The Foggy Magic

This photo was taken by Jason, and he is kindly letting me use it. I hope the story does it justice! You can see more photos of his at https://jasonfrels.com/2021/02/28/6644/

It was a foggy morning to go out in her canoe, but Jillian was eager to do it. She had tossed and turned all through the night. When she realized that she wasn’t gong to win with the battle of trying to go back to sleep, she decided that she may as well get up and start the day. Stepping into her newly painted kitchen with her fuzzy hot pink bathrobe on, she turned on her coffeemaker.

The past week had been a busy one consisting of re-painting the rooms in her house. She was so relieved to finally be finished. As she looked around her kitchen she was pleased at how it had turned out. When she was in the paint store and saw the tiger orange paint she knew that was the color she wanted. Her friends would probably shake their heads over the color, but they were used to her unique taste with color combinations. She laughed to herself imagining their expressions when they saw her bedroom. A pale lavender shade with fiery orange spots.

Jillian finished her coffee and blueberry English Muffin and got dressed to go out for a morning of rowing. She knew exactly where she wanted to go, it was her favorite spot. Putting on her bright orange jacket she went out the door, eager for a peaceful morning.

Ahh! She was glad that no other rowers were around. Coming under this bridge was a refuge for her and a place where she let herself dream as she stopped rowing, enjoying being still. This place almost felt magical, like she could row away into another world. After awhile of letting dreams fly through her mind, she looked at her watch and realized that she should probably soon go home. Later today she was supposed to meet Gary for an early supper at the at the Aki House restaurant. Her mouth was already watering thinking of the delicious food they had there. Picking up her oars she began rowing once more.

A strange feeling started washing over Jillian. She should be out from under the bridge by now. Many times she had been here, and she didn’t remember it ever taking this long before to row out from under it. She must have just rowed in farther than she had thought. Trying to ease her nerves she started singing as she rowed.

There was no denying it now, she looked at her watch and she had been rowing for quite some time, but she was still under the bridge. Stopping for a moment, she lay the oars in her lap, as her hands shook and her insides began to feel a bit like jiggly jello, but at the same time she had a sense of excitement. Jillian had always been someone that was up for adventure, not afraid of trying new things. Whatever was happening was bound to be a great story to share with her friends. With a sudden spurt of courage she picked up the oars and started rowing again, who knows where she may end up? Perhaps this really had been a magical place all this time and she was only experiencing it now! Or perhaps her lack of sleep was catching up to her and she was dreaming all of this? No, she had extra strong, dark roasted coffee this morning, surely she was awake!

Jillian hoped she didn’t run out of strength as she kept rowing. It was good that she worked out at the gym, to help keep her energy up. Rowing more she felt adrenaline pumping through her, and then before she knew it, she realized she wasn’t under the bridge anymore. She wasn’t under the bridge anymore but where was she, was the question that now weighed on her mind.

She was staring at a grassy meadow. Rowing to the meadow, she got out and drug her boat up onto the land. Well the sun was still high in the sky, what was to keep her from exploring? She saw woods in the distance, and started walking towards them. Suddenly she stopped in her tracks, looking in shock at the sight before her. Now that was certainly something that one didn’t see every day!

… to be continued …

Love without Words

Image from Pinterest

Molly loved bunnies. She was in her own little bubble of joy when surrounded by them. Detective Willis watched her with the bunnies and wondered what secrets she held. Would she break her silence and talk? Could she talk? She called her Molly because it was written on the tag in the girl’s dress. The dress she had been wearing when Kimberly had found her. She thought back to 3 weeks ago when Molly had come into her life.

The last thing Kimberley Willis had ever expected to find was an abandoned little girl. She was headed home one night and the little girl on the side of the country road caught her attention. What was she doing sitting with bunnies all alone? There had not been any houses nearby. Kimberly had tried to talk to her, but the girl wouldn’t say a word, she just kept cuddling the bunnies. She couldn’t just leave her out here alone so she explained to the little girl how she wanted to help her find her home. She asked if she would go with her in her car and the little girl only stared at her as she talked. Did she understand? Kimberly put out her hand and the little girl took it, still snuggling the one bunny against her, with her one arm.

Molly had started to walk with her when they headed for the car but then she abruptly stopped. She wouldn’t budge. Kimberly sighed, Molly was looking back at the other bunnies. Apparently if she wanted Molly to get in the car with her she would need to bring along all the bunnies! At least they were tame and didn’t scratch at all when Kimberly picked them up to carry them to the car. The girl smiled from ear to ear as she willingly got in the car, once all the bunnies were in there.

Kimberly had been searching through missing children records for the past 3 weeks now and nothing had turned up. No one fit Molly’s description. It appeared that no one was looking for her, but how could that be? She was such a sweet child.

Molly should have gone directly to Foster Care, that was proper protocol, but Kimberly couldn’t let her go. She was glad she had saved up vacation days, for she used them now to stay with Molly. She was a pleasant child to have around. She obeyed Kimberly when she asked her to do things and she listened with great interest when Kimberly would read stories to her. Kimberly was greatly hoping that as time went by that she would grow more comfortable and perhaps start to talk.

Having tucked Molly into bed, and making sure all the bunnies were in their hutch, Kimberly sat down at the kitchen table, eating some chips and salsa, as she thought about how her life had taken a complete 360 degree turn! She had lived alone for the past couple years and had adapted to it. Enjoyed the peace, the only pets she had were fish. After a stressful day at the office she would come home and watch them swim around. It was relaxing. She did pretty much anything she wanted to, that was her life.

Now she had bunnies that loved to run everywhere and how the hair flew, but they were adorable. She now was reading fairytales, instead of her romance novels, and making lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She was cleaning up spilled milk and making chocolate chip pancakes, instead of going out for nights of wine and caviar. Life had changed, but Kimberly found herself not minding a bit.

One of the most precious things about having Molly was the sound of her laughter. The first week Kimberly didn’t hear it. Molly had been very shy, and Kimberly couldn’t blame her. She didn’t try to overwhelm Molly. The last thing she wanted to do was scare the girl. She was kind to her and let Molly lead. She still remembered the emotion her heart felt when for the first time Molly gave her a hug. She was so glad that Molly was warming up to her.

Molly did really enjoy story time. It was then that she seemed to be really content, so Kimberly read a lot. One night while Kimberly was reading to her Molly started giggling at the funny voice Kimberly made pretending to be the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk. It was like music to Kimberly’s ears, as the little girl’s eyes shined bright. From then on Kimberly made sure to do different voices when reading and she was always rewarded with laughter. Once she tickled her belly a little and that made Molly laugh even harder. Oh, story time before bed had become so special, with cuddles, tickles and laughter.

Kimberly walked to Molly’s bedroom, and peeked in at the sleeping child and she knew what she had to do. Tomorrow she would talk with Peter, her lawyer friend and start filling out paperwork to apply for temporary custody of Molly. She would keep looking for any clues of where Molly came from, her heart ached for a family out there that may be looking for her. Was it possible that she had just been abandoned? How could anyone do that to a little child? It didn’t appear that she had been out on her own for too long. How would she have survived the cold nights? Where had the bunnies come from? So many questions.

Kimberly suddenly thought of an old acquaintance, why hadn’t she thought of him before. He might be the perfect answer. She would call Jacob tomorrow, he was a Private Investigator and from what she knew, he was a pretty good one! Who knew what he may be able to find out. A lot of uncertainty laid ahead as to what may happen with Molly, but Kimberly was sure of one thing. While looking, and trying to solve this mystery, she would do all she could to make sure that Molly knew she was loved.

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)

 

 

 

Hero of the Town

This is the conclusion to yesterday’s post. Taking a Detour

Amanda tried to see if someone was sitting in the brown Chevy Cruze, but couldn’t see through the tinted windows. She decided that she was just going to try to act like normal. Surely no one would try anything in broad daylight in the middle of town.  Trying to be braver than she felt, she started walking towards the florist shop. 

Mason decided to walk down to Tippner’s bike shop while he was on his break. He could use a new bike and a new helmet. The air was a little brisk, but it felt good to get outside. He walked down the sidewalk thinking of bikes and on whether or not he was going to ask Sarah out for dinner some night. Perhaps he would swing by the flower shop too, if he had time. Oh, what was he doing, did he really want a woman to complicate his life? She really was nice though, and according to Cara, she was interested in him. Who could blame her, he thought. He laughed. He had said that to Cara when she told him and she said nothing, just rolled her eyes. The next day, the old Country station that he listened to played the song, “Hard to be Humble”, and he turned it up as he sang along. There were no customers to hear him, for they were closed, so he could sing as loudly as he wanted. 

Tippner’s bike shop was just a few steps away, and Mason was about to walk in when he noticed something. That looked like Amanda ahead of him, but who was the guy with her? She had been alone when she came into the coffee shop earlier and she hadn’t mentioned being with anyone. The guy had a hold of her arm and something didn’t seem right to Mason, as he walked towards them. 

“Hi Amanda! Where are you headed?” Mason said, as he walked up behind her. 

Amanda and the man turned around. The man didn’t look too happy, but Mason was more concerned about how Amanda looked. Her face was ashen. This was not the same girl who had been smiling and laughing earlier in his coffee shop. Something was wrong. 

“We are just taking a nice walk, thought I would show my friend around. ” Amanda replied. 

Showing her friend around, thought Mason, she just arrived here, she doesn’t know her way around. He could see the pleading look in Amanda’s eyes and he knew he had to think fast! 

“Well enjoy, I best be getting back to work”, said Mason and he turned around. 

He waited a few moments and then turned back around and attacked the man with Amanda. Catching him by surprise, he gave him a karate kick and the man fell to his knees. Mason gave him a blow to the jaw and the man fell backwards knocking himself out. 

Amanda stood there with her mouth agape and then she gave Mason a hug. “Thank you so much! I was so scared!” 

A small crowd had gathered around them and some of them were patting Mason on the back and others were wondering what was going on. 

Tippner had seen everything and was shaking his head. “I never  realized that you knew karate! I am impressed.” 

The town of Bittersweet Creek was soon filled with police as the story came out of who this man was. Amanda had to go down to the station and tell everything she knew, and she turned over the packages that were in her car. Derek had been involved in smuggling rare jewels and very expensive antiques into several other countries. The jewels were hidden in toys, the most popular toy that Derek used was the Mr. Potato Head, take him apart and the jewels were inside. 

Derek had become suspicious of Amanda and that’s why he wanted his one client to follow her. He had put a tracking device in her car. 

Amanda was too tired to go home, by the time everything was finished with the police, so Sarah invited her to spend the night at her house. Amanda was so grateful as she sat on Sarah’s couch relaxing with some tea. When they at last said goodnight, Sarah wondered if Mason’s ears were itching, for his name had come up a lot in their conversation. Sarah went to bed with a smile on her face. 

Tippner, Fuzzywhistle and Mason were at Mason’s house talking about the events of the day. 

“This is the most excitement that this town has seen in awhile!” said Tippner. 

“Who knew that you would become known as the Hero of the day!” 

Mason shook his head. “I knew I had to do something!” 

“Well I would say that you will have all the ladies of this town lined up at your shop tomorrow and it won’t be to just buy coffee!” Tippner said with a chuckle. 

Mason smiled at the thought of Sarah being jealous, if a line of women really did show up at the coffee shop tomorrow. Perhaps this could work to his advantage, he started thinking and thought of a great idea. He would tell Cara tomorrow and let her organize it.  Later he went to bed that night with a smug smile on his face, looking forward to the days ahead. 

The day had finally come, this was going to be good thought Mason. Tippner had told him that he was a genius for the idea that he had. 

A week ago he had told Cara about his idea. He thought she should have a contest for all the ladies. The prize would be a date with him. At first she had told him he was crazy but later that day she came back to him saying she thought she could pull it off. As Tippner had said, there were several ladies in the coffee shop the day after Mason had saved Amanda. Some had left their phone numbers on slips of paper for him, and others were bold enough to ask him straight out for a date. Mason was floating high and Cara was afraid his head may explode from being so puffed up. 

Sunday afternoon the town was abuzz, all the ladies were so excited about the contest. Mason was too, though he still didn’t know yet what kind of contest it would be, he just knew that the prize was a date with him! What better prize could there be, he thought. 

Sarah and Cara were huddled together laughing as they watched Mason shaking all the ladies hands that were lined up and flashing them his charming smile. 

“Look at him strutting like a proud peacock!” Sarah said. 

“Oh yes! He is in his glory. If he only knew!” Cara said, and they both laughed again. 

AT 2pm they walked over to Mason and the ladies. They were in the park in the center of the town and lots of townspeople had come out to watch, for the contest was the talk of the town. There was something in the middle of the park, with a big tarp over it. No one except Sara and Cara knew what was under it. Now it was time for the big reveal! 

“May I have your attention everyone!” said Cara as she stood in front of the tarp. “Thank you all for coming out today to this big event. A fun contest to win a date for our charming hero of Bittersweet Creek!” Cheers went up from the crowd. 

Cara and Sarah pulled off the tarp and everyone started laughing as it dawned on them what the contest would be. 

“Line up ladies and get your arms ready to throw! Hit the target and give our hero a little swim! You get 3 tries and if you send him for a swim you get a date. Mason, everyone is waiting, climb up the ladder and take a seat on the chair please.” Sarah said, with a twinkle in her eye. 

Mason looked at Cara and she gave him a wink, “Good idea, eh, look at all these ladies lined up for you!”

They knew they had him, he couldn’t back out and let the whole line of ladies disappointed. Knowing he would be a good sport they laughed at the look on his face, and Sarah was beaming, as she got in line. 

 

 

 

Taking a Detour

This is a continuation from yesterday’s post, Unsettling Questions!

Amanda kept looking and even though she made several turns, the brown Cruz was still on her tail. Her hands started sweating, as she tried to remain calm, thinking about what she should do. The Cruz looked familiar, she thought she had seen it several times at Derek’s house. Most recently was 2 days ago, when Derek had a 10 am appointment. She had never got a good look at the man, but she remembered the vehicle. Why would he be following her? 

There were railroad tracks up ahead, Amanda sped up, hoping that she would get over the tracks and a train would block her pursuer from following. She made it across and was so relieved to hear a train coming. Breathing a little easier now she kept driving but then realized that if her pursuer knew where she was headed to, it wouldn’t matter that he was delayed by a train, he would catch up to her. Amanda quickly decided that she wasn’t going to be dropping off the packages anytime soon. She didn’t turn like Suri told her too, she just kept going straight. 

Where she was headed to, she had no idea, but for now she just needed to get away. She would decide what to do with the packages later. 

Feeling calmer, Amanda turned on the radio and started singing along. Music always lifted one’s spirits! She kept driving, avoiding main roads, seeking out a back roads adventure. She found herself on a country road lined by Maple and Oak trees. Amanda was surprised how fast time flew by, she was glad she had started with a full tank of gas. Suri had long ago given up on her and stopped “recalculating.”  She was silent now. 

Looking at the packages beside her, she wondered if she dared to open them? Didn’t she have the right to know what packages she was delivering? Sure, she did, so why hadn’t she looked before? Amanda knew that as much as she had wanted to know she also didn’t want to know, she was afraid to know. Easier for her to deny that she could be delivering something illegal if she never actually knew what it was. Oh yes, she had to get away from this job, what kind of person was she turning into! 

Up ahead she saw a farm. Awh, that was such a cute white lamb that she saw behind the fence. A smile crossed her face again, she loved animals. She drove a little farther and felt the stirrings of hunger, it had been quite awhile since breakfast. Hopefully she would see a place that she could stop at to get herself some food. After driving a few more miles, she entered a town and was glad to see a little coffee shop on the corner.  Not noticing any other restaurants around, she hoped that they had some food to serve with the coffee. 

Cara was cleaning off a table when Amanda walked in. “Hi! Welcome!  Find a seat wherever you would like and I will be right with you.” Cara said. 

Amanda looked around the shop, she liked it. The place had a warm, cozy feeling to it, with its bright yellow walls. There also were vases with beautiful flowers as centerpieces on the tables. Stunning pictures of nature were displayed on the walls in golden frames. 

“I love the pictures you have.” Amanda said to Cara when she came to take her order. 

“They are all original photos taken by Mason Picklefoot, the owner of this shop.” 

“Wow! He has a great gift.”  Amanda replied and Cara agreed. 

“Thank you very much.” said Mason, who had overheard, as he passed by the table. He stopped to talk to Amanda. “There was another photo that I wanted to hang on the wall, but…” he looked at Cara with a grin, “She didn’t think the customers would want to see a picture of a cow.” 

Cara was biting her tongue. She knew exactly what picture he was talking about. The one of her dressed up as a grandma, sitting on Clarabelle’s back, right before Clarabelle decided to run through the middle of town! She was a fan of his photography, but not of that photo! 

“Oh, I love cows! In fact I passed a farm on the way here, that had the cutest little lamb, and a cow behind the fence.” 

“Awh! You saw Creampuff.” said Amanda, “She is precious.” 

“And the cow’s name would be Clarabelle.” added Mason. “That’s who the picture was of.” 

“Well I think Clarabelle deserves to have her picture hanging.” Amanda said, she heard Mason laughing when he walked away. Cara just shook her head. 

“Would you like to try our new delicious Banana Mocha coffee?” Cara asked, trying to get the subject off of Clarabelle! 

“Sounds great, and I will take your chicken salad sandwich with that please.” 

“Coming right up!” 

Cara headed back towards the kitchen. Mason was there with a smirk still on his face. She grabbed a rag  that was lying on the counter and threw it at him. “That’s to help you wipe your smirk off!” Cara said, making a face, but having to laugh. 

Amanda was thinking that after she ate she may just wander around this town a bit. Clear her head some more as she thought about what she was going to do. Would she go back to Derek’s? Should she open the packages? 

The coffee was so sweet and the chicken salad tasted great. The grapes and pecans added to it, made it extra good. After leaving Cara a nice tip, she said goodbye to her and Mason and walked outside. Cara had told her that she needed to check out the flower shop, so that was where she was going to head to first. Then she had mentioned Mr.Tippner’s bike shop. He rented bikes for those who wanted to go on some bike paths that they had. Ran right by the creek. Cara had said it was a lovely route. It had been a long time since Amanda had rode a bike, but the thought appealed to her. 

Oh No! She gasped! What was the brown Cruze doing parked across the street. It couldn’t be the same one that had been following her, could it? 

Unsettling Questions!

Image from Pinterest

Amanda hoped that she was making the instructions specific enough for Belinda to understand. More importantly she hoped that she had chosen the right person for this job. Derek had been very clear about the kind of person he needed and he said he trusted Amanda to find the right one. Amanda wished that she had as much faith in herself as Derek did.

Derek was so particular, that Amanda didn’t know why he didn’t want to choose the person himself. Why did he put so much trust in Amanda to find the right woman for the job? She also was curious as to all the duties that he wanted Amanda to make a list of for Belinda. There were things listed that were not your typical duties for a housekeeper/cook.

Amanda had been Derek’s personal secretary for a year now and she was used to his idiosyncrasies, but lately he had been acting extra strange.

He was a business man, and a very wealthy one! Amanda didn’t know many details about his business. She only knew what he felt was important to tell her, dates and times of appointments to remind him about. She ran errands for him as well, picking up packages and delivering them. Amanda often wondered what was in the little boxes, but she knew better than to ask.

In the beginning this job bothered her, for she had so many unanswered questions about what Derek really did for a living. She had almost quit a couple times, but when her paychecks would come, she would convince herself that it was okay, she didn’t need to know. They were the biggest paychecks she had ever received! One day she was living from paycheck to paycheck and the next day she gets hired by Derek, and her money troubles vanished into thin air!

She was driving a metallic blue Lexus. The car of her dreams and eating at fancy restaurants. Shopped at stores that had always been too expensive for her to shop at before. Going on exotic vacations, to St. Thomas and Jamaica. Derek paid for everything on the vacations, he needed her with him, he said. All she had to do was run some daily errands for him on vacation and the rest of the time she got to relax! In so many ways she was living the dream.

Living the dream during the day, but at night when it was dark and she was alone with her thoughts, she was afraid. Afraid of what she had got herself into. Amanda may not be the smartest woman, but she wasn’t dumb either, she knew that Derek had to be into something illegal, to be making the kind of money he was making.

Her stomach was churning now , what was she doing? How did she know that she wasn’t getting Belinda into trouble by hiring her? It was one thing for Amanda to be caught in a web that she didn’t feel like she could get out of, but why draw another innocent woman into it?

Amanda didn’t know what to do, she really had no choice. She had already told Derek about Belinda. She was supposed to start tomorrow. Belinda was all excited to be working in such a nice mansion and she told Amanda how much she needed the money.

Taking a deep breath Amanda finished the list. Belinda would be okay, she didn’t know about the packages that Amanda delivered for Derek. She was just going to be cleaning and cooking. Amanda partially wished that she could trade jobs with Belinda, though Derek would take one bite of her cooking and probably fire her on the spot. Cooking wasn’t one of her talents.

Looking at the time Amanda knew she had to leave soon. Derek had 3 packages he wanted delivered today and these 3 places she had never been to before. Usually she went to the same places, but he met 3 different men last week, and she figured these 3 packages were going to them. She never talked to anyone when she delivered the packages, in fact she never saw anyone. She would just drop them off at the location that Derek sent her too and put them in the red container. Amanda shook her head, how could she had ever thought that doing this was okay, like it was perfectly normal to drop off packages in remote areas.

Grabbing her keys, she made a decision, she had to find another job. Her Mama didn’t raise no fool! She may not be able to dine on fancy food anymore and own so many clothes, but she needed peace of mind! Amanda smiled, yes, she would do this! No more guilt about her job! Driving down the road she felt better. That feeling started changing though, as she watched in her rearview mirror. Was she being followed?

The Return of the Bell

This story is a continuation from Monday’s post, How It All Began

Tiffany set her cup of tea down, then laid back on the soft, peach colored couch and began her story. 

“When I turned 18 my Grandfather gave me an enchanted cowbell for my birthday. It was my favorite gift. We traveled to so many places with it. We never quite knew where we would end up when Grandpa would ring the bell, but we always made an adventure out of it. Once in a while we would end up somewhere scary. One time we ended up in the middle of a rain forest. It was so hot, I could barely breathe and then we saw a jaguar and Grandpa rang that bell as fast as he could! ” 

Lisette gasped, glad that none of her adventures had found her face to face with a jaguar.

“After Grandpa died, I stored the bell away, for it didn’t feel right to go on adventures without him. Then came the day when I thought that it would be nice to get away for a little and I decided to give the enchanted cowbell a try. I was shocked when I realized it was no longer where I had stored it away at. What had happened to it? I was obsessed with looking for it, but I kept coming up with nothing.” 

Lisette was intrigued, “Did you ever find it?” she asked. 

“Sadly, no, but I did find out more about it. My cousin Leo came to me one day in distress. He said he needed to confess something, for the guilt was eating him up.  He had been in desperate need of money and he thought he could sell my cowbell to pay off his debt. One day when I was gone, he had searched all over my room until he found the bell and then he took it. He had taken it to a Pawn Shop and was so relieved when the dealer gave him the amount that he needed. His relief didn’t last long, until guilt consumed him. He had gone back to the Pawn Shop to try and buy it back, but sadly it was gone.  The owner of the Pawn Shop had the name of the guy he had sold it too, but only his first name. Not much I could do with just a first name. Luke is a very popular name. Not having a last name to go by it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. I was devastated, but I resigned myself to the fact that it was gone forever.” 

“I am so sorry.” said Lisette, who was feeling happy that she could return Tiffany’s cowbell, but yet sad at having to give it up. 

“Thank you, but I do believe you can help me.” said Tiffany, with hope shining in her eyes. 

“I just returned from a trip to Bittersweet Creek. I stopped at the local coffee shop and met the nicest lady. Her name was Cara.” 

Lisette smiled, she remembered Cara, and how pleasant she was and the delicious shoo-fly pie that she had served  when she was there. That made her think of Sarah. She missed Sarah but she was happy for her. The owner of the florist shop at Bittersweet Creek was retiring and Sarah jumped at the chance to own the business. Lisette did appreciate the flower deliveries that she received frequently  from her, to help decorate the Inn. 

“One afternoon when I was enjoying a Chocolate Banana Frappe at the coffee shop, a young lady walked in by the name of Sarah. She and Cara were talking, and I happened to overhear Sarah mention the enchanted cowbell. I was so shocked I almost spilled my coffee. I made sure to visit Sarah’s shop the next day and when I asked her about the bell, she said you would be the one for me to talk to. Please tell me that you have my bell.” 

Lisette knew that she had to give the bell back. This was a treasured possession that belonged to Tiffany.

“I do have it and would be glad to give it back to you. It has taken me on some crazy adventures. I have one question though, if I may ask.”

Tiffany was beaming! “Ask anything you want! I can’t believe I am actually going to get my bell back. I never thought I would see the day.”

“Every time the the cowbell took me some place I was mistaken for someone else! Did that ever happen to you and your Grandfather?”

Wow! That would be strange, it never happened to us on our travels. ” Tiffany said, with a puzzled expression. “Maybe it was because you were not the original owner of it? Who knows how enchanted bells work!”

“They truly are a mystery!” agreed Lisette. “I will go up and get it, I am sure you can’t wait to see it again!”

Lisette walked up the stairs feeling content. Now that she was returning the bell, at least there was no chances of her getting stuck somewhere that she didn’t want to be.

She walked into her room and opened her drawer. OH NO! It was gone! She searched through the whole drawer and then the next one. Maybe she misplaced it. Oh, she had to find it, Tiffany was all excited to have it back. She paced the room where could it be? Then she heard a sound, and looked out her open window. What was a cow doing in her yard and …. No it couldn’t be! She stared into the brown eyes of the cow, not believing what she saw. How did the cow get the bell? The cow let out a MOO and then disappeared. Lisette shook her head, how was she ever going to explain this to Tiffany?

How It All Began

 

 

Image from Pinterest

She walked down the street dressed so beautifully that people stared. Ignoring their stares she walked on, holding a pink rose in her hand. People were in shock, who was the newcomer. The town of Borden was a small town, everyone knew everyone, who was this fancy lady?

When she walked past you , the fragrance of her perfume filled the air. She made the single men swoon and the married men look sad.

She kept walking, and people kept whispering. Perhaps she wanted some donuts and coffee from The Fluffer Nutter Shoppe, but no, she walked right by. Passing the grocery store, she kept walking, and she didn’t stop at the beauty shop. Where was she going, and where had she come from?

People said “HI!” as they passed her, but she would only acknowledge their “Hi” with a nod and keep walking.

it looked like she was going to walk out of town, for she was almost at the end of it when she started to slow down. Then she stopped and stared for a brief moment before walking up to house that she had stopped in front of.

Lisette was on the porch when she saw the fancy lady walking down the lane. She didn’t have any guests registered to come, she wondered who this lady was. It didn’t take long for the lady to reach her.

“Hello, my name is Tiffany, are you Miss. Lisette? The owner of this Inn?” the lady asked, with a pointed, unsmiling stare.

“Yes, I am. Can I help you?” Lisette replied, smiling back, though Tiffany still didn’t return the smile. Lisette was beginning to feel apprehensive.

“Whether you can help me is the big question. I most certainly hope you can! I have come to inquire about an enchanted cowbell. I heard you had one in your possession.”

Lisette gulped, how did she know about the enchanted cowbell and what was she supposed to tell her? She had thought it was destroyed when the wind had grabbed it out of her hand and into the street, right in front of a truck! To her astonishment the tires of the truck never touched it! It was still in one piece when Lisette picked it up from the road, and she had decided to store it away in a special box for safe keeping.

“Why don’t you come in for some tea and we can talk. I have some fresh coconut chocolate chip cookies that just came out of the oven not long ago. Would you like to come in?”

Tiffany didn’t reply right away, but then she did give a hint of a smile. “That sounds good, I believe I will. Thank you.” Tiffany replied.

She followed Lisette into the Inn. Lisette showed her into the sitting room, telling her to make herself comfortable while she went to the kitchen to get the tea and cookies.

Soon she was back, and Lisette handed her a small plate of cookies and a cup of Peppermint tea. Tiffany took a bite, and her smile got bigger. “These are delicious.”

“Thank you!” Lisette said. For awhile they sat in silence and then Lisette spoke, “So back to your question about the Enchanted Cowbell. How did you hear of it?”

“Its a long story.” Tiffany replied,

“I have the afternoon free, and a whole pot of tea.” Lisette said with a smile, and this time Tiffany smiled back.

(to be continued…)

Stirring of the Heart

Image from Pinterest

This post is a continuation from my Settling In post. This story appears to just keep going. Enjoy!

2 more weeks had passed since Katy had come to this remote island to hide out. She missed the city and her friends, but she was really enjoying living by the sea. Waking up to such a beautiful view each morning, was helping her become a morning person. She had surprised Patrick by joining him on more morning runs. They ran 2 miles, not 6, like he had tried telling her on the first morning she ran with him. Some mornings they ran, and some were more of a walk/jog type of morning. Katy enjoyed chatting with him, getting to know him better.

He shared about some of his cases with her. He had close calls before, his job was risky, but he loved it. Katy was intrigued as he shared the story about the young woman Tanya, whose name was really Anna. What a story! She felt a little strange about the fact that Tanya had been hiding out in this very cottage that Katy was in now.

One morning Katy had stayed behind when Patrick went running. She decided that she would surprise Patrick and John with a hot breakfast of eggs benedict, pancakes and bacon. She was frying the bacon when she heard the front door open.

“You are back early, but I will be finished soon.” Katy called out. She turned around when she heard footsteps enter the kitchen. Her breath caught in her throat, it wasn’t Patrick standing there.

“How nice of you to cook me breakfast, a shame that we don’t have time to eat it.” the man said. He had a straggly beard and was wearing sunglasses and a hat. Katy couldn’t see his eyes, but she saw the evil smirk on his face.

“Perhaps when we get to where we are going, you can cook me up something good, you pretty little thing.” Shivers and dread ran through Katy’s body. Where was John? Was he really sleeping through all this, and shouldn’t Patrick be back by now?

When the man reached out and ran his finger down her cheek with a suggestive smile, she grabbed the pot of boiling hot coffee and threw it on him! He screamed dropping his gun, and Katy quickly picked it up as she started to run for the door.

“Hands Up!” Katy turned around, and relief coursed through her when she saw John in the kitchen. He had the man’s arms behind his back, putting handcuffs on him, while the man was screaming in pain.

Patrick came through the door and his eyes widened in shock when he took in the scene in front of him.

“Nice of you to show up!” said John with a wry grin. “Fortunately Katy had it all under control!”

Patrick looked at Katy with deep concern in his eyes. “Are you okay?” he asked.

“I think.” she said, in a quivering voice, as she started shaking all over. She was looking really pale.

“I will take care of this guy, you take care of Katy.” said John, leading the guy out the front door.

Patrick led Katy to the couch and took the gun out of her trembling hand. Then he held her, waiting for her body to relax. After a little bit he went to the kitchen to get her a glass of water. Later that morning they were able to eat breakfast and Katy was beginning to relax. Patrick kept in touch with John throughout the day, and they found out that the man was acting alone. It was the brother of the guy that Katy had sent to prison. Katy was so glad to know that he was behind bars now with no bail, she was safe.

They didn’t head back to NYC right away. Patrick thought that Katy deserved to enjoy some fun outings now that the danger was gone. He took her into town to visit the shops and she ate at the Seaside Cafe. They went out on his boat a couple times, enjoying the tranquility of the sea, and took night walks along the water.

Katy stretched out in her bed on the last night there with her mind in a whirl. She didn’t want to leave. She was thinking about all the times Patrick and her had shared together. Her heart was fluttering with butterflies. What was happening? She had reminded herself several times over her stay that while Patrick was a very nice guy that she didn’t have time for men. She had told herself not to fall for him, but she was afraid it was too late!

The Get-Away

 

When writing stories, characters usually come and go, but sometimes there are certain characters that just stay around! Betsy the cow that can do just about anything and is full of surprises makes another appearance today. Glad to share another one of Jason’s tales with you all. When I wrote When the Bell was Silenced recently I didn’t think about how Betsy may feel about the fact that her magical cow bell was silenced! Well, Jason was nice enough to let Betsy’s voice be heard, its no wonder she confides in him, he cares about her feelings.  Enjoy! 

The Get-Away

Betsy had a problem. Those two love-sick nincompoops ran off with her cowbell and now she was stuck in Bittersweet Creek. She had to find a way to get out of this no-where town and she had come up with an unnecessarily elaborate and ridiculous scheme to make her exit.

In two days the county fair would take place and Betsy intended to win the livestock competition for old man Fuzzywhistle, which would earn them a trip to the state livestock show at the Capitol and there she would make her escape. But for her plan to work, she would need the cooperation of the judges of the livestock show. Luckily for Betsy, one of this year’s judges was Bard Mellow. Bard was far too honest a fellow to be bribed, but Betsy knew Bard’s weakness. He would do anything to keep his dear sweet wife Cara safe, and Cara had a certain addiction that Betsy could exploit. Betsy smiled a cow sort of smile as she began to put her plan in motion.

Old farmer Fuzzywhistle was a simple, somewhat reclusive, and absent-minded fellow. He didn’t really even notice that there was an extra cow in his barn while he prepared his morning deliveries of milk and eggs for the townsfolk. He loaded up his old truck and made his rounds.

“This year.” he thought “This is the year my cow Clarabelle finally wins the livestock contest.” Mr. Tippner’s donkey had won it the last three years and Fuzzywhistle had to admit that Mr. Tippner knows a nice, um jenny, when he sees one. But this year Clarabelle was well fed and groomed and would be the star of the show.

He smiled at this thought as he made his normal delivery to the Mellow house and continued on his rounds.

“What’s this?” Cara wondered as she saw the delivery from Mr. Fuzzywhistle. There was a strange new container labeled ‘Shoo-fly Coffee Creamer’. Mr. Fuzzywhistle must be branching out into a new line of products. She couldn’t wait to try it in her coffee. She made a coffee drink for herself, the third of the morning, and couldn’t believe how wonderful this new creamer was. In fact, she had used it all up by the following day.

Cara had to get more of that special coffee creamer. Fuzzywhistle hadn’t delivered anymore this morning so she set out to his farm to buy some more. Arriving at the farm she saw the door open to the barn and a light on so she went on in. “Mr. Fuzzywhistle, it’s Cara Mellow. I wonder if I could buy some more of that delicious Shoo-fly coffee creamer that you make.”

There was no answer. She looked around the barn and suddenly the barn door shut behind her. Then the light went out. “Mr. Fuzzywhistle?” she said nervously. Just then, she heard rustling in the hay behind her and before she knew it a burlap sack was thrown over her and she was carried away.

She was eventually put down and we she was able to get the sack off of her head, Cara found herself locked in a one-room shed. There was plenty of food, a comfy looking chair, a television, and what looked like the complete DVD collection of The Waltons. Well at least she wouldn’t be bored, but what was she doing here and how long would she be kept in this room.

It was the day of the fair and entire town was busy. Mr. Fuzzywhistle was preparing his produce delivery for the big radish and turnip eating contest and then he must get Clarabelle ready for the livestock show. He was so busy that he didn’t notice that it wasn’t actually Clarabelle in the trailer that he was pulling to the fair. Inside the trailer Betsy’s eyes gleamed with excitement; her plan was ahoof, er afoot.

Bard was distraught. He hadn’t seen Cara all day and nobody else had either. He had checked at Picklefoot’s coffee shop and she hadn’t been seen there. He went back home to see if she had returned and in the kitchen he found a strange note that didn’t appear to have been written by a human hand. He read the note and was shocked. It was simple and straight to the point. It said “If yooo ever want tooo see Cara again, yooou will vote for Fuzzywhistle’s cow at the fair.”

Bard didn’t know what to do. He dare not call that dopey old sheriff. Besides, it was just a livestock show; what harm could it be to just vote for some old cow. Mr. Tippner would be disappointed but Cara’s safety could be on the line.

Later that evening everyone was gathered for the livestock competition. Except the winner of the radish and turnip eating contest; nobody wanted to be near that guy right now. Bard, Mason, and Horace were ready to judge the contest. Betsy took her turn and gave a wink and a subtle grin to Bard. She knew that Horace had a soft spot for cows, and the kidnapping of Cara should secure Bard’s vote. She couldn’t find a way to get to that Mason Picklefoot. “In addition to being so handsome” Betsy thought “he was as honest as a person could be.”

Betsy watched Tippner’s burro parade around like she owned the place and she was clearly the crowd favorite. Even old man Fuzzywhistle was distracted checking out Tippner’s, um, donkey. Betsy patiently waited the judges to reach their decision. They seemed to be having a heated discussion.

Finally, a decision was reached and a hush fell over the crowd. All eyes were on Bard as he stood and prepared to announce the winner of the livestock show.

“This year’s winner of the Bittersweet Creek livestock show is…” Bard said with a nervous look on his face “Mr. Fuzzywhistle and his cow Clarabelle.” The crowd gasped. Mr. Tippner threw down his straw hat, grabbed his ass and stormed off.

“Moooooo….” Betsy let loose. She was finally getting out of this little town.

The next morning Bard and Cara had coffee as Cara recounted her adventures in the barn. Meanwhile, old Mr. Fuzzywhistle drove to the state Capitol pulling a trailer that he thought had Clarabelle in it. Betsy stared out the back, watching Bittersweet Creek fade into the distance. “Now to catch the two nincompoops who took my cowbell” she plotted.