Starla rounded the corner and saw the cat. Its fur was a mottle of grays and a little black. Its eyes were very dark and they were fixated on her. It was crouched, poised, as if ready to pounce.
She never had been afraid of cats, but this one reminded her of a tiger in the jungle watching for its prey. It for sure didn’t look like it wanted stroked, so she quickly walked by, wondering at the strange feeling she had.
Reaching her apartment she flashed her key card, but the light flashed red and the door wouldn’t open. Starla tried again and finally after a couple more tries it opened. She was going to have to ask for a new card tomorrow. This card must be wearing out.
Kicking off her shoes at the door she walked down the hall to her bedroom. Changed into more comfortable clothes and heated up the oven.
Pulling a frozen pepperoni pizza out she grabbed some shredded cheese from the fridge and sprinkled it on the pizza. One could not have too much cheese.
After 15 minutes the pizza was ready and her teapot was whistling. She poured herself a cup of Green tea, and sat down at the table with a couple of hot slices of pizza.
The apartment was quiet, usually she had some TV show on like Law and Order or a medical drama, but for now the silence was relaxing. It had been one crazy, hectic day at the office.
Her boss was breathing down her neck wanting her project done a week before it was due! He was a man of little patience, but Starla had learned that his bark was worse than his bite.
She was well aware of his confidence in her, so he didn’t intimidate her as much. He may grunt and growl about her taking too long, but she knew he would wait. This was a big architectural project that she had taken on, she needed all the time she could have.
Heading up the renovation of a mall wasn’t easy. It was sad how malls all over the place were becoming like ghost towns. The Red Canyon Mall had been sitting empty for a year, it was time to do something. Starla did feel excitement stirring in her over the new plans.
Hearing a sound she put down her cup of tea and walked towards the door. It sounded like something was scratching at it. Should she open it?
Keeping the chain across she opened it a little bit. Something brushed against her leg and she jumped back, closing the door!
“We need to talk.” the deep bass voice said.
Starla looked down and was speechless, finding herself looking into the dark eyes of the cat that she had seen earlier.
Happy Tuesday! The sun is shining, I am off work today and I have an iced salted caramel latte beside me, what more could I want? Both of my kids were home this morning too, which typically doesn’t happen, with everyone’s different schedules. Poor Brad is at work, but he will be home later. I hope your day has started off on a good note, and maybe even a sweet one, depending what you had to drink this morning. Enjoy the following quotes and I hope you can find some that connect with you!
Michelle felt sick to her stomach. It was like she being tossed by the waves, even though she was lying on her forest green couch which was very still. Closing her eyes she tried to fight against the waves, tried to deny what was causing them, but no matter how hard she tried the flashbacks rushed into her brain.
Why? Why now? It had been 4 years of Michelle successfully holding the pain in. She thought she was doing fine, and now out of the blue, it was like the band aid was ripped off her heart as it bled again. The past week it had felt like an octopus squeezing her and not letting go. Squeezing the pain out, whether she wanted it to come out or not. Like her Mom had always said, there is a point where the lid can’t stay on the pot any longer. A simmering pot will boil over!
Forcing herself up from the couch she decided to take a walk. Getting outside might help her be able to breathe again. She was sweating and needed some fresh air.
The cool wind hit her when she opened the door, it was blowing a little harder than she had thought, but that was fine. It was what she needed. She pulled her jacket a little tighter around her and walked out into the wind. Maybe it would pick her up and carry her away. Perhaps she could be like Dorothy and go flying into the air landing in some magical place where wishes could be granted by the great wizard! Though the wizard didn’t really turn out to be such a great wizard after all!
Michelle sighed and walked at a brisk pace. After walking for a little while she knew where she had to go. Her brain said No, but her heart knew she had to go and her feet listened to her heart. She started walking in the direction of the Golden Dawn Retirement Home.
Walking up to the front doors, her heart started hammering in her chest. Many times she had been here, but never had she come planning to spill her heart. She walked in through the doors.
“Hi Michelle!” Gayle, the receptionist welcomed her. “Your Momma told me you would be coming today.”
“I didn’t tell her I was coming.”
Gayle smiled, “It doesn’t matter honey whether you told her or not, Momma’s always know.”
Michelle gave a weak smile. Her Momma might know a lot, but she was sure that she didn’t know why Michelle was coming today. Michelle had perfected the art of keeping her pain and resentment inside.
Her Mom looked up from the puzzle that she was working on and spotted Michelle across the lobby, “Hi honey! I knew you would be here today! Come on over and help me with this puzzle.”
Michelle didn’t really feel in the mood to put a puzzle together, but she knew when her Mom was working on something she didn’t like to stop. She pulled up a chair and sat down at the table with her.
“Where is the box so I can see the whole picture?” Michelle asked.
“Oh you don’t need the lid, just work on the red pieces right now.”
Michelle stared at her Mom, how did she expect her to put a puzzle together when she didn’t even know what the picture was? Her Mom was passing some red pieces over to her and Michelle sighed, as she started trying to fit puzzle pieces together to see what they would form.
Her Mom didn’t talk much which was normal for when she was in deep concentration on a puzzle.
It didn’t take too long of steadily working until the puzzle was just about complete. Her Mom moved the final pieces over to Michelle to put in. With tears in her eyes Michelle put in the final letter. Her Mom rose up from her chair and walked over to Michelle, who was standing up now gazing upon the picture. They hugged, no words were needed, and the tumultuous waves in Michelle’s stomach had stopped churning. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she cried, letting go and letting peace flow through her heart like a river.
The following images may look familiar to you, but you may be surprised by who they actually are. If you are confused, don’t worry, I will clear it all up for you, just continue reading.
It has been suggested to me a few times that I create a character guide, about the characters of my stories. That it would help my followers keep the characters straight in their head. I understand that it can get confusing to keep everyone’s names straight and who they are. Truthfully I have been confused before, even though they are my characters! The following list is not a complete list for that would take way too long and a lot of the characters in my stand alone stories you won’t hear from again, BUT …. the list is compiled of characters that are in my continuing stories. I thought it would make it a little more interesting to read if I included pictures of the characters too. I wasn’t able to get everyone’s picture but I did include a few. If they look familiar to you, it is probably just a coincidence. Enjoy and I hope this helps to keep your mind clear of confusion, though if you have been reading my stories for awhile now, you know that confusion is still likely to happen. 🙂
Characters from the town of Borden
Lisette-the owner of the Bed and Breakfast Inn. She came to Borden by the powers of a magical cowbell, which continues to show up in my stories. A kind and gracious lady who makes delicious food, and is friends with the people in Bittersweet Creek.
Amanda – had been staying with Lisette trying to figure out what to do with her life! Recently came to learn that she has inherited her grandparent’s castle. She has now gone to spend more time with her grandparent’s, but she may be back.
Mr. Fluff and Mr. Nutter – the owners of The Fluffer Nutter Shoppe. The place for great ice cream, donuts and coffee. Friendly, and a tad nutty, but are always eager to chat with you and try to beat you in a game of chess or checkers.
Luke – the cop who was well known in my Annie/Anna/Tonya series, and has now taken a backseat since Anna was caught and is now dead. But he still may show up at times in my stories working with his brother Patrick who is an FBI agent. He also is the owner of a special cow who will be talked about later.
Characters from the town of Bittersweet Creek ( Jason, another blogger actually created Bittersweet Creek and the characters, in what he thought was a stand alone story, but … the characters had other plans. The last 2 characters were thanks to another blogger Keith. )
Mason Picklefoot – handsome owner of the best coffee shop in town! All the ladies vie for his attention, though he remains humble through it all. Apparently he attracts water to himself too. He has had experience with a dunk tank, falling out of a canoe, getting rained on due to a leaky tent and getting a bucket of water thrown on him.
Cara – an amazing waitress who works at the coffee shop. She is sweet, just like her tasty coffee lattes. She tries to help Mason with women, for she may like being a matchmaker, wanting everyone to be as happy as her and Bard. Its a hard job, but she is up to the challenge.
Sara- she is Cara’s friend and owns the beautiful flower shop in town. She used to help Lisette out at the Inn, but moved to Bittersweet Creek. Cara thought she had the perfect match, Sara and Mason, but much to her surprise and Mason’s amusement, Sara fell for Grayson, Mason’s brother!
Lexie – the new girl who has captured Mason’s eye, at least Cara is hoping that. It appears to be that way.
Mr. Tippner – he is a friend of Mason’s and owns the bicycle shop. Cara once caused some damage in his bicycle shop but she prefers that everyone forgets that incident. Fortunately Bard was kind enough to pay for the damages, so there were no hard feeling with Mr. Tippner.
Old Man Fuzzywhistle – he is a friend of Mason’s and Mr. Tippner too. He lives on a small farm with his prized cow Clarabelle and his adorable lamb, Creampuff, who one time escaped from the farm. Mason found him, which ended up causing him some embarrassment, much to the amusement of others, but that’s another story.
Uncle Jake – he recently moved to Bittersweet Creek. Cara is enjoying getting to know his as he frequents the coffee shop, His language may get salty at times, but he appears to be a very caring man.
Joshua –Uncle Jake’s nephew who comes and visits him on the weekends and will spend the summer with him. A young lad who likes to play tricks!
Some other story characters who you may hear from again!
Jacob – he was the private investigator that Amanda’s grandparents hired to track her and her Mother down. Sadly her Mother had passed away earlier in a car accident.
Kimberly – a detective who reached out to Jacob for help when she found an abandoned girl, Molly. Little Molly captured her heart and Jacob did too. Kimberly’s dream of having a family came true when she fell in love, got married and adopted Molly.
Molly – an abandoned little girl who Kimberly found along the road surrounded by a bunch of white rabbits. She was mute for a long time, but Kimberly got her the help she needed and she has started to talk. All the rabbits disappeared one day, but one stayed behind and has stuck by Molly’s side ever since. No one knows why Molly was abandoned, but one day details may surface.
Lawrence – a magician whose rabbits suddenly disappeared to stay by Molly when she was abandoned on the road. They then came back to him. Lawrence found a magical cowbell at a park one day and was last seen in a gondola in Italy.
Last but definitely not Least!
Betsy – the cow owned by Luke. A cow who was thought to be just your ordinary, sweet cow in the beginning but has proven much the opposite! She is the wonder cow! She has had many crazy adventures and continues too. You really never know where she is. and what she is capable of doing. She does not like that other people seem to keep getting hold of her magical cow bell.
It was the first day of Spring and Cara felt an extra buoyancy in her step. The sun was brightly shining and she was fine with only wearing a lightweight jacket to work. Warmer days were ahead and Cara couldn’t wait, the beach was calling her name. She could hear its distant cry. Entering the coffee shop, she called out a cheery “Good Morning!” to Mason. He surprised her with handing her a cup of her favorite Black Raspberry Banana Latte. 2 servings of fruit this morning, she thought as she swallowed the sweet coffee.
“Thank you Mason, what is the special occasion? You look extra cheerful today.”
“I am.” he replied with a wink and a smile, and then walked to the back, letting Cara stare after him in wonder. She started to follow him to the back to ask why, but a couple customers came through the door and she knew that her question would have to wait.
The day was busy for they had a Spring Special going, Buy one piece of pie get another one free. No one could resist Cara’s homemade pies. Banana Cream Pie, Coconut Cream Pie, Strawberry Pie and of course the biggest seller, Shoo-fly Pie. When the crowd finally started to thin out and there were only a few customers in the shop, Cara asked Mason again why he was so happy. Smiling at her, with a gleam in his eye, he asked, “Isn’t a guy allowed to be happy?”
“Well yes.” stammered Cara, “but …”
Mason laughed, and said, “I think that customer wants a refill on his coffee”, he pointed to the guy that was holding his coffee cup up.
Cara sighed, but before walking away she said, “If I didn’t know better I would say that you look like a guy in love!” She thought he would protest, but to her shock he didn’t. Could she be right? Now her mind was going. She knew that Amanda had been interested in Mason and she loved the chocolates he brought back for her from Switzerland. The fine chocolates that Cara didn’t get any of, for Amanda had spent the weekend with Sara and they ate them all! Sara was missing Grayson, so chocolate was the perfect thing.
Anyway, Amanda did like Mason, but she had decided that she needed to take time to get to know her grandparents better and figure out what she was going to do with her life. So much had happened in a short time and she needed time to breathe, she didn’t have time for a relationship, no matter how appealing the thought was. She had gone back to the castle where her grandparent’s lived. The castle that she would inherit someday. Cara couldn’t imagine inheriting a castle!
So, being that Amanda was out of the picture now, if Mason was in love, who was it with? Was it a new lady in town? Cara didn’t know of any new ladies who had moved to Bittersweet Creek recently. The only new people that they had, were Jake and his nephew Joshua. Cara didn’t know them well yet, but Jake was becoming a frequent customer. He might be a little rough around the edges but he was a nice guy, Cara found herself looking forward to seeing him every day. He had quite the stories that he liked to share with her when she had time to chat.
Now his nephew Joshua was a different story. He was nice too, but quite the character, he was very sly and loved to play jokes! He was just with his uncle on the weekends now but once school was out, he would be staying with him for the summer.
It was closing time and while Cara was cleaning up she tried to press Mason for more information but he only started singing a happy tune. Cara rolled her eyes, there had to be something going on. She would find out somehow. His brother Grayson might know which meant he might have told Sara. Sara and her were meeting after work at Fuzzywhistle’s Farm so Cara would ask her. They wanted to visit Creampuff the lamb and see the new baby chicks that Fuzzywhisle had. What better way to celebrate the first day of Spring then to pet some baby chicks and sweet Creampuff.
Cara was almost ready to go when Mason called from the back, “Want the last piece of Shoo-fly pie? I will bring it out to you.”
“Sure! Thank you!” Care called back, as she shook her head. He surely was in a great mood, he couldn’t stand shoo-fly pie.
“Want more coffee too?”
“Yes, please!” Cara hoped that if a new lady was the reason for his extra cheery behavior that she stayed in town. Who knows if she makes him even happier maybe he will be telling Cara she can have an extra week of vacation and a raise in pay!
Cara was smiling at that thought as Mason came up to her and said, “Here you go.” handing her a plate with a old shoe on it! Making a face at him she said, “I should have known!” Taking the coffee from his hand she took a sip, Ahh! Salted Caramel, the best.
“Thanks for the coffee but you may keep the pie!” and Cara handed him back the plate, but threw the shoe at him. She walked out the door and saw Joshua with a silly grin on his face, holding a … she quickly jumped out of the way. and Mason who was right behind her got all the water from the bucket thrown on him. Joshua ran away laughing. He wasn’t the only one laughing though, Cara got a good chuckle out of it. Mason stood there for a moment not moving. Then Cara noticed his face growing red, and she followed his gaze to a lady that was walking towards them.
“Hi Cara, Hi Mason! Umm … did you already go swimming in the lake. I thought we were just going to have a picnic by it.” Lexi said, trying to stifle her laughter.
A smile stretched across Cara’s face. Lexi! How could she have not thought of her, she was so sweet. So she was the reason for Mason being twitterpatted today.
“Hi Lexi! So nice to see you. You know men, you just never know the predicaments they get themselves in too.” Cara started laughing as she said, “Have fun at the lake. Bye Mason, see you tomorrow. ”
Cara was beaming while walking away. Oh did she have news to share with Sara! It was turning out to be a wonderful first day of Spring, Bard and her were going out for a fine meal tonight and it appeared that Mason was smitten. Love was in the air!
When you mastered the art of turning your husband’s alarm off in your sleep … except for the times you don’t … you smack every other button instead of the one that turns it off …!
Starting the day off right with getting a serving of fruit for breakfast … fresh apple crisp … apples are fruit!
Haven’t done this for awhile. I will give the starting line then in the comments below, add as much to it as you want, ending the story or letting it open for someone else to add a line too. Then you can keep adding to it if you want, all up to you. Get your creative juices flowing on this cold, windy morning. Did I mention how I want Spring!?
The cool wind blew in the early morning dawn. One could see the shadow of a figure going over the hill, then the silence of the morning was broken with a scream …
Sitting on the bank watching the elephants play, Alisha couldn’t help but smile. These were such amazing animals that she was falling in love with! She had been on the Elephant Reserve for a week now and had been overwhelmed with all that she had learned and seen. so far. Not to mention being overwhelmed due to the emotions of her heart, when she saw Camille for the first time.
Camille still didn’t know Alisha’s secret. All the words that she had planned to say, the speech she had recited over and over in her mind just left her. There was only a jumble of letters in her brain now. The emotions that were running through her she couldn’t find words for. When she met Camille, a lump grew in her throat, at the realization that she was gazing at her sister. A sister that she had only recently found out that she had.
A sister that she missed sharing secrets with as children, someone to play with and someone to annoy, the way sisters do. One to confide in about her love crush, and get advice from when it came to love and one to share a chocolate and ice cream with when boys broke their hearts.
Pulling her knees to her chest, she thought of all the times that they had missed out on. They couldn’t be brought back, those times were gone, but they still were young and had many moments that they still could share together. Somehow Alisha had to get up the courage to tell Camille. Alisha had been grateful that Camille seemed so warm and friendly. They had hit it off quite well, but how did she tell Camille such big news, it wasn’t something one just blurts out. For a few more moments she watched the elephants and then stood up to go, her lunch break was over, and she had been so lost in thought that she had hardly ate anything. She would be quite hungry by supper time!
Later that afternoon when she was helping to care for one of the baby elephants, Gavin came walking over to her. “When you have a moment Camille would like to see you in her office. There is paperwork she needs you to sign.” he said.
Alisha thanked him, saying she would go there soon. Watching him walk away, she thought of how Camille sure did pick a nice looking guy to fall in love with.
Knocking on Camille’s door, Alisha heard her say, “Come In!”
“HI!” Alisha said as she opened the door and walked in. “Gavin said you wanted me to sign some paperwork.”
“Yes, I was filling out paperwork for the new elephant that we got, “Sparkles” and since you have been taking care of her, I need your signature as well.” Camille said, handing her the form.
Alisha sat down at the desk to sign it and when she went to hand back the form to Camille, a picture on the desk caught her eye. A older woman was standing with Camille. Alisha noticed her deep blue eyes, just like her and Camille’s eyes. She caught her breath, was that her Mom?
Camille noticed her looking at the picture intently. “That was one of the last pictures I took of my Mom. I miss her a lot!”
Alisha couldn’t speak, the words caught in her throat as she stared. Tears started brimming in her eyes.
Looking at her with concern Camille asked, “Is something wrong?”
Shaking her head Alisha could barely talk. “That is my Mom, I have her eyes.” Then she clapped her hand over her mouth running out of the room.
Camille sat at the desk in shock, did she hear what she thought she heard? That was Alisha’s Mom, how?? She had to be confused, Camille was an only child! She had always longed for a sister. While sitting at her desk wondering what just happened some flashbacks from the past came played in her mind. Seeing her Mom get emotional on Feb 1st every year. Her Mom never explained why when Camille would notice tears on her cheek. She would only brush them away and hold Camille close to her in a tight embrace. As she got older Camille remembers seeing a baby picture in her Mom’s cedar chest and it wasn’t of Camille. She had been curious about it, and asked her Mom, but never got an answer.
Goosebumps broke out over Camille while opening a drawer and puling out the folder with Alisha’s application. She trembled as she read her birthdate , February 1st.
Gavin came in to the office just then. “Hey, do you know what is wrong with Alisha? She almost knocked me down when she came running outside. I called out to her but she only kept running.”
Seeing Camille’s face and a tear running down her cheek, he walked over to her, putting his arm around her. “What is wrong? What happened?” he said with concern.
Camille squeezed his hand and got up out of her chair. “I have to go … ”
“Go where?” Gavin asked, feeling confused.
“I have to find my sister!” and Camille ran out of the office, leaving Gavin staring after her.
“Her sister??” thought Gavin. Since when did she have a sister? Words of his Dad came back to him. “If there is one thing about women that I can tell you son, it is this. You will never understand them!”
Alisha was sitting on the riverbank sobbing. The picture had undone her, the lady who had given her life, her Mom, who she had never met! She didn’t hear Camille coming up to her and she shook a little when Camille put her hand on her shoulder.
Camille sat with her in the grass, letting her cry as tears ran down Camille’s cheeks too. They sat in silence realizing that a secret of their past had come to light and it was lifechanging for both of them! Slowly they began talking amidst their tears, trying to make sense of everything. There were so many questions that they would never know the answers too, but sometimes you didn’t need to know all the answers to all the questions. Sometimes all you needed to do was embrace the moment.
Happy Rainy Tuesday, but … at least its not snow. They were calling for us to get snow or rain and I will take the rain, for I had a taste of warm temps and I am ready for SPRING! I am not Irish, but I long to go visit Ireland someday, and I like leprechauns, so being that tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I would include the following meme. How accurate is your Leprechaun name? Enjoy the quotes and may you find a pot of gold this week!
Night had fallen out on the African savanna, another day had come to an end. Some animals were stirring around , like the pangolin, arrdvark and bat-eared fox, but they were quiet. The genet was watching everything from its perch in the tree.
There might be peace among the animals on the savanna, but Alisha couldn’t sleep. She had given up lying in her bed and got up to make some hot milk, hoping that might help her to sleep. Tomorrow she would begin her internship, working with the elephants. She would be working at one of the biggest reserves in Africa. Excitement coursed through her to be working with elephants, but her nerves were getting the best of her tonight. She wasn’t nervous about working with the elephants, she was nervous about meeting the Directors.
Alisha had researched and read all she could about the Elephant reserve and the new Directors, Camille and Gavin. She had been on a mission and she had to make sure she was absolutely correct with her suspicions. After a few months, there was no denying it, the truth was staring her in the face as she stared at the picture of Camille in the most recent newsletter. She had subscribed to the newsletter after donating money to the reserve. Loving elephants she really did care about the work on the reserve, but she also read the newsletter to learn as much about Camille, as she could.
Camille had come for a summer to volunteer and she ended up never leaving. She fell in love with Gavin, who was working there that summer too and they both took over the reserve when Derek the director had decided to step down. He was ready for a break and knew he was leaving the elephants in very capable hands.
Staring out into the night, Alisha wondered if she had done the right thing by making this trip. Did Camille have any inkling about who Alisha really was or was the news going to bowl her over with shock? Would she be glad to meet Alisha?
Alisha had known the truth for a little while now and she was still overwhelmed at times. Why had her parents waited so long to tell her that she had been adopted? She loved her parents and had a great childhood, but often missed not having a sibling to share life with. She had never imagined that she did have a sister, growing up far away from her.
She would never forget the day that her Mom had told her about being adopted, all the emotions that had washed over her! There were so many questions she wanted to ask her birth mother. That was not to be though. Sadly in doing her research she found out that her birth mother had died. That hit her hard, and it made her all the more determined to find her sister, and so she had persisted.
Now for the first time ever, she was going to meet her sister face to face! Her heart was full, as she laid back down in her bed, trying to get some sleep. She wanted to be well rested for what would most likely turn out to be an extremely, emotional day! Closing her eyes, sleep overtook her and soon she was in a peaceful slumber.
Camille was in the office, making final preparations for tomorrow. A new intern would be coming. She looked at Alisha’s picture again that she had sent her with her application. There was something about her eyes that drew Camille in. She began getting goosebumps, but didn’t know why. Shaking her head, she decided that she needed sleep, it had been a long day. As she got up from her chair her eyes landed on the picture of her parents that she had on her desk. Oh how she missed them! Her Mom’s face was bright and cheerful, you could see the light shining through her eyes. She was happy that she had her Mom’s eyes, they were such a deep and vivid shade of blue. Everyone always commented on them. Goosebumps rose on Camille’s arms again. That’s what it was! Now, she knew. Alisha’s eyes shone in her picture too, they were also a very deep and vivid blue.
Night had fallen, as the fox scurried after the mouse, and the honey badger was digging its burrow. Meanwhile the genet continued its watch over the peaceful African savanna.
Happy Sunday! I thought it was time to help enhance your knowledge once again with very important facts! Okay, maybe not real important but they are interesting! At least I hope you find them interesting. It shows that there is always something to learn!
5. Hmmm…. I think I will try this. Who would like to buy me a beach house, but you are free to refuse. anyone?