Happy Haunting for Marjorie ~ #FFFC

Image Credit: Darius Bashar at Unsplash.com

It wasn’t one of those old country love songs that had her smiling as she jotted her thoughts down on the paper. It was the sounds of the ghosts on the radio, and it was the sun that was brushing against her face through the antique window. It was the way that the old rug beneath her bare feet tickled if she moved them a certain way. It never got old, and she was never in a rush for the activity in the house to stop. She hated being alone.

It was peaceful to hear them bickering at one another. It was like instant gratification when their voices would ring out, even if they did have big mouths. Jack and Deloris were the loudest spirits Marjorie had ever met, and since her near-death incident, she could hear every word they said to each other. They were still the same married couple that she had read about in the house’s detailed history. They would bicker so loud at times that the lights would flicker in every room of the house. They were harmless though. They co-existed with Marjorie very well and vice versa.

“Jack, you brought this on yourself, ya know? All you have to do is accept that we are no longer alive. I want to move on!”

Things would move around the room when Jack got mad. “If I am dead, how come I can see my hand in front of my face and use that same hand to throw all these damn books across the room, huh? Ms. Smarty Pants…answer that one!”

Marjorie chuckled under her breath.

“See…if I was dead, she wouldn’t be able to laugh at me.” He directed a dirty look to Marjorie but she couldn’t see it. She could hear them over seeing them most times. “It’s not nice to laugh at an old man, Marjorie.”

Deloris intervened, “Leave that girl alone, Jack…” He was tossing books around the room.

Marjorie looked up from her notepad. She said nothing at first. She just smiled at the radio that was talking to her.

“I’m sorry, dear…he’s a jerk that won’t accept that he is dead as a doornail! Ain’t that right, my dear sweet husband?” Deloris was becoming patronizing towards Jack. It annoyed her that Jack could not accept their fate was sealed.

Deloris was adamant about the fact that they were apparitions and not alive, but Jack still thought he was walking and talking on the plane of the living. He was in denial and refusing to accept that he had met his demise by a semi crashing into their car and pushing them into a ravine. Deloris tried to move them on from the otherworld so many times that she lost count, but Jack was as stubborn as a mule. They had occupied and haunted that beautiful mansion since 1996, and Marjorie bought the house in 2010.

Before they met Marjorie, Deloris would always have to control Jack’s temper because he would scare the tenants of the house away. He did not like to lie low or adhere to the restrictions that she put on him, so Marjorie’s presence was a breath of fresh air to him. He could be himself, besides the fact he did not think he was dead.

“Leave it to you to toot your own horn, Wifey!” He tried to grab a berry from the plate on Marjorie’s desk in a matter-of-fact way to prove a point, but his fingers could not grasp the fruit.

“Dammit! Why is this raspberry being so difficult?” Deloris!!! Can you get me a few of these?” He pointed at the plate. It was an amenable effort for Jack to want something to eat…even though ghosts cannot possibly be hungry.

“For Pete’s sake…” Deloris sounded so annoyed, “No, Jack…I cannot grab a piece of fruit, and neither can you.

“I’m sorry Marjorie…this is probably making your head spin.” Deloris returned his argument, “The only one tooting and being a fool is you, Hubby!” She was annoyed at how ridiculous he could be, but she loved him anyway.

Marjorie shrugged it off and kept writing in her journal. They had no idea that she recorded everything they said in this journal. She was catching a chill all of the sudden.

She couldn’t see him, but Jack was pacing the floor so fast that Marjorie could feel the breeze of chill from their presence on her bare feet.

The ghosts were great at entertaining Marjorie, and she actually enjoyed hearing their petty disputes and his denial of death all the time. They were stuck to her like glue when she was home, and they always made a grand entrance into her ears just as soon as her ears opened each day. That’s the cost of being a medium, Marjorie always thought to herself.

Marjorie closed her notebook, collected her purse, and head out for the day. She knew when she came back that there would be more theatrics, but for now she was so hungry from the energy drain.

“See you soon, Jack and Deloris.”

Their white noise went quiet.

© E.M. Kingston 2022 – All Rights Reserved.

Another #FFFC inspiration allowed me to write this post.

The Face of Guilt

Photo by Raphael Brasileiro on Pexels.com

The features of his face silhouetted

On the wall behind him

As he sat distressed on the bed

They used to share

The galore of guilt was insolvent

To the pain which he caused that night

His feelings were clashing

With the emotions deep in his heart

He loved her dearly

However, that point is moot

Erased by infidelity

Nothing left to discuss

The state of shock disabled his tears

While he stared blankly at the floor

The clean slate he was given

Now dirtied with another woman’s hair

No protocol to follow

No wounds to dress

The fleece blanket he sat upon

That seat would be his last…

Humanity Aborted

Photo by Albin Biju on Pexels.com


Words used to freely, no compassion

When lives are at stake

In a world full of oppression

Screams ring out loudly in the streets

Slaughters happen and get excused

They echo in my sullen heart

As society divides unpeacefully

Clean slates, not existent

No freedom of speech, censored

No right to live, murdered

Say their names and stand up!

Solidarity needed!

Humans judged by cultures, prejudice

Legal jargon and corruption

Conceals the truth in a system broken

Or is it fractured at all?

White privilege gains one victory after another

Pivotal racism becomes opaque; apparent

Broken justice, broken country

Mass incarceration; the new slavery

Strip their names, take their lives

Take their pride and give numbers, ludicrous!

All for financial gain; monopolies and scandal

Who will stop the hate?

Who will fix the wreckage?

What’s your answer?

Humanity aborted; destruction…eminent…

© E.M. Kingston 2022 – All Rights Reserved.

I felt like I needed to vent some of myself tonight and the world I see.

The Objects Hidden in the Dark

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

It was an illusion

Hidden by the lack of light.”

A helpless and strange feeling

Filling my compassionate heart

Discovering the objects

Implanted in the midst of the old tree

During the tempest of the darkest day.

The cool night was still;

The universe showed its face;

In the shadow of the moon

Exposed in the arch of the forest

In the errantry of the storms that passed

They sat and rusted into the Earth

In a more organic way, it seemed.

Two bicycles embedded in a tree

Premiered together with the roots

Which thrust through the spokes

Of the wheels flattened by nature.

They never found a way home…

The sweet girls left them behind

It was taxing to the land

But the answer was in the morass

Along the river’s edge

Only Mother Nature can describe

Of how the bikes ended up here

© E.M. Kingston 2022 – All Rights Reserved.

Written for Writing With Cancer’s Writing Prompt “Two bicycles embedded in a tree“, Putting My Feet in the Dirt’s January Writing prompt for Jan 1-7 “It was an illusion hidden by the lack of light“(a day late, sorry), and several other writing prompts that are highlighted in a hyperlink and/or bold lettering.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 29 – The Arlington Hotel

The Arlington Hotel was a little over an hour drive southwest from the Roland Police Department, and Detective West wanted to commit to following up on the lead Finn gave about the matchbook when he collected his mother’s personal belongings. She had checked it out of evidence to take with her on her trip, following the protocols for transporting evidence, of course. She knew the matchbook was important to find out what happened to Georgia Marlow. Finn’s reaction to the matchbook made her very curious, as he was the one that knew her better than anyone. It was a good lead. She didn’t have a warrant, but she was hoping to get a gut feeling about the surroundings and go from there. She was on a quest to get to the truth of what happened to Ms. Marlow, and this hotel would hopefully give her and the family some answers.

Her only wish was that Finn could be involved in the investigation, and she saw him as a meticulous detective, which she learned by word-of-mouth and going through his personnel file. She imagined he would make a solid partner in the field also.  She had not heard from him in a few days, and she figured she would check in after checking out the location. In the investigation, she had to think that everyone was suspect and investigate their characters. She was happy to find that Finn was not involved early on.

If she had known everything about the Devilles, the fact that she could not reach Finn Marlow would have probably alarmed her further than what it did. His being absent from checking in with Detective West was a red flag, but she had not related Georgia’s murder to that insanely petty and unusual family just yet.

When she arrived at the hotel, she observed several cameras on her way through the parking lot and upon the building by the circle drive to the entrance. She was amazed at how historic it looked, but it had become a landmark for the old days of gangsters and mafia-like entities. As she entered the entry of the hotel, a circle drive, she was greeted by a valet when she pulled up to the door. Of course, she couldn’t let them park her cruiser, so she flashed her badge and walked inside the lobby of the hotel.

The front desk receptionist greeted her with a smile as she approached. She was an average girl with rosy cheeks and a big beaming personality. “Welcome to the Arlington Hotel, ma’am. Do you have a reservation?” She was very friendly and professional, at the same time.

“No, I am just wanting to look around a bit before I book my room. Do you have openings for walk-ins?” Detective West figured she would scope where all the cameras were located before telling the nice employee that she was a detective. “A friend of mine stayed here before and gave me your hotel’s matchbook, so I figured I would come to see what all the hype was about.”

“How wonderful! We do allow walk-ins if we are not at a full capacity, Miss…?” She was inquiring for the last name as many of the professional hotels do to make sure that you are not trying to get the room by the hour.

“West. Sarah West. My friend’s last name was Marlow. Sound familiar at all?”

“I think so, actually…she was a regular that would come here with Mr. Deville. She is such a beautiful spirit.” The girl smiled and fidgeted with her paperwork and mumbled a few lyrics from the music playing in the lobby.

 “Nice music you have playing…I’ll go ahead and check out the amenities, and I’ll be back to get my room.”

“Great, Miss West. I’m glad you are enjoying it. This song is my favorite. Have fun exploring, Sarah.” She was clueless that West had ulterior motives.

Sarah smiled largely at the dark-haired desk clerk and said, “Thank you. I’ll be back soon.”

Detective West walked away from the counter towards the elevators, observing each corner of the lobby and the waiting area by the elevators. There was a couple sitting in the comfort area with their son, who was the epitome of his father. You could tell they were a product of the so-called “Southern Hospitality” that Arkansas is sometimes known for. Detective West came from California originally, so she wasn’t buying the facade of it all. There was definitely a paradigm shift between the cultures of both states, and West really missed the West Coast most times. There are cameras everywhere, she said to herself. The lobby had a bookcase encased television that was a Zenith, one of the best brands of course.

The lobby played old country songs, like Kenny Roger’s The Gambler, and there was alcohol served in the dining area called the Venetian Dining Room. She had read before her trip that Al Capone frequented the establishment with many guards and a bird’s eye view to the Southern Club. The history of the hotel says that there is a suite with his name on it, Number 443. It did not give the young detective any satisfaction that the hotel idolized criminal activities. In fact, she rolled her eyes at the thought of it. This hotel was not winning any points with its shady background. Al Capone was one, and Lucky Luciano was two, and the devil makes three, she thought to herself.

Suddenly, as she reflected on the hotel’s past, her pager went off while she was browsing around the lobby. The beep and vibration startled her because they echoed loudly in the ancient room. It was a number she recognized. It was Finn Marlow. She observed a payphone by the public bathrooms in the lobby, so she checked to make sure she had some quarters in her pocket to call back. She didn’t want to ask the desk clerk of the hotel to use the phone line. She could imagine that the lady at the desk would be eavesdropping on her conversation, so the payphone was sufficient to return his call. She realized she didn’t need to rile anyone up just in case she found nothing. So far, she had not seen anything that would indicate criminal mischief, making it safe for her to call Finn. He used the code “911” after his telephone number, which meant something was up. Something dire.

As she took the steps to place the call, inserting quarters while holding the earpiece with her shoulder, she dialed the number on her pager. The buttons were metal, and the earpiece was quite heavy. It rang a few times and Finn picked up.

“Hello, Detective Marlow speaking…”

“Hi, this is Detective West returning your call from my pager.”

“Oh, thank goodness that you responded so quickly. I have some evidence being collected at my and Brooke’s home. Can you come by?” Finn was eager for Detective West to respond.

“I am in Hot Springs right now, so I can get to you in about an hour, give or take. I was following up on the matchbook.” West informed him.

“Sounds good. Have you found anything?” His voice was anxious.

“Not yet. I’ve just been here about 30 minutes, so what’s up?” West looked around to make sure no one was listening.

“You won’t believe what we found in our house. The CSI team is still here and will be awaiting your arrival. We will have some tea and coffee on to brew. It’s going to be a long night.” Finn explained to the detective.

“It sounds exigent. Are you okay?” Detective West could tell that Finn was distressed and sad. “I hate to say that the anticipation is going to drive me nuts on the drive back over to your place.” She figured she would make another trip to the hotel because of how his tone was; therefore, she found it best that she cut this visit short.

“Sorry about that…I am sure when you see what we have that you will think it to be unfathomable. It really speaks to the disdain people have in their hearts for others.” Finn sounded sad, yet still indefatigable. He left her dangling in the crosshairs of curiosity again.

“Okay, Detective Marlow. I am on my way out of here as soon as we get off the phone. Take care until I get there.” She hung up the phone and rushed out to her vehicle that still sat in the circle drive.

She waved and gave a nod to the valets that sat waiting for their customers as she pulled off and headed back to Roland.

For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. I use several prompts to build on my novel, and their word prompts and challenges are linked, bolded, or italicized. Please be sure to visit them and show some love because without them I would not have nearly 40K words written in this novel.

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

Part 21

Part 22

Part 23

Part 24

Part 25

Part 26

Part 27

Part 28

Thank you to my fellow bloggers for inspiring this novel! This started from Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge (#FFFC)

xoxo, E.M.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 28 – The Picture and Device

“I see things, that’s all. Write enough stories and every shadow on the floor looks like a footprint; every line in the dirt like a secret message.”

― Stephen King, Bag of Bones

Brooke had seen enough “things” that it tarnished her view of her family and most people, in general. After seeing her mother on TV, she wept from the embarrassment. Her friends and colleagues would see the news. She thought they would judge her, and it had her frazzled and flustered. Still, she had to get back right. She had to put her chin up and suck up her pride to help Finn and the investigators with the mechanism. When Brooke collected herself and pulled it together, she joined the team of criminal investigators in her bedroom. She wanted to watch and make sure that they did not botch the collection of evidence for that gadget in her closet. Finn was standing attentive with them and looking over their shoulders with the same intent that Brooke had. It was the only evidence they had that could add charges and time to Megan and whoever else was involved in planting the spying equipment. Brooke had become a girl with a grudge when it came to her family, especially her mother. Nothing would make her happier to see all of them behind bars, and chances were that she would get her wish…eventually.

“Mr. Marlow…Could you come closer and look at this?” The investigator was waving for Finn to check something out. “This is very peculiar, and it’s something you should see.”

Finn stopped peeking over their shoulders and joined the scientist in the closet. “Can I get some gloves? I don’t want to compromise any evidence.”

The forensic scientist reached into his case and pulled out a pair of latex gloves for Finn to put on, “Of course…thank you for being so professional. This is strange though. Lift the device up.”

Finn did what the man said and grabbed the device and lifted it. “Ok. What am I looking for?”

“Look on the bottom of the device.” The man helped him lift the bulky, awkward piece of equipment. “Do you see it, there towards the back? Don’t quote me, but it looks like a picture of a dead woman.”

Finn focused his eyes on the photograph and adrenaline filled his body with rage. “Oh my God…is that my mother?”

Finn’s tears began welling up in his eyes. Brooke tried to get closer, but she was held back by the other investigator. His stomach was sick, and his body was feeling weak. What he saw would haunt him for the rest of his life.

“That dead woman is my mother, Georgia Marlow,” he said as he removed the photo and took it into his gloved hand.

The photo had been taped to the bottom of the device, and it was of a woman badly beaten and shot in the head. The woman had been brutalized, and the first thing Finn noticed was his mother’s blonde hair matted with blood and pond moss, and you could see the deadness setting in her clouded eyes. Whoever planted this device in the closet meant for Finn to find it, and they wanted to deliver a message. It was a jeer from whoever planted the photo to Finn, a warning of sorts with a taunting gesture. It had to be Jericho Flannery, he thought.

“I’m sorry…this is too much. What’s your name, Sir?” Finn asked the investigator.

“Ishmael…Call me Ishmael.” He hung his head because he felt bad for the detective seeing his mother in that state of morbidity.

“Thank you, Ishmael. I am in shock a little bit. Is it okay if I step away from this?” Finn was trying to keep his composure.

“Of course, I completely understand. We will collect this and wrap it up. You guys can step away.” The tall, red-headed expert was very kind and sensitive to the situation.

Finn stepped back from the crime scene and had to catch his breath. This was more than just the mischief of putting a snooping device in their home. This act was grisly and morose. He put his hands on his legs and bent down to breathe in some fresh air. Brooke was watching intensely, and she was curious about what the forensic specialist had found.

“Finn, what is it?” Brooke questioned while trying to get a better look. She kept getting pushed back by the detectives and the CSI team.

“Brooke, you don’t want to see this. Go ahead and head back into the living room.” Finn had already backed away from the evidence, and he helped lead Brooke out of the room. “It was a picture of my mother. After she died…she was dead, Brooke. My momma was tortured and mutilated. There was no carjacking. My mom was murdered in cold blood.”

“Oh Finn, my love, I am so sorry you had to see that.” Her puffy eyes from crying earlier became red and filled with tears again. “Are you sure it was Georgia?”

“Yeah…she had the barrette I got her for her birthday in her hair. It was in the evidence that Detective West had me go through at the station.”

Brooke was as shocked as Finn was. She had no idea how the device got in her closet, and she did not know who to trust anymore, except Finn, after finding that nonsense in their bedroom closet.

“Wow, I’m so sorry babe. This had to be by order of my mother. I cannot apologize enough.” Finn could tell that she felt guilty. “I’ll go start the kettle and make everyone some tea. I think it’s going to be a long night.” Brooke took off into the kitchen, grabbed the kettle from the stove, put water in it, and grabbed some lemon from the refrigerator.

Little did she know that the night would get worse, and she would never see her wish for the family come true. The verity of the situation would become perfectly clear in just a few hours.

For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. I use several prompts to build on my novel, and their word prompts and challenges are linked, bolded, or italicized. Please be sure to visit them and show some love because without them I would not have nearly 40K words written in this novel.

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

Part 21

Part 22

Part 23

Part 24

Part 25

Part 26

Part 27

Thank you to my fellow bloggers for inspiring this novel! This started from Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge (#FFFC)

xoxo, E.M.

The Cleaning Lady (*Trigger Warning*)

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

She lacked an abundance of goodness, only disappointment

Luck lacking…in relationships, in careers, and in living

Never enough, always discarded like trash

Replaceable, expendable, unneeded…

Pain fills her with a void, empty

His impression still setting on her mind, conflicted

Depression sets in, overwhelming sadness developed

With each swish of the sponge on the mirror, repelling

And with each sweep of her broom on the floor, exhausting

She just wanted to be finished…

It was absurd to keep going…a breath in.

And she went to her darkest day… a breath out.

“Things must get better”, she says…

While her reflection abrogates her essence, disheartening

Gullible feelings in her mind, injure self-worth

“Why is life so hectic?” She cries…humiliated

Please make it stop, these feelings inside…”

She pleads in a caterwaul tone, yelling

Into the mirror… her face turns red, angry

A grimace should have a smile, she’s flustered

Her lips still feel his mustache, memorable

The regret of refusing that last french kiss

Her anger explodes like fireworks, heartbreak

Kick it, punch it, be tenacious, be fierce

No toasts of champagne, loneliness

The New Year’s celebration gone, abandoned

A yellow taxi escorts her home, staggering

She gave up and never went inside, done.

Goodnight…goodbye…whichever works for you.”

She never felt the agony of losing him again…resolved.

© E.M. Kingston 2022 – All Rights Reserved.

This was written using Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Wordle #272 (italicized), Sammi Scribbles Weekend Writing Prompt #242, Three Things Challenge (linked and bold), and several word challenges and prompts (linked words in the poem). Please visit their blogs and show them some love.

wk 242 goodnight

Smokey and the Beep – #FSS 26

This week’s Story Starter teaser from Fandango is:

At first, I thought it was only the dog making noise, but it was… more than just the fact he was making noise. It was the noise he was making. It was alarming, and his innocent whine turned into a cry full of fear. It was like his spirit was screaming rather than being the bubbly dog that just liked sniffing other dogs behinds and barking at the invisible air. He was terrified, which made me terrified to investigate around the corner that he was cowering from. I had just gotten off work, and we were alone.

“Smokey hound…what’s got you so frightened?” I whispered to him as he stood there shaking his short legs and old body. He was an older gentleman of a dog, and stress made him pant loudly. “C’mon. Let’s go this way.”

I walked to the couch and patted for him to come, and he darted his nose back to the wall the met the corner. My Google Home was playing a light rock genre of music and was turned down pretty low, but he still heard something on the other side of that wall.

“Welp…I guess I have to investigate.” He whined to me and put his ears down as I got back up from the couch.

I looked around for a weapon, and all I could find was a knitting hook — an integral part of this investigation, of course. “This should work…hopefully,” I mumbled to myself. I wanted to defer walking into the dark kitchen, but it was clear that I had been watching too many crime dramas on the television because I crept up to the wall while holding my hook to my side. I peeked around the first bend of the wall and looked into the dark kitchen. After that coast was clear, I twisted my neck and tried to see on the other side of the wall. Like a typical girl, I threw my body around and thrust the needle out like it was a gun, and I came away from the wall in a defensive stance. Nothing was there.

“Beep!” The fire alarm in the kitchen chirped from a low battery.

I looked at him in that look that moms give their children who are about to be scolded, and said, “Really, the beep? That’s the danger in the house that has you looking like you have just seen a ghost?”

I wanted to curse I was so mad. I climbed on the chair and took the battery out of the alarm and set it on the countertop of the island in my kitchen, and I darted him a look again. Smokey put his ears down and pouted. He knew he was busted! I shook my head all the way back over to put away my hook before sitting down on my cream-colored couch. I grabbed my blanket from the back, and I took the remote into my hand.

“Remind me next time to listen for the beep. C’mon fat boy…let’s watch The First 48.” I said while I patted on the couch. This time he came.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 27 – Coming to Life

The letter from Davina had Fiona numb and without emotion at first, but she could feel the wetness of her tears soaking her face. My baby knew she was going to die, Fiona kept saying inside of herself as she read the letter. She was appreciative that Lucas did not hover about while she read it because her heart was such a mess after reading words that had become so final.

Cole’s greed and irascible behavior ended her child’s life, and he needed to pay for that. He took more from her than she could ever explain. Her jovial feelings of being a mother to a daughter were taken from her. Stolen. Kidnapped and killed. Davina’s words were power. Sebastian had to be kept safe, which was common sense from the beginning of the fiasco with the Deville family after he was born.

The quantity of quarrels that happened between the Devilles and the Ridings were numerous and often. Megan wanted to keep Sebastian from Fiona from the moment he took his first breath. She had said that Fiona was not worthy of being around “Deville blood”, like it was a pure or something. Pure was never a term that mixed with the idea of that wretched family, and Fiona did not bow down to their wishes then or now. Megan could be as cold as ice, and that was not the upbringing that she ever wanted for her grandson. All the transient people in and out of their lives were scary and worrisome. Sebastian would always be safe with her, and she did not intend for that to ever change. She would walk through fire for him. Megan did not have it in her precious blood to do that for anyone, including herself. Davina was always mindful to not make Megan Deville angry, but Fiona could care less what that woman felt or thought. Fiona could not stomach the personality of her daughter’s mother-in-law all those years, and not having Megan in their lives was the first perk of being on the run from that appalling family. It was that feeling in her stomach, like the one after you had overeaten. That bloated feeling that a person can feel hours later after cramming down their food. It reminded Fiona of Violet Beauregard eating the Magic Chewing Gum on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and her puffing up like a big blimp up in the skies, except Violet was Megan. The thought and the joke of that picture in her head made her laugh, and she must have done it aloud. Lucas came walking in the room.

“Well, you handled that better than I thought you would. Are you good?” He upturned the corners of his lips into a soft smile.

Lucas had a way about him that was graceful and different than other people. He was the one who was pure goodness.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to burst out in laughter. I was picturing Cole’s mother fluffed up like a blue blimp.” She waved her hand in a motion to indicate a signal to disregard her silliness. “It seems like we have a great deal to talk about.” She said it with an inquiring tone of voice.

“Yes, and I hope that you don’t mind that I have invited Finn in on the conversation. Sebastian should hear a few things as well. Dinner is nearly ready. If you three would join me in the dining room in about twenty minutes, I figured it would be a great time to talk, the four of us.” His politeness, along with his candor, impressed Fiona.

“I believe that will be okay. Sebastian is quite advanced for his age, and I can imagine that she…Davina…would be okay with you speaking with him about family business.”

She figured this was affecting his life as much as hers, so she might as well let him listen in and participate. She was not a lone wolf anymore. She was a wolf who must continue raising her daughter’s pup. Now he was her pup, and he was as keen as ever.

“Great! I’ll see you in about 20 minutes then. Can you get Finn and Sebastian?” Lucas started heading back towards his office.

“Sure. Thank you, Lucas.” Fiona smiled at him, and it was the first time that she meant to smile at him.

“That’s what I am here for.” He smiled back and exited the room.

Fiona reflected for a moment on the words that Davina wrote, and while it was heartbreaking for her, it was easier to understand all the hours that Davina picked up at The Verve Night Club and at Boo’s. She was building something. She was risking her life to make sure that her family was safe from harm. She sacrificed everything for us, Fiona considered. She put the letter back inside it’s envelope that read “Momma” carefully before getting up from her seat and heading out of the room with the packet and envelope in hand. For the first time in a few weeks, she could feel hopeful that everything was going to be alright, and she exited the living area to get Sebastian and Finn.

When she approached Sebastian’s room, she could hear him telling Finn one of his imaginative stories that he would come up with on the fly most times. They were always adorably dramatic and fun. Davina spent so much time instilling him with a personality of his own.

“…and then he took a drive to the very top of the mountain, got out of his truck, and looked down to see all the little people…Oh! Hi, Gammy!” He got distracted from his story when he saw Fiona peeking around the corner.

“Hi, sweetheart. It’s time for dinner, so you and Mr. Finn get washed up and meet Lucas and I in the dining room for a family dinner.”

Finn smiled at her when she said, “family dinner”.

“You got it, Gammy! Let’s do this, Mr. Finn!” Sebastian took Finn’s hand in his and tried to drag him to the washroom. He was taking a liking to Sebastian’s friendship with him.

“Okay, big guy! I’m right behind ya!” Finn tickled him and pointed him to the bathroom. “Go ahead and get those hands clean!”

Sebastian giggled and obeyed his new friend with a big smile and a large amount of energy.

“I wish I had some of his energy. I am exhausted.” Finn laughed and slumped down in the chair that sat in the nook of Sebastian’s room. “It’s good to see you not stressed. Your face has pink in your cheeks again.”

Fiona smiled and said, “Davina helped. See you downstairs.” She straightened the bottom of her plum-accented, plaid shirt as she walked out of the room. Why did she feel so merry about Finn noticing the color coming back into her face? She was so happy she could nearly break out in dance as she walked down the hallway. Hmm, she said inside her head. Finn and Sebastian followed out of the room behind her.

For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. I use several prompts to build on my novel, and their word prompts and challenges are linked, bolded, or italicized. Please be sure to visit them and show some love because without them I would not have nearly 40K words written on this novel.

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

Part 21

Part 22

Part 23

Part 24

Part 25

Part 26

Thank you to my fellow bloggers for inspiring this novel! This started from Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge (#FFFC)

xoxo, E.M.

Downtown Christmas – #MLMM Photo Challenge

Photo credit: Frank Rumpenhorst

Streets packed with romance and friendship…

The unction of Christmas sung into all their souls…

Necks are wrapped tightly with scarfs in the winter breeze.

As the festive stars and lights illuminate the downtown

In a gathering of the ages and a sign of that time

A young man blessing his date with a flower.

A lonely lady sipping on her water.

A couple holding each other’s expensive surprises.

The children’s laughter exudes from the bright carousel.

Illicit affairs surround the area without anyone knowing.

The siblings argue over who gets to be first in line to Santa.

Babies rattle their toys as mommies babble to them.

The beer tent has everyone standing in a row.

Life stood still this day in celebration.

“Merry Christmas to all!”, the announcer would say;

To the collection of people bringing the joy this holiday night.

© E.M. Kingston 2021 – All Rights Reserved.

Written in response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Photo Challenge #395 using various word prompts