The Surprise Letter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why would a private detective be contacting her?

(To be continued…)

The Inheritance!

Image from Pinterest

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

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

“Welcome! Thank you so much for coming.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

( to be continued…)

Settling In

This is a sequel to my Facing Uncertainty post. Hope you like it!

Katy had been in her safe-house for a week now and was trying to get used to this new way of life.

It was quite different from her busy life as an attorney! She was almost finished reading her 3rd novel, sbe was going to have to send Patrick or John out for more books.

One of them was always with her. It was strange never being alone! They were good at giving her privacy, but they were always in the cottage. It did make her feel safe. Right now she didn’t really want to be alone.

Pstrick had been right about the food, it was really good. Depending on how long she had to hide out she may gain a lot of weight! He brought her seafood from a Cafe. Anything she wanted she could have and they had rich, chocolaty desserts.

Putting her book down she stepped out of her cottage to look at the ocean. She couldn’t go into town but Patrick did say that she could step out of her cottage to enjoy the sea. It helped her keep her sanity. Watching the waves roll and hearing them crash against the shore.

She saw Patrick’s boat coming. He had supper with him.

He was smiling when he stepped out of the boat. “Getting a little fresh air, I see.”

“Yes, i thought I should probably do some exercises to burn off all this good food that I have been eating!”

“You are welcome to join me on my morning jog tomorrow.” Patrick said.

Katy used to jog before she got so busy. It would be good to get back into it.

“Thanks! I think I will, now lets go eat, the smell is tantilizing.”

After a supper of clam strips and shrimp with lava cake, Katy knew that she had to go jogging tomorrow.

Her alarm went off and she groggily tried to turn it off but kept hitting the wrong button. UGH! Who went jogging at 5am! She should have asked Patrick the time before agreeing to go.

She still remembered his smirk as he said Good Night last night and then added. “See you at 5am!” Her face must have shown her shock as he chuckled. He probably didn’t expect her to actually come but she would show him.

Pulling her hair up into a messy bun, she threw on her favorite sweats and went downstairs to meet him.

“Well look who made it up!” Patrick and John smiled at her as they said Good Morning.

“Are you coming jogging too?” Katy said too John. He was an older man, very nice guy. He had trained Patrick.

“Nope, I will keep an eye on the cottage and enjoy the exercise of lifting my coffee cup.” he joked, as he took a drink of coffee.

Patrick and Katy left the cottage and started jogging. Katy noticed the gun in Patrick’s pocket. She hoped he wouldn’t have to use it! There were moments when she could forget that someone actually wanted her dead, but then the harsh reality made her blood run cold.

Patrick noticed the change in her demeanor when she saw his gun.

“I promise, John and I will keep you safe, and you won’t be hiding forever. Now are you ready to jog 6 miles?”

“6 miles! Are you insane?” Katy replied.

“C’mon! Keep up slowpoke.” and Patrick took off running.

“Hey, I thought we were jogging, not running!” Katy yelled, running to catch up.

Facing Uncertainty

Pinterest image NYC

The fog was so thick this morning. Katy was really glad that she didn’t have far to go to work. Driving in fog in NYC traffic had her stressed out by the time she arrived at work.

She had worked at the law firm for 6 months now and still couldn’t stop smiling at the sight of her brass name plate on the door.

Stress from the traffic started to melt away as she sat down at her desk, ready to start the day.

“Good Morning Katy!” Matt said, as he waltzed into her office and sat a hot cup of Peppermint Mocha on her desk.

“Thanks Matt! Appreciate it.”

“You are welcome. I thought you might need it to prepare you for whats coming today.” He replied.

“Prepare me? What do you mean?”giving him a quizzical look.

“Meeting at 2pm, you will find out everything then.” he said, and turned away.

“But…but…Matt?”

He turned back around and gave Katy a reassuring smile. “It will be OK, I believe in you. If I didn’t I wouldn’t have asked you to be my partner. He gave her a wink and walked out the door, leaving Katy to wonder.

Well, the stress had been melting away. She took a sip of her peppermint mocha and tried to tell herself not to worry. She trusted Matt, he had been great to work with. A month ago they had celebrated their victory over a murder case that they had worked on together.

Katy’s heart broke for the victim’s family, but she was glad that she helped in bringing the family justice. Nothing could take away the pain of their loss, but at least one less murderer was walking the street.

It was a busy morning with phone calls and meeting with 2 clients. Before she knew it the time had come for the meeting with Matt. She walked to Matt’s office feeling confident, as she knocked on his door.

“Come in.” Katy turned the knob and walked in, surprised to see another gentleman in the room.

Matt walked over to Katy and said, “i would like you to meet Mr. Patrick Duvette. He is a FBI agent.

Katy’s heart started beating a little fast and her hand shook some as she put it out to shake Patrick’s hand. What was he doing here, she wondered.

“Lets all take a seat and we will explain everything, Katy.” Matt said. “Patrick is here to take you away for your own protection for a little while.”

Katy’s eyes grew bjg. “What! What are you talking about? I have only been working here for 6 months!”

Matt sighed. “I know, but that case we won last month seems to have left you some dangerous enemies. We received a death threat and they specifically mentioned you. I am sorry, I know this comes as a shock to you. I will do all I can to get to the bottom of things, I promise. For now you need to work with me in making sure you are safe. Patrick has a safe place to take you too.

Katy’s mind was swimming with questions and fear! Someone had made a death threat against her! She started feeling a little sick.

Patrick noticed her looking pale. He walked over to her and took her hand. “I understand this is frightening but let me reassure you that you will be very safe at this place. You won’t be alone!”

Matt offered her a bottle of water which she drank, while Patrick filled her in on more details.

Katy shoved her journal into her bulging suitcase and took one more look around her apartment. She didn’t know when she would be back. At least she had been able to go see her first Broadway show last week. The Lion King had been amazing!

Patrick was waiting for her right outside her door. She gave him a brave smile and said, “I’m ready.” She said the words but her stomach was in knots. Patrick couldn’t tell her exactly where she was going. He did say that she would have deliciois food there though. She laughed, well food was important.

Katy watched out the window as they drove out of the city. She felt exhausted from the stress of her day. Her eyes grew heavy and sleep overtook her, as she headed into another new beginning.

Hope in a Bottle

Long, long ago there was a young woman who lived by the sea. In a quaint chalet she lived by herself, The waves kept her company. Sometimes they would roar quite loud, but other times they were gentle when kissing the shore.

She never grew tired of walking along the shore and watching the dazzling display of colors as the sun would set over the sea.

In the morning the sea would glisten like sapphires when the rising sun shined down upon it.

She had learned to enjoy her solitary life. Each day was usually the same but she liked it that way. She kept a journal, recording all her thoughts and writing down memories of the life she had left behind. Sometimes the memories would tug at her heart, but for the most part she had learned to be content. Then one day, what the tide brougbt in changed all that!

She was taking her usual evening stroll by the sea when something washed up on the shore, lying right at her feet.

It was a bottle witb a message inside. She didn’t know what to think. She sat down, sinking into the sand, and opened the bottle.

Pulling out the message she began to read.”Dear Annalise, I have no idea if you will ever receive this but I want you to know its safe to come home now., she died. Come home sweet Anna, to where you belong.” Your loving Aunt.

Annalise re-read the short note 3x, letting it sink in. She could go home. No more fear needed, it was safe to return home. She pondered the news as she gazed out on the turquoise blue sea.

Without a Clue

What happened and where was she? Sarah was feeling like her grandmother, ferhoodled. Very confused!  One minute she was walking home and the next …. she was on 5th Avenue in NYC, holding onto a bag of chicken legs and donuts.

The honking of horns was going to give her a headache. “Excuse me Miss.” said one man as he eushed past her. She had stepped out of his way only to step into someone else’s path.

Whoa! She got shoved out of the way, almost losing her balance. She did manage to lose her bag of chicken legs. They were scattered all over the road now!

“Katie! Kate!” Quick come, lunch break is over. We have to be back in court. The jury has reached a verdict.

Sarah was studying the cowbell in her hand, which she had forgotten about. Suddenly she felt her arm being grabbed. “Didn’t you hear me, you look like you are daydreaming Kate.

“But wait, I am not Kate.” Sarah said as she felt herself being pulled along.

The other lady looked at her and laughed.  “You were just on lunch break, Kate, it wasn’t Happy Hour! Were you drinking?”

Sarah didn’t know what to say. She let herself be pulled along as the other lady prattled on about the court case. A case that she had no clue about what was going on! Right now she had no clue about anything that was going on.

“Do you think the jury will rule in  the plaintiff’s favor? Do you really think that Miss. Scarlet murdered the Professor?

Soon they were in front of the courthouse and Sarah found herself in line to go through security. BUZZ! Sarah had set off the alarm! Why had…then she remembered the cowbell in her pocket.

“Miss, we need you to empty your pockets and go through again please.” Sarah felt her face grow hot as she pulled her cowbell out. The security officer gave her a curious stare.

Tbe lady who had mistaken her for Kate, looked at the Security officer and said “It is her good luck charm.” The man picked it up,  handing it back to Sarah and said, “Good luck Miss!” Sarah mumbled a Thank You, still feeling embarrassed.

“Kate, I have to ask, what are you doing with a cowbell?”

“Its my good luck charm.” she said, and she rang it 3x! Pink and purple smoke filled the hallway and when it cleared Sarah breathed a sigh of relief, she was back in town!

She was so glad to be back, but her mind was swirling. What had happened? She couldn’t stop looking at the cowbell while walking back to the Inn.

Opening the door she called out, “Miss. Lisette, I am so sorry I took so long! You will never believe what happened!”

Lisette came around the corner. “So glad you are back, I was beginning to wonder how many games you were playing at the Fluffer Nutter Shop!”

“Games? What? Oh yeah! Well actually, I didn’t play any games. I….”

Lisette couldn’t believe her eyes! “Where did you find that cowbell?”

“In the grass and let me tell you, this is one very magical cowbell!”

“I know!” said Lisette, “How do you think I ended up here.”

Now Sarah’s eyes were wide! “What! This cowbell brought you here?”

“Let me make us some Creme Brulee coffee, this is going to be a long story.” Lisette replied, while walking into the kitchen, leaving Sarah staring after her in wonder.

The Ringing of the Bell

Sounds of the  “Maple Leaf Rag” floated  upstairs to where Lisette was busy cleaning rooms and getting ready for new guests.

The music of Sarah’s piano playing  combined with the scent of the burning  cinnamon candles filled Lisette with warmth.

She was excited about the new guests that were coming. They were a couple coming back from their honeymoon. Lisette paused in her cleaning as she started daydreaming about how it would feel to be in love!

“Miss. Lisettte” I am going into town now, anything that you would like me to pick up for you? Sarah asked as she called up the stairs.

“I could use a 5 pound bag of flour and some chicken legs. Thank you! I will bring some money down in a minute.”

Lisette finished making the bed and then walked downstairs to Sarah. “Here is money for the groceries and here is some extra money. Stop by the Fluffer Nutter Shop and pick up a cream filled donut for me and whatever your favorite kind is.”

Sarah smiled, “Thanks! Will be back soon. Well unless I get talked into a game of Scrabble with Mr.Fluff. He always comes up with the craziest words. Words I had never heard of before!”

“Have fun!” Lisette said as Sarah walked out the door.

Sarah didn’t get caugbt up in a game this time. Mr. Fluff and Mr. Nut were in deep concentration over a game of Clue. She loved it when they were played Clue. It was fun to pull her trick at times. They would be in such deep concentration that they wouldn’t notice her peeking at the cards in the secret envelope.

She did it again this time.  Thanking them for her 2 donuts she walked to the door and then on the way out she yelled, “Mrs. Peacock did it in the ballroom with the candlestick.” and laughed as she heard them yelling, when she walked out the door.

Walking down the sidewalk Sarah was smiling. She was almost back to the Inn when she saw something shiny lying on the sidewalk. It looked like an old cowbell. She picked it up giving it a shake, to see if it would ring.

Hmmm….thought Lisette. Sarah must have got into playing a game with Mr. Fluff and Mr. Nutter for she had been gone quite awhile.

…to be continued..

So Many Questions! Part 2

Here is a link to Part 1, https://joyroses13.wordpress.com/2020/08/10/so-many-questions/

Tristan was at work. It was past time to go home, but this case he had been working on was causing him so many headaches. He finally closed the folder and grabbed his keys. It could wait until another tomorrow. He was anxious to get home and relax. Perhaps he would go for a jog around the lake nearby. Some may not agree, but for him, jogging was relaxing. Especially after a long day of sitting in a chair with his neck bent over papers.

When he got home, he changed clothes, grabbed his water bottle and took off for the lake. The sun was going down, so he didn’t have a lot of time, but a few laps around the lake were enough for him to clear his brain and feel more relaxed.

After his last lap, he hopped into his red jeep, popped in his Pink Floyd CD, and headed home.

Tristan started going through the mail when he got home. He had quickly thrown it on the counter earlier. He caught his breath when he saw another letter with no return address. Was it another letter from her? Would this one answer any questions or just raise some more. Filled with curiosity he sat down, opened it and started to read.

Mr. McFerral:

“I said I would tell you more about me, but where do I begin? Life hasn’t always been easy for me, and I have had many regrets about things I have done. This past year though, has changed me. It has helped opened my eyes and gave me a strength that I didn’t know I had. An inner resolve to get on a better path.

I sound formal with calling you Mr. McFerral, but I do it because I am just not sure where I stand with you anymore. I know I hurt you a lot in the past and I so wish I could turn back time.

I am so very sorry Dad, I want to come back home.  Can I please? I miss you!

Sincerely,

Shauna

Tristan felt his eyes brimming, as the memories rolled down his face. He had given up hope of hearing from her, but not a day had gone by that he hadn’t thought of her. When his wife died, it had hit Shauna so hard and she got so angry. Tristan tried to help her, but he was grieving too and he felt her slipping away. The day he found her note telling him she was leaving was the day he lost another part of his heart.

He had tried to find her. She had contacted him a few brief times letting him know she was safe, but that was it. There was nothing he could do, he only hoped that one day she would find her way back home.

Holding the letter in his hand he walked up the stairs to her bedroom at the end of the hall. It was still pretty much as she had left it. She had grown from a toddler to a teenager in this room. The decor had changed but there was one thing that stayed through the years. One thing that he was surprised she hadn’t taken with her. It was her little stuffed deer laying on her bed. She had carried that thing around with her everywhere and when she grew and started getting rid of her stuffed animals that one was the only one to stay.

He picked it up and only as he sat on her bed, did the thought strike him. Smiling, he shook his head. How did he not pick up on that before?

“Jane Doe” , Jane was the name that Shauna had given her little deer when Tristan had first given it to her.

He walked over to Shauna’s desk and sat down. He had a long overdue letter to write. Fortunately she had included her address at the end of the letter. Now if only he could see to write through the tears.

 

 

 

 

 

So Many Questions!

Tristan walked slowly to the house as he flipped through the mail in his hand. Bills, bills, junk mail, and …. a letter? Who was writing him a letter? Letters were something rarely heard of these days. He was trying to remember the last time he had received one. There was no return address, so he really had no clue who it might be from.

He walked inside and laid the mail down on the counter, as he walked into the kitchen to get a cold drink from the fridge.  Picked up the letter again and walked over to the table and sat down. In his profession one couldn’t be too careful about mail. He was a lawyer, and there were a lot of people sitting behind bars, not feeling too happy with him.

Staring at the letter, he looked at his fish tank across the room and remembered he had to feed them. He loved his saltwater tank, with the clown fish and other brightly colored fish swimming around, darting in and out of the little caves that he had. Dodging around the plants.

Still holding the letter in his one hand,  he walked over to the fish tank and shook the food in, watching the fish swim to the top to eat it.

He walked over to his overstuffed chocolate brown couch, sat down, opened the letter and slowly read it.

Mr. McFerral,

“I am sure you are wondering who this letter is from and I will tell you straight up that once you finish this letter you will have even more questions.

I assure you I am not a stalker and I am not trying to blackmail you.

If you think you feel nervous reading this, I feel even more nervous writing it. Many times I started this letter and many times I wadded up the paper and threw it into my wastepaper basket. I lost count as to what number this letter is.

The bottom line is I need your help and that is what gives me the courage to write as butterflies flutter around in my stomach. If you had asked me last year if I would be writing a letter to you I would have said No, but so much can happen in a year. Life is full of the unexpected!

I need to ask you a question and its a question that carries a lot of weight. A question that won’t be asked in this letter. I will be sending my next letter in a few days which will reveal more about me.”

Sincerely,

Jane Doe

Tristan stared at the letter in his hand for a few moments before folding it and slowly putting it back into the envelope. He listened to the gurgling of his fish tank and watched the damselfish swim around.  She had a question for him? What kind of question? Who was she? Thoughts swirled in and out of his head, just like the fish darting in and out of the castle that he had recently put in there. What would the next letter say? 4aa4c06f40498313e927996201e6d5bephoto credit Pinterest

 

Mona Lisa’s Smile!

15a930e6872ff84cfa01776d4a6528a5picture from Pinterest

 

Landon was in his study, ready to bang his head on his desk! Was he really going crazy?

When he was looking at the house and thinking about buying it, there were all kinds of rumors going around that the old house was haunted. He laughed at the rumors, he was a intelligent businessman, he knew there was no such things as haunted houses. The house was sold at a bargain price, for the realtor was so eager to get it off her hands.  Landon felt like the cat that had swallowed the canary with the good deal he had got. It was a beautiful house, and even furnished. Apparently the last owners were certain that any pieces of furniture from the house would bring bad luck to their new house, so they were more than happy to leave everything behind.

The first few weeks nothing had happened out of the ordinary and Landon was feeling very happy with his new home. Whenever he would go out to the bank, or grocery store, he would get questions from people about how things were going.  When he would answer that it was all going well, they would look surprised, but not convinced. He could see the suspicious look in their eyes, as they wished him a good day. He felt the whispers behind his back. Landon had decided they were all crazy!

But now … Now he was beginning to feel like he was losing his mind. The Mona Lisa painting didn’t bother him at first but then he kept feeling like her eyes were following him and it bothered him. He decided to get rid of it, so he took it down and put it in the spare room, not quite sure what to do with it. Didn’t feel right in just throwing it away.

Imagine his shock the next day when he saw the painting hanging on the wall again! He shook his head as he looked at it and figured he must have just been thinking he had taken it down the day before. Perhaps it had been a long day at the office and he was tired, and had meant to take the painting down but hadn’t done it. This time he made sure to take it down and he put it in the spare room once more. The next morning it was hanging again on the wall and this time it was like her smile was mocking him! Again he took it down and this time he put it up in the attic. Now this morning as he came whistling down the hall, he stopped in his tracks when once again the Mona Lisa painting was hanging on the wall!

He had grabbed it off the wall and it was now laying in front of him on his desk. Yes, she was definitely laughing at him!

This was it, he was getting rid of the painting once and for all! Getting up from his desk, he grabbed it and walked out of the office. It was storming outside but he didn’t care. He didn’t even take the time to grab an umbrella or put a jacket on, as he went out the front door. Yes! The garbage hadn’t gone yet. He shoved the picture into the trashcan and walked back inside dripping wet.

After taking a warm shower and changing into dry clothes he grabbed himself some brandy and settled in front of his fireplace. Slowly he began relaxing. Everything would be fine now, he was sure of it. After all there was no such thing as a haunted house he told himself once again.

Legend has it that Landon disappeared , no one knows exactly what happened. All his belongings were still at the house, and his Lexus was in the garage, but he was never seen in the house again.

Rumors really went wild in the town after that, and once more the house stood empty. Then a new couple came to town. They fell in love with the great big house and the wife especially loved the Mona Lisa painting hanging on the wall. There was just something so mysterious about her smile.