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.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 26 – The Envelope

Image Credit: Leyne @ Morguefile.com.

Fiona had not sat with her feet up for the longest time, or at least it felt like it. It was the first time that she could relax. Sebastian was playing with his new best friend, Finn, and Lucas… She thought to herself, Lucas was doing whatever it was that Lucas did in this big house. Why did he need this big house anyway? She thought of all the ways that he could have acquired this mansion. Many of the conclusions she came up with were ridiculous, like robbing a bank, being a drug dealer, or human trafficking. She really wanted and needed some answers, but for now, she was enjoying wearing her favorite kind of shoes and resting her tired legs on the ottoman of the most comfortable chair she had ever sat in.

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. As she let the air out into the room, she opened her eyes and was startled. There before her, standing over her, was Lucas. Smiling. Friendly. Without a care in the world about the situation or anything really. She found him quite annoying at times.

She sat up and rubbed her eyes, “I’m sorry. I wasn’t asleep. Is this your chair?” She thought he wanted to sit there. After she spoke the words, she felt stupid for spewing them from her mouth, shaking her head at herself.

“No, not at all. It’s nice to see that you were relaxing, but I wanted to take a minute to speak to you since Sebastian and Finn are busy. Are you good with that?”

She sat up in a more proper position, bringing her feet down from the padded leather ottoman. “Sure, I hope I…we…are not imposing.”

Lucas was very kind. He tried to stop her when he realized that she was feeling like a burden. “Not at all. No. You are very welcome here. That’s what I needed to talk to you about.”

He piqued her interest because he was being forthwith but cryptic at the same time. “Alright. I’m listening.” Her face was perplexed.

“This is going to be hard to hear, but it’s a good thing that I need to tell you.” He sat next to her in the adjacent chair with a matching ottoman. “Davina knew there would come a time when Cole and his minions would find her. The Marshalls should have given you all new identities in the protection, but they failed. In the event of her death, I am supposed to give this to you.”

He handed her a large manila envelope with a clasp on it. The front read, “Momma” in Davina’s handwriting. Fiona’s face when ghostly white and blank. She could not speak. She got a huge knot in her throat as soon as Lucas began talking about her baby…her daughter…her Davina. Lucas could tell she was in shock by the way she slowly grabbed the envelope and lost the color on her face.

“Sebastian is playing, and Finn is keeping him entertained. Take all the time you need to read and take in what is in the envelope. I will be in my office, down the hall that way, when you are ready.” He pointed to the room on the right next to the living room with the double doors and put a handkerchief beside her on the table. “You will probably need this.”

Fiona tried to smile. She couldn’t. He recognized her pain. He lingered for a minute until she got the strength to wave him on politely. He didn’t take offense. She watched him walk out of the room and close his doors to the office behind him. She sat there looking at the envelope wondering what could be inside. She was having a hard time bringing herself to open it. All she could do is stare at it. Blankly… she gawked at the writing on the front. She picked it up and smelled it. It smelled like Davina’s perfume. It had her scent on it. It was from Davina, she thought. It wasn’t that she did not believe Lucas. It was lingering and surreal.

She had tears rolling down her cheeks. She opened the envelope slowly and carefully. She did not want it to rip or get damaged. She felt like it was all she had left of Davina at that moment. She succeeded in her efforts to keep it pristine, and it was probably the most careful she had ever been with an envelope. She didn’t lick the sticky part, Fiona mused. It made her smile a bit. Davina could not stand licking envelopes. The tape served its purpose well along with the clasp anyhow. She was still scared to look inside. She tapped on the outside of the off-white paper cover for what seemed like an hour, but it was just a few minutes.

She spoke out into the empty room where she had earlier found peace, “Okay. I can do this. You can do this, Fiona.” It was a pep talk that turned her cheeks red because she feared someone would hear her talking to herself in the third person. “Just look in the damn envelope already!”

She pulled the paperwork from the envelope, setting the envelope on the table beside the hankie that Lucas had left her. She sat the contents on her lap and looked forward. She couldn’t look down at them just yet. After a deep breath, she looked down as she exhaled to see a letter on the front page of the packet.

Dear Momma,

I hate to be cliché, but if you are reading this, then I am no longer breathing. I have no idea how to explain Lucas just yet, but he is a Godsend to mine and Sebastian’s lives. I can imagine you are a bit miffed at the secret, but I was trying to protect you. I got myself tied into things that I could not escape in the early years of Cole and I’s relationship, and I put your life and my baby boy’s life in danger. I have many things to show you and tell you in this packet, so brace yourself.

The most important thing to know is that this house is in your new name. Lucas secured new identities for all three of us, but I did not make it obviously. I promise that once you get through all the information that your worry will deplete. You can finally be happy, Momma. Even without me, Sebastian will make your light shine like I did growing up with you. I love you. I’m sorry that my life choices made you suffer.

Tell Sebastian that I love him more than he could ever imagine and that he was my reason for breathing. Also tell him that I said, “Secrets Saves Lives.”

Your Daughter,

Davina


For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. This part of the story is from this week’s Flash Fiction from Fandango (#FFFC).

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

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

xoxo, E.M.

After the Lights Stop #FFFC

Image Credit: Erean @ Morguefile.com

She awaited the last light dropping down as the music fell off of her ears.

She had to hold the pose until the curtain closed.

Once she heard the two heavy slates of fabric clap together, she took a deep and cleansing gasp of air.

She could finally breathe a breath into her lungs.

She could relax.

She could collect her money and cover herself up.

She hated this job, but she needed it.

As she walked out the door of the club…

Each and every night she walked out…

She swore she would never return.

Until she did…

Again and again…

Her torture was her addiction.

© E.M. Kingston – All Rights Reserved.


This was written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction #146.

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.

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.

The Capture of Gerald Newhouse #FFFC

Image Credit: Ross Sneddon at Unsplash

Gerald Newhouse sat on the stool with the lighting filling his face with bright light. It was almost blinding, but he was so excited to be posing for his company’s newest publication that he could barely contain himself with the delight he was feeling. Gerald worked for a company that focused their time on working cold cases, and he was going to be honored as the newest addition to the group that worked with law enforcement to solve old crimes that had fallen off the desk of lazy detectives.

As he sat there on the stool, he pondered how satisfying the entire experience had already become in his life, and he could not imagine how good it would feel to solve a case. He knew it wasn’t about the money or the recognition. He just wanted to help people, especially the families who had suffered for so long. As good as it felt to be sitting there with that bright light in his face, he knew that it wasn’t about him. It was about them…the families of the missing and the murdered…They did not know what happened to their loved ones, and he wanted to be that person for them. He wanted to deliver the news that Sally or Joe was still alive and that he found them. He wanted to give closure to the families whose children and family members were never going to come home.

Gerald wanted to be their light in a world that had been full of despair and heartache because they never knew what fate met the ones that they loved. It would happen. He knew it inside of his big heart that filled his chest with hope.

Just then, the photographer said, “Okay, we’re ready. You can smile or stay neutral. It’s up to you.”

Gerald did a close-mouthed smile, and said, “Ready.”

The flash popped into his eyes a few different times as it captured his picture, and he did not flinch one bit. The light did leave traces of the flash for a few minutes. He awaited the proof to be presented to him. “That should do it, Mr. Newhouse. Tell the bossman I should have these ready by noon tomorrow. Congratulations!”

“Thanks! I’ll let him know.” Gerald exited the stool, shook the photographer’s hand, and walked out the door of the photo studio feeling like the world couldn’t stop him. It was a day to remember.


This was written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction #144.

Paradise Found – FFFC #143 and Wordle #265

The image above is from the Google Photo Frame.

Jerri looked out of the window at the vacation condo that she escaped to, and the view was amazing. She saw the steep mountains in the distance as the wood of the landscape hugged the view from her window. They were so far away, but she could still see the grade marks put onto them by the environment. They were absolutely gorgeous. It was one of those scenic views that she had only seen in those antique, framed pictures that you find at estate sales for a fifty-cent piece, or like the ones that are resting on the walls of hotels that were in the cities.

To the right of her window, there were some flowering plants growing on the tall trees, and to the left, there were some ancient palms that had collected a few vines throughout the years. She wondered if the birds in the distance would obtain enough bravery to visit her window, even the parrot soaring above brought her a feeling of colossal happiness. She began recording all of the beautiful scenery until she felt a bump on her leg.

At her feet, her companion brushed up against her leg. It was her Siamese cat named Bruce, and he was due an adventure to the paradise Jerri had just found. He was her best friend, and she did not have anyone to take care of him while she escaped. Bruce used his back legs to bounce up into the window sill. He was brawny for a cat and very sturdy. He seemed to be enjoying the natural essence of the getaway.

Jerri and Bruce took a seat near the open window, and she took a deep breath while petting the feline posted up on her lap. She found paradise, and the feline did too. The worries in her mind were zilch. It was a good day.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 11 – Scrabble

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Finn had not spent any amount of time with Sebastian after he was born because of school and pursuing his career as a detective. His mother’s untimely passing drove him to change his major from engineering to criminal justice, and he was away from Roland for quite a long while. When he graduated college and got into the police academy, everyone and everything had changed.

With the thought in the back of his mind, he chose a car that looked like his mother’s station wagon to begin playing with the blonde-haired boy.

“Good jobs, Mr. Finn!” Sebastian spoke excitedly and playfully to his new friend.

“Thank you! Do you like it?” Finn rolled the car around the homemade track that Sebastian’s momma had built him.

“Yeah…I like mine better though.” He flashed a blue truck like his Gammy’s pickup truck.

As they rolled the car and truck around the track, Finn began asking little questions to get Sebastian talking and feeling comfortable. He felt bad interrogating such a little fella, but he needed to hear those secrets.

“You and your mommy…did you play cars together?” Finn hoped he did not make Sebastian sad with his question, but he was a tough little boy.

“Mhm. She likes playing wif me.” He looked across the room to the board games. “But hers liked playing that game more.” Sebastian pointed to the box that said “Scrabble” on the side.

“Oh, I love that game too! Do you wanna play it sometime?”

Sebastian shrugged his shoulders without deciding about the word game and continued rolling his truck around the track. He got quiet and looked a bit sad. Finn figured he would have to build a little bit more trust before asking questions.

“I lost my momma too. She was my best friend. She loved your mommy and Auntie Brooke.” Finn opened up to Sebastian to relate to his pain. “I never thought I would be without my mommy, so I bet it is really hard for you too.”

“Mommy told me she may have to see Auntie one day.  My dad is bad.”

“He is, but your mommy tried very hard to protect you from him.” Finn patted Sebastian on his shoulder. “She would be very proud of how strong you are for such a young fella.” Finn smiled into the little boy’s eyes.

“Yeah, she teaches me.” The sweet boy stood up and ran over to the bookshelf with all the games as he finished speaking. “We can play this now.” He grabbed the Scrabble game.

“Sure! Whatever you want to do…I am here for you, okay?”

“I know. Mommy told me you would play with me. She showed me what to spell.” 

Finn watched as he spelled out letters inside of the board. Sebastian first spelled “C O L E.” From there, he spelled MEGAN on the E in Cole. He put AND on the A in Megan, and the little boy spelled MURDER on the M of Megan. Last, he spelled BROOKE on the E of murder. Finn’s heart dropped.

“Is that one of Mommy’s secrets?” Finn questioned what he was seeing on the board.

“Yeah, I dunno what it says though.” Sebastian pouted.

“It’s okay, Sebastian. I can understand it.”

“Wait there’s more, Mr. Finn.” He spelled out FINN MARLOW, and he then spelled IN on the N of Finn and TROUBLE from the O in Marlow. Then a new name popped up. From the F in Finn, Sebastian spelled out FLANNERY. “This one is new. She said to show you.”

“Thank you, Sebastian. You are really an amazing little person, you know that?” Finn knew the name, and he knew to be thankful to see it on the game board. Jericho Flannery was a bad person, and he was in contact with Brooke before her death.

Sebastian began picking up all the letters from the board to put them away, and he looked at Finn with a sad face, “Daddy made Mommy go, right Mr. Finn.”

“I’m not sure, but I am going to find out. We are all going to be okay.  I promise.”

Just as they finished putting away the game Fiona calls them to dinner.


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

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston

Sebastian’s Story – Part 5 FFFC #141

Chapter 2

The lights flashed atop the officer’s vehicle, a blue and white Caprice, as he exited it.  He looked around in caution, as most do in that profession, and the young officer approached Fiona’s driver-side window as she rolled it down with her hand quickly.  She had been fidgeting with the pearl-looking button on her blouse, so much so that it was now loose.  Her nerves were spent, and she was absolutely terrified as to what could have happened to Davina.  As the officer approached the open door of the Corolla, with gun drawn, Fiona’s anxiety intensified. 

“It’s empty ma’am, except a jacket on the passenger seat”, he said in a holler across the alley.

The officer looked as perplexed as Fiona felt. She needed to know where her daughter was. It had not been 24 hours yet, so she couldn’t even report her missing.

“Ma’am, I didn’t see anything indicating a struggle or anything like that. Do you have any reason to think anyone would want to hurt her?”

“Yessir…her ex is a monster, and we are all in protection due to his abuse of her.”

“I see…There is nothing I can do right now, except tell you to go home and check to see if she has made it home yet. How long has she been gone?”

“We haven’t seen her since early this morning, Sir.”, Fiona said while fidgeting with the bottom of her blouse. “She left for work, and we haven’t seen her since then.”

“So, right now, there’s nothing I can do until she’s been gone 24 hours. After 24 hours you can report her missing. I’m sorry there isn’t anything more I can do right now. If you have a spare set of keys, I would lock up her car and head home for the night. Call me when you need to file the report, and I will come out to the house.”

He handed her a business card with his contact information, shook her head, and they parted ways.

The photo below is from Natalya Vaitkevich @ Pexels.com.

Fiona came home to an empty house, and she was a bit depressed. Klaus met her at the door with his tail wagging excitedly. She gave him a few pets and head into the kitchen to have a look around. She had left quite a mess after dinner, and she really didn’t want to mess with it right at that moment. Instead, she wandered over to the window to clear her mind, and she was trying to hold herself together. It had not been 24 hours, but she felt as if it had been a week that she had not seen her sweet daughter. With Sebastian hanging out at Sharon’s house, the house they all shared together felt very empty and quiet. Too quiet, she thought. She pulled at the fob holding her father’s old watch, and time was moving too slow.

It had only been an hour since talking to the officer, and she still had several hours to go before she could call him. She wanted to think that Davina would walk through the door at any moment, but she had that feeling in her gut that something bad had happened. Thoughts are sometimes the worst elements in a situation like this, and Fiona was going out of her mind worrying. She called Sharon to check on Sebastian, and he was doing good and unaffected, thankfully. She looked around the house while glancing out the window now and then, but no one was coming. She was in this new old house all alone, without her family, and her heart was racing with sadness.

Things had been better since they relocated to the new house. After they all had moved, they were able to sell the house to a family member that needed it. It wasn’t safe to put it on the market. Cole moved into the house after he and Davina were married, so he had no claims on the mortgage. They felt safe for the longest time after moving to Indiana from Arkansas. The landscape was different, but Fiona had really enjoyed exploring a new area in the worst of times. She hated having to hide and leave her old life behind, but she would do anything to keep Davina safe from Cole. He was an absolute monster, and Sebastian was not safe around him.

Cole hit them both, and there were many instances that both Sebastian and Davina ended up in the emergency room with freak “accidents”. When Davina finally reached out for help, it was after he had pushed her down a whole flight of stairs. She was rushed by ambulance to the same emergency room they always had to visit, and a nurse that worked with Fiona assisted them in getting away. The abuse was kenspeckle to everyone around Davina and Cole, but this nurse was the first one to lend aid to them after being assigned as a nurse on this visit to the hospital. Aurora was her name, Fiona remembered, as she gazed over to the table and saw Davina’s notebook on the telephone table.

The notebook was where Davina would write down all her feelings, dreams, and such. It was like a diary, but she used it to keep herself occupied when there was too much weighing her down. She was a talented writer of poetry and the like, but she was also good with metaphysical things. She would write down spells, crystals, minerals, etc., and it was like a book of shadows in that respect. It kept her mind clear to keep pushing forward and kept her grounded. All of the deceit and abuse she had suffered from while being with Cole, she wrote about in this journal. Fiona had never read it, and she didn’t want to now. However, what if she had seen him or something else and written it down. She had to look. She had to invade that privacy. She took the book to the kitchen table, grabbed a drink of water, and began to read towards the end of the pages that were written on. The first words that Fiona read were, “He found us…”.


This was written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction #141.

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

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston