The Magic Begins

Margaret was enjoying listening to the bluebird singing, while rocking on the porch swing. She wondered if it was singing to attract a mate. Was it ready to build a nest?

Margaret loved springtime! Flowers bloomed, trees began to bud, some even grew Easter eggs. She laughed to herself, Henry had been so excited making their tree into an egg tree. The grandkids were coming and Henry knew they would love it.

The screen door opened and Margaret turned her head. Henry was coming out the door with 2 glasses of lemonade. Together they sat on the swing, chatting and enjoying a relaxing afternoon.

The grandkids hadn’t even been here for an hour before Luke was running to the barn to find Betsy.

10 year old Luke had been entranced with Betsy since the first day he saw her. They were quickly becoming best buds.

They were able to pull him away to hunt Easter eggs but as soon as he was done he ran to the meadow where Betsy was grazing with her Mama.

Patrick, his cousin, didn’t quite understand Luke’s fascination with Betsy. Sure she was a cute little calf but he would much rather be playing cops and robbers than be sitting with a calf all day!

Luke sat under a shade tree reading a book to Betsy, who was now lying in the grass. He paused and looked up from his book. He could see the other kids playing and he knew Patrick was upset with him, but Luke couldn’t help it. There was something special about Betsy that drew him to her.

Maybe it was her deep brown eyes that looked like they could see right through him! Or maybe he was crazy. Who knew! He didn’t care. Right now sitting in the soft, emerald green grass, patting Betsy’s head, he knew he was exactly where he belonged!

“The End”, he closed the book. Luke wondered how it would have felt to have been Jack and climbed a big beanstalk that led to the sky. Sounded like an adventure that Luke would have loved to go on. He wouldn’t have been afraid of any big giant, even if he didn’t appear to be too jolly.

Lying the book down Luke stood up and turned around to look at the large Oak tree. Its branches went high into the sky. Luke was suddenly struck with an idea. He would climb to the highest branch of the tree. Maybe he would find an opening in the sky that led to a castle, like Jack did!

He started climbing and it took some effort but he was making progress. His heart began to beat faster as he climbed higher and higher. Ooh he better not look down, he was getting pretty high now.

Luke started feeling a little dizzy but he couldn’t stop now, he was almost at the very top!

Margaret heard her daughter yell and everyone looked where she pointed. Oh No! Luke was at the highest branch on their tall Oak tree.

He looked like he was reaching for something as he stood at the end of the branch. His legs were wobbly and Margaret drew in her breath and yelled just as she saw him fall!

Noone could believe it, Betsy was the hero of the day! She had broken Luke’s fall. She had walked right under the branch he was on and stood there moments before he fell. It was like she was waiting for him.

Luke had his breath knocked out of him a little but that was it. When everyone got to Betsy, he was standing up hugging her around the neck as tight as he could.

Henry watched with intrigue. He particularly watched the subtle interaction between Lucy and Betsy. He saw them gazing at each other and he knew he saw Lucy’s head move ever so slightly, as if she was nodding at her. Like she was saying “Good Job!” Henry never knew cows could wink, but he was sure that he saw Lucy give Betsy a wink.

He felt like he had witnessed a silent message passsed between Lucy and Betsy. Plus while everyone was around Luke he noticed something else.

When walking up to Betsy, he noticed the silver cowbell that had mysteriously appeared around her neck. To his surprise there was a bluish glow around it. It only lasted momentarily and then it was gone. Yes, Henry felt it in his bones, there was something truly special about Betsy!

The Special Chocolates

“Blech! That tastes awful!” Mr. Tippner looked down at his bowl of GrapeNuts cereal and saw the orange liquid. OOPS! He had accidentally poured orange juice into his cereal instead of milk. He was feeling pretty sleepy this morning.

Mason almost tripped walking down his stairs. He needed his coffee. Pouring himself a cup, he held it in one hand as he opened the refrigerator to grab some eggs.

Made himself some scrambled eggs. Got out the ketchup to put on them and then wondered where his coffee cup was. What had he done with it? When he put the ketchup back in the fridge he got his answer. It was sitting on the shelf where the carton of eggs had been. The eggs were still sitting on the counter.

Shaking his head he felt like he should go back to bed, for he was feeling rather dopey.

Cara woke up feeling happy. The day had come and she was all ready for it. She snuk Bard’s surprise into his lunchbox and gave him a kiss goodbye. Chuckling as she closed the door.

A half hour later she was ready to leave with her box of chocolate candy.

Mason kept dropping things at work. Cara laughed, calling him butterfingers. “Perhaps you need a nap!” Cara said.

The bell jangled and Tippner came in the door. He walked over to his favorite booth in the coffee shop and sat down. He wasn’t sitting long before he started sneezing.

After sneezing 6x in a row Cara asked if he needed to see a Doc when she came to take his order.

“Nah! Its only my allergies acting up.” Then he sneezed again. Mason came out of the backroom and hearing Tippner sneezing he spoke up.

“He probably is allergic to those new weeds you put at every table.” Mason said to Cara.

Cara made a face. “They aren’t weeds, they are flowers.” she retorted. Tippner sneezed again.

“Like I was saying..he is allergic to the yellow weeds.” Mason said to Cara as he walked away.

Tippner ended up taking his raspberry hot chocolate to go, for he kept sneezing and it was making him grumpy. Besides he had to get back to his store. There were bikes to sell now that the weather was getting nicer.

Walking down the sidewalk on his way to the bike shop he saw Jake coming toward him. Jake was holding something behind his back. When he got closer he sprayed Mr. Tippner with silly string.

“Heyyy what do you think you are doing?”

Jake grinned as he quickly sprayed again before running off. Mr. Tippner heard him yelling. “Don’t you know what day it is?” yelled Jake.

Well of course he knew what day it was, thought Tippner. He may be feeling a little grumpy but he wasn’t too dopey to know what day it was. Why it was Thursday and the beginning of April. Tippner shook his head. Crazy kid!

Meanwhile Mason was whistling as he worked. The day was going well, lots of customers coming in. Everyone was out today, with fhe beautiful weather on the first day of April.

Sara entered the coffee shop and patiently waited for Cara to finish waiting on the customers that were ahead of her.

Cara finished taking their order and greeted Sara with a hug. “I am almost ready to leave for lunch. Let me just refill Joshua’s cup for him.”

“Oh Joshua is here, I will go chat a little, while you finish up.” Sara said.

She pulled out a chair across from Joshua and he smiled, always enjoying to have someone to share a story with. He started telling Sara about one of his day’s at sea in a fishing boat, when a storm came.

Cara grabbed her box of chocolates and came to Joshua’s table telling Sara she was ready to go. They wished Joshua a good day and started walking towards the door.

“Hey Mason would you like to try some chocolate candy?” Cara asked walking towards the register where he was.

“Sure, thanks!” Mason said, grabbing 2 of them and popping them into his mouth.

Mason’s face got red and he spit out the candy! “Wha-wha!”

“Would you like some water?”

Cara handed him a glass. “Guess I put a little too many jalepeno peppers in the chocolate.” she said with a smirk.

Mason’s eyes grew like saucers.

“You do know what day today is, right? Happy April Fool’s!” Cara said, laughing with Sara as they walked out the door, headed to Tippner’s bicycle shop. There were more special chocolates to deliver.

One Strange Night

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.

.. to be continued…

Rowing in the Moonlight

Drifting down the river under the moonlit sky, Flynn felt like time was standing still.

Having dropped off his last passengere, he rowed his gondola slowly through the rippling water.   Being alone with his thoughts, Flynn found himself singing “Moon River”, in his rich baritone voice.

He thought of his ex-girlfriend,  Tracey, he hoped she was doing okay. It had been a mutual breakup but was still hard, for they had been together for over a year.

They both had come to the realization that the spark had gone out of their relationship and they were headed down different roads. He sincerely wished her all the best. Perhaps someday he would hear her singing on the radio. She was off on her pursuit  of finding fame and fortune.

Flynn was content being a gondalier for now, he didn’t know what else he would do if he wasn’t one. Looking at the beautiful moon , a peace flowed through him. He loved being out on the water. Always had since he was a little boy. Going out on his Grandfather’s gondola was one of his earliest memories of being on the water.

Breaking into song again he watched the moon’s reflection dancing on the water.

Wait! What was that? There was something else moving on the water besides the moon.

It was a person! Flynn rowed quicker towards the person swimming in the water. When he got closer he saw it was a man.

“Here hop in.” Flynn said, reaching the man with his gondola. The man gratefully climbed over the side and hopped in.

“I am so glad to see you! Thank you!” The man said as he sat down on the bench.

“I am glad I spotted you and hadn’t gone home yet. May I ask why you were in the river? Did something happen to your boat? My name is Flynn by the way” and he reached out to shake the man’s hand.

The man shook his hand, “I am Lawrence and I wish I knew how I ended up in the river.”

Flynn stared at him as Lawrence started emptying his pockets. Taking out what he had, putting it beside him to dry out. One thing grabbed Flynn’s attention. Was that a silver cowbell?

“Is that a cowbell?” Flynn asked.

“Yes, I found it when I was in the park and ever since strange things have been happening to me! I am a magician and I have never heard of magical cowbells before, but there is something certainly strange about this cowbell!”

Flynn was silent. He and his brother had heard stories of his great grandmother’s magical cowbell, since they were little. She had told how a peddler had given it to her long ago.

At first she had been disappointed by it. Why would she want a cowbell, she had thought, and she shoved it in one of her kitchen drawers. She forgot all about it until one day. Could this be the same bell or was there more than one magical cowbell?

Legends of the Sea

Image from Pinterest

Marisella would never grow tired of swimming in the deep aquamarine waters. Her soul felt free as she swam and dived, exploring the sea.

Ollie, her jellyfish friend, watched her swim by. He wondered where she was headed to this time. He had heard her mention to Shelly the seahorse that she wanted to explore a cave that she had found out about.

He didn’t know what would be so exciting about a cave. All thoughts of Marisella and the cave disappeared as he started glowing. Gloria, the new jellyfish in the sea, was floating towards him. Ollie started to feel a tingling sensation all over.

Meanwhile Marisella kept swimming. She was set on finding the cave today. Shelly told her that it was a heart shaped cave. How unique and pretty, thought Marisella.

Passing schools of fish and sea turtles, she kept going. Just keep swimming she told herself, you will make it!

Was that it? Marisella wondered a little later. She saw the back of a cave up ahead. Swimming around it, delight filled her when she saw the opening. It was indeed shaped like a heart.

There was some long seagrass that she swam through as she entered the cave. Once she entered she rested a bit against the side of the cave. There was no need to rush, so she let herself relax.

She was enjoying thinking back to when she was little and playing hide and seek with her friends among the reefs and other hiding places they managed to find in the deep sea.

Swoosh! Something huge swam by Marisella making her catch her breath! Was it a shark? She trembled as she watched it swimming to the entrance. Well she could tell that it definitely wasn’t a shark, but she was clueless as to what it could be!

Living in the sea she knew all sorts of sea creatures but she was absolutely sure that this one she had never seen before!

Feeling more curious now than afraid she swam after it to get a better look.

It was black and white , with 4 legs and a tail. Its body was huge. Nothing small and delicate about this new sea creature.

She didn’t follow it long until it swam up and out of the deep waters. Would she ever learn what it was? Would it come back again, and why was it in the cave?

Exploring the cave now took a backseat in her mind. She decided to to visit Clarence the sea turtle. Everyone knew how smart Clarence was, he had been around for almost 100 years! If anyone knew what that strange sea creature was, Clarence would.

Marisella was looking at Clarence’s book in shock. “I see it, but I don’t believe it!” she said.

“A cow! The book says cows live in pastures, not in the sea! But yet it looks just like what I saw.” She shook her head in amazement. “Wow! I saw the first ever sea cow!”

Clarence was quiet for awhile while looking in another book called “Legends of the Emerald Sea”

“Did you say that you saw this cow in the heart shaped cave?” asked Clarence.

“Yes, she swam right by me.”

“It then appears that you may have seen one of the biggest legends of the sea! Betsy the WonderCow! She is known for stealing gold out of the heart shaped cave!” said Clarence.

Marisella was stunned. A cow was the one who had stolen the famous gold? She remembered hearing about a cave full of gold, but she hadn’t known it was that specific cave. Had Betsy come back for more? She didn’t see any gold with her when Betsy quickly swam by.

Perhaps Marisella had spooked Betsy and made her swim away before she got more gold. Was there more gold to be had?

Thanking Clarence Marisella knew where she had to go. She needed to return to the cave and see if there was more gold there. While swimming she couldn’t get one big question out of her mind. What good was gold to a cow?

The Wedding Crashers!

From my photos

Word was getting around, they were becoming well known, though the truth of who they really were remained a mystery.

No one knew their true names but everyone wished they did. Couples dreamed of them showing up at their wedding!

These were not your typical Wedding Crashers, they did not cause a ruckus, they brought happiness.

This trio would crash wedding receptions all over the Southern states. There were rumors that they were moving up the East Coast and people were excited.

Why did they create such a stir? It was because they gave out grand amounts of money to the Newlyweds!

Not counterfeit money, not Monopoly money, real money that you could take to the bank.

No one knew their story, how did they have such vast sums of money to give away? Where were they from? How did they pick which weddings to go too?

It had been noted that they did not appear at the real fancy, rich weddings.

They were like Santa Claus, only there were three of them. Giving out large sums of money was not the only thing they did. They also put on a song and dance routine during the reception. They all tapped dance amazingly well.

The guests were always pleased to watch them sing and dance. Plus all the guests would put their names in a hat and the Wedding Crashers would draw out 10 names. 10 lucky guests would win fabulous new cars!

Plenty rumors went around at how they came by so much money. Bank robberies or were they just billionaires that didn’t know what to do with their money?

Jacob tried his best to track them down, but so far had been unsuccessful! This was turning out to be one extremely hard case to crack. They hid very well!

He shut off his computer and called it a day, ready to relax at home. Jacob found himself smiling at the warm thought of who he had to go home too.

His beautiful wife, Kimberly and their adopted daughter Molly. She was adorable, and she was coming out of her shell more each day.

She still didn’t talk a lot but she had started using some real words and those words brought tears to his eyes.

He was so glad to be able to have her at one of the finest school’s and with a with an amazing speech therapist.

Yes, he may not know the Wedding Crashers, but someday he really did hope he could track them down. Jacob longed to find them, he had been raised to be a proper Southern gentleman and he wanted to say a personal thanks! The trio had made his wedding extra special 3 years ago and he would never forget it.

It was because of them that Molly could get the help she needed and he would forever be grateful to the Mysterious Trio!

The Wacky Weekend!

Cara was so happy being with Creampuff again. Such a sweet lamb, Amanda fell in love with her too. They were eating a mid afternoon snack under the shade tree, watching Creampuff frolic around in the long grass.

Sarah was in the barn milking Clarabelle. She didn’t think she would be too long.

“This is so nice to be here with you all this weekend.” Amanda said, while drinking freshly squeezed lemonade. “So relaxing!”

“You are welcome here anytime, Sarah and I love having you and I happen to think that there is a certain someone else glad you came. Even if he did run off to the woods!”

Amanda’s eyes gleamed. “Do you really think so? Or am I holding onto false hope? I keep going back and forth in my head. Somedays its “No, he’s not the guy for me, but then I picture his dazzling good looks and I melt! I want to run my hands through his chestnut brown hair. Whatever mousse he uses to style it works perfectly.”

Cara didn’t say a word, she only gtinned from ear to ear. Her plan for Mason and Amanda was coming together. She knew there was something special about Amanda when she had met her.

“Oh girl, you all hooked! Its written all over your face. Mason is a good guy, besides the fact that he drinks black coffee!”

Suddenly they heard Sarah yell. Their faces quickly lost their smiles as they went running to see what was wrong.

The sight that met them had them speechless at first. The milking stool was knocked over and Sarah was sitting in the watering trough with her legs up in the air! Sarah was trying to get up but kept slipping back in. Amanda and Cara couldn’t help but laugh.

Finally Sarah made it up and said, ‘Thanks ladies, I will remember this! You can milk Clarabelle tonight Cara, or maybe you would rather take a ride on her again.” Sarah gave Cara a sly smile as Cara blushed, remembering that day, and Mason’s prank.

“Why don’t we all go into town for a little. I haven’t been to Horace’s candy shoppe for awhile and he has the best candy! Then maybe we can take the candy to the theater and catch a movie.”

Sarah looked at Cara and said, “Yes, they are showing Mama Mia 2. I think.” They all agreed that sounded like fun and headed to the farmhouse to get ready.

“Wonder how the guys are doing on their campout. That was nice that Bard joined them Cara.”

“Yes, it was a nice surprise that he got the weekend off from work unexpectedly. I am sure they are having a good time. What could possibly go wrong?”

“What were you thinking standing up in the canoe?” Tippner said to Mason as they splashed around in the water trying to get back in the canoe.

“I wanted to take a picture of the deer! I got excited and kind of forgot I was in a canoe. At least my camera is watetproof! Glad I invested in one. Don’t worry you will dry out too, Tippner. We just need to lay our wet clothes in the sun. They will dry in no time.”

“I sure hope Bard and Fuzzywhistle have lunch ready. They were out catching fish early this morning.” Tippner said, once they got back in the boat and were rowing towards land.

“This is ummm… quite crispy,” said Mason eating some fish tbat was very black.

“Best way to eat fish.” Fuzzywhistle said, as the others watched Fuzzywhistle gobble his fish down.

Mason ate slowly, letting his thoughts wander. He had tried telling himself that he wasn’t interested in Amanda, but seeing her again arose feelings that he didn’t know he had.

“Hey dreamer, you thinking of a certain young lady?” Tippner asked with a smile. They had enjoyed teasing him good naturedly about her.

“She does seem like a real nice lady, of course she can’t beat my sweet Cara though. If only she wasn’t so hooked on those sweet coffees, just the smell of them gags me.”

The girls had loved seeing the movie again and were singing in the car on the way back to Fuzzywhistle’s farm. Cara may have been singing extra loud due to possibly a little sugar high.

They arrived back at the farm and Creampuff was at the fence eager to greet them. After being with her for a little, Cara said she would go into the barn and milk Clarabelle.

Sarah and Amanda were chatting in the farmhouse when they heard the screen door shut. “Well that was a quick job of milking…Cara whats wrong?”

Cara looked very confused and a little pale. “Either I am going crazy or there are 2 cows in the barn!”

“2??!” Amanda and Sarah said in unison. They all walked back to the barn and sure enough there was another cow there! They all could only stare as the new cow stared back. There was something deep about the cow’s eyes. Looked like she was looking right through you! This did not seem like an ordinary cow.

Back in the farmhouse they agreed that they would let old man Fuzzywhistle deal with the extra cow. They locked her in the barn along with Clarabelle and Creampuff, for it had started raining.

About a hour later the front door opened and the girls heard the guys talking.

“Back early! Guess the campout didn’t go well.” Cara said, as they all walked out to see them.

The girls couldn’t hold back the laughter at seeing 4 drowned rats!

“Don’t say a word, the tents may have leaked!” Tippner said.

“Sorry!” said Amanda, let me make you some hot coffee.

“You can have some Coconut Cream pie too.” Sarah added.

“You just may want to get out of your wet clothes first.” Cara said, still laughing.

Bard walked over to her giving her a wet hug as she yelled.

“You think this is all funny, don’t you.” and he tickled her in the ribs until she said she slid out of his grip.

Soon they all were enjoying pie and coffee and conversation. Then Mason and Amanda suddenly realized that they were alone. They had said goodbye to the others not thinking about them all leaving, for they had got engrossed in their own conversation.

Mason gathered up his courage and said, “Amanda, what would you think about…”

“Hey, what is some strange cow doing in my barn?” Fuzzywhistle yelled into the kitchen.

The Stirrings of Love

The bell jingled as 2 customers walked into the coffee shop.

“Amanda! What a great surprise. I didn’t know you were in town.” said Cara brightly, walking towards her to give her a hug. She gave Sarah a hug too.

“She stayed with me last night and we knew that we had to visit the best coffee shop in town!” said Sarah, with a wink.

“Now you are sounding like Mason! He says that and I remind him that we are the only coffee shop in this small town! But I have to admit that with my homemade pies, we are the best.” Cara said, with a laugh.

“Speaking of Mason, where is he?”

“He is running late, said he had a rough night sleeping.” Cara replied.

Amanda listened to them chatting and thought to herself how she had trouble sleeping too. She was thinking too much of a very handsome guy with thick, wavy brown hair.

The bell jangled Amanda out of her thoughts and all 3 ladies turned to see Mason walk in. He looked a little rough.

“You look like you could use a large cup of coffee, let me get you one.”

Cara went behind the counter to make it.

“Hi Mason”, Amanda greeted him with a shy smile.

Mason felt a little unnerved at seeing her, but he couldn’t deny that his heart started beating a little faster.

“Nice to see you again!” he said, putting out his hand.

“She couldn’t stay away any longer from the best Coffee Shop in town”, Sarah said.

“And here is some of the best coffee!” said Cara, while handing Mason his coffee.

“Thank you!” he said, still keeping his gaze on Amanda. He took a gulp and made a face as the coffee sprayed out of his mouth. Amanda jumped back, and Cara was shaking with laughter.

“Oops! Did I put the wrong coffee in your cup, here is some black coffee, I promise.”

Mason took the cup from her hand, without saying a word. Amanda and Sarah were shaking their heads in amusement.

“Excuse me ladies, I think Tippner just came in.” Mason said turning and walking away giving Cara a look.

The ladies decided to get together for supper and plan how they would spend the weekend. The coffee shop was going to be closed for Mason was going on a camping trip with Tippner. Old man Fuzzywhistle wanted to go but he couldn’t leave his animals. He didn’t want his little lamb wandering off again.

While enjoying a nice supper at Sarah’s house they talked about the guys going camping.

“Its too bad that Old Man Fuzzywhistle can’t go. He loves his animals.”

“Hey, I have an idea!” Cara said with excitement. “Why don’t we watch the animals!”

Amanda and Sarah looked at each other. “Why not! Great idea. Its not that hard to take care of a cow and sheep!” they replied.

They decided to go pay Mr. Fuzzywhistle a visit and see what he thought of the idea.

Mr. Fuzzywhistle’s doorbell rang, but he kept talking to Tippner and Mason who had dropped by. He hadn’t heard the doorbell until the 4th ring, just as Tippner was getting ready to tell him.

The ladies were surprised to see the guys but they weren’t in the house long before they smelled a strange odor. They grimaced and looked at the guys with a questioning look.

Tippner was a little flushed and Mason spoke up. Someone, who shall remain nameless, stepped in a cow pie and got some on his pants as well.

After the girls stopped laughing they told Mr. Fuzzywhistle their idea and he loved it! It was all set. Tomorrow the guys would leave for a camping trip and the ladies would run the farm! It was sure to be a great weekend for all of them.

…to be continued…

Love on a Train

Image from Pinterest

The cold air blew in against her bare arms and legs. Gracie reached for her blanket to pull it over her but she couldn’t get it. Where did it go?

Groggily she opened her eyes and saw that there was no blanket and she wasn’t in her bed! She shivered in ber shorts and t-shirt. Wrapping her arms around herself she sat up and stared in wide eye wonder!

Whatever was she doing on a train and how did she get here? The floor creaked as Gracie walked towards the door of the train, Why were there rose petals on the floor? What were cardboard signs doing on the seats? There were names of places on them, and Gracie had been to all the places on her cross country train trip, but… things just didn’t make sense.

She hoped that fresh air would help to clear her head so that she could piece together what happened. First though she had to get out of this tunnel. Strangely she noticed lots of different flower petals in the tunnel too, like on the train.

Memories of last night started vaguely coming to her mind as she kept walking.

She had been enjoying a nice quiet night at home watching Grey’s Anatomy and dreaming of her boyfriend. They had been dating for a year now and she was walking on clouds most of the time!

Dreaming of becoming a Mrs. was something she did frequently. Oh, it had been the best decision of her life to take a train across the country for a sight seeing trip. It turned out that the best sight of all was the handsome guy across the aisle.

She found herself smiling at the memory of meeting Austin and the fun they had on that train trip. But she shook her head, she had to concentrate on last night.

Her friends had surprised her with an impromptu sleepover, they had brought food and drinks and ended up having a fun-filled night of conversation and laughter.

That was all she remembered and it still didn’t explain why she was on this old, abandoned train. Fortunately she only had a few steps to go until she was out of the tunnel, she saw the light ahead.

Stepping out into the sunlight she screamed as someone grabbed her from behind.

“About time you wake up, beautiful!”

Gracie whirled around looking at her captor. “Austin! What are you…”

Her hand covered her mouth and tears stung her eyes as she watched Austin getting down on one knee.

Her heart was ready to burst with happiness. The roses and other flowers strewn in the tunnel, the names of places on the cardboard signs, it all made sense now!

Gracie felt like she was floating in the air as she wrapped her arms around Austin’s neck. Kissing him passionately she only stopped to take a breath and say, “Yes, A thousand times Yes!”

The Sweet Talking Peddler

Image from Pinterest

Every Monday around 1pm she could count on seeing him. She looked at the clock, it was 5 minutes til 1.

She heard the sound of a wagon, looking out the window she saw that it was Antonio. Anxiously she waited for him to come to the window. She took a deep breath telling herself to stand strong and be firm. “Lynette you can do this!” she said outloud, trying to believe it.

Lynette was telling him No this time. She could not keep buying all the little trinkets he sold from his wagon. Her house was full of them. An egg maker, all kinds of different shaped tins, a jewelry box, rolling pins, cookie cutters, little lamps and more.

He would sweet talk her each time into buying something, but she would be firm this time. Her hands grew sweaty as she watched him walking towards her window.

“Hello, my beautiful lady!” he bowed down. taking her right hand, to kiss it. Then he gave her a red rose and started quoting Shakespeare.

Lynette’s cheeks flushed but she looked directly into his hazel eyes and said, “Not today Antonio, I can’t keep buying from you every week. My kitchen is full of gadgets! You probably charm all the ladies out of their money, don’t you!”

Antonio put his hand on his heart. “Oh, you hurt Antonio with your words. There is no lady fairer than you!”

Lynette rolled her eyes but she kept hold of his hand.

“Antonio will show you how generous he is. Let me give you a gift. I will be right back.” Letting go of her hand he walked to his wagon and came back carrying a tiny little box, with a bow on top.

“Here m’lady, wrapped with a bow just for you, and its Free! I also have 2 decorative jars, just think of what you could put in them.”

“The tiny gift wrapped box is all I want, thank you!”

“But the jars come with the box. You buy the jars you get the box for free.” Antonio said with a dazzling smile.

Oh, Lynette really did wonder what was in the cute gift wrapped box with a pink bow. She sighed, “Ok Antonio, I will buy the 2 jars.”

Antonio grabbed her hand, planting another kiss on it. “You have made me so happy! Have another rose.” He tenderly put one in her hair behind her ear.

Giving her the 2 jars and the tiny box he bid her adieu and traveled back down the dusty road.

Lynette sat down at the kitchen table staring at the gift wrapped box. What treasure did it hold? Perhaps a beautiful broach. She carefully unwrapped it and peered inside.

Disappointment was written all over her face as she pulled the object out. A shiny cowbell! What was she supposed to do with that! She threw it in her kitchen drawer, oh just wait til Antonio came back next week, she had a gift to give him!