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.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 25 – The Hunt

The winter snow had come in full force this season, and Indiana was gaining much more snowfall than usual. The collection of snow and ice from the storms made it hard to journey on the highways, but thankfully Lucas had gotten them safe before the roads had gotten too bad. Fiona sat in her room and could not help but worry about Sharon, since she assumed he had been tracking them for a while. It was nearly seven o’clock, and she was beginning to smell the aroma of food seeping through the crack in the bottom of her door. The savory smells made her tummy growl out into the big room. She had showered and then dressed in clothes that she imagined Davina had chosen for her before her departure. They were trendy but comfortable. Davina knew her mother hated being uncomfortable when it came to fashion. Fiona was laid back and never flashy. It was part of the reason she could hardly stand Megan’s wardrobe and the personality that went with the threads. She shook off the thought of Megan as she heard a tapping at the sturdy door of her room.

“Yes, who is it?” Fiona asked.

“It’s Finn. Can I come in?” He spoke quietly.

“Of course! Come in, Finn.” She opened the door and waved him in past the entryway. “What’s up? You okay?”

“Oh…yeah. I’m good. I just wanted to see if you wanted me to escort you down to dinner. This is a big house.” Finn fumbled with the collar on his shirt. “I have no idea how they knew my size, but I have a whole closet full of clothes.”

“Same here. I think Davina set this all up.” She walked over and opened her wardrobe of hand-picked clothes. “See?”

“It’s insane. How in the world did she know I would be here too? Sebastian’s room is amazing. Do you want to go check it out?” Finn had that wholesome smile on his face that he wore on his face when he was not carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. He had no idea of the paradox that was unfolding around the friendly waitress and babysitter known as Sharon an hour away from their paradise. It wasn’t an island wonderland, but the house was its own mini-vacation compared to where they had been staying in the country.

“Sure. Lead the way. I am right behind you.” She felt hopeful for the first time in a while.

Finn escorted her to Sebastian’s room, and he knocked out of courtesy like he did at Fiona’s door.

“Hey kiddo! Are you ready for some chow?” Finn talked into the big, heavy door.

Sebastian came running to the door. They could hear his little feet pitter-patter as he ran towards it. “Mr. Finn! Is that you?”

“It’s me! Can I come in? I have a surprise out here for you.” Finn looked back at Fiona smiling with delight.

“I need help with the door. It’s too heavy.” Sebastian was grunting trying to pull the door open. The struggle could be heard in his voice.

“I got you, little man!” Finn turned the knob and pushed carefully on the door. He had to make sure not to knock the kid out with the heavy piece of wood with brass handles.

“GAMMY! Come see my room! Momma made it special for me! Are you my surprise?” Sebastian tackled Fiona’s leg with so much enthusiasm that he nearly knocked her over.

Finn laughed with them and exited the room to allow Fiona to explore the room with her grandson.

Sebastian led her over to his bookcase. Davina had stocked it with his favorite fables and stories that they would always read together. She put a great deal of thought into the layout of his room. It looked like the little nook that the two of them occupied on Davina’s days off. Fiona felt tears well up in her eyes. Sebastian noticed.

“Gammy, don’t cry. Mommy is all around me and you. She’s an angel.” He walked over and hugged her leg tightly, which made her eyes really begin to streak her cheeks with salty wetness.

Finn knocked on the door again, and the embrace Sebastian had on Gammy’s leg was broken. The knock was urgent.

“Finn, come in!” Sebastian belted out loudly to him.

“I have to go. Jericho was just spotted downtown in front of Boo’s. My source told me that Sharon came in for an unscheduled shift due to someone calling in. The Marshalls are going to meet me there. Save me some dinner?” Finn was disconcerted.

Sebastian nodded his head and said, “I got you, Mr. Finn. Go save Ms. Sharon, please!” He was a bit frantic in his own way.

Fiona followed Finn out into the hallway in front of Sebastian’s room. “Do you think he will hurt her?”

Finn put his head down, “My informant said that Flannery has been watching the café since we pulled away. He was right behind us. We barely got away from him.”

The Devilles used Jericho Flannery like a tracking dog, and Fiona’s concern for Sharon was not far off. He almost had to know about Sharon because he knew about the safety deposit box key and the other various aspects of Davina’s life. He was decisive and precise when he executed his contracts. No one could claim he was not good at his job. This man was trained to hunt, and the horns of the hunt echoed across the snow this night. His instruction in the armed forces was quite extensive. He was formulated for the front lines in the Marines. It was the only thing he was good at after graduating with low grades after high school. The military gave him a purpose. He loved to kill. He loved the chase. He loved the challenge of acquiring his targets. This life of crime was perfect for who he believed he was always destined to be…a psychopath. He was your worst nightmare if he was tracking you because Jericho was not leaving any stone unturned when looking for he meant to acquire you. He did not give up, and he always got his mark.
He sat outside across the street from the café when it was about time for Sharon’s shift at Boo’s. There was a jolly Santa that had his collection bell ringing as he paced the city street in front of Verve and Boo’s. Jericho hated Christmas. It reminded him of the past and a family that never wanted him. It made him think about how the best present he had received on Christmas was a pack of condoms from “Dear Ole Dad” …that’s what the card said inside the box. Other Christmas rituals in his dysfunctional family included getting knocked in the head by his mother for taking a cookie from the counter that she had just made, and cigarette burns from his pops as punishment for that same act. He had a harsh upbringing, and it showed daily in every move he made. He was truly a miserable human being, and he didn’t care to be considered so or to be seen as the murderer and criminal that he was. His truth was that he care less if he woke up the next day, let alone deal with Christmas and happy times with a family that never mattered to him.

He tossed a cigarette out of the window at the end of his reminiscing. He shook his head and snickered under his breath.

He repeated the card’s text under his breath in a sarcastic tone, “Dear Ole Dad…”

His eyes rolled and then came alert as he saw Davina’s friend pulling in the alley to park in the back of the restaurant. He thought to himself that the street was too busy to take a shot from his pistol that was hiding in his dash. He supposed he did not aim to kill her yet anyway. He needed information. He needed to know where his prey went. He wanted to collect his prize from his contract. He had a long time to wait before her shift was over, but he didn’t mind making her skin crawl while he stared her down inside while shoving food in his mouth. I could eat something, he deliberated. He couldn’t remember when he ate last.

He shut off the ignition of his van, and he gathered his weapon from the glove box. His trench coat had a special pocket for his weapon on the inside…custom made, and he placed it there before stepping out into the street.

The wind was gusty and smacked him in the face a few times before he got across the street to the door of the café. As he opened it, the bell chimed to let the staff know someone entered. Sharon was just coming onto the floor, and she greeted him with her usual, friendly smile.


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

Part 21

Part 22

Part 23

Part 24

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 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

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

Sebastian’s Story – Part 14 – Scrabble Anyone?

This will be the last part that I will be publishing on WordPress, as I am entering a crime novel contest with this manuscript. I am so appreciative of the inspiration with the word prompts and challenges. Thank you to everyone who has helped me develop this story, and I hope to be publishing this book soon through the contest or otherwise. Much love to all of my fellow creators and followers for the feedback and support as I got this story to a little under 15,000 words that may change my life forever. I appreciate you all.


Fiona began collecting the empty dishes from the oak dining table as they finished eating their dinner. Their tummies were full, and Sebastian had gotten sleepy due to such a great dinner. Even Klaus had curled up under Sebastian’s chair from the overload of table scraps that his bestie had dropped for him. He was very loyal to the blonde-hair, blue-eyed boy.

“C’mon sweetie, let’s get you to bed. You’ve had quite a long day, my love.” Gammy gathered Sebastian from the table and wiped his face with a wet cloth. “Wave goodnight to Mr. Finn and thank him for playing, and I will tuck you in really tight.”

Sebastian smiled and waved to the detective, and Finn returned a goodnight wave with a wink. “Goodnight, Sebastian! I had fun playing cars and Scrabble with you. We’ll play again soon, okay?”

“Yes, be sure to keep Momma’s secrets though. Secrets save lives. Thank you, Mr. Finn.” Sebastian looked back at Finn over his grandma’s shoulder winking back at the man sitting at the kitchen table that he felt was his friend.

When Fiona got Sebastian to his room, he started his routine of pulling back the covers and putting his favorite fluffy next to his pillow.

“Mommy say that my elephant is special. I has to keeps him safe.” Sebastian tucked his stuffed animal into the covers.

“Well, your mommy was pretty smart, so she probably knew that your stuffy would keep you safe too.” Fiona’s eyes welled with tears as she spoke about Davina. “Let’s hop in bed and close those beautiful blue eyes. Tomorrow is another day.”

With the direction from Fiona, he climbed up into his bed and waited for Fiona to pull the covers up to his chin. He wore a tumultuous grin as he hugged his elephant and as Gammy tucked him in. She patted the sides around him and did a few tickles to make it fun. “Goodnight, sweet boy. Gammy loves you.”

“I loves you more Gammy. Goodnight.” Sebastian laid there with his eyes pressed shut and as tight as he could.

Fiona looked back at him as she shut out the light and headed out the door labeled with his name. “Sweet dreams, Sebastian.” She left a crack in the door as she walked out.

She thought about how sweet he looked laying there and how much he looked like Cole. Davina had always said that Sebastian looked like a twin of his father. Cole was quite attractive, and Sebastian’s looks never allowed Davina to be forgetful of that fact. Sometimes it hurt after leaving Arkansas to see Cole looking back at her through her little boy’s eyes. Cole was not always bad to her, especially in the early years of their relationship.

When she got back downstairs, Finn was examining the Scrabble board and the letters that Sebastian had used to spell the words of the secrets. He thought there could be more clues on the little letter pieces.

Fiona questioned the detective, “So, how did that go? Playing with Sebastian?”

Finn looked up from the game pieces and scratched his forehead, “I hated to infringe on the playtime he had with Davina, but it went really well. He’s a smart boy. A really smart boy…He spelled out two different phrases, and one phrase was old, and one could be new.”

He filled Fiona in on the arrangement of the letters in their game by putting them back on the board. He did it exactly as Sebastian had done it earlier. As Fiona watched, she noticed where they were being put onto the scoring markers on the board.

“Hey, Finn! Look.” Fiona pointed at the center of the board. “The center is supposed to be a pink star, not a purple circle.”

Marlow carefully examined the circle that Fiona had pointed out. It was glued onto the board.

“I see. We can use steam to get it off of there. Do you have a tea kettle?” Finn thought out loud to Fiona.

“Sure do! Let’s go to the kitchen. Bring the board.”

They both rushed off into the kitchen with the gas stove that housed the flowered kettle. The bottom was copper like a penny. Fiona leaned back against the counter and huffed out a breath. There was stormy weather growling in the kitchen window behind her, and the sound of leaves beginning to rustle in the wind could be heard through the poor weatherstripping on the window. Fiona filled the pot with water and turned the fire on.

“Now we wait…” Finn said while watching the heat flow up the sides of the kettle.

Finn reached out to her arm and patted it softly. “Mom adored you, and I hate that we both have lost the people that mean the most to us because of that damn family…I’m just furious with them!”

“I loved your mom too. She was a great friend. I miss that friendship very much.” Fiona thought about the time she and Georgia went out on a girl’s night at that moment. Georgia had to talk her into it because Fiona did not socialize a great deal. She was much happier with a book and a cup of cocoa at the end of her day rather than a night on the town kind of girl. In that split second, it was like she was standing in the doorway of past regrets that was so long ago, but it was still very fresh in her mind. I miss my old life and my friends, she thought in this short reflection back to that time.

A whistle followed by fragrant steam came flowing out of the tea kettle spout. “I think we’re good to go, Finn.” She called to him towards the back door. He had stepped outside for a cigarette in the middle of her ponder.

Finn came in smelling of cigarette smoke like he had taken some big drags on the filter with all his stress. He thought about how Sebastian had put such emphasis on that the secrets he kept could save lives. Finn, during his smoke, had wondered if that was because of Flannery and if Sebastian’s secret was told to him by Davina to save his life. Jericho Flannery was a malevolent and seedy character who did contracts with the Deville family members, and Finn could do nothing but shudder seeing his name on the game board. At one point, he and Flannery were friends because of Cole. Davina had worked with him a few times before getting away as well. She was always scared of him and his connection to Cole.

“Great…Let’s see what we have. It can’t get too damp from the vapor. I don’t know what is in there, and any writing would be destroyed if it got too wet.” Finn got to work on the Scrabble board.

Finn’s steaming skills did not fail to impress Fiona. She watched carefully as he used the steam to peel back the corner of the new piece of paper that covered the Scrabble center. Finn carefully took tweezers and eased it from the board. The back was empty, but there was a piece of black tape holding something under the piece of paper. It looked like another tiny piece of paper wrapped in a piece of plastic.

“There’s something here. It’s super small, but I think that’s the point. We need a magnifying glass. Do you have one laying around anywhere?” Finn asked as he tweezed the plastic-coated paper from the inside of the board.

“I think I have one in my sewing kit. Let me check real quick.” Fiona exited the room to the den where her sewing basket was located.

As she scavenged through her kit, she ran into the sweater she was mending for Davina. A few weeks back, Davina had come home with the arm nearly torn out of her favorite black and tan sweater. She never would admit what had happened for such a large rip, and Fiona thought now that she should have asked more questions.

“Any luck in there?” Finn hollers aloud from the kitchen.

Fiona brought herself back to the present, and she answered back as she found it in the basket with all of her sewing tools, “Yep! We got one! Here I come.”

She handed Marlow the magnifying glass and waited. He peeled off the plastic and unfolded the tiny white piece of paper. When he examined it with the magnifying glass, it read, “Safe Deposit Box #217, Davina Ridings, First National Bank, Danville, Illinois”.

The message was spectral… like it was coming from the grave that had not even been lain yet. As he read the inscription on the paper, Fiona wondered why Davina would have a safety deposit box in Illinois, and she did not understand why it would be in her maiden name. That was dangerous. Could that be how he found her again? This is why my baby is gone, Fiona thought about the perpetuity of Davina’s death. She could not erase the sadness she felt at that moment. She felt the pain obtrude into her soul from the feeling this little piece of paper put inside of her heart. In the hindsight, she remembered hoping that Davina had found some peace that she did not have when she was alive after meeting Cole, but on the other hand, she was not used to the solitude of having a dead child. She had Sebastian to take care of and that would take up some of the desolations she was feeling after seeing Davina on the stainless-steel table. She shuddered at the thought and saw it again in her mind.

“Does this make any sense to you?” Finn Marlow questioned Fiona, and Fiona returned a shrug of uncertainty.

She had no idea why Davina would need or want a safety deposit box in Illinois, and she never even knew that she had gone out of state before without her. They had never gone to Danville together, and she did not comprehend anything about this box.

“It sounds like we need to make a trip after the funeral. Do you think Sharon would be able to watch Sebastian again? We should take care of it promptly.”

“I will get in touch with her in the morning and see what she is doing Saturday. It shouldn’t be a problem. She’s been such a good friend to Davina, and she’s great with Sebastian. Sometimes I don’t know what we would have done without her.” Fiona paced the floors a little bit thinking about all of these secrets coming out. “Why didn’t she talk to me about all of this, Finn? She shouldn’t have had to face things alone and in secret.”

“Maybe she thought that telling you would put you in more danger. In the end, she was deeply intertwined in the business. She probably did not want you to worry any more than you had to.” Finn tried to reassure her, but Fiona was beside herself. He could see her pain.

“Poor Sebastian. He should not have had to carry that burden. What was she thinking?” Fiona was a bit angry and confused, and she felt like she had been betrayed.

“It was genius how she got the messages to me though. He did very well, and he’s a strong boy…he’s just like her. He knew what to say, how to place the letters, and get the help that you guys will need to survive this.” Finn walked over to Fiona and put his hands on his shoulders. “Now, let’s just see what this box holds, but first we will need to find the key.”

Sebastian walks into the kitchen holding a gold key and hands it to Finn. It read “217”.


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

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, and Your Daily Word Prompt. This story started from a flash fiction prompt from Fandango.

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston

Sebastian’s Story – Part 12 – Megan Deville

Fiona had no desire to get to know them at first, but Corbin and Megan Deville were high society figures that were invested in many of the local events in the town in a short amount of time. The community saw them as a power couple and their children were stood on a pedestal and dubbed “good kids with a wholesome family unit.”

She remembered it was not until later that everyone in the circle and the community began seeing the avarice in their hearts. It was not always that way though. They were positive figures in the neighborhood and within the community in the beginning.  When they moved into the neighborhood, everyone liked them. They pretended to like everyone else, but it was all a ruse to hide their evildoings. As Fiona fixed dinner, she reflected on the first time she met Megan Deville.

“Hello, my new neighbor!” Megan had walked over to Fiona while she was grabbing the grocery bags from her car.

When Fiona turned around, she saw a new face standing there. The lady was a beautiful woman with auburn hair and green eyes, and she dressed like a celebrity…fancy clothes, not mom clothes. Ms. Deville was flamboyant and confident from the first moment that words were exchanged between them.

“Yeah…hi…you must be living in the Shackleford house next door.” Fiona was caught off guard with Megan’s arrival behind her. Her cheeks flushed with red from the surprise.

“Well…not a Shackleford house anymore. Megan. Megan Deville is my name. And you are?” She pressed her hand forward to shake Fiona’s hand, which was holding a packed paper bag of groceries.

“Fiona…Ridings.” Fiona paused awkwardly and continued, “Yep. That’s my name. Apologies for not making it over sooner to meet you. I have been a little under the weather.” She rolled her eyes a bit but caught herself doing it as she shuffled her groceries around.

Megan’s appearance was a little plastic. It reminded Fiona of a Barbie doll. It seemed unnatural and fake, but she tried to be nice to the new neighbor. The first impression was not a good one. Fiona just wanted to get inside and put down the heavy bags. When she saw Georgia running over from across the street, she opened up the door to her truck and placed the bags down.

Georgia Marlow lived across the street and saw her friend struggling with the groceries and ran over to help. “Fi…You should have called me. I would have sent Finn over to help with the groceries.” She smiled at Megan sarcastically and glared over to the new girl on the block. “I’m Georgia. You’re new.”

“Megan. Deville. I live next door.” She was pretentious to Georgia, and it was a tense conversation for all three ladies. “My children and I were hoping there would be other kids their age around. They had to leave all their friends behind in the move.”

Megan filled the ladies in on her kids. Corbin and Megan had six children, three boys and three girls. The oldest of the boys, Cole, was an athlete and had grown up with Finn on the football team. They were great friends. The two younger boys, Clay and Calvin, were away at boarding school most of the year, and they would only come home on a few weekends and holidays here and there. The girls, Cole’s sisters, stayed close to home, and they were guarded better than a pirate’s treasure.

“Wow, six kids…I have one. A daughter. She should be home soon.” Fiona finally set her groceries on the driver’s seat of her truck.

“Mhm. We wanted a large family because both my husband and I came from big families. How about you Georgia?” Megan fiddled with the knot on her crop top as she turned her attention to Fiona’s friend.

“Three boys…Finn and the twins.” Georgia reluctantly answered. There was something about Megan she already did not like or care for.

Megan kept talking about her offspring. “Maybe we can set up a day for most of mine to meet yours. The younger boys will be home for Thanksgiving, so that introduction will have to be delayed. The girls will be ecstatic to meet new people, and Cole is quite charming as well.”

She sounded like she was trying to solicit them to Fiona and Georgia. It was strange. It made them uncomfortable at first. Megan was not a character that they had encountered before. They were not used to dealing with a woman who would behave the way Megan did…like her children were bargaining chips in a poker game.

“Where did you say you moved from again?” Georgia asked.

“I didn’t…but since you asked, we moved here for California…the Bay Area,” Megan said with a cynical tone.

Georgia and Fiona glanced at each other and giggled a bit. Their neighborhood was middle-class income, and it was located right off the frontage road of the interstate.

Georgia inquired further by asking, “Fancy. How did you end up here?”

“Business. My husband runs a lucrative corporation. He’s an investor.” Megan was reluctant to give more information. Fiona felt like Megan was being less than forthcoming with who she was and what she did, but Georgia knew there was something wrong with this woman.

“I should get my groceries in the house before they spoil.” Fiona grabbed the bags from her truck seat again. “Georgia, can you help me? And Megan, it was nice to meet you.”

“Of course. Until next time girls…I’ll be in touch.” Megan flaunted the huge wedding ring on her finger as she waved herself on.

Georgia and Fiona grabbed up the rest of the groceries and headed into the house. “What a strange woman, and I am not sure that I even like her…,” said Georgia while glancing out the window that faced the Deville’s home.

“You got that right.” Fiona shook her head as she unpacked her food from the brown paper bags from the IGA.

The relationship between the three women grew with the intertwining of relationships between their children, but it was not something that came easily when it came to the friendship between the three different personalities of the women that raised those children. They had made somewhat of an oath between them to always stick together for the sake of the children, but as Fiona looked back, she wished she would have pushed Megan out of her life.

As Fiona dabbled around in the kitchen with food for her, Sebastian, and Finn, she thought about all the time spent together with Finn and Cole’s mothers. She was often the soft-spoken, awkward one in the circle. She had dark hair and dressed like a thrift shop on feet. She always went shopping at the second-hand store and never bought herself anything new. Nursing school was expensive.

Later, and after that first meeting, Georgia, along with Fiona and Megan, spent a lot of time at school events that they all organized together. They were all members of the Pulaski County Parent-Teacher Association. Megan was the Chairperson, of course. Georgia was the treasurer, and Fiona kept the records as the secretary of the group. Georgia and Fiona also had 9 to 5 jobs to get the bills paid along with organizing events for their children at the school. They were not in the same societal bracket as their friend, but it did not seem to matter until all the kids had graduated out of high school and PTA meetings were no longer an element of their friendship. Without that connection, the relationships dwindled between the three women, except Georgia and Fiona stayed close. They shut Megan out, and it made her furious. That’s when she started grooming Davina.

With that though giving Fiona a shudder, she called Finn and Sebastian to have some of the dinner she had tossed together. Most of the time, she would repress her memories of that terrible family, but with Davina gone, they were all coming back in full force.

“Come on boys! Grub is done.” Fiona shouted into the living room from the kitchen.

Finn was the first to the table and saw a nice spread of Italian food that Fiona had whipped up, “This looks great. Thank you!”

Behind him, Sebastian trotted sweetly to the table and hopped up into his booster seat with the help of his Gammy. Klaus always found his way under the table to catch the scraps that his friend would drop for him.

Fiona decided to ask, “How were cars and playtime?”

Sebastian smiled at Finn, and said, “Now Mr. Finn knows all the secrets.”

Fiona smiled at Finn and gave him a thankful nod, and he returned the gratitude back to her.


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

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston

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 10 – The Secrets

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Fiona came back from her shower with puffy eyes from bawling as the warm water smacked her face, but she felt a little better. So much had happened that she did not remember the last time that she had a good, long shower.  Sebastian was happy to see her, and Klaus greeted her at the couch with a puppy kiss on her cheek as she sat down.  She had been crying in the shower, and she stayed in there long enough to gather herself better.  She had to be strong for Sebastian. 

“Gammy, are you sad like Mr. Finn?”

“I am baby…I miss your mommy.” Fiona’s eyes filled with tears yet again.

“Me too, Gammy.” Sebastian tried to console Fiona by patting softly on her leg. “We be okay.  Mommy looks down like Auntie Brooke.”  He smiled so sweetly that Fiona could have sworn she felt her heart break a little.

She ached for his loss, and she wished she could forget Cole and his family.  So much had changed since their lives became intertwined with them. Finn caught a tear with his finger. Hearing Brooke’s name spoken again brought back more memories of Deville despair.

She looked over at a grim face from Finn and felt bad that he could see her sadness and mourning. She could tell those memories were flooding the detective’s mind. His memories were frozen in the past. He had lost so much, and this had to be hard on him like it was for her and Sebastian.  Sebastian was managing things in his own way, and she supposed that Finn also had his own way of dealing with losing his friend. The loss of Davina took another jab at the heart of the tall, dark-haired, sturdy detective. There was no way in hell he could ever be content with the things that the Devilles had always gotten away with, and this was going to be the last straw.

Finn spoke to Sebastian about his aunt, and said, “I loved your Auntie Brook the whole moon and the stars, Sebastian. I know she is watching over you. She and your mommy are more than likely having an absolute blast in heaven. They were best friends. Did you know that?”

“Mhm, Mommy told me all their secrets…” He giggled aloud, and Fiona and Finn could just return the laughs to one another at Sebastian’s amusement at being the secret keeper.

“Is that right?” Finn said playfully, “I wish I knew all their secrets.  You should feel incredibly special to know them.” 

He hoped that Sebastian would spill all the beans and tell them these secrets. He thought for a moment that Davina might have told him everything for that purpose…but he did not want to assume.  He just continued laughing with Sebastian for the moment, but Fiona must have had the same idea.

Fiona asked, “What kind of secrets sweetie?  We promise not to tell anyone.  Mommy may have told you something that we need to know now that she and Auntie Brooke aren’t here anymore.”

“Nope! I cannot tell anyone.  We pinky swear.” Sebastian giggled yet again. “Klaus, tell Gammy the rule. Secrets saves lives.”

It was an odd thing for a little boy to say. It only made Fiona and the detective more curious about these secrets. It was possible that Davina speculated inside her mind that he would not be able to keep the secrets forever, so she prepared him.  She would have wanted to arm him with information, especially after she declined an invitation from Megan to join the family business.

Fiona sat down with Sebastian on the floor, and Klaus jumped on her lap.  Finn followed and sat with his legs crossed next to Fiona. This was going to be one of the hardest interrogations that I’ve ever conducted, Finn thought to himself.  He felt bad for thinking the thought of interrogating a three-year-old, but he needed to know those secrets.

“Miss Fiona…if it’s okay…do you mind if I talk to him for a little bit.”

“I think that would be okay…how about you Sebastian? Do you want to play with Detective Marlow for a little bit?”

Sebastian smiled at his Gammy. “Sure. We can play with the cars since he’s a boy. Momma would think it’s fun for me to play wif Mr. Finn.”

“Okay then, you boys have fun playing cars, and I will go make us some food.” Fiona stood up and exited the living room flashing Finn a thumbs up. 

Finn gave a friendly nod and picked his favorite car.


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

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston

Sebastian’s Story – Part 9 – Georgia Marlow

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Georgia Marlow was a compassionate woman, and she had raised three boys on her own.  A single mother back in these times was not unheard of, but it just was not a topic that people talked about at their own dinner tables.  They did love to gossip about how she got into that dilemma, but she never let it knock her down. Finn’s father left as soon as the twins were born.  It was too much on him, and the rumors were that he had been seeing someone else for years.  He was a womanizer, and he was not a good person. She had done her best at being strong and setting an example for her children. 

Finn was the oldest of the three boys and had the strongest spirit.  He was a little rebellious and gave his mother a few migraines growing up, but he was still a good human in society.  His younger brothers, James and Anthony, were twins, and he was very protective over them…and Brooke, the Deville family’s oldest girl.  They all had made friends with the kids next door, the Deville Family. 

Finn remembered the last conversation that they had, and it was right before he left for college.  He wished that he had never left.  He was only gone a few days when he got the call from Detective West.

“Finn, are you all set?  You got your toothbrush and a change of underwear, right?” She giggled.

“Yes, Mom…I have all my underwear.  The toothbrush is questionable though.  I need to stop and get a new one on the way.” He returned a playful laugh to his mother with a wink.

“Good.  Priorities are important!  Just be careful.  Don’t do drugs and stay away from bad people.” She patted him on the shoulder as she walked into the next room to grab a gift from the counter.

Finn opened the neatly tied red bow from a small box.  It was a locket.  He opened it to see a picture of him and his mother on one side and his twin brothers on the other side.  “I love it.  Thank you, Mom.”

“I wanted you to have us close to your heart while you were away.  I am not sure what I will do without you.  Just go be great!”

He noticed a sadness in her voice but wrote it off as her worrying since she was a person that was known to be anxious about certain things. “It’s okay, Mom.  I’ll be home at Thanksgiving and Christmas to hang out with you guys.  Don’t worry.  If you need anything, I am just a few hours away.”

“Of course, my son…I just hope I won’t have to call.  Things have been a little volatile next door, and I am not sure what is going on over there most of the time.”

He knew exactly what she meant.  There had been some different groups of people showing up over at the neighbor’s house, and they were all driving expensive cars.  Brooke had told Finn that she did not like all the traffic in and out of the house, but that Megan and Corbin said, “it was necessary for business purposes”.  Whatever that meant, he remembered thinking.

“Yeah…I’m not sure what is happening there either.  I just know Brooke is not a fan of her parents right now.  Things are bad, and I feel bad leaving.” Finn tucked the locket into his leather satchel and looked up at his mother with a hesitating grin.  “Are you sure you are going to be alright?”

Georgia lifted her eyes to his, braced his soft cheeks with her hands, and said, “Go be somebody my sweet boy…I’ll be here when you get back.”

Finn winced as that memory flooded his mind.  He remembered that she was scared and did not want him to realize that she was.  He remembered the grave look on her face as he pulled away.  He remembered everything, and it pissed him off.  He would actually never see her again, and it killed him inside. 

When he made it back to Roland to collect her personal belongings, his heart was broken, and his anger was fueled.  No one was telling him what happened to Georgia, and his brothers were devastated.  They stood there with him while getting all of the things that Georgia had on her.

“Can you look through these before you leave?  Maybe you will see something in her stuff that we did not know to look for.”, Detective West asked.

Finn and the other two boys nodded to her as they sifted through the only things that were found on their mother.  There was a cherry Chapstick container, and it was half used, along with some peppermint-flavored Tic-Tacs.  She had little under a dollar in change, probably from a trip to the grocery store, and a matchbook from a place he had never seen before…The Arlington Hotel.

“Detective, this matchbook is weird to me.  I am not familiar with this place, and it seems weird that Mom has matches in her possession.  She stopped smoking when I was still in high school.” Finn fumbled with the matchbook with a confused look on his face.

“We’ll check it out. Is there anything else that looks like it doesn’t belong?”

Finn rummaged through the cardboard box filled with his mother’s things. “No, just that matchbook.  Do you guys see anything you don’t recognize or that seems weird?”  He turned it over to James and Anthony.

They shook their heads from side to side in sadness as they fumbled through the box. Finn patted Anthony on the shoulder and then onto James.  “Let’s go home.”

“I’ll keep working, Mr. Marlow.  Keep your heads up, okay?  I’ll let you know what I find out about that hotel.”

Finn nodded, collected the box, and lead him and his brothers out of the police station.  Brooke was waiting outside for him when he came out. She ran up to him and hugged him tightly.

“I’m so sorry, Finn.  It’s all my fault.” Brooke cried out to him.

James and Anthony kept walking, and Finn held onto Brook curious what she meant when she claimed responsibility.  “There’s nothing you could do…she was carjacked and robbed.”

“No.  Finn…she was in trouble.”


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

xoxo, E.M.

© E.M. Kingston

Sebastian’s Story – Part 8 – Detective Marlow

“Thank you for being here, Finn.  I know Davina would feel better knowing you are here with me.” Fiona spoke sincerely with a regretful sadness in her voice. “I wish we could have talked to you sooner.”

“I’m sorry that I did not get wind of Cole’s activities sooner, Fiona.  I am so damn sorry.  I loved her like a sister, you know?”

“I know.  She loved you too.  It’s something that we always knew could happen, him finding us, but I never thought he would kill her.”

“She got too close to the business and rejected Megan’s proposal.  Plus, Cole is a complete psychopath.  Brooke suffered the same fate, but I feel stupid that I never saw the hatred between the family and my Brooke.”

“Brooke was a great girl and great friend to Davina.  I think she kept Davina focused on the good aspects of their lives rather than the mess they were stuck in.  I still do not think it was a suicide…Megan had something to do with it.  Conniving bitch…”

“Yeah…that part.” He noticed Fiona getting agitated.

With her anger building thinking about Megan again after so long, Fiona decided to step away for a moment.  She raised up from the couch and went to the kitchen to grab them some more coffee, patting Sebastian on the head as she wandered past him.  He was playing with Klaus and his ball on the floor.  She looked back at Finn and noticed the bewildering look upon his face.  He was fighting demons inside of himself, especially when it came to dealing with the Devilles.

Finn Marlow was not a stranger to loss, and now Fiona had lost the only daughter she had.  Thank goodness for Sebastian, she mused. She had no idea how she was going to get through losing her, but she knew investing her time with Sebastian was the answer. 

“Finn, how did you do it?  Cope with losing them…”, Fiona asked as she walked back to the room with coffee in hand for both of them.

“Honestly, I became obsessed with stopping them.  I used my anger to fuel my desire to bring them down.  Brooke would have been so disappointed with how much I tried to hurt them.”

Fiona looked at the clock as it chimed seven times just when he finished speaking. Finn shook his head and frowned at himself for letting so many bad things happen.  It made him begin to think about the beginning of it all when life was much easier because he did not know how one family could cause so much turmoil. 

“Fiona, I meant to thank you for the flowers when Mom passed on.  I was afraid if I reached out that he would find you.  A lot of good that did, huh?”

“Hey, we got away because of you.  We were always thankful for you getting the Marshalls involved to get us relocated.  When Brooke died, we knew it was only a matter of time before Cole escalated.  I was the last to know that he had already been abusing her for years.”

“They found Aurora a few weeks ago.  She had been missing since right after we moved you, Davina, and Sebastian away from Cole.”

The fear shook Fiona inside her bones.  Poor Aurora, she thought with a tear rolling down her blushed cheek.  “She died for us? How terrible…”

“It was gruesome…I’ll spare you the details.” He tapped on his coffee cup.

“Thanks for that…she was a sweet lady.  She reminded me of Brooke.  They were a lot alike in how she handled our families.” She patted Finn on the leg.  “I think I will go have a shower.  Sebastian is okay with you for a little bit?”

“Sure, I got you.  Take care of yourself.” He smiled at Sebastian who was looking at him as he answered Gammy.

As Detective Marlow kept an eye on Sebastian, Finn began reflecting back to the beginning of how he became a detective.  He had lost two people that he loved very much because of the seedy life that the Deville family lived with their children.  In retrospect, he should have seen that they were bad people, but it was hard to see past the blinders that they put out for the world to see.  Even though everyone was close in the early stages of friendship and comradery, it was hard to accept that the Devilles would be capable of ruining so many lives with their evil doings.

It was in the Fall semester of his freshman year at the University of Arkansas that Finn got the gut-wrenching phone call that changed his life forever. 

“Mr. Marlow, I am looking to speak to Finn Marlow.” It was an unfamiliar voice on the other end of the line.  A female…she sounded sad, and Finn would never forget that voice.

“This is Finn.  Who is this?”

“Um yes.  My name is Sarah West.  I wanted to have this conversation in person, but I realize that is not…Mr. Marlow…we have found your mother.”

“Found her…she’s not missing.  What do you mean, Ms. West.”

This was the first time Detective Sarah West did a notification call as a homicide detective.  She was very nervous and hated talking to him over the phone to tell him that his mother was gone.

“She was found outside of town, and she is gone, Mr. Marlow.  She’s passed.”

“What?  No…what are you saying?  My mother is dead?” He could feel a lump building in his throat and his chest tightened with despair.  “You called and are telling me over the phone that my mother has died…what happened?”

“I’m sorry for your loss and for the way I had to notify you.  We need you to come in to get her personal belongings.  Will you be able to make it back to Roland?  I know you are away at school, but maybe you can make sense of what we found on her.”

The detective sounded sincere, but Finn had no idea what was going on.  His mother was found dead about 10 miles outside of town by Lake Maumelle.  She was cryptic and was not telling him much. She had spared him the details that day, but later in his career, he found out she had been shot execution-style in her head, beaten severely, and sexually assaulted.  The murderer did not even attempt to hide the body.  It was laying in plain sight.  They thought it was a carjacking gone wrong, but her car was never found.  Still, to this day, Finn looks for his mother’s grocery getter with tips that come every so often, and she had been gone for 5 years now. 

“Sure.  I will come back tonight.”

When he spoke, his voice was full of pain.  He was having a hard time keeping it together.  He thought about his brothers and about how to tell them. 

He packed up an overnight bag with a few outfits and essentials and headed back home.  It was going to be a long drive home.


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