The aroma of bacon frying was in the air. Soft music was playing from her new CD, Dan Gibson’s Forest Cello. Lisette enjoyed listening to the sounds of nature, mixed with a cello in the background. The breakfast casserole only had 10 minutes left to be in the oven and then breakfast would be ready. Amanda and Rachel would soon be down to eat with her.
Amanda had been a guest longer. After the traumatic experience she went through it had been suggested to her by Sarah, that she stay with Lisette for awhile in the peaceful town of Borden. She needed to get away from all the drama that had been in her life for awhile. With her employer going to prison she had no job, so now was the time to take a little vacation. A nice breather, before starting the job hunt. Lisette was more than happy to have her at the Inn.
Rachel was in the film industry. No major box office hits yet, but she was working her way up there with several films under her belt. Like Amanda, Rachel needed a break to find some serenity. Lisette felt honored that Rachel picked her quaint Inn to vacation at.
Rachel and Amanda both had vivacious personalities, and Lisette loved having the Inn full of life and laughter.
The sound of laughter flowed into the kitchen where Lisette was, her guests were ready for breakfast.
Plans for the day had been made. Rachel was going hiking and Amanda wanted to visit Miss. Jill’s fabric and dress store. Miss. Jill was back there running the store again, after her time away, which Lisette didn’t talk about. There was no need to have everyone know Miss. Jill’s secrets. Lisette had grocery shopping to do, for she had more guests coming this evening.
She was looking forward to tonight’s visitors from Bittersweet Creek. Mason Picklefoot was coming to pick up some new coffee mix from the Fluffer Nutter shop. Cara had convinced Mason that they needed to serve it at their diner. She told him it was a hot selling item. Lisette laughed to herself, she knew very well why Cara was sending Mason to her Inn and it wasn’t for the sole purpose of picking up coffee. Always the matchmaker Cara was trying once again.
Mr. Tippner was coming along too, Lisette found out. She figured that Mason was a little suspicious of Cara’s reasons to have him come to the Inn, so he was bringing along his friend for back up. Did he really think that would help. Lisette was curious how it all would play out, as far as she knew Rachel and Amanda were not dating anyone. They hadn’t mentioned anyone in conversation and Amanda had talked very highly about Mason. She smiled, yes this would be interesting to see what might or might not transpire, Lisette thought as she finished cleaning up the breakfast dishes.
Meanwhile back in Bittersweet Creek, Mason and Tippner were getting ready to soon make the trip to Borden. Mason was shaking his head, for Cara seemed extra happy today, bouncing around the diner. He thought her smile looked like she was hiding something. He knew she was up to something, but he just couldn’t put his finger on it. He was glad that Tippner had agreed to come along with him . He had told Cara that if she wanted the sweet coffee so badly she should drive and get it, but her car just happened to be in the shop for the week. Strangely convenient thought Mason and then he had thought of Sarah going. Surely she would want to see Lisette again, but she was tied up with working at the florist shop and could not possibly get away. He noticed a sly smile on her face too as she tried to explain. Women! Thought they were so clever!
On the way to the Inn Mason and Tippner were talking.
“Isn’t Lisette the one with this supposed magical cow bell?” asked Tippner.
“Yes, she is! Apparently you just shake the bell and plumes of colored smoke come out and then you get taken to a special place.” Mason said with a touch of skepticism in his voice. “If you ask me, I think the ladies may have had a little too much to drink before ringing this bell.”
Tippner laughed, “I agree! That sounds a lot more logical. Too much drinking is likely to always cause problems. ”
“Perhaps we can ask to see it and then shake it right in front of them, proving that nothing happens. Wouldn’t that be funny to see the expressions on their faces!” Mason said.
“I think we should do that. Show them that we can’t be fooled by talk of a magical bell. Believing in magical bells, what is next, believing that animals can talk.” Tippner said, and laughed as he looked at Mason, remembering his experience with Creampuff the lamb.
Mason shook his head, not saying a word, but giving his friend a look, which made Tippner chuckle more.
They continued chatting until Tippner fell asleep and started snoring. Mason turned up the radio to drown out the sound. Unfortunately with him turning up the radio he was jamming to the music more and not watching his speed. When he saw the lights flashing in his rearview mirror he groaned, and might have let out a few other words. Tippner woke up, and his eyes got big when he saw a cop standing at the window.
It didn’t take long for the cop to write a ticket and soon they were on their way again. Mason was careful to keep an eye on the speed the rest of the way to Borden.
Amanda knew that Mason was coming for supper and that was why she had wanted to go shopping in town for a new dress. Not anything fancy, she just wanted something nice that she could feel pretty in. She couldn’t ignore Mason’s handsome looks and wearing something she felt good in would help her feel more confident around him.
Feeling happy about what she had found, she finished getting dressed in her room when she heard the doorbell ring. They had arrived.
Rachel was in the room with her. “You look great! Don’t be nervous. Just relax and be yourself and see what happens.” Rachel said, trying to calm Amanda’s nerves.
Amanda turned thankful eyes towards Rachel. “Glad that you and Lisette are here.” She looked at herself in the mirror once more time, running the brush through her hair. “Okay, lets go, I am ready.” she said , smiling confidently as they walked out of the room and headed downstairs.
They all agreed that Lisette had outdone herself by the great meal that she fixed. Chicken and dumplings, with corn soufflé and the best homemade rolls with honey butter. Conversation had flowed easily and they all were enjoying themselves when Lisette brought out the warm Cherry pie and vanilla ice cream.
With full stomachs they all went into the sitting room to relax and enjoy some more conversation. They also were going to watch Mason and Tippner play some Chess. Rachel had said she would watch them play and that perhaps she could play the winner. She could tell they were surprised, little did they know that she had played many times with her brother and had actually been the Chess champ in Highschool. She would keep that info to herself until after she won.
Before they played Mason asked a question, as he winked at Tippner. “Do you happen to have that famous magical cow bell that took you and Sarah to all kinds of places. I would love to see it, if I could.”
“I do have it, I finally found it. I thought I had lost it, but found it in my yard not too long ago. You may see it, just make sure you don’t shake it!” she said.
“Of course, wouldn’t think of it.” replied Mason with a smile. He heard Tippner trying to stifle his laugh.
Lisette looked at them. “You guys don’t believe in it, do you?” she asked.
They both tried to put on innocent faces, as the ladies rolled their eyes.
“Well I can’t make you believe, but I will warn you, you really don’t want to shake it if you don’t believe in it! I have talked to the lady whose Grandfather had this bell and he said there was a bad spell for people who didn’t believe in its magic.”
“Oooh dear, what happens!” said Mason and Tippner together pretending to shake.
Lisette shook her head as she went upstairs to get the bell.
She was back downstairs within a few minutes and gave the bell to Mason. Tippner came over to Mason to see it touching it as it laid in Mason’s hand. “Looks ordinary to me. Perhaps we should talk to it Mason, You know like “Mirror Mirror on the wall..” Mason started laughing and said, “Bell oh magical bell, whose the handsomest of them all?”
“I don’t hear anything.” said Tippner, I think you need to shake it. Let’s do it together, shall we!”
“I really wouldn’t if I was you.” said Lisette.
“But you aren’t us.” they said.
“I,2,3…!” and they shook it together. Pink and blue smoke billowed in the air, filling the room. When it faded away, Lisette, Rachel and Amanda were speechless as they gazed in shock. Then they laughed until they cried.
“I tried to warn you!” said Lisette.
The only reply she received was a “Meow!” from the 2 new cats that had suddenly appeared.
It didn’t take long for the ladies to ooh and ahh over the cats, saying how pretty and fluffy they were.
Lisette turned to Rachel and Amanda. “I think we need to make a shopping trip for a scratching post, for I don’t want these new cats clawing my furniture. My Mom bought me the new couch and she would be furious at having it ruined. We also need some litter boxes.” at this they started laughing again.
“Hmmm… I wonder how they plan to play Chess with paws?” Rachel asked.
“Did you notice their tails? They seem bent at a strange angle, like they are out of joint.” said Amanda.
“They are so quiet. I guess the cat truly has their tongue this time!”
As the ladies went to leave, Lisette said some parting words. “Don’t worry guys, I was told that the spell would only last 24 hours. Perhaps next time you will heed my warning.” and she smirked while walking out the door.
Mason and Tippner looked at each other. it would be a long time before they lived this down! “MEOW!” they spat.