I’m not going to list each preceding chapter every day. It would get much too long. If you haven’t read previous chapters I have a category listing on the side with the title 2015 April A-Z challenge. You can find all the chapters there. Thanks for reading!
I was looking over the Hilton’s high-priced menu from their restaurant downstairs when a knock sounded on the door. Must be Angela.
As soon as the door was open in rushes Angela. “Dee! Thank God you’re here! I do hope you’re good at this private eye business! Of course you are! You’re Dee! You would be good at it!”
Before I could even get a hello injected into her fast talking, nervous dialog, she starts again.
“Dee! You are good at it aren’t you? I can’t talk to the police and so I thought of you because someone told me that you were a private detective now and I didn’t know what else to do! Someone killed Tony! Now they might be after me! I don’t even know why!”
Whoa. This was not the Angela I knew in college. This was some caricature of her. Not a good one either. She was standing in the middle of the room, still talking in a fast, scared, non-stopping clip. I had to make her calm down if I was going to make any sense of what she was telling me.
For half a second, I thought of slapping her, but I don’t think she would appreciate my tactics. So I decided to use a different method. I grab her shoulders and give her a hard brief shake. She at least stopped talking. Now she was staring up at me with big tear-filled blue eyes and her mouth wide open. Not a good look on anyone.
“Sit down Angela and tell me what the hell is going on. Slowly.”
I push her into a chair and sit across from her. I see her take a deep breath and let it out. She wipes her eyes and hands me a note that I hadn’t noticed she had gripped in her fist. I straighten it out and read it.
It was made up of cut out letters from magazines. Crooks actually still do that? Old school I’m thinking. Or they are into the dramatics.
It was time for me to know about Tony.
I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. You could just say hi! Thanks!
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.
I took a sip of my cooling coffee and watched the other patrons of the café. I didn’t know any of them and they didn’t know me. Or so I thought.
I was on holiday. I didn’t want to know anyone. I didn’t want to be disturbed. I wanted a little peace and quiet for a while. So in my office last week I put a map of the world up on the wall, closed my eyes, threw a dart and where it landed was where I was going.
So, here I was. Drinking a flavorful cup of Joe, feeling the tension between my shoulder blades finally dissipating. Through half closed eyes of contentment, I watched a young mother and her tow headed young charge laugh at the antics of a small puppy at their feet through the large picture window that faced the outside patio.
My chair leaned against the wall behind me as I took in the calm scene. Old habits die-hard, my back was always against a wall, in my business ingrained habits might just save your life.
I nodded at the waitress and held my coffee cup up for another refill. I was enjoying the quiet of the little café. Smiling to myself I thought I should have taken a holiday months ago. The waitress wandered over and poured me another steaming cup of black gold, gave me a small nod and walked away.
I heard the tinkle of the bell over the café door and casually glanced over. A tall thin man stood just inside the door. I felt a small fissure along my skin, telling me this man was here for me. I get those feelings sometimes. I don’t question them anymore. I watched him slowly glance around the half empty café till his eyes landed on me.
I stayed in my relaxed position, waiting for him to do whatever he was going to do. I couldn’t see his face yet, as it was shaded by a round derby hat and the sunlight behind him afforded him the anonymity of shadow. Through my half closed eyes I watched him walk slowly towards me. I put my cup down on the small round table in front of me and rested my hands next to it. The man stopped in front of my table.
“Hello are you Charly Cumberstoke? Better known as CC?”
I almost said a flat-out no, but my damned curiosity came into play. One of these times that same curiosity is going to get me killed.
“Yeah, that’s me.”
He gestured toward the empty chair and asked, “May I?”
I nodded. I was still cautious, it pays to be in my line of work.
He sat and pulled off his cap. I took a long hard look at his face. Narrow, with a long nose, long chin, and unusually pretty eyes for a man. Wide, steel grey with long black lashes framing them. I knew several women that would have been jealous of eyes like that. His black curly hair just brushed his forehead. I didn’t know the face, and I remembered faces. His was not one most would forget. I wanted to ask how he found me, but figured he’d get around to telling me soon enough.
“I’ve been looking for you.”
His voice was soft, cultured is how I would describe it. Wasn’t New Briton, Oz Land maybe. High end either way. What I could see of his hands clasped in front of him, they were soft, non-callused. His eyes stayed steady on mine, calm from what I could tell. One cool, long-legged man.
“I have a job for you.”
“I’m on holidays.”
“You’re a hard person to track down. I had to employ rather nefarious means to find you.”
“I’m still on holidays.”
I tensed as he reached inside his coat pocket. His hand stopped for a second then slowly pulled an envelope from it. He put it on the table and pushed it to me. I glanced at it and saw my name written in a bold hand across the rather pristine front.
I looked at him and raised an eyebrow in question.
“I don’t know what the letter says Ms. CC. I just do as my master tells me.”
“And who would your master be?”
“I’m sure the letter will explain everything, if you would be so kind as to read it.”
I picked it up and stared at it. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t want to open it. Cowardly of me, which is usually not my problem. I guess the only way I would get answers is to read the damn thing.
“I believe I shall see if this establishment has anything of a decent tea to drink. I will leave you to your reading Ms. CC.”
With that, he got up and walked to the counter to order his tea. I looked at the letter again and with a reluctant sigh tore it open and pulled out a single piece of white vellum. As I read my heart stopped for a moment and then I felt my anger stir. Of all the damned nerve!
I slowly, with my anger burning deep, put the letter back into the envelope. I waited for the stranger to sit back down.
“I had to explain to the waitress how to make a decent cup of tea. It’s amazing that she didn’t know how!”
“Never mind about the damned tea. Who are you?”
“My name is Michaels. I am Mr. Cumberstokes manservant.”
“I don’t know how my no good father put you up to this, but it’s not funny.”
“No jokes Ms. CC. Your father needs your help.”
“My father hasn’t needed me since he walked out when I was a kid.”
“I’m sure it’s something he regrets.”
I just laughed at the absurdity of the whole thing. Something stirred in my mind. Old forgotten memories. Ah, shit, I was going to go meet my father, who I haven’t seen in over 25 years. This should be interesting…………
This story was done for the Daily Post’s daily prompt, Greetings, Stranger. I have also brought back my favorite character CC whom I have written about in previous stories. To read the first one, please go here. Thanks for stopping in and giving my story a read. Hope you enjoyed it!
I had been here before, a long time ago. Deja Vu. I was about 10, just a damn kid. The world was all ready a hard place to be in.
Abandoned by a good-looking, smooth talking traveling man, my mother ended up eight and half months later with me. I was impatient to come into this god forsaken world back then. Came early, some say I sent my mother to her grave. I say, to hell with them. My mother sent herself to the grave. I was eight when she finally had enough of the hard life and just laid down and died. She gave up. I won’t ever give up. It’s not in me.
The group of misbegotten, ragtag bunch of idiots that my mother had hooked up with were a superstitious lot. Took it out on me. A small red-headed girl with one green eye and one blue eye. They said I was the product of the devil. For a couple of years after my mother died, I just hung out on the fringe of the group and tried to survive the best I could. They took turns throwing me scraps to eat and cuffing my ears when I let them get too close.
I had just turned 10 when they decided to get rid of me. They weren’t brave enough to kill me themselves, so they thought the wolves in the wild would do their dirty work for them. So they gathered a few of my belongings up, a bit of bread and rotten cheese and left me at these railroad tracks to fend for myself.
In the middle of damned nowhere. Just a set of rusty, disused rail tracks and me. If I wouldn’t have let my guard down they never would have had the drop on me. I was so tired. I drifted off to sleep and a couple of brave men of the group put a sack over me and tied me in it. They tossed me over a rough boney shoulder. I didn’t yell or scream, I remember that. Never was one for wasting my energy on something that wasn’t going to work anyhow. They walked what seemed like forever in my mind, barely talking to each other. When they got to these tracks they tossed me to the ground and just walked off.
Took me a long time to finally work myself out of that damn sack. By then my anger was burned deep inside of me. I swore I would get revenge. First though I had to survive long enough to figure out how to get that well deserved revenge. When I got out of that sack it was coming dark. I found my pitiful bundle of belongings laying a few feet to the side of me. I ate the bread and moldy cheese. I was always hungry back then. So a bit of mold didn’t bother me none.
While I ate, slowly chewing the tough bread I took a look around. All I could see in the dusk was trees, lots of trees and those old railway tracks. I knew the trains weren’t running anymore. I had overheard some of the group talking about the trains not running after the last world war pretty much desecrated the country, hell the world from what I heard. Bands of people got together after the war and survived best they could. Too bad my mother hooked herself up with one of the worst.
For some reason I remember not being scared. Nothing much frightened me back then. Still doesn’t. I was more curious than scared. I knew about the wolves of course. Anyone who spent anytime out here knew about them. But they fascinated me. The group with their stupid superstitions were terrified of them.
I used to sneak out in the woods at night and watch the wolves. I would lay still as I could for hours and just watch and learn.
Who knew that all that watching, that learning, would help me survive. Those wolves turned out to be my best friends. My family, my survival.
Now I was back. I was older, smarter, and deadlier. My revenge would happen soon.
This story was done for the The Daily Post’s Weekly Writing challenge. Let me know what you think. I may add on to it on a later date.
I posted this story last year in honor of my Dad on Father’s Day. I liked it enough that I am posting it again this year.
Happy Father’s Day to all those who celebrate it today!
My Dad was a man of mixed impressions. He could be quick to anger and yet he loved animals of all kinds. He was soft-spoken yet when he did speak it was with authority and conviction. He was a meticulous man, very neat in his appearance and surroundings. Everything had a place and it better be in it kind of man.
He wasn’t particularly mechanical. He wasn’t the kind of man to tinker with cars. His passion was gardening. I think my dad could grow anything. I remember the time he and I had a contest with each other. Who could grow a certain kind of plant the best. We gave each other a month. I had a room upstairs and was growing plants, he had a room downstairs where he grew his. He won of course. The man just had a special touch with growing things. It was a fun contest though with lots of laughs and good times.
My dad died of prostate cancer years ago. He died on Father’s day weekend that year. He held on for as long as he could because he always took care of my mom. He was afraid of leaving her alone. In the three months he was in a hospice dying slowly day by day my mom never missed a day visiting him. Through all sorts of weather, my mom would be there as soon as visiting hours started till they kicked her out at night. Every day my dad would tell her things that she needed to do around the house. He would tell her what bills she needed to pay. Who to talk to about insurance when he passed. He tried to ready her for when she would be on her own.
That’s the kind of man he was. When he died, I was 1500 miles away and not on speaking terms with my mother. Unfortunately, I didn’t find out my father had passed till sometime in September of that year. It broke my heart in more ways than one.
My dad was the kind of man you could count on. He was reliable, thrifty, and smart. I don’t think he ever saw himself as smart. But he was. He was always reading something. Granted, most of those books were westerns. His favorite author was Lois L’Amour. But he had a small library on organic gardening also. He was organic before it was ‘cool’. He was always trying new natural ways to keep pests out. He didn’t like chemicals in his garden.
My dad and I had a lot in common. Or I should say I took after my dad in many ways. I too love to read. I always feel more comfortable inside a book than socializing. That was Dad too. I’m on the quiet side, until I get to know you. My friends may be laughing about this one, but it’s true! I also unfortunately have a quick temper like my dad. I flare up, burn out and never hold grudges. Like Dad. I have my eyes and hair from my dad too. He was 100% German. I got his coloring and not my Native American mothers.
I used to love having discussions with Dad. We could talk about anything. From discussions about God or no God. Discussions on having sex before marriage (for the record, he was all for it… ha-ha). Nothing was taboo. I loved that about him. I miss that about him.
Him and I could be in the car together going someplace and not say a single word. It was okay. We didn’t have to say anything. It was a comfortable silence. Him and I communicated when we needed to and were all right with that.
I know I disappointed my Dad too many times in my life. But, I also think he knew I tried the best I could. I don’t think he was disappointed in me as a person, just some of my personal choices. Like my ex. Oh boy, my dad did NOT like my ex! He never said anything to me though. It was all in HOW the quiet in him was, his body language. It was different when he was disapproving, then when he was just his usual self. I remember when I finally decided to divorce the ex. I went home for a while with my parents. To sort my thinking out. To get away from the ex. My dad never said anything but this,
“You have to do what is right for you, even if others don’t understand.”
I never told my dad about the abuse I suffered from my ex. I never told my family much of it at all. He would have been so hurt by it and I wouldn’t do that to dad. I loved him too much. My dad was a firm believer in that a real man never hits a woman…no matter what! He lived by that rule. I remember when my sister, then I, turned 13. My dad told us that we were young ladies now and that ladies didn’t get hit. After that we never so much as got a swat on the butt if we were bad. Believe me, his disappointment was enough punishment! That and his yelling. hahaha
Today is the day for Dads. If my dad was still alive, I would have called him this morning. And if I was lucky he would have talked to me on the phone, at least long enough to tell him “Happy Father’s Day!” My dad hated talking on the phone. Today would have been a good day for both of us.
Hello dear people! Hope your week went well. If it didn’t, sorry, and don’t worry, it’s the weekend!
Below is Chapter two of my new serial story CC and the Fed. Chapter one can be found here. Please read it if you haven’t all ready. Thank you if you have!
Now on with Chapter Two!
News stories, flash in my mind. Yeah, I remember the deal. Dirk O’Flannery, 36, one of those kind of politicians that make my skin prickly. With a cheesy, white tooth smile, flashing brown eyes and dimpled cheeks. I can see a young, naive chick fallin’ for something like that. I also heard ol‘ Dirk was dirty. Well, hell ain’t most politicians?
My mind also flashed a picture seen somewhere. A young woman, probably only about 22 or so, on ol‘ Dirks arm at some fancy dinner. Petite, blonde, with a putrid, adoring smile plastered on her pretty face for the dirty and now dead politician.
“If she didn’t do it, why is she hiding?”
Fed gave me a cold stare. I wasn’t impressed. I just gave him stare for stare.
“She called me a couple of days ago.”
I knew I was starting to sound like a damn recording that was stuck on one word. That just made me irritated. The man wasn’t giving me much to work with here. He either wanted his cousin found or not. I didn’t care either way. If she did do the dirty politician in, I’d shake her hand and let her walk away. One less in my opinion is a good thing.
“To tell me she didn’t kill O’Flannery.”
“Why not just call her back and tell her to meet you?”
“I tried, she must have gotten rid of her phone as the signal is dead.”
“Not as dumb as she looks.”
Fed sighed, reached in his jacket pocket and pushed something across the table to me. Glancing down I saw a more recent picture of the girl and a small gadget. I picked it up and took a closer look. I’d heard about these things. Never seen one except in the latest issue of Spies R Us magazine. It was no bigger than my pinky fingernail, made to fit inside the ear where no one could see it. It was both a phone and listening device.
From what I had read, it could be programmed from one to 100 numbers. You activated it by voice. It was programmed for one person’s voice only. They could whisper the name of whom to call, the device would pick it up, call the person and voila! You had communication. It was also a recorder. If you activated the recording part of it, it was able to pick up any noise or conversation within a mile. The person could tell it to delete certain noises, like cars, other people talking, anything really till it zoomed on what you wanted to hear. Really handy to have in my business. But expensive and regulated tightly. By the Feds of course.
I put the gadget back down and grabbed the photo. Yeah, that was the face I saw in the news. Still looked young, but perhaps not as naive as she used to be. Sad. That’s how she looked here. It also looked like it was taken by a satellite device. Probably Feds again.
I looked at Fed. He looked back. Neither one wanted to give an inch. Something about him still gave me vibes. Not good ones either.
Shit, I was going to take the case. I hated when I went against my better judgement. I was doing it my way though. And not with some fancy gadget that probably tracked everything I said and did. This is one chick who isn’t naive. Or stupid. Most days anyway.
“Keep your toy.”
“Take it, you can stay in contact with me. It’s all ready programmed for your voice.”
“I got my own toys. I know how to contact you.”
His eyes looked like chipped ice. Slowly he pushed the gadget back toward me. I saw Tiny out of the corner of my eye reach for his bat and start to come around the bar. I waved him back, never taking my eyes off Fed.
I slowly picked the gadget up between two fingers. I didn’t even blink. My hand hovered between him and me. I stood.
Taking one step, I was next to Fed. I dropped the gadget in what was left of his beer.
“You’re not her cousin. Nor her friend. You can’t find her. I can.”
Fed grabbed my wrist. Hard. It was going to leave a damn bruise. I didn’t flinch.
“You work for me or stay out of it.”
“Can’t now. Not working for you either.”
Growling deep, Fed put more pressure on my wrist. Hurt like hell. Not that I was going to show it.
“Leave it be or you’ll get hurt.”
“You obviously can’t find her. Whether she did it or not, she deserves better than you.”
“What makes you think I’m not her cousin?”
“Here I thought you did your research. Obviously not, but I did. She has no boy cousins, only girls. I looked her up before I got here.”
By now my hand was numb. Damn it. I was going to have to ice the sucker down.
“You might think you’re smart. If you were, you’d work for me, not against me.”
I couldn’t help myself, I baited him. Sometimes I don’t know when to keep my lips shut.
“We’ll see who finds her first. I’m betting I will.”
Fed let go of my wrist. I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of seeing me rub the circulation back in.
“Then I’ll see you in hell.”
I let out of laugh. Did he really say what I heard? That was so melodramatic, I couldn’t even get my anger back. He sounded like a bad old movie. See you in hell? Seriously?
I stepped back. Smiling still, because I knew it would irritate. I shook my head at him.
“You aren’t even Fed, at least not anymore. Even those losers aren’t that stupid. So you must work for someone else. The O’Flannery family?”
Fed’s cold eyes glanced up at me. I smiled.
“Like I said, I do my research.”
Actually, it was just a shot in the dark guess. I was surprised when it hit the bullseye.
He just shrugged. I walked away. Well, this was getting interesting. Didn’t turn out like I thought. I just have to find a girl whose face is plastered all over the news. Every money hungry grubber is going to want to find her. I had to beat them all. Easy. Not.
I shoved the bar door closed after me. Immediately I stepped into the shadows. A habit I developed years ago. Stood me in good stead now. I heard the bullet hit the bricks next to my head. Dammit, Used to be Fed was pissed and gave someone outside his orders.
I sit nursing my whiskey. Tiny is behind the bar, giving me the eye every now and then. Yeah, Tiny, a strange man. Most would think with a moniker like Tiny he would be a mountain of a man. You know, just the opposite of his nick. Tiny, aka Freddy, is just that, tiny. Barely 5 feet tall, with greased back black hair, brown eyes that don’t miss much. A small man, many a bigger man has misjudged. He owns the bar and rules it with a custom-made baseball bat.
I’ve seen Tiny take out men three times bigger than him. He’s not afraid of anyone. If I’m ever in a pinch and need backup, I call on Tiny. He owes me a few favors. Which he tries to collect between the sheets so to speak. He’s not my type. All though word on the street is he’s a magician in that department. I don’t want to know.
I take another sip of my whiskey. I’m waiting for a potential customer. I got a call early this morning, some guy needing me to find someone. Well, that’s what I do. Find people. You could say it’s a specialty of mine. I got into by accident, but that’s a story for another day.
I got a vibe from this guy this morning. Not bad, not good either. He knew me, my reputation and I got the feeling he knew a lot more about me than he should have. The vibe I got was cop. Or Fed.
He talked more like a Fed guy. Curt. Said what he wanted, didn’t offer more. So I got curious. At first I was gonna just say, ‘no thanks’. Then my interest was piqued. So here I am.
Why does a Fed need me to find someone? That’s what they do. So do I, but not nearly by the same book as Fed guys do. Maybe that’s why he needs me. No use speculating. I’ll find out if he ever shows up. I almost told him to meet me at my office. Yeah, I got me a office, if that’s what you want to call it. A dingy place downtown, up three flights of stairs. Even has my name on the door, ‘Charly Cumberstoke’.
Quite a handle huh? Cumberstoke, man, what was my mother thinking marrying a man with a name like that? Anyway, most call me Charly, or CC if they’re friends. Not many get to call me CC. I’m particular about friends. That and lately my friends have a tendency of getting themselves shot. Not conductive for friendships.
I was just about to finish the whiskey and order another, when I spotted him. The Fed. They never can pull off the average Joe look. He tried though, I’ll give him that. The eyes give it away every time. Can’t hide those cop eyes. The way they swiftly take everything and everyone in. The hardness in them, the calculation.
Fed zeroed in on me like a laser. I downed the whiskey that was half way to my mouth. Motioned for Tiny to bring another one. Then watched as Fed walked straight to me. His eyes took in what they could see with me sitting in the dark corner. Yeah, I knew what he saw, a 32-year-old woman with black hair, cut short, gray eyes with specks of green, surrounded by dark lashes and eyebrows. Looked like Fed stood about five eleven, so I’d almost be able to look him in the eye standing up. With heels, straight in the eye.
I was glad to be wearing my boots with the four-inch heels. I didn’t want to be that much shorter than Fed. He rankled something in me. Deep in me. Wasn’t sure I liked it much. My curiosity though has played havoc with my life before. I figured this time was another of those instances. I should just stand up and tell him no thanks before he even sat down.
I leaned back and sighed silently, too damn late. Fed sat and Tiny brought me my drink. After asking Fed what he wanted and getting a deep voiced answer, Tiny looked at me and said, “If you need anything CC, just yell.”
I nodded my head and Tiny went to fill Fed’s order. We stared at each other, I saw that hard Fed look in his green eyes. His baseball cap was hiding blonde hair, from what I could see peeking out from under the cap. Black leather jacket over a black T-shirt. I had noticed the tight, worn blue jeans and tough leather biker boots on his feet. Yeah, from the look of him, he was Fed, but a muscled one. No pencil pusher, this one. Or if he was a desk jockey, he worked out in the company gym.
I looked back at the icy green eyes and saw he was studying me just as close. Just what I didn’t need, a hard ass. I cocked an eyebrow, inviting him to say his piece so I could turn him down and get home. I was tired, it had been a damn hard day.
Tiny showed up at the edge of the table, he set the beer Fed had ordered in front of him. Hands on hips Tiny looks Fed up and down, curls his lip and turns to me.
“You ok here CC? You just says the word and this joker is outta ‘ere.”
“I’m good Tiny.”
I look at Tiny, what’s he trying to prove here? He knows I can take care of myself.
“I’m good.” I say roughly. Tiny gives Fed one more curl of his lip and saunters off.
I take my whiskey and toss it down. Damn. What the hell is up with Tiny? Putting the whiskey glass down a bit too hard, I stare at Fed.
“What you want?” I ask him.
It’s his turn to cock an eyebrow.
“That your boyfriend?”
“Acts like he is.”
“I’m not responsible for how he acts. Now state your business, I got things to do.”
“I need you to find someone.” Fed stated as he slowly turned his beer glass as it rested in its own sweat on the worn table.
“That’s what you said this morning on the phone. You’re a Fed. Why don’t you find this person yourself?”
I got to admit, it gave me a warm feeling when Fed glanced up quickly in surprise. Yeah, I‘mkinda shallow that way.
“I never said I was Fed.”
“You didn’t have to.”
He stared at me, I could see the debate in his eyes. So to be contrary, I asked him a question.
“Who you want found that you can’t find?”
“I heard you were the best at what you do.”
“How did you know I was a federal agent?”
The question set me back a second. Changed gears on me. But, I figured I’d give him his answer, then maybe he’d give me his story. Yeah, I was curious now. Damn, my curiosity has gotten me in more trouble than a tomcat in a dark alley. I still wasn’t sure I’d take the case, but I wanted my curiosity satisfied.
“My attitude? I was on the phone.”
“You got I was a federal agent from a 3 minute phone call?”
“You asked, I answered. Now why do you need to hire me?”
I stayed quiet as Fed turned his beer glass again. I could tell he was debating telling me or not. I knew to keep my mouth shut now. It wasn’t easy though. I looked at my empty glass, deciding against another one. I wanted to be clear-headed with Fed around.
Fed looked up at me and I could tell from the look in his eyes, I was about to hear his story. I settled back and waited.
“I need you to find my cousin.”
“Why can’t you find this cousin?”
“If I find her, I’ll have to arrest her.”
“Does she need arresting?”
“You don’t know?”
“I need to talk to her first. If you found her, I could talk to her and decide what to do. She’s just a kid.”
“What’s she suppose to have done?”
“Murdered her politician lover.”
To be continued………….
(This is a new ongoing story that I am working on. It’s in a different genre than I have done before. More in the old style Private Eye books that were out in the 1940’s and 50’s. Hope you enjoyed)
For this week’s WordPress weekly writing challenge, you must write a fifty-word story. Not five thousand, not five hundred, but precisely fifty words.
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.
We women need to stop being so critical of ourselves. We are all beautiful in our own ways. The second video is the one that really got to me. Have a wonderful day everyone! Give someone a compliment, you might just make their whole month!
Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and an end. (No one will be ostracized for going a few words over the count.)
MAKE. EVERY. WORD. COUNT.
Thank you Rochelle for another great Friday Fictioneers. If you want to see what the Friday Fictioneers is all about click here. If you want to read other great stories based on the same picture, click here.
Genre: Literary Fiction (98 words)
“The hay is making me sneeze!”
“Hush Hanna! The driver will hear you.”
“Aaaachoooo! Mica the hay is driving me crazy! It itches too!”
“Would you rather have walked to town?”
“When Papa finds out we’ve run away to get married, he is going to be so angry.”
“Once we are man and wife, Hanna it won’t make any difference.”
“You are right, I will stop complaining.”
“We are almost there Hanna. Once the tractor slows be careful jumping down. Soon we will be man and wife.”
Once down, they heard a voice………
“Well daughter, what have you to say for yourself?”
“You have one opportunity to escape Michael, but only one of you will be successful. As a group you will have to make a difficult choice.”
Michael could imagine the ensuing conversation when he told the others what Kali imparted to him just now. He thought Roger was sure to go into a complete panic. The last thing they would want is a panicky man in a beige body suit, not a good sight at all.
“Those of you who do not make it will become like me. Our lives are one of servitude Michael. We receive nothing but abuse from the Cats, some of us who have challenged their authority have met with horrible deaths.”
“What happens when your time is up?” Michael asked.
“As I said we are ’reborn’ as Catfranka likes to call it or if we are ‘stale’, we are thrown into the pit where the Cats draw lots to see who gets to kill us, and you’ve seen cats play with their prey Michael, it is not a pretty sight.” Kali shuddered at the thought.
“When will all this happen Kali?”
“Tomorrow is a ‘reborn’ day and I know there are at least five Purrs who will not be reborn. That means you five will become Purrs.”
With that being said, Kali led Michael back to his room and silently left again.
Michael lay down on top of his cot after Kali slipped away. His mind was full of questions and denials and fear. Fear for his friends, as he was the one who convinced them to come with him to this crazy Manor. Now what was he to do? How was he supposed to choose who lives and who dies?
Kali was quite firm in that only one of them were to live, only one of them was to escape this madhouse. Michael knew that he was not going to be the one to survive. He couldn’t do that to his friends. He would accept his fate as well as he could. If he had not been fascinated with the tale of the Witch they all would be safe at home, perhaps lifting a brew at the local hangout. Now he had a choice to make. One of life and death.
He thought of each of his friends with fondness. They had not blamed him for their trouble, except maybe Roger. But then Roger complained about everything. The others just took it in stride because they were mostly like Michael himself.
They made their decision and dealt with it the best they could. Roger though, was known for his complaints and over the top stories. Not that Roger was a liar exactly. Just that he liked to embellish his stories a bit too much. With Roger himself as the hero, of course.
Michael’s mind suddenly clicked. He knew who he was going to save. Roger! The decision was really quite easy once he thought it through. Michael didn’t want someone who was going to tell what happened here and be believed! Why? Simple really.
If they were believed, Michael thought, they would search for the others. They would search for the Manor and Catfranka and Michael couldn’t let that happen! If Roger was the one that lived and he told his story, no one would believe him. No one would come searching. No one else would have to die.
As for him and his other four friends. People would simply think they had run off to the big city like they always threatened they would. Their families would miss them of course. They would even look for them, but not in the marsh and not in the woods where the Manor hid.
This story is a collaboration between Michael at Morpethroad and Jackie at To Breath Is To Write. It began when we realized our Friday Fictioneer stories
This weeks WordPress weekly writing challenge: We are to take one picture and write 1000 words about the picture. The one I chose is below. Why did I choose this one? Because it’s bright, cheerful and full of color. And it was challenging trying to figure out what I would write.
I did come up with a short story, I hope you enjoy.
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