The Intervention

This is a continuation from my post on Thursday about Molly, The Secret Mission

 

Jasper paced around gnawing on a carrot to help control his anger. How could Aspen have lost Molly? He shouldn’t have given such an important job to his incompetent grandson. There seemed to be something missing from Aspen’s explanation though that he couldn’t quite understand. Like he was leaving a part out between being with Molly, eating clover and then a woman nabbing Molly into a car with her. Jasper couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for him,  for he did seem distraught over losing Molly. He said how he felt an attachment for Molly instantly, that she was so sweet and innocent. 

It was no good to have Aspen feel that way about her, for if he knew Jasper’s purpose for wanting Molly, Aspen would strongly object. to it. He wouldn’t understand and would be angry at his Grandfather. Jasper didn’t want that so he must not know. Biting off a big chunk of carrot he threw it down and hopped away. He would have to figure something out. Maybe by going down deep in his burrow, he would be able to think better. He needed a plan! 

Aspen was out resting under a tree. He couldn’t get Molly off his mind. Relief had surged through him when his Grandfather didn’t ask for more details about how Molly came to be with the lady who took her away in the car. Molly had to be okay.  Ashton knew he had only been with her a short time, but he couldn’t imagine anything bad happening to her. He had no clue who those other bunnies were with Molly, and he may have neglected to mention the other bunnies to his Grandfather. Ashton had a feeling that the less details he gave to Jasper about Molly disappearing the better. 

Jasper was pleased, he had come up with a plan. Aspen had told him where he stopped to eat the clover and where Molly was seen getting into the car. It was close by a park. He figured he would go there and hide out, hoping that whoever this woman was would bring Molly to the park. Jasper would put on his charm and get Molly to follow him, while Aspen distracted the lady. He wasn’t putting Aspen in charge of Molly again! Sometimes if you wanted things done right, you had to do them yourself, he learned that. He would show Aspen how things are done. Feeling proud of himself and his plan he fell asleep easily that night. He felt confident that Molly would soon be in the grips of his power.

“How long are we going to stay here Grandfather?”  Aspen asked, feeling bored. They had been sitting behind a bush for a hour now, waiting for Molly to come. Waiting for her to come when they had no idea if she would come! This idea was crazy! 

Jasper was not going to let one failed attempt stop him. So Molly never showed up that day, they would go back again the next day. He wouldn’t let himself think about the real possibility of her never coming. His masterplan would never work if he didn’t have her! He would have to find another sweet and innocent human and that was almost an impossible task. They were a rare breed. 

After a week of coming to the park every day, Jasper was ready to admit defeat, the taste was bitter in his mouth. All the plans he had of how to overtake the human race were thwarted once again. Sighing deeply he nudged Aspen, who had fallen asleep. 

“Aspen! Aspen! Wake up! We are going to go home, I give…” 

He thumped his foot on the ground rapidly. “Aspen, do you see her? That’s Molly isn’t it?” Jasper pointed to a little girl excitedly. His heart started  racing for she was alone, they had no time to lose!

“You stay here and watch for anyone coming, I am going to go to her and try to get her to follow me.” Jasper hopped out from around the bush heading towards Molly. 

“MOO!”  Jasper jumped, where had the cow come from, he hadn’t seen a cow, and now it was standing right in the middle of his path to Molly! 

Jasper tried to peer around the cow, but she was rather large, he caught a glimpse of Molly playing in the sandbox. She was still alone. He had to get to her. He wasn’t going to let no dumb cow stop him. 

He started going around the cow, “MOO!” the cow moved, blocking him again. Jasper hopped to the other side, and the cow moved again giving him a defiant stare. 

If Jasper didn’t know better, he would say that the cow was purposely trying to block him from Molly, but that was ridiculous, wasn’t it?  Jasper moved again, and sure enough so did the cow, her eyes never leaving him. 

Every time Jasper tried different moves the cow kept interfering. Then Jasper heard a lady calling. “Molly, Molly honey, its time to leave.” 

Nooooo….!! Jasper saw Molly leaving, his chance was slipping away right in front of him. 

Jasper flushed with anger. He spied the silver cowbell dangling from the cow’s neck and impulsively jumped as high as he could. Grabbing hold of the bell he shook it as he yelled at the cow. 

Pink and purple smoke filled the air and when it cleared Jasper found himself lying on the ground. He stood up feeling dazed and confused. Where was he? Oh No, the cow was here too! Did this cow have it in for him or what! “MOO!” She glared at him, Jasper felt unsettled, he was used to being in control. He had never had a cow glare at him before. She bent her face down to be close to him and Jasper started feeling afraid. Then suddenly in another cloud of smoke the cow was gone! 

Where did she go, he wondered. He wasn’t sorry to see her leave, but he now felt alone, and totally confused. Where was he and would he ever get home? 

“Mommy, Mommy! Look, a white bunny. Can we take him home with us?” 

“Honey, I don’t think so.” 

“But Mommmmm!” Jaime started stamping his feet and screaming. 

“Fine, grab him and lets go, just stop screaming!’ 

Before Jasper knew what was happening, he felt himself being grabbed by the back of its neck and carried to a car. He was held tightly on the boy’s lap. “Don’t worry fella, I can’t wait to introduce you to Whiskers, our cat.” 

Jasper gulped and started to tremble all over. A CAT!

Betsy was contently grazing in the pasture. She thought of sweet Molly and glad that she was able to protect her. That she had answered the call to go where she was needed. Her Mom Lucy’s words came back to Betsy, about how she was a special cow and that with her enchanted cowbell she would be capable of doing many things. One of those being the ability to help people in trouble. Betsy smiled, and a warm feeling flowed through her. She felt her Mother’s love and she hoped that she had made her proud today. 

 

 

Mystery of the Night

Image from Pinterest

What a beautiful night! Patrick had been standing out on the deck admiring the beauty of the full moon’s reflection in the water. It gave the water a purplish glow. Then to his surprise a whale jumped up. There weren’t many people still out on the deck, but the ones who were gasped in delight at seeing the whale.

A great way to end the last night of the cruise. Patrick was ready to get home, but the cruise had been a wonderful break from his stressful job at working with the FBI. It always was good to get away for a bit! He thought that when he got back, he would go visit his cousin Luke for the weekend, before starting back to work on Monday. He enjoyed being with Luke and his family. Little Annie was adorable, even though she wasn’t so little anymore. She was growing like a weed, and her baby brother looked different every time Patrick saw him. He could give them the little gifts that he had brought back from Cancun for them.

On his way back to his room he heard someone call his name. “Mr. Patrick, Mr. Patrick…”

He recognized the cute little voice. It was Molly, a sweet girl that he had met on the ship, along with her parents, Kimberly and Jacob. They had talked a lot on the ship. Patrick had been intrigued with the story about how Kimberly found Molly by the side of the road with the bunnies, and how she wouldn’t talk for quite awhile. It was wonderful to see her so happy and bubbly now. Love had opened the door of her heart. Kimberly and Jacob had opened their hearts to her, and adopted her, after the search for her parents came up with nothing.

He turned around and saw Molly in her little nightgown, holding a stuffed bunny. “HI Molly!” he said, and he smiled at her parents standing behind her. “Guess what!” Molly said with her eyes bright.

Patrick squatted down on her eye level and asked, “What?”

“I lost a tooth, and Mommy said if I fall asleep quickly the tooth fairy will come!”

Patrick reached into his pocked and pulled out 2 shiny quarters. “Here, you can add this to whatever the tooth fairy brings you.” he said, handing them to Molly.

“Thank you!” she said with her cheeks rosy, clutching tightly to the coins in her hand. Patrick talked a few moments to her parents and then they all bid each other goodnight. They would all meet for breakfast, for one more meal together, before they docked.

“Knock, knock” … where was the knocking coming from? Where was he? This didn’t look like his bedroom. “Knock, knock”. … His mind started clearing, looking at the numbers on his alarm clock. It was midnight and he was on the cruise ship. Someone was knocking at his door. “Knock! Knock!”” The knocking was louder and someone was saying his name! What was going on? Why was someone knocking on his door?

He stumbled out of his bed, walked over to the door, and opened it. Molly’s Mom, Kimberly was standing there with a frantic look on her face. Alarm shot through his body and he suddenly felt more awake.

“Kimberly, what is wrong?”

“Its Molly! She disappeared! ”

Disappeared! What did they mean, his foggy brain was trying to compute. Where would Molly be at midnight!

“Jacob woke up and he looked over at Molly’s bed and there was no one there! He thought she was in the bathroom at first, but it was empty! Molly has never wandered away before in the middle of the night! Could she have been sleep walking? Should we wake the Captain? Oooh my precious girl … she has to be OK. ”

Patrick could tell that Kimberly was fighting to keep her composure. Patrick had been taught how to stay strong in scary situations, but he even felt panic clutching his heart. He had only known Molly for the past week, but she had wrapped herself around his heart. He couldn’t imagine anything happening to her.

Their room was only 2 doors down from Patrick’s, he looked down the long hallway, which way did she go?

“I will go this direction and you go the other, she probably hasn’t gone far.” He tried to feel as confident about that as he sounded and he started down the hallway.

Patrick was almost at the end of the hall and had seen no trace of Molly, then something caught his eye. Molly’s bunny! It was on the steps leading to the next level. He grabbed it and started up the steps.

“Molly!” Relief coursed through him! At the top of the steps and to the right of them was little Molly trying her hardest to operate the vending machine. She couldn’t quite reach high enough to put her quarters in the slot.

“Mr. Patrick! I want candy!”

Patrick looked at her innocent, sweet face and picked her up. “I think that first we need to go see your Mommy!”

He quickly carried her back down the steps and down the hallway calling out to Kimberly.

Kimberly and Jacob didn’t take long to come running down the hall towards them. “Molly!” they yelled. Kimberly couldn’t hold back her tears anymore, as she took Molly from Patrick’s arms and hugged her tight!

“Where did you go? What were you doing?”

“I wanted candy Mommy. I have money, I was hungry. ”

Jacob embraced them both in a hug and he told Molly that they would talk about her candy outing later, but that now she needed to get back in bed!

“Thank you so much!” Jacob and Kimberly said to Patrick.

“So glad to help! I wish all my cases could be this easy to solve! And now you little monkey” he said while giving Molly’s cheek a little pinch. “You stay in bed!” Molly giggled and they all said goodnight!

It took Patrick a little bit to fall back asleep. Gradually he felt his heart calm back down, after the adrenaline rush, and he was feeling sleepy once again. He smiled at the picture in his mind of Molly reaching so hard to try to put the money in the machine. She was something else. It made him wonder again why she had been abandoned by the side of the road. What was her story? Were her parents still alive, had they purposely abandoned her or did something happen to them? His mind started to go into detective mode again, but sleep was more powerful, and won the battle. Solving the case of Molly’s parents would just have to wait.

Purple Feathers Falling

Image from Pinterest

Where were the feathers coming from? Marissa was standing in the field looking up at the sky as the feathers fell down around her. There were no birds flying in the azure blue sky. These weren’t typical bird feathers either, they were purple. Marissa picked one up looking at it closer, and looked back up at the sky. Nothing was falling anymore.

She gathered the feathers up in her hands, not exactly sure what she was going to do with them, but they felt special. How often do purple feathers just randomly fall out of the sky?

If this was how her day was starting, what did the rest of the day hold for her? Were these purple feathers a sign of good luck? She was interviewing for a Nanny position today, she would take all the luck that she could get.

This was the correct house. A large beige stone house. Marissa took a deep breath as she walked up the stone path leading to the door. Beautiful hyacinths and lupine were on either side of the path.

Ringing the doorbell, she calmed herself feeling the soft feathers in her pocket.

The door opened and a woman with a baby in her arms and a 3 year old wrapped around her leg was standing there.

“Welcome! Come on it.” she said to Marissa, greeting her with a warm smile.

“Hi! You have a lovely home.” Marissa said, looking around.

“Thank you! This is little Austin in my arms and Valerie.” The Mom reached down and brushed Valerie’s hair out of her eyes as the little girl kept playing peek a boo with Marissa, hiding behind her Mom’s legs.

Marissa was beginning to relax, the lady seemed friendly and little Valerie was adorable with her blue eyes and impish smile. Then Marissa looked at the painting on the wall beside her and her breath caught in her throat.

It was a painting of a young lady standing in a field as purple feathers fell down around her. The feathers looked exactly like the ones in Marissa’s pocket and goosebumps covered Marissa’s arms. The young lady in the painting looked exactly like Marissa! Even had the exact same scarf around her neck as Marissa had, which Marissa was now fingering nervously.

Mrs. Hetchfield looked at the painting and back at Marissa with a cunning smile, “Like I said, Welcome dear, you are exactly where you belong now. I have been waiting for a long time.”

Another Tale from the Bayou

This is a continuation from yesterday’s post, Secrets of the Bayou

 

 

Image from Pinterest

Loralei enjoyed being out in the bayou in the morning. A perfect way to start her day, rowing peacefully and sometimes letting the boat be still. Immersing herself in the solitude of the golden morning. It was therapeutic to her. She needed something to help her get over the betrayal of Carter. Should have known that he was a snake. Trying to dig up a fake fortune. He had fallen for the trap that her Dad had set.

Her Dad had suspected that Carter wasn’t who Loralei thought he was and so her Dad set the whole thing up. He typed up what looked like an official document from a lawyer. It was describing a fortune that had been left for him in the Will of his eccentric grandfather. The letter told exactly how to find the fortune, stating that it would be under the tree that had a gold tassel on it.

When Carter came over that night for supper, her Dad had called him into the office to talk about something. Then he excused himself for a few moments from the office. He purposely had left the letter lying on his desk, easy for Carter to see and read.

When Carter had called Loralei the next day to say that he had something that had suddenly come up that night, her heart sank. She knew where he was headed. She thought she would have a little fun at his expense and that was why she decorated both trees with a gold tassel. When she arrived he was digging furiously. It had been fun to catch him in the act, though it still stung sharply to know that Carter had been so quick to steal from them! That was it, she was finished with guys! Who needed them anyway.

She let the boat drift along some more. Some people thought the bayou was spooky, the big cypress trees and swampy mud, plus the gators, but Loralei wasn’t afraid at all. She knew the bayou like the back of her hand and knew where the alligators usually gathered at. Knowing how to look out for them.

Later that evening she was in her bedroom listening to sad love songs, when her Dad knocked on the door.

“Come in.” she said.

Curled up in her bed in her favorite pair of lime green sweats with an oversized t-shirt, she looked up as her Dad entered the room.

He looked around at the clothes scattered on the floor , and the empty quart container of Ben and Jerry’s chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. Taking seat on Loralei’s bed, he held out a present for her. It was a small box tied with a pink bow.

“Awh Dad! What is this?” Loralei asked, taking the little box.

“A little something that I thought may help to cheer you up.”

Opening the box, her forehead crinkled in confusion. “A cowbell?”

Smiling, her Dad said, “Yes, and not just any cowbell, this is a rare, special one.”

Loralei took it out of the box and looked at it. “No offense Dad, but really … a cowbell? What exactly am I supposed to do with it, I don’t own a cow.” she said.

“I will show you. Take my hand, and then shake the bell 3x.”

Shaking her head Loralei said, “Dad, are you sure you are OK? You want me to shake the bell 3x. Is this like Dorothy clicking her heels 3x? Am I going to be magically transported somewhere? Do you have some ruby slippers for me too?” Loralei asked, with a sarcastic laugh.

“Just take my hand and shake the bell.”

Rolling her eyes, she grabbed her Dad’s hand, and shook the bell. POOF! Pink and purple smoke filled the room.

Loralei picked herself up off the ground, looking at her Dad with an incredulous expression.

“What just happened? That was wild!”

“Looks like we are on a little vacation. I love the ocean!” The seagulls were calling while Loralei stood on the beach, not saying a word, as they watched the waves rolling into the shore.

After a few moments, Loralei said, “This is amazing, but I am so confused! How…?”

Her Dad bent down to pick up a sand dollar. “Lets take a walk along the water and I will explain the legend of the enchanted cowbell.

All thoughts of Carter vanished and Loralei was all ears.

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?