Hidden Treasure

Here is the next part to The Unexpected Guests

Sitting in her cubicle at work she replayed the events of Sunday night once more. Jordan, the man who outbid her had taken her out on a date.

Belinda had been full of high hopes for the date, but things hadn’t gone as planned. Now she wanted to crawl in a hole, at least until work was over.

She had been such a blatherskite telling everyone the story of how she had met Jordan and their upcoming hot date.

MaryBeth and Angela had already been trying to ask her for details about the date and she kept excusing herself saying how busy she was. But she knew she could only avoid them for so long.

Finally, tbe time came to go home. She was ready to dash out the door before anyone could stop her. As she was running down the stairs she didn’t see Angela or MaryBeth. Taking that as a good sign that she was ahead of them she breathed a little easier.

Yes! She exited the building into the parking lot. The coast was …. OH NO! Her relief quickly drained away.

“Here comes the hardworking girl. We figured since we hadn’t been able to talk to you all day, we would wait by your car. Now spill the beans. We are dying to hear what Mr. Handsome and Wealthy was like.”

Angela and MaryBeth were grinning like Cheshire cats, their eyes held a teasing glint.

“There really isn’t much to tell.”

“Riiight! We weren’t just born yesterday.”

It was useless, when MaryBeth and Angela were set on something, they didn’t give up easily.

“Sorry to disappoint he may be wealthy. handsome and have a precious grandmother, but, he has to be one of the most boring men that I ever met! He talked all night about himself. Talk about egotistical!”

Her co-workers looked so disappointed. “So, back to square one in the search for Mr Right.” Belinda said.

“Don’t worry, he is coming, but he may be riding a slow turtle instead of a white horse. Thats the cause for the delay.”

Laughing, Belinda opened up her car door. “Thanks for that reassurance. Have a good night, see you both tomorrow.”

They said goodbye and headed for their cars. Belinda was ready for a relaxing evening at home. Driving home she saw that the new thrift store in town was open. Pulling into a parking space she decided to check it out. Sometimes treasures could be found where one least expects.

She wasn’t in the thrift shop for more than five minutes when she saw it! It was stunning.

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Belinda was so excited she didn’t look for anything else. She got in line at the register and was back out to her car in a jiffy.

She would put the painting over her fireplace. Driving home, there was a song in her heart. She had a peacock painting! Sometimes the simplest things could make her happy. She studied the painting for a little, admiring it once more. Wait, what was that on the painting?

There appeared to be something that wasn’t quite right. A bump in the painting. Belinda ran her hand down it and then cried out. It was a little white pocket in the painting and something was inside!

She pulled out a hand drawn treasure map. There was much detail and an X marked the spot!

Feeling intrigued she looked closely at the names of places on the map and they weren’t far. Within a couple hours drive. Suddenly she knew how she would spend her Saturday. Yes, it could be a fake treasure map, but what if it wasn’t???

(To be continued… on Saturday)

Tuesday’s Thoughts!

Have you seen anything cute today? If not, let me help you. When getting images for my stories from Pinterest, the site remembers what images I click on. Then they send me many more images. I have seen all kinds of peacocks and have met more siblings of James the 21st. Which sibling would you like to know more about?

And now that you had an overload of cuteness, feed your mind with the following quotes.

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The Unexpected Guests

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The weather outside was freezing but Belinda was cozy by the fire. She was wrapped in her fuzzy lavender blanket with a book. A book that she was trying to concentrate on, but failing miserably.  She had already re-read the one page four times.

Sighing, she studied the flames. Why was she still so fixated on that peacock painting that she had been outbid on? What made her bid so high to begin with?

It had been  a few weeks already but not a day had gone by without her thinking about it.

“Admit it Belinda, you are obsessed with him.”

“Him?? I was talking about the painting.”

“Yeah, keep letting yourself think that.”

Hmmph! Belinda hated when her subconscious was right.

Okay, so maybe she had been a tad smitten by the mysterious guy who kept bidding against her. He was good-looking, she wasn’t blind. Their eyes had met once across the room.

Belinda knew that if she was ever to find a soulmate , that it needed to be someone fascinated with art like she was. With his outrageous bid, he obviously enjoyed paintings. He had good taste too, for the peacock painting was the most beautiful one there.

“So mystery man, will I meet you again at another auction. Was our destiny created that night, our paths meant to cross?”

Oooh, she grabbed the couch pillow and smacked her face with it, she had to stop daydreaming. If she was going to meet the mysterious guy at all, it would happen whenever it was meant to. Her romantic heart wasn’t going to make it happen any faster by wishing on it.

For all she knew he was married with kids and wanted that painting for an anniversary present for his dear wife.

Perhaps his wife had always admired peacocks. Maybe they lived on a farm and had a few peacocks that strutted around feeling proud. Until the sad day when a delivety man sped into their driveway and hit the three peacocks, killing them all.

The painting would be in honor of them. She wiped a tear, having a soft heart for animals. 

Well, if that was the case she was more than happy that he got the painting. Now she would put him out of her head, letting him live happily ever after with his wife.

Smiling, she picked up her book again and began to read

“Ding Dong!” Belinda’s heart jumped. Who was out at this time of night?

Feeling slightly hesitant she opened the door.

She was startled to see a young man standing at the door along with an elderly lady.

“Hi Miss,  I am so sorry to disturb you. My name is Jordan and this is my dear grandmother Tess.”

Tess smiled and put out her hand, which Belinda shook.

“Our car broke down and my phone died. May I please use your phone and would you mind if we came in to warm up. My poor grandmother is really cold.”

“Certainly, come in, come in! Warm yourselves by the fire.” Belinda figured it was safe. The gentleman couldn’t be an ax-murderer. Not with his grandmother with him!

“Would you like some hot tea?”

“That would be lovely dear.” Tess’s eyes shone with appreciation as Belinda led them to the fire, giving them blankets.

“What lovely paintings you have on your walls.” Tess and Jordan looked at them with admiration, as ones who love art.

“Thank you! I am an art collector, wonderful paintings catch my eye.”

“Looks like you have exquisite taste.” Jordan smiled at her.

Feeling a little shy, Belinda could only smile in return.

“Oh, let me get you my phone. I will be right back.” Belinda left the room, and Jordan continued to admire the paintings,  along with his grandmother.

“Here you go”. She handed Jordan the phone and he excused himself to make the call.

Belinda made some coconut almond tea and sat down on the couch with Tess.

“Do you paint?” Belinda asked Tess.

“No, but my late husband did and oooh was he talented. He knew I grew up liking peacocks and that my favorite color was pink. He gave me a painting of the most beautiful pink peacock on our wedding day.”

Goosebumps were breaking out on Belinda. A pink peacock?

In a shaky voice she turned towards Tess. ” I am sure you treasured the paining.”

Jordan walked into the room, “Grandma, Bill is comimg to help us get back on the road again. I know you need to get home to bed. He will be here as soon as he can. I am so sorry about all this. “

His grandma shook her head. “Stop apologizing, its not your fault that your gas gauge is broken and so we ran out of gas. I may be old but I am not frail! I will be fine.”

Jordan put his hands up, “Yes, you are definitely not frail. I am only watching out for you.”

Belinda enjoyed them banter and then she felt as if all the air had rushed out of her lungs when Tess spoke again.

“My grandson is an angel! He found my pink peacock at an auction and bought it for me. The painting that I had thought was forever lost!”

Belinda couldn’t speak, she had thought he looked familiar but what were the odds. At that moment she felt Jordan’s eyes intently on her. “Its you.” He said, softly.

Their gaze held as she gave a simple nod.

“Ding Dong!” The moment was broken.

Belinda opened the door, “Hi! I am Bill.”

“Hi Bill!” Belinda moved aside as Jordan greeted Bill.

Tess took Belinda’s hand in hers. “Thank you dear for your sweet hospitality. Keep collecting the beautiful paintings. One never knows the stories that may lurk behind them.”

Then she looked at Jordan and back at Belinda.”Perhaps we will meet again.” She gave her hand a soft squeeze and a wink.

“Perhaps…” said Jordan, looking once more into Belinda’s eyes. “Perhaps we shall.”

The Man of Many Languages … Biking for Love … “No Mice Allowed!” And Other Rare Facts!

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Wow! I know a few words and phrases in other languages, but thats it!

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Never saw the movie but this made me laugh, apparently he was a good actor!

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Are you hungry now? There was a Mister Donut Shop close to my HighSchool that I visited quite often.

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I am sure those 2 men were very thankful!

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Those mice bave no chance!

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And they lived happily ever after … At least that is the ending I would write. I would hate to think he biked that far only to be rejected!

Magic in the Air

This is the conclusion to Saying No to Santa? Surprise! You get two posts today. This story now and the Sunday Facts later. A Sunday Special. Enjoy!

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Every muscle in Tippner’s body acbed. He could barely walk through the snow back to his cottage. His back was screaming to him to lie down and for a moment he did consider sleeping in a snow drift. But he pressed on.

He felt dizzy as all he could see was bicycle wheels going round and round in his head.

Things were nof going much better for  Mason.

“Take 92! Action!”

Mason’s smile felt plastered onto his face as he once more said his lines. “How do I love thee? Let me count thy ways, shall I compare thee to a summer’s day…”

He was wishing it was a summer’s day and that right now he was anywhere but here, reciting the poetry of Elizabeth Barret Browning.

He feared that his hair would never be the same again. It was so stiff with hairspray that he thought that strands of his hair would start breaking like icicles!

“Yay Mason!”  Alabaster waved to him. He was his biggest fan, combing his hair exactly like Mason’s. Mason couldn’t help but like the guy. He also made crazy puns like Mason did. The guy had awesome humor.

Mason waved back saying, “Hi!” And the director shouted, “Take 93!” giving Mason a cold look.

Oops! Mason lowered his head. He kept forgetting that the cameras were rolling. Meanwhile Alabaster was happily eating one of Chef Salvo’s breakfast burritos, and Mason’s stomach was growling.

Santa entered the workshop. There were only two days left until the big day!

Snowball was busy putting handlebars on the bikes. He looked up when Santa walked in.

“Hi Santa! We only have 88 bikes to go.”

Santa looked around,”Where is Tippner? You only have two days left!”

Snowball looked a little sheepish. “Welll….I promised to keep my lips sealed, but …. ” He put his hand up in the air and grinned at his bright idea. Taking a piece of paper he wrote on it and handed it to Santa.

Santa looked at the note in disbelief. Tippner was taking a nap! Was he crazy?

“Snowball go wake up Tippner now. There is no time for naps!”

Snowball inmediately put down the handlebars and scurried out the door. Tippner wouldn’t be happy but Snowball had kept his promise, his lips hadn’t opened at all when Santa asked where Tippner was.

Santa looked at some of the bikes and groaned. The handlebars were put on backwards! He took a deep breath, he needed to get out of the workshop and get a breath of fresh air. Maybe he and Mrs Clause could go see how the filming was coming along.

Mrs Claus was more than happy to go watch the filming in action. They arrived and walked over to where Alabaster was sitting and still eating.

“Hi Alabaster! Did you not have enough of those burritos at breakfast?”

With an impish grin, he replied, “With breakfast burritos, there are never enough!”

Mrs Claus pulled on Santa’s arm, “I think Mason will be up soon. There’s his leading…”

“Mason!”

They saw Mason come running, stuffing what looked like a burrito into his pocket. Then kneeling down in front of the actress who he was supposed to be proposing too. Putting his hand in bis pocket he froze. The ring wasn’t there! Uh oh! He put his hand into his other pocket and flushed red as he pulled out the ring.

“Ewww! The ring has pieces of onion and pepper stuck to it.” The actress looked at Mason with irritation.

Alabaster smacked his head. Mrs Claus put her hand on Santa’s arm. “Don’t worry,  I am sure Mason will do fine, give him time, and look at his perfect hair! Its not blowing one bit in this wind.”

After Santa took some Excedrin and had some more peppermint bark pie he felt better. The guys were really trying hard and he appreciated it. Like Mrs Claus said, he had to believe that all would be fine.

Tippner and Snowball were working around the clock. They were almost finished and feeling exhausted but excited!

Snowball hadn’t put any more handlebars on backwards and Tippner had to admit that his skills were improving. He liked the little guy. In a way they were a lot alike. Snowball really liked unicorns too, though, like Tippner, he had yet to see one. But that didn’t stop them from believing in them! Not everything can be seen.

Cold air blew in as Snowball came in the door with more bicycle parts for Tippner. Peppermint the cat came in with him.

Tippner smiled, bending down to stroke Peppermint and she purred. Then she walked around all the bicycles with her tail swishing around each one.

One more screw to be tightened and … Tippner let out a whoop of delight. “We are finished!”

“Snowball, did you hear me? We are finished. Snowball?” Where did he go?

Tippner chuckled, Yes, they were a lot alike. Poor Snowball had fallen asleep under the table.

Peppermint was standing by the last bike that Tippner had worked on. Her long, candy cane tail was almost caught in the spokes. She stared intently at Tippner. Her eyes glistened liked diamonds and he felt something in the air, but not quite sure what.

Snowball stirred and thoughts of the cat fled. “Hey buddy! We are finished. Want to go celebrate?”

Snowball was groggy but smiled. “Yay! Can I go to my bed now?”

“My thoughts exactly,” replied Tippner and tbey headed back to their cottages.

“Encore!” Santa and Mrs Claus applauded and Alabaster whistled. The last day of filming had gone perfectly. Mason was getting compliments from everyone and he had a little sidekick that had stayed by his side the whole time. The director loved it. Peppermint the cat was a star! CandyCane was thrilled.

Mason had to admit that acting was fun. The director had even asked him if he would consider helping out with another Hallmark movie. He asked if it would have robots or aliens in it. Giving him a strange look, the director shook his hand, thanking him for a splendid job.

When he had finally spoken to the last person about tips for more luxurious hair, Mason headed to watch the bike-a-thon.

He made it just in time. Hurrying over to join Tippner, Snowball, Alabaster and the others.

“On your mark….Get Set…Go!!” The 200 bikes took off and everyone cheered and gasped! What were they seeing?

Santa turned to Tippner, “What did you do??”

“I…I…have no idea!”

Everyone was speechless as they watched the bikes soar up into the air! The bikes were flying!

“Amazing!” Santa clapped Tippner on his shoulder, and Tippner beamed. He also patted Mason on the back. “Thanks guys! You were quite helpful indeed! I know who to call now when extra help is needed.”

Peppermint was sitting by CandyCane and let out a purr as everyone followed the cat’s gaze. Looking up into the sky.

Friday’s Super Short Stories!

Fascinating Quote of the Week: “I woke up and felt that there was a lump on my belly. The Dr told me it was part of my skull.” From the book about Malala. They removed top portion of her skull and kept it in her belly until another surgery to put it back on. Never had heard of a medical procedure like that before!

If aliens abducted you, what are two reasons they would release you?

When your 23 year old wants to play Candyland again …. What is a game you remember playing when you were little or with your kids?

Saying No to Santa?

Here is the continuation from last night’s post, A Secret Mission

Tippner and Mason felt like they were in a dream. When Santa shook their hands with a hearty “Ho-Ho-Ho” they felt like they were little boys again and  couldn’t stop smiling.

Mrs Claus reminded them of a  sweet, precious grandmother when she welcomed them with a big, warm hug.

Now they were reclining on the velvety soft couch, with plenty of plush pillows to make themselves comfy with. Santa was ready to fill them in about their special assignments.

“I am sure you both are quite curious as to why I sent a special certified letter inviting you both to come to the North Pole. The special assignments I need help with is ..”

“Come to the table, the dessert is ready.” Mrs Claus called out from the kitchen.

“Give us a few moments, I am about to explain to each of them their assignment.”

Mrs Claus came out of the kitchen, and gave Santa the look. “These poor guys have been traveling all day and they are hungry! You can wait.”

As eager as Mason and Tippner were to hear about their assignments,  they couldn’t deny that they were hungry.

“You heard the boss,”  said Santa, with a twinkle in his eye. “Let’s go to the table.

Oh, their mouth watered at the sight. Peppermint Bark Pie! Mason felt like he was in Heaven.The first bite was as delicious as they expected. 

“You need to have Cara learn how to make this pie for your diner.”

Santa smiled, “Oh Cara, she is a wonderful young lady.” Candy Cane heartily agreed, as she listened to Santa, while stroking her cat.

“There are alot of good people that live in Bittersweet Creek. Your town is one of the first places I visit on Christmas Eve. My elves, Snowball and Alabaster really like your town too.”

Tippner and Mason felt proud, their town was among Santa’s favorite places.

“So, now about your assingments. Tippner, I will start with you. I believe that you are a Superstar bicycle repairman, am I right?”

“OH, most definitely! I am your man, when it comes to working on bikes, no one can do it better.”

“That is exactly what I wanted to hear! I have a place in the workshop cleared especially for you. We had a huge delivery of bikes recently, for the Bike-a-thon that is happening here in a week. Unfortunately each one of them was broken when we received them. We don’t have time to order more, so I thought why not ask you. There are 200 bikes that need fixed by next week, can you handle it?”

Tippner made a big gulp. Perhaps he had bragged a little too much. 200 bikes!! It made him dizzy just thinking about it. How badly were they broken? But does anyone ever say “No” to Santa?

Trying his best to put on a confident face, he replied, “I am your man Santa, I will get those bikes in tip top shape!”

“Thank you so much! Snowball will help assist you, for he really likes to work with bikes too. Though I will warn you that he happens to be a little clumsy, but don’t worry, I am sure it will go fine.” Candy Cane coughed real loudly, with a smirk on her face. Watching Snowball try to fix bicycles should be entertaining.

After hearing about Tippner needing to fix 200 bikes, Mason was beginning to feel a little nervous about his assignment. Santa turned to him and spoke, “I must compliment you on your hair, I have heard that it is called “luxurious?”

Mason felt a little embarrassed, but he couldn’t deny it. “I work hard to keep it as shiny and luxurious as I can. Have to please the women, you know.” Santa chuckled.

“Well, I have a most special assignment for you. I am sure you have heard of Hallmark movies, right?”

Mason grimaced, they were his least favorite movies to watch. he would rather do almost anything else. “Umm… yes, I am familiar with them.”

“Mrs Claus is thrilled for they are filming a Hallmark movie right here in the North Pole, but we have a big problem. One of the actors had an emergency come up and had to go home. We need someone to fill his place and with your perfect hair, I told the crew that I had the perfect guy in mind. What do you think? It would require memorizing some sappy lines, but think about all the notice that your hair would get. All that hard work to keep it so shiny, will have paid off. Will you do it?”

Mason was speechless, him? Appearing in a Hallmark movie? After all the things that he has said about Hallmark movies to Amanda and Cara and now … he was going to be in one. He would never live it down! But, did anyone ever say “No” to Santa?

“I would be honored to help out.”

Santa clapped his hands together, “Thank you Mason! You are most helpful!”

Candy Cane tried to stifle her laughter. She could just imagine Alabaster having to be in a Hallmark movie, he would much rather appear in movies with robots or aliens. But that wouldn’t happen in a Hallmark movie. Poor Mason, if he felt the same as Alabaster. She sensed that he was a little uncomfortable with it, but of course he wouldn’t say “No” to Santa, Did anyone ever do that?

Santa stood up, “I am sure you both are ready for a good night’s sleep. You are going to be working hard, so get all the sleep you can.”

Tippner and Mason walked outside, back into the cold, but their minds weren’t on the cold. What had they got themselves into?

As they walked to the Elves Village, where they would be staying, they were quiet. Then they saw what looked like a walking candy cane. Oh, it was Candy Cane’s cat. They both stared at it as it stopped and stared back at them. “I really have never seen a cat like that before. It almost looks magical?”

“You mean magical like Betsy?” Mason asked

They both were quiet and then together said, “No, can’t be. Its only a cat, now lets go to our rooms and get some much needed sleep.”

Turning around they walked away, as Peppermint the cat continued to watch them.

“To be continued…”

A Secret Mission

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The last customer walked out of the diner and Cara turned the sign to “Closed” and locked the door.

“I think you missed a spot.”

Tippner mumbled something under his breath and mopped the spot that Cara pointed to.

“And don’t forget to get behind the table.”

With a loud groan Tippner finally finished up. He was bent over like his back was hurting when he handed the mop and bucket to Cara.

“Maybe next time you will think twice before walking on my freshly mopped floor with dirty shoes.”

Mason came out from the back smiling, and handed some money to Tippner.

“Well done Tippner! Here is $20 for you.”

“$20! You are paying him for mopping the floor??” Cara asked, shocked.

“Of course, I just took it out of your paycheck, since he did your job.”

“Thank you kindly, sir!” Tippner straightened up, his back, suddenly not hurting anymore.

Cara didn’t say a word, but her eyes did! She would remember this.

“I am so glad you clowns are leaving tomorrow. Will have some peace. Who knows, perhaps I will totally change the menu around while you are gone.” She gave a coy smile.

“Have fun on your North Pole excursion. You guys are crazy, you know. “

Mason and Tippner simply nodded their heads. They couldn’t tell her the real reason they were going to the North Pole or she really would think they were crazy.

It had been a long trip and they were exhausted, not to mention shivering.

“How long is it going to take them to pick us up? I think my hands are going numb.” Mason complained. He had lost his thick pair of gloves on the flight and had his hands buried in his coat pockets.

Anxiously they looked around them to see if a sleigh was coming their way, but all they saw was snow.

Tippner started doing jumping jacks and Mason joined in. It helped to get the blood flowing.

“I see it! They are here.”

Within a few minutes two elves pulled up in front of them. Something looked strikingly familiar about them.

“Hi and Welcome to the North Pole! Sorry we are late, Snowball had kitchen duty and had to finish mopping the floor. I am Alabaster and this is Snowball. We are so glad you are here. Climb in and.we will take you to meet Santa.”

Tippner and Mason climbed in and felt excitement run through them. They were going to meet Santa!

Alabaster looked back at Mason as Snowball drove. “You must tell me how you manage to get your hair looking like that. Its all poofy in the front, like a bouffant.”

Tippner gave Mason a friendly punch in the arm. “See, I told you that you would look good in a bouffant.”

Mason smiled. “Yes, you did, Amanda really liked it too. Guess you were right.”

He smiled, feeling pretty proud of his hair. Right then they ran over a hill too fast and Mason flew out of the sleigh, landing in the snow.

Snowball was apologetic and Tippner couldn’t hold back his laughter. “Your hair kind of lost its poof now.”

Soon they arrived and waited for Santa’s assistant to show up and take them to meet Santa Claus

“Oh wow! Look at that cat.”

“Hi! Welcome! Santa is anxious to meet you and get you started working. I am Candy Cane and this is my cat,Peppermint.”

“Such an unusual cat but beautiful. I am Tippner and this is my friend Mason.

“Ahh! Tippner the Super Star Bicycle Repairman. We really appreciate you both coming and hope you can help us.”

Tbey stopped in front of a cottage that must belong to Santa. The red and white cottage was was so cheerful looking on the outside.

The time was here. They were going to meet the one and only Santa Claus. CandyCane rang the doorbell and Peppermint ran between their legs as the door opened. Running into the warmth.

(To be continued…)

Tuesday’s Thoughts!

Happy Tuesday! Hopefully its been a Happy one. If not I am sorry. Feel free to make a face and grumble.  I hope that when you read the following quotes, they brighten your day. Along with the quotes, here is a question for you to ponder. “How do dragons blow out candles?”

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A Priceless Gift

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Belinda had almost finished looking around. There were some things she was considering bidding on, but unfortunately nothing had really grabbed her. She had hoped to find a masterpiece.

Her passion was art and she had collected some amazing pieces over the years. Belinda let out an almost inaudible gasp. That was it! This was her diamond in the dust. Her heart was soaring like a hot air balloon. She needed that peacock!

The auction was soon ready to begin and Belinda was ready. Nothing would  stop her from getting the masterpiece.

The auction started and Belinda sat in her chair watching. She wasn’t bidding on anything besides the Peacock, saving her money for that.

At last the time came and Belinda felt a rush of adrenalin. Almost holding up her number before the auctioneer had a chance to say the starting bid.

Tbe price was climbing, a lot of people were bidding and Belinda was trying to calm her nerves. She held her number high in the air as others started to fall. The ones bidding grew less and less, Belinda was hopeful.

You could have heard a feather fall, the room was so quiet. Tension and excitement were heavy in the room. This was the highest thing so far that had been bid on. Apparently someone wanted the amazing peacock as much as Belinda did!

People continued to drop out, Belinda was feeling smug. The peacock masterpiece would be her’s. Then she spied him. The one person still bidding against her.

If Belinda would have spotted him across a crowded restaurant, sitting alone, maybe things would have been different. But…

This wasn’t some sappy romance novel. Yes, he was dark and handsome but, she only saw him as a competitor. Well she may have noticed bis deep brown eyes as well.

UGH! He kept raising his number high She tried to shoot daggers from her eyes , but he ony smiled back.

The crowd was enraptured watching the showdown beteeem them. It was like watching a tennis match as their heads moved back and forth between Belinda and the dark, handsome, man. Her face was flushed.

She was screaming on the inside at Mr Pompous! He was calmly nodding his head when asked if he would go higher. Meanwhile she was dying by trying to keep up with him. She would probably have to take out a second mortgage on the house! Was she crazy?

“$550,000 , going once, going twice”, the crowd waited with bated breath, would she give up?

“SOLD!”

Her heart sank, but she knew she had done the right thing. Things would have been a financial mess for her if she would have continued. She would go home and sulk but be better by morning and still have money in the bank.

Jordan was brimming with joy. He had done it! The peacock masterpiece would finally be restored to its rightful owner.

He couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for the poor woman who had been bidding against him. She obviously really wanted the peacock artwork but he couldn’t let it slip through his hands, not after this long.

“Happy Birthday Grandma!” Jordan handed her the large carefully wrapped gift.

“Oh Jordan! Where? How? OH!” His grandma’s hands trembled as she tore off the last of the gift wrap. There were no words. Jordan’s mom hugged him so tight with tears in her eyes. His grandma’s shoulders shook, but the light in her eyes shined like a thousand fireflies lighting up the sky.

He embraced his grandma and she clung to him. “Thank you, Thank you so much for bringing this back to me! I never thought I would see it again.”

His grandma was the most courageous woman he had ever met. She and his grandpa had been taken from their home by the Nazi’s. Their home was ransacked, all their personal treasures stolen and they were taken to Concentration Camps. His grandma survived. Sadly his grandpa hadn’t. He had never met his grandpa but he knew he had been a gifted artist.

Jordan looked at the peacock. Yes, a gifted artist indeed!