The Winter Walk – Aria and Cooper

Image Credit: Morguefile.com

Aria had been walking forever it seemed, though it had only been minutes. The cold breeze in her face had turned her nose a bright pink, and her feet were freezing in her boots. The snow made her steps harder and heavier. Each step made the cabin feel farther away and made her legs feel like wet noodles from keeping her balance.

When she saw the cabin come into sight, her pace quickened as much as it could without tripping her in the snow. The light in the cabin was flickering, and she could see her father’s silhouette reflecting off of the window. She could smell the smoke from the fireplace hanging in the air. It smelled good. She was almost home. Thank goodness, Aria thought. It was too cold to speak the words aloud, and she wished she would have worn a warmer coat. She underestimated the snowfall while coming back from her aunt’s cabin up the road.

“Just a little bit further”, she said to herself.

The path had gotten a little icy from melting and re-freezing throughout the daylight into the night. She worked hard not to slip

Her father waved his hand happily with his face lingering in the window. When she reached the porch, she snuffed out the lantern and rested against the strong wooden porch to catch her breath. She heard something wrestling around in the trees behind her as she leaned against the rail.

“Is someone there?” She asked out into the cold darkness behind her. The moving stopped.

She was scared to move because she did not have any idea if it was an animal or a human moving around behind her. Cautiously, she looked behind her without moving too fast or too much. When she finally saw what was making the noise, she busted out in laughter.

“Cooper! You silly hound! You scared the wits out of me!”

Cooper wagged his tail, ran up for puppy kisses, and they both walked into the house where Aria’s father had dinner ready for the both of them.


This was written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge.

© E.M. Kingston – All Rights Reserved.

Family Makes the World Go Around – #WDYS 110

Image credit; Sasint @ Pixabay

The friendly cat meows in the breeze of a sunny day, and she rubs up against the basket filled with fruit, purring loudly and stretching her back against the weave.

The boy says, “Grandma, sit with me a moment! Let me show you what I’ve found!”

Grandma sat beside him and giggled at his amusement with his laptop, “Dear boy, what have you found?” she asks.

The boy says frankly, “Our family tree!”

The cat looks away as she hears a sound in the distance, and Grandma moves closer to see the screen of his laptop.

“Well, isn’t that something? The whole family is there…” She points her finger around at the various names that sat upon the digital tree.

“Grandma, where is my brother’s name…he’s not there?”

The little boy did not know the grown things of their family, like the fact that his brother was adopted into the family.

She spoke with compassion and said, “Remember this, my dear grandson…blood is not always the family you keep. There are those that embrace our lives with their goodness that have no blood in common. Be excited about them too. Family means everything!”

The boy smiled at his grandmother as she sat there fiddling with a piece of stick, and he knew exactly what she was saying. He added his own entry to the tree with his brother’s name. “Family makes the world go around, right Grandma!”

She patted him on the head and nodded in agreement. The kitty followed her as she walked inside.


This was written for Sadje’s WDYS #110 and Eugi’s Weekly Prompt about “compassion”.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 21 – The Necklace

Cole’s pocket was deep in his cargo pants, and Davina reached in and felt around. Her soul was starting to immolate as she demeaned herself by digging in this man’s pocket and doing as he told her to…like she was a child. He was her master, and this was not what she signed up for when she signed that marriage license. Still, she kept her hand in his pocket and dug for the supposed treasure awaiting her. At the very bottom of his front, she felt a chain and grabbed it with her fingers. She cupped it in her hand as she pulled it out. She didn’t want to open her hand. She felt like he was bribing her after treating her so badly, and she honestly did not want anything he had to offer her anymore…including his love.

“Open your hand and look…go ahead.” He was excited and joking around like a jester, and she wasn’t feeling this little game he was playing with her.

She was flippant in her actions towards him, and her face was so serious as she looked up to him and rolled her eyes. Davina opened her hand and saw a gold necklace, probably over 14 karats, with a charm on it. The charm was familiar to her, and she was sure she had seen it somewhere before. Her mind was racing trying to figure out who this beautiful necklace belonged to.

“What’s this for, Cole? I’ve seen this somewhere before.” Davina allowed her eyes to cast a glare in his direction, and she probed at him with her questions about the pocket trinket. She knew that him having this necklace in his pocket was not something that he did in his good graces. “Where did you get this?”

“Oh…you know? Flannery deals with some people for us, and he thought you would like it.” His sneer was eerie and made Davina sick to her stomach. “I just wanted you to have a reminder of what happens to people who do bad things to our family. You know…just in case you were thinking of calling someone.”

Davina remembered Flannery, and she always thought he was just a layabout since she had never seen him go to an actual job of any kind. He always had just hung around the Deville house waiting for Megan, Corbin, or Cole to beckon him somewhere. He made her skin crawl. He was the villain in her story of life, and that was a chapter in her book that she had a bad feeling about.

Davina was still searching deep inside her brain to remember where she had seen the necklace before, but his threat had sidetracked her. She did not even recognize her husband right now. He had never been violent with her before, and the guy she knew most of her teen years would have never hit her or threatened her like tonight.
“I’m not going to call anyone, Cole…I do need to get my eye checked out though. I have a terrible migraine, and I’m dizzy.” Davina held her hand to her eye to try to relieve some pressure. The room was spinning a bit. She thought to herself…concussion probably.

“Take an aspirin and go to bed…you are so overdramatic.” Cole threw his hand up in the air and made Davina flinch backward away from his hand. “Oh, gimme a break…now you are going to jump every single time I move? Grow up, Davina!” He grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Whiskey off the table.

“So, this is who we are now?” Davina questioned her husband. “This is who you are…hmm?” She showed him that his haughty ways did not scare her and kept talking back to him.

She had obviously not learned her lesson on talking at him a certain way and in a certain tone, but she was true to herself. She was never one to back down to mean girls or bad people. It drove Fiona absolutely insane when Davina was growing up. The calls from the principal were common, and the teachers had gotten used to breaking up fights between her and those that would try to pick on her for being small.

He got into her face with his, “Are you sure you want to talk to me like that? Don’t push me, Davina. You’ll start ending up like your friends.”

This time she backed down and backed up away from her bully, and she was terrified of him. He followed her with steps forward matching her steps back. His face was different. His eyes were darker. She did not know this man…this dangerous man. He looked down at the necklace in her hand and laughed. “Ask around…you’ll find out whose neck that came off of.”

He continued his evil laugh as he turned his back, grabbed a beer from the refrigerator,  and walked away from her into the garage. The door slammed behind him, and Davina jumped once more. Unfortunately, it would not be the last time.


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

Part 20

The bolded and hyperlinked words in the story were using word challenges from the Daily Spur, Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, Ragtag Daily Prompt, Word of the Day Challenge, My Vivid Blog, Your Daily Word Prompt, and Three Things Challenge. This story started from a flash fiction prompt from Fandango.

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston – All Rights Reserved.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 19 – The Lakeside

Trigger Warning for a bit of violence… 18+ post


Georgia gathered her purse from beneath her bedside table, grabbed her keys from the hook on the wall by the front door, and headed out to run errands. Finn had left for college, and she needed to grab a variety of things she needed to redecorate Finn’s room from Kmart. She was looking forward to turning Finn’s space into a decadent sewing room since she had been working out of her garage when doing her sewing projects for the kids. She was a fantastic tailor, and she got very busy after making the dresses for Davina and Brooke at the end of the year celebration…their prom.

When Davina, Cole, Finn, and Brooke graduated, she had the idea that she would start her own business instead of working at the local dry cleaner’s shop. Their dresses turned out beautiful, and she wanted to use her talent for the greater good rather than making someone else rich. Not that she would become a millionaire or anything, but there were more advantages for becoming self-employed for her. Her current job paid decent enough, but she wanted to do something that she loved. She loved making those dresses.

For Davina, she made a long, blue gown that had flower and lace decorations up the right shoulder, and it hugged tight up top and flared out elegantly without touching the floor at the bottom. Brooke wore a black and gold sequined-topped dress that was strapless, and it flowed low in the back and high in the front. Both dresses were divine, and the girls loved them.

She thought about how she felt seeing them in their gowns before heading to prom as she walked to her car. It brought a smile to her face as she sat down in the seat of her station wagon. She tossed her purse onto the passenger seat, turned the key to start the beast of a car, and backed out of the driveway to start her shopping adventure. The chorus of REO Speedwagon’s Keep on Loving You was blaring on the radio, and she was singing along as she drove down the country road. The mayhem of life and dealing with her neighbors was behind her when she had her music and a nice drive, and when she was doing those two things, she was happy. Nothing else mattered if she could ponder in that moment of solitude from her house into town.

She would think about her boys and how proud she was of them, and she would peruse on the life she had chosen to live as a single mother. She would ponder on how she hated tofurkey and how she loved pulling the cork out of a new bottle of her favorite wine. As she heard the keyboard in the song, she would wish that she would have taken up playing an instrument of some sort when she was younger. It was a thinking space. It was something she enjoyed. It never got old for Georgia, driving that road that is. She loved her errand days and driving into town while enjoying her music as she cruised by the ducks that would sometimes be alongside the road.

The road that they all lived on was a road that hugged the edge of the lake, and it was always scenic. Anybody who was close to her knew she would bring food for the ducks and geese that occupied the roadside by the lake. Today was one of those days where she would stop and feed them before she got into town.

With REO still blaring on her radio, she pulled over to the side of the road, gathered the food she collected to feed the wildlife, and exited her vehicle. She tossed her jacket over her shoulder and grabbed her cigarettes from the cupholder in the door before closing it. Finn didn’t know that she had taken up smoking, and she did not intend for him to find out. Her car was her hiding place for all things unknown to her son. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him, she thought as she shrugged her shoulders and lit her Marlboro Menthol cigarette, and walked to the shore of the lake where the ducks were swimming.

“Alright duckies, who wants some food?” Georgia said as she tossed a bit of dog food out to the ducks just off the edge of the shore. It was a scrum of wildlife flocking to the grub she tossed out, and she loved watching them scramble to get it all.

A few ducks were up on the rocks beside the water that was moving back and forth against the sediment and boulders. She gave them some apples that she had cut up. One duck was especially hungry, and he kept edging closer and closer to Georgia. He gave a little nibble to her finger as she was feeding him.

“Well, hello there little guy…do you want some of these apples too?” She giggled at the greedy duck as she tossed him some more apples, and then all the ducks started becoming frightened.

They jumped into the water if they were not already in it and swam away from her as fast as they could. Georgia heard some of the brush behind her wrestle like someone was pushing their way through it. She was afraid to turn around and look. She just took a deeper drag from her cigarette and hoped the noise would disappear or whoever it was would turn and walk away. The disturbance got closer and heavier. Georgia thought so hard within herself about what to do and began to think about, Should I turn around? Or should I speak? She looked at the skyline with a prayer in her psyche. Georgia did not know what to do, and she was frightened to the point goosebumps had shown up on her skin. She was not cold. She was terrified, and that terror was making her skin crawl.

She took a horrified gulp of her throat and gasped out into the air without turning around to see who was there, “Hello…is someone there?”

Nobody answered. The feet stopped moving. She looked back and saw a towering, unkempt-looking male with a wan face glaring at her. His look was absolute terror. His eyes had a twitch, and they were as dark as the night’s sky without a moon. She knew him. He was there to hurt her.

“I know you. What do you want? Finn is not here.” She trembled in her vocal cords. “Please, I am just feeding the ducks. I don’t want any trouble.”

He edged closer to her, and she tossed her cigarette on the ground after taking the last big draw of smoke into her mouth. She stepped on it and looked at the ominous man. He was just waiting on her to move, like a tiger watching his prey. She had no idea what he wanted or why he was there…she only knew that she was not making it to town today. She would not collect her packages from the sewing shop today or any other day. She would never make that drive to town that she loved so much ever again, and she would not see her sons’ faces smiling back at her. She was going to be at the mercy of a man who looked as if he had more demons than a haunted house. She held onto any pride she had in her soul, and that was when she realized in her thoughts, I am going to die today…

“Jericho, right? Please…don’t do anything stupid! I have children. I’m all they have.” She was praying as she decided to try to avoid him. “I’m just going to go.”

She was unsuccessful. She tried to walk away, but she tripped. She took a fall over a boulder that was hidden in the grass, and he pursued her, enjoying the chase. When he got within reach of her, the assassin struck her in the back of the head with a baseball bat, knocking her unconscious while she was already down on the ground.

No one was around. No one saw Georgia go down. He threw her over his shoulder in his barbaric way, bound her hands and feet, loaded her into the station wagon, and drove away as fast as he could from the scene of the crime with Georgia’s body. His plan was to drive her over to the other side of the lake and away from her normal route, dump her body, and hide the vehicle. The problem was that his mind was sick, and he wasn’t done with her yet. He was a monster. A demon of the most awful kind…He got off on the pain of others, literally. He had been following her around for months and knew most of her habits, so when it came time to snatch her from her life, he would not fail. Georgia would have never seen him coming, but he wanted her to turn around and see his cold eyes staring back at her before he grabbed her from the shore. He got his morbid wish.


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

The bolded and hyperlinked words in the story were using word challenges from the Daily Spur, Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, Ragtag Daily Prompt, Word of the Day Challenge, My Vivid Blog, Your Daily Word Prompt, and Three Things Challenge. This story started from a flash fiction prompt from Fandango.

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston

Sebastian’s Story – Part 18 – The First Punch

Davina was folding clothes and watching her usual tv sitcoms when the breaking news came across her television about Megan’s arrest. She was folding her turquoise cashmere sweater while sitting on her couch while producing a stack of folded clothes on the oak coffee table. She had her favorite sweater up to her face, snuggling her nose against its soft texture until the story came on. When the words left the news anchor’s mouth, she dropped the sweater onto the table and ran into the kitchen to grab the phone. She thought I need to call Brooke.

She dialed the phone, but there was a busy tone ringing back into her ears. As she hung up the phone, she was thinking that Brooke had probably gone to celebrate after hearing the news that her mom was in trouble. It was a silly thought, but it made her giggle a bit under her breath. She found it a bit funny herself that Megan got caught up, and a little humor now and then was good when it came to the Deville family.

With the afterthought of her amusement still making a smile on her face, Cole walked through the front door of their 3-story home, and the smile faded to a terrified grimace. He was a mess. He had blood on his hands, and his clothes were covered in even more blood and dirt. His hair looked like he had been through a cyclone, and he was crying.

“Cole! Are you okay? What’s wrong?” Davina ran to him with a towel from the laundry because she thought the blood on him belonged to him.

“It’s not mine, Davina…” He pushed her away. “I got into some trouble. I’m alright. Can you open the safe and put this in there?” He handed her a revolver.

“I’m not touching that thing, Cole. Jesus Christ, Cole! What did you do?” She backed away from Cole and his gun nervously.

“Take the gun, Davina! Do what I say! You are my wife, and I told you to open the safe and put this in there. Remember who the hell you are married to, Davina!” Cole shoved the gun into her hands. “And Davina, I would wipe it off if I were you…” he said as he threw her beloved cashmere sweater at her face and the bloody gun.

Davina stood there with her arms shaking and her legs feeling like wet noodles. She had never seen him so angry before, but she was never one to back down to a bully.

She speaks out saying, “I won’t. I will not do it…You should do it yourself!” She wiped the gun down to remove her prints and set it wrapped up in her sweater on the coffee table.

As she turns to walk away, he blasts her in the face with his fist. Thankfully she was agile enough to break her fall with the clutter that was resting on the coffee table from doing laundry. The shot from his clenched fist had knocked her back about two feet from the dissonance between his hand and her face. This was the first time he had ever put his hands on me, she thought, I will never forget this… She becomes hysterical, and as she begins to scream out in pain, she hears Sebastian crying in his bedroom. The ruckus must have woken him. Her thoughts wandered to her sweet little boy, and she was thinking, Shh baby boy…Mommy’s okay. Instead, she stood there waiting for Cole to release another punch from his fist. She was so scared of the trepidation building inside of herself and worrying that Cole would go after Sebastian next.

“Please Cole…stop!” She holds out a hand to keep him from charging at her face again. “Let me get cleaned up and get Sebastian. I’m sorry. I am so deeply sorry. Just please…” She pleads to him. He laughs at her.

“Shut up! I recommend you shut your mouth, and go get your kid, Davina…I’m going to take a shower, and you shouldn’t look like that when I get out.” The words “your kid” stung in her ears as much as the punch to the face. He motioned his hand around all the blood that was on her face from him striking her. “Clean you up and get this house clean. You make me sick.”

As he walked away, Davina hugged her knees into her chest and rocked there for a minute. “This is not my life”, she cried out. He was not one that was usually violent or mean, and this behavior was not something normal in the relationship. They were high school sweethearts. There had been tension before, but she didn’t understand why he would hit her after so many years of good times. He had never shown any signs of being abusive. In Davina’s eyes, he was still the same boy she had met in the back yard of her house while swinging on the tire swing that was hanging from the big maple tree. Before now, it had been easy to love him, and this incident made her wonder how long she should stay.

She scuffled to Sebastian’s room and peeked in the crack of the door. He had stopped crying and was playing with the toys in his crib. She backed away from the door and went to the spare bathroom down the hall from his room since Cole was in the master bathroom. When she got to the mirror, she could not look at her reflection right away. She could already feel the swelling in her cheek, and it was throbbing with pain.

After standing there at the sink for a short while with her hands cupping the water to splash onto her face, she tried to build up the courage to lift her head and look at herself. It was so hard for her. She was anxious and scared, and she thought that these things only happened in soap operas. She could not believe that this was happening in her marriage. What am I going to do? What am I going to tell my friends and my momma? What if he does this to our baby? I need to get away.

All these questions and thoughts filled her head as she stood there in pain, emotionally and physically. The sink was running chilly water, and the noise of the sink running was calming her, but those bothersome thoughts engulfed her essence. She could not stop crying. She needed to get her face washed, but she could not imagine what she looked like at this moment. Finally, she lifted her eyes to the mirror. She saw the reflection of a female she did not recognize in the embellished mirror that was resting above the sink, and she crumbled inside when she saw what he had done to her. The contusion on her face had formed a big ball on her cheek that was purple and red. It was bleeding and seeping fluid. This was the first time she had ever felt hopeless. She knew, at that point, that it would not be the last time. His behavior would ossify to a continuous level of fury and brutality throughout the rest of their marriage, she just had no idea those things would now be themes of their remaining connection.

She grabbed a washcloth from the cabinet beside the sink and soaked it in water, as she brought it up to her face, Cole knocked on the bathroom door. She could tell he was using the knuckle of his finger to tap lightly on the door, and she could hear his breath on the other side of the crack of the entrance to the lavatory.

“Davina, I didn’t mean to hit you. I’ve had a really bad day, and your stubbornness infuriates me sometimes…Please open the door!” His body was up against it…hovering…breathing…listening to his abused wife cry behind the splatters of water coming from the sink. “C’mon baby…don’t cry.”

“I still need a minute, Cole. Can I have a few more minutes, please?” She patted her swollen cheek with the cold towel. The blood had started to congeal atop her busted skin. It burned to the touch. Each time she put the cold, wet towel up to her face, her cheek felt like it pounded into the linen of the cloth. Nothing stopped the pain, and it didn’t help that her hands would not stop trembling to take care of her wounds.

“I’ve got something for you, Davina. I’m sorry. I don’t know why I did that.” Cole was leaning against the door. She could hear his body rubbing against it.

Davina closed her eyes and took a deep breath, “I’ll be right out, okay? I am trying to pull myself together.”

Cole pressed away from the door and started pacing outside it in the hallway of their home, “Sometimes you just make me so angry. I don’t like being talked to like that.”

Davina thought to herself that he was still being very selfish and mean by saying those things, “Yeah, I know. I didn’t mean to make you upset. I just did not want any part of what you got yourself into. Plausible deniability…” She tried to rationalize her actions of pissing him off to make him back away from the door.

He could tell that she was not coming out right away. “I’ll give you some time, but I have something for you when you come out, okay?”

She said to herself that he was such a narcissist. How did I get here? I cannot believe that this is now my life. The gas lighting was not working on Davina. She could see through the blinders that he was trying to instill upon her. She wanted to call her mother or Brooke. She was sure that he would not allow that…not looking like she had just been in a boxing match with Jean Claude van Damme.

She turned out the light before she opened the door, and Cole was waiting outside the door when she opened it. Great, she thought, he wants to go another round…I bet that is what he has waiting for me…

She tried to step around his as he leaned against the wall of the hallway, but he grabbed her by the waist and pulled her close to him. As he did, she gasped out in fear. “Cole, I just want to sit down for a minute. Please let go.” She tried to wiggle out of his grasp, but he held her tighter.

“C’mon baby, let me apologize to you. I told you I have a present for you. Reach in my pocket, the front, over here.” He motioned his neck to the right-hand side of his body. “Go ahead. It’s for you.”

Davina felt her eyes roll a little bit from being annoyed by him not letting go of her and making her dig in his pocket like a little schoolgirl. She hoped he didn’t see her expression, and against her own wishes, she put her hand in his pocket.


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

The bolded and hyperlinked words in the story were using word challenges from the Daily Spur, Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, Ragtag Daily Prompt, Word of the Day Challenge, My Vivid Blog, Your Daily Word Prompt, Sunday Whirl Wordle, and Three Things Challenge. This story started from a flash fiction prompt from Fandango.

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston

The Island Sunset

Image Credit:  Nathan Watson via Unsplash

The reflection of the setting sun and dawning moon bounced off the water, and the island hid in the fog of the cool night along with the quarter of the setting sun that brought the eclipse of that night.

It was eerie and beautiful, at the same time, and it was a view that lovers would talk about to their children and grandchildren.

They would tell them how the sun melding with the moon on their first date set their destinies in stone while looking out upon the ocean that night, and they would feel the energy from that night for the rest of their lives.


This was written for the Three Lines Tale 303 prompt.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 17 – The News and Device

Brooke reached out to Finn as she stood there in her doorway. She was still shaking from the encounter with Flannery, and Finn had not seen him dash off into the alley as he was parking his car. She knew that Jericho had always been a problem because of his crush on her, but this time was different. Her mind played back how he looked standing there before her. He was always looking like he just finished a grunge rock set because his appearance was always so dirty, but the thing that scared her most was the darkness he had behind his eyes when it came to her. His eyes were green with envy against Finn being the one that she wanted to spend her life with, and he made her feel as if he were saying that he would have her no matter what she wanted. She got the impression that no one else was supposed to have her, especially Finn, if he couldn’t be with her. Her spine was tingling with fear from his visit, so when she saw Finn, she could not contain her fear when she leaped into his arms.

“Finn, I am so glad you are home.” She clung to him like she had not seen him in years, pulling him so tight against her body.

“Hey beautiful, what in the world has you so upset? I’m here now baby…You’re safe now.” He held her back as tightly as he spoke those words into her soft hair. Her heart was beating at a tempo that Finn had never heard before, and he knew she was distraught.

“Flannery was just here and followed me up to my door. He was talking crazy about wanting me and having me. He thinks that you are a problem, and he said you would get me killed. It was creepy, Finn.” She leaned her neck back to look into his eyes. Her blue-eyed gaze was full of love and caring for him, but dread hid behind her stare. “Please, can we get out of here for a little while?”

Brooke was not a stranger to feeling broken. She had felt that way all her life because of her mother’s ways of handling her and the other two girls. The difference that Finn made in her world was immeasurable. It was the only decent thing her mother had done when she forced her across the street to introduce herself to the boy. When Flannery came around, she felt that same brokenness, and today it was worse…she felt like this was her end. He made things feel final… like she was taking her last breath in his presence.

Finn ran his hand through her dark hair, and the curls hugged his fingers. “I will do anything for you, Brooke Deville. Let’s get your bag together, and we will get away for a while.”

She did not waste a single second to begin getting a packed bag. She rushed in the door, and Finn grabbed her keys out of the lock on the outside of the door. “You shouldn’t leave your keys in the door like that, babe. It’s dangerous.”

She responds to him from the next room while she’s in her closet, “I know. He snuck up behind me, and I forgot all about them. I think he’s been following me around town all day.”

Just as she finishes speaking, she found something peculiar in the back corner of her closet. “Finn, what in the world is this?” She beckoned him from the living room.

He secured the door, and he joined her in the closet. “What’s what?”

On the floor in the corner of the large walk-in closet of their house was some sort of electronics that neither of them had seen before. It had a green light on it, and other lights were flashing as they moved around and talked to one another.

“This! What is this? I’ve never seen anything like it before. Did you know this was here?” Brooke wondered.

“I have no idea, Brooke. I…I didn’t put anything like that in the closet or anywhere else. I have seen one of these before though…in Mom’s closet when I was looking for her will in the safe.” He was tripping over his words because the shock was filling his gut with dismay.

Seeing the device, he could only think about one thing. Someone had come into the house and installed that damn thing without either of their knowledge. It was scary, even for a man of law enforcement as Finn was. He had no desire to unplug it because he thought that would bring more dangerous people into their sights. He was speechless, and he was not sure what they should do about the device. If someone were listening, they would have just heard them discover the recording device, and they were already in imminent danger from finding it. He just stood there staring at the lights blinking as Brooke spoke.

Brooke talked slowly, and each time she spoke a word, the lights would light up from green to red. “Okay…that’s it. We need to get out of here.”

Finn agreed with her with a nod and began packing his bag faster. She scrambled for the rest of her clothes in the drawers, packed them up, and grabbed her jacket from the closet. Finn packed up his bag just as fast as his love did, zipped up his bag, and grabbed both bags. He set both bags by the door and made his way over to the yellow telephone that was mounted on the wall. The cord was long and tangled, so as he grabbed the earpiece from the wall unit, he had to unravel and pull at it to go around the corner into the kitchen. Brooke watched him and smirked a little watching him while he scuffled with the old phone.

“I should call and report that device to my sergeant. It will only take a moment to contact him. Okay, babe?” Finn held the telephone receiver in his hand.

Brooke nodded and waved him on to do what he needed to do. She was feeling overwhelmed and scared, so she sat down on the couch in front of the Zenith television. She turned it on to check the news while Finn made his call, and she could not believe what was on the television.

The news anchor on the TV said, “Megan Deville has been arrested in connection with a sex trafficking ring that spans over five different states. She is currently being held without bond at the Pulaski County jail. We will have more on this story tonight on the evening news.”

Brooke was so humiliated when she saw her mother’s face flash across her Zenith television. It was something that she had always worried would happen after seeing the inside circle of the business that her parents were running. She never wanted any part of it, and it disgusted her that her parents would exploit young women the way that they did. She had to accept a long time ago that her parents were monsters, and she hated them for it.

“Finn! Look whose face is on the TV!” Brooke was beside herself seeing her mother’s mug on the news. Her eyes were burning with tears from the indignity of seeing that dreadful woman that she had called her mother in a mugshot.

Finn finished up his telephone call to his sergeant just as she was beckoning him to the living room. When he saw Megan’s face sprawled across the screen, he stopped abruptly in his own tracks.

“I was afraid of this. I’m sorry, baby. The task force has been watching them for a while now. They brought me in on the case last week. I couldn’t tell you any details. I wanted to warn you that we were closing in on a conviction, but it’s work stuff, ya know?” He attempted to avouch for his part in the investigation, but he just walked up beside her and put his arm around her waist. “Don’t watch that…it will just upset you.”

“Finn, I am humiliated. Everyone knows my weirdo mother. Is Davina in trouble too?” Brooke plopped down on the couch, and she was white as a ghost from the shock she just witnessed on the midday news.

“You know I cannot tell you any details. It’s best you don’t know. It will protect you…they will probably want to talk to you at the station about your mom though.” Finn sat beside her gently. She was shaking.

“I really don’t know anything. Not anything they don’t already know, that is…I got away from Mom and Dad as soon as I could. You know that because I moved in with you and Georgia as soon as I could.” Brooke was frustrated that she was going to be bothered by her family’s crime empire. “I hate them! I wish they would have sent me to boarding school like they did with my brothers.”

He wanted to lighten the mood and playfully stated, “But then you wouldn’t have met my crazy ass…” He giggled and tickled her sides. She couldn’t help but laugh and get playful with him.

“I don’t know what I would do without you.” She remembered he was calling the station when her mother’s chaos crossed her vision. “How did things go with Sarg?”

“He’s going to send some people over. They should be here any moment.” Finn stood up from the couch and walked up to the old Zenith to shut it off. “No more news today…let’s make some lunch.”

Brooke nodded her head and followed him into the kitchen. Finn always made her feel better, and he was great at keeping her emotions at bay, especially when it came to Megan and Corbin Deville.

As they sat there eating their lunch, turkey sandwiches, and Lay’s brand potato chips, Brooke thought about all the detriment that her family brought down upon society, and when she looked at Finn, she felt so guilty. He was living life without his mother because of the hate she had for her own mother, and it was a heavy burden to carry.

She looked up at Finn as they nibbled on their food, placed her hand on his, and said, “If anything ever happens to me, please let everyone know that my family is behind it.”

“Nothing is going to happen to you, my love. I promise. I won’t let anyone get to you or hurt you. They will have to go through me to get to you.” Finn held her hand in hers as he reassured her that she would be safe with him.

It was a promise that Finn Marlow would not be able to keep, and it would eat at him just as much as the death of his mother. Georgia had taken Brooke in at 17 years old. She emancipated herself away from her controlling parents. They were furious. It was the reason Georgia met her demise at the edge of Lake Maumelle. Therefore, Brooke always claimed that Georgia’s death was her fault due to the anger they exuded towards Georgia for taking their daughter away from them…at least that is what they believed. She wasn’t wrong…at all. It got them both killed.

The doorbell rang. The forensic team had come to collect the device, and Finn left the table to let them in and assist them in collecting the device.


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

The bolded and hyperlinked words in the story were using word challenges from the Daily Spur, Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, Ragtag Daily Prompt, Word of the Day Challenge, My Vivid Blog, Your Daily Word Prompt, and Three Things Challenge. This story started from a flash fiction prompt from Fandango.

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston

Heaven on Earth – MLMM Photo Challenge #391

Photo Credit Spencer Byles

As she approached the path, her senses imbibed the essence around the beautiful area. Her gifts given to her by nature were escalated and pure. There was nothing she could hate about this sacred place marked with a palisade of vines and boulders. It was like time stood still, and it had that feeling that if you dropped a pin that it would be heard for miles with as peaceful as this place stood.

She fumbled in the pockets of her hooded jacket, unsnapping the button, to grab her cell phone to capture this moment of tranquility. This beautiful destination would make her crave to come back again and again. God and man had studded this path with the beauty of the world within it.

It’s heaven on Earth.


This post was written for my daily word challenges (Daily Spur, #FOWC, #RagtagDailyPrompt, WOTDC, My Vivid Blog, and Your Daily Word Prompt, along with Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie and Three Things Challenge.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 16 – Jericho Flannery

Davina married Cole right out of high school, and they went to college together after graduation. Fiona was not supportive at first. Her feelings were mostly due to the bad opinion she had started to develop for Megan. She figured he was just like his mother, and she later figured out that she had judged them both properly. She wished Davina would have waited until after college to get married because they were so young, and she wanted them to live life before marriage, but Megan and Corbin insisted that it would be a good thing for Davina to have a stable man in her life. Stable man…even though he was just a boy with a crazy family. Fiona didn’t understand why they thought they had a right to tell her what her daughter needed anyway.

‘Fiona, dear, Davina and Cole have been spending some quality time together, and I was wondering if you would be okay if we got her a few things to celebrate the relationship.’ Megan was audacious at times, and this was one of those times.

Fiona felt awkward about them wanting to gift Davina merely for having a relationship with their son. ‘Umm. I’m not sure that’s necessary. All of our kids are friends with one another…I don’t see why we should do all of that.’

Megan appeared to be frustrated by her answer, but she had to keep up her persona by making it seem like it was not a big deal. ‘Sure. That’s fine. Another time then…’

Fiona couldn’t help but roll her eyes at the dramatic undertone of the reply. ‘There are plenty of opportunities for us to spoil the kids with gifts…birthdays, Christmas…you know?’ Fiona probed at Megan to relate to what she was saying. ‘I hope you aren’t upset.’

‘Of course not…birthdays and Christmas will be fine dear…nothing to be upset about. I just love her like one of my own, and one day she’ll be mine too.’ Megan flashed a sarcastic grin towards Fiona.

Megan boldly threw out of her lips such an assumptive statement, and Fiona did not care for the tone of that declaration about her daughter. Needless to say, the ladies both split the hairs in the room when they said goodbye. Fiona headed back to her house brooding on the words that Megan had spewed from her lips. That woman!… she thought, how dare she put claims on my Davina. Mine…not hers. Davina was sitting on the couch in the living room when she got back in the door from her visit next door, and she could tell her mother was completely pissed off.

‘What’s wrong, Momma? Are you alright?’ Davina got up from the couch and met her mother in the kitchen where Fiona had stormed off to.

‘That mongrel of a woman…she drives me absolutely certifiably crazy!’ Fiona was slamming around the cabinets looking for her tea as she spoke. ‘How do you not notice that she is particularly strange? I don’t like her…one damn bit.’

Davina pretended to understand, ‘Megan is a different kind of person. I like her though…I assume that is who you are speaking about?’

Fiona just glared over to Davina as she put her water kettle on to boil on the stove. She grabbed a cup and threw a Celestial Seasonings Chamomile tea into the cup with the string dangling off to the side by the handle of the cup. ‘You know…I am not a mean person, but that is one woman that pushes all my buttons. Nine out of ten times we encounter each other, she drives me insane. It’s not customary for parents to play matchmaker with other people’s children! It’s absolutely asinine.’

Fiona tapped on the counter while she was waiting for her kettle to start whistling, and Davina came over and placed her hand on her mother’s shoulder. ‘I’m sorry, Momma…I know she is not like the people we are used to. I don’t know what happened, but I am here for you if you want to talk about it.’ The conversation was ungainly for Davina since she enjoyed Megan’s company when she would visit Cole next door.

‘No, it’s okay. Just go be a kid, and don’t let anyone try to make you grown before you are ready. Enjoy life as you are now…you will have to grow up faster than you would ever realize or think of.’ Fiona hears her kettle screaming as she finishes her preaching about youth. She pours the steamy water into her teacup, looks up, and smiles at her beautiful daughter. ‘I’m okay. Go be great.’

‘Now you are the one being weird…’ Davina giggles as she walks out of the room to finish the show she was watching on VHS.

Through the years, it became apparent to both the Marlow and Ridings family that the Devilles had some absurd ways about the manner they lived and the people they personified. It was like a contradiction in terms of who they were and who they portrayed themselves to be to outsiders. They had tons of money, but they lived very discreetly. You had to be close to them to realize how rich they really were. There were a lot of people in and out of their house, and some of them seemed seedy and shady. Corbin spent much of his time away from home, and Megan did not have to work to get the things she and the children needed.

Fiona remembered a time she had asked Megan about her career, and she recalled thinking that it must have been nice not to work so hard to live. It was after the first meeting at Fiona’s truck, and Megan had come over to ask about a school trip right after the kids were enrolled for the year at Maumelle Charter High School. The school was arranging for the children to go to the capital and see downtown Little Rock.

‘Fiona, are you letting Davina go on this school trip?’ Megan had asked.

‘Yeah, I saved a whole paycheck. I wanted to be sure she had enough money to get her some souvenirs and a nice lunch. I know you are new to the area, but their school trips are usually pretty fun and eventful.’ Fiona informed Megan about the trip, elaborating further about how amazing it was for the kids to see the sights in Little Rock. ‘If you are not able to pay the allowance, I can help you.’

‘Oh no, dear…I can cover it. No problem.’ Megan exclaimed while chuckling to herself.

‘What’s so funny about that?’ Fiona wondered.

‘I just have no need to take someone’s money. I’m not a charity case for Pete’s sake.’ Megan twirled her hair and flipped it behind her.

Fiona continued, ‘Well, I figured since you are new here that you have not planted your feet into a new job since moving in. After all, it’s only been a few weeks.’

Megan giggled condescendingly, ‘That’s cute…umm…I don’t have to work. My job is taking care of the kids and their interests. Corbin does all the demanding work.’

‘I see. Hmm. That must be nice. I would love to spend all my time with Davina. I couldn’t say that she would want me around all the time, but it would be cool to have that option. After nursing school, I had to go right back to work. We’re not broke, but we aren’t comfortable either.’ Fiona’s cheeks flushed with red from being embarrassed for rambling on about her finances. ‘Sorry, I shouldn’t have been so nosey about your life. I just wanted to help if you needed it.’

‘No worries, Fi. You’re good.’ Megan started heading towards the door as she finished speaking. ‘Give Davina my best…I should get back over to the house since the kids will be home soon. Mwah, darling!’ This was a prelude to more absurd behavior that Megan would display, but Fiona had already had plenty of her nonsense to last a century.

Fiona waved goodbye to the grandiose woman and closed the door behind her. She thought to herself that Megan was so strange and lucky at the same time. After the move to get away from the Devilles, she always reflected on how she should have seen how bizarre life next door was, but she always just chalked it up as Megan was just a fearless woman with nothing better to do than cause havoc in the neighborhood. The Deville name went from meaning “the new people” to meaning “absolute chaos.”

After the wedding, Megan and Fiona got closer than they were when Davina and Cole were in school, but there was always something that was off about how Cole’s mother looked at Davina. She groomed her. She had even bought Davina’s wedding band long before Cole ever proposed, and she groomed Davina more than her own daughters. She would shower Davina with gifts after she and Cole became an item. Weird gifts…like lingerie and sexy outfits. Fiona would find them hiding in Davina’s closet from time to time.

“Davina Louise Ridings, what did I just find in your closet?” Fiona held up a deep purple negligee that was nothing but lace to her Davina as she came rushing into her own bedroom.

“Mom, what are you doing going through my stuff?” Davina was embarrassed and furious that Fiona was invading her privacy. “Megan bought that for me. I’ve never worn it…ever.”

“That woman is going to be the death of me with her nonsense. You need to give these things back to her. Megan has no business buying you things like this. You are just in high school, Davina.” Fiona tossed the lingerie onto the bed and pulled out more of the same types of items from the drawer. “My goodness! How many are there?”

“She’s bought me one nearly every week since Cole and I began. I never wear them, but I thought it would be rude to not accept them. I’m not giving them back and making her upset or mad. Haven’t you seen her angry? It’s scary, Momma.” Davina almost pleaded to her mother to not have to take all of the sexy bed gear back to Cole’s mother.

“Put them in a box…I’ll get rid of them.” Fiona threw her hand up in frustration as she walked out of Davina’s light pink-walled room.

The ataraxia that Fiona felt the first week in Indiana could not begin to describe how glad she was to get away from Megan’s drivel. All the moments were coming back to her as she spent her first night knowing that her daughter would never come home. She ran the brush through her hair and removed her makeup, pausing to look in the mirror at the dark circles that surrounded her beautiful hazel eyes. Right before Fiona got ready to sleep for the night, she ran across that decorative storage box that Davina packed up all the outfits from Megan in. It was at the very top of her closet. She had labeled it “Nonsense from Megan.” Remembering the argument over the unusual offerings to Davina’s wardrobe from Megan brought tears to her eyes. It was so late, and she did not want to go to sleep. She could hear the detective snoring loudly in the guest bedroom. He was sleeping like a baby without a care in the world.

“I wish I could do that…” She spoke out into the silence of her bedroom. “Davina, I miss you, sweet girl.”

A sweet voice came back to her in the silence, “I miss Mommy too, Gammy…” Sebastian was standing there with large drops falling from his red eyes.

“Oh sweetie…you should be resting. Let Gammy tuck you back into bed.” Fiona rushed to him and wiped her eyes as she went towards the doorway in which Sebastian was standing.

Klaus was at his feet as well, wagging his tail and licking Fiona in the face as she knelt to pick up the sad little boy.

“Can I stay with you, Gammy? My bed is too big tonight, and I’m scared.” Sebastian rubbed his tired, wet eyes and pouted into the face of Fiona.

“Of course, sweetheart,” Fiona said as she walked back over to the bed and rolled the covers back on the unoccupied left side of her queen-sized bed. “Hop up here, and I will get you all cozy in the covers.” Fiona patted the bed and sat down on the end.

“Are you going to leave me too?” Sebastian asked after Fiona got him tucked in tightly in her bed.

“Never…never ever…I will never ever leave you, Sebastian.” She patted the bed to call Klaus to lay with his friend. “I will always be right here with you. However, I still need to work and make us some money. Will it be okay if you play with Jenna on those days?”

“I guess so, Gammy. I like Jenna and Miss Sharon.” Sebastian’s eyes got sleepier as he finished his statement. “Goodnight, Gammy, I love you.”

“Goodnight baby boy…Gammy loves you more than the whole universe.” Fiona said before she stood up from the bedside and went into the bathroom to change into her pajamas.

She rested both of her hands on the sink counter for a minute, dangling her head down into her chest, and took a deep, cleansing breath. She was so overwhelmed and full of sadness. The realization that Davina would never be able to see that innocent, caring boy grow up and become a better man than his father came to haunt her a bit as she undressed. As she opened the hamper to put her dirty clothes inside of it, she saw something odd inside of it. What is in there? Is that paint…, she thought to herself as she shuffled around some of the clothing in the basket.

As she dug deeper and investigated what she thought was red paint in her dirty wash bin, she saw more of the red tint on a pair of pants and a pair of socks. She realized that it was odd, so she left the hamper alone and went to get Finn from the spare room. She didn’t want to disturb any evidence because she had no idea how anything red got inside of her laundry.

“Finn, wake up!” She jiggled his shoulder to wake him from his deep sleep. “I found something…get up please! C’mon…”

Finn wrestled around and was a bit startled to wake up to Fiona standing over the top of him with a distressed look on her face. He jumped and pulled his head back to the other side of the pillow.

“What’s wrong? Are you okay? What time is it?” Finn said and seemed stunned up from being woken in an unfamiliar place.

“Follow me! I need your help!” Fiona exclaims as she rushes her and Finn out of the room, nearly tugging on his nightshirt.

As they arrive back at Fiona’s bathroom, she uses her hairbrush to lift the hamper lid. “Look in here! I don’t know where these clothes came from. At first, I thought, when I first saw it, that it was red paint on her clothes, but I think it’s blood, Finn!” She was quietly whispering but whispered hysterically if that was possible. She wanted to be sure she did not wake up Sebastian in her room.

“I’m going to have to call the local detective to bring forensics to gather these items, Fiona. I also need to check the house. That blood is fresh and not dried.” Finn’s gut filled with fear for all of them. “Better yet…Gather Sebastian…I need to get you both out of here.”

Fiona did not hesitate to get a bag together and toss Sebastian up on her shoulder. As she reached the top of the stairs of the two-storied house, she heard footsteps above her head. Finn had gone downstairs to warm up his police cruiser, so it wasn’t him trampling on the ceiling above her head. As her body filled with adrenaline from the panic, she shuffled down the stairs, with Sebastian fast asleep on her shoulder. He was out like a light, and she was glad he would not be awake to witness the chaos. She made it down the stairs without event and down to the front door. When she got there, a towering man, with lifeless eyes was staring back at her.

“Oh, shit…” That was all Fiona could say as she backed away from him.

Fiona had only ever seen Flannery a handful of times, and it was years ago. It was around the time that Davina and Cole got married. He came to the wedding. He was Corbin Deville’s best friend, Jericho Flannery. Megan had recommended that Fiona bring him as her date to the wedding. He was not her type, at all. He was unkempt, and he was too sinister-looking. You could not see the color of his eyes because they were always just so dark and miserable.

“Jericho…where’s Finn?” Fiona was still backing away slowly and holding on tightly to her grandson who was still asleep on her shoulder.

He said nothing. He just stared back into her eyes and cocked his head to the side as he saw the fear fill her face as he walked towards her.

“Finn!” She hollered out the door that was still open, not caring if she woke up Sebastian at this point. “Finn! Help!”

Flannery just laughed at her and continued pursuing her as she bumped into the couch in the middle of the living room. “Finn is a little occupied at the moment…how can I help you?” He was so evil, smiling as he spoke his sarcasm into her face as he lingered over the top of her.

“I know you. Why are you here? I’m going to set him down, okay?” Fiona said as she carefully laid Sebastian on the couch and stood in front of him.

“I don’t care what you do lady. I am here for the key, and you will give it to me.” He edged closer to her.

“What key are you talking about? The only keys I have are the ones to my truck and this house.” She crossed her arms and tried to appear brave as she stood there with the enemy. He still just looked at her with his sinister eyes and a smirk on his face.

As she finished talking, she saw a glimpse of Finn outside the door, so she continued, “I have Davina’s keys. You can check all the keys I have. Just let me grab them, alright?” She held out her hands to signal that she wasn’t going to try anything risky. “They’re right there, on the table by the door.”

Flannery looked away from her to the table she pointed out. He walked toward the keys, and she sat beside Sebastian on the couch. She knew Finn had a plan, so she sat tight and protected Sebastian. As Flannery fumbled with the keys, Finn snuck up behind him and bashed him across the back of his head with a 2×4 that was posted outside the door.

“Let’s go! He won’t be down long.” He took Sebastian from the couch briskly and grabbed Fiona’s free hand to guide her out of the house and away from the hitman.

Finn put Sebastian in the backseat of the car, and Fiona got in beside him. He shut them in the secure area, and he got in the front and drove away as fast as he could. “We need to get to the phone. Anywhere we can go to do that?”

“Boo’s…go to Boo’s…” Fiona gasped the words out of her distressed vocal cords.


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

The bolded and hyperlinked words in the story were using word challenges from the Daily Spur, Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, Ragtag Daily Prompt, Word of the Day Challenge, My Vivid Blog, Your Daily Word Prompt, and Three Things Challenge. This story started from a flash fiction prompt from Fandango.

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston