Blog challenge · Fiction · NaBloPoMo · Nano Poblano · postaday · stories · writing

Nano Poblano ~ NaBloPoMo ~~ Day 5

I was becoming desperate in what to write today. Nothing came to mind and I was running out of time to get it done. Then I found a place with all sorts of writing prompts on it. Yay! Saved by some random words as I decided to use the Random Word generator. Makes the old gray matter work a bit for a change.

If you are stuck and want some prompts, go here. They will have all sorts of help for you.

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My words that came up were: herbs, arouse, spicy, scream, dodge, prickly, beer, tempt. Below I  have attempted to use all the words in a flash fiction piece. Hope you enjoy. 

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Bret raised the ice-cold beer to his lips and took a long pull from the bottle. It had been a long hard week. He was tired and hungry, but he didn’t want to cook his own meal tonight. As his thoughts turned to what restaurants were close by, his nose picked up the spicy smell of something delicious. Must be his neighbor across the hall cooking again. The smell was enough to tempt him to open up his door and get a better sense of the aroma.

His stomach rumbled when he stepped into the hallway and picked up the smell of herbs and spices with just a hint of garlic in the air. Whatever she was cooking this night had his mouth-watering and his brain turning. He wondered what excuse he could use to knock on her door and maybe, if the gods were smiling on him tonight, get invited to dinner.

Bret had been trying to get to know his neighbor since she moved in a couple of months ago. A quiet woman, a bit prickly when he tried to talk to her the first week she was here. After that, he didn’t see her very often as she seemed to keep odd hours. When she was home the same time he was, all sorts of wonderful smells drifted from her apartment to his. She seemed to cook a lot, and what she cooked always smelled divine.

He was definitely a man who was ruled by his stomach. Bret enjoyed a good meal when he could get one. Most of the women he knew and dated didn’t usually have cooking on their resume. He went for the beautiful model types, who always seemed to be watching their weight. His neighbor wasn’t exactly in that category as she was a bit on the plump side. It wasn’t that she wasn’t beautiful, Bret thought. In her way she was, if you went for red hair, green eyes and a slight dusting of freckles along her cheek bones.

Music started to play from the neighbor’s apartment. Soft sounds of something jazzy. The picture of his neighbor’s body close to his in a slow dance began to arouse Bret in ways that surprised him. Was he attracted to his neighbor? He knew he spent more weekends home smelling her cooking than was normal. He leaned his long body against his door jamb and smiled ruefully. Now all he had to do was think of a reason to knock on her door.

Just as he was poised to raise his fist and knock, her door swung open. Her green eyes widened as she gave a small scream.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you,” Bret said as he stepped back a pace.

“I wasn’t expecting someone to be at my door. Can I help you with something?”

“I’m your neighbor,” Bret smiled as he pointed to his open doorway across the hall. “I couldn’t help but smell the heavenly smells wafting from your apartment. Can I ask you what you are cooking?”

“It’s a new recipe I’m trying out for my restaurant. It doesn’t even have a name yet.”

“You own a restaurant? No wonder whatever you cook smells so damn good.”

She closed and locked her door, smiled at Bret and walked around him. “I need some spices that I ran out of. Was on my way to the store. Not that I’m trying to dodge you, but I really must run as my dish is simmering and I don’t want to leave it alone for long.”

Bret thought here is my chance to get to know his neighbor. “It’s getting late. How about I walk with you to the store and you can tell me all about what it’s like to own a restaurant?”

She hesitated, then held out her hand toward him, “My name is Monique. I’ll be happy for some company neighbor.”

Bret closed and locked his door after grabbing his jacket and keys and walked down the hall with Monique. His thoughts were happy as he started to talk about restaurants and food.

 

NaBloPoMo_2015

 

 

 

 

 

Blog challenge · Fiction · NaBloPoMo · Nano Poblano · postaday · writing

Nano Poblano Blog Hop 2015

It’s time for this year’s Nano Poblano Blog Hop! Fishy over at Fish of Gold started it last year and she has started another blog hop story this year. Thanks Fishy! I loved being a part of the blog hop story last year so thank you Rara for tagging me for this years story.

The rules are:

Nano Poblano Blog Hop Basics:

  1. Wait until you are tagged, then add a new post on your blog with these rules, the story so far, and who’s been tagged.
  2. Title and tag the post as Nano Poblano Blog Hop Story 2015.
  3. Add at least one sentence to the story.
  4. Pick another Pepper from the blogroll to tag (preferably one who hasn’t already been tagged).
  5. Add a link to your chosen Pepper’s about page (so they get a notification that they’ve been tagged) to the tagged list below.
  6. Pass the story along within two days of getting tagged.

 

Here is the story so far, with my addition in blue at the end.

 

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Eli stumbled into the compartment, flush and out of breath, and took the only available seat next to an old woman and a child. After months of planning, he suddenly had a bad feeling about this and stood right back up again, but at the same time, the train started moving.

There was no going back. As if to accentuate the point, the jerk of the train starting thrust Eli into his seat. Was he doing the right thing? Was he doing the wrong thing for the right reasons? Eli didn’t really know. What he did know was that the old lady had fake teeth that hadn’t been cleaned in a while, and the child reminded him of all the scary movies he’d seen about children. But that was besides the point. Eli was on a mission. Kind of.

He cringed, wishing he had planned this trip differently. The train ride lasted a full hour, plenty of time for things to go wrong when split-second timing was needed.

A droplet of sweat beaded at the end of Eli’s reddened face as he tried to catch his breath. Luckily, the old woman seemed to be busy telling the child a long and rambling fairy story. She hadn’t even noticed her fellow passenger.

Eli meant to keep it that way.

The child Eli had noticed was Rory, who was on a “real-life Thomas the Train trip” with his Gramma. Eli was right to note that Rory looked a little scary. The poor child did look a lot like Chucky from the classic horror movie Child’s Play…but then maybe that could be said of any three-year-old with red hair and freckles.

Rory, normally the sweetest of all kids despite his devilish appearance, loved his Gramma. Today though, her lack of a smart phone and insistence that “banana you glad” was the punchline to that knock-knock joke about fruit didn’t play well with his preschool-aged attention span. Especially on this long trip. Instead, he turned his attention elsewhere…

“GRAMMA, WHO’S DAT MAN?” Rory exclaimed, using his “outside voice”, pointing directly at Eli.

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THAT MAN RIGHT THERE GRAMMA! SEE? SEE THAT MAN?!
DAT MAN DARE, GRAMMA! SEE? SEE DAT MAN?!

That man was the conductor of the train and he had an announcement to make.  The passengers gave him the solemnity and respect fairly due to any person wearing such an official uniform.

He coughed sternly and spoke rapidly:  “There has been a minor delay and we’re going to disembark a little early while necessary repairs are made.  We apologize for the inconvenience.  Accommodations have been made for all passengers in the nearest town.  We think you’ll find the quaint, quiet rhythm of Bubbleville to be your liking.  The town is rich with, well– let’s call it history.”

Eli jumped when the conductor started to speak right behind him. At first he thought the kid had been pointing at him, which made him sweat, but the kid instead had pointed at the conductor. 

The passengers started to leave the train, Eli followed reluctantly. He had no choice. He had heard of Bubbleville and its ‘rich history’. It was supposedly haunted with the ghosts of its founder Mr. Bubbles, a mean and miserly man and some of the people Mr. Bubbles had done wrong. Eli wondered if the legend was true. He hoped not. What he needed was a new plan, as his was not panning out. 

Eli followed the rest of the passengers into the only hotel in Bubbleville. A dark, brooding place that looked more suited for nightmares than restful slumber.

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The contributors to this wonderful tale are as follows:

Fish of Gold
A Disquieted Mind
SVM & TB Stories
Excerpts From Nonexistent Books
NotAPunkRocker

Rarasaur

And now me!

I’ve decided to pass this hop to the wonderful word slinger and all around great guy djmatticus! I’m sure he will add his own great twists to things. 🙂

 

 

Blog challenge · Blogging · My Books · nonfiction · postaday · writing

The 777 Challenge ~~ Accepted!

Hello, people!

I do hope your weekend was a great one. Today is Thanksgiving here in Canada, so I’m going to be slightly busy with cooking. Nothing fancy for the husband and I, just a big chicken, stuffing, mashed taters, gravy and fresh green beans. I’m going to hate the dishes afterward! 😉

So even though today is Monday, there will be no Monday Meeting this week. It will resume next week. For today, I will be posting the 777 Challenge that my buddy Jeanette Taylor Ford issued to me via Facebook. Seems she is having some computer problems and can’t get on her blog right now. No problem, you can still take a look at her blog as is. Just click her name above and tell her Jackie sent you!

The 777 challenge is to go to page seven from your current WIP or your latest published work, then write down seven sentences from that page. Then I’m to nominate seven other authors to do the same.

I very rarely follow directions completely. ha! So I’m not nominating anyone. I’m just going to put it out there that anyone who wants to do this challenge is encouraged to do so! Go for it.

Here are my seven sentences from my current WIP that will be published October 30th. A Case of Deceit.

Deceit Kindle Cover

 

 

“Is Bandoni, Tony’s last name too?” I ask.

“Yes, Cynthia never found a man who can afford her, so she never married.”

Certainly, no love lost there. “Can you get me into Tony’s place? Is that where he was supposed to have killed himself?”

I try to ask these questions as gently as I can. I don’t want to set Angela off again.

 

There you have it. Hope you enjoyed and are intrigued. Now off I go to do some work! Thank you, Jeanette, for the challenge and I hope you get your computer problems solved soon.

 

 

(You can pre-order A Case of Deceit now! Just use the button on my sidebar. Thanks.)

 

 

 

 

Blogging · Fiction · Flash Back Friday · Humor · postaday

Flashback Friday

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.

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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.

 

 

http://www.funnyuse.com/

 

 

 

Blogging · Fiction · postaday · writing

Flashback Friday

Hello, people!

Here we are again, another Friday, another start to a weekend. I sure hope it’s a great one for you!

This is a short story I did in September of 2012, it’s a bit dramatic, but that must have been how I felt that day. I don’t really remember…or I plead the fifth.  😉

Hope you enjoy it.

 

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The Dancer Who Didn’t Want to be a Dancer

 

Dani could feel the sweat dripping down every inch of her body. She was so tired but knew she couldn’t stop. Didn’t dare stop. Her body screamed at her until Dani had no choice. Exhausted she dropped down to the floor in a puddle of limp muscles. Her breathing was labored, she had been practicing for two hours straight. No breaks, and she just couldn’t do another minute.

“Get up!” she heard a voice yell. “Get up this instant Dani!”

She raised her head and glanced at her least favorite relative. Dani came from five generations of dancers. Her family were world renown, the most famous dancing troupe in the world. And Dani hated it. She loved dancing, but she hated dancing too. The endless training, the constant traveling, the different towns, and cities. Faceless audiences that always demanded more. Down through the generations dancing had been a way of life for her family. They married other dancers, had babies that grew up to be great dancers. Their whole world was dancing, practicing and routines. She hated it all.

“Dani! You will never be a great dancer if you don’t continue practicing.”

Dani winced at the loud voice in her ear. Her Great Aunt Claudia nudged her with her cane. It was a bit more forceful than necessary. But Dani has always known Great Aunt Claudia disliked her. She never knew why, but it had been proven to be true in the past.

“I cannot go another second, Madame,” Dani told  her. “My body refuses to do it.”

“Don’t be a stupid child. It is not your body that is weak, it is your mind. Now get up and continue with the practice,” scolded Great Aunt Claudia.

Sighing, Dani pushed herself up to stand.  She knew her Great Aunt would not leave her in peace, so once again Dani would dance.  Even though her body ached and her feet were bleeding she would continue with the practice she hated so much.

One day I will leave this,  I will run away and become what and who I want to be.  I  will be ME!  Thought Dani as she pushed through the pain and danced in front of the mirrored wall, with the critical eyes of Great Aunt Claudia following her.

“Again Dani! Do it again but with more grace!” yelled out Great Aunt Claudia. “You are moving like a clumsy elephant! Pick those feet up! Jump higher!”

Dani could hear the thumping of Madame’s cane as it hit the floor behind her. She always referred to her Great Aunt as Madame, like the other students. She had never felt close to her Great Aunt even though she was brought up by her. Madame taught dance to young men and women, because Madame could not dance herself. When she was nineteen she fell down a flight of cement steps and broke her back.  That was forty years ago since then she has had to walk with a cane and was never able to dance again. So she taught.

Having generations of dancers behind her, Dani knew Madame was a great teacher, very sought after. But Madame was always tougher on Dani.

“I swear you can not be Edward’s child. Edward was a fantastic dancer. The best in the family. Even that woman he married was a passable dancer,” commented Madame. “I often wonder if that woman did not cheat on Edward and have some other man’s baby. For you are nothing compared to Edward.”

Dani swallowed her hurt. This was not a new dialog with Madame. Dani had heard it many times before.  Madame never liked her mother and it was well-known in the family that Edward had always been Madame’s favorite person. Dani remembered her parents as loving parents, to her and to each other. She was ten years old when they died in a terrible car accident.  Dani’s parents and an older cousin named Amelia was in the car when it was hit by a truck.  They all died instantly. Amelia was another one of Madame’s favorites. Something else Dani was never allowed to forget.

“Why did Amelia have to die too!”  Madame cried. “Such a talent  that girl was. So beautiful and graceful. She was born to dance just like Edward. To die at the young age of fifteen was too cruel.”

Dani stopped dancing and watched Madame work herself up remembering that tragic accident. She wiped her face of sweat and waited for what she knew was coming next.

“Why was it not you in that car? Why were you left behind and Amelia wasn’t?” Madame asked. “I will tell you why! It is because you were a sickly child, and your mother did not want to take care of you. So she left you with your nanny and took Amelia and my Edward for that fateful drive.”

Dani remembered that day also. She had caught a terrible cold a few days before the accident. They were supposed to go Christmas shopping, but she had been too sick to go. So her parents and Amelia  went without her. They never returned.

“It just wasn’t fair to take such talented and loved people and leave me with you,” Madame cruelly stated.

That was all Dani could listen to. She had heard the same things spew out of Madame’s mouth for years. The hateful words that stung so sharp. Dani had always tried to be what Madame wanted, but it was never enough. She could never be her father or her cousin Amelia. And she was reminded of that fact in every possible way. She had twelve years of being told this again and again. It gave her nightmares at night. It echoed in her heart every single day.  She was tired of hearing it. She might not be a great dancer, but she didn’t want to be either! She had never wanted to be.

Dani wanted to be an artist, a painter. Every moment she could she painted her beautiful pictures. That was the only time she felt at peace. She loved the feel of a paintbrush in her hand, the colors flowing over canvas. Watching those colors become something beautiful, full of life.

Dani had enough. She could not listen to another hateful word. She ran to the door and opened it.  As she ran down the hall and out the building she could still hear her Great Aunt’s words in her head.

“You should have died that day! You and that woman who gave birth to you! Not my beautiful Edward and Amelia! YOU!”

 

 

 

 

 

Blogging · Fiction · Flash Back Friday · Humor · postaday · stories · writing

Flashback Friday

Hello, people!

I hope the start of your weekend is fantastic! I’m taking a small break from my edits to bring you this flash from the past.

Here’s a short story I wrote way back in October of 2012. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

 

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Yeah, I’m borrowing the title from Snoopy.  He said I could. We’re  close friends. Snoopy borrowed it from Sir Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton, and now there is a contest every year called

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

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.

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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.

 

 

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Blog challenge · Fiction · postaday · Serial story · writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ T

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!

 

ABC'S of Death book cover (4)

 

Trouble at the Hilton

 

I pull up into the Hilton parking lot. I watch as Fedora pulls in next to me. A lot of talcum powder blew off Tee and I as we rode the Harley, but I could still see traces of it on my clothing.

Billy, Angela, and Fedora step out of the SUV and surround me. Time to figure out the next steps.

“Angela, you come with me to my room. I don’t want you on your own till we figure things out.” I tell her as I see she looks a bit pale still.

“What’s next, Dee?” Billy asks with his usual bright smile.

“Don’t you have to work, Billy?” I ask him as I take in his eyes glimmering with excitement.

“Nope. Lucky you! Today is my day off.” Billy gives me his trademark wink. Fedora is silent as he stands watching me. Time for me to up the game I think.

“Billy, you go with Fedora to his room. Give Angela and me about an hour to clean up and order breakfast. I think she could do with some food in her. Then come to my room and we’ll figure out what to do next. We need to work fast, as I don’t know if those goons will manage to get out of the hole faster than I want them to.”

Fedora frowns. I knew he wouldn’t want Billy to tag along. He’s useful and as long as I curb his enthusiasm, he does what I ask of him without arguing, unlike Fedora.

“I’ll have to go up a different way, Dee. The dragon is on duty this morning. We employees are not supposed to fraternize with the guests, even off the clock, but I’ll be there.” Billy assures me.

“Do we need him, Dee?” Fedora asks as we watch Billy give a quick wave and disappear behind the back of the hotel.

“He knows the town and the people. Yeah, we need him.” I start to walk to the entrance of the hotel with Angela. Fedora follows behind.

Angela is too quiet.  I’m worried about her. She looks too pale and her eyes are tinged with fatigue. She hasn’t said more than a dozen words since we rescued her.

We walk through the front doors of the Hilton and Mr. Haughty is in his usual place behind the front counter. That must be Billy’s dragon. Fits.

He watches us come in with a frown. “Miss Watson! May I have a quick word with you, please?”

The three of us change direction and walk to where Mr. Haughty is waiting. He looks us up and down and has a look on his face as if we smell. Well, maybe we do, a bit. Goon busting is hard work.

I smile my best smile and wait for him to speak.

“How long will you be staying with us, Miss Watson?” He asks with that same look on his face. I see by the discrete name tag on his jacket that he is actually Mr. Ellsworth and not Mr. Haughty.

“I don’t know for sure. Is there a problem?” I ask politely.

“I’m just wondering if you might be more comfortable in a different hotel, Miss Watson. Say the Ashville Motel, maybe?”

I remember seeing that particular motel as I was entering Ashville, a seedy looking flop house. Probably full of bed bugs and hookers. I let my smile slip away. After all I have been through the last forty-eight hours or so, I am not happy with Mr. Ellsworth-Haughty’s attitude.

Before I can open my mouth to let Mr. Haughty have my temper full blast, Fedora steps around me.

“Hello, Mr. Ellsworth is it?”

“Yes. You are with Ms. Watson are you not?” Mr. Ellsworth does not look impressed. I keep my mouth shut. I’m curious what Fedora will do.

Fedora hands Mr. Haughty his business card. Do all rich people carry those things? I have business cards too but keep forgetting to carry any with me. Mr. Ellsworth barely glances at the card.

“Is there some reason why you think Ms. Watson wouldn’t enjoy staying at your fine hotel?” Fedora asks in a friendly tone.

“Well, for one thing I’m sure a private investigator can hardly afford it,” he sneers. I’m surprised he knows what I do for a living. Mr. Haughty notices my look.

“Yes, I know what you do Ms. Watson. I Googled you.” He looks quite proud of the fact.

“Well, since you are so up to date on the latest internet techniques, why don’t you Google me also.” Fedora looks down his nose at Mr. Haughty. I know that look well, as he gave it to me when we first met. I watch Mr. Haughty to see how he takes it.

“Go on Ellsworth, we’ll wait.” Fedora says in an ice-cold tone.

Mr. Haughty hesitates then does a few things on his computer under the desk. I can actually see his face pale as he reads what I am sure is a nice biography of Fedora and his rich family.

“I’m sorry Mr. Williams. Please accept my deepest apologies for any errors I might have made.” Mr. Haughty seems to have lost a lot of his attitude in seconds. “You have to understand my position, sir when I see Ms. Watson come into our respectable hotel two days in a row looking, well looking as she does. You have to understand how I could come to the conclusions I did, sir.”

I almost laugh at his kiss ass attitude. I don’t like Mr. Haughty, but can’t say I blame him for thinking I belong in a hooker hotel. I haven’t been my usual self lately.

“Maybe this will teach you not to judge people so quickly Ellsworth. Ms. Watson is a special friend of mine. You’ll treat her with the respect that she deserves.” Fedora tells that man in a quiet controlled voice. I suddenly realize this is a different side to Fedora than I usually see. The true rich business man that makes hard decisions that affect thousands of people a day. Maybe I need to give him the benefit of the doubt more often.

Fedora turns away from Ellsworth and looks at me and smiles. Then he winks. I turn and guide Angela, who has been too quiet through all this, to the bank of elevators. We enter the empty one and I push the button to the fourth floor.

Fedora looks over Angela’s head at me and says, “How did I do Watson? What an ass that Ellsworth fellow is!”

As the elevator opens we step out into the hallway. “You thought almost the same things about me when you first met me, Fedora. So what does that make you then?” I smile sweetly at him as I unlock my door.

He laughs as he walks to his door and unlocks it. “Makes me an ass too, but a rich one!”

I usher Angela into my room and close the door. The man makes me laugh when he isn’t making me angry. I shake my head and turn to say something to Angela just in time to watch her eyes roll to the back of her head as she slowly crumples to the deeply carpeted floor.

Ah, crap.

 

 

 

I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. Or, you could just say hi! Thanks!

 

 

Blog challenge · Fiction · postaday · Serial story · writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ S

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!

 

 

ABC'S of Death book cover (4)

 

Sweet Revenge

 

“Dee! Oh, god, Dee!”

Angela comes running out of the bushes right toward me. I catch her before she has a chance to tumble me backwards right into the hole.

“Whoa, Angela! You ok? Did they hurt you?” I hold her at arm’s length and take a good look at her. Her blonde hair was a mess, her makeup was smeared around her eyes from her crying and she looked a bit pale.

“Dee! I thought you were dead! I really did! Those guys tore up Tony’s house looking for that damn deed, but they never found it. When they realized I really didn’t know where it was they were going to kill me!”

“It’s alright now, Angela. You’re safe and I’m a hard person to kill.” I tell Angela as Billy and Fedora walk up to us. We could still hear the men in the hole swearing.

Billy walks toward the hole to peer down and I grab his arm. “I wouldn’t do that kid, they still might have a few bullets left.”

“We just going to leave them down there?” Fedora asks.

“For now we are.” I guide Angela and Billy toward the cars. Time for us to leave this place. The sun was starting to come up and I wanted to shower the talcum powder off me. I reach into the sedan and grab their keys. No sense making it too easy for them. I’ll toss them somewhere down the road.

“You can’t be serious, Dee. You can’t leave those guys down there to die.” Fedora frowns at me.

“Why not? That’s what they did to me. Besides, there is a way out, they just have to find it.” I shrug my shoulders.

I pick up Tee and set him in his satchel. I look at Fedora who is still frowning at me. Really, what does the man want from me?

“Ok, I will call the proper authorities and let them know they are down there. Just not yet. I want us well clear of this place.”

“I would let them rot down there!” Angela says as she climbs into the SUV. “They would have killed me and Dee if they could have!”

“When will you call them, Dee?” Fedora is eyeing me with his hands on his hips.

“Tomorrow morning.” I tell him as I turn to retrieve my Harley from behind the shed.

“Dee!” I hear Fedora’s voice behind me.

I turn around and notice Billy has got a huge smile on his face, I swear that boy thinks everything is funny.

“Look, Fedora. I said I would call the cops tomorrow. That’s the best I’m going to do! They won’t die in twenty-four hours. They might even find a way out before then. Plus, that gives us twenty-four hours to find that deed and to find out who they are taking orders from.”

I notice Fedora has a thoughtful look on his face. Then he smiles. “You got some good points, Dee. Let’s get out of here. Like you said, they won’t die in a day. Maybe they will even think about mending their evil ways.”

Billy and I laugh. Even Angela has a small smile. It might be petty of me to get revenge this way, but damn, it feels good. Besides, I said I would get them some help…….tomorrow.

 

 

 

I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. Or, you could just say hi! Thanks

 

 

Blog challenge · Fiction · postaday · Serial story · writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ R

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!

 

ABC'S of Death book cover (4)

 

Raising Hell

 

I peek around the corner of the shed and see headlights. I watch as they park next to the SUV. So far so good. The headlights go out and I hear the car doors being opened.

Then a familiar voice reaches me. “Come on, hurry up, let’s get this done.” The thug who left me in the hole to rot. I smile. I actually find myself looking forward to what’s going to happen.

It’s barely daylight so all I see is their shadows, but it’s enough to see Billy’s friend was right. Three big guys with a smaller shadow between them. Must be Angela. The hole that I fell through is just off to my right. I see one has a flashlight.

I pick up Tee and whisper in his ear. It’s a trick we’ve been working on since I got him. I tell him “Howl Tee!”

He looks up and me and perks his ears. I tell him again. “Howl Tee!” He looks up to the sky and lets loose with his howl.

“Aaaaaooooouuuuuu!”

“What the hell is that!” I hear some guy shout.

“Don’t be such a baby, Dom. It’s just some wild dog or coyote.” I hear the main thugs voice.

“Aaaaaoooooouuuuuu!”

Tee goes again and I try not to laugh. For a little dog, he has a pretty big howl. I move further away from the shed into some bushes I had scouted out earlier.

The group of guys with Angela moves closer to the hole. The guy with the flashlight is shining the light like he wasn’t sure where the hole is. Good. I was counting on them not knowing the area that well.

I know Fedora is close to the cars. I get Tee to howl once more.

“Aaaaaooouuuuuuuuu!”

Then I move again to another bush. That third howl is also a signal to Fedora.

“That sounds close, boss! I’m not liking it.” I hear the first man say. Then I see the headlights come on. I was hoping they would leave their keys in the car for Fedora.

“What the hell! Who turned on the headlights?” Someone yells, as they all spin around.

“Gary! Go check it out!” I see one of the guys take out his gun and head for the vehicles. Fedora should be in his second position by now.

A minute later the headlights go out. “Nobody here, boss!”

As I watch them turn back towards the hole, I put Tee down and whisper, “Go find Fedora, Tee! Go!”

Tee goes running across the opening and heads towards some overgrown rose bushes. Just before the bad guys showed up I had taken some talcum powder that had been in my hotel room and covered Tee with it. In the early dawns light, he looks like a ghost dog.

“Look! It’s a damn ghost! What the hell!” I hear the guy named Dom yell. “Boss, don’t that look like that ladies dog? That private eyes dog?”

“Don’t be stupid, man! That dog is dead along with that nosy private detective!”

I watch as Tee races across the opening again toward me. It’s good to have a smart dog that listens. I grab him up as he jumps into my arms and move a little further down the bushes. Thank god for overgrown rose bushes.

“That sure in hell ain’t no coyote! That’s a damn ghost dog!” Dom yells again.

“Shut up, Dom!” I smile as I hear the boss’s voice, he doesn’t sound quite so sure of himself.

That’s my cue. I poured the talcum powder over myself too. Billy thought it was funny, Fedora complained that I was going to get shot. I figure in the low light and with everything happening fast, they wouldn’t get that good a look at me.

I walk out of the bushes. The men are still arguing over the ‘ghost dog’. I motion for Tee to stay. “Come to visit my grave boys?”

Heads whip around toward me. The man with the gun I was happy to notice looked too shocked to use it.

“Shit!”

“What the hell?”

I slip back into the bushes, grab Tee and run as quietly as I can back behind the shed. Tee and I step out, “It pisses me off I’m dead. That wasn’t a nice thing you did.”

Heads turn towards me again. I notice the guys are closer to the hole. Now if I can get them even closer. I step back behind the shed as I hear the boss shout. “Go after her!”

Dom yells, “You go after her! I ain’t running after no damn ghost!”

I move towards the house. The shadows are darkest there. I step into the early light. “Maybe you should join me in that dark, dank hole.”

Three guys swivel towards me again. I take a few steps closer and watch with satisfaction as they move back.

“How about it, boys? Want to join me?”

The man called Dom starts walking backward. The boss thug is reaching into his jacket, so I step quickly back and to the left. I really don’t want to get shot. I hear a noise behind the men. That would be Fedora throwing rocks. They turn like they are in a choreographed dance routine. I see they all have guns out by now. Time to make the final move.

“I would like company. It gets lonely when you’re dead.” I say in my best menacing voice.

I hear a swoosh sound and watch as a ghostly sheet whips past the men. Thanks to a sheet I borrowed from the house and a few pieces of rope I found in a shed, we made a ghost figure to swing from one tree to the other. Good thing Billy is good at climbing trees. That took us the longest to set up, but from watching the effect it was having, it was worth it.

It was chaos. I hear Dom scream. They all scramble back. I watch as in all the confusion Billy sneaks in and grabs Angela and pulls her towards the shadows.

I run towards them and as they are grouped close together it was easy to shove them as a whole backward. Just like dominoes tumbling in a row, the three men tumble into the hole. I hear grunts and swearing and shouts. I stand well back of the hole as bullets come flying out. Harmless to me, but I didn’t want to take any chances.

I’m actually hoping they run out of bullets. They have yet to meet the giant rat.

 

 

 

I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. Or, you could just say hi! Thanks!

 

 

Blog challenge · Fiction · postaday · Serial story · writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ Q

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!

 

ABC'S of Death book cover (4)

 

Questions that Need Answers

 

Tee and I are sitting behind the shed waiting. My mind goes over my plans. So many things could go wrong. I can’t linger on the doubts. Plans can always go wrong. If they do, I’ll improvise.

I hear some rustling in the bushes behind me and spin around. Yeah, I’m a bit jumpy. Billy comes strolling out with his ever ready smile in place.

“I just got a call from my friend David. They got Angela. He said he saw her, so she’s still alive. David said they got in a silver sedan and are heading out.”

“How many men with her?” I ask Billy.

“He only saw three. After all how many men does it take to kill one woman?” He asks in a nonchalant way.

“Daylight is still a ways off, so they are moving her early. It’s good we got here when we did.” It will still be dark when they get here, just barely dawn.

“You get back to your spot. It will take them about forty minutes to get here. Not much traffic this time of day. I’ll go inform Fedora. You know what to do right?” I ask the kid. I’m sure he’ll be fine, but I want to make sure.

“I know what to do, Dee. You can count on me.” Billy winks at me then disappears into the bushes once more. I hope he’s right.

I walk over to where Fedora is crouched behind some trees close to the SUV. “They are on their way. Should be here in about forty minutes. It actually works in our favor as it will still be dark when they get here.”

I love it when things start to work the way I want them too. The men moving Angela early is a good sign. The dark will help us more than the light.

“I hope you know what you are doing Dee. I’m still not sure it will work.”

“It will work. It has to. We won’t get a second chance.” I tell him.

I go back behind the shed. All we can do is wait now. If it’s only the three men with Angela, that evens things out more. The guns have me a bit worried, but I’m betting on them not having them out till they are ready to use them on Angela. The main thing is to get Angela away from them. That’s Billy’s job.

As we wait, my mind goes over the last forty-eight hours. It seems like my life has been on fast forward since Angela’s call for help. There were still so many questions to be answered.

Why did Tony get killed? Was it really over someone believing there was gold bullion buried somewhere on this property? Why hide the deed if that wasn’t the case? Where was the damn deed anyway? Obviously not at Tony’s since the goons didn’t find it. If not there, where? Why wouldn’t Tony tell Angela where it was?

My mind was spinning with all the unanswered questions. I need to clear my head before they show up. I take a few deep breaths and do some relaxing techniques my professor of Brazilian Jujitsu taught me. One question lingered as I felt my body relax.

Who gave these guys their orders?

I hear tires on gravel and open my eyes. I look down at Tee and give him a pet. “Showtime little buddy.”

He looks up at me and I swear Tee is smiling.

 

 

 

I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. Or, you could just say hi! Thanks!

 

 

Blog challenge · Fiction · postaday · Serial story · writing

2015 April A-Z Challenge ~~~ The ABC’s of Death ~ P

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!

 

ABC'S of Death book cover (4)

 

Putting Plans in Motion

 

We arrive at the Wenner Estate under a full moon. I’m grateful for that, gives us lots of light to work by. I don’t want flashlights shining or anything that will draw attention to us. I stop in front of the house with the SUV right behind me.

I walk back to the vehicle and Fedora rolls down the window. “Park over there, that’s where it was before. I want everything to look as much like it was when they were here so they don’t suspect anything.” I point out where I want Fedora to move to.

Billy gets out of the SUV and stands next to me while Fedora parks it. I look around. Doesn’t look like anyone has been here since I was here this morning. Was it only this morning? A little shudder goes through my body at the thought of digging out of the hole. I shake it off.

“I’m going to hide my motorcycle behind that shed over there.” I point to the shed next to the house. “Once we have things in place, it’s just a matter of waiting for them to show up.”

“What’s the plan Dee? We can’t just surprise them and then fight it out.” Fedora asks while he looks around the place.

“If my plans work out right, we won’t have to fight them at all.” I tell him. “First, don’t move around without watching where you are going. There are holes dug all over this place. So be careful.”

“I’ll show you where the hole is that I fell through and where they will take Angela. That is the place where we need to set everything up. If we pull this off, Angela will be safe and the bad guys will be in the hole instead.”

“They will still have guns, Dee and we won’t.” Fedora states.

“We don’t need guns, Fedora. The guns won’t do them much good down there.” I tell him. Unless they run into a giant rat. I smile at the thought.

Billy joins the conversation. “I just talked to David, my friend that is watching Tony’s place. They are still there. Not doing much from what he says.”

“They are just waiting for daylight. Once it starts to get light they will make their move.” I tell him. They are smart enough not to want to walk around this place in the dark. Or they have orders from the boss to wait till then.

“It might take us a while to set things up, so let’s get going,” I tell the guys. “Here’s what I want to do.”

I tell them my plans and what I want done. Billy is grinning and Fedora is frowning. Of course Fedora doesn’t like my plans. He never does.

“You sure, Dee? Wouldn’t it be easier just to get the drop on them when they get here?” Fedora asks.

I look at him and hold my hand out. “Give it to me Fedora. You know I hate guns. They aren’t necessary if you use your brain.” I wiggle my fingers. “I know you have one, just give it to me now before someone gets hurt.”

He just stares at me. “How did you know I have a gun? It’s my gun, Dee. I don’t need your permission to carry it.” Fedora gets a stubborn look on his face.

“Dammit Fedora. You almost got me killed the last time you brought that thing to a fight. We don’t need it!”

“I’ll keep it on me just the same, Dee.”

“Suit yourself. But, if you end up shooting your foot off during all the excitement, don’t come whining to me.”

“I don’t whine!” Fedora has an indignant look on his face.

I laugh. “Yes you do! Rich men have that tendency to whine!” I shoot back at him.

“Guys! Don’t we have things to do?” I hear Billy’s voice overriding mine and Fedora’s. Damn the man makes me lose my temper faster than anyone I know, except my brother Mac.

“You’re right Billy, we do have things to do.” I ignore Fedora and tell Billy how I want things set up. Time is slipping by, I don’t have time to babysit Fedora. I turn to him next and explain what I want him to do once the guys show up.

“I’m not sure I like your plans, Dee. You are setting yourself up to be a target!”

“I won’t be in their sights for more than a few seconds. It’ll work if you do your part.” I am not going to argue with the man further. We don’t have time. I look up at the skies and notice that it’s starting to get cloudy. So much for our full moon.

“Come on guys, the clouds are coming in and we don’t have much time to set things up by the moon’s light. We need to stop arguing and start working together if we want this to work.”

Billy heads off behind the house to do his part. I look over at Fedora. “OK, I’m in and I’ll do my part when the time is right. I just hope you don’t get shot.” Fedora heads off towards the bushes next to the SUV.

I turn to my bike and start it up to move it behind the shed. I have a few things to do so Tee and I will be ready for our starring roles in this.  A calmness settles over me. I take a deep breath.

Time to put my plans in motion.

 

 

 

I always enjoy comments and/or constructive criticism. Or, you could just say hi! Thanks!