The Surprise Letter

The following story is the 2nd part to my story from last Saturday’s post, The Inheritance!

Jacob had been burning the midnight oil in trying to find Lady Tatiana’s daughter and granddaughter. Everytime he thought he had a lead, it only led to a dead end. 

Time would tell if this new lead that he had found a few weeks ago would turn out to be anything

He thought back to the details about the lead. Who knew that stopping at Mcdonalds would have turned out to be such a great decision.

That Wednesday morning he had been upset when he realized his coffeemaker was broken. He decided he would stop at McDonald’s on the way to the office.

Usually he would go through drive thru but he decided to go inside and sit for a bit before his busy day started.

He went inside and within a few minutes had a black coffee and a Egg McMuffin with a yogurt parfait. It was hard for him to stomach the black coffee but he knew it was healthier without the cream. He took a few gulps and then asked for cream to try to get the after taste out of his mouth, perhaps another day he would try.

There was a newspaper on the table and a headline caught his eye. A smuggling ring had been busted. He was intrigued that the smugglers had used a popular toy, Mr. Potato Head, to smuggle the jewels. Who would have thought? That wasn’t the most intriguing thing though.

Jacob had blinked his eyes upon seeing the  name Amanda in the article. Then gasped with surprise when he read her last name. She had the same last name as the Amanda he was looking for. Was it her? Hope surged through him as it appeared that he might have turned over the right stone without even trying!

Relief spread through him when reading that she had been cleared of any charges. That she really hadn’t known what was in the packages her employer was having her deliver.

Jacob would have hated to have to inform her grandparents that the sweet granddaughter they remembered was part of a smuggling ring. Amanda had witnessed against her employer in court and all was behind her now. She was wanting to start anew the article had said. That was one problem, Jacob had no idea where she was headed to start over.

Amanda was relaxing with a book in the sitting room at the Inn. She loved the big picture windows that were in there. The sunlight poured through them brightening up the room.

She felt more contentment then she had felt in a long time. It wasn’t that she really had any answers yet about her future, but her worry about it had faded.

Lisette had become a great friend and had assured her that she was welcome to stay for as long as she needed too.

Putting her bookmark in her book she closed it and looked out the window, thinking.

Her mind went back in time. Back to when her Mom was still alive. There had been so many questions that she had for her Mom, questions still left unanswered.

Her Mom had never answered her questions about her Dad. At first Amanda had let it go. She was happy with it just being her Mom and her, but as time went by she grew more curious. What had he been like? Had he and her Mom really loved each other? Why had her Mom refused to talk about him?

Amanda wished that somehow she could find information on him. Then she remembered the many journals her Mom had.

After her Mom died she had put the journals in her cedar chest. She had been tempted to read them, but felt uneasy. They held her Mom’s private thoughts. Perhaps now though was the time. Maybe they held the answers to the questions that plaqued her.

“Amanda!” Lisette’s voice broke into Amanda’s thoughts.

Amanda walked out of the room and met Lisette coming towards her. She had mail in her hand.

“This letter is for you.” Lisette said, handing her a long white business envelope.

Amanda had the post office forwarding her mail to the Inn, not knowing how long she would be here. She wondered who the letter was from, as she took the envelope from Lisette.

Her face registered shock when looking at the return address. Jacob Klasko, Private Detective.

Why would a private detective be contacting her?

(To be continued…)

The Passage of Time

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Warmth flooded through her heart to see her favorite tree still standing. Charlotte’s boots sunk into the snow as she stood admiring it once again. At least there was one thing that had remained unchanged after all these years.

Coming back to her hometown felt good but she hadn’t been prepared to see all the changes. She still had held onto her childhood image of it.

Condos had replaced the cornfield where she and her friends had played many times. Hiding behind the stalks.

The little grocery store that had been on the corner, was now one of the big chains. Charlotte fondly remembered Sam, the kind old man that had owned the store. He always had chocolate chip cookies and a balloon for each child that entered the store.

Bonnie’s hair salon had been replaced with a larger one. She was retired and enjoying her grandkids now. Charlotte was glad that at least Bonnie had stayed in town. She had enjoyed a visit with her earlier over some salted caramal lattes.

Charlotte was really hoping she would get to see Miss. Lorti the librarian. The library was still on Willow street but Bonnie told her that a man had come to town and swept Miss. Lorti off of her feet. It was a whirlwind romance and it wasn’t long before she had packed her bags and eloped.

The library had been one of Charlotte’s favorite places to go. She would carry home a stack of books every time she visited. She would often stop at her special tree on the way home, sit down beneath it and read one of her books.

Charlotte looked at her watch. It was 3pm on the dot, would Ellen be here? They had made a pact long ago to come back on this special date at this special time. Did Ellen remember?

“Charlotte!”

She turned her head and saw Ellen heading her way in her bright orange coat. Her heart beat with excitement. She had come!

They gave each other a warm embrace.

“It is so good to see you! We have so much to catch up on.” Ellen said.

Yes, thought Charlotte, a lot of things may change but she was so thankful for friendships that stood the test of time.

When Duty Calls

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The blurred numbers were slowly coming into focus. He rubbed his eyes, trying to wake up. The clock said 7am. He had slept a solid 12 hours! No wonder his stomach was growling.

He knew jet lag would be bad but he had always wanted to visit Australia. After he finished a case that he had been on for 2 months, his boss told him that he had earned a well deserved vacation.  He didn’t have to think twice of where he would go! The Land of Koalas was calling his name.

After taking a shower Patrick felt alive and ready to explore. He ordered room service and enjoyed a hearty breakfast. Whistling Patrick walked out of the hotel, ready to see what the day would bring.

One of the places he wanted to visit the most was Kangaroo Island. He had made sure to have his hotel close to there, for he thought he would visit it more than once.

Soon he was on a bus headed there. He laid his head back on the seat, catching a few more winks before arriving at Kangaroo Island.

After a 30 minute ride, the bus stopped.. They had reached the island. It wasn’t long until Patrick saw some kangaroos, he was delighted.

He thought of Kanga and Roo, the friends of Pooh Bear. Patrick had loved the adventures of Pooh Bear when he was a child. In fact he still had his stuffed bear that he called Pooh.

Patrick might be a tough FBI agent, but he had a sentimental side too, that not too many people knew about.

Awh! That was too cute for words, he had spotted a sleeping Koala in a tree. He quickly grabbed his camera snapping a few shots. His Mom would love these pictures.

What a relaxing day it had been, being surrounded by wildlife. Earlier he had thought about catching a show at the famous Sydney Opera House this evening, but now he decided he would save that for anotber day.

He was feeling sleepy on the bus ride back to the hotel. The thought of ordering room service again and relaxing in his suite appealed to him. He had plenty of time for sightseeing, it was a 2 week vacation. Today he would catch up on his sleep.

Back at the hotel he was finishing up a great steak dinner when his cell phone rang. Looking at the caller ID he saw that it was his boss. Patrick answered it.

“Hi Ed! This vacation was a great idea! Went to Kangaroo Island and … what do you mean there is a problem?” Patrick said, feeling his heart sinking.

“I am so sorry Patrick, you know I wouldn’t bother you unless it was really important! But I need you to cut your vacation short.” his boss said.

Patrick sighed heavily. This couldn’t be happening again! He had the worst luck when it came to taking vacations!

“How soon do you need me back?”

There was silence on the other end, and then he heard his boss softly say, “In 2 days.”

Patrick almost dropped the phone.

“Its a high profile case, we need the best and that is you!” Ed said.

After briefing him on the case Patrick agreed to come back. His boss profusely apologized, promising him 3 weeks vacation.

Patrick stared at the phone after saying goodbye. Some days he really missed the old phones that you could slam down when hanging them up. Felt much more satisfying than just pushing a button.

After calling the airport and changimg his return ticket he buried himself under the soft covers. At least he got to see Kangaroos and Koalas.

He shook bis head, next time he was going to the most remote place he could think of. A place with no cell phone reception, where his boss couldn’t get hold of him. Closing his eyes, he was asleep within minutes.

Tuesday’s Thoughts!

Happy Tuesday! Its COLD! Is it Spring yet? We may be getting almost a foot of snow again this coming weekend. It is also supposed to be “warm” 10 degrees! If its 10 degrees than I do hope I at least have pretty snow to look at! I know in other places its a lot colder, like in the negatives, but there is a reason I don’t live in those other places. Anyway I am thankful for heat at home and in my car. I had the heater in the car cranked up to 80. It was nice and toasty. Hope your day is going well and that the following quotes help to bring a smile or two! 

 

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The Chilling Night

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Lindsey was having second thoughts about coming out here to meet Quinton. She usually wasn’t easily spooked, but tonight she had goosebumps and felt a chill running down her spine. Why did they have to meet at the graveyard? How well did she really know Quinton. She had gone out on 3 dates with him so she thought she could trust him. So far he hadn’t given her any reason not too!

Her mind was filling with thoughts of him as she tried to distract herself from the darkening sky and the cry of the blackbird. She found herself walking faster, hoping that Quinton would be there when she arrived. He better not be late, for she wasn’t standing alone in a graveyard at night! If he thought she was going to wait for him, he could think again!

Next week she was choosing where their date would be! There was that nice fancy restaurant on 5th Street that she had been wanting to check out. An Italian restaurant, her mouth was watering already thinking of the good food she could get there, topped off with tiramisu for dessert.

SNAP! Lindsey jumped! What was that? Then she looked down and saw she had stepped on a stick, breaking it in two. “WHOOO! WHOOO!” she heard an owl, oh how she wished she would have just stayed home. She could have called off the date tonight, told him that she had to paint her nails, or something like that! At least she would be home in the comfort of her home, and not out on this creepy night.

She saw the graveyard ahead. A sigh of relief went through her knowing she had made it! Quinton better plan on walking her home, for she wasn’t walking back alone. Where was he? She didn’t see any sign of him. Walking to the middle of the graveyard she caught her breath, feeling nervous, as she desperately looked around for Quinton. She felt the eyes of the blackbird watching her. Suddenly feeling a clammy hand grabbing her ankle, she let out a loud scream!

“Good job!” Good job!” Mrs. Zehr, the drama director, said. That’s enough rehearsal today, everyone is dismissed.

Lindsey washed off her make up and changed out of her clothes in the dressing room. She was ready to relax for the evening. Warmth spread throughout her body knowing who was waiting for her in the parking lot. Oh how she loved Charlie! He always planned fun dates for her, she wondered where they were going tonight.

A half hour later she was ready. She walked out of the school towards the azure blue truck where Charlie was waiting for her. She climbed into the truck and snuggled close to him giving him a kiss. “So where are you taking me tonight?” she asked with a twinkle in her eyes.

“I thought we could visit a graveyard.” Charlie said.

“That’s not a funny joke!” Lindsey said, as she punched him lightly in the arm.

“Who said I was joking?” Charlie replied, with a cool look in his eyes. Lindsey stared at him, feeling a chill go up her spine.

Now You Know!

Thought you may want to be enlightened once more by some facts that I am guessing you didn’t know! Thanks to Pinterest, here are a few more for you. Something to smile about as you finish what was hopefully a good weekend! 

 

I am impressed!

What a wonderful gift that the whole world was able to benefit from! A powerful book! I could handle a Christmas gift like that, who knows what best seller I could come up.

AWH!! Too sweet, right! 🙂

I almost didn’t share this, but knew there would be some that would like this valuable info.

Hmmm… for my 50th birthday I stretched out on the couch and ate cake, ice cream and had a Latte! Just as impressive, right? I truly can’t imagine running even one marathon, I can’t even run a mile!

The Search Begins

The following story  is the 2nd part to my The Inheritance! post. 

Jacob was sitting on the burgundy couch across from Lady Tatiana. He had spent 3 days at the castle talking with Lady Tatiana and her husband, collecting as much information as he could on their daughter and granddaughter. Now it was soon time for him to head back home. He had several photographs , they were old, for over 10 years had passed, but they were better than nothing. 

Lady Tatiana spoke softly.  “I have tried my best to continue on with life without them, but there’s always been a hole in my heart.” Her eyes had a sadness to them that touched Jacob’s heart. He tried to not let his emotions get involved in his cases, but sometimes it could be hard to do. 

Sir Nicholas wrapped his arm around his wife and pulled her close, as his own eyes moistened. The years had been long, as he kept replaying things in his mind and trying to figure out where they had gone wrong.  All families have arguments, he knew Gwen had been mad when she stormed out of the castle that fateful day, but he never would have imagined that she would have taken Amanda and left without a trace! She knew the special bond that he had shared with Amanda. She loved going on excursions with him. Did she remember him, he wondered. She had only been 7years old the last time he saw her. 

Finishing his cup of raspberry tea, Jacob spoke. “Thank you for all you have shared with me. I know it wasn’t easy to delve back into the past. I truly hope that I can find them, I won’t leave no stone unturned.” Putting down his cup of tea, rose to say goodbye. 

Sir Nicholas spoke, as he took Jacob’s hand. “I speak for my wife and I when I say we are confident that we hired the right person for the job. I am trusting you.” his handshake was firm as he looked into Jacob’s eyes. Jacob’s stomach quavered some. What had he got himself into? This was going to be a big job. 

While flying back home, he went through the information that he had gathered. There wasn’t a whole lot   to go on. Gwen had left the castle in an angry huff, and 2 days later when she was supposed to show up for their Wednesday supper together she hadn’t come. They had thought she was still mad and decided to not bother her, giving her space. When 3 more days had passed and they still hadn’t heard from her, they started feeling concerned. She didn’t respond to their phone calls, so they drove to her place. That’s when they found her house totally cleaned out and saw a For Sale sign in the yard! They were devastated! 

There had been times before that she had threatened to move away, but they really had never thought she would. Yes, they had disagreements, but they had a lot of good times too. What seemed to bother her the most is whenever they would try to give advice about taking care of Amanda.  She would tell them to stop trying to take over raising Amanda, that she was her daughter, not theirs.  Her words hurt, for they were only trying to give her wise counsel. She was young, and she never had been a parent before. 

Jacob remembered how Lady Tatiana had choked back a sob, saying that over the years, they now have had to admit to themselves that there were times they tried to be controlling of how Gwen raised Amanda. 

Looking out the window at the puffy clouds in the sky, Jacob realized that his biggest worry wasn’t on not being able to find Gwen and Amanda. It was more on whether Gwen and Amanda wanted to be found. Did Gwen want to see her parents again? If she wasn’t still carrying a grudge then why had she let so much time go by without contacting them? 

These questions and more hung in the air, as Jacob closed his eyes for the remainder of the flight home. 

Rachel was fully enjoying herself at the Inn. Amanda and Lisette were so pleasant, they had all hit it off so well. Rachel was sad that today was her last day. Her vacation had come to an end and she had to get back to work. She had taken many strolls in the woods trying to clear her brain and think about her future. Did she want to still make movies? For now she would continue on but when her contract came up for renewal again she didn’t know if she would sign. 

With this being Rachel’s last day they had all decided to spend a fun day in town, eating out and shopping. They all bought some nice clothes from Miss. Jill’s lovely shop. Amanda had to replace the dress she had bought the other week. It got all clawed up when Mason and Mr. Tippner had turned into cats.

After shopping she had a mid afternoon snack at the Fluffer Nutter shop. Shared some laughs with Mr. Fluff and Mr. Nutter.  Rachel played Chess with them and had fun beating them and seeing their astonished faces. Their cream filled donuts were the best. So plump with cream! 

When they arrived back at the Inn, Amanda yelled. “Lisette! Look! Why is there a cow in your yard?”  It was standing there contently chewing on the grass. 

Lisette shook her head. “That’s Luke’s cow, he lives out of town, and he doesn’t seem to be able to have any control over her. She has a mind of her own. At times she has been gone for long periods and he thinks that she is gone for good. Then the next thing he knows she is back on his farm.”

“A cow with a mind of her own. Hmm… wonder what she is doing when she disappears for awhile at a time. Almost sounds like it could be the plot to a movie. Throw the magical cowbell into it yet and who knows what could happen.” said Rachel. 

“Add to that the adventures of 2 men who were cats for a day.” Lisette said with a smile, and they all were laughing as they headed into the Inn. 

(to be continued… next Saturday)

 

 

 

The Inheritance!

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Jacob stood awestruck in front of the castle. He was mesmerized by the reflection in the water and the glow on the castle.

While he was standing there the doors to the castle opened and Lady Tatiana invited him in.

“Welcome! Thank you so much for coming.”

“I am very glad to offer my services. This is the first time I have ever been to a castle, its stunning!” Jacob said.

“Thank you, it has been in our family for generations. At one time this castle was full of activity and people. Now it is only Sir Nicholas and I, along with our faithful cook and chauffeur.”

Jacob followed her through the long hallway and the twists and turns that it took. She was pointing out the portraits on the wall, explaining who they were. Sharing the family history as she walked.

She was talking a mile a minute as Jacob tried his hardest to catch everything that she was saying. What was it about woman that made them talk so fast?

They made another turn and Jacob saw a portrait of a lovely lady with a little girl. Lady Tatiana stopped in front of it and she was quiet, not saying a word. She just stared at the portrait with a wistful expression on her face.

Jacob wasn’t sure what to do, so he said nothing. The silence now was deafening, such a contrast to the happy chatter only moments before.

“This is my daughter Gwen with her darling daughter. They look so happy here, but within a few weeks they were gone.” Lady Tatiana said.

“I never saw them again. I knew Gwen was mad after an argument we had, but I never dreamed she would leave. I have tried over the years to find them but haven’t been able too. You are my last hope!” she said, looking at Jacob with pleading in her hazel eyes.

Jacob felt like there was a rock in the pit of his stomach. He had great success stories as a private investigator but he had unsolved ones too. Looking into Lady Tatiana’s eyes he hoped that the odds would be in her favor. That he would be able to reunite her with her daughter and granddaughter again.

He took her hand and said, “i promise I will try my best to find them! You have my word!”

Lady Tatiana’s eyes shined with gratitude, as she squeezed his hand.

“One question. What is your granddaughter’s name?” he asked.

“Amanda. She was the apple of my eye! Her laughter was music to my ears.” Once again there was silence as Lady Tatiana was lost in the memories of yesterday.

( to be continued…)