He turns around and sees smoke curling in through the cracks of the front door. Damn! Whatever was out there was trying to smoke him out! In desperation he looks around the shack. There has got to be another way out! He can’t die like this! He won’t die like this!
Taking short shallow breaths as the smoke gets thicker he remembers the small closet door. He races over to it and pulls it open. Maybe by some miracle there will be something inside that can save him. As he pulls open the small door, and he gasps in hope! It wasn’t a closet. It was a door to the inside of the mountain! It was lit by strange crystals. He had never seen anything like it! Briefly he wonders if he was running from one danger into another. But, as he heard the wood behind him crackle with flame he knew he didn’t have a choice. He had to move forward. Behind him was certain death.
He closes the door behind him and walks forward. The crystals give off a glow as they light the way for him. He hopes that because of the fire, whatever is behind him won’t find the small door. The path inside the mountain curves to the left as his bare, bleeding feet raise little clouds of dust.
As he walks he notices the path heading downward, he’s walking further into the heart of the mountain. He spies a bundle of what looks like rags ahead of him. As he gets nearer he sees the bones. Human bones. He can’t tell how old they are, not even from the rotted cloth. His heart skips a beat, but he knows he has no choice but to keep going forward.
As he walks, he loses his sense of time. Seems like hours since he first walked through that small door. Just as he thinks the path will never end he walks into a large cavern.
The strange glowing crystals cover the walls, lighting it up as if the sun shone inside. He stood in awe of the beauty. The colors were clear and pure. The silence unbroken. He is so tired. He can’t resist sitting.
Just for a minute he thinks. I have got to rest just for a second. He leans back against one of those crystals and feels a slight warmth. His hand still held tight to the poker. As his head begins to drop to his chest in much-needed sleep, his ears pick up a noise. It’s very slight, but in the quiet of the cavern it echos against the walls. His head pops up, his eyes searching for the source of the noise. He scurries behind the crystal as he sees something that strikes terror in his heart.
A creature floats inside, slowly coming right towards him! It has green glowing eyes, in a face that is hidden by a cowl. The eyes glow brighter as they fix on him. He saw no feet. Just a light-colored robe of some kind. It went from head to foot in a silvery type material. There was nowhere to run anymore! Just as the creature floats closer he feels himself fading, he slips down and his eyes close. His fingers relax and the poker slides away.
He gasps awake, sitting straight up, terror on his face. He glances around and can’t believe his eyes. He’s home! In his own bed! Was it a dream then? Just a dream! Frantically, with his heart still beating hard he looks around his familiar room. Nothing is changed. Everything is as it should be. He sighs with relief. He swings himself to the side of the bed. His feet hit the floor and he winces in pain. Glancing down he feels the blood drain from his face.
His feet are dirty, bloody, and hurt like hell. Then he notices the smell, like smoke that drifts from his torn T-shirt. No! It had to have been a dream! Right?
Hello people! Hope this Friday (or Saturday if you are living on the other side of the world) finds you well and planning a wonderful weekend!
Today’s short story was first written in 2012. A different sort of writing for me. I enjoyed it, hope you do too.
They sat, barely touching. The fire crackled softly in front of them. It was cold, but they didn’t feel it. The night sky was full of stars, brightly shining down upon the two. Their soft voices mingled with the slight breeze, wafting upwards among the trees.
They smiled, their quiet laughter muffled under the blanket wrapped around them. The night was quiet, beautiful. It was just the two of them. Hands would touch, then flutter away like birds newly learning to fly. The little puffs of mist when they breathed entwined like lovers.
The snow glistened in the moonlight. Sparkling like a spread of precious gems laid out before them. The small creatures that would normally be heard scuttling in the bushes were quiet this night.
Soft cloth enfolding them in its fibers. Making two seem as one. They exchanged ideas, words flowed freely between the two. They spoke of faraway lands, of people known and cared about. Each so different from the other, yet each the same.
With each word, each idea, each story they grew closer. The found that even though they lived very different lives, they were still the same inside.
Hope your day is being good to you. For this week’s Flash Back Friday I’m bringing back a story I wrote in September of 2012. It came from some research I was doing for something else. I stumbled across the term ‘taxi dancer’ and had to look it up as it fascinated me. Still does. Hope you enjoy my little story and if you are interested the Wikipedia link for the term taxi dancer is here. Thanks!
After the song ended, Anita sat at her table and wished she could take her shoes off and rub her tired, achy feet. But, she knew the music would start again in a few minutes and there would be another man holding out his 10 cent ticket to her. They would dance, maybe have a few snippets of conversation if he was talkative. If the man was on the shy side the dance would be quiet.
If Anita liked the look of the man, she would try to get him to talk. Most times not though. It was a job. Times were tough, she had to help with the family finances and this was better than nothing. She got this job because she could dance. She always loved to dance, even when she was little, Mama would catch her dancing all over their tiny apartment. Now that Mama was sick, it was up to her to pay the bills. So she came to the Taxi Dancehall and got a job.
The job was tiring and she usually went home with sore feet and achy muscles, but it never stopped her from returning the next day. The pay was fair, mostly because she was one of the most popular Taxi’s there. Men enjoyed dancing with her and she had her weekly regulars. She knew that some dancers working there did ‘side jobs’, but she wasn’t one of them. She was a good girl and she couldn’t shame Mama that way.
Anita heard the band start another song and just like always, there was a man standing in front of her with his 10 cent ticket in his hand. Without even glancing up at the man’s face, she took his ticket and stuck it inside the small black purse dangling from her wrist. She stood up and took his outstretched hand, finally tilting her head up and see who it was. This one she didn’t know, he was a new face in the crowd. The handsome young man smiled at her and led her to the dance floor.
They glided smoothly across the oak floor. Not speaking. Anita was okay with that, there didn’t seem to be a need to talk. She thought he was an excellent dancer, better than most of her ticket holders. She felt comfortable. As they twirled once more around, he finally spoke in a soft deep voice. “I’m glad my buddy talked me into coming here tonight.”
“Why is that?” Anita asked.
“Because I just met the most beautiful woman, who dances like an angel.”
“I bet you say that to all the ladies” Anita joked.
“Only you,” he said. “Only you from now on,” he whispered.
Friday again! How the time passes quickly. The first week of February already done! Hope your weekend is extra special.
I’m in a good mood today, so for Flash Back Friday I thought I would bring back a ‘feel good’ story I did almost 2 years ago. I did some editing, as usual, so I do hope you enjoy and come away feeling good too.
Two Coffee’s, Please
She was new to town and found this quaint little coffee shop a block from her new house. So every morning the past few weeks, she took a leisurely stroll to stop in and have her first cup of the day. She sat at the big picture window to watch the town come to life slowly, enjoying the friendliness of the owner of the shop as she stopped by her table with a cheery hello.
She had moved from the big city a year after her divorce. That was 6 months ago. She did freelance writing work for the local newspaper and for a few top magazines. She might not have been able to save her 5-year marriage, but she was able to save her sanity by moving here. A small friendly town. Lots of nice helpful people. Strangers, all of them. It was sad that she felt more at home now with these strangers then with the “friends” she had left behind in the big city.
She had gotten tired of the awkward conversations. The pitying looks. The fake “I’m so sorry things didn’t work out” from people she knew weren’t sorry at all. When you divorced a rich, high-powered lawyer, who turned out to be a rich, high-powered scumbag, things got a bit messy. And ugly. So she left. Goodbye scumbag, goodbye fake friends, goodbye ugly.
She smiled and took a sip from her rapidly cooling cup of coffee. Debating whether to have another to indulge herself or head back towards home, she noticed the man come into the shop.
For two weeks, she watched the same handsome man do exactly the same thing. He would walk in, glance around briefly, walk to the counter to order his cup of coffee. One cream, no sugar. Just how she liked hers. Then he would sit at a table next to the wall, open his morning paper and read it while sipping his cup of joe. After exactly half an hour, no more, no less, he would fold up his paper. Reach in his pocket for change that he left near the empty cup, smile at the owner and leave.
It was fascinating to her that he did this every morning, without fail. Never once changing his actions. Obviously a man of habit. She gave a small self-deprecating laugh. She shouldn’t be noticing handsome strangers. For all she knew, he could be married with five kids. Or be another scumbag. And one in her lifetime was enough! Feeling satisfied with her reasoning she left, waving goodbye to the owner.
The next morning arrived in a blustery, dreary, looking like rain, fall light. She debated going for her usual walk to get her cup of coffee. She had a brand new coffee pot at home she could use. It was sitting on her kitchen counter just waiting to be filled with fresh hot brew. Instead, she found herself locking up her house as she set off towards the coffee shop. She smiled as she walked briskly down the sidewalk. The fall wind at her back, pushing her onwards. The dry crackling leaves swirling around her feet.
As she came closer to her now favorite coffee shop she noticed a familiar tall handsome figure just walking through the door ahead of her. He was early today, she thought to herself. For some reason, she felt a flicker of anxiety. Every morning since she first noticed him he never deviated from his routine. Always the same time he arrived, always the same time he left. She wondered if something was wrong today.
She opened up the door and was greeted with the smell of freshly ground coffee. The shop was gratefully warm and cozy. She saw the handsome man standing at the counter. As she approached to give her usual order she noticed the owner on the phone. The woman gave a small friendly wave and mouthed, ‘be right there’.
She waited, wondering if she should attempt some small talk when she heard a deep soft voice state, “I notice you’re here every morning”. Nodding her head she looked up into hazel eyes, darkly fringed.
“So are you” she stated as she smiled into a wide-set face with a slight dusting of freckles. The face went well with the reddish-brown hair falling over his forehead.
“I enjoy the walk before work. And I enjoy good coffee. So I get both every morning.”
She watched his lips turn up into a smile and found herself drawn to the man. She liked how he looked. Friendly, interesting, open, just like the small town she has come to love. She felt the beginnings of interest flicker in her mind as he introduced himself as the local hardware store owner. He engulfed her smaller hand in a warm handshake that lingered just a bit.
She told him she was new to town and was a freelance writer for the local paper.
When they heard a cheerful ‘hello’, they both slowly faced the woman behind the counter as she stood waiting for them to order. The man then said in his deep soft voice, “Two coffee’s, please. One cream, no sugar”.
I was sitting at my desk, wondering if I should just give it up for the day and find a good stiff drink. When he came strolling in. His name, Robert Holden. He looked like he stepped out of an old 1940’s movie set. You know the type, tall, good-looking, strong chin and steely eyes. He was dressed in a suit that cost more than I make in a year. With a gray overcoat and a black fedora hat. I do love a man who looks good in a fedora. He did, very good, in fact.
My name’s DeeDee Watson, Private Eye. Yeah, a private detective. My parents don’t like it and my older brother gives me hell about it every time we see each other. But, I love what I do. I would say it pays the bills, but at this point in time it doesn’t. Business has been slow. I refuse to do divorce cases. You want pictures of your spouse cheatin’ on you, you take them. I’m not going to do that kind of work. Yeah, I know it’s the bread and butter of the private eye’s. Guess I’ll take my bread sans butter. I was sitting looking at the stack of bills and my empty bank account, when in walks the Fedora.
I see him sizing me up. That’s okay, I’m sizing him up too. What I see is a rich man, with no emotion in his eyes. Now my curiosity is engaged. What’s a rich man like him doing in a run down office like mine? He stops just inside the door.
“I want to talk to D. Watson.” he demands.
“I don’t do divorce cases,” I state, maybe just a bit more emphatic than need be. He irritated me with his tone.
“I’m not married,” Fedora snapped. “Who are you?”
“DeeDee Watson.” I saw something flicker in his eyes for just a second.
“I thought you were the receptionist.”
He stands in front of my beat up, scarred desk and I feel compelled to stand and offer my hand.
“Does this place look like it can afford a receptionist?”
I grasp his warm hand, his handshake is firm but brief. I picture him wanting to wipe my girl cooties off his hand like a kid would and smile.
Now I’m a tall woman, 5’10 without heels. He outdid me by a good 5 inches. I motion him to sit in my only other chair in the office. I sit back down and fold my hands on top of my desk. I wait for him to make the first move. I”m curious now to see why he was here.
He takes off his fedora. At least he remembered his manners. “The ad also stated you specialize in finding things.”
“Things” I state, “Not people.”
“I’m not looking for someone, I’m looking for something.”
I raise an eyebrow, waiting for him to specify exactly what he was looking for. Or what he wanted me to look for.
“I need your help in finding a family keepsake”.
“Do you have a picture of this family keepsake?” I ask.
He takes a photo out of his coat pocket and slides it across the desk towards me. Picking it up I take a look. I shove the picture angrily back at him. “Is this a joke?” I ask. “It’s not funny.”
“You said you don’t find people, Watson. You never said you don’t find dogs”.
He’s watching me with those steely eyes and I could swear I see a flicker of humor. I must be mistaken. I’m still half way thinking it’s some kind of joke.
“So, this dog is a family keepsake?”
“Actually, he is. My grandmother named him Trisha. Tee for short.”
Him? Trisha is a he? I keep silent, still debating if I want to kick him out the door. For some reason, I want to hear him out. If it turns out to be some joke I can still kick his butt out the door. I have a black belt in jujitsu. I also fight dirty. Besides, it’s been slow around here.
He pushes the picture of Tee back towards me. “My grandmother is an extremely wealthy woman. Throughout her life, she has always had a dog named Trisha. An odd little quirk of hers. Someone dog-napped Tee about 3 days ago. They are demanding 5 million in ransom or they kill the dog. This would devastate grandmother. I can’t let that happen.”
Five million?? Grandmother must have money. I take another look at the picture. I am admittedly an animal lover. I have been known to pull my motorcycle over and kick some ass when I see someone abusing an animal. I look at those trusting eyes and wonder if I’m just nuts. Because I find myself wanting to accept the job. That and I glance at the pile of bills that refuses to get smaller. With a small sigh, I drop the picture on the desk. Glancing up at Fedora I ask him for the details of the kidnapping and the ransom demands. Looks like I’m going to be on the hunt for a small family keepsake named Tee.
Another Friday is here good people. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Below you will find another one of my very first posts. It was a short, short story, where I dabbled in fantasy a bit. I still like the story line, let me know what you think. I have thought about expanding the story into a book. I think it has promise.
For your reading pleasure I present to you…………………………
Alei stood still as a rock, alone as she preferred. Facing the dais and the only person who could grant her the one thing that made all her hard work worth it. She heard the faint rustle of the crowd behind her. Her fellow classmates in the only school of its type. A place where its secrets outnumbered its residents. Where to survive you had to be smarter, quicker and deadlier than all the others. And she was. She had proved that. It was a school that was well-known for producing the best assassins in all the universes.
She stood still, with only her eyes following the man above her. Her inky black hair spiky on top of her head. Her eyes, the eyes of her people. Deep purple with a black outer rim, slightly slanted. Her skin bronze, with the black tattoo’s that showed others, she was of the tribe Aleiata of the planet Tambos. A once proud and majestic people, her tribe had been slaughtered by an army run by the very man who was standing on the dais in front of her. She was the only survivor, a baby back then, only five years old.
The man, a powerful assassin, named Drimel thought it would be amusing to take her and school her into what he was. He named her Alei after her people and thrust her in this school to be shaped and molded into what she was today.
Twenty years later, she stood silent, nothing moving but her purple eyes. Waiting to be told she was a full fledged killer. Waiting to told what her first assignment was.