Desserts

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You know how when you haven’t had something in a long, long time, the experience of having it again sticks with you for a while. Kinda like when you had it the first time.

For metaphor purposes let’s say that you enjoy eating chocolate ice cream, it’s smooth, creamy, chocolate flavor takes you back to the first time. Now let’s say that you haven’t had any chocolate ice cream in a while, like a couple years. 

So when you do get to have it, you savor it, enjoy every bite, lick and taste of it. Slowly sliding the spoon into your mouth and rolling your tongue over the creamy goodness. Letting it slide down the back of your throat…the mmm that it leaves the aahh that excapese your lips, before sliding another spoonful into your mouth. 

Then comes the warming feeling as the sugar hits your bloodstream. Taking you into a calm, peaceful place. Now that you have a craving for chocolate ice cream, change chocolate ice cream to oral sex and you will understand where my mind is at. 

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Birth of a Character

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Funny thing about writing, at least for me, the characters that I write, dream up, imagine, tend to just happen. I start with a name, usually randomly generated or asked for in a Where, What and Who of Writing prompt. I then put the name into the plot of the story and give it a description, build, hair color, eye color, clothing, behaviors, personality. Add some relevant dialog, either as internal monologuing, or with another character. I also do pull personality traits from people that I have known or just observed during my life. The point of this ramboling flow of words, I was going over the characters that I had come up with over the last few years, because I have writer’s block and was looking to see if I could expand on any of the short stories that I have started.

So for your reading enjoyment, and hopefully some inspiration, here are some of my character introductions.

Grace Ann

In a farmhouse surrounded by acres of sweet corn on a warm summer’s day in late June, Grace Ann Chapman came into this world screaming.

Local paper birth announcements:

The community of Ridgeville Nebraska would like to welcome Grace Ann born June 22nd, 1974 to William and Martha Chapman. Congratulations on your healthy baby girl. Martha clipped out the announcement form the Daily Sun Newspaper and taped it into Grace’s baby book. 

William Chapman worked the land that had been handed down to him from his father. It was hard daily grueling work to keep the corn crops heath and on schedule for harvest. He took pride in what his family had established over the past three generations of Chapman’s and did his best to keep it going. With the birth of his first child, Grace Ann he knew that there would need to be more children, he loved and adored his daughter but knew that a son would be needed to keep the farm in the Chapman name.

Grace Ann was a sweet helpful child that was always full of questions. Always asking why this or why that. When her brother William Joseph was born five years later, Grace became a little quieter, but still helping Martha clean and cook, just not asking as many questions. Two years later Grace’s youngest brother was born, Jonathan Michael was a loud baby he cried and screamed about everything. Grace tried to be helpful, but Jonathan’s constant crying wore on her, she stopped asking questions all together.

 

This was Grace’s original introduction when I wrote her in college.

Grace Summers

Grace sat on the patio and lit a cigarette, she took a deep drag and exhaled. The first light of day had begun to show, it had been a long night. She looked down at her hands looking past the dirt she noticed that a few of her manicured nails were broken. 

“I’ll have to trim them all down.” she thought as she poured a glass of Jack and downed it. 

Finishing her cigarette and letting out a sigh, she arose from the patio chair. She wandered inside and up the stairs. Taking her clothes off and dropping them into the hamper. Standing in the bathroom she took out the fingernail clippers from her make-up bag and trimmed her fingernails. She stepped into the shower and turned on the water. 

Tears started to stream down her face as she slid down and sat in the corner of the tub, crying. 

“I am so sorry, it should have never turned out like this.”

John Summers

“Fuck, where is my tie, I am late for the 1:30 pm meeting,” John said.

“Relax, they will wait for you,” Jenny said, as she picked up his navy blue neck tie off the floor of the hotel room and put it around his neck.

“See there you go all dressed,” she said.

“Thank you, I love you,” he kissed her.

“Love you too,”

John gathered his wallet, keys, phone, and briefcase and left the hotel room. He took the elevator down to the parking garage and got into his car. His phone beeped while he was exiting the garage, one missed call, from Grace. John sighed

“Suppose I should call the wife back,” he mumbled to himself.

After his meeting, Jenny his assistant, came into his office.

“How did it go?” 

“Good, they will send over a contract next week,” he answered. 

His phone rang it was Grace, he pushed ignore call, and looked at Jenny.

“When are you going to tell her?” 

“Soon,”

He sat at his desk looking at the portrait of Grace, thinking about how they had fallen out of love years ago and now just tolerated each other. 

Jenny Andrews

John and his assistant Jenny had been sleeping together for two years now. He had started out by saying he would never indulge with someone at work, but over the time spent together they had fallen in love. He had tried to ignore the butterflies he felt in his gut when she had first started working for him, the stolen glances across the room, the accidental touches in passing.

He ignored it till that one day, he had started his morning having an argument with Grace about never spending any time together. He had stormed out of the house and gone to the office.

Jenny was there looking so pretty, with her long legs, bright blue eyes and bouncy blonde hair, there to listen. He had broken down in front of her and they ended up in a hotel room together during lunch. He talked, she comforted and listened. Jenny made the first move, kissing him on the cheek, it turned into a make out session followed by an afternoon fling.

John tried to push her away and not feel the warmth and comfort of her. Telling himself it was just once, a moment of weakness. But it was there a connection between them. That hole in his heart that he had been carrying around for years was now filled with her. Her passion for life, her understanding, her love.

 

Then there is Sister Bernadette and Father Gabriel. 

Sister Bernadette 

Sister Bernadette was born Marie Ann Riggs of Iowa, an everyday ordinary average looking  girl, with dark brown shoulder length hair and green eyes. The only child of Joseph and Clara Riggs.  Her parents were kind, hard working individuals that knew early on that Marie was not a happy child. She was quite, shy and kept to herself.  When she turned 18 and announced to her parents that she would be joining a convent to take her vows, her parents were relieved that she had found her calling. They wished her well and let her go on her way.

Now named Sister Bernadette she found herself at St. Anthony’s, a small church with just herself and Father Gabriel inhabiting the grounds. Sister Bernadette was taken with Father Gabriel as soon as she laid eyes on him, a good looking man, clean-shaven, with short dark hair and even darker eyes, that just sucked her in. She was completely obedient to him, from the beginning.

Father Gabriel

As Grace was leaving St. Anthony’s Father Gabriel a clean-shaven, good-looking guy, in his late thirties with short dark hair and even darker eyes stopped her.

“I lead a women’s group two nights a week if you would like to join us,” he handed her a flyer.

“Thank you, I will think about it,” she said taking the flyer.

“Please do,” Father Gabriel said, taking her hand and giving it a light squeeze. Grace smiled at him and left.

Father Gabriel entered his office he stood in front of his desk thinking about what Grace had confessed. He picked up a small silver bell and rang it. Sister Bernadette entered the office, her eyes glazed over and her voice void of feeling. “Yes Father?”

“I need you to relieve me,” he said. She nodded, she stood in front of him unbuckled, unbuttoned and unzipped his pants.

 

Detective Eric Stone

Detective Eric Stone a well built guy with good hair in his early forties entered the room. She looked at him and knew she was in for it now, Detective Eric Stone her friendly stranger from the bar. 

“Karma is a bitch,” she thought to herself.

“Have a seat Mrs. Summers,” Detective Stone said. 

“Do you know why you are here?”

“Yes,” answered Grace.

“Why don’t you tell me what happened to your husband John Summers,”

 

Detective Sarah Miller

Grace sat and sipped on the water and waited, a woman in a pants suit walked in and approached the check in desk. The attendant motion towards Grace and the woman walked over to her. 

“Mrs. Summers, I am detective Sarah Miller,” she said. 

Grace made eye contact with her and tried to smile, tears were welling up in her eyes. She knew she was exhausted and just wanted all of this over with. Detective Miller accompanied her back to an exam room, where she made her statement of what she could remember, photos were taken, blood was drawn and a rape kit collected. 

Grace didn’t want to think too much about what was being done to her she just knew that it hurt and she wanted it over. She was allowed to shower and given clothes from the lost and found to wear. A dark blue tee-shirt, a pair of gray sweets and some slip on shoes. Detective Miller gave Grace her card and told her to keep in touch. She went to her Honda and sat trying to process what had just happened. 

“I know it is the right thing to do, especially since I can’t remember,”

 

Stella

Stella looked herself over in the full length mirror that hung on the back of her bedroom door in her modest one bedroom apartment. It was her first day as Mr. Bridges personal assistant, she wanted to give a professional appearance. Stella ran her hands down her A-line navy skirt and finished buttoning up her light blue silk blouse. She had decided to wear her dark blonde hair down, it fell nicely on to her shoulders.

Good enough she sighed.

Mr. Bridges was a large man with broad shoulders that spent his days in business meetings and on conference calls. He was polite to Stella and always gave her exact instructions about how she should answer the phone and type up a correspondence. She enjoyed her job for the most part, although some days when Mr. Bridges would lean in to her, she would get a nose full of his liberal use of  Brut cologne. It made her gag and she would move back or stand up.

Holly

“Bring him in. Put him in the chair,” Holly shut the door behind the three men.

“What’s his name?” she asked the guy in the baseball cap.

“John,” he answered.

“Ok, you two can wait over there,” she waved her arm towards a couch on the far wall.

She bent down next to him and spoke softly in his ear.

“John, can you hear me?” 

John grunted.

“John I want you to listen to my voice, take a deep breath,”

John inhaled deeply, held it for a second and then exhaled slowly.

“Very good John, now you are relaxed,” she took his hand and slowly rubbed her thumb back and forth against the inside of his palm.

“You are in a safe place, do you understand John?”

“Yes,” he answered with his head still down.

“Good John, now you will follow my instructions,”

Holly got up and headed over to the couch.

“And you two are?”

“I’m Kyle ma’am, and he’s Luke” the guy in the baseball cap said standing up and extending his hand. She shook his hand and he sat back down.

“How much did he have to drink?”

“Maybe six beers and three shots of Jameson,” Kyle answered.

“His phone,” Holly put out her hand. Kyle looked at Luke.

“Oh yeah,” he reached into his jacket pocket and handed her John’s phone.

“What’s the wife’s name?”

“Hanna” Luke answered.

“How long do we have?” she asked looking at the two of them.

“I told her that he would be home by 2 am,”

Holly glanced up at the clock above the couch that read 12:35 am and sighed.

“It will be close but I can make it,”

“Are you two staying?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Kyle answered.

“Who gave you my name and address?”

“Bryce Davis ma’am,”

“Go figure you help one ex-lover one time,”

Bryce Davis

Bryce finished off his second drink when a voice asked.

“So what does that stand for?” she asked as she ran her fingers along the tattoo on his forearm. 

A shiver ran up his back as she took a seat across from him. He cleared his throat.

“It’s the Celtic symbol for loyalty,” he answered her.

“So you wanted to see me?”

Bryce leaned in, gazing into her deep green eyes. “How much for the night?”

Mary smiled, “five,” 

Bryce leaned back. “Sure,”

He got up and put his jacket on.

“Meet me outside,”

 

Detective Daniel Hayes

James entered the front of the downtown precinct, Officer Roberts pointed to a tall fit guy, with shoulder length hair, wearing a leather jacket, and jeans.

“Can I help you?” James asked.

“Well actually I am here to help you, Detective Daniel Hayes, vice,” Detective Hayes extended his hand towards James.

“You’re Detective Knowles’ undercover guy,”

“Guess that’s one way to put it,”

“Come on back, lets see if we can’t connect some dots,”

Detective Benjamin Knowles

“You have a call on line 2,” the speaker on the desk phone announced.

“Hello, Detective Andrews speaking,”

“Detective James Andrews?” the voice asked.

“Yes, how can I help you?” 

“I am Detective Benjamin Knowles, of the 45th precinct on Southside, and you have been requested in a homicide case we caught out here, do you know a Stella Henderson-Newcomb?” Detective Knowles asked.

“Now that’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time, what’s the case?”

Detective James Andrews

Detective Andrews grabbed a cup of coffee with two sugars, a splash of cream, his notepad and a new black ballpoint pen. As he headed out to his car the desk attendant said.

“No rest for the wicked,” James flipped him off as he left the precinct.

It was a long drive out to Cornerstone, James switched on the radio, soft jazz played as he rolled down the window. The warm April breeze felt good, this winter had been fridged and unforgiving. 

Detective Josephine Marks, Detective John Keen and Special Agent Thomas Ridge 

“What the hell do you want?” Marco said as he opened the door.

“You,” she answered, pushing her way into the apartment.

“What are you on about Scarlet?”

“Well, first of all I am not Scarlet, I am Detective Josephine Marks,”

Marco gave her a sideways look when she said the word detective. In that moment of confusion John entered the living room from the sliding glass door and tased Marco. Catching him in the side of the neck.

He jolted forward and then fell back missing the chair and landing on the floor.

“Jesus Christ how much did you hit him with?” she asked leaning down to check for a pulse.

“It’s on the standard setting,” John answered.

There were three quick knocks on the door.

“That’s Tom let him in,”

“Who the fuck is Tom?”

“Introductions later, let him in,”

John opened the door.

“Tom I presume,” he said as the doorman rushed past him.

“What the hell, you weren’t supposed to kill him,” Tom said kneeling beside Josephine.

“That wasn’t our intention,” she said.

“Ok, so now what?” John asked pouring himself a Scotch.

“You had might as well make it three,” she said getting up to take a glass of Scotch from the kitchen counter.

Josephine downed her Scotch.

“No time like the present for introductions, Detective John Keen meet Special Agent Thomas Ridge of the FBI,” 

“Fuck Josephine what have you gotten us into?” John said as he downed another Scotch.

 

Sarah and David 

David was a good looking guy in his mid twenties, fit, active and wanted to make films. For which he was taking some courses up at the local community college. Which is where he met Sarah, they happen to have a creative writing class together.

He was immediately taken with her, saw her as a potential actress in one of his films. All daydreams at this point, he had introduced himself to her over lunch one day and they hit it off, making small talk about future goals and dreams.

There was also an attraction, Sarah wasn’t sure why, but knew it was there a chemical response to him. Maybe it was just her wanting some attention, she had broken up with her boyfriend a while ago and now found herself enjoying David’s company.

David closed the blinds on the bedroom window and turned on the bedside lamp. He pulled the blue and grey striped bedspread down. Folding it back onto itself at the foot of the bed.

“Nice sheets,” Sarah said, as she took off her shoes, jeans and t-shirt.

She was wearing a matching set, purple satin panties and bra. Sarah was short, cute and cut, showing her defined muscles from years of biking and swimming.

“Very nice, but are you going to leave those on?” he pointed to her white socks.

She smiled and pulled them off.

He stood in front of her reached around the back of her head and pulled the elastic band out of her hair. Her dirty blonde hair fell across her shoulders.

“There that’s better,” he leaned in and gently kissed her. She raised up on her toes and kissed him back, wrapping her arms around him and pulling him into her.

He ran his hands down her sides, and grabbing her ass. He gave it a squeeze, she opened her mouth and let his tongue slide into her mouth. She sucked on his tongue, he let out a moan.

He stepped back from her and looked her over.

“Very nice indeed,”

 

And of course we need some villains, otherwise how do we get heroes. 

Vanessa

David opened the door, a tall, slender woman with curly dark hair entered the apartment.

“How are you?” David asked her.

“Fine, fine, where is she?” Vanessa asked.

“She’s in the bedroom,”

Vanessa took off her coat, handed it to David and headed down the hall.

“Hello,” Sarah said.

“Stand up, let me see,” Vanessa ordered.

Sarah stood up, Vanessa pulled the belt of the robe, the bathrobe fell open.

“Hum… she’s a little mousy,”

“What?” Sarah started to pull the robe closed. Vanessa grabbed her wrist.

“Drop the robe,”

Sarah looked at her then over at David who was standing in front of the dresser.

David came over to Sarah and pulled the robe off of her.

Vanessa looked her over, putting her hand on her shoulder and turning her around.

“Maybe,” Vanessa said.

“Is she any good?”

“Yes, she is,” David answered.

Shane and Tommy

Shane found his thirst for doing the unspeakable during his young adult life. His first was Heather. She was an adventurous active young woman with an open mind when it came to Shane. She let him tie her up even smack her around a little. Heather enjoyed the tingles of pleasure mixed with the stinging pain.

~ ~ ~ ~

Shane was tall, and skinny with shaggy brown hair. He was a C average student in High School, who managed to graduate despite missing a far amount of school days. His parents Dave and Shelly Henderson were career driven individuals.

Dave Henderson owned a Ford dealership on the outskirts of town. He did ok for himself despite being over stressed. He kept a bottle of Jack in the bottom desk drawer, that came out many days before lunch, along with his two pack a day habit of Winston’s. Shelly was in real estate she loved showing houses and selling people on the American dream. They loved their son, and felt that he was doing fine.

After graduation Dave gave his son a choice, either go to college and live at home or move out and get a job. Shane choose to take a job in a warehouse loading trucks for Everyday Foods. It kept him busy, and gave him enough money to afford his studio apartment, located a few blocks from the warehouse, most days he skateboarded to work. He had an older white Chevy van that he used to move things for people, to make cash on the side.

Shane worked with a guy named Tommy, a stocky, short guy that had a short fuse when frustrated. Of which Shane had witnessed on more than one occasion, during his time working with him. 

~ ~ ~ ~

Shane and Tommy entered Samantha’s apartment.

“She’s in the bedroom,” Tommy said pointing down the hallway.

Shane opened the bedroom door, a cat ran past him. He flipped on the overhead light.

“Fuck dude,”

The room was a mess, blood splattered across the dresser, her things scattered on the floor and Samantha naked, with her wrists and ankles tied together laying on the bed.

Mr. Jones

Brian Nelson lit his third cigarette, sitting in his station wagon parked across the street from the WestSide Motel. He read the sign advertising ‘clean rooms and free HBO’ All they need now is hourly rates available. 

He laughed to himself as he took a long drag, he flipped open the box of Valentine’s Day candy he had bought for his wife, he took one of the chocolates and tossed it into his mouth. Mmmm…orange cream.

The door to room 14 opened and two people emerged into the chilly night. His wife Jennifer, and her boss Robert they kissed goodbye and got into separate cars.

Brian followed her home, thinking about their marriage, the time spent together building a future. All for her to just throw it away. He wanted to confront her, he wanted to kill her.

Ned Sneed

The chalkboard read ‘Welcome New and Returning Teachers to Hamilton Elementary’ as he entered the teachers lounge, to attend the teachers mixer. This would be Ned Sneeds fifth year at Hamilton Elementary as the schools gym teacher.

Mr. Holt the principal of Hamilton Elementary was always preaching ‘Community Involvement’ organizing group events and retreats. You know the ones where you sit in a circle on metal folding chairs, and introduce yourself with a ‘Special Name’ like Spectacular Stacy the visual art’s teacher. Ned always had a hard time coming up with anything better than “I am Nice Ned, your physical education teacher,” 

Ned made his way over to the beverage station picked up a plastic cup, and poured himself a lemon-lime soda. As he was sipping on his drink, he saw her, she was wearing a simple white summer dress that flattered her hourglass figure, patterned with little blue forget-me-nots, her brunette hair brushing the top of her shoulders. Ned watched as she was introduced around by Mr. Holt.

“This is Miss Leslie English, she comes to us from Madison Elementary, Leslie will be taking over Mr. Jacobs’ 4th grade class this year,”

Ned spent the rest of the evening watching Leslie, his mind drifting off, daydreaming, wondering about what color panties she had on under that dress.

Jade

“I am Jade, let me know if you need anything else,”

Kent smiled at her and watched her walk away, he took note of the tattoo showing on her lower back, just above her low cut jeans and below her midriff tee-shirt. Two roses with intertwining stems, highlighted with just a touch of red and green.

“Nice,” he thought to himself.

On her way back around the club Kent decided to strike up a conversation with her. He motioned to her.

“Need anything else?” Jade asked.

“What time do you get off?” Kent asked.

“I get off whenever I want, I clock out at 2 am,” she answered and gave him a devilish smile.

“So 2 am in the parking lot then?” He asked. Jade nodded and walked away.

They ended up at Jade’s studio apartment a few blocks from the club.

Sean

Grace’s beer was just past half empty when a voice asked “Would you like another, or something stronger?” 

She turned to see an older guy, mid 50’s, in good shape with a little more gray than brown left in his hair asking if she would like another drink. 

Grace smiled at him and said “Sure, how about a shot of Jack?”

He ordered two and introduced himself  “Sean,” 

He put out his hand and she said “Grace, thanks for the drink,” and shook his hand. 

“So what do you think of our little town?” Sean asked. Grace gave him a confused look. 

“You don’t look as if you’re from around here,” he said. 

“True,” she answered. 

They chatted about the town and what keeps it running and why people choose to call it home. Typical mundane small talk, Grace ordered another beer.

 

Others:

Susie 

The alarm clock clicked over to 6 am.

But I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo.

What the hell am I doing here?

I don’t belong here.

I don’t care if it hurts

I want to have control…

Filled the room, Susie reached out from under the dark, heavy comforter and smacked the snooze button. She sat up rubbing her eyes, her dark hair a twisted mess from not being able to get to sleep the night before. She stumbled out of bed and made her way to the shower.

“Whose bright idea was it to take a job that starts at the ass crack of dawn,” she mumbled as she turned the water to hot and waited for it to warm up.

~ ~ ~ ~

Susie ran a comb through her hair pulling it back into a ponytail, she brushed her teeth and gargled with some Listerine. She picked up a sheet of paper from her nightstand.

Dress Code for Seaside Shipping & Receiving

Dark Jeans clean with no holes or tears.

Issued collared work shirt, clean, pressed and tucked in.

No logos or advertising on undershirts, hats or jackets.

Long hair must be pulled back, no jewelry of any kind is to be worn.

Steel-toed work boots or shoes.

Susie glanced at herself in the mirror that hung on the back of her bedroom door. In her new jeans, work shoes and issued tan, short-sleeve work shirt, that nicely covered her black flag t-shirt. 

“Good enough” 

Ethan

Ethan turned to face the gathering of eagger bodies, he was good looking, tall, had broad shoulders and a nice smile.

“Good morning, we start at 7:30 sharp so don’t be late, It looks as if all of you are in dress code, which is for everyone’s safety, we work at a quick pace to get through all the trucks that are scheduled for the day, some days you will be unloading and other days you will be loading, so pay attention to your daily assignment sheet, which is here,” Ethan pointed to a bulletin board with three columns of papers tacked to it. 

“You all are first shift, so you come over here and find your name, listed in alphabetical order by last name, you what’s your name?” Ethan asked looking at Susie.

“Ridge, Susanna,” she answered, giving him a slight smile.

“Ridge, Susanna,” he repeated running his finger down the list.

“Here you are, you are on dock 7 with me, unloading for today, so you find your name and it will tell you what dock and if your loading or unloading, got it, good moving on,”

Amber 

Susie was getting into her car after picking up her first check when she saw Ethan and a girl that looked familiar, but she couldn’t place at the moment, they were having a discussion just out of earshot. 

Susie sat in her car and watched them, the girl had short red hair, one of those pixie cuts and was wearing a light blue sundress with yellow flowers on it. Her arms kept waving up and down as she was talking to Ethan, he didn’t look to amused at whatever she was going on about. When she was done talking he gave her a quick hug and a peck on the cheek and she got into her car.

“Ok, then,” 

Susie cranked the car over and drove to the bank, thinking that she would treat herself to a new Pearl Jam t-shirt at the mall.

~ ~ ~ ~

“So who’s the girl, with the pixy hair?” Susie asked as they wandered through the mall.

“That’s Amber,” he answered.

“And she is your…” she trailed off giving him a look.

“Girlfriend,” 

“Aaa, wait Amber Jacobson?” 

“Yeah, why?”

“She was in my lit class junior year, she was one of the ‘Britney, Tiffany, Amber’s’, click, isn’t she a little young for you? Wait how old are you?”

Ethan stopped walking.

“How old do you think I am?” he asked.

“I don’t know, 26 ish.”

“Not quite, I’ll be 22 on Saturday, hence the need for some music, Amber wants to have a party,”

“Well, in that case happy early birthday, can I buy you a frozen yogurt?” Susie asked pointing to TCBY’s.

“Sure, why not,”

Debbie

From the first time I saw her I knew I had to taste those soft, cherry lips. I watched as she slid the lip gloss wand over her lower lip, how it glistened in the summer sun. She rubbed her lips together, giving a kiss to the air. We were attending summer session at the University. It was a hot, dry summer, and Debbie was fond of wearing white denim shorts with purple flowers printed on them. She wore them rolled up exposing her slender upper thigh, how I longed to touch her smooth, tanned skin. To run my fingers through her long wavy dirty blonde hair, that she kept pulled back in a loose braid. She gathered her things and headed towards class. I followed her, mesmerized by her swaying hips and the click clack of her sandals against the pavement. My obsession now had a purpose, to kiss Debbie Stevens before summer’s end. 

Tony and Charlie 

“Keys? I need my keys,” Tony circled around his studio apartment searching for his keys. 

“There they are,” he pulled them out of the pocket of his discarded cargo shorts from the previous night. Tony had just finished college earning a degree in creative writing and English literature. His goals were to write a screenplay, a novel and find a girlfriend. But right now he had to be a delivery driver for Mario’s Pizzas. He didn’t mind the job, hourly wage plus tips, granted some nights the tips just sucked.

Tony pulled into the parking lot of a strip mall. You had your grocery store on the north side, the  liquor store in the middle, a dollar store and Mario’s Pizza on the south side. He got out of his Jeep taking in the warm summer breeze as he headed into work.

“Hey, Charlie, how’s it going?” Tony said as he entered Mario’s Pizza.

“Fine, been slow today,” I answered as I wiped down the tabes getting ready for the evening rush.

“Hey, do you know Debbie Stevens?” I asked.

John, Margaret and Hannah

It was a cloudy but warm day in early May when there was a knock on Margaret’s door.

“Hey John, are you here to pick up the chairs?” 

“Yeah, Hannah wants to have a BBQ on Saturday, she always invites more people than we have chairs,”

Margaret smiled and let him in.  

“They are out back in the garage,” Margaret led John through the house, into the kitchen and out to the garage.

“There in here somewhere,” she said as she opened the side door and flipped on the light. 

The bare light bulb dimly lit the dusty, cluttered garage. John moved past Margaret, briefly brushing against her bare arm. 

John started moving boxes.

“Here they are,” he said pulling out one of the folding chairs and handing it to Margaret.

She set it up against the garage door, and returned to take another chair from him. As he handed her the last folding chair his hand brushed against hers.

“That looks like all of them,” he said, he stood in front of her, he moved his hand to the side of her head and wiped away a cobweb.

He smiled at her. 

“Got it,” 

“Thanks,”

“You know, Meg, can I call you Meg?”

“Considering that you just did, I guess so,”

“Well Meg, I’ve been thinking about you since the office party,” he ran his hand along her bare arm and looked into her eyes.

“Really?” she moved closer to him as his arm moved around her waist.

“Really,” he said almost in a hush, his lips brushing against her cheek.

“Why?” 

He gave her a sideways look.

“You know those jeans you were wearing at the office party?”

Meg nodded her head and smiled.

“I wanted to run my hands down your back and grab your ass in those jeans, seriously those jeans have haunted my dreams,”

~ ~ ~ ~

John turned over and wrapped his arms around Meg, kissing the back of her neck. She let out a moan and squeezed his arms.

“I don’t want to leave,” 

“I don’t want you to leave, except…Hannah,” Meg sighed and sat up, reaching for a pack of cigarettes on the nightstand. She lit one and took a deep drag. John sat up behind her and took the cigarette from her fingers, taking a drag and handing it back to her.

“Do you mind if I take a shower? Hannah is a bit of a bloodhound,”

“Go ahead, just don’t use the French Vanilla and Lavender soap,” she smiled at him.

“Ahh, so that’s what that scent was,” he got up kissing her on the forehead on his way to the bathroom.

~ ~ ~ ~

John carried the folding chairs into the house and sat them in the spare bedroom.

“Is that you John?” Hannah asked from the kitchen.

“Yeah, it’s me,”

He went into the kitchen, where Hannah was fixing dinner. He kissed her on the cheek, she gave him a look.

“Really John,”

“Oh my God, Hannah, yes, I had one of Greg’s cigarettes with him at work after we cleaned out the back of the warehouse, it was a long day of cleaning out the old stock, it was messy and exhausting, so yes, I had one,”

“Fine, dinner is almost ready, did you pick the extra chairs for Saturday?”

“Yes, they are in the spare room,”

 

https://cch217549678581.wordpress.com/2019/03/30/graces-story-by-request/

 

https://cch217549678581.wordpress.com/2018/12/09/detective-stories-complete-2/

 

https://cch217549678581.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/descending-the-spiral-staircase/

 

  

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

        

Stephanie

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Stephaine stepped out onto the deck, the cool summer breeze felt good against her skin. She pulled her tattered, worn housecoat around herself. She stood at the railing looking over the backyard, small glints of light began dancing around. She smiled to herself as the fireflies lit up the quiet night. 

Her thoughts floated back to her school days that were filled with so much unnecessary worry and doubt. Then she met David, they were so young, full of passion and ambition. She loved David with all her heart, the two girls that he gave her fulfilled her young life. Lisa with her headstrong, independence and Katie with her kindness and compassion. Stephaine cherished her time spent raising her two daughters, how quickly the time went, before she knew it they were off establishing families of their own. 

The later years with David thinking about retiring from his lifelong career in banking, brought a peaceful time of travel, relaxation and reconnection with him. Then David got sick, it came on suddenly and his battle was lost in a short eighteen months. 

Stephanie took a deep breath raising her head and looking at the blanket of stars that covered the night sky. A gust of warm wind blew through her long silver hair as she closed her eyes. Losing David was painful, the years that followed have become a blur of survival. Full of reading, travel and searching for something…someone to fill the hole left in her heart. 

Then she met Bill, during her time in Southern California, he had been raised on the beach, surfing since he was a boy. There was an instant spark between Stephanie and Bill, they were both in their fifties and knew the value of time. Their romance and life spent together was full of travel, friends, food and family. The twenty-two years they spent in each others arms felt like one of those lost summers from your childhood. 

Stephanie got a chill and pulled the housecoat tighter around herself. “Steph.” A voice in the distance said. Stephanie turned towards the far end of the deck, her eyes fell upon a tall figure resembling a man with matted down shaggy hair and long bony fingers. “Walter?” She asked as her gaze met his round yellow eyes. “Yes, Steph.” Walter said moving towards her. 

She took a step back and her knees buckled, Walter reached out and caught her, helping her to a nearby patio chair. “Would you like to see Aunio again?” He asked kneeling beside her. Stephaine smiled. “Yes.” 

Walter stood up and took a few steps away from Stephanie, he raised his hand and moved it in a circular motion, a dark swirl appeared. He walked back over to Stephanie and extended his hand, she took it and stood. They walked towards the dark swirl, as she stepped into the doorway she looked back at her body slumped over in the paito chair. As Stephanie emerged from the other side feeling the cool smoothness beneath her bare feet, a feeling of peace washed over her as she accompanied Walter into Aunio.

 

This piece is a continuation of the Walter piece that I wrote for the ‘Land Without Mirrors’ anthology, and is dedicated to a woman that I had the pleasure of knowing a lifetime ago. For Karen a kindhearted, ambitious, never afraid to venture out and try new things woman. That looking back now I understand her friendship, kindness, and love. With Peace and Understanding -Megan 💙

Manic Monday -Crazy Train

Black-Train

“Must not forget my shaving kit.” George Allen mumble to himself as he finished packing for his business trip to Ridgeville. He was only going to be gone for four days but wanted to make sure he had everything he needed to be presentable to the board of directors. He was pitching his idea for a new ad campaign, the company had been in the red since February and Mr. Bennet had personally asked George to come up with something that would ‘wow them’.

George finished packing, slipped on his shoes and grabbed his jacket. “Did you get your jacket?” Heather asked as George descended the stairs. “Yes dear, I have it right here.” He said giving her a quick kiss on the cheek. So that Heather would have the car for the week, and since it was a sunny warm day in mid April George chose to walk the three blocks to the train station. “Have a safe trip.” Heather said giving George a kiss on the cheek. “Yes dear.” George said opening the front door and heading out.

He headed down the walk and took a left onto the sidewalk. He started up Orchard avenue, humming to himself as he strolled along. When he got to the top of Orchard avenue he took a left onto Washington Street and headed down hill towards the station. George was about halfway down Washington Street when he felt a sharp pain in the back of his shoulder blade. He turned around seeing a tall skinny man standing behind him as he sunk to his knees from the pain. George is slightly aware as a black cargo van pulls up beside them. The skinny man grabs George around the middle and hoists him into the van.

…All day long I think of things but nothing seems to satisfy

Think I’ll lose my mind if I don’t find something to pacify

Can you help me, occupy my brain?..

Played, as George opened his eyes, he was surrounded by darkness. His head throbbed, he went to move and realized that his hands were handcuffed to the bed posts. Moving his leg he quickly realized that his ankles were shackled as well.

“What the fuck!” He yelled out to the empty room.

The overhead fluorescent lights snapped on, George closed his eyes. “Georgey, Georgey, Georgey.” The tall skinny man said as he entered the basement. George blinked rapidly trying to focus on the voice. “I’m Chad and that’s Dennis.” Chad said pointing over to a heavy set man holding a video camera in the far corner of the basement. “What the hell is going on?” George yelled out. Chad stood next to the bed and placed the end of a leather riding crop against Georges mouth. “Shhhh…” Chad said as he ran the riding crop down Georges body. George became very aware of his nakedness as the riding crop passed his hip and trailed down his inner thigh.

Dennis had moved closer to the four post bed that held George, against his will. Panning the camera up and down his body. Chad raised the leather riding crop, a loud ‘snap’ rang out as he brought it down onto George’s thigh. “Fuck!” George screamed his eyes watering from the sting. Chad and Dennis left the basement, flipping off the overhead fluorescents, once again the music filled the room.

…Oh yeah

I need someone to show me the things in life that I can’t find

I can’t see the things that make true happiness, I must be blind…

“I Fucking hate Ozzy.” George screamed.

~ ~ ~ ~

“Wakey, wakey, Georgey.” Chad said lightly tapping George’s cheeks with the leather riding crop. George blinked the overhead lights were on once again. Chad came into view, standing over him. He was dressed in a black latex bodysuit, it covered his body from toe to neck. His skinny body looking skeleton like sealed in the latex. There was a commotion over in the far corner, George turned his head. Dennis had knocked over a chair, and was setting it right. “You ready over there?” Chad asked sounding annoyed. Dennis picked up his camera and nodded.

Chad opened a duffle bag that had been placed on a coffee table next to the bed. He took out a candle, lit it and sat it on the end table next to the head of the bed. The musty basement smell was joined by the vanilla scent from the candle. He took out a long, rounded tube with a trigger handle on the end. “What the fuck is that?” George exclaimed. Chad looked over at him grinning. “They call this a human cattle prod.”

George squirmed against the bare mattress. “Knock it off!” Chad said. He pulled out a black whip with multiple long, knotted strands. Chad turned towards the bed bringing down the whip across George’s bare chest. “Fuck!” Chad struck him again, leaving long red streaks. He moved down striking George’s stomach and thighs. George struggled against the handcuffs and shackles trying to avoid the blows. Chad moved back up his body, striking his outstretched arms. Dennis had come closer standing about a foot from the bed.

Chad picked up the candle, he held it over George’s chest, and slowly dripped the hot wax down his red streaked chest. “FUCK!” George screamed. Chad set the candle back down. He picked up the cattle prod, running his hand along the smooth, rounded post.

Chad got on the bed, sitting in between George’s outstretched legs. He ran the end of the cattle prod up George’s inner thigh, stopping next to his balls. He pulled the trigger. George’s whole body tensed up and shuddered. Chad ran his latex covered fingers up George’s inner thigh and over his cock. Slowly stroking it. George tried to move away, from Chad’s touch. But there was nowhere he could go. He glanced over at Dennis who was filming, and who definitely had a hard on watching this torture go down. Chad’s stroking increased in speed, squeezing the tip when he got to it. “Fuck.” George said pushing his hips up against Chad’s hand.

Chad removed his hand and pulled the trigger, another jolt rushed through George’s body. George fell into darkness.

~ ~ ~ ~

George came to with the Prince of Darkness’ vocals screaming in his head.

All aboard!

Hahahahaha

Aye Aye Aye Aye Aye Aye…

Then he became aware of the warmth that was engulfing his cock. He raised his head looking down his body to find Dennis hungrily sucking his cock. The overhead lights were still off and the music was still playing at full volume. Dennis sucked, licked and stroked as George laid there unable to fight back.

George closed his eyes and let himself cum, filling Dennis’ eager mouth. When he had finished Dennis got off of the bed, walked over to the head of the bed, whispered something into George’s ear and then stuck him in the neck with a hypodermic needle. George mumbled Dennis’ words to himself as he fell back into darkness.

George awoke to find himself in a motel room, fully dressed with his travel case and jacket.

“What the fuck.” He said sitting up on the bed, his head pounded. He found his shaving kit and some aspirin. He made his way to the bathroom, filled the plastic complementary cup with cool tap water and drowned the aspirin. He stood looking into the cracked mirror that hung over the sink. He unbuttoned his shirt and examined the red welts that covered the upper part of his chest.

George closed his eyes and Dennis’ words seeped back in. “Don’t go home. Heather knows about Rachel. This is her doing. Don’t go home.”

https://cch217549678581.wordpress.com/2018/11/03/ribs-and-sauce/

It’s a thing…

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‘Walter’ a short story that I wrote is included in this wonderful anthology with some other outstanding authors.

If you would be so kind as to check it out, it would be most appreciated. Megan 💙

‘Acid trips and ominous emails. Jumbled job interviews. Tiny alcoholics and teacups. Dead flowers and times of war. Befriended objects and reversed horrors. These are just a few of the surreal tales found within these pages. Collected from the most obscure authors, A Land Without Mirrors is an anthology worthy of any short story lover’s shelf.’

Thursday Throwback -Fireweed

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Fireweed

Blood dripped off the side of the heavy bottomed crystal ashtray, in Corbin’s hand. Surrounded by exotic flowers in the Botanical Gardens Greenhouse, staring in disbelief over what had just occurred. Corbin had always considered himself an intelligent, rational man. 

Hell he was Dr. Corbin Newcomb practicing Cardiologist with the University Medical Center. 

Diana had done nothing wrong, they had spent a lovely day together looking at antiques, having lunch and touring the gardens. She had even picked out the ashtray that was now splattered with her blood as a gift for him. Corbin dropped the ashtray, turned and stumbled towards a bench. He sat staring at Diana’s body. Trying to remember why he had lost his temper with her. What had she said that set him off, why did he need to kill her, here and now.

~ ~ ~ ~

“You have a call on line 2,” the speaker on the desk phone announced.

“Hello, Detective Andrews speaking,”

“Detective James Andrews?” the voice asked.

“Yes, how can I help you?” 

“I am Detective Benjamin Knowles, of the 45th precinct on Southside, and you have been requested in a homicide case we caught out here, do you know a Stella Henderson-Newcomb?” Detective Knowles asked.

“Now that’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time, what’s the case?”

~ ~ ~ ~

Stella looked herself over in the full length mirror that hung on the back of her bedroom door in her modest one bedroom apartment. It was her first day as Mr. Bridges personal assistant, she wanted to give a professional appearance. Stella ran her hands down her A-line navy skirt and finished buttoning up her light blue silk blouse. She had decided to wear her dark blonde hair down, it fell nicely on to her shoulders.

Good enough she sighed.

Mr. Bridges was a large man with broad shoulders that spent his days in business meetings and on conference calls. He was polite to Stella and always gave her exact instructions about how she should answer the phone and type up a correspondence. She enjoyed her job for the most part, although some days when Mr. Bridges would lean in to her, she would get a nose full of his liberal use of  Brut cologne. It made her gag and she would move back or stand up.

Brenda and Violet who also worked in Mr. Bridges office took it upon themselves to set Stella up on a blind date. She protested at first but they wore her down and got her to agree to at least go to dinner. Stella entered Baxters Bar & Grill.

“Are you Stella?” a male voice asked.

Stella turned, facing a kind, tall, well built man.

“Yes, James?” she said extending her hand. He shook her hand and they were escorted to a booth against the wall. Drinks and food were ordered, small talk was made and plans to see each other again were made. 

A few weeks after Stella has started dating James, Mr. Bridges called Stella into his office. It was a Thursday afternoon and Mr. Bridges was in a ripe mood. He had been yelling at the voice on the other end of the conference call earlier that day. When he had come back from a long lunch he reeked of cigarettes and alcohol.

“Yes, Mr. Bridges?” Stella asked entering his office.

“Close the door,” 

She closed the door and stood to the side of his desk.

He sat back in his chair and looked her over. 

“You’re looking pretty good these days,”

“Thank you, Sir, did you need something?”

He got out of his chair and stood in front of her, he ran his hand up her bare arm resting it on her shoulder.

“Soft,” he said looking deep into her green eyes.

“Sir, Mr. Bridges, Tom,” she said taking his hand from her shoulder and rubbing her thumb along the inside of his palm.

Hearing her address him by his first name caught him off guard.

“What did you call me,”

“Tom, you don’t want to do this, you’re a good boss, don’t cross this line, think about Charline and Katy,” Stella’s words were calm and direct. He took a deep breath, sat back down glancing at the portrait of his family that sat on his desk.

“Your right,”

“Sir, it was just a bad day, go home and we’ll start again tomorrow,”

~ ~ ~ ~

It was an overcast gloomy day, that called for rain when Detective James Andrews entered the 45th precinct.

“Detective Knowles?” he asked the front desk attendant flashing his badge and credentials. 

“Yes sir, through the door to the left,” the attendant said as she pressed a button that buzzed the door open.

“Thanks,”

“Detective Andrews?” Benjamin asked as he headed towards James.

“In the flesh,” 

“Nice to meet you, this way,” 

They walked down between the cubicles of  busy people.

“Cubicles?” James asked.

“Yeah, an HR thing for people’s privacy,”

“Here we are,” 

Benjamin opened the door to conference room C, James was greeted by a whiteboard, a conference table with a few chairs scattered around it and a small table in the corner holding a coffee maker and box of doughnuts.

“Quaint,” James said.

“Have a seat, I will catch you up,” Benjamin said tossing a file towards James.

July 7th 3:45pm Officers respond to the Botanical Gardens on I-94 E one deceased female identified as Diana Miller 33, 5’6” 145 lbs, brown eyes, brunette hair home address 2068 Edge Water Drive Apartment D16 found with blunt force trauma to the back of the head. 

Dr. Corbin Newcomb found in shock at sceen holding apparent murder weapon, one antique crystal ashtray. 

James continued to skim through the rest of the report. 

“And Stella?”

“Mrs. Stella Henderson-Newcomb is Dr. Corbin Newcomb’s wife, she would like you to pay her a visit,” Benjamin handed James a sticky note with Stella’s information on it.

“I see, guess that’s where I will be then,”

~ ~ ~ ~

James sat in the driveway looking up at the extravagant two story colonial house that sat just outside of the city. 

Quite the step up from the one bedroom on Lexington.

James strolled up to the door and rang the bell. A short older woman wearing a maids uniform answered.

“May I help you?” she asked.

James smiled. “Yes, Detective Andrews to see Mrs. Newcomb,” 

“Just a minute,” she closed the door.

James took in the ornate details of the front porch, tall white pillars, flower pots all arranged symmetrically, with marigolds and pansies.

“James,” Stella said as she opened the door and stepped out onto the porch, embracing him in a hug.

James hugged her back and then stepped back from her.

“Stella, I see you’ve done well for yourself, so why am I here?” he asked.

“Yes, I have, come in we need to catch up,” she led him inside.

“Drink?” she asked.

“Sure, Jack on the rocks,”

Stella made her way over to the bar, dropped a few ice cubes into a glass and poured a splash of Jack Daniels over them. 

“Here you go,” 

James took the glass and downed it. 

“Another?”

James handed the glass back and smiled.

“Make yourself comfortable,”

James took his coat off and wandered into the sitting room, he took a seat on the overstuffed olive colored couch. Stella handed him a second drink and took a seat next to him.

“So why am I here?”

“Well Corbin has gotten himself into a little situation,”

“That’s one way to put it,”

Stella faced James and took his hand in hers, she slowly rubbed her thumb along the inside of his palm.

“It’s so good to see you, it’s been to long,”

James smiled at her and squeezed her hand.

“So how’s your sister?” he asked taking his hand back to finish off his drink.

“Holly, she’s fine,” 

“Once again Stella, why am I here?”

Stella let out a sigh.

“Honestly, because I wanted to see you, what Corbin did is on him, when I found out about Diana I wanted to kill him, but that would have been to easy on him,” she walked over to the bar, poured herself a shot of Jack and downed it.

“What did you do Stella?”

“What makes you think I did anything?”

James got up, walked over to her and took her hands in his, he looked into her green eyes.

“Because, Stella, dear I know you,”

She smiled at him and leaned into him, giving him a quick kiss on the lips. 

“Wanna have some fun?” she asked with a mischievous smile. James kissed her gently on the lips.

“Maybe,” he answered.

~ ~ ~ ~

Diana Miller had a school girl crush on Dr. Corbin Newcomb, she spent her time daydreaming about being with him. Having his arms wrap around her as he kissed her pasionatly. 

“Nurse Miller? Diana! You still with us?”

“What?” Diana answered being pulled out of her daydream by Nurse Keller.

“Are you working today? Mrs. Scott needs assistance in room 34,” 

“Yes, Ma’am,” Diana said coming to and heading down the hall.

A critical patient came in and Dr. Newcomb was called down to assist.

“What do we have?” Dr. Newcomb asked grabbing a pair of gloves and brushing past Diana.

“Car accident, driver side struck by an oncoming SUV. He was alert and talking at the scene then he collapsed, cardiac arrest. He was revived in transit,” The EMT said.

It was fast and chaotic, Diana watched in awe as Corbin work quickly making his assessment and getting the patient stable enough for a transfer to the cardiac wing.

Afterwards Diana was sitting in the cafeteria picking at her cobb salad, when a familiar voice addressed her.

“Do you mind if I join you?” Dr. Corbin Newcomb asked holding a lunch tray.

Diana cleared her throat, “Sure, I mean please do,” 

Corbin took a seat, sitting his tray down.

“That was quite the rush earlier,” he said.

“Yes, you were amazing,” Diana said her cheeks turning a deep shade of red. 

He smiled at her as he took a bite of his tuna sandwich.

“You’re cute when you blush,” he said.

All Diana could do was smile.

~ ~ ~ ~

The sun flooded the room, James turned over and looked at the nightstand.

“Fuck,” he said realizing where he had woken up. He heard the shower turn on, he got up and started finding his clothes. 

Boxers, pants, shoes, no socks, no shirt, or jacket.

“Damit Stella,” he mumbled to himself.

He made his way downstairs finding his socks in the hall on the way down. His shirt and jacket were in the sitting room tosses on the floor. He finished getting dressed making sure he had everything that he had come in with.

“What no goodbye?” Stella asked from behind him.

He turned and faced her, gave her a kiss on the cheek.

“Bye, Stella,” 

James sat in his car, regaining his composure.

“Some bad habits are just hard to break,” he said as he started the car.

~ ~ ~ ~

Corbin sat in a holding cell in the 45th police precinct, staring down at his hands. He kept replaying the days events over and over in his mind. He loved Diana, why would he hurt let alone kill her in such a way. He was a doctor, a surgeon dedicated to saving lives not taking them. He tried to remember what she had said. They were walking through the gardens and into the greenhouse, the warm floral scents filled is mind. What had she said. He ran his hands through his hair trying to recall her words, her last words.

“Mr. Newcomb?” the officer asked.

“Doctor Newcomb, yes,” 

“Your free to go, your lawyer posted your bail,” the officer explained as he unlocked and opened the door.

Corbin gathered his things from the front desk.

“Dr. Newcomb,” a voice asked from behind him.

“Yes,” he answered turning towards the voice.

“Hello, I am Mr. Jacobson from the firm, I am here to take you home,”

Corbin exited Mr. Jacobson’s car thanking him for the lift and walked up the walkway to his house. As he reached for the door knob, the door opened.

“Welcome home Corbin,” Stella said coldly.

He entered the house and headed towards the bar, he poured himself a shot of Jameson.

He took a seat in his easy chair, and sipped his drink.

“You know she had to go?” Stella asked.

Corbin finished off his drink and held up the glass, Stella took it and poured him another one.

She handed it back to him.

“We could have worked it out,” he said.

Stella shook her head and kneeled before him, he put down his drink and she took his hands in hers. She ran her thumbs over the palms of his hands, as she looked into his eyes.

“Sweety, Corbin, she would have ruined us,” 

He looked down at her.

“But she wouldn’t have, she just wanted to be included,”

“Corbin, it wasn’t going to happen, you are mine, she was just a distraction that got out of hand,” 

She continued to rub his hands as she spoke calmly.

“Now have your drink,” she handed him the glass of Jameson.

~ ~ ~ ~ 

It was early, pre-dawn when Detective Andrews arrived at the Newcomb residence. Stella had made the call at 3:45 am when she had discovered that her husband Corbin had taken his own life during the night.

“Morning James,” Detective Knowles said as James entered the house.

“Morning,” James grunted.

“He’s in the sitting room, looks like he took a handful of sleeping pills, chased it with some Jameson and went quietly,” Benjamin said.

“Where’s Stella?”

“In the kitchen,”

James took a seat across from Stella at the kitchen table.

“Cigarette?” he offered.

“Yeah,” she took one from his pack and he held out the lighter, she inhaled lighting the cigarette. 

James lit his own and took a deep drag.

“So it’s all tied up nicely isn’t it,”

Stella gave him a smile and took another drag.

“Unless you can prove otherwise, yes, it is,” 

“Don’t tempt me, so what did Ms. Diana Miller have on you?”

Stella put the cigarette out in her empty cup of coffee.

“Stupid slut had gotten pregnant and wanted Corbin to claim responsibility, and that wasn’t going to happen,”

James sat back, taking another drag.

“Oh, Stella,”      

 

Following Fireweed

“This had better be important, do you know what time it is?” Detective James Andrews answered the phone.

“James, I need your help,” a female voice answered.

“Stella?”

“Please James, can you come?” Stella asked, her voice starting to quiver.

“What have you done Stella?”

“Please just come, I will explain everything,”

“I’ll be there soon,”

“Thank you, James,”

James hung up the phone laid back on the bed and looked at the alarm clock, the red display read 1:47am.

“Fuck,” he moaned as he got out of bed and stumbled to the shower.

“Hey, Tami?” James shook her shoulder, trying to wake her.

“It’s Tina,” she answered sleepy. 

“I am sorry, Tina, I need to get going, so if you wouldn’t mind,” he gave her a smile.

She got up grabbed her clothes off the floor and headed towards the bathroom. James finished getting dressed and went to the kitchen to make coffee.

“Coffee?” 

“No I am good thanks,” Tina said as she headed out the door.

I guess that’s a no on the second date then.

James poured the coffee into his travel mug, found his keys, grabbed his jacket and headed out the door.

~ ~ ~ ~

It was barely 5am when James pulled up outside of Stella’s extravagant two story colonial house. It had snowed the night before leaving the house looking like the front of a holiday card. James tapped the snow off of his shoes as he walked up the steps. He rang the doorbell.

“About time,” Stella said as she let James in.

“I don’t exactly live next door, Stella,” 

“I know James, thank you for coming,”

“Drink?” she asked.

“It’s 5am, how about some coffee?”

James took his coat off and headed into the kitchen with Stella.

“Sit down, I’ll start a pot,” 

Stella sat at the kitchen table and lit a cigarette. James started the coffee, and helped himself to one of her cigarettes.

“So how bad is it?” James asked taking a drag.

“Honestly, it’s bad, if I had any other options I wouldn’t have involved you,” 

James poured two cups of coffee, dropped two scoops of sugar and a splash of cream in each and took them to the table.

“Ok, from the beginning Stella,” he said as he put out the cigarette and took a sip of coffee.

“Last night was our office holiday party. Mr. Bridges, Tom my boss, was hitting it pretty hard. We were all having a good time,  I even did a few lines with Violet in the restroom,” 

“I’m just going to let that slide, for the moment,” James said.

Stella took a sip of her coffee.

“Anyways, Violet and I were in the ladies room, enjoying ourselves, when Tom came in. He went into the first stall, did his thing and then he joined us. I offered him a line, we made out for a while. Then I walked him back to his office and put him on his couch and left,”

She lit another cigarette sitting back and taking a long deep drag. James got up and poured another round of coffee. 

“Around 11:45 pm there was banging on my front door, it was Tom. He was going on and on about wanting me and needing to be with me. Charline his wife, had left him recently and he wouldn’t let up. I tried to talk him down, but he was so persistent. He was becoming more aggressive, I panicked and kneed him in the groin. You know the coffee table in the sitting room?”

“The solid oak one,” James answered staring into her eyes.

“That’s the one. He stumbled backwards and fell, catching the back of his head on the corner. I am pretty sure his neck is broken,”

“Jesus Christ Stella, way to bury the lead,” 

James got up and walked into the sitting room, he turned on a lamp and looked over the scene. Stella followed.

“What do you think?” she asked.

“God Damnit Stella, I think you’ve waited to long to call it in. Kinda only leaves us with one option,”

James headed back towards the kitchen, Stella grabbed him by the arm, pulling him to her.

“James I didn’t mean for this to happen,” she put her head against his chest, he wrapped his arms around her, giving her a hug.

“I know, we’ll figure something out,” 

~ ~ ~ ~

James and Stella managed to move Tom’s body out to his car. They put him in the passenger seat while James drove the SUV out to the boat landing. He parked the SUV down on the launch pad, moved Tom over to the driver’s seat and clicked the seat belt. He dropped it into neutral, closed the door, leaving all four windows slightly open, and pushed it down the landing and into the river. He watched as it flowed down river and then sank.

James walked back up the boat launch and got into Stella’s car. They drove back in silence. When they returned to the house they went upstairs to the master bathroom.

James stood in front of Stella, as she pulled off his shirt. She unbuttoned, unzipped and slid his jeans off of him. He lifted her shirt off over her head, and pulled her pants down to her ankles, letting her step out of them. James started the water, dropped his boxers and stepped into the shower. Stella took off her bra and panties, joining him.

They stood there for a moment letting the warm water wash away what they had done. Stella grabbed a cloth, squeezed some soap onto it and ran it across his shoulders and down his back. James dropped his head and let out a sigh.

Stella moved the cloth along the back of his arms and around his waist. James turned to face her, she continued to run the cloth over his chest and down his stomach. James took the cloth from her hand and ran it along her collarbone down her arms and across her chest. 

He dropped the cloth and pulled her into him, kissing her deeply. 

Time for a Thursday Throwback

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Alternative Rock and High Tops

The alarm clock clicked over to 6 am.

But I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo.

What the hell am I doing here?

I don’t belong here.

I don’t care if it hurts

I want to have control…

Filled the room, Susie reached out from under the dark, heavy comforter and smacked the snooze button. She sat up rubbing her eyes, her dark hair a twisted mess from not being able to get to sleep the night before. She stumbled out of bed and made her way to the shower.

“Whose bright idea was it to take a job that starts at the ass crack of dawn,” she mumbled as she turned the water to hot and waited for it to warm up.

~ ~ ~ ~

Susie ran a comb through her hair pulling it back into a ponytail, she brushed her teeth and gargled with some Listerine. She picked up a sheet of paper from her nightstand.

Dress Code for Seaside Shipping & Receiving

Dark Jeans clean with no holes or tears.

Issued collared work shirt, clean, pressed and tucked in.

No logos or advertising on undershirts, hats or jackets.

Long hair must be pulled back, no jewelry of any kind is to be worn.

Steel-toed work boots or shoes.

Susie glanced at herself in the mirror that hung on the back of her bedroom door. In her new jeans, work shoes and issued tan, short-sleeve work shirt, that nicely covered her black flag t-shirt.

“Good enough”   

Grabbing an apple from the bowl of fruit on the kitchen table she got behind the wheel of her 87’ Honda Civic. The one that she had flipped buggers for an entire summer to afford, she cranked the key and it growled at her before turning over.

Susie walked into the employee entrance of  Seaside Shipping & Receiving when a voice addressed her.

“Is this your first day?”

Susie turned to face the voice that came from a guy holding a clipboard and wearing an orange safety vest over his issued tan, short-sleeve work shirt.

“Yes,” she answered walking towards him.

“Good, I am Tim your safety supervisor, name?”

“Susie, Susanna Ridge,” she answered.

Tim ran his blue ballpoint pen down his clipboard.

“Yes, here you are, you are training with Ethan, follow me,” he led her over to the time clock, showed her where to find her badge and how to clock in and out.

“Your badge, your responsibility, if you lose it, it’s $2.00 to get a new one from Carol in payroll,”

They walked through the warehouse to the loading area, where a handful of other employees were waiting to get started.

Tim walked over to Ethan and gave him the clipboard, he nodded and said something Susie couldn’t quite hear to Tim. Ethan turned to face the gathering of eagger bodies, he was good looking, tall, had broad shoulders and a nice smile.

“Good morning, we start at 7:30 sharp so don’t be late, It looks as if all of you are in dress code, which is for everyone’s safety, we work at a quick pace to get through all the trucks that are scheduled for the day, some days you will be unloading and other days you will be loading, so pay attention to your daily assignment sheet, which is here,” Ethan pointed to a bulletin board with three columns of papers tacked to it.

“You all are first shift, so you come over here and find your name, listed in alphabetical order by last name, you what’s your name?” Ethan asked looking at Susie.

“Ridge, Susanna,” she answered giving him a slight smile.

“Ridge, Susanna,” he repeated running his finger down the list.

“Here you are, you are on dock 7 with me, unloading for today, so you find your name and it will tell you what dock and if your loading or unloading, got it, good moving on,”

Ethan finished going over the daily rules and regulations, everyone found their names and places. The work itself wasn’t that bad, bending, lifting, and sliding either into or out of a truck trailer. Susie was a little sore after her first day but it wasn’t flipping burgers so she was happy.

~ ~ ~ ~

It had been three weeks of loading, unloading, pushing and pulling box after box. Susie was getting into her car after picking up her first check when she saw Ethan and a girl that looked familiar, but she couldn’t place at the moment, they were having a discussion just out of earshot.

Susie sat in her car and watched them, the girl had short red hair, one of those pixie cuts and was wearing a light blue sundress with yellow flowers on it. Her arms kept waving up and down as she was talking to Ethan, he didn’t look to amused at whatever she was going on about. When she was done talking he gave her a quick hug and a peck on the cheek and she got into her car.

“Ok, then,”

Susie cranked the car over and drove to the bank, thinking that she would treat herself to a new Pearl Jam t-shirt at the mall.

As Susie was wandering through CD section of the Musicland store in the Edgewater Mall she caught Ethan out of the corner of her eye. She circled around and stood behind him.

“I didn’t think you listened to music?”

He turned to face her caught off guard.

“You, look almost normal not in uniform,” he said looking her over, in her worn, ripped, faded jeans, KMFDM t-shirt and no longer white high tops.

“So Bon Jovi? Really?” she asked looking at what he was holding.

“Yes, really, but I’m open to suggestions,”

She gave him a devilish smile and led him over to another section.

“Hum…lets see what I can conflict on your virgin ears,” she quickly picked through the bin labeled ‘Alternative Rock’

“Here you go,”

“Wow, ok then,” he flipped through the stack of CD’s.

Nirvana

Pearl Jam

The Smashing Pumpkins

Nine Inch Nails

Bush

“Not a bad selection, thanks,”

“So who’s the girl, with the pixy hair?” Susie asked as they wandered through the mall.

“That’s Amber,” he answered.

“And she is your…” she trailed off giving him a look.

“Girlfriend,”

“Aaa, wait Amber Jacobson?”

“Yeah, why?”

“She was in my lit class junior year, she was one of the ‘Britney, Tiffany, Amber’s’, click, isn’t she a little young for you? Wait how old are you?”

Ethan stopped walking.

“How old do you think I am?” he asked.

“I don’t know, 26 ish.”

“Not quite, I’ll be 22 on Saturday, hence the need for some music, Amber wants to have a party,”

“Well, in that case happy early birthday, can I buy you a frozen yogurt?” Susie asked pointing to TCBY’s.

“Sure, why not,”

They sat eating their frozen yogurt in waffle cones, in the Edgewater Mall food court.

“So why the shipping and receiving industry?” she asked.

“In the beginning it was to save up for school, but it turned into a full time position with benefits so I stayed, what about you?”

“It’s better than flipping burgers, I haven’t decided about school yet,”

Ethan got up and tossed their trash.

“Why don’t you come on Saturday,”

Susie gave him a sideways look.

“I don’t mix well with others,”

“Non-sense, come it’s my party and you are my guest,”

He grabbed a napkin from the dispenser, pulled a pen from his pocket and began writing.

“It’s 247 Lexington street, the small blue house with the..”

“With the carport,” she finished for him.

“Um..yeah, how did you know that?”

“I use to live there, and that’s how everyone describes it,”

“Small world,” he said handing her the napkin, she took it sliding it into the pocket of her jeans.

“Saturday at eight,” Ethan said as he headed towards the mall entrance.

~ ~ ~ ~

Susie sat outside of 247 Lexington street, she pushed the button on the radio that showed the time, 8:12pm.

Might as well make an appearance. She mumbled as she gave herself a final look in the rearview mirror. She reached over and opened the glovebox, rummaging around she found the slim pink tube of lip gloss, pulled out the wand and rolled it over her lips. She pressed them together and gave a little smack towards the mirror.

The front door to the small blue house was open and Bon Jovi’s Bed of Roses could be heard coming from the living room. Susie entered the house, people were scattered throughout, drinking, smoking and talking.

She made her way through the living room and into the back bedroom, as she opened the door and made her way into the small bedroom. Memories from the last time she had been there came flooding back, it had to have been at least five years ago. She made her way to the small closet, slid open the pocket door and looked inside.

“Looking for something?” Ethan said coming into the room.

“Sorta, I wanted to see if something was still here,”

“Ok, my curiosity is peaked, what are we looking for?” he said joining her in the doorway of the closet.

“This,” Susie said running her fingers over a row of doodles on the inside of the closet.

“Hold on,” he walked over to the dresser and found a small pen light.

“Got this from the 7-11 for my keychain,” he turned the light on and shined it on the row of doodles.

“I can’t believe these are still here,”

Ethan sood behind her holding the pen light over her shoulder, he moved closer to her. A shiver ran down Susie’s back and she closed her eyes for a second, feeling the warmth of his body next to hers.

“Am I interrupting something?” a high pitch female voice asked.

Ethan moved out of the closet doorway and into the bedroom.

“No,” he said moving towards Amber.

Amber caught sight of Susie as she moved out of the closet.

“What is she doing here?”

Susie started moving towards the door, Ethan reached out stopping her, grabbing her arm.

“She is my guest, it’s my party and my house, if you have a problem with that you can leave,”

Amber scoffed.

“Whatever,” she said leaving the bedroom.

“You didn’t need to do that,” Susie said.

“Yeah, I did,” Ethan said taking a seat on the edge of the bed.

“It’s weird being in this room again,” she said standing in front of him.

Ethan leaned forward and brushed her hair away from her face. He slid his hand around the back of her neck and pulled her to him. He gently pressed his lips to hers, she moved closer to him and kissed him back.

Susie smiled and took a step back.

“Strawberry?”

“Yeah,”

She moved toward the door, Ethan stood up and kissed her again.

“Thanks for stopping by,” he said.

“I’ll see you on Monday, you know at work,” she said turning and walking out the door.

Susie made her way out of the house and to her 87’ Honda Civic, she opened the door and sat behind the wheel. Waiting for her heart to stop pounding in her ears, she glanced in the rearview mirror her cheeks were a bright shade of pink.

She started the car, and pushed play on the CD player.

Must be your skin that I’m sinking in

Must be for real ’cause now I can feel

And I didn’t mind

It’s not my kind

It’s not my time to wonder why

Everything’s gone white

And everything’s grey…

Started playing as she drove home.

~ ~ ~ ~

Susie awoke from a very vivid dream involving Ethan. She looked over at the clock 5:58am.

“Fuck,” she flipped the alarm off, got up and made her way to the shower.

She had tried not to think about it, about him, about how the butterflies were fluttering around in her stomach, while she was trying to get ready for work.

Susie had, had other boyfriends, she had dated gone to parties, the movies, or just hung-out. Although thinking about it now it had been awhile. It was shortly after High School graduation that her and Nate had called it off. Then she was working all the hours she could to afford her car and the time had just slipped away.

She stood in front of her mirror looking over her appearance in her mandatory work clothes. She picked up the slim glass tube of strawberry lip gloss and ran the wand over her lips. Then rubbing them together and giving a little smack to the air.

~ ~ ~ ~

The end of Blur’s Song 2 was blaring away through her speakers as she pulled into the parking lot of Seaside Shipping & Receiving and found a parking spot. She shut the engine off, there was a tap on her window.

“Jesus Christ, don’t do that, you scared the fuck out me,” she said as she opened her car door and got out.

“Sorry, and good morning to you too,” Ethan said, giving her a quick kiss on the cheek.

“Ok, so we’re doing this now?” she asked.

“Doing what?” Ethan smiled at her as he asked.

“Your going to make me ask, aren’t you?”

Ethan gave her a sideways look of confusion.

“What about Amber?” she asked.

“Oh that,”

“Oh my God, yes that,”

“Well she left me a lovely message on Sunday morning, where she listed what was wrong with me and why she was no longer wanting to continue our relationship,”

“How diplomatic of her,” Susie said moving closer to Ethan leaning in and kissing him.

“Mmm…strawberry,” he said as they walked into work.

~ ~ ~ ~

During lunch break Ethan was standing behind Susie as she waited to get a soda from the vending machine in the employee break room.

“So I have a secret,” he said in a whisper.

“Really, are you going to share it with me?” she asked back in a whisper.

Ethan grinned and slid his hand around her side as she dropped sixty-five cents into the vending machine and pushed the rootbeer button.

“I like to cook, and I was wondering if you would like to come to dinner tonight?”

Susie turned to face him as she opened her rootbeer, she took a sip thinking over his proposal.

“Depends on what you’re planning on making,” she answered walking over to a table and sitting down.

Ethan got himself a Sprite and joined her at the table.

“I was going to go with spaghetti and meatballs, if that works for you,”

She smiled at him. “That works for me,” she said giving his hand a quick squeeze.

~ ~ ~ ~

I’m so happy because today

I’ve found my friends

They’re in my head

I’m so ugly, but that’s okay, ’cause so are you

We’ve broken our mirrors…

Nirvana’s Lithium flowed through the house as Susie knocked on the door of 247 Lexington street.

Ethan opened the door.

“Come in,”

Susie entered the house.

“It smells good,” she said as she took a seat at the kitchen table.

“Thanks, so I have dark or light for drinks,” Ethan held out a bottle of A&W Cream Soda and a bottle of Cherry 7up.

“I’ll take the cherry, cream soda is more of a dessert beverage,”

“Good call,” Ethan poured two glasses over ice and set them on the table. He dished up and served the spaghetti with meatballs and garlic bread.

As they were enjoying their dinner the music changed from Nirvana to The Smashing Pumpkins.

“You have a CD changer in your stereo?” Susie asked.

“Yeah it holds five CD’s, I have it set on shuffle,”

“Nice, what all do you have in there now?”

“Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, Bush, Pearl Jam and Queen,”

“Who’s shirt do you have on?”

“This is Soundgarden, we’ll have to broaden your collection a little more,”

~ ~ ~ ~

After dinner Susie helped Ethan do the dishes and clean up the kitchen.

“Thanks, you didn’t need to do that,” he says sliding his arms around her.

“I know, I wanted to,” she leaned in kissing him.

“Shall we take this somewhere more comfortable?”

“Yes,” she answered kissing him again.

Can anybody find me somebody to love

Ooh, each morning I get up I die a little

Can barely stand on my feet

(Take a look at yourself) Take a look in the mirror and cry (and cry)

Lord what you’re doing to me (yeah yeah)…

Started playing as they entered the bedroom.

Susie kicked off her high tops and sat on the edge of the bed. Ethan stood in front of her, he pulled his shirt off over his head, letting it fall to the floor. Susie got up on her knees and ran her hand along his bare chest.

He reached behind her head and gently pulled the elastic band from her hair, letting her hair fall over her shoulders. She took off her t-shirt and bra, then laid back on the bed, he joined her kissing her neck and running his hands over her breasts.

She kissed him, enjoying the feeling of his hand on her body. Then reality set in.

“Can we just take a minute,” she said sitting up and moving away from him.

“Yeah,” he said handing her, her shirt.

She slipped it on and sat cross legged on the bed. She closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep breath.

“Susie, it’s ok,” Ethan said touching the back of her hand.

“We don’t have to do this, I like you, I enjoy hanging out with you and I would like to get to know you better,”

She opened her eyes and looked at him.

“Yeah?”

“Yes,” he answered kissing her on the cheek.

“How about dessert and a movie?” he asked putting on his shirt.

She smiled at him.

“Depends what’s for dessert?’

“Well I have a bottle of cream soda and vanilla ice cream, so I was thinking floats,”

“Sounds good, so what kinda movie collection do you have?” She asked as they left the bedroom.

“Let’s see…I have Bram Stoker’s Dracula or The Hand That Rocks the Cradle,” Ethan said holding up the VHS’s.

“Hum…horror and sex or psycho revenge story, let’s go with Dracula,” Susie said making herself comfortable on the couch.

“Ok,” Ethan said sliding the tape into the VCR and pushing play.